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Heavy skier in sticky crud, HALP!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey guys!

I am a tall (6'4") and heavy (235lb) skier with good legs and
advanced ability.

However, I still have not figured out crud.

Here is some backgroud:
I can ski anything in -1C temperature or lower, I like ice
as I guess my weight helps me grip. But anytime I ski
in crud, the stuff just packs as I ski over it and brakes me down
to a crawl.

I have yet to ski power more than 12 inched thick and I must admit
my favorite cruising surface is hard packed with 6 inches of nice fuffy icing.

That said, I experienced a lot of difficulty skiing last spring and now that
St-Sauveur is back open, my outing last Sunday was quite reminiscent
of how I hate crud.

I am frustrated because obviously I have the wrong technique as I watch
people just float over the thing and seem to enjoy the bouncyness of it all.

I do not bounce on it, I just ploy to a stop. Please note that this was with
XRC1100 skis in 112-68-104 @ 177cm. This years I have Monster Chips
at 124-78-110 @ 186cm and I *hope* the extra area will help me float.

So the one liner is: How so you ski sticky crud being a heavy set skier?

Toodles!

MG
post #2 of 17
carry speed, use gentle subtle movements while turning, but stand on your skis 'strong'.

Just roll the skis on edge, let the sidecut do it's thing, let your skis follow the surface of the snow by having no tension in your legs, use your skeleton to hold the skis on edge/ line not your muscles. Let the piles of snow 'push up' on your feet, let them flow like water down the hill. try to think 'strong core, strong edges, no resistance'...
post #3 of 17
Waxing your skis with warm wax will help the "sticky" snow.  I have found with larger surface area skis, waxing is even more important in warm snow.


See the Tuning and Maintenance forum:
http://www.epicski.com/forum/list/37
post #4 of 17
I like Whiterooms explanation. Let those edges slice through the Crudness. I find that being relaxed and letting my legs absorb the terrain makes it smooth.
post #5 of 17
Have you ever been water skiing? When you first start up your ski(s) are vertical in the water. Before the skis get flat, you have to go through the transition phase where the skis are almost flat but not quite able to skim across the water because you are not going fast enough yet. This sounds like what you are experiencing.

I'm about your weight. Skiing in the Mid Atlantic and out West in the late season, I've seen my fair share of crud and slop. More surface area should help, but longer skis are more difficult to turn than shorter skis. If you still have trouble, rent a pair of super wide powder skis and experiment. I've found that Zardoz Notwax works great on wet sticky snow. Thicker snow = more resistance to turning. Using more edge (and less steering) as Whiteroom suggests is one way to compenate for the higher resistance. Going faster will give you more momentum and let you use your mass to also offset the higher resistanace. Achieving that speed by making shallower (more in the fall line) turns reduces your need for turning forces to fight through heavier snow. But more importantly, going faster will help you get up to the speed you need to get the skis to "plane" through the snow. Because we're heavier, we need to go faster than most of the other skiers we see to get to planing speed. The problem with a lot of people is that their brain won't let them go this fast until it knows that they have enough control to effectively turn. This is where the subtle adjustments of turn shape and more edge tipping solve the problem. This is one area that a lot of people don't "get" until they "get it" (i.e. keep trying and failing until success magically happens). Getting through that water ski like transition zone is tricky. I was lucky because I learned how to do this when I was 50 pounds lighter.
post #6 of 17
 therusty is right, go faster.

Bear in mind though, that you'll need to push your feet a bit more ahead of you to counter act the increased friction.  You'll also need to be way more precise with how you use the upper body, especially it's path.  Patience in this slop is a virtue -- so is actually carving the heck out of it.
post #7 of 17
Way good advice in this thread already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post

You'll also need to be way more precise with how you use the upper body, especially it's path
 

To me, this means that the upper body path needs to almost *always* point to the tips of the skis.

Now, what I really wanted to say, if you are getting frustrated but still have gobs of energy in the legs, just lift the tips and waterski the living daylights out of the stuff.    Go ahead and be a Bad Skier, it's fun and it'll get you out of the pit of frustration.  
post #8 of 17
For me, I think a bit more about using my hamstrings to help retract the skis a bit more when changing directions....the tips can stay close and in contact with snow without the edges catching
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

Have you ever been water skiing? When you first start up your ski(s) are vertical in the water. Before the skis get flat, you have to go through the transition phase where the skis are almost flat but not quite able to skim across the water because you are not going fast enough yet. This sounds like what you are experiencing.

I'm about your weight. Skiing in the Mid Atlantic and out West in the late season, I've seen my fair share of crud and slop. More surface area should help, but longer skis are more difficult to turn than shorter skis. If you still have trouble, rent a pair of super wide powder skis and experiment. I've found that Zardoz Notwax works great on wet sticky snow. Thicker snow = more resistance to turning. Using more edge (and less steering) as Whiteroom suggests is one way to compenate for the higher resistance. Going faster will give you more momentum and let you use your mass to also offset the higher resistanace. Achieving that speed by making shallower (more in the fall line) turns reduces your need for turning forces to fight through heavier snow. But more importantly, going faster will help you get up to the speed you need to get the skis to "plane" through the snow. Because we're heavier, we need to go faster than most of the other skiers we see to get to planing speed. The problem with a lot of people is that their brain won't let them go this fast until it knows that they have enough control to effectively turn. This is where the subtle adjustments of turn shape and more edge tipping solve the problem. This is one area that a lot of people don't "get" until they "get it" (i.e. keep trying and failing until success magically happens). Getting through that water ski like transition zone is tricky. I was lucky because I learned how to do this when I was 50 pounds lighter.

if longer skis are more difficult in crud why do we use them in crud then?

ask any non PSIA(or non PMTS) good to great skier what they want to use in crud and I have pretty good guess what they would say. Personally if I was you Id be using something with metal 190+ 80-100mm underfoot with normal camber and 20 meter plus sidecut ski to ski sticky crud back east. Use a ski that can let you dictate what YOU want to do to the terrain and conditions, using a smaller ski lets terrain and conditons dictate to you. 

