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MA: Corn snow skiing - Page 2

post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post




Well, we seem to be getting to the crux of the issue now. 

Forward pivot point is typically casued by being too far forward and/or a upper body rotation.  In you case you appear to be in the "and" category.  Again not uncommon.

A few people mentioned working getting rid of the upper body rotation...but my advice is to first work on the fore/aft balance issues.  Interestingly, I think Skinerd is saying the same thing, albeit his approach to fixing it is different to mine.

If you start to develop the ankles ability to move more, you will be able to open the ankle to start the turn more, which in turn will make independent leg steering (ILS) much easier, at the moment I would think it is virtually impossible to develop ILS or show any significant upper/lower body separation.  You can try this in your living rooom.  Flex your ankles like you have them in your boots, straighten at the wasit to extend as you do...and then try to rotate a leg in the hip socket.  You will see it is tough due to the hip orientation.

Hence my advice is to work on the ankle...the goal will be to start the turn with a more "open" ankle joint, this will enable you to develop more ILS and less upper body rotation, it will also enable you to move more across the skis at transition enabling earlier edge, further you will have better fore/aft balance starting the turn, which should result in better fore/aft balance and the ILS will result in more counter allowing for higher edge angles and more performance as the turn continues...no need to adjust later on to compensate...just pure performance!

Plus with the functioning ankle and resulting improved fore/aft balance you will be able to employ other transitions easier. Better balance always leads to more options for the skier.  I agree with TDK6 in that this issue is actually very common.


Yes Skidude, I think we are saying pretty much the same thing ... with a slightly different teaching methodology

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

 All right, so here is what I see as things to look at: lower the center of mass, flex more at the ankles and at the waist, less at the knees.  Start turn from the ankle, project down the fall line, get the edges to engage earlier.
Agree? 

I think there is a misunderstanding here... The advice was to straighten the ankle more at the start... not to flex them more.
(Flexing more in the ankle and the waist while flexing less in the knee would put you even further forward.)
post #32 of 51
Thread Starter 
 A groomer video yo add top the mix...

First of all, thanks to everyone for MA and advice.  The video I posted was off-trail, so I thought that it would be useful to provide a video taken on a regular groomer.  This is Shirley1 at Squaw, a fairly steep intermediate run.  (NB: I am not the very first guy you see in the video.)


video
post #33 of 51
 Alex, though not as pronounced as in your last video, the up and pivot transition is still evident.  It's most visible in your transitions into your right turns.  Watch how you use an outside arm swing in those turns to help power it.  See how quickly your skis turn to the falline because of it, and how a skid follows the reengagement of your skis after the falline.  This is definitely a habitual transition for you.  If you want to progress to arc to arc carving, you're going to have to put serious work into altering that pivoty transition.  It will kill any attempt to carve cleanly.  You'll need to completely reprogram your movement pattern, and expand/enhance your edging skills.  
post #34 of 51
Hey Alexnz,
Looking good.. Not surprisingly though, I see the same issues on the groomers as in the off-piste skiing. Have you ever tried telemarking?  Try to push your outside foot ahead of your inside like your on a pair of teles (you may pull the inside one back a little as well if you like). Of course we do not normally ski with our outside foot ahead of our inside foot like this but if you try to exaggerate the movement you may feel the sensation of the outside foot moving through the turn and supporting you. With the improved fore/aft balance other things like lateral and rotational balance will also start to fall into place. Remember to keep an open mind... it will probably feel weird at first because its a new movement.
I'd love to see a video of you trying this exercise...
post #35 of 51
Alexnz - LOL, you skied on the wrong side of the cameraman. Or the cameraman was turned the wrong way.
Anyway, I can see the same stuff I commented on earlier. BTW, one thing that stands out very clearly is that your turns are very assymmetrical. Look at your hands. Your left hand in particular, turning right. You bring it in towards you. Turning left you keep it out. Bringing it in like that causes you to rotate. Skidding your outside ski more than necessary.
post #36 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
If you want to progress to arc to arc carving, you're going to have to put serious work into altering that pivoty transition.  It will kill any attempt to carve cleanly.  You'll need to completely reprogram your movement pattern, and expand/enhance your edging skills.  
Thanks!  Any recommendations on what drills to try?
post #37 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post

Alexnz - LOL, you skied on the wrong side of the cameraman. Or the cameraman was turned the wrong way.
Anyway, I can see the same stuff I commented on earlier. BTW, one thing that stands out very clearly is that your turns are very assymmetrical. Look at your hands. Your left hand in particular, turning right. You bring it in towards you. Turning left you keep it out. Bringing it in like that causes you to rotate. Skidding your outside ski more than necessary.
Yes, I have noticed it as well while looking at the videos. I'd try to keep an eye on it in the future. 
post #38 of 51
Thread Starter 
Interesting... Wouldn't moving the outside foot forward interfere with countering?  I am just trying to understand the biomechanics better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skinerd View Post

Hey Alexnz,
Looking good.. Not surprisingly though, I see the same issues on the groomers as in the off-piste skiing. Have you ever tried telemarking?  Try to push your outside foot ahead of your inside like your on a pair of teles (you may pull the inside one back a little as well if you like). Of course we do not normally ski with our outside foot ahead of our inside foot like this but if you try to exaggerate the movement you may feel the sensation of the outside foot moving through the turn and supporting you. With the improved fore/aft balance other things like lateral and rotational balance will also start to fall into place. Remember to keep an open mind... it will probably feel weird at first because its a new movement.
I'd love to see a video of you trying this exercise...
 
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post



Yes, I have noticed it as well while looking at the videos. I'd try to keep an eye on it in the future. 


 

post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

Interesting... Wouldn't moving the outside foot forward interfere with countering?  I am just trying to understand the biomechanics better.

 



 

Not if you are not pushing it forwards with your hip. One way is to think of it as straightning your outside leg or opening your knee and ancle joints. But you are right, there is a danger for messing up your counter.
post #41 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

Interesting... Wouldn't moving the outside foot forward interfere with countering?  I am just trying to understand the biomechanics better.
 


 
I know it seems counter intuitive but most people who ski with their outside foot behind them also tend to rotate with the upper body and in many cases this fore/aft balance issue is the cause. So even though your ski tips and feet will be a little more square when trying this drill most people actually tend to turn better with the legs and therefore end up with more counter. You may need to think about keeping the hips back a little for this to happen but I hate to give that sort of feedback without actually seeing you try the drill.
post #42 of 51
Thread Starter 
 Guys, thanks for the suggestions again, the critique ius quite helpful.  Last question- how does it translate into skiing steeps?  Everything I posted was on relatively steep terrain, nothing approaching a gentle groomer.  I do routinely ski much steeper slopes, so I don't have a problem with the pitch, but I am wondering if the motion pattern changes in steep terrain.  I doubt that you can do a clean carve on those slopes, so I suppose some aggressive braking by bringing your skis across the fall line would be beneficial, am I thinking the right way? 

Skinerd:  I would try to film the drill you suggested and post it; however my regular season is over (no more ski lease ;-(), so I cannot guarantee that I will get a chance to hit the snow before the next season start. 
post #43 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post



Thanks!  Any recommendations on what drills to try?

 

Alex, I have a complete DVD self training series that teaches in step by step fashion all the skills needed to do this.  http://www.yourskicoach.com/YourSkiCoach/Ski_Instruction_DVD_Video.html
Describing a couple drills in text, with no video of proper execution, will not really develop the complete movement/skill package, and implement the full progression, you need to supplant your well embedded current movement pattern with the non pivoted version I'm suggesting to you.  

Not trying to be evasive, it's just that I've been posting here on Epic for quite a while now, and have learned the realities of what can and can't be accomplished through text teaching alone.  The embedded pivoting thing can be a rather tough nut to crack via internet instruction.   
post #44 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

 Guys, thanks for the suggestions again, the critique ius quite helpful.  Last question- how does it translate into skiing steeps?  Everything I posted was on relatively steep terrain, nothing approaching a gentle groomer.  I do routinely ski much steeper slopes, so I don't have a problem with the pitch, but I am wondering if the motion pattern changes in steep terrain.  I doubt that you can do a clean carve on those slopes, so I suppose some aggressive braking by bringing your skis across the fall line would be beneficial, am I thinking the right way? 

Skinerd:  I would try to film the drill you suggested and post it; however my regular season is over (no more ski lease ;-(), so I cannot guarantee that I will get a chance to hit the snow before the next season start. 
Much of what has been mentioned above should translate nicely in the steeps. Steep terrain requires strong steering skills to control speed... ie: turning with the lower body and creating strong angulation to balance on the down hill ski.

You are correct that a "clean carve" is not ideal for the steeps (because you would likely end up going too fast... if there is such a thing) That being said, early edging is still a good idea so pressure doesn't build too abruptly at the bottom of the turn.
post #45 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skinerd View Post

Much of what has been mentioned above should translate nicely in the steeps. Steep terrain requires strong steering skills to control speed... ie: turning with the lower body and creating strong angulation to balance on the down hill ski.

You are correct that a "clean carve" is not ideal for the steeps (because you would likely end up going too fast... if there is such a thing) That being said, early edging is still a good idea so pressure doesn't build too abruptly at the bottom of the turn.
 

Here is a clip of me skiing the Funnel at Squaw.  The pitch in the video is a bit misleading (look at the trees at the bottom), in reality it is probably the steepest "normal" run at Squaw Valley, if you fall there you are going all the way down the "funnel" to the bowl below.  I am wondering how much of the upunweighting was necessary there and how much was bad form.  I did botch the second turn in the clip and I can see that the upper body does not stay facing completely downhill, but the run did feel good.   The steepest portion is in the middle of the clip.

post #46 of 51
Alex, if you look at your skis you will see that your downhill ski skidds out every time you come to the belly of the turn. That causes a stem. Then look a bit higher at your butt. As your down hill ski tail skidd out your butt follows. Then look at your upper body and shoulders. They point the opposit way. Square to the skis. This is what I call massive hip rotation. You are also not using the bumps to turn. You are not working with your legs. No upper/lower body separation. Also, dont rush through the fall line. Stay there longer.

Im also looking at your arms and poleplants. When you turn to the right you bring your ski pole across to the inside. Im not sure what it does other than block you but when you let your rigth arm swing arround for your left turn then it adds heavily to the rotation of your upper body. I was not much unlike you many years ago. What helped me get away from similair issues was to start platforming on both skis. Try to use both legs parallel and in sync. Loading the outside ski more has nothing to do whith this. One of the fixes was a drill based on the pre turn consept.
post #47 of 51
 Alex, there are situations on the mountain where up/pivot is a reasonable technical choice.  Steeps such as in your video is a good example of that.  It's not the only option for negotiating such terrain at a comfortable speed, turn shape and skid angle are others, and they don't involve up unweighting or pivots, but up/pivot is certainly on the list of useful choices.  

The problem comes when the up/pivot movement pattern becomes embedded as the only way a skier transitions, regardless of the terrain they're on.  It's very common problem.  Up/pivot is generally the first way a skier learns to start a turn.  It's a technique that comes very naturally to beginners, because it allows gross movements and brute strength to enable turning when the finer skills have not yet been developed.   When that skier then rushes off to play on more difficult terrain, before learning the more refined skills of the sport, the up/pivot move they're employing gets embedded as a default movement pattern ever more deeply.  

It's at that point the up/pivot skier needs to venture back to the gentle groomers and begin the process of learning new skills so they can add new turning options to their current unrefined and labor intensive default method.  That's kind of the boat you're in now, Alex.  Your up/pivot looks fine on the steeps, it's where it belongs.  But the remnants of it that still exist on the groomers stand out to we instructors and coaches like a sore thumb, because there are skills and options to use in that environment that are so much more energy and  movement efficient.  Developing the skill versatility needed to employ all the various and appropriate options available is what becoming an expert skier is all about.
post #48 of 51
 When I'm teaching I will try and pick the one major deficiency that I feel is holding the skier back...

For yourself Alex I am inclined to agree with skierdude72..

Your ankles are quite stiff and rigid, which has caused some washing out of the tails of the ski. ( you can see this if you watch where the snow is being sprayed at the end of your turns)

I wouldn't try to address any other problem but this for the moment. The ankle joint is probably the most important of the big 3 (ankles knees and hips) As it's closest to the ski and controls a lot of your finer movements. 

Drills and tactics I would perform with you that could help:
  1. Static hops - this are great ankle movers to help loosen you up.
  2. Static Ankle flexion and extension - lifting the tip of the uphill ski and placing it down and then lifting the tail, without involving movement from the upper body.
  3. I would ask you to try and ski with your toes pushing into the top of your boots..this WILL force you to flex the ankle more N.B this is more of a tactic rather than a way to ski however it will help you get some good feelings. 


Hope this can help

Rolo
post #49 of 51
Thread Starter 

What is the root cause of the skid?  Is it not having enough counter-rotation and consequently not having an effective edge set, or is it a balance issue that causes tail slip.  That run is very steep, it almost feels like a controlled fall (which is part of the thrill actually).   I agree that there is a fair bit of upper body rotation, it is not as well separated from the lower body as I would like.   The arm swing during the pole plant is a known issue, I will work on that too.  


Can you explain the per-turn concept? 

As always, thanks a lot for the analysis and advice. 

Alex



Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post

Alex, if you look at your skis you will see that your downhill ski skidds out every time you come to the belly of the turn. That causes a stem. Then look a bit higher at your butt. As your down hill ski tail skidd out your butt follows. Then look at your upper body and shoulders. They point the opposit way. Square to the skis. This is what I call massive hip rotation. You are also not using the bumps to turn. You are not working with your legs. No upper/lower body separation. Also, dont rush through the fall line. Stay there longer.

Im also looking at your arms and poleplants. When you turn to the right you bring your ski pole across to the inside. Im not sure what it does other than block you but when you let your rigth arm swing arround for your left turn then it adds heavily to the rotation of your upper body. I was not much unlike you many years ago. What helped me get away from similair issues was to start platforming on both skis. Try to use both legs parallel and in sync. Loading the outside ski more has nothing to do whith this. One of the fixes was a drill based on the pre turn consept.
post #50 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

What is the root cause of the skid?  Is it not having enough counter-rotation and consequently not having an effective edge set, or is it a balance issue that causes tail slip.  That run is very steep, it almost feels like a controlled fall (which is part of the thrill actually).   I agree that there is a fair bit of upper body rotation, it is not as well separated from the lower body as I would like.   The arm swing during the pole plant is a known issue, I will work on that too.  


Can you explain the per-turn concept? 

As always, thanks a lot for the analysis and advice. 

Alex
 


You are asking excellent questions. Lets see if I can answere them. What is the root cause of the skid? I differ between carving and skidding. To make it easy. Good skiing can be eather carving or skidding but skidding in a controlled manner. You oversteer the skis into a controlled skid. Bad skidding is then when the skidding is excessive or out of controll. Or simply more skidding than you need. Think wind shield wiper turns.You need to keep the turn arc round and even. In order to do so you need to engage your ski edges early in the turn. The trick is how you make the transition and that very much lies in how you relese your previous turn. You need momentum. And momentum you can get eather from previous turn, a bump or you can manufacture the momentum yourself with movements and using your ski equipment with skill. Or it can be a combination of all 3. If you opt for creating the momentum yourself then you can for example eather up-unweight to ease pressure off of your skis and start the over steering or you can simply make a jabb with your skis in the opposite direction to offset your CoM into the new turn. We discussed this here in this thread under "countersteering 101":
http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/71755/countersteering-101

The countrsteering consept builds on creating momentum and then relesing it by rolling your ancles off their edges into the turn after you have a fraction of a second earlier jabbed your ancles in the other direction uphill, or lets say the opposite way where you want to turn. The jabb is a timing thing. Think of jumping on a trampoline. You only have a very short moment of time when to roll your ancles into the turn and your legs and skis catch up with your upper body that is offsetted into the turn. When you link short turns this is exactly what you are doing only you dont have to make that jabb or more precisely the jabb is the previous turn. The expression pre-turn comes from you making an pre turn for momentum. If you manage to make the "pre turn" part of previus turn or a bump then we are talking smooth expert level skiing.

One very important thing is that you keep both skis together and try make it one leg and ski. The pre turn builds on the momentum and the momentum is best used when you platform on both skis and move both leggs simultaniously. Now you are letting your outside ski skidd out and when you are doing that you lose platform, pressure and momentum. Then you kind of jump over to the next turn.

When its steep like that then you will gain advantage from platforming and using momentum properly in order to keep your upper body and CoM from popping up and down too much. You will loose snow contact and pressure. Therefore I would like for you to bend at the knees at the same time you roll your ancles over from uphill edges to downhill edges. And keep them flexed a bit longer so that you are able to extend your legs into the belly of the turn and create momentum for your next turn. If you then have to brake your turn linking and you miss out on momentum from previous turn then use the pre turn to fuel your next turn initiation.

Go for a cross under type transition where your skis cross underneath your stable upper body. Close linked to this technique is angulation and upper body counter. Try to stay more countered in the belly of the turn and anticipated in the high c. Angulation will improve your outside ski pressure and counter will also improve your edge hold. Both will improve your balance. Stay forward. Stay in the fall line a bit longer.

The run looked fantastic. Your skiing was not that bad. With a few tweeks you will be the king of the mountain, like me .
post #51 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

What is the root cause of the skid?  Is it not having enough counter-rotation and consequently not having an effective edge set, or is it a balance issue that causes tail slip.  That run is very steep, it almost feels like a controlled fall (which is part of the thrill actually).   I agree that there is a fair bit of upper body rotation, it is not as well separated from the lower body as I would like.   The arm swing during the pole plant is a known issue, I will work on that too.  


Can you explain the per-turn concept? 

As always, thanks a lot for the analysis and advice. 

Alex


I would say the root cause of the tail slip is likely the fore/aft balance issue (outside foot behind COM at the end of the turn). This is two fold.... firstly it puts the pivot point closer to the front of the ski and therefore the tail has little pressure and slips out. Secondly this stance is often a major cause of upper body rotation. If the hip rotates you can't angulate effectively and therefore edge angles decrease and balance moves to the inside ski.... the result... even more tail slide. Of course finishing a turn like this also makes it next to impossible to get into the next turn without popping and rotating again.... endless cycle.

We can speculate all we like about the root cause but seeing as assessment is 1 third science and 2 thirds art, in reality the only way to truly discover it is through some on snow experimentation. 
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