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Help: Lifiting my right ski

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
 My nephew took this video of me last week. When I watched it I noticed that I was lifting my right ski in right-hand turns almost every time.

Am I doing something that will hinder me in more challenging terrain? If so, how do I stop?
Here's the video.  Any thoughts on this or anything else are appreciated.

www.youtube.com/watch

post #2 of 27
First thing I notice is that not only are you lifting the ski, you are lifting the front 1/2 of the ski. This is bad because it means your weight is back on your heels, this will REALLY hinder your ability to progress to more difficult terrain.  

get pressure against your shin and your boot tongue, get your hands forward (right hand drops back) get your hips forward. Imagine playing defense in a basketball game, assume an 'athletic stance'.
post #3 of 27
My amateur anaylsis - a slightly different spin on what Whiteroom correctly observes. You're turning right and most your weight / pressure is on your left ski (which is well and good). But because the weight on your LEFT foot is also too far to the rear, you can't engage the tip effectively and thus get the ski to come around and finish the turn quickly and fully (and with speed control). Your left ski tends to jet straight down the fall line because your hips are behind your feet. When this happens, your reaction appears to be to "pull back on the reins" like a water skier, in order to get even more heel pressure on the left heel, so you can force the tail of the ski around into the semblance of a right turn. It's when you "pull back on the reins" for an instant that your right tip goes up. You need to keep pressure on the front of both skis all the way through the turn and trust their shape to take you around the corner, rather than relying on pushing your heels. Once you feel this you will be very happy because you won't be working as hard. And Whiteroom is right: In the left turn, get your RIGHT hand way out in front of you. where you can see it. This will get your mass moving forward and also square up your torso with the fall line rather than with the direction of the turn. My two cents. (Not an instructor.)
post #4 of 27
 an instructor who for the most part know what he talking about....


this can most likely hinder you in steeper terrain.

your balance is aft if anything is for sure. the lifting movement could either be an effective way of making your ineffective way skiing 'work' , or something that is simply in grained in your skiing. Niether is good. 

the first reason for lifting your right ski

"the lifting movement could either be an effective way of making your ineffective way skiing 'work'"

this alot easier to 'fix' than the second reason why

means that your not really balanced on your outside ski. the ironic thing is when people lift their inside skis like you do, you can actually get them to stop lifting their inside skis by getting them to be balanced more on their outside ski. Most of these drills actually involve picking up the inside ski in some way shape or form. how does this work? when your properly balanced on the outside ski from the very start of the turn the inside skis is less likely to get 'hung up" meaning there is much need to lift it if there is no weight on it already.

A good drill get your balance over the outside side ski and your hips forwards is this.

first traverse the hill with just your downhill ski all the ways on the ground with you uphill ski with just the tip touching the ground. Your focus should be balancing on your downhill ski and moving your hips with your skis. Balance is movement, moving is balance. Once you can comfortable traverse green terrain doing this its time to start turning on green terrain.  your turns will be done with just your outside side ski on the ground with your tip of the inside ski on the gorund. Focus being moving your hips with you skis. As you get comfortable on green terrain start skiing 2 footed again focusing on keeping both skis on the ground, Once you do this this comfortable and feel that your turns are 'balanced" move up to blue, black, blue with bumps, black with bumps double black with bumps. this takes lots of times and practice. Each time paying attention to how your hips move with your skis. A great analogy is skiing is more like sex than taking a crap ;).

reason number 2


is a bad habit that really doenst have a cause at all, or maybe at one time did.

"or something that is simply in grained in your skiing. "

this one is ALOT tougher to tackle I would address one of the other issue present, not enough upper and lower body seperation, lack of foranglenol movement into the new turn, and lack of ankle flex. the former 2 actually have alot to do with the first reason as well. quite often in grained habits go away when everything else is right.
post #5 of 27
Some pretty nice snow!

BWPA kinda nailed my first impression of your skiing.


Quote:
your balance is aft if anything is for sure. the lifting movement could either be an effective way of making your ineffective way skiing 'work' , or something that is simply in grained in your skiing. Niether is good. 
 

