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lean forward... wait like into the snow?!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
 Hey everyone,

     So i have a bit of a dilemma when it comes to snow skiing.  I grew up a water skier and can slalom my legs off.  The biggest thing i was taught was to lean back... create a roster tail and you wont fall.  Well, i have been snow skiing about 3days a year for the last 10 years or so and i still lean too far back.  

Is there anything yall can suggest to me to help me switch over?
post #2 of 10
One word - Exaggerate.  Move your hips forward til your ski tails lift.

Do his while stationary, while gliding, while carving an arced traverse, while transitioning to a new turn and while skiing linked turns.

When you get a feel for this position, make it a movement.  Move you hips forward and aft while doing the tasks listed above.

As you get a feel for this, focus on being able to move forward when you feel your weight back, on your heels.  No need to lift the tails, just move to feel your weight distributed over your entire foot or a bit toward the toes.

With this said, some prefer to pull their feet back instead of moving their hips forward.  Both work and have pros and cons.  If hips forward doesn't seem to work try pulling the feet back.
post #3 of 10
 cut out the back of your boots I promise you, you wont lean back.

The above is kidding although it would work in theory but is far to dangerous.

first 3 days a year is simply not enough ski more doing what I am about to mention.

1.simply try to move you COM/hips over your skis all the time. balance is movement not a static state

2. do traverses with all your weight on your downhill leg and have you uphill tip in the snow. you will most likewont be able to do this as first but keep trying till you get it. when you get it your hips will be over your skis.

(above 2 work 99 percent of the time eventually...)

3. skate straight down the fall line of gentle terrain

4.start doing self assesment drills such as as 1000 steps, shuffle turns, turns that you hop all the ways though each turn. not only do these drills helps us flex more they also let us know if we are in balance or not

there is more but honestly try one and 2 and let me know what happened number 2 is a great drill to get people balance point where it needs to be. 
post #4 of 10
First: why do you have to "lean forward" (which is not true but I'll explain later).
Imagine you take one ski of and you hold it in your hand. Tail on the floor. WHERE would you push if I would ask you to test how much it will bend? Right, not in the middle but exactly where the centerline is drawn (if it is). That is just behind your front binding. There you can with the least effort bend the ski most. Ok. Keep that in mind.
Second: why does a carve ski turn?
Lay it on the ground. Tilt it sideways like you would while carving. Now push on the same spot I told before. By bending the ski to the ground you now have a nice round line. That would be the curve you would ski. The harder you push (and tilt), the more curve you get.

So what you want is to gain as much pressure downwards (like when you did when you pushed with your hand on the ski).
To get this you have to move DOWNWARDS (not forwards). This starts at the ankel, then the knee, finally followed by the hip.
When you move downwards you're shin wil press to your tongue. Also called SHINTONG. And no, you cannot order that at a sushi bar :-)

Now you know why you will experience pressure on your shins :-)
But you WILL NOT do that by leaning over your ski's forward! Then you would have pressure on your toes and that is not the place where you would push to let the ski most easy bend.

What suggestion would I give you to achieve this?
As a (formerly) sportteacher I learned that there are two basic correction to give. Depending on the student one works best. Figur out what works best for you.
1) is a correction concentrating on the body(shape),
2) is a correction concentrating in your environment (Sorry, my english is not that great. I hope you understand what I mean).
For example; if you would stand on your hands (in a gym) and looked a bit like a pudding I would want you to make yourself tall.
The correction could be;
1) Make yourself tall. Stretch out (bodyfocussed),
2) Push your toes to the ceiling (this is the "environment" tip).
See what works best for you.

Now for skiing:
1) Stand on your WHOLE foot. Even pressure on toes and heel! Feel the ski under your foot (it might tickle).
2) Push your knees forward to your ski tip. Move also your hip forward to you ski tip.

Remember: you do not want to lean forward BUT it might feel so for ya in the beginning. Let a friend check.
Make sure to stand centered. This means (and here comes the last tip); when it get steeper, you move more forward. When it gets flatter, you correct it by going back so that you are centered again.

Let me know if this was helpfull for you.

post #5 of 10
Have you had your boots looked at? You might want to have an assesment by a fitter for proper fore-aft and lateral alignment and a good all-around fit. I think too much ramp(basically, heel lift) , or too little, in the boot can create a lot of problems for some people in terms of being able to center yourself or apply forward pressure while in balance. I know from personal experience that anything suggested in terms of technique might not work efficiently if you have poorly aligned boots. 

Just standing in your boots, can you adjust your fore and aft position whereby you feel the whole foot in contact with the footbed and not just the toes or hells? If not, you won't ever be able to properly centered and will either always be leaning on the cuffs or riding on the heels. Good, supportive footbeds and alignment can certainly help you advance and learn.
post #6 of 10
hokie, can you water ski backwards?  If so, try maintaining the same body tipped forward relationship to your feet you use when doing that, while snow skiing.  It should be a body position/stance you're familiar with.  On snow you'll simply be moving forwards instead of backwards.  Then, once you get somewhat comfortable with that, revert back to a more neutral body over feet stance and you'll be golden.  

Get in touch with the pressure sensations at the base of your feet.  You're currently all heel pressure.  When you pitch your body forward you should feel all ball of foot pressure.  When you revert back to neutral you should feel equal ball & heel pressure.  That's where you ultimately want to be for the majority of your skiing.  
post #7 of 10
I had the same issue approx 10 y ago i had a very good balance no fear of speed so i was able to cheat it away with brute force. problem is you end up real tired. And my only fear you are allmost unable to control your speed on narrow paths.

As mentioned you need to balance straight above your feet, not back not forward and shift depending what you want.

How i got rid of it was a week of learning to snowboard, it made me to force my technique from traditional towards carve.
traditional you take the weight of the ski before turning. Whereas carve you actually put pressure on the skis to make them work for you and make the turn. Traditional ski technique on a snowboard will make them go uncontrolable (well at least for me as a novice snowboarder, i have seen snowboarders do it, so it is possible). I think i have eaten more snow in that single week as in the 20 plus years before that. But it gave me the foundations for carving.

Using miniskis (i mean skis just a bit bigger as your boot 2 feet 60cm) will learn you the same, too much on the tails and your toes/tips wiggle all the way down. Too much in front, wow slushie time...

Anyhow it made me much more aware of what i was doing underfoot and nowadays i am happy to use both traditional and carve depending the situation ahead and i only get tired when i have to climb out of a powder hole...
But from time to time i still use brute force lean backward technique if that would get me out of that sticky snow place..
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
 Those are all great hints!  I will def be attempting these when i make a trip out in a couple of days.  I appreciate the descriptions and the comparison to water skiing!  I will get back to yall when i find one that works!! thanks again!!
post #9 of 10

4.start doing self assesment drills such as as 1000 steps, shuffle turns, turns that you hop all the ways though each turn. not only do these drills helps us flex more they also let us know if we are in balance or not
never did get the point about 1,000 steps.

post #10 of 10
Hey Len! The principle is very simple.

For me, the best way to correct stance was one foot skiing.
Is soon as you step on one ski, you have to move over the
contact point of the boot and you are then centered over the ski.

1000 step is a way of gradually getting used to being over you ski's
center and you go through the one foot skiing, but tiny amounts at a time.

This helped be because I had a tendency to, at higher speed, slighty back seat
but only on my right side. Carving on my left ski was normal...

Hope this helps!

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