Drill Inside ski "up" drills comparison

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by Mendieta, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    Hi all

    I would like to focus on this post and some of @LiquidFeet 's and others suggestions in @alexz 's thread, without hijacking it. Focused threads are best.

    I need to improve everything in my carving, but particularly edge angles and separation/angulation. This last season, I started working on a number of related drills: Javelin turns, just lifting up my inside ski, and also tipping the inside ski forward, with the tail raised and the tip slightly touching the snow, flat. I also worked on RR track turns where the inside ski is retracted to avoid a lot of lead.

    All of this under the guidance of my Instructor (@Mark Downing ) at Mt Rose. Anyways, I wonder how you feel about the difference of all these drills in terms of what they achieve, what they focus on, etc. The one thing I think they have in common is a focus on balancing on the outside ski. And they all help me enormously. I did observe much shorter turn radius with all of them.

    Please please please, no religious wars here, let's focus on the drills. Thank you!
     
  2. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

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    A good drill for angulation.

     
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    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    Yes, thanks, I do that one, too. But I did want to understand the difference between the ones that either pick the inside ski up, or make it lighter. Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
  4. JESinstr

    JESinstr Lvl 3 1973 Skier

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    The lifting of the inside ski in the "get over it" drill is simply to disengage it from the process and apply complete focus to the initiation activities of the outside ski. Nothing more. Do notice however, while both are critical, the shortening of the inside leg and (fore/aft) positioning of the foot appears to take more effort (IMO) than getting the inside leg to conform with the tipping angle of the outside... just sayin....

    To me, these focuses are:

    PSIA Fundamental 1 "Control the relationship of the Center of Mass to the base of support to direct pressure along the length of the skis"
    - Those that are pushing their outside ski into the completion phase usually end the turn with their COM moving to the rear of their BOS. This action also causes the old inside ski to be disproportionately advanced forward of the outside ski. What the Video doesn't tell you is that a key to the "get over it" movement is to have your old inside ski underneath you so you can move to it as it becomes the new outside ski. This is what is known as ILE (inside leg extension). THIS IS NOT AN UP MOVE! it is an extension forward and over. You hopefully noticed the double poling. This helps the COM transfer happen in proper alignment.

    PSIA Fundamental 2 "Control pressure from ski to ski and direct pressure toward the outside ski"
    - The "Get over it" drill does something that doesn't often happen when linking turns at speed and that is, it puts you into the realm of gravitational dynamic balance for a considerable portion of the transition...... Hmmm just like beginners ogwink. Instead of quickly moving from centripetal to centripetal balancing realms, you no longer are directing pressure toward the outside ski but have to first PUT pressure ON the outside ski. And at speed this may be a bit of a challenge as I said to @alexz

    PSIA Fundamental 3 "Control edge angles through a combination of inclination and angulation"
    -
    Just watch as the demoer builds edge angles from the bottom up by rolling the ankle and progressively builds more angles on up the lower body.

    To me, the kick I get out of this drill is experiencing and realizing the progressive feeling of transition from gravity based balance into centripetal (Circular travel) balance.
     
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  5. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor, newbie Subaru driver and winter lover Skier

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    My examiner had us doing all kinds of these drills, hop turns, picking up inside ski, picking up inside ski and tapping tip and tail as you turn. All worked great for me but I'd love to explanations as to what makes one better than the other or what separates each one. I'm sure there are others too.
     
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    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    Exactly. Something clear to me is that Javelin turns tend to encourage separation, because in order to balance with the inside ski crossed over the outside ski, your upper body needs to disengage from the direction you are heading to, and face more towards downhill. But there mus be reasons why in some cases you prefer the other flavors of lifting up the inside ski ...
     
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  7. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Mendeita, you said I need to improve everything in my carving, but particularly edge angles and separation/angulation.
    Then you mentioned javelin turns, just lifting up my inside ski, lifting the tail of the inside ski with tip slightly touching the snow, and RR track turns where the inside ski is retracted.

    When you say you want to improve carving with a focus on edge angles, separation, and angulation, those words make me think you want more "carve" and less "skidding." In other words, I'm guessing that you want the ski tails to follow the ski tips, scribing pencil-thin lines in the snow, but have not got that going as strongly as you'd like yet. Have I got that right?

    I want to know exactly what you mean by "improve everything in my carving" before answering about those specific drills... because the same drill can be used to do different things for a skier. A drill's purpose and function is not carved in stone.
     
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    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    Thank you! All of the above :) Yes, you could summarize it as carving more and skidding less. My tracks are rarely totally clean. But these drills seem to help me carve a little cleaner turns.

    Last season I got Head Rallies, which were fantastic in so many ways, and I started really feeling my edges and the skis trenching in and pulling me into the turn. WOW. Of course, with only ~ 25 days of skiing in a season, there is only as much as I can improve. Plus, I started late and I am not getting any younger. Anyway, yes, I talk a lot with Mark during lessons but there is only as much time. He would like to see me achieving better separation, more consistent angulation, and higher edge angles.

