New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Notes from HH - Page 3

post #61 of 136
Good job HOLIDAY!

PSIA is the gold standard as far as the ski school is concerned right now. In my mind there is only one reason. They are there. If you and I built a brand new ski mountain, and we were going to open. We would want our Ski School to be PSIA. Becasue it is the only recognized brand out there. The Guests like that and by the way so do the Investors / Banks.
Do not get me wrong PSIA does a fine job, but without any competitioin they are a bit sloppy, or shall I say focused on stuff which may or may not really enhance the Students enjoyment. Now I must say that John Armstrong and his team are fast at work getting PASSION and REVIEWING STANDARDS all that stuff. But the structure remains the same.
I do see an advantage of lets say a rival group or view point maybe HH getting in there and making some challenge for the sport. I really feel that the winners would be everyone who loves the sport, and some of those out there who have yet to discover it.

IT IS ALL GOOD, I belive that. And I do not have an ax to grind either way. SO take it for what it is worth. (I have been to enough clinics and seen enough other monkey business to know what is out there, and what is not)
post #62 of 136
SCSA, arm and hand positions in most skiers should have a neutral position, that is upper arms a little out from the body and somewhat forward with lower arms ninety degrees bent and nearly level with the slope.

From there the hands and arms are used to reach for pole plants and for balance since they weigh quite a bit, just stretching them out forward will bring you forward on your skis, with the converse also true, if you dangle your hand next to your knees you will be back, not to speak of not being ready to plant a pole. You often can tell the skill of a skier by how quiet or wild his arms and hand are.

Now to what you describe: it seem to me that what you perceive as raising your hand also raises your shoulder, thus giving you more angulation and better edge set. We used to teach pinching the waist, which, when you do it, also raises your inside hand, it's just a different way to get you to angulate, though by raising the hand and shoulder you make sure the hand doesn't lag behind which could happen when teaching the waist pinch.

If I'm reading your post wrong and you mean you are just raising your hand by bending your elbow as if you attempted to chug a mug of beer, I don't see how that would effet the skis on the snow.

post #63 of 136
Thread Starter 
Hmm, you all have some good tips! Sure would be great to hook up with you -- hope too see you all in Fernie, or someplace down the road.

HH doesn't criticize ski instructors who educate themselves in different methods and stay current. He doesn't blame instructors, he blames the system. The man really believes in his heart that the customer and the ski industry deserve better.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 26, 2001 09:19 PM: Message edited 1 time, by SCSA ]</font>
post #64 of 136
Thread Starter 

No, you got it. I raise my hand to raise my shoulder, lower the other. It really works great!

If skiing was easy, they'd call it snowboarding.
post #65 of 136
Very interesting thread and it brings a couple of things to mind.

I attended a couple alignment clinics HH conducted and a full day "do you want to buy PMTS" seminar in our lodge and on the slopes. JT teachings came up because several of the lady instructors had some very valid questions. By the time HH was finished telling everyone JT is a scam running around the country preying on poor defenseless women to make a buck the place was in arms. The one clinic fell completely apart and nothing was accomplished because many of the PSIA instructors simply left the room. HH has some very sound ideas but from my experiences with him I wish he would not appear to be so confrontational. It doesn’t allow his good ideas to come through unless he is “preaching to the choir” and I assure you most instructors, while reasonable and wanting information, are not the choir. Most actually could care less about PMTS they just want to do a good job and really don't want to argue the pros or cons. Some of the ideas we have used for years.

I believe PMTS leaves out the wedge because, while PMTS has a pretty neat presentation, it is simply is the trademark of the system. A way to market it if you will. Now I am not looking for a war because I have seen HH's scketch of a skeleton and heard the speel. Ski on boilerplate with busloads of beginner skiers and I just bet you might find a wedge will come in very handy. Unfortunately I do not have the luxury of western slopes that, when you call them icy, we call them heaven. Big mountain instructors have it a little simpler when it comes to snow conditions and teaching terrain.

If you were taught a wedge and you cannot get rid of it possibly you were taught a wide breaking wedge, which is not Centerline, or there are other issues with your skiing skills or alignment problems. In the years I have been teaching taking a student out of the “wedge habit” has been one or the other. A stem entry can be as small a problem as too much cuff pressure or shoulders out of parallel with the slope. Mine years ago and maybe once in a while now but I don’t notice it was simply keeping my shoulders level to the slope. Being taught the wedge generally is not the cause but the outcome.

HH is right as usual on knocked kneed or bowlegged skiers. Those skiers also have similar problems in a narrow stance. They cannot get on or off the edge depending on which they are and some people are both. They need aligned if they are to really improve. An instructor can do a few simple exercises such as gentle straight runs lifting a ski just to give the instructor a clue whether what they see might possibly be alignment. Yes HH most instructors but truly not all care enough to know about alignment. No we may not be experts like others but you might be surprised how knowledgeable we are if you listen to us. I always look at my students, other than group beginner rental sledders, for alignment issues. It is my responsibility.

PMTS works and so does Centerline. However there is no quick fix to becoming a solid skier or instructor. Enough said about that!

I hope shortly to be on the slopes so move the snow to Colorado please.
post #66 of 136
Thread Starter 
Floyd, you sure are right, way to go -- there's no shortcuts.

I tell you what. I gotta hook up with you Ohio folks. Ott is there, so is Pierre, you...
post #67 of 136

You are correct with your explanation and the practical application of the “abstem”. I note that your Bavarian woman with fagots on their shoulders was a perfect example of when an “abstem” may come into play. Your example also highlighted why it maybe should not be taught as a maneuver to our clients. I.e. it is a defensive maneuver

Where I was coming from was the actual fitting of the “abstem” into a progression and the way it was introduced (in Oz) back in the mid 80s. I remember that just when we had our basic Christie to basic parallel progression going with a smooth and natural terrain assisted CM transfer to the downhill ski along came a new maneuver called the “abstem”. Many felt it was a regressive and defensive maneuver that was counter productive to a smooth “balanced on the outside ski” progression. I recall that a complete end of year and very costly to ski instructors exam\clinic week was turned to confusion due to the sudden introduction of the “abstem”. It died as a “taught” maneuver after that and was seen as what it was … “ a happening” due to variables at play in both the skier and the terrain.

I put in the “abstem” example to assist my point that “labeling” skiing into minute details may be regressive to a client due to possible “detail overload”.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #68 of 136
Yeah, Oz, we've come a long way since skiing with a fagot on our back .

My point was that in the right circumstance, it is a viable maneuver. You know, really, there are zillions of fringe maneuvers which we could introduce to very advanced skiers.

It could be called "Tricks of the trade: offensive and defensive skiing above and beyond" and could teach such things as the abstem, the check, the high speed sideslip, cornice entry, the mambo, the split, properly landing the jump and many more things which are never attempted in regular class [img]smile.gif[/img]

But that is something I'll never see in my lifetime. Most high level skiers learn these tricks on their own.(or maybe not).

post #69 of 136
How about loading up students with a fagot on their shoulders. That will keep them centered!

On a serious note.....I watched the extreme skiing on OLN last night. Ott, would you consider the move those folks make on the steep and deep to be an abstem?
post #70 of 136
SCSA- I think you may have got your answer already but lifting the inside hand is not really new or old but a method to get someone to accomplish the desired action at the ski. For some this will work well, others it simply confuses. The hip region is the key this is what sets the whole body angle. We have a natual pelvic tilt when we stand on a slope. Try standing up and letting the hip slid and lift by tilting your feet, lift your little toe higher than your big toe on your right leg while you lift your little toe higher than your big toe on your left leg. Notice your shoulders natualy tilt as a result. Now try standing and just lifting your arm to tilt your shoulders, what happens at your feet and hip? I would think of this activity as a way for you to develop more angles in your skiing and NOT a way to ski. It sounds like it had postive results for YOU so go with it for a while and then play with lifting your hip or tilting your head or leg or whatever to fully explore your range. Go from gross movements like lifting you arm and shoulder to more refined skiing you hips and shoulders into this alignment.

I heard you got dumped with snow! While we can only drool from the east with our 60 degree temps!! Make a least a turn or two for the rest of us! (but don't lift your arm on mine)
post #71 of 136
Rusty, our cable doesn't have OLN so I can't comment on that particular segment, but...

You know what a check is, I presume. For those of you who don't, it is a quick displacement of the tails of the skis (actually most of the ski) downhill with a hard edge set until the edges are solidly set on a platform and rebounding from that into a new turn. The solid platform allows you to extend your legs to the degree needed to get you the lift into the next turn.

An abstem in the situation Rusty described is just a check with the lower ski, building a platform from which to bound into the next turn while still hedging with the uphill ski for stability. In crud or steeps with snow (not powder) above your ankle, and not enough speed to keep you floating above the snow, a two legged check is risky and may get hung up, and even if an abstem needs to be aborted, it won't result in a fall because of the stability of that maneuver, it is a balance thing.

Having a solid platform under a ski in those situations is important at the end/beginning of a turn. The difference is like trying to jump up from a solid floor or from a stack of three down pillows,which need to be compressed before an effective lift can be obtained...

post #72 of 136

Is the picture in this link an example of an abstem?


post #73 of 136
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by PowDigger:

Is the picture in this link an example of an abstem?


My thought on this picture is that Dan is using his uphill ski, in an early edge stage of a dynamic turn. His uphill or inside hand is back a bit and it looks like he already knows that./ Seems the snow is pulling it and I can see he is taking it out and moving it forward. He knows that this upper body motion will facilitate his ability to keep his CM in line to flow the next link of his line. ( as he moves his hand up and forward his ability to climb up on that early edge will set him up nicely)
The lower ski is either being jettisoned as far as his centermass focus because of his new line or becasue of it falling away due to snow conditions. ( I see the uphill leg loading, as the pressure of the down hill is being let off) That is the beautiful part of WIDE stance and CENTERED skiing. He has choice, Inside edge down hill ski or outside edge uphill ski. The choice is his untill it is forced upon him by the conditions. (terrain, snow ect) And as the mountain calls the dance HE is READY!

I really do not see Dan absteming here. It would not be a choice of his, He is much more agressive than that. Also he has the strength in that upper leg to pull off the higher line play, which would be his style, to set up early for the next one. (although as you see it in the picture he has quite a Squat going there)

Very exciting photography don't you think?

(Oh how do I KNOW this, look at that down hill pole, he is HUNTING a plant to make the transition ... OH YEAH, Dan is having FUN! Brat!)

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 27, 2001 07:51 AM: Message edited 2 times, by Dr.GO ]</font>
post #74 of 136
If it's intentional to get a platform to propell him over his uphill ski to make a turn, yes it is an abstem, but...

If he now simply allows his body to roll over the skis downhill, not likely because of the steepness of the slope, it would not be cosidered an abstem, it would be simply assuring a solid platform, which I think he is doing.

In order to be cosidered an abstem there must be a rebound from a platform to propell the CM over the other ski.

If I were skiing that slope(which I'm not, nor would I) I would make sure my downhill ski has a solid edge in the snow which would support my weight while I stand on it to start my turn with a weight shift to the new ski already starting to go downhill. This weight shift has to work by extending the new outside leg, it can't stay in a squat like that.

That move also will keep the body mass inside the turn. If Dan did not have a solidly set edge on his downhill ski he would have to just make a conventional turn by commiting his CM downhill and SKI the turn.

That takes a comparatively long time and spends enough time in the fall line to gain considrable unwanted speed which is hard to lose. When taking off from a platform the fall line segment can be hurried and can last less than a second and the run out of the turn can be spent looking for an edge set.

From the rooster tail he is throwing up it is obvious that considrable skidding is present before he can get that edge set and his expertise show up in that his right side and his left side are acting independently, the left getting and edge set and the right starting the turn.

That's what I see. ..Ott
post #75 of 136
Rusty Guy,
I was watching the WESC event while cleaning the drool off the floor. About your comment I saw a mix of styles some of which did include an abstem move. Many of these were hard to see due to the deep snow but the moves showed in the legs and hips of the skiers. I thought that the skiers that were moving without the use of the abstem had a smoother flow to their turns. Then again they all looked pretty darn good.
post #76 of 136

Watched the same segment last night. What I saw was not what I would typically call an abstem.

When we watch extremely good skiers in challanging conditions we need to remember that we are watching athletes react to the needs of the moment. They have ripped the bag of tricks open and used every move and combination of moves they own.

Its similar to watching Michal Jordan in a game. He does not rehearse those moves he makes from the top of the key. He works on conditioning/flexibility and then practices basics. The moves just hapen as a result of the need to get to the basket and his athletic ability.

I've skied with Chris Anthoney(placed 4th at Valdez) a number of times. A number of years ago he was in a Teacher Prep III clinic I was leading at Steamboat. He definatly did not display anything resembling an A-frame or abstem in his skiing. On groomed snow at Aspen 2 winters ago he was definetly leaving two clean arcs in the snow throughout the whole turn.

For the most part it seems that is being interpreted as an abstem was the result of wanting to steer the new balance foot into the turn ASAP to avoid gaining speed too fast. At the same tine they held onto the old balance foot for security. Typically an abstem is the result of staying with the old balance foot too lon and pushing the heel of that ski downhill. For the most part I saw the down hill ski track while steming the up-hill ski.

Hope I didn't ramble too much. This explanation seemed more clear before I started typing. Sure wish I had B.B. touch with the written word!!
post #77 of 136
SCSA--Glad to hear you got back out again and found a new move to get excited about. I agree with Todo's excellent post above, though, about the effects of lifting a hand (or just about any other move). Remember that lifting a hand is good advice for someone who carries or moves that hand too low--but bad advice for someone who carries it too high! Focusing on the hands can be helpful at times--as Todo explained, hand/arm movements tend to affect many other things, and it is those effects that are important, not the hands!

I would put any focus involving hands, though, in the realm of "exercise," not "skiing." Remember that good skiing starts from the feet up. Lifting the inside hand/arm can help prevent "banking" (leaning in with the upper body, which reduces edge angle) and can help promote "hip angulation." But not all turns require a lot of hip angulation--it is quite possible to have more than you need.

So keep playing with the new hand drill you mentioned. But remember--to ski your very best, you must stop doing exercises, focus on your skis and on the trail ahead, think "tactics" rather than "technique," and allow your body to perform the best it can, the way you have trained it!

Anyway SCSA, my friend (you turkey!)--I am disappointed that you took offense at the comments I posted about your skiing. I simply described how you ski (as you asked me to)--not how WELL you ski. I gave you critique, not criticism! I described your movements, not your proficiency at them, and there certainly was no "grading." You do what you do very well, and I wouldn't change it unless YOU want to change it.

If you DO want to change it though, I repeat my offer to work again with you. And again, I offer to bring my video camera if you would like it.

Improvement, at any level, requires change. Change requires first that we know what it is that we are doing. That's surprisingly hard to do by yourself, so the eye of an instructor, or perhaps a look at video, can help a lot. What we hear or see isn't always what we hope for--sometimes our perceptions of what we're doing and the reality that the objective lens of a video camera reveals are at great odds. It can be painful--believe me, I've been there. I've also seen Steve Mahre aghast at watching a video of himself, showing something happening that he hadn't been aware of--it happens to the best! But it is information we must have if we want to improve.

Learning requires feedback, and that feedback must be accurate. The feedback I gave you was honest, accurate, and objective--you know it--we played with it quite a bit, and Rusty will attest to it as well, I suspect.

Finally, must clarify one thing--not that it really matters (I make fundamentally the same movements on all my skis, from 123cm to 193cm)--the skis I was on last week with you were NOT 163cm. They were 173cm Elan HCX's ("HyperCarve").

The snow is getting better and better. I look forward to skiing with you again, SCSA.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #78 of 136
SCSA: Read the post above mine and then read it again. This guy is a saint!
post #79 of 136
Bob B: Some day I hope I will get the chance to ski with you. It would be a true pleasure for me and a great learning experience.
post #80 of 136
Powdigger et al--

You COULD call that picture an abstem, but in that extreme situation, I think there are many factors involved. What I see is the downhill ski not really slipping away, but the snow that supports it breaking away.

The result is similar, though, and the consequences can be problematic. The best tactics for inconsistent soft snow conditions like in the photograph usually involve "simultaneous" ski/leg movements. What Dan is showing is a windup of the upper body while he seeks to create a solid "platform" with that downhill ski, from which he will unwind his upper body (his right hand will punch downhill and around) and push off into the next turn with an unweighting from that platform. (Long sentence--sorry--hope it makes sense!)

It works fine--AS LONG AS he is able to establish that platform! And that can be the problem. If the snow is unreliable, so is the platform.

So the movements in the picture are similar to an abstem on hard snow. The skier is looking to set that edge, and the ski will slip away until it happens.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #81 of 136
Thank you, Lucky--it will be a pleasure for me as well. I look forward to it....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #82 of 136

Do get some video coverage of yourself skiing (if you haven't already). Somebody made a short video of me after I had skied around 10 days. It's hilarious [img]smile.gif[/img] and definately worse than 97% of the people on the hill. The best is that at the time I thought I was skiing OK.

Film, look, learn and laugh.

post #83 of 136
Bob, he could finish that turn with or without the platform.

Lets say we suddenly takeaway his downhill ski. What would happen?

He would transfer all his weight to the uphill ski and ride the turn around. No problem.
post #84 of 136
Quote from cold water:

>>>Bob, he could finish that turn with or without the platform.
Lets say we suddenly takeaway his downhill ski. What would happen?
He would transfer all his weight to the uphill ski and ride the turn around. No problem.<<<<

Quote from Ott in a previous post:

>>>If Dan did not have a solidly set edge on his downhill ski he would have to just make a conventional turn by commiting his CM downhill and SKI the turn.

That takes a comparatively long time and spends enough time in the fall line to gain considrable unwanted speed which is hard to lose. When taking off from a platform the fall line segment can be hurried and can last less than a second and the run out of the turn can be spent looking for an edge set.<<<

We recognize that turns can be made without having a solid edge set, but taking away his lower ski would cause several problems.

First, he would sit down because no way could he get forward over his ski in this squat. Second, unlike fall line skiing, he is making full 180 degrees, or more, turns, and he has to get through the fall line quickly, which is hard to do when you don't have any platform from which to push off, the turn has to be skied/steered and the skier has to wait until the shovels bite enough to pull him around, which even with a pounding drive forward will take an eternity.

Not that it can't be done, but I'm sure Dan would rather not.

post #85 of 136
Hey OZ,

It is surely the TEXAS drawl that I have but could you please define what you mean about CROCK TERM?

Is that as in the latin crocodilus, or the Greek krokodilos of the Genus Crocodylus. You know those toothy things that ya'll have down there?

If so then the Abstem refers to exactly what part of your country's beloved lizard?

Maybe it is the stumpy little arms that goofy thing has. (In the STATES we think that those stump little arms mean that they can not get into their POCKETS for a TIP!)

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 28, 2001 07:44 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Dr.GO ]</font>
post #86 of 136
Yes, CW, he probably could pull something off if that ski fails to bite, but he will have to dig deep into his athletic bag of tricks. If he suddenly transfers his weight to that widely spread uphill ski, he will not be balanced over it, but deeply committed to the new turn. And, that uphill ski has little edge angle, so it would be a feat to get it to hold if he chooses to. The "simultaneous movements" I have referred to would keep both skis a little closer, and would involve more similar edge angles so that the uphill/inside ski could indeed play a more active role.

Moreso, the entire mechnanics that Dan has literally wound himself up to employ DO require that downhill ski to form a platform. From that position--upper body rotated, uphill arm and shoulder pulled back, downhill arm and shoulder reaching forward, it would be most awkward, to say the least, to simply turn his feet downhill. Clearly, he's an athlete, and I'm sure he's pulled off that move before. Like I said, it is not unusual when the snow is inconsistent.

But Dan is wound up like a spring, and he is about to release that energy as soon as he can anchor his downhill ski for a platform to spring off from. That's "plan A." A great athlete, especially in conditions and terrain like that in the picture, always has a "plan B" and C, D, E, etc., in his repertoire. But it may not be pretty, or graceful!

The "simultaneous" foot/leg movements I am describing involve turning the feet and skis with the legs alone, each rotating independently beneath the pelvis. The upper body is not involved--it does not require the windup/release of the arms and torso that Dan is demonstrating in the photograph. Such a skier would be somewhat "countered" (upper body facing somewhat downhill) with both skis similarly edged and active. Both hands would likely be downhill of his skis. A simple release of the edges WOULD allow this skier to point his/her skis downhill and then steer them around to complete the turn. This technique does not involve the upper body to turn the skis, and it does not require a platform. Furthermore, it does not require the "up-unweighting" that usually accompanies the "rotary pushoff" technique that Dan is demonstrating.

There is nothing wrong with Dan's technique. Upper body movements to turn the skis are quite intuitive, thus very common. They are nearly ubiquitous among the young, athletic "extreme skiers" of today's popular ski films, doing "hop turns" with varying degrees of refinement down all kinds of terrain.

Sometimes they are even necessary--extremely narrow chutes don't provide room for any turn shape at all, so all the skier can do is hop the skis around nearly 180 degrees at a time. But even here, hopping off both skis instead of just one minimizes the problem that inconsistent snow creates. And minimizing the role of the upper body to turn the skis keeps everything "quiet" and allows the upper body and arms to help other things--like balance, timing, stability, and directing movement.

There are many ways to get down a mountain!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #87 of 136
I agree with the team here and do not see a platform. IF it does exsist it is less than a second in duration. The camera has frozen Dan here but I belive that my previous post acurately describes Dans skiing style and intent here in this turn.

He is focused and balanced, he is atheletic and powerful in his steering. He has made the choice to take a higher line. The spray can be seen coming out equaly from both skis at the moment of the shot.

What will happen next will be a dynamic weight change to take that upper ski and drive it into the turn as it becomes the downhill ski. (at that pitch for him to flatten and then edge, steer and edge again, he has to really climb up on to it)

If that is true then the abstem definition does not fit.

DO I DARE SAY THAT HE HAS, Um, ER, UNWEIGHTED the down hill ski? (at least in the process of it as he pulls onto the uphill, for the early edge) heheheeh, if you can say abstem I can say unweight!

(Hmm, I wonder if I said EARLY EDGE often enough. Casue IT is THE style that DAN skis!)

(Doc, slowly turns away from his computer screen long enough to think to himself about agressive skiers and that thrill of the LINE, yeah I can FEEL that
I got to get to the GYM and get more strength in those legs!)

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 28, 2001 07:47 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Dr.GO ]</font>
post #88 of 136

To your point Bob, as in climbing. His leg muscles will be assisted by the hands and the upper body movement as well as a shift of CM.

At that pitch a shift of CM forward and down line is a forceful move.

Hands forward CHARGE!
post #89 of 136
Dr. Go, no way. Dan is not nearly ready to commit to that squatted ski with a weight shift.

Without a push-off from an solid edge set on his lower ski, his only other option to change weight to that uphill ski is to retract his downhill ski.

Just look at the picture and see what would happen. Any instructor's eye, or experienced skier's eye would see what they know from experience: you simply cannot shift weight in the position Dan is in. His ski tips are even, which means his lower leg has to be straight while the upper one is extremely bent, necessitated by the steepness of the slope.

Before he can make any kind of turn he has to find enough edge resistance to let his body come down to where his straight leg is bent again. Without a platform, in the position he is in now, he could't even roll over his straight downhill leg, it has to bend first, and just retracting it would put his weight on the uphill, squatted leg, and he would lose balance. As Bob said, a two legged check would have been preferable. Also a narrower stance would not have put his skis in this position, but who knows, his very next turn may have been like that, and if he got a platform in this one you may never even have seen in real time what is apparent in a still shot.

post #90 of 136
Well, have it your way. I still say he would rather have found an edge set and a platform. And I think he did. And Ohio has nothing to do with it, I live here. And skiing in Texas, where you live can't be that hot either [img]smile.gif[/img]

We go where the snow is. And skiing the Valluga in St. Anton can put your heart in your throat rather quickly, as I found out in March. Again.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching