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MA: Please critique mercilessly

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Critique Please

Trying to improve

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylno_vIKKUI

post #2 of 27
Looks pretty nice, but a couple things I noticed (although tough to say for certain with only a few turns):
- I think you need more break between upper and lower body.  Take a look especially at the first few turns - your body looks like it is in a straight line throughout the turn.  This is manageable on intermediate terrain but as things get tricky and you move faster, it gets tougher because your upper body has so far to go to initiate the next turn.  you still want the leg extension that you have, but with your torso more upright so that it is ready for the next turn. The position you are in will also typically mean you can't get much weight on the outside ski which can prevent you from getting a good carve.  Think about your body as being shaped like a boomerang when your skis are in the fall line - legs out to the side and body relatively vertical.

- It also looks like you are initiating your turn with your upper body.  You should be initiating the turn from the ground up - not the other way around.  That may be a result of the point above though, so if you fix that, this may fix itself. 

- lastly, it looks like you are rushing through the turn transition.  This again may be a symptom of the first point. For some people it helps to count through the turn, with the goal of spending equal time on the leg extension phase as you do the flexion phase (that doesn't mean you hold flexion or extension though!  You are constantly moving, but for say a 3 count, you are moving from flexion to extension and then for a 3 count you are moving from extension to flexion).

I hope that helps.

Elsbeth
post #3 of 27
evaino your pretty well picked out all of the symptoms that are going on. Nice eye for that.  What is really lacking here is guiding skills, steering, skiing into and out of counter, lack of upper and lower body separation, whatever you want to call it.   The skis are not following the arc by letting the upper body stay put while rotating the legs and feet to follow the skis via the hip socket. Everything else is a compensation to replace the lack of this skill.

The shoulders go first, followed by the rest of the body and feet into a bank turn. There is flexion in the belly of the turn to prime for an up movement followed by a smooth stepping and shuffling motion to change edges and effect a smooth banked turn the other direction.

Is this bad skiing for this terrain? No.  Is this inefficient skiing? More so than it needs to be for sure.
post #4 of 27
The guys above are on the right track... but it also looks like your ankles are locked in a flexed position. This could either be from your boots or your technique. If the ankles are always flexed you are forced to create all your movement from the hip joint which will get you off balance. Often a bit forward at the end of the turn and a bit back at the start. If you are more centered it will be much easier to turn with the legs as mentioned above.

To resolve this, try extending the ankle at the start of the turn while keeping your shoulders over your knees. It might feel like your pushing on a gas pedal.
post #5 of 27
Is Inclination intrinsically less efficient than Angulation? I question that conclusion. Care to elaborate on why you feel efficiency is increased by flexing the body?
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Is Inclination intrinsically less efficient than Angulation? I question that conclusion. Care to elaborate on why you feel efficiency is increased by flexing the body?
JASP who are you addressing and what post did you pick this impression up from? A quote would help.

To me inclination and angulation or intrinsically intertwined and dictated by the dynamics, the snow conditions and terrain. I incline a lot more than I use to.
post #7 of 27
Post three, last line. Didn't you imply the corrections you suggested would produce a more efficient turn?
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Post three, last line. Didn't you imply the corrections you suggested would produce a more efficient turn?
 

I thought that I implied that the correction is steering/guiding the feet rather than an upper body rotation.  That would produce a more efficient turn and correct most of the problems.  

The second paragraph explains what I am currently seeing in the video.  I didn't think I implied anything in particular about inclination or angulation.

Maybe I am losing my touch to be clear after a hiatis from the forum.
post #9 of 27
Pierre, 
I read the entire post again and while you added steering to the list of advice, it seemed to me that you agreed with Evaino about angulation being missing. You also suggested there is a more efficient movement option, which is what I would love to here more about.  
post #10 of 27
I think you might have been referring to my post about inclination.  

