MA request fo

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by Smear, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. Smear

    Smear Putting on skis Skier

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    Hi,

    Aside from one group lesson on a NZ clubfield during my first week of alpine skiing, and some tele instruction way back, I'm pretty much self-taught as an alpine skier. So until now I have tried to improve just by trying to feel what I'm doing, and reading books and watching videos about how it's supposed to be done. I understand that's not really an efficient way of becoming a better skier and posting video here is one step in trying to fix that. I'll also seek out some in person instruction this season and last year I joined a program where I can ski GS gates once a week.

    Bought a used video camera 2 years ago with intent of getting footage of myself for improving technique, but in recent years I've skied almost exclusively alone or with the kids and the video camera didn't do much good on it's own... Finally planets aligned I got two clips this weekend. This is the first time I've seen myself alpine ski on video. The horror. Not that satisfied with the effort in the video, but it will do as a start. No more postponing.;) I'll add more video later if I'm able to get any. Thanks in advance for any feedback. What do you see as the most prominent issues and how would you work to improve on those?



     
  2. razie

    razie Sir Shiftsalot Skier

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    See https://www.pugski.com/threads/ma-request.9407/page-2#post-230610 - pretty much similar feedback.

    Your reliance on the upper body and lack of separation is more pronounced (i.e. you're leaning in and stay very square to the skis). So - in one word: separation
    - separate upper body vertically (feet from hips, i.e. flexion) - drag poles, boot touches in transition
    - separate upper body rotationally (counter) - picture frame, hands on hips, tuck turns with counter, braquage, pivot slips
    - separate upper body laterally (counterbalance / hip angulation) - touch outside boot, drag outside pole, airplane turns.

    Take video and compare until perfect.

    Rinse and repeat at bigger edge angles and higher performance.

    After you get some separation, we can refine other elements.

    To put it simply, good skiing is easy as 1-2-4:

    [​IMG]

    1. put the skis on edge
    2. counterbalance
    3. the skis will turn from the ski-snow interaction
    4. you counteract that turning
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
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  3. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    @razie ... how about 3? What's 3? Which foot?
     
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  4. PTskier

    PTskier Been goin' downhill for years.... Pass Pulled

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    Everything Razie said, and...
    upload_2018-4-3_14-4-55.png

    Too much weight on the inside foot. Too far apart. Too far ahead.
    Lighten the inside foot. Balance by more counterbalance as Razie says in item 2. Keep your feet side by side, not apart and not one way ahead.

    LF's question about the turning of item 3, let's hope that is the outside ski, on edge, turning the skier. Not the skier turning the ski. And, #4 comes very early in the turn, not late as might be implied in the text.
     
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  5. razie

    razie Sir Shiftsalot Skier

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    I edited and added the description. 3 (blue is passive) is the result of 1 and 2 (orange is active), i.e. the skis turn because of having a "shape" and interacting with the snow - assuming or rather hoping that nobody wise enough to connect to the internet and post here is trying to arc the old straight skis ;).

    You'll need some discipline on top of the basics above: keep the feet close together and under the hips... you don't want them all over the place. Same with the hands.

    As you refine them: 1 (unweighting the inside foot, tipping it and taking it out of the way, bend the knees), 2/4 - separate at the hips, don't disturb it with the pole plants etc.

    And that's pretty much expert skiing! How you go about learning that, it's a different issue. Different skiers take different paths and of course, their mileage will vary.

    So, for instance, you can focus on refining 1 (tipping) and only when happy or when lacking the others becomes a limitation, then move to 2 etc. As 2 and 4 improve, you go back and take 1 to the next level and so on and so forth.

    The point is that this is good skiing. You can't be a good skier without 1-2-4 and if you do 1-2-4, you're likely to ski reasonably well - at least a lot better than without. How far one refines them and how much effort etc will differentiate skiers.

    cheers

    p.s. Since tipping the skis on edge is kind'a obvious and a given (outside of a minority that still pivots a flat ski) I could reduce it all further to just one concept: separation. Which is what I actually did in me first post above... but that's one for the theoreticians and philosophers here... how much simpler can we make it before it becomes too simple?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
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  6. razie

    razie Sir Shiftsalot Skier

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    :thumb:
    Heh. The skis will start turning as soon as you get engagement... it's interesting how many don't realize how early that can be... and early ski engagement is the currency that high level expert skiers use to buy a turn!
     
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  7. karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    Woah! Pretty good for self-taught. You would be a dream-student for any instructor. How many years have you been at it?
     
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  8. Tlri

    Tlri Putting on skis Skier

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    Smear,
    Nice turns, a lot of good stuff going on. I like the edge angle and early engagement of the skis in the turn. In my eyes I’d like to see less upper body movement (both tipping and rotation) and more two footed skiing. To me it looks like the inside foot is not weighted much allowing it to drift forward and diverge from the path the flexed outside ski is taking.
    I agree with razie that I’d focus on separation with a secondary focus on reducing tip lead and staying two footed.
    I’d work through a progression of
    1. hockey stops
    2. pivot slips
    3. Patience turns then dial up the speed and dynamics back to your pace and intensity.
    Through each step focus on quite upper body that’s focused and moving down the fall line and keeping the inside ski weighted and engaged.

    Don’t lose the flow! Your turns look like you’re having fun. Makes me want to turn this thing off and go make some turns of my own.
     
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  9. Thread Starter
    TS
    Smear

    Smear Putting on skis Skier

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    Thanks for the feedback and suggestions for exercises.
    This is very consistent with the feedback I most often get when skiing GS-gates. I often end up overrotating in the end of the turns, loosing angulation and the pressure on the outside ski and mess up flowing into the next turn.

    It is much much worse when skiing gates than in the video above. I have thought it was more of an isolated "gates issue" as explained in a previous post. Interesting and sort of not surprising that it is the same separation issue that is most prominent when struggling in the GS- gates, that is also the most prominent issue when doing mellow carving on short radius skis well inside the comfort zone. That holds high hopes that a lot of things will fall in place when I fix that. Motivating to think of :)

    When I focus on increasing counter and improving separation I often get the timing wrong. Facing the outside of the turn too early, sitting down with the hip and ending up static and in the backseat. Need to work on that without messing it up.

    Awareness exercises like holding poles in front or hands on hips works. When doing those in the past I've often thought that I'm overrotating more often than I'm realizing.

    As for vertical separation I think I usually ski with more flex in the transition than in the videos above, at least when trying to carve on short radius skis. Often the DIRT of that flexing feels off, and sometimes it feels fine. Hope to get that on video one day so I can see what the difference looks like between feeling off and not.
     
  10. razie

    razie Sir Shiftsalot Skier

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    I would say that skiing more two footed is a sure way to end up more square ;)

    So it's fine to exaggerate counter and face to the outside of the turn too early. Exaggeration is one great way to acquire and refine needed movements. In GS you'll hear often "hit the gate with the back of the shoulder" and there's two reasons behind that cue: your skis should already be pointing the other way and you're coiling/countering a lot.

    When you exaggerate the counter, block the hip dump by pulling back the inside foot and tipping it into the turn - which requires it be unweighted and flexed. You gotta keep at it for a while and exaggerate until these movements starting to coordinate and it starts to make sense. It also helps to isolate them and practice them one at a time and keep bringing them back together.

    So, focusing first on flexing and foot tipping makes sense...
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
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  11. Tlri

    Tlri Putting on skis Skier

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    To me pulling the inside foot back and tipping it into the turn would be skiing more two footed. I would not be a proponent of 50/50 pressure between the skis in this situation but the above mentioned movements will get the skis moving simultaneously and with the same edge angle. At that point I would think the inside ski will be pressured through more of the turn than it currently is.
     
  12. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Watch your pelvis in the video above -- see how it follows the skis? That's the lack of rotational separation that is talked about above.

    You have fairly decent lateral separation -- the lower body is tipping to change the edges and build edge. The next step is to allow the legs to turn under the pelvis -- that is, don't let the pelvis follow the legs through the turn.

    A different way of saying what was said above.

    Mike
     
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  13. slowrider

    slowrider Out on the slopes Skier

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    You have a nice flow to your turns. Tweeking movements (from replies above) will make a huge difference in your turn shaping and overall ski performance. My observation is flex your legs to release the edges. There by putting your lower body in a flex position in transition.
     
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  14. Thread Starter
    TS
    Smear

    Smear Putting on skis Skier

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    Tried to exaggerate (early) counter when skiing gates tonight, while trying to avoid going into hip dumping territory. The fog was so thick that at times you could hardly see the next chair at the lift. Went into a bit of an introspective state feeling the sensations of the early counter.:eek: Ohhhhhh shit, WTF, where am I? Our training slope has an edge in the middle where it goes from typically blue terrain to black terrain. Skied right off the edge without noticing. But no harm done, just skied out of the course. Usually impossible to make first gates in the steep section without being a bit tactical on the last gate before. Note to self: do not get to absorbed in technique when skiing in dense fog.

    Spent the time after the gates skiing doing tuck turns with exaggerated counter with focusing on pulling back and tipping the inside foot. Heavy glop everywhere outside the course so not useful for much else than tuck turns. Liked those sensations as well. ogsmile
     
  15. Thread Starter
    TS
    Smear

    Smear Putting on skis Skier

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    If you thinking about the first turns in MA1 up to around 0:07 then I think you are onto something.

    My thoughts are that that size of turns on that slope should be done with a smooth two-footed edge roll with evening out the total pressure by flexing in the transition. Instead it seem like a grinding effort with jumping between the turns. Inside ski not doing it's thing, and the total pressure and distribution between skis is not changing smoothly. Looks like I'm trying way too hard in a wrong way. Video-fever? Sincerely hope I don't ski like that when not being filmed. hmmm... But perhaps I do look like that also when not being filmed. Watching myself ski on video is not fun. Next turn a bit messed up by having to look uphill before changing lanes. But then around 0:09 I seem to loosen up and those last turns looks like a lot of fun. Watching myself ski on video is really cool :ogcool:

    Mr upthigthis is back in the start of MA2. Those first turns look truly weird. Around 0:07 flow arrives. Few good turns but then I'm surprised by a skier that I thougth I passed and makes the only flexed transition in the video when pressed for space at 0:09 and ending up a bit wide. A few good turns and then some boring navigation through the crowd. Note to self: wait until the slope is clear next time.

    Uppsss did i say all of that out loud....ogwink
     
  16. Fuller

    Fuller T shirts & flip flops... Skier

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    First, congratulations to your cameraman, he/she is doing a nice job (the skier too)

    I'm not an instructor but I like to observe and appreciate other skiers. A couple of things that stand out to me (and others previously) is the inside tip lead which is a bit excessive, the hands are a tad busy as if you are conducting an orchestra and I did notice some A-framing in both your left and right turns which hasn't been mentioned.
     
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  17. Tlri

    Tlri Putting on skis Skier

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    Smeer
    This is very similar to something I worked on years ago in exam prep for level 2.
    What you discribe as the jump or not smooth transition was the same move I had going.
    If you break it down piece by piece what I found in my skiing was added steps at transition because of the tip lead.
    At the apex of a turn my outside ski would be flexed and my inside ski would be very (2-5%) lightly weighted, drifting forward, and diverging. As I’d finish the turn and enter transition instead of being able to move across the skis I’d have to add a slight shuffle to align the skis before I could move across. Without that move I’d be entering the next turn on my new outside ski tail or getting hung up on the shovel of my new inside ski as I was sliding it forward.
    Those extra moves slowed my transitions and resulted in a bit of a downstem or A frame.

    As I worked through it I found pulling my inside ski back and engaging the uphill edge but maintain a degree of counter applicable to the terrain and speed I was skiing let me move more smoothly to the next turn.
    As razie noted it is a challenge to not let this weighted inside ski lead to your hips being square to the skis but with repetition and a trained outside set of eyes as you work through it you can find the balance in these movements.
    I don’t have a race background other than being another wannabe but I like to think of keeping the upper body focused or projecting down the hill and skiing in and out of various amounts of counter according to the speed and terrain I’m skiing. To me the excessive counter at the top of the turn, while fun, is another extra move that detracts from the downhill flow.
    I know there’s applications for it in gates to help load a ski or duck around a panel but in everyday skiing outside of a fun feel I think it’s counter productive.
     
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  18. Thread Starter
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    Smear

    Smear Putting on skis Skier

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    Been alpine skiing for 12 years so I have been at it for a long time. Skied telemark before that, including doing a little bit of telemark instruction. Telemark is kind of similar to alpine skiing, alpine skiing just has less complications...

    Not too sure about being a dream student. Lot of unconscious ingrained habits and I'm horrible at trying to change things that should be changed at a specific time in the turn sequence. I have no conscious sense of timing when it comes to ski technique... I got where I am by just skiing a lot.

    Thanks. I've been told that those arms can be used to identify me at several hundred meters distance. I've seen the characteristic look of the arms on images dating 15 years back. Those arms are probably not going to change without putting in a HUGE effort.;)
     
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  19. Jamt

    Jamt Getting on the lift Skier

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    You drive a lot of your skiing by extending the inside leg before transition. Try the opposite. End the turn completely balanced on the outside ski, and balance on that ski all the way until you are in the fall line in the next turn. Then you switch weight to the new outside ski and repeat. I think it would be a good drill for you.

    If you do the transition this way and lead the upper body out over the outside ski, leading with the inside hip, you will learn something about outside balance AND ending the turn facing down (see my signature below)
     
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  20. Thread Starter
    TS
    Smear

    Smear Putting on skis Skier

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    Kind of like a white pass turn?

    http://www.psia-c.org/white-pass-turn/

    A bit more fluid with Josh Foster:


    Can't remember having tried those. I think I can see how that might smooth out the transition issues. Can't wait to try. Will do on Saturday.

    I'm pretty good at little toe edge turns on my right ski, but suck bad with the left ski. Feels like I'm more often ending up tilting the pelvis inside (viewed laterally) on the left leg turns little toe edge turns but manage to keep the pelvis more level on the right leg little toe edge turn. Curious to see if that drill will feel very in left and right hand turns.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018

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