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more confused

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
So I’ll try and keep this short. I took a 2 hour lesson over the weekend and came away with a few take a way’s but a bit confused.
About me: The past few years my skiing style has changed a lot. I have been taking advantage of the new shape skis and have learned to ski with more leg separation and sort of a 70/30 outside/inside leg distribution. A lot of bend in the knees and driving the shins into the boots. Really shortening the inside ski. I can lay over railroad type tracks all over the groomers.
 
Reason for a lesson: I have been struggling with bumps, trees and very mixed terrain. Places where you are inhibited from really laying them over and go. I am looking to feel lighter on my skis for the very quick transitions. Need to go back to basics.
 
Feedback from instructor: I’m sitting too much. Not really in the back seat but I am not driving my hips forward over my skis. I need to stand up more. My hip rotation is off. So went back to basics with trying to quiet the upper body and have the hips driving downhill. Doing hockey stop type turns and really raising my hip up going into the new outside ski. She also had me trying to imagine that I lost my legs and I had to rely on my hips to make the turns. Rotation/counter rotation? Well in the steeps I felt better but lost my carving sensations and felt that a lot of my turns were skidded. Maybe another lesson to really get my hips out and shortening the inside will just get my skis on edge.
 
Any advice or feedback will be appreciated. Any additional drills?
post #2 of 29
 It sounds like maybe you were moving in the right direction. You are saying that your carvy turn was not working for you in bumps, etc. so you needed to make a change. Skiing isn't the same turn every time on every hill. You can still go back to the carvy turn on groomed. Now as far as being back, you ned to be moving forward no matter what the turn. You can get away with not doing it on the groomed, but in mixed terrain it will be much more important. Work on it on groomed terrain too so that you can do it everywhere.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Epic,
Agree on the moving forward piece. She did tell me that by sitting too much, the end result would be going later and later into turns as I fall behind. Never really thought I was doing that. It's a very odd feeling to be lifting your hip up to feel lighter.
Do you instruct just at Stowe? I'll be going to sugarbush a lot this season and Stowe is not too far away to make that treck.
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikonfme View Post

Epic,
Agree on the moving forward piece. She did tell me that by sitting too much, the end result would be going later and later into turns as I fall behind. Never really thought I was doing that. It's a very odd feeling to be lifting your hip up to feel lighter.
Do you instruct just at Stowe? I'll be going to sugarbush a lot this season and Stowe is not too far away to make that treck.

Yeah, just at Stowe, and I'd love a chance to take a shot at what ails you. Down at Sugarbush, you could ski with Jon Ebling who splits his days here and there. He is a good coach and can set you right. I'm not entirely sure what you mean about lifting your hip up. The whole hip, or one side? If you are talking about the whole hip, it needs to be a directional movement. Not just up, but forward and inside the turn.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hmm. I think as a result of me shortening my inside ski on turns, I was sitting too much? She then had me focus on pulling the hip up allowing for a better transition into the next turn. I cannot imaging that I would be doing that on my outside ski other than keeping my hip forward.
Well, I'll be up Sugarbush for a few over New Years. I'll look Jon up and When I get to Stowe this winter, I'll drop you a pm in advance.

post #6 of 29
If you don't have any shoulder issues, try ditching your poles and skiing with a piece of bamboo over your shoulders (ask patrol to borrow a stick), hands on the boo outside shoulder width. Ski carved and skidded turns with the bamboo matching the angle of the slope (level when you're facing downhill, downhill side down when you are going across the fall line and in between as your turning through the fall line). This will help you get your hips into the most efficient position. Be careful riding the lift with bamboo please.

Also try high speed railroad tracks on wide groomers finishing your turns going aggressively uphill. Focus on using your momentum to drive an aggressive edge change into the new turn while going uphill. That should give you the light on your feet quick transitions you are looking for, It's much easier to drive the hips diagonally forward and to the inside of the new turn when you are going across the hill. Once you can feel the snap of the edge change, start taking those movements into turn that don't finish quite so far up the hill and then eventually into normal turns. Make sure your tracks are pencil thin carved all the way through the entire turn.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info Rusty. The more I read the more I get confused :-). So on your second drill, I actually do that a bit just to see how much I can follow the true arc of the ski and end up skiing up hill. Assuming, I'm making a right turn and follow that arc up hill, my inside ski soon to be my new outside ski to turn left would be carrying my weight as I lighten up the old outside ski so I can drop back into the fall line. Are my hips following the turn then? I would think that my old outside ski would be getting lighter and I would be standing taller at that point?

First drill. So A ski pole is not long enough? An interesting drill that she had me doing the other day was holding my pole under my arms and while making turns, make sure my poles tips were pointing down hill at all times. she really had me focusing on upper/lower body seperation. Your excersise seems to be making me follow my skis. Also, is this drill similar to draging your poles at you sides and making sure that they are both touching the snow at all times?
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikonfme View Post

First drill. So A ski pole is not long enough? An interesting drill that she had me doing the other day was holding my pole under my arms and while making turns, make sure my poles tips were pointing down hill at all times. she really had me focusing on upper/lower body seperation. Your excersise seems to be making me follow my skis. Also, is this drill similar to draging your poles at you sides and making sure that they are both touching the snow at all times?

The rules change when you go from a medium turn to a short turn. It sounds like she had you focused on a short turn. In the short turn you want that lower/upper separation. In the medium turn, less so, but it should still be there.
post #9 of 29
 nikonfme,

May I ask what boot model, boot sole length, and  bindings are you using?  Reason being,  sometimes  the  angle created by your  boots and bindings  can place you in  an over-flexed position which will  dictate  your  balanced  position  over your skis.  This  can cause the hips  to be  carried farther aft to compensate for the over flexed ankles  and  make  it really difficult  to extend  fully to open the  hip joint.  If this  is  the  case, just having  your equipment balanced  by an  alignment specialist can make a  world of difference immediately!!


 
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Salomon Impact 10 size 27.5 and the bindings vary depending on the ski.
I'll be skiing a lot next week and will work on some advice. I really need to focus on driving my hips forward. I know that for sure. I could feel the difference the other day especially on steep stuff making quick turns right along the edge of the trail where some nice snow built up. I'll bring my laptop with me and ask for advice at the end of the day
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

 nikonfme,

May I ask what boot model, boot sole length, and  bindings are you using?  Reason being,  sometimes  the  angle created by your  boots and bindings  can place you in  an over-flexed position which will  dictate  your  balanced  position  over your skis.  This  can cause the hips  to be  carried farther aft to compensate for the over flexed ankles  and  make  it really difficult  to extend  fully to open the  hip joint.  If this  is  the  case, just having  your equipment balanced  by an  alignment specialist can make a  world of difference immediately!!


 
post #11 of 29
nikonfme: She also had me trying to imagine that I lost my legs and I had to rely on my hips to make the turns.

I don't know about that one. Sounds like a quick way to use gross movements to buy a turn. Use you hips for counter, for angulation, for keeping you CM over the skis, but not to start turns.
post #12 of 29
Sometimes it can be helpful to think about pulling your feet back, rather than pushing your hips forward. 
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikonfme View Post

Thanks for the info Rusty. The more I read the more I get confused :-). So on your second drill, I actually do that a bit just to see how much I can follow the true arc of the ski and end up skiing up hill. Assuming, I'm making a right turn and follow that arc up hill, my inside ski soon to be my new outside ski to turn left would be carrying my weight as I lighten up the old outside ski so I can drop back into the fall line. Are my hips following the turn then? I would think that my old outside ski would be getting lighter and I would be standing taller at that point?

First drill. So A ski pole is not long enough? An interesting drill that she had me doing the other day was holding my pole under my arms and while making turns, make sure my poles tips were pointing down hill at all times. she really had me focusing on upper/lower body seperation. Your excersise seems to be making me follow my skis. Also, is this drill similar to draging your poles at you sides and making sure that they are both touching the snow at all times?

Second drill - remember that at neutral, your weight is evenly over both skis and at all other times weight is transitioning from one foot to the other. It may be helpful to think of the middle of the turn, when you are directly in the fall line as when the most weight is on the outside foot. From there until the transition (edges flat) to the next turn, the weight on the outside foot should be lightening. When you do this drill and finish the turn with the skis going uphill, the hips (center of mass) should take a "tighter" line than the skis. The hip movement should straight to the side of the trail/fall line. As the hips cross directly over the skis and the skis are flat, the skis should be evenly weighted. As you do this, ideally one leg lengthens exactly as much as the other leg shortens and the hips and upper body stay at the same height (i.e. you do not get taller). Remember that the main objective of this drill is to snap the roll from one edge to the other. Changing the movement of the center of mass from straight down the fall line to straight across the fall line is what makes the drill effective.

First drill - a ski pole is ok, but will not give you as much quality feedback as a bamboo pole. Getting your hands a little further away from your shoulders also improves balance. The boo drill is similar to dragging both poles, but it offers fewer opportunities for cheating and less temptation to get "ginked up". I've found that I can rip my turns much better with the boo than when I'm dragging poles.
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the advice. Really!! Epic, is Jon on this site?
post #15 of 29
 I don't think Jon is much of a computer guy.
post #16 of 29
 I'd be interested in seeing some video for MA from nikonfme. I was a big-time hip driver (forward and down the hill), but thanks to an instructor in my l2 course have improved my skiing by getting better balanced fore-aft. A strong forward+downhill hip drive can tip your weight over the front of your ski, resulting in major rotation and problems balancing in steeps and moguls. Generally our balance-oriented goal in skiing is to maintain a centered and mobile stance. So I'm still trying to figure out how a hip drive fixes balance issues. Perhaps this hip drive we're talking about is merely the extension we're using to up-unweight the ski? I'd definitely be interested in seeing some video to see how the hip drive is affecting balance in the fore/aft plane.
post #17 of 29
A drill that is similar to therusty's but without the bamboo or ski pole is to place your outside (downhill) hand on your inside (uphill) knee as you turn.  This gets some really nice angles going and gets those shoulders in the right direction.
post #18 of 29
 I don't know why we are throwing all of these drills at him without having seen him ski, or really knowing the intent of the instructor who did his last lesson. I think I'd want to see him myself and make my own diagnosis before prescribing anything. On top of that, my sense is that a lot of these drills are things that might be treating symptoms, but not necessarily getting to the root of the problem, whatever that may be.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB View Post

nikonfme: She also had me trying to imagine that I lost my legs and I had to rely on my hips to make the turns.

I don't know about that one. Sounds like a quick way to use gross movements to buy a turn. Use you hips for counter, for angulation, for keeping you CM over the skis, but not to start turns.


Exactly. If you felt like you had lost the carving sensation, and that you were skidding most of the time, that's because you were. That's the only outcome that can result from trying to steer from the hips. Any upper body steering movements can only cause the skis to wash out. Start your turns with the feet by tipping your skis, and your upper body will take care of itself. Let the movements start with the feet and move up the body, instead of visa versa. That's the way that skis were designed to be used. Once your comfortable with that, you can start adding complimentary upper body countering movements. Go up to Stowe and take a lesson from Epic. And it might not be a bad idea to go back to wherever you took that lesson from and get your money back.
post #20 of 29
 Mac - I'd love to teach nikonfme. I don't think we can condemn the other teacher when we really know very little of the lesson that took place. We are relying on Nikon's understanding of what he (or she?) was told by the instructor, his ability to explain it in words that we understand and then the spin of our own individual biases. Let's not judge, let's just do what we can to make nikonfme "less confused". Just as an example, I take it that you are reading turning with the hips as rotation, where I was reading it as forward/diagonal movement into the new turn. That would be two whole different lessons, wouldn't it?
post #21 of 29
nikonfme,

I feel if you can hook up with epic, he can help you a lot.  Before you work on technique to solve your problems, Epic and help you with your basic stance, and get you more balanced over your skis.   
Quote:
A lot of bend in the knees and driving the shins into the boots.
Where ever you got this idea, it is adding to your problems.  Learn a tall, balanced stance where you can stay neutral in the boot cuffs and use ankle flex to keep you moving forward through the turns.