With that said the right skis still dont make you a great sticky crud skier. You need to be good as well.

cliff notes

-speed is your friend, longer skis let you go faster and dont get bogged down as much as well kinda of a catch 22 as you can only go so fast on shorter narrow skis in weird snow. your 186cm 78mm heads IMO arent even close to enough ski.
-never ever try to skid or heel push, tip your skis then steer all the time, and carve when you can
- buidling on above higher edge angles create less suction on the snow they also let the ski cut the snow better. Get on edge alot, quickly and keep it there
-large unweighting moves are sometimes needed between turns as a flat base creates suction
- a strong functional tension all over your body is key to any skiing but becomes more important as its gets tough weather though weird snow. basically be firm but not stiff. 

just a FYI in the stuff you describe at 5'10 and 165 lb I ll be on 95mm 192 ski this year. Why? cause skiing SL skis in this stuff is way too hard and I am kinda of hack at skiing so I use equipment to get me though. Can you ski it on what you have? sure but your more man than me for using those shorter skis.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the advise!
Unfortunately, seems that a response post I made was either deleted or
I pressed submit in the wrong window LOLL

Lots of good advice here so I definately have some practice to do!

AH-Ha momens from this thread:

Let the muscled absorb instead of force movement.
This is very true because, as Brit skiers say: "If you want to be good, follow a hottie"!
So I did follow a hottie and she just floated over the crud with little effort, so I must NOT
try to fight my way through it!

Speed helps and yes, I am at that rift where I fear speed without control having
yet to realise speed will get me past a lot of problems in crud.

Edge only: So concensus is that wiper is a nono, so I will need to
let my ski's edges cut through it.

Thanks again for the advise.

PS: I also have Mojo's 103 in 186cm, should I consider flattning
crud with those?
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterGoa View Post

Thanks all for the advise!
Unfortunately, seems that a response post I made was either deleted or
I pressed submit in the wrong window LOLL

Lots of good advice here so I definately have some practice to do!

AH-Ha momens from this thread:

Let the muscled absorb instead of force movement.
This is very true because, as Brit skiers say: "If you want to be good, follow a hottie"!
So I did follow a hottie and she just floated over the crud with little effort, so I must NOT
try to fight my way through it!

Speed helps and yes, I am at that rift where I fear speed without control having
yet to realise speed will get me past a lot of problems in crud.

Edge only: So concensus is that wiper is a nono, so I will need to
let my ski's edges cut through it.

Thanks again for the advise.

PS: I also have Mojo's 103 in 186cm, should I consider flattning
crud with those?

yes much better crud ski than the others you have. make sure you use warm weather wax if its sticky crud.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Okay!
post #13 of 17
Learn how to jump and absorb the landing first, then ski the same way. Instead of turning, just "jump' the turns and avoid of pushing that heavy snow aside. Speed always helps.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterGoa View Post

I am a tall (6'4") and heavy (235lb) skier with good legs and
advanced ability.

So the one liner is: How so you ski sticky crud being a heavy set skier?

MG
 

I am your height and just a few lbs. lighter, and consider myself a good crud skier.  Our extra weight actually gives us an advantage in sticky or heavy crud.  There are several common factors, but your technique is greatly determined by your skis.  Stiff tip skis will drive through the snow, but are prone to dive if you get your weight too far forward.  Soft tip skis tend to want to climb on top of the snow, causing you to fight to get back down in it so you can gain control.

The most important issue is fore/aft balance.  You need to keep your tips in the snow.  Once you master that you can speed up and slow down by subtle fore/aft changes of weight.  Generally you need to maintain a little speed to push through the snow.  I have found that each type of crud has a particular speed that works best for your weight and the skis you are on, so you need to experiment a little to find it.  The best advice I have is to stay lower than normal, and more compact with your arms.  Think of it a mirroring the snow.  The more compact the snow, the more compact you need to be to maintain balance.  You also need to angulate a little more so that you can push straight down (in relation to your postion) on your ski and flex it into the snow.  No matter how heavy the snow, you have plenty of leg muscle to push the ski into it to shape your turn.  Once you get the hang of it you can compress the snow into a perfect smooth platform for each turn.  Keep your weight balanced about 60/40 between your skis.

The lighter guys will be thrown around more by inconsistencies in the snow, but once you get some speed up you will be smoothly bulldozing your turns, as long as you keep your tips in the snow.  Staying low with your weight forward is the key.  I got my name by skiing deep sticky slush ("hot mud"), so I know that it works.  Now go out there and enjoy some of that "big guy snow."
post #15 of 17
Mudfoot:  You are making want to grab my 194 LPs and ski some "crappy" snow. 
post #16 of 17
Held off sayin' anything since I only weigh 165 or 170 lbs, but you might want to take a look at this post for my take on how skis can make a difference.
http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/64325/a-tale-of-two-skis
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by StormDay View Post

Mudfoot:  You are making want to grab my 194 LPs and ski some "crappy" snow. 
 

I love taking out the 193 Watea 101s and bulldozing some sludge.  For whatever reason, I too get great satisfaction from skiing "crappy" snow.  Sometimes I'll look at something gnarly and think, "I just gotta try that."   I suppose it is some kind of personally defect, but the challenge is always attractive.  I accept that you gotta crash a few times before you figure out the snow, but it always seems worth the effort when you are the only guy on a run because everybody else is skiing the easy snow somewhere else, and you're finally pulling off some pretty good turns.
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