On using hip dump to improve skiing

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by karlo, Aug 27, 2018.

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  1. karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    This post is a sidebar to another thread, “How to improve skiing”,

    https://www.pugski.com/threads/how-to-improve-skiing.10455/page-11

    in which I raised the possibility of using a hip dump to improve skiing, a possibility to which the question was posed, why?

    Here is my attempt to answer the question. Before continuing, readers are encouraged to peruse the thread, “What is a hip dump?”,

    https://www.pugski.com/threads/what-is-a-hip-dump.8353

    By my reading of that thread, a hip dump is a lowering of the hip to achieve edge angle, rather than using ankles and feet, accompanied by counter such that the upper body faces the outside ski. Here is a screenshot of Kathy Howe demonstrating a hip dump in her video on the subject, a video referenced by @JESinstr in “What is a hip dump?”

    Kathy Howe Hip Dump.jpg
    (Ref: “Alpine Skiing: A great coaching cue for Hip Dumping…”, Kate Howe, YouTube, Mar 4, 2011)

    Here is a screenshot from a video, referenced by @razie, in that same thread, to illustrate a high level hip dump.

    Learning to Ski Hip Dump 2.jpg
    (Ref: “Learning to ski: carving advanced | english”, bergfex GmbH, YouTube, Sep 18, 2014)

    Look familiar? Then, how about this?

    Michelle Obama Hip Bump.jpg
    (Ref: “Evolution of Mom Dancing”, with Michelle Obama, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, YouTube, Feb 22, 2013)

    And, this?

    70s Hip Bump.jpg
    (Ref: “Who remembers doing The Bump”, Alan Esdaile, ninebattles.com, Nov 27, 2017)

    OHHH, so that's what a hip dump is!

    This is not the hip dump I was thinking of for improving skiing. I was thinking of a drop of the hip that is so deep that one almost touches snow, to achieve high edge angles as high in the turn as possible, in a way that does not rely on tipping the skis with feet and ankles. The torso is projected down the hill, not countered, the skis are on set on edge way uphill of the torso; the outcome is a park-and-ride turn unless intentionally interrupted. An extreme example of such a hip dump is extreme carving,



    With much thanks to @Mike King, who referenced a video posted there, I came to know of Alpine Racers of the World on Facebook, at which I discovered a video recently posted by Ted Ligety, which is yet another example of the kind of hip dump I was thinking of,



    One can see that Ted is working hard to overcome his bad habit of angulating and using his feet,

    Doesn't this type of hip dump look fun to you? It does to me, and I credit this type of turn for opening my eyes to what a shaped ski can do and for being a key to taking me from old style skiing on straight skis to much more dynamic skiing on modern skis. No instructor taught me. I watched the videos like a kid would and just went out to play on my own. I finally engaged an instructor, once, for a half day I think, specifying exactly what I wanted to work on, extreme carving. He wasn't thrilled, but he gave me the one tip that opened it up for me, to pull my inside foot back. With that in my pocket, off I went and I never looked back, until now of course.

    What is the benefit to learning this kind of hip dump and this kind of carving?

    1. One develops trust in one's skis, to grab the snow at high edge very, very high in the turn.

    2. It's simple to do. One can just incline.

    3. For sure, one will learn to extend the outside leg and very fully flex the inside leg.

    4. We can play with one, and just one, additional movement, angulation. Try doing that turn with full inclination in small to moderate bumps. Can't be done. But, one will quickly learn that angulation is the key that opens the door, angulation and edging very early in a turn.

    5. The feedback loop is most immediate. One does not need a video with which to do self-MA to know whether or not one’s got it, or whether or not more can be done, since the objective is so simple. It is like learning to ride a bike, then learning to ride it on one wheel. It is like learning to swing on a swing, higher and higher.

    6. It's a ton of fun. OK, not everyone wants to ride a bike on one wheel, or swing in a swing the highest. But, it's thrilling to watch right? And, we can empathize with those that find it fun, right? And, having that type of fun is what motivates someone to go out and try, try, again, right?

    I agree that this hip dump and these turns are not something one, as a professional instructor, should teach. First, with kids and the inexperienced, they would not play safe, looking both down and up the hill to ensure no one is around. For this type of turn, uphill skier had better have right-of-way, with you having the lowest rights-of-way. Second there's a lot of falling involved to get it, albeit from a low height, not something many students will appreciate. Third, these days, integrated bindings don't have the height. Without a significant riser, one would boot out.

    Also, one might say, that it is not good skiing, dumping, (or dropping?) the hip to get on edge, park and ride turns; it’s just a hack. There's loss of control, mobility, nimbleness. I agree. But, I submit that there is utility in good all-mountain skiing. For example, in a side entry of a chute or gulley, skiing towards the steep opposite side, one might more ideally turn on the steep opposite side "on a dime" with this kind of hip dump, rather than slam into it with one's ski tips. Bang, hit that wall with a hip dump, setting skis high on edge, high to the slope, projecting one's upper body down-slope with the intent to re-direct to another fall line, that which is at the center of the chute. There is no rebound into another turn, so, in that respect, the turn is a park-and-ride turn. I could not find a photo or video demonstration of this example; however I did find this,

    Return of the Turn Episode 3 Hip Dump.jpg
    Ref: “Return of the Turn Episode 3”, 2:38, Marcus Caston, Vimeo.

