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Getting pushed back when skiing fast/aggressively

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I used to ski about 20 days a year for 10 years then stopped completely for about 8 years and now I just started again. I'm skiing on shaped skis for the first time and have done about 10 days now. I picked up carving fairly quickly and I think I'm decent at it.

I've noticed something that happens when I ski fast and doing quick aggressive turns that I'm not sure is supposed to happen if you're doing it properly. I find that I get pushed back so that I'm almost sitting back or at least leaning back a lot but I'm still in full control and can stop/turn whenever I want.

I'm self taught and have never taken a ski lesson but I keep reading that you're supposed to be leaning forward which seems nearly impossible because the forces are pushing me back at this speed.

I'm having a ton of fun and still feel like I'm in complete control so I'm not too worried about it but is this ok or should I be looking to do something differently?
post #2 of 23
Your center of mass at any given time depends on alot of factors including: ski boots, length of skis, pitch of slope, comfort level, snow conditions.  It could be that you are standing more upright because of all of these factors but there are some good reasons to crouch including steeper slopes and/or turning, or bumps.

I see many people skiing in a relaxed upright position.  But if you want to fully engage your skis I would think that position limits you.  I could be wrong.
post #3 of 23
Hi Jave and welcome back to skiing!

I too have a back seat problem when the stress level goes up.
For me, it is simply speed.

There are two exercises that were suggested to me for this:

Skiing on one ski, alternating between the outer and inner ski.

Concentrating on hip angulation.

Skiing on one ski really helps you visualize and feel where
the center of pressure on the skis are. This will help you
understand that you relenquish a LOT of control when leaning
back and you will soon actually feel on sense of comfort from
proper stance and the nimbleness that comes with it!
You can also keep your arms forward, ready to plant, if needed.

Angulation: If you carve at the knee, it works great but it is not
a strong stance and will tire out your quads fast. When carving,
use your hip to give angle to your carv, keeping your outside knee
only slightly bent. This will give you a strong stance, you will tire
less and keep your stance strong all through your sky day.

Leg tiredness also cause me to backseat and widen my stance.

Hope this helps as it has me!

Regards.

Pierre
post #4 of 23
I've had that happen when playing around with different gear set ups.  One thing that pushes me backseat for sure is trying to ski with new poles that are a tad too long.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jave View Post

I've noticed something that happens when I ski fast and doing quick aggressive turns that I'm not sure is supposed to happen if you're doing it properly. I find that I get pushed back so that I'm almost sitting back or at least leaning back a lot but I'm still in full control and can stop/turn whenever I want.

 

IF you are in full control you should feel that the skis are following your body down the hill, not the other way around. There's plenty that could be causing this but the best place to start is to take a look at your stance. Are your ankles & knees flexed? Feet hip width apart and hips and shoulders stacked above your heels?
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post




IF you are in full control you should feel that the skis are following your body down the hill
Very true!
post #7 of 23
You might also have too much ramp angle in your boot and/or binding.  This will often cause skiers to lean back when the run gets steeper or the load on the skis increases through the turn.

I do two things to solve this.  Looking at bindings first, I either use Atomics (on my Atomic skis) which are a flat binding (toe and heel are set up to be the same distance above the ski), or I get my toe pieces shimmed to raise the toe if I'm not using Atomics (this is what I do with my Fischers).  It's amazing how jacked up the heels are on some bindings, and this can cause the skier to pitch forward which they unknowingly counteract by moving their hips backwards.

The other thing I do is to have a lifter added under the toe of my ski boot.  This has the effect of moving the hips forward.  The combination of flat binding and lifter under the toe of the boot produces a very balanced stance through the turn.  Most world cup setups are done this way, but in the retail market you see crazy ramp angles produced by boots and bindings that create stance and balance problems.  I was setting up a new pair of boots and skis about a month ago and found that I was on my heels too much towards the end of my turns.  Once I reduced the ramp angle by raising the toe, the problem vanished.

Edit:  I was just watching the slalom portion of the Olympic Woman's Super Combined and got a look at Lindsey Vonn's skis.  It appeared as though her bindings were shimmed to raise her boot toe higher than her heel, just as I described above.
Edited by exracer - 2/18/10 at 1:28pm
post #8 of 23
Can you see your hands while skiing?  For most of us the weight will follow the hands.  Hands forward weight forward, hands back weight back.  Inside or uphill hand goes back you hug the hill or increase weight on the uphill ski.  

If you have your upper body facing down the hill and both your hands within your field of vision, while skiing aggressively, your weight is probably where it should be. 

A qualifier here, nothing is for sure all of the time in this sport, but this is a pretty good rule of thumb.
post #9 of 23
Are you "generally" too far back, or do you feel like you are being pushed back at the end of or second half of your turns?
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Are you "generally" too far back, or do you feel like you are being pushed back at the end of or second half of your turns?
 

I think this describes it best. I don't feel too far back most of the time, just at the end of each turn. Is this normal?
post #11 of 23
It sounds like what is happening is your skis are accelerating out of the turn and leaving you behind.  The skis are working properly; you have to be prepared for them to accelerate and do what it takes to stay slightly ahead of them.  How to do that has been explained many different ways to many different people, recentering between turns, pulling the skis back, flex the ankles more, but the bottom line is stay on top of it and let the skis accelerate you forward, instead of falling off the back of 'em.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post

The other thing I do is to have a lifter added under the toe of my ski boot.  This has the effect of moving the hips forward. 
 

This seems counter intuitive- lifting the toes moves the hips forward?

Len
post #13 of 23
 It's norma if you're pressuring right to the last part of the turn -  As the turn completes, do as ghost suggest, reset and on the transition to the other side, move your hips forward (as if you were sliding your feet back behind your hips); As the pitch gets steeper, it feels like diving down the hill with your hips (moving forward toward the front of your binding instead of just laterally). I'm no ski  instructor - does this make sense?
Edited by csr_jr - 2/19/10 at 6:21pm
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenkearney View Post

This seems counter intuitive- lifting the toes moves the hips forward?

Len
 

When the toes are raised up, you intuitively move forward for balance reducing the tendancy to sit back.  When your heals are raised relative to the toes, tipping you forward, the tendancy is to lean backwards for balance, especially when the slope gets steeper.

The other thing that may help is altering the position of the binding.

Here are a couple of excellent articles written by a top bootfitter about ramp angle and binding position and how they impact balance and ski performance.

Lastly, I knew I had seen some photos in a thread that illustrated this phenomenon, but only just found them again after much searching.  The following thread was discussing the issue of reducing ramp angle by raising the toes, and post #11 illustrates what happens with photos. http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/90175/ramp-angle-and-fore-aft-position

EDIT:  I wanted to clarify what I meant by raising the toes, since it appears in SoftSnowGuy's comment below that he thought I meant to try lifting your toes inside the boots while skiing.  What I meant by 'raising or lifting the toes' was the raising of the binding toe piece through the use of shims, to reduce or eliminate the excessive ramp angle of most bindings that causes skiers to sit back to counter the forward pitch the binding creates, not to try to raise your toes inside the boot.  This can be done on its own or in combination with a lifter attached to the sole of the boot toe.  If you don't have adjustable toe height on your bindings, application of lifters to your boot soles will require the top of the boot toe binding interface to be professionally shaved down to get the thickness back to the 2 cm DIN dimension since most bindings today no longer have toe height adjustments.  Tipping the boot toe up through binding shims or boot risers will create better balance, better stacking and alignment, and a more relaxed skiing position.  I use Atomic 1018 bindings on my race boards, and the things I like about that binding are that it's a flat binding (no built in ramp angle) and it has toe height adjustment which allows easy experimentation with different lifter thicknesses under the sole of the boot toe without having to shave the boot.  Once I'm dialed into the thickness I want, I get the boots shaved down to 2 cm so they are compatible with all bindings.  With any of my other ski/binding combinations, I have all my bindings shimmed to adjust the ramp angles to get the feel I want.
Edited by exracer - 2/22/10 at 8:17am
post #15 of 23
Lifting the toes tenses the feet and takes them out of effective use for making small adjustments.  Lifting the instep may work better to help hold the skier in a forward position.  There aren't enough muscles here to pull the backseat skier forward.

Jave, try these two movements--
--Every turn when your skis are light in the turn transition pull both feet strongly back behind you.  The steep the hill, the stronger you need to pull back.

--During every turn, the whole way through, strongly pull your inside foot back (right foot on a right turn, etc.).  Try to make the tips of your skis even.  It can't be done, but try.  The faster you ski, or the steeper the hill, or the harder the snow, the stronger you need to pull back.  This will keep you centered.

Our goal is to keep our center of balance, somewhere in the abdomen, balanced over the toes of our outside foot (left foot on a right turn, etc.).  It is very good to have the weight over the tips of the skis in the beginning of the turn and centered over the foot at the end of the turn, then get the feet behind us as the next turn begins.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

--During every turn, the whole way through, strongly pull your inside foot back (right foot on a right turn, etc.).  Try to make the tips of your skis even.  It can't be done, but try.