You're skiing with your whole body.  Fairly upright and stiff.  Somewhere along the line you learned that if you put most of your weight on the outside ski and moved your upper body into the turn a bit you turned better.  You're stepping from foot to foot to turn - 99% weight shift.  I would venture to say that you are also lifting your left ski - it's just not coming off the snow.  Would love to see a video of you making medium radius, across the fall line, turns.

If you were my ski lesson, I would go back to the basics - on the beginner hill.
1. Work your stance (as others have said).  Get your feet under your hips and hands up.
2. Make turns using your feet.  Twist your feet into the turn using your legs only and not your body.  Wedge turns, wedge christies.
Move to greens
3. Get inside foot active.  To match the skis.  To flatten to release inside ski. To take right tip right to go right.

I suspect it will take a fair bit of constant coaching because you are trying to move away from old habits and ingrain new ones.  Things will pop up along the way to either build on or avoid.

Bottom line - no quick fix.  Need a committment to make fundamental changes.
I would suggest "Go with a Pro"
post #6 of 27
 No one going to mention the diverging step at the end of the turn?  It's very related to the lift of the ski.  
post #7 of 27
Rick, divergence in the last three turns right?
I didn't see it in the turns until then.  In fact a few looked pretty good given the aft balance.
Hey, I'm here to learn as much as Dr. Skinny is.

Seems a bit like letting the ski get out there as I lean into the turn and then using the tail of the inside ski as a pivit anchor to bring it back around.

Keenly interested in your view however.
post #8 of 27
Actually, you lift both inside skis (left ski too, just not as prominently).

Your approach to turning right is put your weight on your left foot by picking up the right foot.  You do the same thing in the other direction, but more subtly.

This approach most likely evolved from when you learned to make wedge turns by putting the weight on the outside ski (the one pointed where you wanted to go) and maybe even pushing out that ski's tail, which also leads to putting the weight on the heels.

I'd go back to some easy terrain and learn to make left turns by releasing (flattening) the left ski and steering both skis tips to the left, or rights by releasing the right and steering both tips right.  You will find this easier if you maintain the shin/boot cuff contact mentioned above throughout the initiation of the turn, but you need only contact, not significant pressure.  That shin contact will mean you're standing over your feet, not behind them like you do in the video. 
post #9 of 27
I think what Rick is getting at is that the skier has to pick the inside ski up at transition to get them matched up again since they have divereged so much by the end of the previous turn.    If he didn't do that the new inside ski would be blocking the movement into the new turn.   If I had to pick one thing to work on first it would be getting out of the back seat.
post #10 of 27

The advice here from all is great! I learn so much here...
I, also being an instructor, would be to definitely get back to basics - wedge christies, becoming comfortable with keeping BOTH skis on the snow while making the turn. You're in the back seat, which gives way less control to anything you wanna do, so drill to keep your self forward in stance - greens w/ christies, greens to parallel, blues/parallel, blues to some crud. Takes time, be easy on yourself - skiing should be FUN, don't take yourself too seriously!  
Go with a pro, it helps every time.

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
 Thanks everyone.  I dug-up some of the old threads on getting out of the back-seat.  I'll get to work......
post #12 of 27
DrSkinny,

Knealy Brownston nailed the problem, I didn't even have to watch the video to know what it is.  At about 26 seconds, there is a great view of your skis in the transition.  They are on opposite edges (both on the inside edge).  To turn right, you have to disengage the right ski from it's left edge, you lift it to do this.  You also do the same with the left ski to turn left.  That is also the reason for some of the body rotation you use.  You twist the left side of your body to turn right instead of moving the right side of the body right and visa versa. 

I suggest you have your boots checked for proper size.  It appears that your foot has moved forward in the boot causing your ankles to be locked in an open position.  From there, it is not possible to get a balanced position over the skis where you can flex from the ankle.

Please don't let my post discourage you, there are many good things in your skiing, especially the play full nature.  To develop a simultaneous release of the skis is not difficult and that should also help eliminate the rotation of the upper body.

RW
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by windy View Post


I, also being an instructor, would be to definitely get back to basics - wedge christies, ...
...
Go with a pro, it helps every time.