    The other thing I don't expect from these drills specifically but it's probably my weakest point at this stage is a fairly stiff stance. Arrgh. I hate that, I need to relax and play around more :)
     
  9. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    @Mendieta it would be most useful to have some video of your current skiing. Then we could identify what movement patterns you are currently using, contrast them to those that are more ideal, and prescribe some specific drills to focus on closing the gap.

    Mike
     
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    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    Yes, sorry, I know the conversation went that way. But I wasn't really looking for a lot of personalized help with my skiing, or MA, but rather a fun conversation around these drills. I loved @JESinstr post above btw!

    And thanks for the offer, I do work a lot on these things with Mark D, and really happy. Cheers!
     
  11. karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    How about dryland exploration of angulation?

    In a doorway, upper body erect, outside leg supported by otherside. Slide upper body down. Wider doorway, greater angulation possible.

    Or, side to side slides on a slider. Keep upper body vertical.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
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  12. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Mendeita, I'm going to try to address your OP here. Hope this helps.

    Javelin turns: This drill is usually used for upper-body - lower-body separation at the hip socket, and for directing pressure to the outside ski. Significant coordination is required not to disturb what the stance ski is doing while doing the javelin movements with the lifted ski.

    just lifting up my inside ski: If done as an initiation move, lifting the soon-to-be-inside ski directs pressure to the new-outside-ski (aka weight transfer) while it is still on its little-toe-edge. Skier must learn to allow that new-outside-ski to tip to its big-toe-edge, and to allow the body it supports to cross over the ski as the turn begins. Learning to do this smoothly leads to a nicely carved turn on one ski. If the lift is done later in the turn, after initiation, this drill can be done as a self-diagnosis for having too much weight on the inside ski. If it's easy to lift it, then skier was balanced on the outside ski when the inside ski was lifted. If it takes considerable adjustment to lift it, well.... This drill is also used to diagnose being in the back seat. If when it is lifted, the tip is higher than the tail, the skier is aft. Skier needs to work on lifting it parallel to snow surface. Well, and then there's the whole ski-on-one-ski thing, and the outside-ski-to-outside-ski drill.

    and also tipping the inside ski forward, with the tail raised and the tip slightly touching the snow, flat: I'm assuming this means lift the tail of the new-inside-ski, keeping its tip on the snow. This is done for all the same reasons as the previous drill. Keeping the tip on the snow almost assures that the skier isn't aft. Lifting the tail but keeping the tip on the snow requires the skier move that lifted foot back, which helps purge back-seat skiing. But I have seen skiers contort their bodies such that they still stay aft when doing this drill.

    **Lifting the tail HIGH with tip on snow can generate a nice skidded short radius turn, whereas lifting the whole ski parallel to the snow surface tends to generate a carved turn. Josh had a whole thread going about this last spring... can one lift the whole ski parallel to the snow, and skid the turn with control to shorten the radius, instead of carving the turn? People disagreed....

    I also worked on RR track turns: RR track turns leave pencil-thin tracks in the snow if done correctly, which means tipping the skis without pivoting/rotating them at all. Bend ankles sideways inside boots to get this going. The drill is usually done to help the skier purge the pivot. It's an introductory movement to master when moving into carving. Purging the pivot is absolutely essential for arc-to-arc carved turns, and being able to turn on and off the muscular femur-rotation or the foot rotation that makes a pivot happen is a great skill to have. If a skier is over-pivoting their turn entries, mastering RR trx heading straight down the fall line on beginner terrain is a great way to learn what it feels like to start a turn with tipping alone, with absolutely no pivoting. It's also a great drill to teach ankle-tipping, or starting a turn from the feet up. And once one gets the ankle tipping going well, to heighten the edge angle one can learn to tip the lower legs more without adding any muscular rotation of the skis. This generates more completed, rounder carved turns and pencil-thin tracks. I think of RR trx as a purge-the-pivot drill.

    RR track turns where the inside ski is retracted to avoid a lot of lead: RR trx as I know them are done straight down the fall line. Skis align with each other naturally. No inside tip lead is generated when heading straight down the fall line, so I've never run into tip lead as an issue with this drill. Are you are working on RR trx starting from a traverse? Are you working on sliding that inside ski back while doing RR trx? Sliding a flat new-inside-foot back will start a turn all by itself, but it is definitely not going to be a carved turn. Given this, I'd think that adding inside-foot-hold-back or slide-back-tension to RR trx will gum up the "clean carve" that the drill is meant to generate. Curious... I have no clue on this one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
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  13. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Here's a few one-ski drills that are quite useful in certain situations:

    • Skating. This was a big one for me this year. The objective is to learn to tip the lower leg to establish a platform that can accept pressure. So, in skating, in order to generate forward momentum, you have to roll the ankle and tip the lower leg to establish edge before pushing against that edge. The drill uses no poles. Generally, it's more effective using very short skis, say 130cm, but slaloms will work pretty ok. To maximize the experience, do the drill on the flat or, even better, uphill. Roll the ski onto edge, then push onto the other ski landing, preferably, on the outside edge. Roll that ski onto the inside edge by rolling the ankle and, most importantly, rolling the knee to the inside and down. Practice this every day for 15 to 20 minutes and not only will you get in better physical condition, but you'll have better tipping mechanics.
    • One-footed J turns. After practicing the skating, go to some outside ski J turns. Pick up the inside ski and point yourself down the fall line. Roll the outside knee down and in to establish edge. See how far uphill you can bring your turn. Even see if you can carve it all the way around.
    • One footed outside ski turns. After practicing the one-footed J turns, practice outside ski turns. For this drill, pick the new inside ski up BEFORE you change edges. Roll the edged ski off of the inside edge by bringing the knee in and down.
    • Crabwalks. This drill focuses on steering the ski back under you. The objective is to allow ski geometry to bring the ski back to you, but not dragging either foot to close the gap. In a slight traverse, pick up the uphill ski and set it down away from you but slightly angled in. Allow the ski to steer back under you, Now pick up the other ski and displace it.
    Just a few ideas.
     
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    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    Fantastic analysis above, LiquidFeet! It confirms my hunch about these drills, but it also adds a lot of useful things to think about. I loved the distinction between starting the "get over it" drill ski lifting early (for early turn initiation) or later (as a diagnostic).

    I think you are right, textbook RR tracks are, in my understanding, cat-track exercises so to speak. Narrow path, mostly downhill trajectory, rather flat terrain, and focus on just tipping the ankles and rolling on the edges. Not that I master this or anything, but with Mark, we (he) extended this drill into wider turns, higher edge angles (within my modest level), and still trying to only roll ankles and keep skis parallel, tracks as thin as possible. In this flavor, the turns I make are not strictly downhill, they are (hopefully) more of a wider S turn, and this is where the lead can appear. Does it makes sense?
     
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    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    Yes! I remember the thread and the disagreement. It was fun to read, way too advanced for me to either try, or even have a sense of it. I would be happy to make outside to outside carved turns well :)
     
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    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    Thank you for the post, Mike, really good for me and other readers to go through.

    Funny that you mention that. I never asked to practice skating in a lesson, but I will.I also play with my version of skating in flats, and got some tips from instructors, but I need to spend time on it with dedicated instruction. I think it would help a lot. I don't think I edge the ski left behind enough, and I tend to edge the gliding (forward) ski too early. But it seems like a great exercise for balance, COM over BOS, etc. And I still need to see a beautiful skier that doesn't skate beautifully.

    That one, was mentioned to me by @surfsnowgirl the other day, and I thought "WOW!, how did I never try that!" I think few drills are as transforming for a relatively new skier as a J turn. It seems to me that a one footed J turn should be great for someone working on more advanced stuff, but still not mastering all the drills mentioned above (which is exactly my case, as of this writing :).

    Thanks again. Great read!
     
  17. T-Square

    T-Square Terry Moderator Instructor

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    Let’s take a look at railroad tracks, edges engaged, tail follows same line as tip (no skidding), simultaneous edge change, equal edge angles, smooth movements throughout. Hmmm, sounds to me like that’s the textbook description of parallel skiing. And that what it is, low intensity parallel skiing. Remember DIRT; duration, intensity, rate, timing. All the fundamentals of parallel skiing are there, it’s just the DIRT is more "relaxed."

    RR Tracks are not limited to down the fallline or cat tracks. When teaching using RR Tracks I take them across the hill as well as making turns. It teaches patience (wait for the turn to happen), simultaneous edge change, and the importance of being centered on your skis. As speed increases edge angles increase and the DIRT shifts and becomes more "intense."

    Done properly they are a great exercise. Use them to start your run and as speed increases, slowly transition from a low intensity DIRT to a high intensity DIRT.
     
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    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    That's exactly how Mark approaches them when I take a lesson with him. We actually mostly do them on a very long, wide run-off in Mt Rose where all the face runs end, and you can pick up some speed, but never too much. I also use the mild intermediate runs on Judah at Sugar Bowl.
     
  19. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Mendieta, do you get carved/ arc-to-arc carved turns when you do those RRtrx? If not, is it a goal?
     
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    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    No, not perfectly so, and yes, it is a goal. We work on a number of drills to improve different aspects of my skiing (different PSIA fundamentals if you will). It's all starting to come together to some extent, but I am not there yet. However, each frill helps the other and it's all starting to come around. Not there yet but enjoying the journey. I am lucky that I actually enjoy drills. So, when skiing on my own, which happens a lot, I drill part of the time.
     

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