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Video Analysis Request

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Firstly I'd like to thank you all for the free coaching advice you give out on here... I stumbled across this forum at some point last year and I was really impressed with the effort you put in so cheers.

A quick bit about me and my experience... I was the typical English holiday skier, so that's 6 days a year skiing, from the age 6, for about 15 years,  until I moved to Switzerland for work a few years ago. Now for the past two seasons I've probably skied 30 days a season. Other than the usual starter lessons at the age of 6 and 7, I'm pretty much self/parent taught....

The below clip was taken on a fairly non-uniform mogul field, which for me it was fairly hard to find a smooth line through the troughs. I feel very comfortable skiing this sort of stuff, but as you can see it looks fairly scrappy.... What would be great is any advice on posture and technique and any drills you think would be useful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoe_-XzDnSk

Again thanks for you efforts,

Stephen
post #2 of 24
Screamer, I like the technique you are working on.  You are skiing the moguls and using round turns to navigate them, providing speed control.  In that short video clip, I didn't see you pivot your skis and skid/slam into a mogul for speed control, good job.  You are attempting to hold the technical line, stick with the effort, you are doing great.

To improve, you really need to get quicker and work on your QCT's on the groomed, making them tighter, more powerful/cleaner.  This involves everything from refining your pole plant to pressuring your shovel edges to initiate the next turn and everything in between.  2 drills would be the "turn/turn/sting/sting/sting", where you for 3 quick turns at the sting/sting/sting and regroup/rest during the turn/turn.  You can also do this drill using tdk6's "dwarf drill"  holding your poles 1' or more down from the grip while making short turns, this gets the legs/skis moving laterally.

Here's my QCT, it's solid, tight and round.  Completing or finishing your turn is very important when skiing over the tops as the brushing/edge set at the end of the turn is where most of the speed control is realized.

I'm sure you've read this thread,  Bumps and Line Selection... ,  if you haven't, read it.  There is a lot of info to be gleaned there.



post #3 of 24
Stephen, nice skiing and nice conditions. Good filming as well. Its very hard to give proper feedback on such a short clip in conditions I do not really know much about. Dont worry about the scrappy looks, we all look that way for real. Most of us anyway. And its not entirely scarppy. I think that what is holding you back has more to do with overall strategy and line selection than with acutal bump skiing technique. In a way bump skiing is 90% line selection. The biggest mistace I see novices do in bumps is that they dont see a peace of slope before them loaded with help and options. The moguls are not your enemy, they are your friend. People freeze up and when they finally ski down they are eather affraid of the bumps or they think that they have to kill the bumps. My approach is simply to always turn using a bump and scrap the thaught that you should be clocking turns at a consitant 120bpm steady rhythm. Scrap the thaught of skiing the zipper line and scrap the thaught of being fast. Try to ski one bump at a time and aim for the fluffy snow that sits on the front side of the bump as you head towards it. A good way of thinking is to ski perpendicular to all the tracks you see in bumps.

Looking back at your clip I see a lot of good stuff. In the second half of the clip you pick up a good rhythm and you are moving forward closer to the fall line and skipping less bumps than in the top part of the run. The top part BTW was pritty horrible to be honest but valuable because its very reveling of how you ski. You are a typical up-unweight guy. In the bumps it stands out because you extend in the wrong places. At the end of the transition. This is usually where you hit a bump and you get thrown in the air. You are also rushing your turns and you are banking and rotating your hips. Lots of bad stuff. What I would like you to do is to stay closer to the fall line longer. And then try to use the impact when you hit a bump perpendicular to the rutt to slow you down. This way you will make more fall line progression and you will be able to time your turns to the bumps. Remember, always use a bump to turn. Your skiing will change from rushed panic turns scrubbing the snow off the back side of the bumps banked and in the back seat slamming the rutt and way too fast into relaxed J-turns with some spectacular snow explosions and a big smile on your face.

I would have liked you to make that last turn over that mogul left at the very end. Good skiing though. You have good range in your flexing and extending movements and you clearly go for it.

My single most important advice would be not to rush your turns. Do not point your skis across the hill. Point them down the fall line. Keep them there. Let them turn and do the work for you. Use your legs for extending and flexing insted of turing the skis. Wind up and unwind.

tdk6
post #4 of 24
Quote:
tdk6 wrote:

I would have liked you to make that last turn over that mogul left at the very end. Good skiing though. You have good range in your flexing and extending movements and you clearly go for it.