A century ago on the wooden skis, scary bindings, and terrain of the time, the stem christie may have been one of the "basics."  Skis are now torsionally stiff with metal edges and deep sidecut, boots are of rigid plastic, and we have DIN spec bindings to protect us.  It's not clear to me that a wedge christie (or any other descendant of Arlberg technique) has anything to do with the basics of skiing on modern gear and grooming.  The wedge christie teaches insidious muscle memory patterns that are very difficult to extinguish on the journey to solid skiing.  Here are three:  using both inside (big toe) edges simultaneously, using a touch or more of extension to effect turn transitions, and using shoulder rotation to help initiate the turn (95+% of instructors, level 3's and examiners included, do this when teaching wedge or wedge christie turns.)  In light of your first quote above, I'm doubtful of your second quoted assertion.

To put things in perspective, consider that the horseless carriage has evolved greatly since the advent of these ski techniques and was invented at around the same time as they were. Skiing has evolved to a similar extent, even though the entrenched education establishment wishes otherwise.  Would you really corner turns in a Ferrari and a 19th century three-wheeled Benz Motorwagen in the same way?  Then why ski like you're on warped wooden skis and wearing leather boots?
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post

 No one going to mention the diverging step at the end of the turn?  It's very related to the lift of the ski.  

Our friend looks like he may be getting some calf and thigh burn trying to get the most out of the tails of his skis. Ok ,that was a nice example of aft skiing. Now try skiing fore in the same terrain to compare that with. Then center might be a happy place to find himself.

Now he can feel so many more possibilities available to him .  Let's explore where he finds himself laterally and how we can use our skis to enhance our movements instead of blocking them .

I would like to get him centered so he can properly and quietly move himself into the next turn using the front part of the ski much more than he can now. We want to use the whole ski and by skiing aft we cheat ourselves out of a lot of good ski.
 
Maybe his alignment is hindering his ability to center himself and I would explore that first and see what comes of that and then if all is well he can work on finding his centered stance while moving.

First things first for the good Dr.and after that the possibilities are endless .
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
 Ron

The observation about riding my inside edges in the video is interesting. I notice that I do that on flats and run-outs. Have done it all my life, with rental boots as well as my own.  If I really narrow down my stance, things flatten-out, but at shoulder-width I'm on the insides. I'm not sure if that has any connection w/ the aft stance, but I wouldn't rule-out multiple issues......
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post




A century ago on the wooden skis, scary bindings, and terrain of the time, the stem christie may have been one of the "basics."  Skis are now torsionally stiff with metal edges and deep sidecut, boots are of rigid plastic, and we have DIN spec bindings to protect us.  It's not clear to me that a wedge christie (or any other descendant of Arlberg technique) has anything to do with the basics of skiing on modern gear and grooming.  The wedge christie teaches insidious muscle memory patterns that are very difficult to extinguish on the journey to solid skiing.  Here are three:  using both inside (big toe) edges simultaneously, using a touch or more of extension to effect turn transitions, and using shoulder rotation to help initiate the turn (95+% of instructors, level 3's and examiners included, do this when teaching wedge or wedge christie turns.)  In light of your first quote above, I'm doubtful of your second quoted assertion.

To put things in perspective, consider that the horseless carriage has evolved greatly since the advent of these ski techniques and was invented at around the same time as they were. Skiing has evolved to a similar extent, even though the entrenched education establishment wishes otherwise.  Would you really corner turns in a Ferrari and a 19th century three-wheeled Benz Motorwagen in the same way?  Then why ski like you're on warped wooden skis and wearing leather boots.

 
Sounds like somebody doesn't quite understand the progression, but that's ok, most of my students do!
post #17 of 27
Could be.   But I've pored over all of the ed material available to PSIA-RM and PSIA-E, and a lot of the CSIA and other PSIA division ed material too.  In minute detail.  I've watched countless classes by various levels of PSIA certs.  I've observed PSIA clinics and talked shop on the lifts and in the lodges in multiple districts.  I've also meticulously studied JC, Lito, the Brothers D, HH, Dan P, USSA & CSCF training material, and other alternate approaches.  Oh, yeah, and I've taken more than enough expensive lessons from folks trained in "the progression." Perhaps the real misunderstanding lies elsewhere...  To borrow a phrase from two-time world freestyle champion John Clendenin, you're infecting your students with "skier's flu."  That's what a world champion calls the result of your progression. 
post #18 of 27
Sharpedges, couldn't agree with you more.  The wedge is an insidious flu.  Once there, it can be difficult to get out of.