I need to give the movement toward more inclination more thought and experiment, but in any case, I don't know that I would ever agree with inclination being good if it's preventing getting adequate pressure on the outside ski.  I also don't like to see skiing where it looks like the turn is initiated from the upper body, which I think is what this turn looks like.  I think this does lead to inefficient skiing because the person needs to haul their body a good distance to initiate the next turn.   

I suspect that more inclination can work in a more advanced skier but would require the ability to really drive the outside ski forward at the end of the turn to be able to initiate the new turn.  

I am very interested in why people like more inclination.  Seems like a change in ideology from what I've always known (which isn't necessarily a bad thing!). And in fact I was just looking at a picture from the world cup this past weekend that has me thinking.  

Elsbeth
post #11 of 27
I see the conclusion that since the body moved further we must have used more energy to move it there as not always correct. That conclusion only works when we are using more internally created (muscle) power to cause the movement to occur. Sometimes just not resisting external forces like gravity, or allowing our inertial momentum to carry us where we want to go actually reduces the amount of energy we are expending.
Add to that the fact that weight bearing in a flexed stance uses more energy than we would use in a taller stance. Mostly because the primary weight bearing body system is the skeleton. The more weight bearing the skeleton does the more efficient our stance is and the more weight we can carry. It's the underlying principle behind the saying "a long and strong stance". Since angulation involves flexing the body, we compromise the skeleton's ability to do as much weight bearing to some degree. We make up for that by using more muscle power to bear weight. Which is less efficient from an energy expended point of view.    

So, in terms of efficiency, the comparison of angulation and inclination needs to include a discussion of which option would allow us to exploit the effects of the external motive forces and would align the sum of all the forces through the long axis of the skeleton most. Angulation increases the effective range of motion in the lateral plane but does decrease efficiency since the muscle do more weight bearing.

 
Edited by justanotherskipro - 12/9/09 at 10:38am
post #12 of 27
Quote:
it gets tougher because your upper body has so far to go to initiate the next turn.
Exactly, if you do not initiate your turns from the feet, everything else is a compensating movement.
I look for the feet, and legs turning under a stable upper body, which will lead to increased angles at the apex of the turn. Skiing into and out of counter not creating it with the upper body. Try to keep the inside of the turn, uphill hand in your field of vision.
I am seeing some divergence of your skis on the turns to the left, indicating the turn is being started with the outside foot instead of the inside foot. Practice railroad tracks on easy terrain, focusing on order of movements, left foot to go left, right foot to go right.

Nice rhythm and turn shape, and you exhibit good balance!

Rule #1 have fun!
post #13 of 27
Wow! That's certainly a strong statement. You do realize you're describing only one turn type. In that narrow scope the feet moving and the core remaining relatively stationary is great advice. This doesn't mean outside of that one type of turn that this advice would be universally appropriate though. I can't tell you how many skiers I teach who cannot project their body into the new turn without moving their feet uphill. Moving the feet and moving the body represent a range of possibilities and most ski maneuvers involve a bit of both.
post #14 of 27
jyang,

You have a lot of good things going on in your skiing.  Overall it is nice.  I did notice quite a difference between your turn to the right (a lot of skidding after the fall line), and the turn to the left (better ski/snow engagement).  This could be a equipment/alignment issue. 

I agree with what others are seeing in your skiing.  I think some is a timing issue with your extension.  Your extension is late through the turn which causes the skis to overload some and wash out.  Work on your movement through the transition as being one that releases your edges, engages your new edges, and moves your center of mass into the new turn in a balanced way.  In the vid, it looks like your release movement is an upward movement, your edge re engagement is by dropping your body inside and then extending to help regain balance as you brace on the inside ski.

A more patient transition without the up movement, but a more lateral movement into the new turn will allow you to effectually edge your skis before the fall line and create a smooth arc throughout the turn.

Hope this helps.

RW
post #15 of 27
Jyang

While the others are arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, or whatever they're arguing about, here's what I think you could do to improve your skiing, especially when you get off that ballroom quality groomer.

