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Thank you Mr. Joubert

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Mr. Joubert was a huge influence on my understanding of alpine ski technique for many, many years.

 

For that I am grateful.

 

May you rest in peace, Georges.

 

 

- From Ski Racing Magazine today:

 

 

Frenchman Georges Joubert turned the ski racing world on edge when he published revolutionary thoughts on ski technique as, perhaps, the most influential ski writer in Europe for decades. He died this morning (Nov. 1) at his home in Grenoble. He was 87 and had been ill.

He pioneered multiple skiing concepts including Avalement or “swallowing” of terrain with the legs and “Surf Technique”, the forerunner to what World Cup racers currently refer to at “Stivot.” He also pioneered the “tuck” position helping lead Jean Vaurnet to an Olympic gold medal in 1960.

Her served as the president and technical director of the Grenoble University Ski Club and was a professor of the Scientific and Medical University of Grenoble. He authored several books on ski technique including “How to Ski the New French Way,” and “Teach Yourself to Ski.

He served the French National Ski Team as director in its heyday of the early 1970's, retiring in 1974 to return to his research and wrote extensively for the French magazine Skiing.

He teamed with Vaurnet to develop the high speed filming of ski racers to allow more precise analysis.

Olle Larsson, the recently retired head of the Rowmark Race program was a student of Joubert at Grenoble and wrote: “Because of his creative mind combined with a solid background in science he was the most inspiring mind to many that desired to gain an edge in the sport.”

post #2 of 14

Me too....

 

Many of his ideas were actually ahead of their time, however with new gear (shape skis) his ideas are now more relevant then ever.  Amazing how some "big names" in skiing teaching still dont believe in his ideas or give them the credence they deserve....

 

Sorry to hear of his passing.

post #3 of 14

I owe quite a debt of gratitude to Mr. Joubert, who taught my coach and mentor, Olle Larsson.  Olle always referred to how Joubert shaped his coaching philosophy and analysis of technique.

 

Olle introduced me to Georges Joubert in the summer of 1990, when I was at a summer ski camp in Tignes, France.  We spent a transfer day in Grenoble, touring the Rossignol race room and having a lesson and Q&A with Joubert.  Joubert was a smart and witty man, an innovator who challenged all of his pupils - and, in fact, all of ski racing - to push the envelope and try new things, using science as his foundation.

 

Most of all, Joubert was a kind, caring soul.  He would take pupils under his wing who might have been the misfits or the atypical student - he believed in the potential of everybody, as long as the pupil was willing to excel, push the boundaries and try to be the best.

 

Merci beaucoups, Mr. Joubert!

post #4 of 14

I skied for the GUC back in the early '70s. M. Joubert was the director and I first met him at a September camp held up on the Sarenne Glacier above Alpe d'Huez. He was an impressive and imposing man. While the group with which I skied was primarily training with his assistant Alix Berthet, the organization, coordination and scope of the program was phenomenal. At the time the GUC was comprised of some 600 alpine ski racers and about 15 percent of all of the elite racers in France. I remember that M. Joubert was brutally honest with the athletes and you had to have a pretty thick skin when listening to his critique of your talents. It was a very European approach to coaching. I was among about a half-dozen other American and Canadian skiers who had made the pilgrimage to Grenoble to avail ourselves of the revolution in skiing that was taking place in France after the 1968 Winter Olympics. It was a great time and I have some very fond memories of the great French skiers and athletes with whom I got to ski, party, travel, race and train. In 2006 I was cycling up the back road of Alpe d'Huez and saw the trail over the Col de Sarenne that we used to hike back down the mountain after our fall race camp. The memories just flooded back. My only regret was that I did not keep in touch with those folks; lost well before Facebook. When young athletes talk to me about ski racing after high school, after the usual NCAA, USCSA preamble, I always throw out the option of taking off for a year to ski in Europe. While there are and have been many great ski coaches out there, very few will ever have the impact that M. Joubert had on the sport. I'll have a couple of glasses of wine in his memory. 

post #5 of 14

Georges Joubert was my silent coach while I was learning to ski.  No, I've never met him, but I was reading passages from his book, while my Dad drove to the hills.  He gave me ideas for drills, and skills to learn.  It's very hard to learn without the feedback from a coach or a video, so I don't claim to have achieved what he described, but I still learned a lot.  RIP.

post #6 of 14

http://www.joubert-georges.info

 

site officiel de georges joubert le coach

post #7 of 14

I still have all the books and am glad indeed.

post #8 of 14

"Teach Yourself to Ski" & "Skiing an Art a Technique" along with "How the Racers Ski" were my first introduction to actually beginning to understand ski technique.  I am still working on it of course, but Joubert was mandatory reading for me & my mates starting out.

 

RIP Georges!

 

Thanks,

JF

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 

Many of his ideas were actually ahead of their time, however with new gear (shape skis) his ideas are now more relevant then ever. 


I picked up a copy of "Skiing  An Art ... A Technique" a couple of months ago and read through most of it once, (didn't get much into a couple of the end sections), and am slowly working through it again, reading a few pages every night before I go to sleep.

 

There is very clearly a positive, "Go" spirit which pervades the work; an "attitude" which is timeless. I'm curious though, since so much of it is based on techniques which are seemingly not embraced in today's approach to skiing - e.g.  stems, checks, platforms, rebounds - which of his ideas do you feel "are now more relevant then ever"?

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 

Many of his ideas were actually ahead of their time, however with new gear (shape skis) his ideas are now more relevant then ever. 


I picked up a copy of "Skiing  An Art ... A Technique" a couple of months ago and read through most of it once, (didn't get much into a couple of the end sections), and am slowly working through it again, reading a few pages every night before I go to sleep.

 

There is very clearly a positive, "Go" spirit which pervades the work; an "attitude" which is timeless. I'm curious though, since so much of it is based on techniques which are seemingly not embraced in today's approach to skiing - e.g.  stems, checks, platforms, rebounds - which of his ideas do you feel "are now more relevant then ever"?


Rebound and check turns were pretty much the method you had to use to turn a pair of straight 205 slalom skis, but what Joubert brought to the table was "avalement" or swallowing, which was the technique of active absorption of bumps so there was a strong emphasis on ski/snow contact, not hopping or bouncing around too much. The point is, his approach to technique was far ahead of ski design. Once shaped skis allowed for carving through all phases of turn, flexion through the knees and hips in the belly of the turn became much more of a necessity. When you stand too tall on your skis you lose your range of motion through  the knees and ankles and the best you can do is move hip to hip, and end up pushing your feet. Skiing from a lower position using ankle, knee and hip flexion allows one to really articulate the knees into the turn. One of M. Joubert's most common exhortations was "Baisses ton cul, nom de dieu!" (Lower your ass god damn it!), something I heard many times during my time with the GUC. Active, dynamic skiing, maintaining flow and creating as much carve as possible was what he was after. It only took another 25 years for the skis to catch up to his methodology.


Edited by georgert - 6/2/11 at 7:55am
post #11 of 14



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by georgert View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 

Many of his ideas were actually ahead of their time, however with new gear (shape skis) his ideas are now more relevant then ever. 


I picked up a copy of "Skiing  An Art ... A Technique" a couple of months ago and read through most of it once, (didn't get much into a couple of the end sections), and am slowly working through it again, reading a few pages every night before I go to sleep.

 

There is very clearly a positive, "Go" spirit which pervades the work; an "attitude" which is timeless. I'm curious though, since so much of it is based on techniques which are seemingly not embraced in today's approach to skiing - e.g.  stems, checks, platforms, rebounds - which of his ideas do you feel "are now more relevant then ever"?


Rebound and check turns were pretty much the method you had to use to turn a pair of straight 205 slalom skis, but what Joubert brought to the table was "avalement" or swallowing, which was the technique of active absorption of bumps so there was a strong emphasis on ski/snow contact, not hopping or bouncing around too much. The point is, his approach to technique was far ahead of ski design. Once shaped skis allowed for carving through all phases of turn, flexion through the knees and hips in the belly of the turn became much more of a necessity. When you stand too tall on your skis you lose your range of motion through  the knees and ankles and the best you can do is move hip to hip, and end up pushing your feet. Skiing from a lower position using ankle, knee and hip flexion allows one to really articulate the knees into the turn. One of M. Joubert's most common exhortations was "Baisse ton cul, nom de dieu!" (Lower your ass god damn it!), something I heard many times during my time with the GUC. Active, dynamic skiing, maintaining flow and creating as much carve as possible was what he was after. It only took another 25 years for the skis to catch up to his methodology.


 icon14.gif .I agree with georgert, and will add that not only did Joubert talk about the absorption of physical bumps, but also "virtual" bumps.  He developed the virtual bump concept which is the core idea behind understanding the why, when and how much of modern "cross-under" transitions.  Cross under transitions of course being the primary way of executing transitions for all of todays high end skiing, whether it be racing or big mountain skiing.
 

post #12 of 14

The Man Who Taught Us Modern Skiing - Georges Joubert Remembered

 

A nice presentation from Ron LeMaster's web site.

 

And a nice video of Annie Famose, featured in slide 41. Beautiful then, and now. ;-)

 

A-FAMOSE.jpg


Edited by jc-ski - 2/7/12 at 12:50pm
post #13 of 14

What a great journey,  Thanks for posting jc-ski.

JF

post #14 of 14

I did some inline skating the past several months, and I've been thinking about how the experience correlates to skiing. One thing that I've become very sensitive to is steepness, as even on skates with a brake you can get into trouble quickly if you build up speed beyond your ability to stay in control, i.e., turn, or at a minimum, brake successfully. So, just as with skiing, best to skate on easier slopes and develop good technique, hopefully improving over time and pushing the boundary, but not by so much that you become a danger to yourself (or others).

 

With that said I've been thinking about "ski the slow line fast". I have done this while skating on slopes that are too steep for me to schuss comfortably, but wide enough for me to employ complete turns that go across the fall line and sometimes even slightly back uphill. Some people can use hockey stop-style braking on inline skates, but I can't (yet), so my options to control speed are heel brake or choice of line (turn). I have my limits, but I do "the slow line fast" when I feel like I have enough room. However, sometimes there are slopes where there effectively is no slow line, as the pitch is too steep and narrow for me to control speed with turning. So, in order to skate another day I just skip them.  ;-)

 

Which brings me back to Joubert and skiing. Every skier has his/her limits, and "steep" and "narrow" are ultimately subjective. If you put someone on a steep and/or narrow enough pitch for that skier there may effectively be no slow line, so they will have to resort to some kind of check turn, with platforms, and rebound, and steering, and maybe turning the skis in the air, off the snow. ( I guess hop turns are in one sense an exaggerated form of check turn, no? ) Either that or straightline/schuss, and pray.  ;-)

 

So I kinda understand why big up down movements and checks/platforms are not embraced as a go-to technique for a lot of skiing - on groomed slopes with modern skis it's unnecessary movement/effort. But on steep/narrow chutes, or perhaps in some other kinds of conditions, still perfectly viable techniques that can and should be employed?

 

If so, how much of Joubert's Art & Technique is actually still relevant?

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