Yes it can. I skied with a  guy last week who is an advocate of a system but does not fully understand it who has been pulling back so hard that he had reverse tip lead. Try and imagine what that does for your skiing.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
I think I figured out my problem or at least reduced it a lot. I don't think my hands were far enough in front even though I thought they were. After moving my hands more forward it's gotten significantly easier and this barely happens anymore. I'll practice pulling my feet back as well.
post #18 of 23
Hey nice work, Jave. Glad you found a solution to your challenge without having to hire a bootfitter and move your bindings and changing you ramp angles and lifting you toes, although that probably would have worked too  .
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice!
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

Yes it can. I skied with a  guy last week who is an advocate of a system but does not fully understand it who has been pulling back so hard that he had reverse tip lead. Try and imagine what that does for your skiing.
OK - why is this better than pushing the inside ski ahead? I've been trying to do that some as that what the racers appear to do.
p_12d-Ga.png
vonn534.jpg

Just trying to learn some more... And this isn't the best picture to demonstrate what I'm talking about...but it's one I found fast when I Googled Lindsey.
post #21 of 23

When you carve you bend your ski, and it's your forward pressure as well as the centripetal force that puts that bend into the ski.  It's like a big spring, and when skiing fast or aggressively you can put some extra snap into your turn that really bends that ski.  When the pressure comes off it unbends and if you are still locked up from applying pressure it pushes you into the back seat.  At least this is how it feels to me.  That tip lead trick can really help put forward pressure back onto the inside ski, which is important because at the end of your turn that ski is where your weight is going to transition to the next turn.  Plus it helps you put even pressure on your skis instead of all on the outside ski.  When I see footage from my races my inside foot is still forward, but focusing on pulling it back does feel more stable and powerful to me.

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by RossiGuy View Post



OK - why is this better than pushing the inside ski ahead? I've been trying to do that some as that what the racers appear to do.
 


It isn't better. It's worse. Just saying that you can overdo it.

 

post #23 of 23


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jave View Post

I used to ski about 20 days a year for 10 years then stopped completely for about 8 years and now I just started again. I'm skiing on shaped skis for the first time and have done about 10 days now. I picked up carving fairly quickly and I think I'm decent at it.

I've noticed something that happens when I ski fast and doing quick aggressive turns that I'm not sure is supposed to happen if you're doing it properly. I find that I get pushed back so that I'm almost sitting back or at least leaning back a lot but I'm still in full control and can stop/turn whenever I want.

I'm self taught and have never taken a ski lesson but I keep reading that you're supposed to be leaning forward which seems nearly impossible because the forces are pushing me back at this speed.

I'm having a ton of fun and still feel like I'm in complete control so I'm not too worried about it but is this ok or should I be looking to do something differently?


Just a comment about balance. A mechanism for turning a straight ski is the pivot. We would feel pressure rise release it and turn . When we ski on shaped ski we use other mechanisms to turn that could , at times, include a pivot of some sort among so many other options available.

The use of that sense of pressure onto the modern ski will ,very possibly ,cause you to finish your turns with your feet in front of you as you will try to deal with the pressure  late and the familiar pivot causing you to become very much aft in your finish.  On a modern ski we will pressure the ski much earlier to engage sidecut, bend the ski and/or guide the skis to a turn shape we choose and then finish the turn with our feet underneath us by moving the feet back by manipulating our ankles in concert with our knees, hips and spine to find ourselves in a much more centered balance at our finish to enable a smoother transition to edge change and the birth of a new turn.

A static way to explore fore , aft and center  on flat ground  is to first start with a athletic stance  and flex your ankles,hips, knees and spine to feel your hips moving vertically  to the middle of your feet .  Close your eyes while standing and move aft and feel what your body does in reacting to the feel of being on your heels. Then do the same feeling your self fore  on the balls of your feet while focusing on what your muscles are doing to help you balance in an unbalanced state. Now with eyes still closed feel the heel and the balls (front) of your foot at the same time and flex yourself into that feeling of center.  Rise and sink to explore these states of balance.  You should now have an idea of what each feels like while not moving.

On skis make several turns while considering these balance states and what you feel in ski snow interaction and muscular actions to keep you upright. Do a series of aft turns, fore turns and centered turns and consider the differences. It is important to create awareness of these different balance states and how to use them to your advantage to get the most out of yourself and your equipment.

 

There are some great educational materials available to you to explore these concepts at your own pace with great guided discoveries. PM me and I will refer you to them for you to explore.

 

Good luck and good skiing to you

 

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