Agreed, I was hoping the same to see the next 2 or 3 turns onto the cat track.  It just goes to show how important the pole plant is, if Screamer would have made that left pole plant, he probably would have continued the line.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nailbender View Post
Agreed, I was hoping the same to see the next 2 or 3 turns onto the cat track.  It just goes to show how important the pole plant is, if Screamer would have made that left pole plant, he probably would have continued the line.
 

Exaclty. Thats why its important to not rush the turn and in a relaxed manner point the ski tips in the fall line and let the skis turn round hit the mogul front skide tips first and as the knees are pushed up and you compress you plant your pole. Its the pressure build up, flexing of legs and pole plant that should be timed correctly. The whole ide is to let the mogul do your work for you. You simply use "jerk" and dampen the ground pushing back at you. And convert that energy to initiate the next turn. If you brake your flush you will lose the "free of charge" momentum every mogul provides you with. From windsurfing I learned that you should jump from the bottom of the wave and not from the top. Create momentum at the bottom. This is what you do on a trampoline. Short turn skiing is like jumping on a trampoline. Mogul skiing is like jumping on a turbo charged trampoline.
post #6 of 24
Stephen,

You're doing very well overall and especially well relative to your experience level. You show a narrower stance in the bumps and an ability to drive the tips back to the snow after you go over the tops. I also like your ability to turn your feet quickly. Although this uneven mogul run promotes it, the fact that you were able to vary your tactics to facilitate a non-stop run here is impressive.

There are many different ways to ski bumps. Different styles and tactics are just that: different. With that in mind, please take the following comments as opportunities for growth vs being suggestions for fixes.

First off, it looks like you are looking 2 bumps ahead. It's time to start thinking 3-4 bumps. The idea is to see a series of turns that can be made automatically so that you can find problems and plan ahead for them. For example, if there is a tall bump with a long steep rut dropping to the next bump, simply following the rut could lead to collapsing at the waist on impact with the bottom bump (e.g. at 6.8 seconds in your clip). If you can see these kinds of problems 3 bumps ahead of time, you have enough time to choose plan a, plan b, or plans c to deal with it (e.g. shift your line left or right, crank an extra turn in, or jet your skis ahead to extend your skis out to meet the bump early and give you a better angle for absorbing the impact). If you've got a plan for the problem, you can be looking for the next set of 3-4 bumps while you're executing the plan. A drill that makes this easier is to find a zipper line that goes across the hill versus straight down. Here your turns are more like wiggles. From a stop, find a 4+ bump line and focus on the end of the line. Wiggle down the line as fast as possible and bail uphill to a stop where the line closes out. When you've got that down, turn around the problem bump and start linking these wiggle traverses.

In this clip when you get in trouble, you end your turns with your shoulders square to the skis and both looking across the hill (e.g. the left turn at 2.6 seconds). We all need to throw the skis sideways at times. The trick is to keep the upper body pointed in the direction of travel. When you don't do this, the next turn happens slower (e.g. the right turn at 3.6 seconds and the aforementioned right turn that ends at 6.8 seconds) because you have to turn your shoulders first before turning. To get a feel for this burned into memory do pivot slips. Keep your upper body always facing straight down the slope and pivot your skis underneath you so that they are skidding down the hill pointed left then rise up, turn them and skid down the hill with the skis pointed left. (Warning - easier said than done)

Let's talk about left turns now. All of your left turns include an upper body tipping motion down the hill. This is an effective move to get your weight inside of the next turn. But it's not efficient. Your right turns show more of the retraction move that is more efficient. Practice retraction turns on a groomed run. Instead of starting your turn with an up move to unweight the skis, start the turn with the hips sinking down and the legs being sucked up into the body. Finish the initiation with the legs jutting out to put the skis onto their new edge. Eventually we want the hips to stay level, but everyone usually starts this drill with their hips at "normal" height where your skis won't maintain snow contact if you jut your legs out where they need to be. Focus first on your right turns on the groomers. Get the feel of doing it where you don't need to ingrained first. Then the left turns won't feel so awkward.

Finally, let's talk about poles. At the finish of your right pole touch, you let your hand get pulled open or to the side. On your left pole touches, you lift your hand both prior and after the touch. As a goal we want to keep the hands level relative to the angle of the hips. There are bump skiers who can get away with these inefficiencies and do it with style. But in general, we want to flick the pole out with a wrist movement that points the thumb skyward and pull the pole back after the touch with a pinky tug that causes the thumb to point forward. We want the pole touch to provide a point of stability during edge change. If we use it as a lever to pivot the upper body around, our turns are going to go more across the fall line and be slower. This is great as a bail out move, but it disrupts smooth flow down the hill. Once you've got the wrist flick movement down, try stabbing the bumps in a consistent spot. Try making your touches consistently on the face of the bump, the top of the bump and the back of the bumps. See if you can discover which type of turns are made easier by where you pole touch. Then try to make those types of turns consistently through a run. One hallmark of a great bump skier is that they can either ski a consistent style regardless of the bump consistency or they can vary their style to adapt to an inconsistent run. Pole touch technique is one element that enables this.