RW
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

 Mac - I'd love to teach nikonfme. I don't think we can condemn the other teacher when we really know very little of the lesson that took place. We are relying on Nikon's understanding of what he (or she?) was told by the instructor, his ability to explain it in words that we understand and then the spin of our own individual biases. Let's not judge, let's just do what we can to make nikonfme "less confused". Just as an example, I take it that you are reading turning with the hips as rotation, where I was reading it as forward/diagonal movement into the new turn. That would be two whole different lessons, wouldn't it?

Sorry, but I don't agree. "She also had me trying to imagine that I lost my legs and I had to rely on my hips to make the turns" doen't leave much of a grey area in my mind. If anything, we should be less tolerant of this kind of advice, it's way too rampant in the ski industry now, just check out Youtube sometime. I'll put this up for the benefit of the original poster, and let them decide for themselves:
http://www.livestrong.com/video/1526-ski-using-kinetic-chain-method/
By the way, Merry Xmas and a happier New Year. See if you can get through the season without breaking anything.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac View Post

By the way, Merry Xmas and a happier New Year. See if you can get through the season without breaking anything.

I'll try not to. Hope to see you this winter.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

 Mac - I'd love to teach nikonfme. I don't think we can condemn the other teacher when we really know very little of the lesson that took place. We are relying on Nikon's understanding of what he (or she?) was told by the instructor, his ability to explain it in words that we understand and then the spin of our own individual biases. Let's not judge, let's just do what we can to make nikonfme "less confused". Just as an example, I take it that you are reading turning with the hips as rotation, where I was reading it as forward/diagonal movement into the new turn. That would be two whole different lessons, wouldn't it?

excactly

yeah stuff gets taken out of context so much even on the same hill between coworkers let alone between different hills.

example - I have a 8 year old girl let call her "e" she is great little skier for someone who is from the tropics and skis a 3-5 days a year also fairly 'smart" for an 8 year old. Level 5 and becoming much better prett quick. she is alittle back not much and doesnt really effect her skiing. She tells me 'the last instuctor says I shouldnt sit back so much" I have her jump up and down a couple times ask her to flex her knee forward and see if she can bend the boot. She has alot of trouble bending the stupid stiff for her rental boot. My choices was not to work on that at all as is not hold her back to much. We instead work on get are COM to move into are new turn to get rid of the one 2 step she has. Things go great, end of the lesson she ask"why didnt work on not being being back?" I said because in a couple years it will be easier to be balanced and there are other things to learn. the girl is smart and I thought was pretty clear she understood that.

Next day another instructor in the afternoon tells me 'some 8 year old tells me that you told her you dont have to bend your ankles because she is 8" . umm out of context, and again I was kinda of taken back that this instructor spent 2 hours with "e" trying to get her ankles to bend and nothing happened!!! After watching the poor girl try to bend her boots I could of told you that!!!!....sheesh.

moral of the story its like that game when you whisper in peoples ears in grade school to see if what the first person said can make it all the ways around. Chances are it get changed around several times.
post #25 of 29
 BWPA  hit the nail on the head. We're only guessing at next steps based on a text description. Perhaps the original instructor was trying to fix a ski element with this hip driving--Maybe this skier is way in the backseat through phase 2 of the turn. Maybe there's way too much counter-rotation. Without seeing some video, we can't confirm the root cause and validate or criticize the feedback. In skiing, our own perception of what we're doing can often be vastly different from what we're actually doing. (see the thread on how skiing is like sex - "You think you look great doing it until you see a video of yourself") 
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikonfme View Post

So I’ll try and keep this short. I took a 2 hour lesson over the weekend and came away with a few take a way’s but a bit confused.
About me: The past few years my skiing style has changed a lot. I have been taking advantage of the new shape skis and have learned to ski with more leg separation and sort of a 70/30 outside/inside leg distribution. A lot of bend in the knees and driving the shins into the boots. Really shortening the inside ski. I can lay over railroad type tracks all over the groomers.
 
Reason for a lesson: I have been struggling with bumps, trees and very mixed terrain. Places where you are inhibited from really laying them over and go. I am looking to feel lighter on my skis for the very quick transitions. Need to go back to basics.
 
