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Initiating your first turn in the bumps

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
If I do a good bump run (one that I do not fall down), it usually follows a good first bump. However, I have this bad habit of sitting back and bending at the waist to try to absorb that first bump. I know that it is wrong, but I continue to do this. Many instructors have said to "pull your feet back underneath you" and absorb that bump. My question, how do you pull your feet back, while they are moving forward? It seems to be an oxymoron.
post #2 of 26
Don't know if this will help... but it REALLY helps one of my friends...

My instructor told her when she stands at the top of a tree run NOT to think about the run - to just think about doing ONE really good solid turn.... when she concentrates her efforts into that first turn she doesn't get up tight about the whole thing worrying about the run .... so she skis the first turn well & the rest of the run just flows from there
post #3 of 26
jimbo there is usually some small pre bumps or small rises before the actual bumps start. Start your rhythm before actually entering the first real bump. Things might be a bit easier.
post #4 of 26
Jimbo, just imagine that there is a ceiling parallel to the slope and at the height of your head when you enter the mogul field. You want to keep your head always touching that ceiling. The only way to do that is to flex your knees while entering the bump and extend your legs when coming down. The best spot to turn then would be just below the crest on the other side of the bump (at the crest, you would have your knees fully flexed and therefore not enough pressure on the skis to make them bend and do the job of turning for you). Just keep going like that until you are out of breath, and then stop and break through the ceiling. [img]smile.gif[/img] Then it won't matter whether it is the 1st or 101st bump of the run.

It works for me every time I'm lost in moguls wondering what the hell I am doing there. :

[ February 19, 2003, 09:51 AM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #5 of 26
The answer to your question is: You are misunderstanding when to
pull the feet back. You do it just before the skis enter the fall line, when the skis are flat. But unless the bumps are really steep or abrupt, it's better to just concentrate on keeping your shins in contact with the front of the boots. Also, try to start at the side of the bump trail, as the bumps are usually smaller and better there. As you get your mojo working, you can venture into the center of the run for a few ugly hacked up bumps, then work your way back to the side after the inevitable flail. Do it smoothly enough and no one will notice.
post #6 of 26
WELL SAID miles....whenever I hear talk of mojo my ears ring in excitement.

Jimbo- when I'm giving a bump lesson it seems that every student has their own "LITTLE" problems. Note that skiing bumps is not easy and once you decide you have a problem it's on the same note....not easy to fix. One thing that ALWAYS seems to help people who ride the back seat (as you said your weight gets back), is telling them one very simple fundamental thing of skiing.

KEEP YOUR HANDS FORWARD IN FRONT OF YOUR BODY. I'm hoping that if you're working on the art of "bumps mastery" that your prereq. was pole planting. Start out going as slow as possible, make some plants on any particular bump..proceed to make your turn around that bump. Also, follow miles' suggestions. Take your time and ease yourself into it...you'll get it. Oh, lessons always help..
post #7 of 26
When I just started skiing bumps - and I noticed that it's common to most everyone trying like me at that time to figure out how to get out of the bumps but to say I did it! [img]smile.gif[/img] - my biggest problem was NOT EVER back-seat driving.

The biggest problem is being able to dynamically absorb the bump and time the turn correctly without making a flying faceplant over the tips of the skis. It's the same as avalement ( http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...c;f=4;t=001672 ): let the knees go up (it's OK to sit back for a split second here, as long as you feel the tongue of your boot with your shins: the next bump will slow down and possibly redirect your skis, and that would push your body forward if you are too far back now), plant the pole into the crest of a bump, lean on it, and extend your legs down the bump. I guess in modern technique it's called dynamic anticipation.

The flow is what matters most.

And true, NEVER let your hands both fall behind your body. Uphill hand is OK, as long as it is in the ready position by the time it becomes downhill. But never both.
post #8 of 26
I'm not sure the question was ever answered about "pulling the feet back". Technically it is dorsiflexing or closing the ankles. I like to think in terms of "crimpng" my feet. The more I do this the better I do in bumps.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
I'm not sure the question was ever answered about "pulling the feet back". Technically it is dorsiflexing or closing the ankles.
Ahhh spoken from a guy who wants to pass Level 3. All develop this mindset prior to pass.