Stephen, that run looks like great fun. You sure can pick them. Hopefully these tips can help you take your bump skiing to the next level. Don't forget to let us know the results!
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Let's talk about left turns now. All of your left turns include an upper body tipping motion down the hill. This is an effective move to get your weight inside of the next turn. But it's not efficient. Your right turns show more of the retraction move that is more efficient. Practice retraction turns on a groomed run. Instead of starting your turn with an up move to unweight the skis, start the turn with the hips sinking down and the legs being sucked up into the body.  

 This is the number one thing I would focus on.   There are quite a few places, particularly on the skier's left side turns to the right, where Stephen is doing a pronounced up-unweight move.

Down-unweighting, or retraction turns are one of the keys to good mogul skiing.  I would work on that first and foremost.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
  wow... cheers for the quick and detailed responses there... quite a bit to consider...


Sorry but can I check that my understanding is right for some of the terms in here.. never having discussed the technical details of skiing before some of these terms are new to me, but I think I can guess the gist...

Nailbender,   When you talk about QCT's I guess these are quick carving terms... my understanding of this is that out of each turn I should let my core unwind bringing the skis smoothly back to the fall line, without rushing this through, and then once the fall line is passed apply an aggressive front edge to whip the carve round, wind the core up and reduce speed, is this right?

In the drill you mention is "sting" the same as the above describe turn and the normal turn just a relaxed carve through a smooth arc?

tdk6,   I think you’re talking about a different line choice is this right?: Hit the face of the bump and retract, turn on top of the bump then extend down into the trough and repeat, using the retraction to cancel speed and the natural unweighting at the top of the bump to turn? Other than the obvious fun of a new line and smashing through the loose snow is there any advantage to this technique? (not that the fun of it alone isn’t enough ;-) )

Rusty, thanks for the suggestions it all makes sense to me, just a quick question about the pole planting, as to be honest this is a technique I never gave much attention to: should the main movement be from the wrists, with the elbows and hands remaining in a fairly fixed position with hands out in front and knuckles facing forwards?

 

So  the main point is that up-unweighting is maybe not the best technique for bumps and I should start by focusing on retraction turns on the groomers and practising initiating and linking quick carves off the front edge. Then try and move this into the moguls.  Sound about right?

 

Thanks again for the help,

 

Stephen

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by screamer View Post

So  the main point is that up-unweighting is maybe not the best technique for bumps and I should start by focusing on retraction turns on the groomers and practicing initiating and linking quick carves off the front edge. Then try and move this into the moguls.  Sound about right?



That is what I would recommend.

Here is why..

If you think about it, you have to flex to absorb the bump.  Flex a little more and you will unweight in order to initiate your next turn.  If you have to up-unweight, you can't even begin to do it until first you have completely flexed to absorb the bump, finished absorbing it and now finally you can extend up and at the end of that extension you'll finally get your precious unweighting in order to begin to turn.  It causes a huge lag time between when you absorb the bump and when you start the next turn.

Contrast that to retraction unweighting and you are into the new turn almost instantly upon absorbing the bump.

That covers the unweighting, but on top of all that, if you had to extend to unweight, then after unweighting you are also now already extended...which is not good in the bumps because in addition to all of the above, after you absorb the bump and initiate the turn, you also want to be able to extend your legs gradually as you go down the backside (or around) of the bump, reaching down into the trough so to speak in order to maintain contact with the snow, which gives you turning and speed control during that phase.  

You don't extend in order to unweight, you extend in order to maintain some edge pressure.  You should gradually become extended so that you reach full extension more or less about the time you reach the next bump that needs to be absorbed.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by screamer View Post

Rusty, thanks for the suggestions it all makes sense to me, just a quick question about the pole planting, as to be honest this is a technique I never gave much attention to: should the main movement be from the wrists, with the elbows and hands remaining in a fairly fixed position with hands out in front and knuckles facing forwards?
 


 

Stephen,

The main movement should be from the wrists. The more you are moving straight down the fall line, the less the elbows move. When I'm turning out of the fall line doing normal cross over turns, I will straighten my arm out to reach the pole touch down the hill. But I think about the elbow bringing the hip with it. I use forward movement of the hands as a cue for forward mvoement of the upper body relative to the lower body. I don't this for cross under/retraction turns. 

Knuckles are face down until pole swing, then face forward during the swing.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Screamer wrote:


Nailbender,   When you talk about QCT's I guess these are quick carving terms... my understanding of this is that out of each turn I should let my core unwind bringing the skis smoothly back to the fall line, without rushing this through, and then once the fall line is passed apply an aggressive front edge to whip the carve round, wind the core up and reduce speed, is this right?

In the drill you mention is "sting" the same as the above describe turn and the normal turn just a relaxed carve through a smooth arc?

Yes Screamer, I refer to very quick extremely tight radius brushed carved turns as QCT's, quick carved turns.  I'm not sure about the references to winding up the core and unwinding, but it does make some sense to me.   The finish of your turn or the bottom of your turn when the most pressure is applied, simultaneously with the flick/strike of the pole plant is what I refer to as the "sting".  I will also usually at this moment drive the inside edge of my inside ski down and forward  setting the edge firmly.  This helps me focus the timing of the pole plant, down weighting/pressuring the outside ski and edge set of the inside ski.  This marks the end of my turn and releases the rebound energy that will enable me to float through the first half of my turn until my ski's are in the fall line. While I'm floating in the upper half of my turn, I'm actively engaging my shovel edges to initiate the new turn.

I agree with the other posters, retraction is key to getting the tips back in contact with the snow and initiating the next turn.

I know it may sound strange, but I believe the best way for me to help you would be for you to post a video of your QCT's on moderate to steep groomed.  Ski down to the videographer and past him similar to my video.  You have to be able to execute QCT's on the groomed before you can maximize their capabilities in natural terrain. 
post #12 of 24
Hm something does not add up for me here. QCTs use up-unweigthing, but BTS talks about retraction?
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Jamt wrote:

Hm something does not add up for me here. QCTs use up-unweigthing, but BTS talks about retraction?

You lost me on the QCT's use up-unweigthing  part.  There should be no up-unweigthing when making QCT's.
post #14 of 24
Really, maybe I have misinterpreted the english terminology here, but to me up-unweighting is when you exit the turn by pushing just  before the transition. That's what it looks like to me in you video above.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nailbender View Post
You lost me on the QCT's use up-unweigthing  part.  There should be no up-unweigthing when making QCT's.
 

Here is the fuzzy part. In a short turn you need to unweight. Or you can also perform a relese but you need something to relese against (dont know if that is the right word, ground pushing up at you). The thing is that both of these are using momentum from previous turn to fuel the transition and the initiation. Hence the expression "linked" short turns. To spot the movements used observe a skier performing his first turn in a series of linked turns. You will see that the first turn is made differently because there is no momentum from previous turn to make use of. This is a touchy subject but I have reasoned there is only one kind of unweighting and that is up-unweighting. Down-unweighting is the last one third of up-unweighting. And there is a timing difference. Traditional up-unweighting up-move is performed at transition when in what is considered down-unweighing the up-move is performed at apex or slightly after. The rebound is bleeding into the transition. Also called virtual bump in some cases. Actual bumps are used by skilled skiers insted of an active up move.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Jamt wrote:

Really, maybe I have misinterpreted the english terminology here, but to me up-unweighting is when you exit the turn by pushing just  before the transition. That's what it looks like to me in you video above.

The problem is probably my description of up-unweigthing.  I've always thought of it as the process of standing up tall/vertical with the upper body and pulling the feet up towards the body in an almost jumping/hoping motion to unweigth the the skis, simulating rebound energy so the skis can be pivoted into the new turn.
post #17 of 24
Nail, I just watched  your video.  You are pop extending, ie, up-unweighting.  That is exactly the opposite of what Screamer needs to work on to master the bumps.  And frankly it would help you too.

Nail, see if you can make those same short turns without your head bobbing up during transition.  In your bump vid, near the bottom of the first run you can see your body being launched upwards quite a lot.  That is due to not enough absorbing and a very common trait for someone who is stuck with a small bit of up-unweighting in their ski turn.  You are extending too soon.  Your second bump run starts out much better...good retraction turns for the first few, which you identified with red letters in slow mo, however again by the bottom of the run you start to add some pop extensions in there.  

You have the right idea, but you have pop extension habit, and it gets in your way.

The problem with your QCT turn, which to me just look like very well executed short swing turns, is that you do have a small pop extension and up-unweight that you are using.  In the bumps that translates to a time problem.  There is not enough time to both absorb a bump and initiate the next turn.  The extension of your legs needs to happen AFTER crossing the bump and at a slower rate and not for any other reason than to keep your skis on the ground. 

See if you can do these QCT turns without any head bob.  Make your leg extensions later.

