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1993 meet 2010

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Since Verdasco's getting pretty much the same treatment Soderling got last night I decided to watch some of the video I received in the mail today - Breakthrough on Skis I - Expert Skiing Simplified - copyright 1993. I thought the skiing was beautiful - very relaxed, yet effective - but I couldn't help but wonder...

 

If Lito from the 1993 video, in disguise as Joe Blow, showed up at one of the ESA camps, what would the coaches think about Joe's skiing, and what (if anything) would they try to change?

post #2 of 13

I don't know what the coaches would do and it's been a while since I've watched my Lito tape, but I'd get Joe to work the edges more.

post #3 of 13

Haven't watched Lito in years (don't have a VCR right now), but I recall the "breakthrough" being a lot of hip rotation to turn skis that were too close together, so, I'd suggest he open his feet some so, as Rust notes, he could edge more and skid less.

post #4 of 13

I'd try to get him to update his clothing a bit! 

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Relaxing the downhill ski with early weight transfer to the uphill ski prior to initiating the turn - most if not all of the weight on the outside ski throughout the turn - a tall stance and balance centered over the foot - these are what constitute the "breakthrough" (for skiing on firm snow) as I perceive it. (He gets into other techniques for moguls and powder.)

 

Regarding the narrow stance, I'll quote Lito...

 

"I ... caution you against what I consider an old-fashioned and counterproductive version of a narrow stance on skis. I don't want anyone to jam one foot next to the other or worse yet - to jam one knee in behind the other - I am proposing a functional, relaxed, and dynamic narrow stance, balanced primarily on one foot with the light foot actively keeping the other ski more or less near, more or less parallel, to the ski you are standing on. ... A narrower stance makes it easier to shift our weight from foot to foot, from ski to ski. ... More result for less effort."

 

In the video on groomers I see some skidding in Lito's skiing at times, but it seems intentionally blended to achieve the desired result, which perhaps might be easy, relaxed skiing. I also see him carving more sharply at times, with more flex and counter ("dynamic anticipation" in Lito-speak). He seems perfectly capable of putting a ski on edge and keeping it there if he wants to. Is it necessary to carve cleanly all the time?

 

Billie Jean King said of Federer the other night (paraphrase) - "He's an old school player with modern power - that's why we love him". Federer has a one-hander, and doesn't use modern/extreme grips on either side - he does in a sense have an updated, more athletic version of a classic game like Laver's. It's also about the way he blends his play with different strokes and all court movement and tactics that make for his beautiful and (typically, though sadly, not this weekend) highly successful game.

 

Can't skiing be more like tennis in that regard? Is it, and I just haven't seen it (yet)?

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmiser View Post

I'd try to get him to update his clothing a bit! 


Yup, the duds is definitely dated. Lots of fartbags in the video.  ;-)

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post

R


Billie Jean King said of Federer the other night (paraphrase) - "He's an old school player with modern power - that's why we love him".

 

Can't skiing be more like tennis in that regard? Is it, and I just haven't seen it (yet)?


Watch Glen Plake's skiing.

 

You can ski Lito's way on modern gear and ski well, but you'd be underutilizing the capabilities of the ski. Lito's comments were very appropriate for the gear that was available at the time.

 

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

Watch Glen Plake's skiing


If you're talking "Blizzard" era, I have, over and over, and love it and am very inspired by it. But if you're using it as an example to negate Lito's approach I'm not so sure it's such a good one. For one thing, a lot of the time Plake's skiing he's recovering from something extreme, like hucking a huge cliff, so he's just doing whatever it takes to stay upright. In general he's skiing in a lot more demanding fashion than Lito is, of course.

 

But at about 40 minutes into Blizzard there's a sequence where Plake (in red bandana, yellow jacket and blue pants) is scorching down a slope (closest thing to groomer skiing you're gonna get in "Blizzard") with his skis fairly close together and initiating most of his turns by putting his weight exclusively on the outside ski early in the turn, clearly lifting the inside ski completely off the ground.

 

Of course that's 1988, so his skis are even longer and straighter than Lito's in his 1993 video.

 

In moguls and powder Lito keeps his skis together, working in unison. Plake seems to as well.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

workstrong032.jpg

Click pic for full content

 

The payoff: “Independent leg strength,” says Rahlves, “which is key for powerful skiing.”

 

Hmm...

post #10 of 13


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post

 

The payoff: “Independent leg strength,” says Rahlves, “which is key for powerful skiing.”

 

Hmm...

 

or.. find some hills to climb with those inline skates.     Faster than that.  

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post


If you're talking "Blizzard" era,


I was implying that Glen Plake was a good example of old school player with modern power.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

I was implying that Glen Plake was a good example of old school player with modern power.


Sorry I misunderstood you. Pretty hard to argue that.  ;-)

 

On another front, more poking led to this germane piece from 2005...

 

to carve or not to carve?

 

Not shilling for Lito, just like his vibe and style. And I'm admittedly a little late to this party, but am generally curious about all this stuff. Will see how it shakes out when I get back on the slopes.

post #13 of 13

I have always loved Lito, and learned from his books.  I've always loved his line that "skiing is a conversation with the mountain, at best a dance with the mountain."

 

I don't know what he's teaching now, but his stuff back then has things that have since changed/evolved in ski technique.  Much of this due to the development of skis themselves requiring less unweighting, and liking a wider stance.  Also the emphasis on skiing with more pressure on the inside ski (at times) then in those day when it was in his words 100% one-footed.

 

None-the-less he's an inspiring and effective teacher. 

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