Todo: I couldn't agree with you more about how a single picture does not tell the true story, but I'll give it a try. I see the following things and don't agree with some of what's already been said. So here goes: You're welcome to sight me in your cross-hairs for whatever its worth.
1) First I do agree about the apparent athleticism in the shot. But that's where I stop. His stance is clearly compressed reducing his ability to move more fluidly and easily as turns are initiated.
2) I like his hip angulation, but I would like to see him stacked somewhat taller(as noted in #1), to gain a greater range of movement in his knees, and torso.
3) I believe that his inside hand, arm and shoulder are back, but looking at his shoulders to the horizon line look quite horizontal in stature. I would like to see the inside hand, arm, and shoulder to show more lead to strengthen the inside half of his turn mechanics, which would then strengthen his edge engagement throughout the turn and thereby blend the skills more evenly.
4) Additionally, I see his outside hand & arm actually too far forward causing a rotation of the outside hip, which in turn has caused the outside ski to skid through a good part of this turn. If we blow up the picture, you can see that there is a defined skid path (no carved tracks shown) behind him and only at the end of the turn, when the outside ski has stopped skidding away from his sideways slide, though it's limited, does it finally hook up as the edge angle causes the edge on the outside ski, to finally engage and begin to track on its path around the corner at the bottom of the turn in this case. You can clearly see the snow spray going sideways in a large cloud type mass. The only way this could happen is from a sideways skidded more than carved type turn. I would go back to some exercises to practice patience turns by tipping the skis and riding them. My guess is that his obvious athletic and aggressive ability is overwhelming his other movements at this point. Remember that shaped skis don't need alot of coaxing to turn and in fact need more finesse in the crisp blending of skills to work smoothly.
5) He is looking straight ahead almost somewhat up hill or inside, which further shows that he has initiated the turn through a rotational effort not a tipping effort. I would like to see him look in the direction he will be going next, not where he is going now. This would prepare him for the next turn and slow the evident rotational forces down through the bottom of the turn and reduce the lower leg stored torque, which is released at the bottom of the turn, thus causing the downstem.
6) I would also like to see him bring his outside hand back slightly so that the same rotational forces are slowed. Last on the arms, I would try to narrow the width of his arms. At least in this picture they appear very wide, which causes more and earlier initial rotational force at the shoulder during turn initiation. (This one's for you Ydnar) I would also spend a significant time doing practice turns "WITHOUT POLES!!!!" That would force him to use his feet & knees to initiate turns and for him to focus on those body parts.
I had personally skied with my arms very wide like the picture for over 25 years and when I finally reduced the width in how I carried my poles along with skiing without poles, I stopped the outside rotational forces and stopped the outside leg from intermittenly losing its edge and showing a slight downstem, during short radius turns on hardpack conditions.
7) It's hard to tell in this picture but based on the A-frame angles I would like to work on more inside leg turn initiation activity throughout the entire turn, so that there's less reliance on the outside ski engagement and more two footed skiing. I clearly defer here to the western skiers, since this one picture is all I have to go on right now.
Well gang go for it and Thanks MC for letting us take a look. At any rate I would love to be on that slope with you ripping it up no matter how I looked.
Remember "It's not the Destination, It's the Journey that Counts'.
: [ October 11, 2002, 06:45 PM: Message edited by: whtmt ]