Alex G, have you ever watched a bulldozer run dirt moguls. They turn tight remain perfectly parallel, do a nice job and have virtually no absoption or flexibilty.

Try this, get on a pair of short skis and go out on the groomed and make some turns like a bulldozer. keep your upper body quiet and more or less facing down the hill. Turn short turns by extending from the knees up and pulling the inside ski back. The outside ski might push forwards some when you do this. When you can do it take the turn into the moguls. Run kinda the outsides of the trough like you were in a little terrain park. Touch, do not plant the pole and touch well ahead of the bump you are coming up to. Do your little extension from the knee up and bulldoze your feet around through the trough.

Your tactics will change, your knees will not hurt, there will be little need for absorption and retraction, speed control is always there and balance is much better. This here skier who's approachin 50 can ski them all day, top to bottom.

[ February 20, 2003, 04:31 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #10 of 26
I went and spent the afternoon two weeks ago with Jenn Metz. She was kind enough to help me with my bump skiing. She showed me something fairly specific to my skiing, however, I think it would help anyone struggling in bumps. She is pictured here at epicski in one of Bob's instructional montages;

http://www.epicski.com/Content/Gener...rnes/Bumps.htm

First,I tend to ski too straight a line and my skis tend to point downhill for too long a period of time in moguls. I tend to go straight, pivot, crash, go straight, pivot crash. It is not pretty and does not work well. In essence, I need to round out each turn and ski a higher wider line.

Pierre is the first person to point this out to me by the way!

A result of my error is that while stuck in the trough I would make a quick pivot at the last minute and slam into the next mogul. It was a series of not so pretty linked disasters.

Here is the change. Perhaps a second before I'm bracing for impact, I now change edges.......turn......and hence remove the obstacle. Done well, the turns are rounder and there is no collision. I have to intuitively consider the spot where I used to brace and turn via a differing set of edges to ski around it.

I'm not going to suggest my skiing has been fixed as a result, however, when I link three or four rounder turns between crashes I at least get a chance to catch my breath.

This does not mean I have to ski a wide corridor.

[ February 20, 2003, 08:00 PM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />I'm not sure the question was ever answered about "pulling the feet back". Technically it is dorsiflexing or closing the ankles.
Ahhh spoken from a guy who wants to pass Level 3. All develop this mindset prior to pass.

Alex G, have you ever watched a bulldozer run dirt moguls. They turn tight remain perfectly parallel, do a nice job and have virtually no absoption or flexibilty.

Try this, get on a pair of short skis and go out on the groomed and make some turns like a bulldozer. keep your upper body quiet and more or less facing down the hill. Turn short turns by extending from the knees up and pulling the inside ski back. The outside ski might push forwards some when you do this. When you can do it take the turn into the moguls. Run kinda the outsides of the trough like you were in a little terrain park. Touch, do not plant the pole and touch well ahead of the bump you are coming up to. Do your little extension from the knee up and bulldoze your feet around through the trough.

Your tactics will change, your knees will not hurt, there will be little need for absorption and retraction, speed control is always there and balance is much better. This here skier who's approachin 50 can ski them all day, top to bottom.
</font>[/quote]
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />I'm not sure the question was ever answered about "pulling the feet back". Technically it is dorsiflexing or closing the ankles.
Ahhh spoken from a guy who wants to pass Level 3. All develop this mindset prior to pass.

Alex G, have you ever watched a bulldozer run dirt moguls. They turn tight remain perfectly parallel, do a nice job and have virtually no absoption or flexibilty.

Try this, get on a pair of short skis and go out on the groomed and make some turns like a bulldozer. keep your upper body quiet and more or less facing down the hill. Turn short turns by extending from the knees up and pulling the inside ski back. The outside ski might push forwards some when you do this. When you can do it take the turn into the moguls. Run kinda the outsides of the trough like you were in a little terrain park. Touch, do not plant the pole and touch well ahead of the bump you are coming up to. Do your little extension from the knee up and bulldoze your feet around through the trough.