 
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Brontoski683 wrote:

See if you can do these QCT turns without any head bob.  Make your leg extensions later.

I'll work on this, I do try to project my chest regardless of what my feet/skis are doing.  I"ll be the first one to admit my overall technique needs to be refined which involves very precise timed movements.  I agree my QCT's are nothing more than quick very tight radius brushed carved turns.  Small changes to any of the timing or pressures applied to the movements can change the fluidity and effectiveness of the turn dramatically.

I'm thinking instead of making my leg extension later, I'm probably extending to much throughout the turn and should be in a more flexed position.  The pop I'm getting towards the bottom of the runs is when I've gained much more speed and the bumps themselves are quite larger, this greatly increases the energy I need to dump/control when I stuff my tips.  I'm probably simply going to fast for my current physical conditioning, once I let the mogul face pop me to much, it makes me slightly late initiating the backside turn which limits it's speed control.  It is a very smooth ride though and I can continue the cadence for quite awhile, hopefully giving me time to regroup.
post #19 of 24
no, you don't want to maintain a flexed position.  Aim for the troughs and extend full into the troughs. 

watch a WC moguler, they will be going back and forth between fully extended and fully crouched.  Rather than skiing down and thinking you will relax to flex to absorb the bumps, turn your brain around and actively extend into the troughs.  Of course you still have to relax to absorb the bumps, or perhaps even actively flex over the crests, but also actively extend into the troughs.  There is much more to say on this, but i don't want to get too distracted by the nuances of that right now.

You are a strong skier and its mostly just a timing issue you are having.  As I said, I believe this is 100% related to the fact that you are used to having a pop extension in your skiing and that conflicts when the bumps get big enough.  You can get away with it in the smaller ones.  In the bigger ones, they get the best of you.

Every time you see your head bob up, that is a pop.  That results in unweighting.  When you can ski down those bumps with your head not going up and down at all, then you have it.  

In order to do that, however, you will need to master a real retraction transition, and you will need to get the timing of your leg extensions into the troughs in between the bumps, which for you needs to be later then you are doing now.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Brontoski683 wrote:

no, you don't want to maintain a flexed position.  Aim for the troughs and extend full into the troughs. 

watch a WC moguler, they will be going back and forth between fully extended and fully crouched.  Rather than skiing down and thinking you will relax to flex to absorb the bumps, turn your brain around and actively extend into the troughs.  Of course you still have to relax to absorb the bumps, or perhaps even actively flex over the crests, but also actively extend into the troughs.  There is much more to say on this, but i don't want to get too distracted by the nuances of that right now.

Bronto, I'm not sure you see the line I am skiing, I am not skiing in the troughs.  I am skiing across the troughs and stuffing my tips into the mogul face.  Much of the pop I'm getting is from climbing the mogul face when I stuff my tips into it squarely. If the mogul face is 18"-24", I need to go up that same distance.  I can absorb some of the terrain change, but not all of it.  I'm skiing the yellow line.  Just wanted to make sure you understand this, I am not skiing like any WC mogul skier or the zipperline.

TheYellowrRedLine.jpg
post #21 of 24
Ok, well good luck with that.  What I am suggesting does not apply only to WC mogul skiing by the way.  If you are intentionally crossing the highest point of the bump then the need to flex AND extend would be even greater.  Why do you want to do that though?  You can go around the side of that high point.  No matter what you do, there is no getting around the need to flex and extend.
post #22 of 24
I'd focus on the lower body here, specifically watching this run focusing on just your legs. Are you happy with the range of flexing you are using?
post #23 of 24
Quote:
bortosk683 wrote:

Ok, well good luck with that.  What I am suggesting does not apply only to WC mogul skiing by the way.  If you are intentionally crossing the highest point of the bump then the need to flex AND extend would be even greater.  Why do you want to do that though?  You can go around the side of that high point.

I ski over the tops because speed control is mostly gained by turning technique as opposed to skiing in the troughs, where it is gained by primarily body absorption and skidding.  This is covered in tdk6's thread.

bumps-and-line-selection-ski-bumps-like-a-pro
Quote:

borntoski683 wrote:

No matter what you do, there is no getting around the need to flex and extend.

I completely agree.  Retraction is so important also in keeping or regaining ski to snow contact.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nailbender View Post



I ski over the tops because speed control is mostly gained by turning technique as opposed to skiing in the troughs, where it is gained by primarily body absorption and skidding.  This is covered in tdk6's thread.
 

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!

It is possible to control speed in the rut line through turning more than through absorption and skidding. Well, at least if we use the QCT definition of carving. The secret is the same reason for turning on the tops: turn where the soft snow is.
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