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First MA request

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!
I've been following this forum for some time, and now I finally decided to post my short clip for analysis!
On the video, I'm skiing an European red (not very steep one...). Sun has just set, so sorry for quite dark picture. :)
I usually ski with larger vertical separation, but in this case, the slope was not steep enough for that.
My knees track inside (overpronation), so a-framing is obvious. It has been getting better all the time, though.


stabilized version of the video

Edited by villee - 1/27/10 at 3:18pm
post #2 of 8

Lots of nice stuff here. Centered stance. Simultaneous edge changes. On edge well above the fall line. High edge angles and good engagement (little to no skidding). The transition into the last left hand turn (7 seconds) has a real good visual of what a little cross under turn initiation looks like.

That last turn also gives a clear view of the A framing. Have you had any boot alignment work done? Right leg? Maybe out boot gurus can chime in? If you have not had any work done, if this were my skiing, I'd get checked first before I worked on technique. If you do need work done, things may get worse before they get better -> the first focus would be on adjusting to the new set up.

That aside, there are some things you can work on. This biggest thing is "park and ride". Once you are on your new edges, there is no continuous movement in the ski edges, and ankle and knee joints throughout the belly of the turn (i.e. middle or near the fall line for you). Throughout this portion of the turn, you also have preswung your pole and are waiting for the pole touch to happen. Notice how your edge angles don't change from about 15 degree before you are facing down the fall line till about 15 degrees out of the fall line. You want to get the same amount of edge angle change speed as you have going through your transitions from edge to edge. One more thing to notice is that when you are in the fall line you shoulders face to the outside of the turn. The movements you are using to get there (tipping to the inside and standing against the new outside leg) are effective, but we can make those movements more efficient.

There are many approaches that could be used to take your skiing to the next level. If you were my student, the first approach I would try is to change your pole swing and your counter. In this clip you are most countered in the fall line. The goal is to get you most countered when you are across the fall line and to ski into that position (upper body turns less than the lower body as the lower body turns with the skis to face more across the hill). The first drill I'd start you with is a reverse funnel (for you we'd do this drill without poles). Start with short radius turns with the hips and shoulders facing straight down the fall line all the way through every turn. Gradually widen the radius of the turn so that the skis are going more across the hill, but fight to keep the shoulders and hips facing more down the hill than the skis. The second drill is to hop to shape. At the end of a turn, hop into the air, turn your skis in mid air, land on the new edges for the next turn and shape the finish of that turn. There are two keys here. Start the hop from a countered position and land with the new outside leg long and then flex that leg all the way through the finish so that it can propel you into the next hop. The final drill is the Heissman drill. As you move through the fall line, you bring your outside hand ahead. At the point in the turns where you get that farthest ahead (just after the fall line). Starting bringing your new inside hand ahead (like your a Heissman running back trying to stiff arm a defender) and moving your outside hand back to your hip (eventually we'll never let that outside hand get so far ahead during the fall line). Leave that new inside hand on the hip until it's time to make a pole touch, then use the swing as a cue to move the hips into the new turn (from the countered position we developed in the first two drills). Once we've got the hands switched from downhill hand ahead through the bottom of the turn to uphill hand ahead, we'll smooth out the movement so that the pole swing happens continuously from the fall line to the new turn where the basket starts out behind the butt when you're in the fall line and gradually and continuously swings slowly forward through the bottom of the turn until the basket is ahead of the grip prior to the pole touch. These drills will help shift your lateral (to the inside) movement during your turn initiation into lateral and forward movement and get you unstuck from the middle of your turns. They should also help you develop more "long leg/short leg" differences between your leg flex. I suspect that this could help reduce that knees stuck together look in your skiing.
post #3 of 8
Villee, therusty gave you an extensive report I saw as I crolled down so I will try to be as short as possible. Did not read it so you will get my unbiassed opinion. Not much to say here. Good solid skiing. Good rhythm and nice round arcing turns. No skidding. Your hips are to the inside of the turn and you are not in the back seat. I have not much to complain about this.

However, I said that your hips were into the turn. This is a good thing but its also important how they got there. In your case you use a movement called upper body counter. At edge change you very soon turn your upper body to face outside the turn. This movement is linked to your pole plant and arm swing. So even if your turns are good you are still not really dynamic. Try to do what is called ski into counter insted of using it as a very abrupt movement right after edge change. Now you are forming a position. Dont do that. Try to keep your upper body facing down the fall line and hold on to that upper body direction at transition and during high C. This is what is called anticipation. Then as you come through apex you are square to your skis. As you ski through the belly of the turn your finally ski into counter. Insted of forming that upper body counter position in the high C try to angulate insted. That is bending sideways at the hip. That in combination with upper body counter after apex will give you a very good edge hold.

You mentioned A-frame. Yes, have you tried to cant your boots?
Vertical separation. Dont know where you got that from but yes, if you were skiing faster or if the slope was steeper then maybe you should have had more vertical separation but you have some more important fixes to make. Your stance looks perfect to me.

Do this, ski without pole plant with your arms spread wide and your ski poles pointing slightly out. Work with your legs. Try to make a more cross under/over type of transition where your legs are moving back and forth under your torso. Hold on to that counter after edge change.

Hopes this helps.


post #4 of 8

Why are you swinging your arms?  Plus, they're moving the wrong way.  Your inside arm, and the rest of your body on the inside of the turn should be higher and forward compared to the arm on the outside of the turn.  Of course, with deep angles the inside can't actually be higher, but it should be as high as possible.  Your outside arm should be still and stable.  If you made pole plants, they need be nothing more than a twitch of the wrist and the plant straight down the fall line from your feet.  Moving the whole arm the way you do is old-school and causes unwanted movements of the body.

Why are you crouching in the latter half of the turn?  Learn retraction turns where you keep your outside leg extended through the turn, then simply relax it and allow it to bend to release from that turn and initiate the next turn.  Crouching in the turns like you do is hard work and wearing on the knees.  The only need for extension turns is when we wish to jump over something.

Can you lighten the pressure on your inside ski?  Balance a bit more over the outside ski so you can momentarily lift the inside ski from the snow in any part of the turn, and you will like the result.  The outside ski will bend more to turn you better (subject to the angle you put it on) and that ski's edge will grip better.
post #5 of 8

Welcome to Epic!

I agree with TR, that you need some boot work.  It not only appears that you have some canting issues, but ankle flexibility issues.  You never really get tall (or long), but stay crouched.  It appears that you press into the boot tongue and bend at the waist rather than flex your ankle.  I would love to see you stand taller and balance over the middle of the ski.  This will give you much more precision in your skiing and also be less tiring.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Therusty, tdk, softsnowguy, ron white,
thanks for excellent feedback and analysis! This really is a great forum!
Some comments...
Totally agree, I've been thinking a lot how I could make me skiing more dynamic. Thanks therusty for great tips on this!
Countering & anticipation:
I really need to work on that. Btw, this was the first time somebody could explain me the right way of upper body countering, thank you therusty & tdk - again! I have received so much complicated and even conflicting advice on how to position the upper body when doing turns... even from ski coaches. But, now this finally starts to make sense!
The a-framing and boot alignment:
Something (custom insoles) has been done, but that definitely is not enough. Wish we had some competent boot fitters here in Finland! :) tdk, do you know anyone?
Arm swinging:
SoftSnowGuy, thanks for accurate analysis. Yep, I learned to ski on the early 90s and I have quite a few "old school movements" still hindering my progress. Pole plant is one thing, bizarre up-down movement is another. I took me really long to get rid of "up-unweighting", and crouching is now what is left from that. I have to concentrate more, and try the drills you suggested. The faulty pole plant is maybe the most complicated issue to fix on my own. I think I have to consult some coach with that.
Inside ski weighting:
I actually keep my inside ski very light. The balance is about 90% (outside) - 10% (inside). I used to lift (just slightly) the tail of the inside ski before, liked it, but some coach told me not to do so. Should I begin do that 2-3 cm lift again? :)
post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by villee View Post

Should I begin do that 2-3 cm lift again? :)

If you're going to lift it, lift it and tip it into the new turn. Generally, you'll find that you get slightly better performance keeping the inside ski on the snow. In practice, you may find that lifting the inside ski tail is the best way to get you making more effective turning movements. Lots of people still ski this way.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

If you're going to lift it, lift it and tip it into the new turn.

That's exactly the way I did it. Tail 2 cms off the snow and tip. It felt nice.

Ps. just posted a stabilized version of the video to the first post. Same clip, just better quality.
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