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Video critique - do your worst! - Page 2

post #31 of 34

Here is a jumble of things that have went through my mind as I have watched your vids. These are more or less in the order they occurred to me.

First thing that I watched was the groomer shot. Here is someone who skis by moving their body from one turning position to another then posing until it is time to turn the other direction. The park and ride is very evident in the longer turns and a tendency to break with the tail of the right ski is evident in the shorter turns. The initiation is an up and across move with the center of mass, resulting in a rather pronounced float period between the working parts of the turn.

In the chutes the movement pattern was the same but the park and ride part of the turn was disguised by the shorter turns and by the irregular surface of the snow. It is also evident that the two turns are very different. The left turn is used for speed control in a breaking (skidding) move. In the right turn the left ski is ridden in a passive manner. The skier is still skiing with their body but doing a superb job of it.

Steeps, Different terrain but the same movement pattern is used effectively here. Note how the head and shoulders lead strongly into the turns to create rotary force to bring the legs feet and skis around quickly. Throughout all the vids so far the inaction of the lower body has sort of stuck out to me.

Bumps, the pattern here is the same with the addition that the ‘extreme’ terrain that any bumps are have forced you to begin to use your feet and legs more here. Your best skiing is here and in the chutes vid.

Its interesting to note that on each run your best turns happen at the end of the clip.

You ski with your body and do it very well. This use of the body’s mass to manipulate the skis and to move you around the slope is what i see in a lot of self taught or terrain taught skiers. You are at the point where many skiers of this type feel that the growth of their skills has stagnated. They remember the quick then constant progression they made the first few years and feel that little has changed lately. In your case what I think has happened is this. You have taken using your body about as far as you can without adding the other half of the skiing equation, learning to manipulate the skis with the feet and legs and using this to move the body where you want it to go. Learning the use of the feet and legs is much subtler and less intuitive than learning to use the body so just letting the “body genius” figure it out tends to be a long process.

I would suggest that you spend the early season learning to tip and point your feet to ride and guide the skis and get a taste of how the ski feels when used in this manner rather than as a breaking device. Learn to feel that you are moving forward through the turn and that the skis are also moving more forward than sideways. Even as things get steeper and snow looser keep striving for the feeling of your skis moving more forward than sideways.

Sorry for taking so long to post this. I have some more notes but they’ll have to wait for another post,

post #32 of 34
elouns, what Ott said about your hands with pole plants and the hands look a bit low on the groomed run. What I really like is how relaxed you look on the steep run. I think it looks better than the groomed run which is the opposite of most people. Thanks for showing the video, says a lot about you. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #33 of 34
Long response - but I'm bored.

Looks good. You seem balanced and comfortable. My comments have to do with being dynamic on the skis. No matter which video I watched, it appeared that you reach a somewhat static position on the skis. In the groomer video, this is apparent during transitions and in the belly of the turn. In the steeps and chutes video it shows up as a jarring action that hits you as you move over a bump. I think this was mentioned as "absorbing the bumps with the upper body" or something like that.

Here is my advice. You seem to be at the level where this might make sense. The skis carve based on pressure being applied toward the tips. When the tips engage, the ski begins to carve. The more forward pressure, the quicker the ski comes around. Too much forward pressure and the tips come around too fast and the tails wash-out. It's always about balance, isn't it? This principle holds true in the bumps, freesking, racing, and on the steeps. You'll hear mogul skiers talk about pressing the tips down the backside of the bump.

In the old days, to carve a turn you had to do a bunch a stuff. Here is what I was taught back in the day on 210cm skis. It was a three stage turn - tips, mid, tail. 1) aggressively load the tip of the outside ski, 2) drive hard into the turn with a strong outside hand drive along the outside ski toward the tip. 3)at the apex of the turn, begin to center the your weight toward the mid-ball of the foot. 4)continue to drive outside hand hard, but begin an equally hard drive of the inside hand forward. 5) towards the end of the turn, weight moves toward the mid foot to load the center-tail of the ski. 6) drive both hands forward 7) extend off the loaded down hill ski to drive you forward (usually accompanied by a powerful rebound from the ski 8) roll the new down hill ski on edge, drive the new outside hand down the length of that ski, repeat, repeat and hope you don't get behind. Because I learned to carve like that, one of the things I learned to keep my weight forward is the heal lift to the butt. More on that in a minute.

