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Short Radius turns (video analysis)

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
These are short radius turns down a medium steep pitch (lower MacTavish at Sugarbowl), Firm pack snow. The attempt is to keep the turns in a 10-15 ft corridor

Thoughts?

video clip
post #2 of 22
Dchan- Over all some quality turns down a nice pitch. You controled your speed and stayed in the desired radius you stated. Nice job! I know when we have seen your medium turns you are doing a great job incorparating many of the items I will bring up below but in your short turns you need to apply the same elements with greater intensity and faster timing.

As for the things I looked at: Your stance looks centered, speed was a little stop start, stance width seems to open and close slightly, snow spray was down the hill, turn was heavy at the bottom with edge and pressure, tail of the ski swung wider than the tip, upperbody was tight causing some rotation from the whole body followed by blocking at the end. Arms were held close.

Ski with no poles and relax the upperbody. When skiing with poles try holding them another 6 inches away from your torso both forward and sideways.

To help improve your leg steering do some rotary drills like pivot slips in a corridor, focus on the tips coming around not the tails. Do them with a down upweight and an upunweight, try them with little to no unweight. Try skiing with your arms over your head with your elbows up by your ears. This will allow the legs to work more freely. Hop turns, skating turns, woozels.

Focus on the inside leg flexing into the hill, both of your legs tend to flex the same and does not allow the inside ski to climb the hill for turn shape and allow the tail to follow the tip thru out the turn. This will also help the heavy ending of your turn. Try to spray the snow to the side or up the hill NOT down the hill. Do some J turns really working on tipping first and then guiding the ski's up the hill as you continue to flex the inside leg.

Overall a more active inside leg guiding your tipping and turning will aid your short radius turns, Let me know how you make out?
post #3 of 22
I saw the same thing that Todo saw- that brake at the end of each turn. I may be way off base , but here's the same response I gave in another thread, some of which may or may not apply:
__________________________________________________ _______________
"I'm just going to throw in couple things my coach has been working on with me recently.

Keep your bellybutton in front of your boots. This focal point will bring your hips forward and give you a more upright, "stacked" stance.

Hands up, extended in front of your goggles. Look at the backs of your thumbs.

Find a center for your shoulders. Find a plane your body can maintain a distance from the snow while your feet work side to side, bringing the knees up and over in the transition. No up and down movement should be evident.

Keep the skis widely spaced and in contact with the snow. My coach calls this riding the bull. I focus on rolling the inside knee "straight" down into the snow. Pull the outside ski back to straighten the leg.

Done right, the skis almost seem like they're a few feet behind you and the shoulders are on a rail going straight down the hill. More of the edge pressure is up high in the turn, and the skis seem to track naturally across the hill in transitions.

1,000 or so runs later, you get the idea. Sorry if my explanations are a little unclear. My coach usually skis behind me with a headset (I have only headphones) and give instructions. That way I can't whine and we don't have to stop to correct problems. Hope this helps. I'm sure someone here will disagree with the approach as described (I have a couple of Masters coaches that kinda gave me a quizzical look), but it seems to be working for me. Something to play with at least."
__________________________________________________ _______________
Keep your torso moving smoothly down the hill and that braking action will disappear. Start on gentle terrain and make sure you complete your turns even on the less steep stuff. Hope this helps.
post #4 of 22
Good advice from both Alaska and Todo.

Something that helps me is to think of moving the center of mass in the direction of the turn....not against the force of the turn. This helps me moving with the skiis. You will feel differently and there will be less snow flying of off the side of the skiis.

Try the mental game and see how it moves the body with the skiis.
post #5 of 22
Very good demo of shortswing. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #6 of 22
Far be it from me to critque Dchan's skiing, here. For me it would be an honor to ski with him anytime anywhere.

Here is something I discussed on another thread and got in a bit of trouble because I tried to be susinct and therfore didn't explain myself well. I discussedit later in better detail. I hope to do so here without getting my ** in a ringer. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Before I took my level I test my ski school director (a level II) worked with another teacher and me on this item:

While making a turn and trying to control speed it is noticed some 'snow-throw' at the end of each turn. This is evident in verying degrees from one skier to the next. This is a kind of Z turn. The turn is made and at the end of the turn there is a quick edging or breaking move which throws snow and slow one down.

The idea of this exercise is to control the speed throughout the turn rather than just at the end of it.

Now... in explaining our exercise or drill, this is where I get into trouble in describing it. I hope many of you will be able to decipher what I am trying to say. I may blow it, but here goes.

From a stop we start a moderate traverse and make a gentle turn uphill, coming to a stop. Looking at our tracks we often see some 'tossed' snow along our tracks on the downhill side. What we want are two, clean railroad tracks. To accomplish this we do the above but this time we move the hips slightly to the inside ski, and with the downhill hand reach down as if we are reaching for a boot buckle. Now... this is not weighting the uphill ski as much as it sounds like it. Looking back we have two clean railroad tracks.

Now we do this the other direction. Next, at the end of the uphill turn, before we come to a stop, we reach out at an angle and forward, downhill, rolling the skis over and start another traverse doing the above and reapeatting this to link several turns. Now we try it with some normal turns down hill to see if we can control the speed throughout the turn, each turn as we link them together. Result is a controlled speed with each turn without tossing snow at the end of each turn, and quiet skis.

What this accomplishes- The hip shift and hand reaching tilts our shoulders so they are parallel with the hill. This aids angulation and inclination which sets the edges more precisely.
I'm not advocating a hip shift. This merely is a drill which really helps. The body quickly learns to fine tune the turn with inclination of the ankles.

Of course all else applies, pole swing rather than plant, stay forward, getting 'tall' at turn initiation (even pulling skis behind as someone mentioned), midriff flexation through the turn, belly button slightly inside the apex of the turn, hands forward like hugging a bear, look at thumbs, breath (I forget that one sometimes.) etc. This is not unweighting, but rather a roll over to the new edges move.

My ski director saw instant inprovement in my skiing. I'm still working on 'making it my own'(intrinsic, or inate) rather than having to think about it, but it's getting there pretty well. Now and then however I experiment with inclination of the ankles a bit too much and do I get punished! My smooth, gentle turn at whatever speed I'm going ... 1/2 way through the turn out of the turn I come at an incredibly sharp and new angle sending me across the hill at 2 mph! Boy what a wake up call! So I've made more suttle moves rather than "hey let's try this!" attitude. [img]smile.gif[/img]

There maybe other drills or exercises which accomplish the same goal. This one worked well for me. Did I blow it again, or does all this make sense? Bob
post #7 of 22
I can't play this video (damn library computer) but this stuck out:
Quote:
Hands up, extended in front of your goggles. Look at the backs of your thumbs. - AlaskaMike
Maybe you could explain but it seems to me this just promotes the Frankenstein position.
I often hear race coaches throw this out to people with little experience in racing and whom never achieve any sort of high edge angles. It makes no sense at all to me since you really have to be cranking with your body well inside, your skis very edged, and a fair amount of force being produced to have your hands in front of your face. It's really an advanced racing position at the bottom of the turn only. (Unless downhill or SuperG)
The usual upshot I see is that these people drift down the course in a skid looking like Frankenstein on the loose.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the tips, Things to play with.

Something I noticed. If I open up the turn just a little to allow maybe 20ft instead of 10-15, (I think this is still considered a SR turn) It's much easier to do a "carved/rr-ish" turn. Also it's much easier to make the same size turns on a shallow pitch, but on the hill where I was (steep), with the hard pack (speed gets away from me : ) this was the result.

I was watching the demo team tryouts and as I watched them, they are also "throwing snow" down the hill however still doing them much better than myself. Is this a symptom of trying to ski a turn much smaller than the radius of the side cut on the ski?

I'll have to play with it more.

Just a thought, Would these turns pass muster for skiing SR turns at Level 3?
post #9 of 22
dchan,

I have 2 comments:

1) Try to finish the turn more completely. That would also better control speed build up.
2) You could have a little more upper/lower body separation. You torso seems to move too much into the turn.

Anyway, that is the opinion of an amateur. I have seen dchan ski and this video does not give him justice!
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by TomB:

Anyway, that is the opinion of an amateur. I have seen dchan ski and this video does not give him justice!
Tasks and specific demos are always much harder than just free skiing, When the Tasks and demos get to the point they can pass for almost perfect skiing, then it's time to try out for the demo team. Until then, I'll just keep working on it [img]smile.gif[/img]

Thanks for the kind words TomB.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
I often hear race coaches throw this out to people with little experience in racing and whom never achieve any sort of high edge angles. It makes no sense at all to me since you really have to be cranking with your body well inside, your skis very edged, and a fair amount of force being produced to have your hands in front of your face. It's really an advanced racing position at the bottom of the turn only. (Unless downhill or SuperG)
The usual upshot I see is that these people drift down the course in a skid looking like Frankenstein on the loose.[/QB]
Tog-
If the person doesn't drive the hands down the hill at the same time and instead rotates them with the turn, skidding and other bad things can and usually do happen. I'm constantly being pushed to look down the hill, so having my hands extended in front of my goggles doesn't usually cause much rotation. Throwing that in there probably was a bad call in the thread's context. However, "hands up and driving down the hill" is a concept that I think most skiers should pay attention to.

I'm not an instructor. I just play one on the internet...
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by dchan:

it's much easier to make the same size turns on a shallow pitch, but on the hill where I was (steep), with the hard pack (speed gets away from me : ) this was the result.

I was watching the demo team tryouts and as I watched them, they are also "throwing snow" down the hill however still doing them much better than myself. Is this a symptom of trying to ski a turn much smaller than the radius of the side cut on the ski?
dchan

You show a very good and well-developed fundamental skills base. All of the efficient movement patterns are basically there, but some need a bit more development for them to 'pass muster' for level 3 (in my opinion) In the short radius criteria your skis should be "tipped and carving by the time they reach the fall-line." I don't think these turns showed the consistent ability to do this.

In skiing it is best to work/focus on 1 thing at a time. I believe if you focus on the following some other things will fall into place along with the ability to "engage and release your edges with diagonal movements of the ankles, knees and hips." specifically: diagonal movements in your lower leg joints during the upper 1/2 or 1/3 of your turns

slo-o-ow down your extension movements during turn initiation and guide/direct the femurs, or knees (whichever makes more sense to you) instead of extending your leg joints so rapidly, this will allow you to maintain ski/snow contact during the upper 3rd of your turns and put some of the speed control/turn shape there rather than from the fall-line on.

Have someone with a good eye and excellent understanding of skiing ski backwards down your desired slope while watching you ski these turns. Your job will be to make short radius turns without overtaking your coach. Your coach's job will be to verbally coach you to slow your extension movements down so you can develop more turn shape above the fall-line.

Another, more advanced drill.

connect your poles to a buddy's so each set is the same length.

Have your buddy straight run down a gentle slope holding one end of the set while YOU control HIS/HER speed with short radius turns by holding onto the other end of the set.

Criteria:
- consistent speed, no speeding up/slowing down.
- consistent tension on the poles connecting you with
the straight runner.
- the straight runner should not be pulled back and
forth across the hill.

Gradually move it onto slopes of more pitch as you get it.
Have fun!

[ March 17, 2003, 06:28 PM: Message edited by: Roto ]
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks Roto,

I'll try that, Much slower. Maybe I'll get someone to video them this weekend [img]smile.gif[/img]

Quick Question, for the SR turns task/skiing, do the turns need to be this small/short or can they be maybe 12-15 ft radius instead of the 7-10ft rad I was trying to put them in. (assuming the track was 12 ft across that I was skiing in, Half that (radius) would be 6 ft) Also do they need to be as fast as I was skiing them on this hill or can I slow them down? (is speed a requirement of the task/skiing?)

Maybe I'm trying too hard to get them too short and too fast?

The reason I ask this is last week I was asked to teach a bump lesson. My student was comfortable all over the mountain so I took him on a warm up run to see what he was doing. His main issue was that he was not engaging his edges at the top of his turns. so I lead him through several exercises of which were to do what you are telling me I need to work on . I think I did them pretty well as demo's but we were skiing 10-15ft radius turns and "very slowly" as my student described them. The pitch was simular however the snow was softer.
post #14 of 22
Well, the criteria we use in the NW is 1/2 to 3/4 a packer width. that leaves room for some pretty long short radius turns. It looks like you could stretch them just a bit and be o.k. Doing so could help you make the changes you need in your movement pattern, but it alone won't do it.

What is most important are the movement patterns, and I would like to stress that you are making some decent SR turns there with a well developed base of skills. Right on track for where you are.

You also might try some of the following

have some one draw you a 3-1/2 or so ft. wide corridor down the fall-line (with skipoles)

Ski the corridor, keeping your torso/hips inside it while your skis arc out side of it. This can help you with 'directing' yourself in the desired direction with your extension movements instead of making vertical extension movements.

Do the same drill except hold your poles underhanded, slightly above your hips with the poles pointed down the corridor. The poles will describe where your hips are directed. The criteria, body/hips inside, skis arcing outside remain the same. If you get the outcome from the corridor, use just the poles, then go back to skiing maintaining the movement pattern created by the activity.

-Start by making some very slippy shortswing turns.
-Plant both poles together on the downhill side of your turns at the normal timing for your pole plant (yes both poles on the same side of your turn)
-As you get the feel for the timing, gradually change the pole plant timing and turn shape until you are making short radius turns with the poles being planted at the outside of the arc near the fall-line.
-Once your turns start to feel much more carvy and the skis feel snappier and livelier change to a normal pole-plant while maintaining the movement pattern created by the activity.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Roto:
Well, the criteria we use in the NW is 1/2 to 3/4 a packer width. that leaves room for some pretty long short radius turns. It looks like you could stretch them just a bit and be o.k. Doing so could help you make the changes you need in your movement pattern, but it alone won't do it.

I think this is probably what was happening while I was "demoing" the turns for my student. slightly longer turns concentrating on engaging very early and reaching out with my legs for the turns.

Now to make that movement pattern part of my "natural" pattern. I was really concentrating on making the turns just right because it was a "demo" Obviously it's not just a natural movement... Yet..

Thanks Roto. Hopefully I'll get a chance to play with this more this weekend.
post #16 of 22
Hi dchan, nice turns. You certainly are a smooth skier.

One thing that I noticed is there is significant up and down in your turns. Your up motion, unweighting, hinders your ability to engage the skis early in the turn.

I know this has been mentioned a bunch of times before but you need to project down the hill, not vertically. Keep both skis engaged at all times.

I like this little drill. Traverse on the downhill ski only. Then move directly into the turn by shifting the weight from the big toe to the little toe.

Good luck,

bob
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just bumping up to the top now that ski season is winding down. Hoping now that all those instructors that didn't have the energy after a day of MA/teaching to take a look might now be itching for a little more.
post #18 of 22
dchan,
A couple things stand out here.
You have the ingredients avaliable to you to maybe try a different blend if you at all desire different results.

Your chosen blend here uses a strong edge engagment late in the turn leading into a reactivly strong up movement to get off those edges. This is a predominantly 'braking' or 'defensive' turn.

Instead of releasing your energy flow downhill, on the same plane as the slope, your movement is up and away from slope and you start each turn with your skis technonlogy pretty much disengaged as you redirect your skis with predominant rotary completely thru the falline before you reingage your edges late in the turn (look at when/where the big burst of snow is). The turn is much more Z'd by rotary than using avaliable ski technology to shape a round C shaped arc.

If you wished to create a rounder more gliding turn that controls speed by line and turn shape, you could change your blend to flex and relax your legs (vs. extend) leading into rolling your feet/skis over thru your edge change. This releasing movement would allow you to flow downhill across your skis and start extending laterally after the e/c to engage your skis sooner on a higher edge angle and get the technology working for you earlier in the turn. I think you might enjoy the rounder turn shape and more uniform pressure cycle that is less of the classic short swing 'float/sting' this clip shows.

You will find these movements avaliable if your play with your timing blend to initiate turns with flex(across)/extend(lateral) instead of extend(vertical)/flex(into edgeset) and seek to balance out your pressure application throughout the arc.
[img]smile.gif[/img]
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
bump..

After reading my level 3 score cards. You guys are dead on.

Now all I need to do is get back in complete shape so I can really start working on this.

DC
post #20 of 22
After years of starting turns with the front edges and finishing them with the rear, heres a new thing to play with: Try and use the front edges of you skis as much as your tails at the end of each turn. Just play with it; don't over compensate. With any luck it will extend your turn a little farther around and result in a little less heel push.
post #21 of 22
DC, thanks for bumping this up again. I am not qualified to critique, of course. However, I am interested in one aspect I noted in your SR.

What does everyone have to say, if anything, about the degree of tip lead at transition? I notice that your turn finishes resulted in a fair bit of inside tip lead, which you had to account for in the subsequent turn entry. And I am tossing this out and asking everyone here.....

Is it possible that the need to bring the old inside/new outside ski back is causing sufficient delay in new edge engagement, and thereby translating to less effective top of each turn? I seem to notice that at the top of each turn, your hips are a bit behind your new outside skis, and you end up catching up to it half way through the turn. Could this catching up exacerbate the overpressuring of the skis at the bottom of the turns? Also, it is much harder to effectively tip and pressure the new outside ski when you are not right on top of it, and also hinder your ability to project your mass into the turn, resulting in a little counterproductive pop up. The pop up, in turn, exacerbates your ability to apply new edge pressure at the top of each turn. With slower sequence of events happening in MR turns, this may not be an issue, and you have time to compensate. However, is possible that this delay becomes an issue in short radius turns because everything needs to happen much quicker?

I ask because SR turns appear to be also my weakness. When rushed, I tend to resort to my short swings. I really need to get a digitized clip of myself and solicit the input from all you guys.
post #22 of 22
dchan

You are a brave man! Enjoyed the video and you are a great skier. Having read the other posts - just a few thoughts.

Watching the clip - see the snow blowing off your skies in the turn. It tells a lot. You ought to apply pressure throughout the turn. Ride the turn. That abrupt puff of snow indicates sliding then turning. Maybe.

As you complete the turn moving to the next - there appears to be a little "nap" gong on. Am I right? Link the turn - means no break. This means you need to apply steady pressure, stay on the turn, stay on the edge.

You've got it. These are just thoughts. And the crud makes it interesting.
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