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Ski lesson before / after video - MA please

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I'm 30 years old and I've been skiing since I could walk, but last weekend I took my first ever ski lesson. My instructor was a PSIA Level 3 and I had a fantastic time. Below is the video she took of me before our lesson, and the video she shot of me after the lesson.

During the lesson we focused primarily on two things: 1) Reducing my vertical up/down motion in favor of more fore motion while extending, and 2) moving my hips forward. We did a variety of drills to re-enforce these concepts.

Anyways, here's the video:

Note about the before footage: In the first part, I'm intentionally skidding my turns to scrub speed. My instructor asked me to do this to help keep my speed down so she could get me on camera.

What I see in the before footage: Too much up/down motion. Not fluid in my turns in favor of getting "stuck" in one stance. Not enough counter-rotation as I allow my shoulders and hips to come around, especially when turning right.

What I see in the after footage: Better at keeping my zipper down the fall line. I'm focusing on moving my inside hip forward and I believe this is helping my counter-rotation. Less up and down motion, but still too much. Still not extending fore. Stance could be wider.

I'd be interested to hear your comments.

post #2 of 8
Your stance is fine. Why do you think changing it will help your skiing?

Looking for a huge change in the timing of flex/extend motions after one day of lessons is a tall order. It's a difficult habitual movement pattern to rewire. I think the instructor is pointing you in the right direction, but unfortunately, if you are like most people its going to take you some more serious dedication to performing the drills to really make a dent.

What drills were suggested to work on this? 
post #3 of 8
Stance width is fine.  A few years ago PSIA was hammering on wide stances.  For some totally unknown reason they wanted the feet as wide as the shoulders...no biomechanical relationship, but that's all they could talk about.  If the feet are under the femur heads, the legs parallel, and distance between the legs constant, and the feet moving independently, your stance is great.  (A narrower stance is needed for an unaligned knock kneed skier, and a wider stance is needed for an unaligned bow legged skier.)

After flexing to absorb the forces at the end of the turn, think of extending forward diagonally across your skis into the new turn.  Think of a gate you pass through between your ski tip and your outside hand.  You may flex down less.  The forward diagonal movement is mainly an artifact of switching your weight to your old inside ski (new outside ski) earlier in the turn, not getting back on the skis (actually pull your feet strongly back when the skis are light in the transition), and not extending upward.  These movements will get you forward and diagonal with ease.  Even better, learn retraction turns where your outside leg remains near-straight and you develop more angle to handle the forces, then just relax it to spring across into the new turn.

Look at how much tip lead you use.  Try this--reduce the tip lead by half.  You will be better balanced fore & aft, and you will have more ability to edge the inside ski.  As you push the inside hip forward for counter, simultaneously pull the inside foot strongly back, all the time, every turn.  You'll like the result. The old myth about the angle across the ankles, knees, hips and shoulders being the same angle needs to have a wooden stake driven through its heart.

Look how you need to swing your pole from behind you to in front of you to plant the pole.  Consider holding the poles more to the side and ready to turn at any moment so you're better prepared for a quick plant-n-turn.  Your inside hand/arm/shoulder/hip can be high and forward, and your outside hand/arm/should/hip low and back with the pole tip downhill from your boot ready to plant.
post #4 of 8
 Just a note to clarify your understanding of "counter rotation".  Skiing into and out of a countered position is quite different than using counter rotation.  Ask your instructor to clarify for you.
post #5 of 8
abickford - great skiing. Especially in the "after" department. Nice and fluid. Your stance is not too narrow. If this is how you ski just out of default then that is what is good for you. Like noted before, psia used to favour a narrow stance but now they favour a wide. You are saying you have too much up and down movement. Why do you want less of it? If you want less then you need to reverse your extention and flexing cycle. Insted of extending into the transition flex into it. Insted of flexing into your pressure phase extend into it. This is quite a big change. Its the foundation to the modern short SL turn. Also called retraction turns.
post #6 of 8

The middle of your turns are more carved in the after clip. These should feel smoother and more in control. That's a nice result for one days work.

I like Sharp's catch on your tip lead. I like to see a parallel relationship between a line drawn between the shoulders and a line drawn between the ski tips. Reducing tip lead will get these lines more in parallel. However, I'd like you to zipper this problem instead. I hope we're talking about jacket zipper. For these size turns, you don't want the jacket zipper facing straight down the fall line all the time. What you want is to have the jacket zipper faced most to the sides of the trail at the end of the turns, but less than the skis are facing the sides of the trail. You get into this position by having the hips and shoulders turn less than the skis. This is called skiing into counter (vs counter rotation which is turning body parts in opposite directions). By getting your upper body (hips and shoulders) turned more downhill (but not all the way) at the end of the turns, you'll get the ski tip and shoulder lines more in parallel. You'll also be in position to get a more forward component to your move to the inside of the new turn by collapsing your new inside leg. This move will stop the up and down motion and stop you from sliding your feet together as your starting your new turn. 

Sharp's advice to extend into the new turn on the new outside ski will also work. When I ski I try to extend the new outside ankle and leg and collapse the inside ankle and leg simultaneously. It's hard to learn both moves at once. I think a focus on the new inside leg first will be most helpful for you. That's what I would do for your next lesson.
post #7 of 8
 stance width is fine. Contrived wide stances never worked and from every examiner I have talked to is no longer being pushed. any stance that allows independent leg movement is a good stance.

you stay over your skis well and you flexing and extending is alot but not really to much. You dont have to ski like a robot to ski well. If you wanted to try something else learn to actively retract in the transition and float while being balanced AFT in the transition. You have to have great dynamic balance to not end up aft while the skis are being weighted. Neither transitions are right or wrong but both have strengths and weaknesses.

One things you could work on quite easily is to keep your hips level especially in your right turns where its obvious your favoring your right foot. Actively pull your inside hips up in each turn. you edge grip will actually increase as well. 

BTW love the hero snow at holimont which is an awesome place to ski.
post #8 of 8
a different thing you might think about is progressively allowing the ski to track flatter at the bottom of the old turn

. in general, to get the ski flat need your hips over it.

this can help avoid an abrupt move that is typically used to 'vault' the hips over the bindings at transition
using the hamstrings to pull the feet back under can also help flatten the ski leading into transition
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