Your tactics will change, your knees will not hurt, there will be little need for absorption and retraction, speed control is always there and balance is much better. This here skier who's approachin 50 can ski them all day, top to bottom.
</font>[/quote]Thanks for the info., Pierre. I had foot beds made and canting of my boots. I was told that I had 1/2 the dorsi-flexion in my right foot as my left. Heel lifts were added to help. But, as a result of an old distal tibial fracture, this "closing of the ankles" is a bit difficult. As instructors, how do you deal with someone who has poor dorsi-flexion, who wants to ski bumps, without having ankle surgery?
post #13 of 26
jimbo, I have been addicted to bumps all my life. I learned to ski moguls different because I developed a very limited range of motion for dosiflexion, about 9 degrees. As a result I came up with this low impact technique and it works quite well. I have since improved my dosiflexion to 18 degrees but still prefer the low impact methods.
post #14 of 26
Jimbo, from a tactical standpoint, keep looking everywher but the troughs for your turns. We look at a bump field, and see bumps, but we tend to focus on the troughs for our turns, even though the troughs are only a small percentage of the terrain available to us for our turns. Stay focussed on the bumps and not the troughs, think rounder turns, or at least turns with some j shape to them, and soft legs, legs that allow the skis to stay in contact with the snow. A big part of getting and keeping your feet under you is the extention or lengthening of the legs as we move past a bump. The taller we are the easier it is to get our feet under us. Have fun [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #15 of 26
Pierre, I am going to try this tactics this weekend. You got me intrigued. Are 170 cm skis short enough for it?
post #16 of 26
Pierre said:
Quote:
Try this, get on a pair of short skis and go out on the groomed and make some turns like a bulldozer. keep your upper body quiet and more or less facing down the hill. Turn short turns by extending from the knees up and pulling the inside ski back. The outside ski might push forwards some when you do this. When you can do it take the turn into the moguls. Run kinda the outsides of the trough like you were in a little terrain park. Touch, do not plant the pole and touch well ahead of the bump you are coming up to. Do your little extension from the knee up and bulldoze your feet around through the trough.
Hi Pierre,

I have a few questions about your bump technique.

Is bulldozing the same as skidding sideways?

Is "extending from the knees up" the same as up-unweighting?

If both of the above are true, then are these the same up-unweighted skidded turns I used to make back in the day?

Does the line only include the trough and the sides of the moguls on each side of the trough, and never the crest of the mogul?

Do you have any video, preferrably shot from uphill? Then I could see the line you select, as well as see what the skis are doing.

Thanks for sharing!
post #17 of 26
Turns initiated by pulling the inside ski back are very skiddy turns, especialy so in a tall stance with flat skis.

An extention of the legs is not the same as up-unweighting. Up-unweighting happens when the extention is dynamic or quick enough that the mass of the body keeps going some after the extending is stoped.

Pierre's disciption reminds me David M's "soft start rotary". I liken it more to a skid steer loader, bulldozer seems a little heavy to me. It does create a good image in the mind though. :
post #18 of 26
LB:
Quote:
Is bulldozing the same as skidding sideways?
RicB
Quote:
Turns initiated by pulling the inside ski back are very skiddy turns, especialy so in a tall stance with flat skis.
A fellow bear whom I had just shown this method to on Thursday told me he didn't think that anyone could just go out and do the method on what I had describe up above. I think he is correct in light of the last two posts. I will try to clear things up a bit.

Turns initiated by pulling the inside foot back are very contemporary turns. Pulling the inside foot back can technically be called dorsiflexing the new inside ankle but I wanted to stay away from that terminology. Bulldozer turns are precise turns with the tips guiding around a short turn without skidding. The tails of the skis do skid but only because the edge angles are low and the turn much tighter than the arc of the ski will allow. The skis edges are controlled throughout the turn and the skis do not skid sideways. Sideways skidding skis are nearly pure braking and stop abruptly on the next bump. Skidding skis do not control direction. The bulldozer turn has good directional control and the turns are round. The bulldozer turn is nothing more than the opposite of scissoring the turn initiation. You are apt be able to feel bulldozering by trying to do telemark turns on alpine skis provided you don't rotate.

Ric B, turns initiated by pulling the inside ski back (dorsiflexing the inside ankle, movement from the ankle) are definitely not skiddy turns but when done incorrectly by pulling back the whole inside half of the body (rotation), the turns are not only very skiddy but dangerous in bumps because of overturning. The bulldozer turn is a turn that is steered to a counter without counter rotation or rotation.
Quote:
Is "extending from the knees up" the same as up-unweighting? If both of the above are true, then are these the same up-unweighted skidded turns I used to make back in the day?
Definitely not. Up-unweighting starts at the feet by pushing off the skis as a platform. the up-unweighting extension raises the shins off the boot tongues and the skier pivots the skis to start the turn.
What I am talking about is an extension that is really from the knees up so the shins stay in contact with the boot tongue. The extension moves the hips diagonally into the new turn. As the hips move diagonally into the new turn the new inside hip is raised slighly to invert the new inside foot. Raising the hip also aids in pulling the inside foot back from the knee down (dorsiflexing the inside ankle)and increases the quickness of the tips seeking the fall line. The result is a tight round turn with the skis staying the same distance appart.
Quote:
Does the line only include the trough and the sides of the moguls on each side of the trough, and never the crest of the mogul?
In all actuallity, the tips of the skis generally guide around the base of the bump you're body is going over and the tails of the skis kinda ride up the outside of the trough on the adjacent bump. This is only a guide as the bumps change in shape and so do the lines. The bulldozer turn gives big improvements in line control and speed control, opening up many line options a normal bump skier doesn't see. That is why I say the line options will become more obvious to you.
Quote:
Do you have any video, preferrably shot from uphill? Then I could see the line you select, as well as see what the skis are doing.
Not that I am comfortable releasing yet. Resolution and angle is not that great on what I have.

I hope this doesn't confuse more than help.
post #19 of 26
The two most important details in bump skiing take place above the waist.

1) a good pole plant. Miss the pole plant. Miss the next turn.

2)Look ahead. Get the information in the computer earlier and it becomes less of a pure reflex game and more a game of seeking the line of least resistance. Trust yourself to look 2-3 turns ahead. Learn to see turn shapes not just bumps.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Pierre, I'm trying to understand how the speed is controlled. The line seems to be pretty much the (wide) zipper line. I don't understand why you don't accelerate wildly until you blow up
The line that I prefer is pretty much the wide zipper line but because I can control line I am totally unrestricted as to the line I select. I may cross over to the next wide zipper line often. I may only run 3 or 4 bumps before doing so. Rhythm as established by the bumps is secondary once you control line.

I do not accelerate wildly because I control speed with line control. Line control is controlling turn shape, intensity and size. Turn shape, intensity and size are controlled by the bump at hand. I rarely look more than a bump or two ahead. The farther ahead that you look the faster you will go. Its as simple as that.

An archive search will give you many discussions on controlling line through turn shape and size. Its the concept of skiing the slow line fast.
post #21 of 26
Pierre said, "Ric B, turns initiated by pulling the inside ski back (dorsiflexing the inside ankle, movement from the ankle) are definitely not skiddy turns but when done incorrectly by pulling back the whole inside half of the body (rotation), the turns are not only very skiddy but dangerous in bumps because of overturning. The bulldozer turn is a turn that is steered to a counter without counter rotation or rotation".

Pierre, pulling back the inside foot to initiate is a rotary move. At least that's the only way I can think of it. It involves the foot rotating around the centerline of the body. There is no need for active rotation of the upper body. It was first presented to me as a straight to parallel turn for begginers by a d-teamer. I use it frequently. Now I separate this from the action of progressively pulling back the inside foot after the turn has been initiated. Though you can easily have a progression that moves from the intial skiddy turn into a more advanced turn integrating this movement of the inside foot coupling it with tipping and flexing. Same move for the most part, but simply blended differently. I don't view either as correct or incorrect, they only need to be appropriate to the skier, the terrain, and the outcome desired.