As said above, upper/lower body separation could be improved.  Try this.  Make your turns while dragging both pole tips on the snow with your arms held not-quite-straight out to the sides.  Press hard and drag them hard on the snow.  Keep trying until you are able to keep both tips firmly on the snow.  Add to this--as the turn progresses twist your body (from the hips up) toward the outside of the turn so the inside pole tip is pushed forward until it is forward of your feet.  You need to have your inside pole/hand/arm/shoulder/hip high and forward.  You need to have your outside pole/hand/arm/shoulder/hip low and back.  Get the feel for your body position while doing these drills.  Know the body position so well that you can duplicate the movements when you hold your poles in the correct positions.  You will be flexed at the waist with your center of mass (somewhere in the abdomen) balanced over the forward inside edge of your outside ski and your zipper pointing to the outside of the turn.

This new body movement will make your skiing better.  Skiing starts with the feet and correct body movements improve that.  One more thing...after you get this working for you, try to keep both feet side by side.  It can't quite be done, but see how close you can get.  Tip lead is not a virtue; it is an artifact of how our leg bends in a rigid ski boot.

Ankle flex---we don't flex our ankles.  They flex as an indicator of other body movements.  I am totally against the gas pedal analogy.  It puts many folks in the back seat.  Jyang, you want to load the tips of your skis in the beginning of the turn and be centered fore & aft at the end of the turn, never back on your heels--but you don't have that problem. Start your turn with most of your weight on the ball of your outside foot, and end the turn even on ball and heel.  The steeper the pitch and the harder the snow, the more you need to load the ski tips at the start of the turn. 
post #16 of 27
The head of a pin had room for one more bit of advice. Sadly it started with insulting everyone, what a great way to join a conversation. I bet you're a real hit at parties. Maybe after a bit you can kick someone's dog.   
post #17 of 27
Quote:
I am totally against the gas pedal analogy.  It puts many folks in the back seat.  Jyang, you want to load the tips of your skis in the beginning of the turn and be centered fore & aft at the end of the turn, never back on your heels--but you don't have that problem. Start your turn with most of your weight on the ball of your outside foot, and end the turn even on ball and heel.  The steeper the pitch and the harder the snow, the more you need to load the ski tips at the start of the turn.
The gas pedal analogy is meant to make you feel the ball of your foot.... that is what happens when you straighten your ankle... unless of course your upper body is already too far back. While driving a car I've certainly never pushed the gas pedal down with my heel! If it does put you in the back seat then it means you are probably rocking your body back as opposed to straightening the ankle. To compensate you may need to feel like your moving the hips/shoulders/hands forward while you "push the gas pedal down".

I think that if your neutral stance (ie: your home base that you return to between turns) was a little less flexed in the ankle and a little more flexed in the hips/spine it would offer much better range of movement and would enable the lower body work more independantly from the upper body. Resting shins on the fronts of your boots is a recipe for rotation.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post


Ankle flex---we don't flex our ankles.  . 

HAHAHAHAHA
post #19 of 27
Jyang-

I think your skiing is good overall, but you have some of the same issues I have been working on, mainly dropping your inside hand/shoulder and leaning into the turn. 

I've skied about 25 days the last two seasons and fallen 5 times.  I think at least 4 of these were caused by leaning into the turn too much without any counter.  All resulted in simple "hip check" falls, but the 2nd one last October resulted in a blown ACL as I skidded along on my hip and tails of skis.

I signed up for the unlimited lessons at Keystone (met JASP today).  First two lessons, Dave McGrath had me working on keeping the hands/shoulders more level (with the hands a bit farther ahead).  This felt stiff to me at first, but I think it has improved my skiing and now feels more natural.  Might be easier to get the upper/lower body separation keeping hands/shoulders level to the hill (while still moving the hip to the inside of the line).

The last two times out, I have been with Dan Dacey who used the gas pedal anology- I think this has definitely helped me get better edge engagement in moderately hard snow- previously I could do it in softer snow and I still am not getting it in scraped off sections.  If you are balanced to begin with and have moderate contact between the shins and tongues of your boot, I don't think this move puts you in the back seat. 