On the other hand, EVERYBODY LEARNS THE WEDGE TURN!
Whether they were taught by a friend, a professional, or just watching everyone out there, they learn it.

The wedge is, IMhO, the most stable, most forgiving of gross movement errors, most versatile skiing technique out there and should be in everyone's toolbox (and of course, it is).  I'll bet even your world champion uses it when going into a narrow lift line.

I only teach about 400 over 7 yrs old never evers a year but out of that, I only teach an actual wedge turn to about 5.  The rest I teach a gliding wedge and to point their tips into the turn.  FYI, a gliding wedge means the tips can be 1" closer to each other than the tails.  It certainly is not having the feet further apart than the shoulders.  I have one hour to get them to turn and 90+% will never see another instructor again for years, if ever.  I'd say I have about a 90% success rate.  The whole point of "the progression" is to learn to point/tip the tips into the turn.

So now they go out with their dear parents or dear friends who say "now that you know how to ski, let's go do all the runs".  Fear is a wonderful teaching aid for wedging.  So their friends and parents, who are makng perfectly fine wedge turns who didn't take a lesson because "they already know how to ski" take them off and ingrain their ski technique (which probably isn't pointing the tips into the turn, its push this ski out there....).

Very frustrating.

So, anyway, thanks for the bashing.  Now you're up!

You have 10 never evers and one hour. 
You have a 200 ft long by 40 ft wide lesson area.
What are you going to do with them that has a 90% chance of them being able to use after they leave you?

I'm really looking for a better way!  I've read alot of the alphabet you have (not nearly as much - quite impressive BTW).  There are some great "other ways" out there,  but they seem to take more hill or more time than what I have available.

Did we hijack this thread or what?

Meanwhile, have you seen the PSIA-RM DVD on exam maneuvers circa 2004?  IMHO, the movements shown there are an excellent example of "the progression" with minimum unlearning for advancement to higher levels.  Yeah, I'll give you the change from corresponding edges to opposing ones (^ to ||) but the releasing of the inside ski is the same in both and a far more important skill to build.  Do all instructors of any level teach or perform them this way?  A whole different discussion for sure.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowhawk View Post

You have 10 never evers and one hour. 
You have a 200 ft long by 40 ft wide lesson area.
What are you going to do with them that has a 90% chance of them being able to use after they leave you?

Not an instructor, but this discussion is fascinating (even if it is a hijack). The real vs. the ideal. The builder vs. the designer. Themes that repeat over and over in life.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
You have a 200 ft long by 40 ft wide lesson area.

If the pitch is mild enough, this is enough space for some of the direct parallel approaches.  I can't say much more because of the epicski T&C restrictions.  The actual issues at many smaller hills are Ott Gangl's pet peeves:  poorly fitted rental gear and "1 hour" lessons often with busloads of kids.  Only SAM can fix these, and they almost never do because they've given up on turning never evers into repeat customers.

My hijack was triggered by a post combing the go with a pro slogan (and adding "it always helps") with a mention of wedge christies as one of the basics of skiing in the context of the OP who is not a never ever.  BTW, immediately after hijacking the thread, I sent a PM to the OP telling him that my hijack had nothing to do with him or his skiing. 

I don't actually mind the teaching of wedge-based progressions to occasional social skiers who just want to get out and soak up some sunshine in winter with family or friends.  I'd rather see them on the slopes than roaming the mall or sitting and watching television.  What does bother me is that skiers who know they want to improve, like the OP, are put through this social skiing progression.  And the flu sticks.  If you look in the current thread about hip position, you'll see that Bud Heisman has posted two montages of skiing by PSIA Alpine National Team members.  Both of the montages show symptoms of the flu.  To be fair, they are the demo team and I don't know what they may have been demoing.  But given the moderate angles they achieve, It seems unlikely they were trying to demo some form of wedge mechanics.
post #21 of 27
Sharp,
the point of going back to basics is NOT to teach the wedge or christie because 10 to 1 they (and the OP) already know how to do that.  It is intended as a vehicle to focus on the feet.  Moving the tips into the turn.  Releasing the downhill edge to start a turn.  This can take 15 minutes or an hour, or whatever.  Then on to parallel releasing the edges, then on to right tip right to go right (diverging) and then on to tip rt. tip rt. to go rt.  All focused on using the feet and legs and moving the tips into the turns.

I have had countless shoulder turners doing perfectly parallel ski(the sticks) turns (not perfect parallel turns - the movements) that come out of these understanding these basic movements.  (Please, this has nothing to do with the OP, just about "the progression").  The whole purpose of "going back to basics" is to learn the movements and skills because they are the same at all levels of skiing.

Yeah, unfortunately, the pendulum has swung to the side where the public is treating skiing as a form of entertainment instead of a sport.  "I don't want to learn how to do it, I just want to do it."   or "I'll take a lesson to get this figured out." are the vast majority of the people that take that first real lesson.  Somewhere out of that is a smaller group that says I liked it and want to do it more.  So they do, with friends, relatives, etc.  Out of those, an even smaller group says I want to learn how to do this better.  So they try, with friends, relatives, books and videos.  An even smaller group of these will take a lesson from a pro.  So now we have a person with the flu who has spent considerable time learning innovative ways to deal with the symptoms.  So we take them back to where they started it all and help them understand, feel and do what they missed the first time around.

Hey, I know, I'm one of them.  46 years of no lessons learning to really really wedge, then wedge christies and then parallel (thank you Stein Erickson) feet together!  I good!  Don't need no stinking lessons!  Good enough to become a professional ski instructor!  Took me three years to figure out I didn't know squat about skiing.  I'm slow you know.  So several years later, I am still trying to get wedge turns and christies movements done right and watching others not doing them right knowing they probably aren't doing it right in their normal high level skiing either.

The great thing is though, everyone is out there doing and trying!
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by windy View Post

... get back to basics - wedge christies, becoming comfortable with keeping BOTH skis on the snow while making the turn. You're in the back seat, which gives way less control to anything you wanna do, so drill to keep your self forward in stance - greens w/ christies, greens to parallel, blues/parallel, blues to some crud....


Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post
A century ago on the wooden skis, scary bindings, and terrain of the time, the stem christie may have been one of the "basics." ...S
Windy's comment about getting back to basics is exactly right, but the reference to wedge christies put the discussion off track.  getting back to basics means working on balance.
Sharp is right that wooden skis were so difficult to learn on that stem christies were necessary for almost everyone, but stem christies are not wedge christies.  AFAIK no one has taught wedge christies at least the late 1980's, or maybe before.
The OP is starting his turn on opposing edges, and he needs to lift his inside ski to disengage it before h trips over it.  He's already doing wedge christies, but he's doing them poorly, from the back seat.  If he learns to move his hips forward and into the turn, the inside ski will release on its own and he will stop lifting his ski. If he starts that movement from opposing edges, it's a wedge christie.  If he starts it before the end of the last turn (while he still has parallel edges engaged), it's a parallel turn.  It's not a matter of teaching him wedge christies, it's about making him aware of his balance.  With modern skis, most learners who can do a wedge christie without lifting the inside ski are doing parallel turns before they get to the bottom of the hill.   
It doesn't matter how you learn to ski, whether you did direct to parallel, or wedge turns, step tirns or if your boyfriend taught you.  ALMOST EVERYONE ends up sking by engaging the new outside ski before they release the old outside ski.  It just feels more secure to do that.  The old Centerline idea was to bring the learner along slowing enough that he never felt like he needed that securlty, and it's the same with direct to parallel methods.  The problem is that no one takes lessons all the time, and the all end up on steeper terrain where they need that security.

BK
post #23 of 27
As Garryz (and everyone else as well) "get centered first and then see what happens".

I was having trouble understanding the several comments like Ron's
"To turn right, you have to disengage the right ski from it's left edge, you lift it to do this."

How can the inside edge be engaged on that ski?  Even more so if you are on corresponding inside edges when you start the turn?

