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Early season technique drills question

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
It's early season conditions and I've been practicing to improve my technique while business is slow. ...About learning to ski backwards: I've been down on the bunny hill using the "pizza & french fry" model to learn speed control (the run is abandoned). And then using the snow plow and gradually morphing into some backward parallel turns. But my progress is slow inconsistent, and I feel awkward and stupid - skiied into the fench once and fell a few times. I'm deterimned to learn this very important new skilll and I'm going to continue to practice whenever I can find a beginner run with almost no skiiers to practice on. But I just thought if somebody out there has any suggestions to help me. I already notice improved balance and edge release from this work.

Thanks

Chris Stewart
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Stewart View Post

It's early season conditions and I've been practicing to improve my technique while business is slow. ...About learning to ski backwards: I've been down on the bunny hill using the "pizza & french fry" model to learn speed control (the run is abandoned). And then using the snow plow and gradually morphing into some backward parallel turns. But my progress is slow inconsistent, and I feel awkward and stupid - skiied into the fench once and fell a few times. I'm deterimned to learn this very important new skilll and I'm going to continue to practice whenever I can find a beginner run with almost no skiiers to practice on. But I just thought if somebody out there has any suggestions to help me. I already notice improved balance and edge release from this work.

Thanks

Chris Stewart
You are on the best way on performing this with ease, give it another 5 years and you are there.
post #3 of 9
Only took me a few days, not five years. It may be easier to learn on twin tips, as skiing backwards on regular skis you can dig the tails into the snow. Kapow!

D
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwoof2 View Post

Only took me a few days, not five years. It may be easier to learn on twin tips, as skiing backwards on regular skis you can dig the tails into the snow. Kapow!

D


 
See this is exactly how you set somebody up for failure. What if it will take him more than a few days?
post #5 of 9
I've tried it a couple of times, I'm not that good at it. Why is it an important skill to learn?
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5ki8um View Post

I've tried it a couple of times, I'm not that good at it. Why is it an important skill to learn?

It's not that skiing switch is necessarily all that critical (although I have found it helpful as an instructor).  But doing it well requires a lot of generally useful skills.

You have to have pretty good balance skills (especially fore-aft balance, since you have to 'reverse' everything) and upper-lower body separation.  And doing 180-degree spins/pivots to go in/out of skiing switch requires a whole other set of useful edging, rotary, and balance skills.  Anything that makes you better at those tasks will improve all your skiing.
post #7 of 9
As for the progression... you are on the right track. Pretty much the same steps as learning to ski forwards should do the trick.
However, when learning to ski switch you will probably feel like you have to lean way back down the hill to maintain balance fore/aft... It is very easy to get off balance forward towards the slope (or is that backwards?) and this is where many people have problems. Fight your instincts here! Also, unlike skiing forward where you end up with counter rotation as a result of turning your legs... when skiing backwards you need to actively turn the upper body to the outside of the new turn to create the counter and angulation necessary to balance on the edges. This is also counter intuitive as you need to turn your head and body and look up hill just as you finally get a good glimpse of where you are going... down the hill.

I reccommend wearing a helmet when learning switch (if you don't already) as it's pretty easy to get high sided and take a good knock to the noggin.
post #8 of 9
Chris,

I ski backward all of the time while teaching young children.  I rarely look where I an going, only to check for some thing in the trail (other skiers).  I know where I am going by seeing where I have been (much like driving a car forward by only looking in the rear mirror).  I find my movement patters are much the same as skiing forward, except ankle flex is much more relaxed due to the more closed position of the ankle that the hill gives you.  I find that wide, easy, uncrowded novice trails are best for practice.  The next step is skiing backwards with your eyes closed and then on one foot only (wow, this whole thing sounds crazy).  Work on very gliding round turns, an if you look where you are going, look to the right as you turn right, and look left as you turn right (not over the outside shoulder).

Keep at it, the more you do, the better you will get at it.

RW
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Work on very gliding round turns, an if you look where you are going, look to the right as you turn right, and look left as you turn right (not over the outside shoulder).

Ron.. in CSIA snow park courses we usually teach to look to the outside. Goes completely against your instincts and doesn't give you quite as good a line of sight but creates much better balance on the edges from my experience. Have you tried it?

Disclaimer... I'm not really much of a new schooler
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