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Inside Ski

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Bob B and others, I have noticed that when I am skiing steep terrain with cut-up snow or even firm snow I am slightly late with the movement of my inside ski. I don't pick it up or cross the tips, but sometimes a have a mini V going. I think I do this because;
1. I am often forced to turn quickly because of obstacles or terrain irregularities
2. The terrain is steep enough that my stability is coming from my (soon to be inside ski) downhill edge

How can you get the pressure off the downhill ski quickly and move it in the direction of the new turn without losing control, skidding, and/or gaining a lot of speed? This doesn't seem to be an issue on the groomers even when the terrain is steep.
post #2 of 11
I find that the first turn I make on steep crud, unless I do a hop turn or make an agressive move, I start the first turn in a slight turn but after that...
The learning to release the downhill edge first came from leading with my knee/thigh instead of thinking about my feet. By leading my down hill leg with my thigh/knee and moving my CM across/down the hill (while letting my uphill knee/thigh chase the downhill knee) instead of up first (weight transfer to up hill ski) to initiate the turn, I was able to end the wedge cristy type turn.
I don't know if that is more confusing put that way but that's sort of how I learned to get a even edge transfer on both skis. Now I just need to work on not countering with my hips on groomers
post #3 of 11

If I understand you correctly, I am imagining a slight stem happening at the transition between turns. I do this sometimes on purpose, not sure why, but I sometimes like to step into my new line rather than roll or hop into it. But what you might be decribing is trying to control your speed by hanging in the turn too long. Could this be caused by facing across the hill at the completion of the turn rather than looking down where you want to go? If you finish your turns too much, trying to gain speed control, it becomes much harder to start into the next one. Therefore, harder to get the weight off the downhill leg and onto the new downhill leg. Maybe your legs are working independantly of each other rather than together? Sometimes I counter this tendancy by skiing a little tighter from the waist up, facing down the hill, and not letting my arms flail. I make smaller turns and skid a bit to dump speed. And I make sure not to complete my turns to a traverse position which would kill the flow. Hope this helps some?
post #4 of 11

This bothers me, because I may sometimes be doing what you are describing, but I'm not sure. Sometimes in cut up crud I will step into the next turn with an uphill stem, it's an old habit, one from childhood. It's usefulness in tight steeps can save your hide from hitting trees and stuff. It's a way to spread the platform out to avoid sinking deeper in the crud while setting up a new turn. Are we talking about the same thing? For me, it's a compromise manuver forced by really tight steep conditions where a classic round turn might just aim me into a tree. Also I use a stem in moguls sometimes, but I don't see it as improper.

Someone help please.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Greg B,

I am not stemming in the turn that I am describing. What's happening is that in cut-up snow on steep terrain and in very firm conditions on steep terrain I don't always move the inside ski out of the way (steering, tipping) quickly enough. I don't have this problem out on the groomed because I have lots of time and room to get on the uphill ski early and steer/tip the inside ski in the direction of the new turn.
The turns I'm talking about happen fairly quickly because of terrain irregularities or obstacles. I don't want to hop my tails so I'm looking for some technique changes or drills that will help me move the inside ski more quickly in these situations. I having a hard time explaining this, but it's like one moment the downhill ski is your platform and speedcontrol ski and the next moment you are off it and moving it in parallel with the new downhill ski. You have probably observed this with intermediate skiers on steeper terrain. They either go into a small wedge or pick the inside ski up and move it.
post #6 of 11
Try working on railroad turns on easy groomers. spaced skis about 18" apart and work on getting the skis to tip and turn at the same time. I like to lead with the thigh and chase that thigh with your new outside knee.

As these turns get faster and quicker, then work on them on steeper stuff. You will find that at the end of your turn/beginning of new turn if you don't move your body mass up the hill to check your turn but release the downhill edge and follow with the now uphill knee your body will just flow into the next turn. Steer gently with the feet. As I type this I realize it's hard to explain without showing. Maybe Bob Barnes can do a better job.
I'll think about it more and maybe try again later.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

I understand what you are saying and I practice those type of turns. It's just that in steep terrain with cut-up or variable snow it's sometimes difficult to make those turns quickly enough and when the terrain is steep with firm snow I am coming off a downhill ski that has had a lot of pressure, and edging applied in order to hold and I am sometimes late getting off the ski and moving it out of the way.
post #8 of 11
When you get on the steeper stuff Pole plants become more important. Try this:
Holding your pole a little firmer and instead of flicking the pole out to it's plant location, reach down the hill with the whole arm. swing from the shoulder. Not up and out but down the hill. As the pitch gets steeper and you want tighter turns you may actually get to the point of a plant/touch being right down from your feet or even almost behind your feet. This action will cause your whole body to move not just your arm and cause a quick release of both edges. Try to keep the pole tip near the snow all the way through the swing. this will also require not lifting the arm and just moving the arm/shoulder/upper Body as a unit.
Does that make sense?
post #9 of 11
Mmm... My variation on this now.

Sounds like a delayed lead change. I immediately thought of a ski turn I've developed over the last few years. Many people do it but I've never heard it instructed. I call it "feeling the snow". I do it often on flatter terrain, groomed or chop. Stand neutral while gliding in the fall line, hands up front and relaxed, ankles flexed forward a bit, maybe with top buckle undone. While gliding along, weight 1 foot more, feel the snow give a little. You might begin a slight turn, but keep you skis flat. Now weight the other foot, feel the snow. Now shift back and forth, back and forth. Now standing neutral, shift your skis lead slowly, about 6 - 8", you'll start to turn. Now shift the other skis lead. Try it varying the amount of weight on each foot, and try tipping the skis ever so slightly. You're not carving, but feeling the snow with a lead change.

This is going off the flats now. Buckle up. Get up higher on the hill and ski normally but remember to feel the snow with the lead change. Take the feeling into the steeps and crud. An exaggerated lead change can work well in the soft stuff. (Don't shove your uphill ski ahead any more than the downhill ski goes back or you'll get into the back seat). But don't rely on it (you won't)but think about it and feel it.

A more muscular approach is to consciencely (sp?) tighten the lower abs when in the steeps. This gives the effect of freeing up the legs from static forces and lets them retract and extend easier. This is what I am attempting to train my old body to do this season. It's gonna take a couple of seasons.
post #10 of 11

Makes sense to me. It's a little brutal, but I do it sometimes. Trying to write this is a bit like trying to get down some nasty gnarly slope. Sometimes I nail just right. Sometimes you do. Gotta go.
post #11 of 11
Another thought, sometimes you have to just let the skis swing around slow and have patience. It's kind of spooky to feel but
"round" quick true parallel turns take a lot of trust in your skis and your skills.
You may be stuck with sort of hop or swing turns until you learn to really truly trust your skis.
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