See if this slow learner (me) is getting this.

If I am twisting my feet to turn right, the front half of the ski should move easily to the right but the back half is trying to move to the left and the inside edge digs in preventing the back half from twisting.  So I lift the inside ski to allow it to twist.  Sitting back just makes this whole thing worse cause it digs in more and it is harder to lift the ski so it goes higher....

The fact that I am shifting my weight by stepping onto the outside ski to start the turn means I am moving my CoM away from the turn which increases that inside skis' edge angle towards the inside  which aggrevates the problem even more.

The diverging skis is because while I am trying to twist the ski, the front moves but the back does not.  Out, up, and away!

Alignment.  This is struggle for me.  If you ride on the inside edges at normal stance width, I would assume that this back inside edge problem would be aggrevated and/or more difficult to overcome.  What baffles me is that a knock kneed skier is "corrected" by increasing the "tilt" to the outside so that at their "normal" stance their inside edges would be engaged more!  ie. when the ski is flat, the knee goes out more, when you stand normal, you ride the inside edges.

Cures:
1. Balance of course - get out of the back seat!  CoM over the sweet spot.
2. Tip the inside ski to release it into the turn.
3. Move the CoM into the turn (certainly makes #2 easier!)

Am I getting it guys?
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Okay, question about #2 from the previous post (Tip the inside ski to release it into the turn).  If I am moving across the fall line going to the right, my inside ski currently is my right ski, but as soon as I start the new turn, my inside ski becomes my left ski.  Which ski (left or right) are you referring to as the inside ski in the post above?  (shouldn't I realese them both -- go from both engaged on the right edge -- to flat -- to both engaged on the left edge to begin my left-hand turn back down and then across the fall line?
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Skinny View Post

Okay, question about #2 from the previous post (Tip the inside ski to release it into the turn).  If I am moving across the fall line going to the right, my inside ski currently is my right ski, but as soon as I start the new turn, my inside ski becomes my left ski.  Which ski (left or right) are you referring to as the inside ski in the post above?  (shouldn't I realese them both -- go from both engaged on the right edge -- to flat -- to both engaged on the left edge to begin my left-hand turn back down and then across the fall line?

The intention there is the "new inside ski" (so if you're about to turn to the left, that would be your left foot/ski).

Eventually both feet are going to tip into the turn.  However, if you move your hips/weight to the left (#3) and start turning, your right (outside) ski will pretty much be forced up onto its left edge.  So the focus is usually on getting the inside foot/ski to do the right thing, and the outside (usually) takes care of itself.

That said, there's nothing wrong with thinking about tipping both feet into the turn.  If you see one of those photomontages showing a ski racer in transition, you can clearly see the skis tipped one way, then flat in the middle of the transition, and then starting to tip the other way.  If they're doing it right, either both feet will move simultaneously, or the inside foot/leg will be fractionally ahead of the outside.
post #26 of 27
Dr. S, sorry for the confusion.  Matthias99 said it very well.

When doing linked turns, about 2/3 of the way around a turn, I am thinking "I gotta start finishing this one so I can be ready to start the next."  (And working to do it sooner - just after the apex.)  This means I have to start unedging the outside ski and starting the movement of my CoM on its journey across my skis into the next turn.

Someone coined the phrase "finishiation" which I love.  It describes for me that the finsih of the old turn is part of the initiation of the new one.  It is one smooth continuos process.

When I work on the releasing, I usually do it from a traverse and then turns linked by a traverse.  This slows things down so we can focus on that movement. Hence my use of inside ski but I will try to change that to "soon to be inside" or "new inside" to avoid confusion.

B Barnes has a great mantra for this:
At slower speeds it is Right tip right to go right and at higher speeds and turn dynamics
"Tip the right ski right to go right."

Dr. S, note that no one has said anything about shifting your weight from ski to ski.  Does it happen?  Yes, but it is not an active movement.  It happens as a result of the turn dynamics.  Let it shift not make it shift.

Good luck and good turns to ya!
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the helpful comments. I think I have it in my mind's-eye. Now it's a matter of getting my hands and hips and ankles and feet to cooperate.........
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