"Pulling up" my insdie leg (while keeping the ski in contact with snow) has also helped me get a bit more dynamic at times and may also work for you, but I would start with level hands and shoulders.
 
Good luck,
Matt
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by evaino View Post

I think you might have been referring to my post about inclination.  

I need to give the movement toward more inclination more thought and experiment, but in any case, I don't know that I would ever agree with inclination being good if it's preventing getting adequate pressure on the outside ski.  I also don't like to see skiing where it looks like the turn is initiated from the upper body, which I think is what this turn looks like.  I think this does lead to inefficient skiing because the person needs to haul their body a good distance to initiate the next turn.   

I suspect that more inclination can work in a more advanced skier but would require the ability to really drive the outside ski forward at the end of the turn to be able to initiate the new turn.  

I am very interested in why people like more inclination.  Seems like a change in ideology from what I've always known (which isn't necessarily a bad thing!). And in fact I was just looking at a picture from the world cup this past weekend that has me thinking.  
Elsbeth
 

Interesting that you are not ready to go with the flow as they say in english. It took me a while to understand that the word inclination although it makes my hair raise all up is just a word that expresses what is seen, but not what is happening. If your weight is on the inside edge of your outside ski, I say you are in balance with the forces and not inclined. But this only works in german, apparently not in english. So what do you say in all that?
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyfast View Post




Interesting that you are not ready to go with the flow as they say in english. It took me a while to understand that the word inclination although it makes my hair raise all up is just a word that expresses what is seen, but not what is happening. If your weight is on the inside edge of your outside ski, I say you are in balance with the forces and not inclined. But this only works in german, apparently not in english. So what do you say in all that?

Simplyfast,

I agree.  And as long as everything else is working, I am okay with inclination.  But I don't think inclination is okay in someone who also has other problems with their skiing (as in this case).  I think before someone should try to push the boundaries of physics by adding more inclination, they need to have a solid base - including solid contact with the snow and turns that start with the feet, but I don't see that here.  Until someone is able to really feel their skis carve, I don't think they should be inclined because I think that position will prevent them from getting proper pressure on the outside ski. And if they are starting their turn from the upper body, they are going to have a really hard time starting that turn from the other side of their center of mass.  In physics terms, this puts them at a mechanical disadvantage.  Teach them to angulate can help them to get their skis to properly carve, and to turn from the feet, and of course to use the ankles. Until you have that, I think inclination is just making life difficult. 

And with an advanced skier, I think that skiing in a more inclined position is a risk/reward concept.  I think you can get more performance as you add more inclination to a solid base but it is a less stable position because the effective center of mass moves further away from the base of support.  So much more likely to fall or lose control, but also more likely to have a great edge angle and thus performance.   Once someone has that strong base, then feel free to push it - but realize that you are becoming less stable as you incline more.

Maybe I'm mixing styles here, but I view this a bit like the Bode Miller type of skiing from a few years ago (maybe he still does but I haven't followed him in a while).  He pushed the limits and he won a lot - but he also crashed out a lot. 

I hope that makes sense and isn't just rambling. :)  

Elsbeth

 
post #22 of 27
Wow, I just posted for help under ski instruction after taking a lesson and I seem to be having the same issues as jyang.
Need more upper/lower body seperation
Neen a more upright torso
I think I have a habit of banking turns by leadin with shoulders.
Edited by nikonfme - 12/21/09 at 8:49am
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by evaino View Post




Simplyfast,

I agree.  And as long as everything else is working, I am okay with inclination.  But I don't think inclination is okay in someone who also has other problems with their skiing (as in this case).  I think before someone should try to push the boundaries of physics by adding more inclination, they need to have a solid base - including solid contact with the snow and turns that start with the feet, but I don't see that here.  Until someone is able to really feel their skis carve, I don't think they should be inclined because I think that position will prevent them from getting proper pressure on the outside ski. And if they are starting their turn from the upper body, they are going to have a really hard time starting that turn from the other side of their center of mass.  In physics terms, this puts them at a mechanical disadvantage.  Teach them to angulate can help them to get their skis to properly carve, and to turn from the feet, and of course to use the ankles. Until you have that, I think inclination is just making life difficult. 

