Drill Benefits of learning how to ski switch?

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by Mendieta, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl loves soft bumps, trees and ungroomed Skier

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Posts:
    3,910
    Location:
    Southern Vermont!!!
    Had a 2 hour clinic with my instructor comrades at my mountain on Sunday and we spent a good bit of time skiing backwards, doing falling leaf, on ground 360s and I thought of this thread. It's amazing what a couple hours of those kinds of drills does. I felt like I could ski after that, really ski, using edges and everything. They had us even doing this down the steep section feeding into the main base area. Great couple of hours.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
    Mendieta likes this.
  2. Thread Starter
    TS
    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Posts:
    3,849
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA, USA
    Day 4 of the season. First Day with more than a wrod run for me. I went to a flat area on a beginner run. Baby steps but it was fun. I struggled to get parallel edges but I got a C shaped RR Track here or there. No linked turns. But hey. Got a few 180's to a stop. Little things to gain a little more balance and confidence ... Thank you all for the help here!
     
    surfsnowgirl and RuleMiHa like this.
  3. Thread Starter
    TS
    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Posts:
    3,849
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA, USA
    Progress report: day 13 of the season. It's been pretty crowded in Tahoe so I practiced little of this. But yesterday I went up to Sugar Bowl. Very few people in the morning, and there is a perfect place there to start. A very long, wider than usual cat-track. I think it's 3 times the standard width, it goes between the Lincoln and the Disney chairs. Probably 300 yards? 400? Anyways, I was able to do my first linked RR tracks. The beauty of this is that you can see your tracks. I think I was able to go like 25 to 30 yards at a time. Progress! And pick up some speed, since i am more confident in stopping (ugly) or turning all the way to facing downhill (fugly, but hey).

    One of my biggest issues is keeping the skis flat as I go from straight to switch or back (I always edge at least a bit). Of course, that's the key of the 360 (which I obviously don't do properly). Learning how to do that will help improve my transitions in carving anyways. It's all related. Thank you all for encouraging me on this, once again. I hope this thread helps others, too!
     
    Bruuuce, surfsnowgirl and LiquidFeet like this.
  4. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2015
    Posts:
    7,225
    You're doing switch rr tracks? That's impressive.
    Your ski getting caught might be a canting issue. You could try with the top buckle loose, power strap on but not super tight. Do this very carefully till your used to it.
     
    Mendieta likes this.
  5. Thread Starter
    TS
    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Posts:
    3,849
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA, USA
    DUDE! I skied with Phil the other day. He noted my canting issue. I am hoping to be on tighter and newly tuned boots soon. These were a good transition from day 20 to day 90 in my journey, but are no good anymore.

    As for the "impressive" bit, it was really low speed and like 3 or 4 turns, tops. I don't think I would impress any witness of my baby steps, haha. But I was happy for sure, thanks!
     
    surfsnowgirl likes this.


  6. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2015
    Posts:
    7,225
    Just be aware that tighter can solve problems and create more. Like destroying the balance system if the boot is not setup properly. Do not lock up the ankle or foot. It's complicated, and "properly" is not well understood yet in general.
    Currently I've been skiing with both top buckles undone and just a booster because of not enough forward lean and a cuff issue.
     
    Mendieta and Lorenzzo like this.
  7. Thread Starter
    TS
    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Posts:
    3,849
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA, USA
    I thought of you guys last Saturday:

    I was skiing here:

    View attachment 63817
    View attachment 63818

    And I got to ski back a couple times while negotiating a turn with the trees (an my fears, haha). just enough to get positioned for the next turn. SUPER useful. Thank you all!
     
    HDSkiing and Doug Briggs like this.
  8. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl loves soft bumps, trees and ungroomed Skier

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Posts:
    3,910
    Location:
    Southern Vermont!!!
    I've in recent weeks been doing a lot of backwards skiing. I can now ski fully backwards down the beginner trail weaving in and out of the cones/flags. I use this quite a bit with the tiniest kids as it helps them feel comfortable skiing towards me. I also use it when teaching first timers when getting them used to sliding on snow, I have them ski towards me and it gives them comfort knowing I'm there to shield them should they get out of control. I've most frequently started to use this when I have a team of students skiing towards me in a row. I ski backwards down the hill and I can see them come towards me. I continue to move with them and shout out instructions or words of encouragement. I am not always a fan of skiing in front as I'm constantly looking over my shoulder at them. If I ski backwards and they ski towards me I can see them better and I love this so much more. I sometimes will let them lead and ski behind them but I prefer backwards skiing this way I'm facing them. I was talking to one of the other instructors and he said he also has spent more time backwards in the past few days. Harold, one of my supervisors and the one who taught me to ski backwards is always backwards when I see him with a student on the hill. I have had the best few days of skiing of my life and I feel like skiing backwards Is a part of this because you really get comfortable on skis and know your edges.
     
  9. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2015
    Posts:
    7,225
    Vail doesn't want instructors skiing backwards. I guess there's an exception for park.
     
  10. Thread Starter
    TS
    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Posts:
    3,849
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA, USA
    I have also been skiing back, quite a bit, except when it's crowded. I did my first full run on the long wide cat-track at Sugar Bowl, also my first 360's - first 180 + 180 with a pole plant to initiate each - now I can swirtch and keep skiing on a very easy mild run. I need to improve a lot if I really want to ski back, but my forward skiing is benefiting (I also had some equipment improvements and now it seems dialed, which also helps). Oh, and I also started ice-skating with Princess Mendieta. We went three times so far. Great for balance and a lot of fine motor skills with the legs and ankles. Loving it all!
     
    surfsnowgirl likes this.

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice