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MA Request, short video clips, gapper alert :-)

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Video links are at the bottom of this request - 3, short, 30 second videos.

I am self taught skier and I am looking for a few tips to improve and work on.   I guess I am looking for a couple of "bang for the buck" tips, not trying to fix all my flaws (probably are too many), just working with whatever I might be doing that is OK to improve.  I am not trying for PSIA, spot on technique, just functional, fun, dynamic skiing.

I am probably in the backseat (I feel that way a lot although I try to stay forward and seem to do better at it when skiing aggressively), keep my hands too low instead of out front, pivot turn (or at least turn too fast), don't angulate, don't counter enough,  might heel push, and numerous other things.  I am not even sure I define all those things correctly, but I probably demonstrate a lot of them at some point when skiing.   I did learn the MA stands for Movement Analysis today, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Also, given my knees (both ACLs done years ago) and the general wear and tear on my body (car wreck, cliff fall, you know - life), I have recently thought that a 2 foot steering and skiing style would serve me well.  After watching my video, it appears to me that I might already do this?  Maybe this is a bad thing and I should be weighting my outside ski more?  If so, how do I change?  If not, how do I weight both ski closer to even and ski effectively (or can you)?  Just curious.

I am not sure what techniques would serve me better and work with my bio mechanics.  I suppose the videos are fairly representative of my self taught "style".  The only thing that differs is on steeper terrain of when skiing more aggressively, I think I am more forward and with a lower body and maybe I round my turns a little more (tending to lean into the fall line for an extra second or two).  In these videos, I am just meandering down the hill.  They were not originally recorded with any MA purpose in mind.

Oh, and, for next season, what would give me the best bang for the buck for my ski allocated dollars?

1.    ski more - spend dollars on trips and lift tickets.  Oddly enough, the more I ski, the better it feels.
2.    take some lessons - I am considering some early next season
3.    Cabrio type boots - thinking of experimenting with.

R,

Shawn


 

ski.MA1.2010 from Skidding on Vimeo.



ski.MA2.2010 from Skidding on Vimeo.


ski.MA3.2010 from Skidding on Vimeo.

If the embedded videos above do not work, here are some links that should work.

YouTube version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpXC6o9DfG8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-Q6ZEHtgiU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ihqt8b4mvk0


Vimeo versions - you can view all three if you like:

http://vimeo.com/10444536

post #2 of 21
Hi Skidding. Not a very good username but looking at your videos you are not trying to be something you are not . MA starts with good stuff so I will try to find some postitive things in your skiing. The turn shapes you are producing are not bad. They are nice and round. You also have a nice flow and at the speeds you are skiing you have no problems it seems. Well within your comfort zone. The best way for you to improve would be to get some ski lessons. Your biggest probelm is going to be to unlearn stuff even if this is not a huge problem becaue you are very passive. One thing that strikes me is that your stance is very bow legged. This could be one of the reasons you are skidding so massively. You are undercanted. But this is something that a good boot fitter could give you better feedback on. Ask a good bootfitter on some feedback on your legs and stance and have him fix good boots if the ones you have now are going to be renewed sometimes soon.

There are no short cuts.... check out your boots at a bootfitter and have your skis tuned correctly. Lean forward a lot more and use movements such as angulation and upper body counter. I would have you work on some very fundamental issues in order to get you aware of how you should use your body and skis to turn correctly. Establishing good outside ski pressure would be one of the major focuses in a lesson with me. That and forward orientation.

Skiing should be fun and you seem to have that nailed. Ski more = more fun.

t
post #3 of 21
Skidding, your having fun and that is the most important part.  The boots part from TDK6 looks very true.  

If we were skiing together and you asked these would be my suggestions (if you did not ask for advice you would not get any).  1  Your weight will follow your hands, get them forward where you can see them and your weight will move forward with them.  2  Keep your belly button pointed more down the hill it should reduce rotation and help even more with the weight thing.  Suspect that you'll find things better on firm snow too.

Like your 3 step plan. 
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks,tdk6.  I really hadn't thought about being bull legged since I really am not, but I see what you mean.  Maybe I do have a canting or boot issue.  My current boots do have canting adjustments, but I have never used them.  Also, after reading this forum, I have come to the conclusion that my boots are one size too big, so that might be a good place to start.

 

I probably do need to find a local boot fitter and ensure that part of my equipment is functionally correct, but I have not been able to locate a true ski boot fitter in the Central Ohio area.  We are not exactly a skiing meca.  I'll see if any of the boot fitters on this forum have any ideas.  I guess I should make sure the equipment is right before getting lessons.

 

Thanks for the reply.

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Stranger.  Straight forward solutions that will be easy to try and implement.  Thanks for the ideas -- they are much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

Skidding, your having fun and that is the most important part.  The boots part from TDK6 looks very true.  

If we were skiing together and you asked these would be my suggestions (if you did not ask for advice you would not get any).  1  Your weight will follow your hands, get them forward where you can see them and your weight will move forward with them.  2  Keep your belly button pointed more down the hill it should reduce rotation and help even more with the weight thing.  Suspect that you'll find things better on firm snow too.

Like your 3 step plan. 
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidding View Post

Thanks,tdk6.  I really hadn't thought about being bull legged since I really am not, but I see what you mean.  Maybe I do have a canting or boot issue.  My current boots do have canting adjustments, but I have never used them.  Also, after reading this forum, I have come to the conclusion that my boots are one size too big, so that might be a good place to start.

 

I probably do need to find a local boot fitter and ensure that part of my equipment is functionally correct, but I have not been able to locate a true ski boot fitter in the Central Ohio area.  We are not exactly a skiing meca.  I'll see if any of the boot fitters on this forum have any ideas.  I guess I should make sure the equipment is right before getting lessons.

 

Thanks for the reply.


The boot issue is sometimes overrated due to the business aspect. Asking a bootfitter for advice will most surely result in a 700USD money transaction suggestion. Reading your quoted reply here above I suspect that you have more of a size issue than a alignment issue. Or lets say, start with getting the right size. At your level size is more of an issue. BTW, how do you know your boots are too big? If you take the linear out of the boot and insert your foot into the shell with toe contact up front how much space is behind your heel? One to two fingers is the right size. Im frequently suggested a smaller boot by so called pros. If my foot doesent fit into the shell by itself then how can it possibly fit with a linear? 

To me it looks like your skis are not doing much. I suspect that your skis are wrong for your weight and they are probably with a 15-17m turn radius. And they are badly tuned. You would much benefit from good skis type Head Supershapes. Tuned correclty. Slalom skis with 12m turn radius.

When it comes to your technique I would like you to get into carving. Trying to ride the sidecut. On very easy slopes. Learn how tipping (tilting your skis on edge) and angulation (bending sideways at the waist) affects how your ski tracks in the snow. Tipping your skis left for instance means that your boots and lower legs will be tipped left. Your left edges will be like hinges on a door. Your skis will start turning in that direction. At the same time as you tip your skis left lean towards the right with your upper body from your hips up. This will cause an angle at the hip. Your hips will be pointing inside the turn and your upper body will be leaning outside. Without tipping of feet one way and leaning the other way with your upper body it will be difficult to transfer weight to the outside ski but if you tip and angulate it will be automatic. As you pick up speed you will not be leaning towards the outside of the turn, you will be keeping your upper body vertical and shoulder line horisontal. Your legs will be tipped. Your skis will be making the turns for you. Left in the snow will be two parallell rail road tracks. Check out my thread on bad rotation for a short demo.
post #7 of 21
skidding.  Looks like you are having fun and floating down the hill is fun.   Above suggestions/tips are good of course.   Without getting technical (a techie I am not).   You are or appear comfortable but actually are pretty static (pretty straight up and down with almost no movement in your body).  See a little hand/pole movement but no flex in your ankles, shins, knees, hips.  More dynamic (down the hill) orientation of your pole movement, feet, skis etc.  Static-frozen-passive, still or whatever way you want to describe your non-movement is generally - almost always not a  good dynamic way to ski.

You obviously watch some videos.  Next time watch the really good skiers move with their route down the mountain.  Remember, this is not wild upper body rotation (bad) but watch their legs, poles, feet, knees, hips and then how their skis react to these movements.  Also be aware of the static factor -  you won't see a really good skier that is static.

Maybe instead of floating down the hill try to flow with the terrain.   Good luck, have fun, ya look good and welcome to Epic.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks tdk6.

You asked - "BTW, how do you know your boots are too big?"

1.  Well, for one thing, they don't hurt me enough.     I can ski in them all day.  Okay that was a joke --  sort of.  I guess I am not looking for a race fit, I want good input and control, but I want warm feet that don't fall asleep or cramp up on a lift.  That is why I was considering a 3 piece boot - maybe the Krypton or Full tilt (the only ones I am aware of) for a boot upgrade.  Perhaps I am wrong on that thought,  though?

2.  I went to a retail store and stepped on a Nordica size measuring board.  It said I was a 28 mondo.  My current boots are 29.5 mondo - 335mm shell size.  I tried a 28 mondo boot and my toe seemed to come off the end if I stayed forward, but if I get in the back seat, I suspect I would get to find out what it is like to lose a toe nail.  The shell size was 326mm in the 28 mondo I tried.

3.  I tried the shell fit/finger/and my ruler method on my current boots, and I came up with about 28mm of space between the back of the boot and my heal, which is almost 2 fingers.  That seems to be too much for the tight fit race boot crowd, but perhaps it is OK for my ability level.  I don't know.  What do you think?

I am starting to think that maybe my boots are OK and my poor skiing technique is user error - me.  That is fine; I just want to spend my efforts and resources in an efficient manner.  If the equipment is not the issue, I will put the effort in to me and lessons.

I played a little with the canting adjustments, but I really don't know how that is going to turn out until I get the boots on snow again, and that is looking less and less likely given the weather in my area.

I also read about a test for forward lean that said that if you could not lower yourself to parallel (thighs with ground) without falling over backwards, then you didn't have enough forward lean.  I could touch my butt to the back of my boots - way beyond parallel - without falling over, so I thought maybe I have TOO MUCH forward lean and took the spoilers out, which helped some.  My thinking was I might be too far forward and I might be naturally countering this position by getting in the backseat when skiing, particulary when fatigued or being lazy.  If my boot stance was more upright, I thought it would be easier to maintain forward pressure rather than countering what may be too much forward lean by falling back.  My logic may be off here, but I was hoping to get on the snow and see what it felt like.

You are right, I believe the skis I was on that day were a recent, used purchase and I was trying them out.  They seemed OK, but I have not had them tuned yet.  I will get them tuned before next season, for sure. 

I appreciate the technique advice.  I did try a little bit of the counter weight hip angulation thing earlier this year, but if felt weird - probably because I am self taught and comfortable not doing it.  I guess I need to drill those types of moves until they become a habit. 

I'll track down your bad rotation thread and review it.
post #9 of 21
I wouldn't want to shortstop your visit to the bootfitter or the ski tuner as those are always valuable (I am both BTW). However a fundamental error that I see is inclination from the outside leg with little or no ankle flexion of the outside foot. Thus, your weight is distributed more to the inside (uphill) ski than the downhill one. It is possible that improper boot fit, alignment, or both could be a contributing factor to this error. It is unlikely that ski tuning is a major factor. I would deal with some mechanical issues first before assuming that an equipment fix is needed.

So...............On easy terrain such as above...............visualize the turn as 180* half circle like a clock face. Your skis will be across the fall line at 12:00 and 6:00.

1) You enter the turn with your weight balanced on both feet. (doing this already)
2) From 12:00, steer your skis toward the fall line. (doing this already)
3) At 1:00, start to flex your outside ankle and press the shin against the boot tongue.
  • Keep your outside arm flexed at the elbow and relaxed and your outside hand ahead of your outside foot.
  • Pinch your waist a bit and reach down the hill a little with your outside hand.
   
4) Increase your outside ankle flex and thus your shin pressure between 2:00 and 4:00.
  • Continue to reach forward and down with your outside hand.
  • Give a little more pinch at the waist

5) You will feel pressure build against your outside ski between 3:00 and 5:00
6) As your skis pass 5:00 the pressure you feel against the outside ski will start to moderate.
7) Approaching 6:00 you will want equal pressure on both shins and equal ankle flex.
8) Passing 6:00 you will have your hips centered and your skis across the fall line again.
9) Start the process again going the other way.

These are basic turning mechanics. You may also have equipment issues as well but you should be able to accomplish this even with rather oversized boots.

SJ

edited to add:

I see that you have posted while I was typing. Yes your boots are too large. One size for sure and maybe more depending on foot shape and boot shape. This will have an effect but you should still be able to execute the basic drill outlined above. The caveat would be that if the boot is grossly oversized, you may not be able to effectively pressure the shin against the front of the boot.
post #10 of 21
 Great pointers Jim!

I don't see any gross alignment issues from the videos, but agree with you on the points you made regarding technique!!

I don't see any real remedial needs with Sir skid a lot.  He is ready to take what he has and develop some angles and balance on the inside edge of the outside ski.  Go from "slippy" turns to "grippy" turns!
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks, SierraJim, for the tips and drills to try.

Also, you said "Yes your boots are too large."

Is that based on my shell fit analysis where I determined I had could fit almost 2 fingers between my heel and the back of the boot - my estimate of 28mm?  If so, from a shell fit perspective, what is the highest acceptable mm between the heel and back of the boot for a shell fit?  Do you have an opinion on 3 piece, Cabrio style boots?

I read the boot FAQ and it said - You want 5-15mm (3/16 to 5/8 inch) of room. If you have more then 25mm (1") stop here.  Do you agree with that and so my approximately 28mm would be too much?  Thanks.

And back to the ski tips -- when you say "pinch your waist"  -- could you describe that movement in more detail.  I am not sure I understand it.
post #12 of 21
My suggestion is to save up for a ski week at a major resort and take ski lessons for 5 mornings or 5 afternoons in a row and practice what you have been taught during the non lesson time. At the end of the week you will have improved your skiing skills by a far greater amount than the cost of the lessons.

Your ski instructor for the week will also be an excellent source for advice on boots, canting, etc.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Pete No. Idaho.

I can see what you are saying about being static.  I like what you said about flowing with the terrain.  Maybe better technique will help with some of that.  I would like to be more dynamic and less static, if I can figure out how.  Too bad that wasn't a pill for that.  :-)

Digression - loved your criteria for moving to St. Maries in the thread about  moving to a ski mountain and hating it.  Sounds like you already did all the research for me!  So, I need to move to St. Maries, the only part of the equation that is lacking is how to get my income to follow me.  I'll work on it.  Thanks for posting.

Back on subject -- I definitely have notices that good skiers have very dynamic lower bodies that absorb the terrain and angulate underneath a relatively stable upper body with relatively level hips and shoulders.  Then, I watched my video and thought, hmmm, maybe I need to work on a few things.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

My suggestion is to save up for a ski week at a major resort and take ski lessons for 5 mornings or 5 afternoons in a row and practice what you have been taught during the non lesson time. At the end of the week you will have improved your skiing skills by a far greater amount than the cost of the lessons.

Your ski instructor for the week will also be an excellent source for advice on boots, canting, etc.

DanoT -- I am very seriously looking into doing something like that next season.  Thanks for validating what I was intending to do. 
post #15 of 21
How about something real simple... Lets get your hands out in front of you, don't let your elbows come behind your chest and keep the pole baskets ahead of your boots.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxammo View Post

How about something real simple... Lets get your hands out in front of you, don't let your elbows come behind your chest and keep the pole baskets ahead of your boots.

Thanks pdxammo.  I like simple.  I'll start the year off with the simple stuff next year and see how it goes. 
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all who replied or may still reply.  I will try the recommendations next season and I am grateful for the suggestions.
post #18 of 21
Positive comments and agreement to all who have posted.  

So for something completely different....several have commented on your lazy attitude---my words.    To me skiing is a sport so let me grab you, shake you and have you run a few laps before practice to get you pumped up.       How?  


SKATE...skate, skate, skate, skate and skate some more.      Without getting too techie....it will do lots for your skiing.  1)move you forward, 2) try to keep your arms in front of you--see 1).   3) promote or teach/feel edges. 4) create a long leg/short leg effect.    

Homework--go watch the "inspirational skiing" video of the Canadian L4 skier.   Watch his legs---one long, one short, then they change progressively.     Now go watch your videos.      Repeat until it sinks in....

Now on the hill.   Skate flats, skate uphills, then find the flattest green you can...skate down hill.  Feel the moves, take that movement without pausing into your ski turns.   Same pace, same movements.   Find steeper, skate 5 times, take to skiing.   Repeat for the rest of your life...its a blast.   Your goal is perfectly smooth transitions from skating to skiing...so a guy on the bottom would either think you were skiing or skating and did not switch.   



Watch what happens to your smile when your short leg gets shorter.     PS..when your short leg gets shorter, its a likely outcome that your long leg will get longer and be carrying most of your weight/force.   If you dont feel this, get into a lesson, its easy to teach and show.


PS...ski more at the place you taped yourself.   Looks like you and your buddy were the only ones there!     God how I would have been ripping up that terrain.    Looks like you had some hero snow too.   That said, I disagree with someone earlier who posted something to the effect of.... if the conditions were more firm you would find skiing easier.  I could have mis-read or  interpreted that.   I think you are finding balance off your edges and when the snow  gets hard, you may find yourself out of balance.    My two cents.     Hint You need to balance to the future---move forward to where you want to go.  When you find youself talking to your skis..."hey guys, want to catch up to me?"  You found the zone
Edited by I:)Skiing - 4/15/10 at 7:28pm
post #19 of 21
Skidder, here are two drills you can do that will immediately help your skiing---

First, about drills...do a single drill for a whole run.  Two whole runs.  You'll think that the drill is hard.  Then you'll think that the drill is dumb.  Finally, your mind will wander and you'll continue doing the drill while you're thinking of something else.  At this point you've drilled enough to get the drill working for you.

So--march in place.  Don't move, just march in place alternately lifting one foot then the other.  Slide easily across the hill still lifting one foot then the other.  Keep lifting your feet just like marching and slide across the hill the other way.  Keep lifting your feet like marching and make easy turns.  Make more turns while marching.  Make another run doing this.  This drill is called the Thousand Steps, although it should be called the Ten Thousand Steps.  What it does is get your stance and balance naturally in the right place.  Your stance is too wide--this will correct that and find your natural stance.  This prevents skiing with the weight on your heels.  This teaches your body to respond to your weight on either foot rather than heavy on the inside foot.  If you continue this drill until you're totally, utterly bored, you'll find that your skiing is immediately better.

The other drill is to ski along with just the tail of your inside ski lifted off the snow.  Ski across the hill with the uphill ski tail lifted an inch off the snow.  Ski across the other way with the other ski, still the uphill ski, tail lifted an inch off the snow.  Now, switch feet and lift the downhill ski tail then promptly, smoothly, easily turn.  If you turn your feet to the right to make a right turn, turn your hips & shoulders to the left at the same time.  Make two or three runs doing this.  This drill gets your weight centered fore & aft and gets you balanced over your outside foot.  If you greatly lighten the inside ski, the extra weight on the outside ski helps it to grip the snow and to curve more so the ski turns you--you don't turn the ski.  Lift just the tail for the drill--if you lift the entire ski you'll probably be back on your heel.  When skiing for real, not for a drill, lighten the inside ski so it just glides across the snow while the outside ski is digging in and turning you.

Do you want to try something that everyone who has not tried it will assure you that it won't work?  Do this.  To turn, roll the ski that will become the inside ski on the new turn up on its outside edge.  Roll that ski up on the snow so you smoothly lift your big toe way up off the snow.  This ski is light before you try this, then roll your ankle to the side so the big toe edge of the ski is off the snow.  This movement is smooth and progressive.  It is very simple and very powerful.  Give it a try.  You'll like it.  Roll the ankle out to the side, and allow the knee and hip on that side to follow.  The effort is in the ankle.  Roll it farther and farther, always smoothly and progressively, and allow the knee and hip to follow along.

And, as always, you want your turns to be smooth, even "C" or "S" shaped turns, not "Z" shaped turns by thrusting your heels out.  Pressure on the fronts of your boots pressures the fronts of your skis, and that wide tip of your outside ski will engage in the snow and pull you around.

About your hand position---you want your hands a bit forward and a bit out to the sides.  The position you automatically put your hands in when walking across an icy surface is exactly where you want your hands for skiing...the natural balancing position.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I:)Skiing View Post


SKATE...skate, skate, skate, skate and skate some more.      Without getting too techie....it will do lots for your skiing.  1)move you forward, 2) try to keep your arms in front of you--see 1).   3) promote or teach/feel edges. 4) create a long leg/short leg effect.    
 


Thanks, I:)Skiing.  I will try skating more.  Actually, thinking about it, this might be part of an alignment issue.  Many times when I skate on a flat, it is hard to use the inside edge.  My legs/skies do not bend enough to allow a push off without the ski slipping substantially.  I keep going back to the bull legged comment earlier and wondering if I have an alignment issue that is making it harder to use the inside edges.  I guess I have plenty to experiment with next year.  The skis that I own that I skate the best on have a riser and a 64mm waist.  My flatter skis with no riser and up to 80mm waist (fattest ski I own) are more difficult to skate with.  

Thanks for the comments.
Edited by skidding - 4/20/10 at 10:51am
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

<snip>

Do you want to try something that everyone who has not tried it will assure you that it won't work?  Do this.  To turn, roll the ski that will become the inside ski on the new turn up on its outside edge.  Roll that ski up on the snow so you smoothly lift your big toe way up off the snow.  This ski is light before you try this, then roll your ankle to the side so the big toe edge of the ski is off the snow.  This movement is smooth and progressive.  It is very simple and very powerful.  Give it a try.  You'll like it.  Roll the ankle out to the side, and allow the knee and hip on that side to follow.  The effort is in the ankle.  Roll it farther and farther, always smoothly and progressively, and allow the knee and hip to follow along.exactly where you want your hands for skiing...the natural balancing position.

<snip>
 

SoflSnowGuy,

Thanks for drills to try and the explanations you provided - now i know what a thousand steps are, for example.

As for the quote above, do you begin it while traversing or going straight down the fall line?  If I understand it correctly, if I want to turn to the right, I have a light right ski, most of my weight is on my left ski, and are roll my right ankle out toward the little toe edge, big toe edge raising up, causing a turn to the right.  It actually sounds similar to some actions I read about in a Harald Harb book recently.

Too bad all the snow dissappeared since I have a lot to work on.
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