Feedback from instructor: I’m sitting too much. Not really in the back seat but I am not driving my hips forward over my skis. I need to stand up more. My hip rotation is off. So went back to basics with trying to quiet the upper body and have the hips driving downhill. Doing hockey stop type turns and really raising my hip up going into the new outside ski. She also had me trying to imagine that I lost my legs and I had to rely on my hips to make the turns. Rotation/counter rotation? Well in the steeps I felt better but lost my carving sensations and felt that a lot of my turns were skidded. Maybe another lesson to really get my hips out and shortening the inside will just get my skis on edge.
 
Any advice or feedback will be appreciated. Any additional drills?

Well, first I would not go back to this ski school or instructor. Second you just have to learn to ski more dynamically. I think you are used to park and ride only. Not sure what the basics are for you and how you are able to stand on your skis, but here is a simple progression for you:
You need to first learn how to jump up and absorb the landing in your knees. Once you know how to soften that landing, try in a very flat area to jump slight turns at moderate speed. Increase the steepness and speed and eventually instead of jumping, just pretend to jump and absorb. See what happens.

Good luck.
post #27 of 29
Nikon,
The bits and pieces of information you shared are sketchy and lack a lot of details. Am I correct that the coach wanted to work on your transitions and getting your hips back over the skis sooner (re-centering before the edge change)? You mentioned the inside ski getting shorter, did you mean the inside leg? Did you mean to write you are letting your hips drop aft as a consequence of the inside leg getting shorter?
This little detail has me wondering if it's a simple misuse of the word, or if English is your second language. Don't get me wrong I'm not critical of your writing as much as suspecting language may play a part in your confusion.
More information would certainly help us help you understand what that coach told you. Without that additional information we can't help you very much.
Edited by justanotherskipro - 12/30/09 at 3:25pm
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikonfme View Post

So I’ll try and keep this short. I took a 2 hour lesson over the weekend and came away with a few take a way’s but a bit confused.
About me: The past few years my skiing style has changed a lot. I have been taking advantage of the new shape skis and have learned to ski with more leg separation and sort of a 70/30 outside/inside leg distribution. A lot of bend in the knees and driving the shins into the boots. Really shortening the inside ski. I can lay over railroad type tracks all over the groomers.
 
Reason for a lesson: I have been struggling with bumps, trees and very mixed terrain. Places where you are inhibited from really laying them over and go. I am looking to feel lighter on my skis for the very quick transitions. Need to go back to basics.
 
Feedback from instructor: I’m sitting too much. Not really in the back seat but I am not driving my hips forward over my skis. I need to stand up more. My hip rotation is off. So went back to basics with trying to quiet the upper body and have the hips driving downhill. Doing hockey stop type turns and really raising my hip up going into the new outside ski. She also had me trying to imagine that I lost my legs and I had to rely on my hips to make the turns. Rotation/counter rotation? Well in the steeps I felt better but lost my carving sensations and felt that a lot of my turns were skidded. Maybe another lesson to really get my hips out and shortening the inside will just get my skis on edge.
 
Any advice or feedback will be appreciated. Any additional drills?

so did that hot shot young stowe instructor Josh Matta aka me get your going in the right direction? 

keep working on your balance and stop 'faking" the angulation, at least I think your on the right direction now and I hope to see you up here again.
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
Intersting that I came back to this post and see this! Feel bad now because I was receiving some good advice but have been away from this post for 2 weeks.  Josh, I wish I knew this yesterday when we were together. Too funny. Yes, it was helpful and Jonathan was very helpful too. Epic, I'm sorry that I missed you if you read this. Josh, can you explain what you mean by faking angulation? I spent a lot of time on that drill you gave me and it really started feeling very natural near the end of the day. Also spent quite a bit of time doing pivot slips and that is another very helpful excercise for me to really focus on. Perfect conditions for them yesterday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post




so did that hot shot young stowe instructor Josh Matta aka me get your going in the right direction? 

keep working on your balance and stop 'faking" the angulation, at least I think your on the right direction now and I hope to see you up here again.


 

Edited by nikonfme - 1/14/10 at 4:07pm
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