With the shorter, easier to carve skis of this century, You can get the same effect by simply rolling both knees and going for a ride. Be thankful you don't have to learn to carve like the old days.

In my opinion, what gets lost today, is using the snow, terrain, skis, and hands to ski dynamically. Some some of the old principles still apply. You can see them in action in the still photo on the Epic home page - a strong downhill hand drive.

Back to your video. In turns 7, 8, 9 of the Chute video I think the opporunity to use the terrain more dynamically is most apparent. Youre very smooth, but yet you kind of thump over a few bumps. Also, the turns seem to be initiated by a short lift of the shoulders and then a pivot of the feet.

Here's something to try. Turns 5 through 9 on the chute video as reference. Coming out of turn five, lift your heals toward your butt and drive your tips up and over the bump into turn 6. I'm not suggesting sitting back. Quite the contrary. When you lift your heals, you must drive the knees forward. While sitting in your chair right now, lift your heals up toward your butt and you'll see what I mean. If you are seated in a rocking office chair, you will automatically rock forward. You have to contract the hamstrings back, which drives the knees forward.

As you extend into the trough of turn 6, the pressure on the tips will have the skis turning for you without the need to pivot. Just a slight roll of the knees will do it. The compression in the trough will load the skis with reverse camber - like a bow. A slight extension of the knees will "pop" you into turn 7. Repeat - lift the heals, roll the knees (as you do) and pressure the tips into turn 7. The bump between 7 and 8 is a larger one with a bigger drop. But again, the ski will load and a slight unweighting will pop you over the crest of the bump. Again press the tips forward. I like to roll my toes under and in the direction I want to turn. Works for me. Between turns 7 and 8 instead of plopping over the bump, your skis will carve over the backside and load for turn 9.

To do this without getting your weight back requires that you keep up with your upper body. Your hands must be aggressively driving down the hill. Through each turn the outside hand guides the position of the upper body. If the outside hand is back, your weight is back. If the outside hand crosses your body center, your upper body is pivoting too much. Therefore, think of the outside edge of your down hill ski as a guide. Your hand travels along that guide, not across it and never behind the toe piece. The inside hand must stay forward of your uphill ski's toe piece as well so you are not pivoting.

It's a lot to think about. But once you do it once or twice it sort-of a "wow, that's all it is" type of feeling.

The photos of John Dadak http://www.epicski.com/Content/Photo...agallery10.htm and Aaron McGovern http://www.epicski.com/Content/Photo...hagallery6.htm in the Brian Bloom gallery are two good examples of what I mean by dynamically using the mountain. Note the position of the outside/downhill hands. By using this hand drive, if you get a little out of shape through a turn, you can quickly recover going into the next turn by just initiating a strong hand drive with the new outside hand.

Another, more extreme example is Hermann Maier's montage by Bob Barnes. http://www.epicski.com/Content/General/BBarnes/Race.htm You can really see what I mean by driving the hands - bear in mind though, that he is racing and in a more extreme position than is practical for just cruising the mountain. It still is a good example.

I see skiing as a dynamic dance with the mountain. The faster and more fluid you seek to be, the more dynamic you must be with the hands, feet, and knees.

[ October 26, 2002, 01:07 AM: Message edited by: Bullet ]
post #34 of 34
Some great skiing overall. I think that in your groomed runs you should work on being more "dynamic" with your lower leg. Keep driving your ankles and knees inside the turn to increase edge angle. This will keep the ski working underneath you and result in a stronger, more balanced position at the end of the turn, making the transition phase easier. (This is opposed to banking and riding the edge of the ski) Also watch that you start moving inside the turn from the ground up. On one side you teend to drop the hip first which blocks the lower leg.

The bumps and the chute I though were your best turns. Your balance in bumps and varing snow is quite good. The thing I would work on is extending your legs (and ankle) down the backside of the bump. This will result in better ski-snow contact and a carved finish to the turn instead of a braking action. This will help you in varying snow as well.

I agree that your poles do look a little long, and I also agree about the "fist" pole plant. Try and keep your elbows a little closer to your body with the hands wide. this will improve the lateral balance.

Cheers and good skiing, Meesh
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