Now tell me how you can "steer" to a "countered position" without "counter rotation" or "rotation"? [img]tongue.gif[/img] To me steering simply means we have full control over our rotary movements. Countering to me means we have one action balancing another, and as you pointed out rotation is only good when we have control over it, and it's appropriate.

I like your bulldozer turn analogy. It puts a good picture in my head. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #22 of 26
Quote:
1) a good pole plant. Miss the pole plant. Miss the next turn.

2)Look ahead. Get the information in the computer earlier and it becomes less of a pure reflex game and more a game of seeking the line of least resistance. Trust yourself to look 2-3 turns ahead. Learn to see turn shapes not just bumps.
This is not bad advice for intermediate/advanced zipperline bump skiing but watch out. Depending on pole plants means you will miss one (pole will skip off) and you will crash. Try practicing in easy bumps without poles.

The farther you look ahead in bumps the faster you will go. If that is your goal, look farther ahead. If your goal is to go slower, look one bump at a time.

Learning to see turn shapes instead of bumps is exactly what you want to do. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

[ February 23, 2003, 06:37 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
I started this topic several days ago, because the bumps I skied last Monday were not worthy of the silver pin I was wearing, especially after having undergone an intense two day bump coaching clinic the previouw week with Mr. Barnes. I couldn't figure out what was went wrong. : The bumps I skied yesterday were probably some of the best that I ever skiied. Here is where I feel the change occurred. Last Monday, I tried to show my ski school director and several other full certs, what I had learned. Instead of trying to "show" them, I should have concentrated on the task at hand, and that was to ski the bumps. I talked to Bob briefly afterwards and told him that after the first bad turn, that I was trying to analyze what I did wrong and what to do. He said "Oh no, don't do that." Error number 2-I started to over-analyze what I was doing. Due to my new skis (168 Volkl Supersports) new footbeds and boot canting, I felt like I was learning to ski all over again. I am still learning what these wonderful skis are capable of doing on the snow. So I went BACK TO BASICS. I worked with a full cert. candidate where we did reciprocal teaching, and worked on some basic movement patterns, wedge christies, linked railroad tracks, pivot slips on beginner to intermediate terrain. Because I rely heavily on kinesthetic learning, I have to really feel what I am trying to learn or change. So as I was doing these movements, I really concentrated on the feel of the ankle opening and closing and the feel of flexing and extending, and the internal feel of turning both feet at the same time, and what it felt to keep both hands in front, and the feel of moving with the ski and keeping my focus down the hill. After practicing on the groomed terrain, I then went into uneven terrain, followed by small bumps and then on to some intermediate and advanced bumps. At one point, my partner said I was starting my extension into the trough too soon, near the top of the bump, right where I should have been absorbing the last part of the bump. At 2:30 my bump run of the day was the best I have done. My mojo was working again, so we quit and went in for a beer. Skiing is supposed to be fun. Be patient. If something doesn't work out, go back to some of the basic movement patterns. If you are persistent and patience, you will improve, it will come back. Thanks for all of your advice. With persistence and patience, I will obtain my full certification some day. I look forward to more discussions with you in the future.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by jimbo:
Instead of trying to "show" them, I should have concentrated on the task at hand, and that was to ski the bumps.
I think that is what the 'one GOOD turn' concept does for my friend - she says she is so busy thinking about just ONE good turn then all her worries dissappear & she is FINE after that first turn if it is a good one...
post #25 of 26
Pierre said:
Quote:
The bulldozer turn gives big improvements in line control and speed control,...
Pierre, I'm trying to understand how the speed is controlled. The line seems to be pretty much the (wide) zipper line. I don't understand why you don't accelerate wildly until you blow up. :
post #26 of 26
Pierre, I tried it this weekend. Took some getting used to, but it felt great! I am not a convert yet, but it certainly is now in my bag of tricks.
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