And with an advanced skier, I think that skiing in a more inclined position is a risk/reward concept.  I think you can get more performance as you add more inclination to a solid base but it is a less stable position because the effective center of mass moves further away from the base of support.  So much more likely to fall or lose control, but also more likely to have a great edge angle and thus performance.   Once someone has that strong base, then feel free to push it - but realize that you are becoming less stable as you incline more.

Maybe I'm mixing styles here, but I view this a bit like the Bode Miller type of skiing from a few years ago (maybe he still does but I haven't followed him in a while).  He pushed the limits and he won a lot - but he also crashed out a lot. 

I hope that makes sense and isn't just rambling. :)  

Elsbeth

 
Nope you make perfect sense to me. I explained someone else that everyone understands when a person is in upright position that he is in balance with gravity. As a skier travels downhill and makes turns there are other forces involved which constantly change and thus you also need to seek a way to be in balance with them. But you cannot see those forces and since not everyone skis or does not understand what happens in skiing they go by what they see.
If you only use one word to describe the good and the bad, well in my opinion you are just creating a lot of confusion for many people out there. Maybe the pros understand the difference, but even they will shake their head if you praise them for doing well with inclination and tell them off if they fall because of too much inclination. But again I am no expert in english, I just found it refreshing that somebody else that does not speak our language and does not go through our training has still the same outlook. There is an austrian influence in the Canadian Team, does that also reflect somewhat the Canadian Ski Association?
post #24 of 27
I'm not sure I agree with the idea that John needs to carve his turns. Nor do I agree with the idea that angulation will cure anything. The appropriate edge angle for those turns is acheived and well within the range of either Inclination and angulation. Beyond that a discussion of the physics needs to include the effects of the external motive forces involved, not just the muscle engagement needed for either tactical choice. 

Did you guys notice how John moves quickly from one position to another. Did you also notice that after getting there , he stops moving until it's time to move quickly to the next position. An angulated position without some active flexing and extending of the joints of the body is no more effective than an inclinated position without active flexing and extending. It's just another static position. Once John adopts a more continuous movement pattern he will be more actively managing both edge angle and pressure. Only then will he begin to be ready to explore the proper use of both angulation and inclination.
post #25 of 27
I won't repeat what others have said.

Pause the video a several times around 0:04 and 0:05.

Where is your hip joint?

Is it at or slightly ahead of your ankles?

Or, is it behind your heels?  Noticiably behind your heels?

Get the upper body over your feet and moving into the direction of the new turn.
Open those knee joints!!! 

Static balance is easy but dynamic balance is hard.  It takes lots of practice.  You are good and can get better.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post

I won't repeat what others have said.

Pause the video a several times around 0:04 and 0:05.

Where is your hip joint?

Is it at or slightly ahead of your ankles?

Or, is it behind your heels?  Noticiably behind your heels?

Get the upper body over your feet and moving into the direction of the new turn.
Open those knee joints!!! 

Static balance is easy but dynamic balance is hard.  It takes lots of practice.  You are good and can get better.



 

So by doing this are you saying to get your hips driving forward? Standing taller? It seems very obvious on second 5. I have some of jyangs bad habits.......................I was told the other day that I was sitting too much in a lesson. Not seeing myself, I would have to guess that is what my instructor was seeing.
post #27 of 27
yep, you got it.  If you look exactly when second 4 switches to second 5, it's obvious that your knees are too bent and your hips are well behind you heels.  You want to keep your ankles flexed (but not locked flexed) but open you knee joint, i.e., make you knees less bent.  The "sitting" that your instructor was seeing is exactly what I'm talking about.

Arm-chair analysis can only go so far though.  You skiing looks good and will only get better but that's got to happen on the hill, not the internet.

-l2t
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