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Basics? Recreation vs. Pro?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Finesse...training...drills..."what's my potential?"...speed learning...teach yourself to ski...Level 3 test...these are parts of some other threads.
I don't think there is a "quick fix" for good skiing. We have seen that people can enjoy whatever level of skiing they are at from day one, but the understanding of the techniques and being able to do them wherever you are takes time and practice.

If you've watched the skating in the Olympics, a comment was made that the Chinese need to go back to the basics...they can't spin properly. The Japanese learned from videos, and the commentator mentioned that they needed to go back and learn from the beginning.

Basics...as instructors we deal with balance(biggie), edging, pressure, and rotational movements...starting with the wedge and working at refinement and blending of skills through parallel.

As skiers, what do you view as the "basics"? If an instructor said to you (diplomatically and politely), here is something to work on, what do you see as the basics? What do you need to know in order to ski like a "pro"?

Let us assume that you want to take lessons.
post #2 of 13
OK, I'm not one of the better skiers here, but Pole Planting is something that I need to be reminded of.
I get lazy on the gentle groomers and don't do anything, then when things get steeper, I struggle, so just going back to touching the snow with the pole helps get things going again. A few runs down blue blacks, and it comes back to me.

Another one I had was a great carving reminder lesson, where the instructor in the space of about 30 minutes took a small group of us through foot movements & pressures to get our carving going correctly. I think I need this one every year, at least once!

post #3 of 13
Turn shape! IMHO, the problem starts in the transition from wedge to parallel. In linked wedge turns, people are going more or less down the hill. But when they first begin to make the skis more parallel, all of a sudden you see many Z turners. Ever notice in level 3 classes you get many student collisions?

So students need to reafirm the concept of "Its DOWNHILL skiing, so we go DOWN the hill"!
post #4 of 13
Get footbeds and an alignment, dial it in, then work on starting movements from the feet first, increasing foot/ski awareness and then balance, balance, and better balance. In that order. The size of our balance comfort zone is the biggest enabler, or inhibitor, to skiing progress potential. Alignment determines the size potential of that comfort zone. Use of feet determines efficiency of any movement.

That said. Try this stuff.
(1) Do a lot of one ski traverses (on downhill then on uphill ski), on a clean edge, aiming ski at a target and using foot in boot to dynamically control edging to ski a STRAIGHT line (no park-n-ride on sidecut arc). Get good enough to do these with no poles and your hands in your pockets.

(2) Railroad tracks (flat to moderate to steeper terrain) using leading foot tipping to little toe side so as to keep edge angles equal and leave clean 2-edge to 2-edge transitions (no big toe to big toe a-frame wedge moves!!). Increase range of lateral angle development by extending duration of tipping on steeper terrain to expand lateral balance.
First in falline, then fan into carved RRT garlands.

(3) One ski railroad tracks. Clean edge to edge pure carves on both big and little toe side (key is to tip foot in air to drive process). First in falline, then fan into carved one ski garlands.

(4) Side slips on single foot/ski. Add pivot to go from big to little toe edge.

(5) Clean, pure carved turns on outside ski.

(6) Clean, pure carved turns on inside ski.

(7) Dynamic short radius turns on indide ski.

Do these as a warm up daily and you'll be able to learn anything on skis faster and with more awareness of cause and effect.
Of course this is just a sample of the basics.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Great list, but I wanted to hear what "recreational skiers" are looking for. Isn't this list more from the point of view of "perfection" rather than fun.

Oops, it is possible to have fun without being perfect....and it is possible to have fun with being perfect.

So for those recreational (non-perfect???) skiers, what do they want....not what we think they should want.

BTW, I think doing that stuff is FUN.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 13, 2002 08:22 AM: Message edited 1 time, by KeeTov ]</font>
post #6 of 13
Balance and movement.

Warm ups, 1000 steps/marching and hopping/jumping while making your warm up run.

Make your movements fluid. Think of a Dolphin and how it travels. Up and down or like a Wave.

Make it fun. Don't spend all your time doing exercises.
post #7 of 13
Mmm, yes. Warmups. Another one I forget!

post #8 of 13
Things I get asked often,

"How do I stay warm?"

"When do I move up with better equipment?"

"How do I get down a steep/scary slope if I make a wrong turn?"

"Speed control with less work?"

"take me places I won't find on my own so I know someone who can "help me survive the trip" is with me."
post #9 of 13
I was going off you parameters, quote: "What do you need to know in order to ski like a "pro"? Let us assume that you want to take lessons"

You want to ski like a pro, be prepared to train like a pro. Unfortunatlly there are a lot of frustrated (and busted up) weekend warriors out there who want to ski like a pro without preparing like one.

As for maximizing fun potential at any level, reduce frustration and injury risk potential. Same recipe: Get an alignment, learn to ski with your feet improve your awareness and balance skills, and learn efficient movments -vs compensating, inefficient ones from a qualified pro. Plus do some stretching and conditioning. Oh, and avoid the wedge the growth inhibiting inefficient habits it's use promotes.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 13, 2002 09:27 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Arcmeister ]</font>
post #10 of 13
I have seen more people turn the corner after they figure out their upper body movements. Bending at the waist, crouching over, following your ski's, and as Fox stated the pole plant/arm movements.

People get so concentrated on thier legs (of course yes you have to start there first) they forget about the negative impacts wild upper body movements have and the additional work you must do in order to compensate.
Standing up, Staying countered to the hill, keeping your hands up, figuring out that a pole plant is a flick of the wrist and not a dance move are a couple of the breakthrough coming to Jesus reality's that can take someone to the next level.

I equate this because the day I figured out to keep my upper body facing downhill I had a break through. Now I'm just waiting for the next one.......
post #11 of 13
As an avid but not yet skillfull skier I see the basics as balance and proper edging. I suppose you have to feel your students out to see what they want or need as we're all different. Only once during my private lessons did an instructor ask me "What would you like, the tour or learning skills?" I was very impressed and stated I wanted the skills, after which she pushed me HARD. I came away very satisfied but I enjoy constructive criticism since that is what I pay for. While I'm far from having mastered balance and edge use I do appreciate advice on variable snow and terrain. skidoc
post #12 of 13
On a positive note-help me with balance and anticipation.
On a negative note--am I falling into bad habits and what are drills or focused practice to get rid of them.
I always ask a couple of questions along these lines and always get very helpful answers.
BTW, is there more to "anticipation" than having had enough experience with speed to be able to lean into what comes next confidently?
post #13 of 13
- Staying centered over my skis with upper body perpendicular to the stepness of the hill is something that I have go back to.
This last trip to Jay, being defensive in the glades and getting into back seat was something that I caught myself doing a lot. Once I pulled myself out of the back seat, started reaching forward with my arms things got a lot smother.
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