    In this short segment, Caston's intent, seen if one watches the video, is to shave off the top of the feature, so there is some counter there. But, one can imagine it being the side of a chute and him facing, head and torso, into the chute, having upper body oriented more like this,

    Return of Turn Episode 2 Hip Dump.jpg
    Ref: "Return of the Turn Episode 2", Marcus Cason, Vimeo.

    Another example of this hip dump's and this turn's utility is a quick re-direct when topping a ridge after riding across its flank, in order to ski down the top of the ridge. Towards that end, one would angulate in the air and land on a high edge set, upper body projected down the new fall line, hip close to snow, skis way uphill of the upper body. Again, the turn is a park-and-ride turn, rather than to rebound into another linked turn. I could not find a photo or video of this, but the landing would be similar to a Level 3 Dynamic Leaper,



    described in greater detail at http://www.psia-c.org/dynamic-leapers. In the ridge-topping example, the landing would be more extreme, more like landing in the position Caston is in, above.

    So, with this type of hip dump, if it can be called that, one can improve elements of one's skiing, both movements of one's body and understanding of a ski's capabilities, one can find utility from the skill derived, and... it is fun! Doing something fun is a great way to learn. I would never teach this dump and these turns. But, playing with friends who want to do it? Hell yeah!

    Many thanks to Ted Ligety for ligetymizing hip dumping, park-and-ride, and extreme carving or fun carving or freestyle carving, or whatever one calls it. Now, let's have some fun!

     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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  2. razie

    razie Sir Shiftsalot Skier

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    Hip dumping is not referring to a static pose, especially when top skiers exhaust the normal range of motion (i.e. almost boot out), but rather to a movement pattern where the hips move in first/too early as opposed to the feet.
     
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    karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    It's using hip lowering to edge, rather than feet, right? In the Caston videos, I don't think he hip dumps. I screenshotted to illustrate what position can be the outcome of a hip dump in a severe re-direct, or in extreme carving. It is one that is quite different than one accompanied by a counter.
     
  4. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    Karlo, I think if you asked most WC or nationally ranked racers, you'd find that big angles are a result, not a cause. These guys/gals are managing forces that would fold most of us, even if correctly stacked. And has been said before, work through the chain (angulation in and after apex as forces move one's CoM across the correction of travel of the ski, inclination in that moment as the feet move away from the CoM above apex in speed events and often in GS, though not so much in SL, and micro adjustments in fore aft balance to either 'stroke' the ski or 're-center') starts in the boot, but most certainly doesn't stop there. . The feet ARE NOT isolated from the body. think spark plug firing THEN piston moving. At high levels of refinement, foot movements aren't often thought about as separate, discreet moment.

    Now sure, making excessive angles is fun and a goof, but the examples you site in Ted and Marcus are 1% and above athletes who full well can pick and choose from a huge tool box and ability to vary DIRT that very few skiers can even imagine. Ted wouldn't ski a WC course like the clip in your vid, but he knows how to play with 'the rules' as he's mastered the fundamentals. The push back you're getting from us is that to many we actively coach, including helping many pretty accomplished skiers, is that starting things from the feet is often a radical notion, and when this fundamental change is made and people start skiing from the feet, big, positive, changes in outcomes happen.

    When folks start skiing from inside the boot, most immediately notice the positive change in balance through the arc. Many THEN start accessing angles they had only 'tried' to get by dumping with no sensation of any big effort to get the hip lower to the snow. They're often thrilled by the change in understanding and outcome. Balance = versatility/mobility. Before discovering their feet, most skiers aren't in fundamental dynamic balance. Skiing out of balance is physically demanding. "What evidence?" one might ask. "Yeah, I don't do bumps." " I'm older and don't go all day anymore." "I can't ski this ice"... and "damn, gates are hard" are places to start.

    Back to fun dumping... sure, why not? It's play, and play is fun, but for many, dumping becomes this odd form driven chase for a picture that is essentially a misunderstanding of what Ted and Marcus are doing. It's why I'd rather focus on applying dynamically balanced skiing to terrain, tactics, and range of motion play.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
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  5. Average Joe

    Average Joe Putting on skis Skier

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    Teaching hip dumping to developing athletes is like passing out free samples of crack cocaine.
    Sadly, once they establish the pattern..........

    That said, it's a free country, and if it floats the boat, great. But I doubt that top developing athletes are being shown these type of videos and photos by their coaches and being taught early hip dumping.
    Like Marko said, in the WC athletes cited, the angles are a result, not the cause: bracing against the forces once the angles have been established. Add to that the speed and injected courses.....
     
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  6. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    @karlo, "hip dump" as a phrase does not apply to all turns where the hip is low to the snow. Many of those examples you've given are not hip dumps. It's a specific problematic set of movements.

    --the intent is to put hip down close to snow
    --the intent is to get high edge angles by lowering the hip, without working with the feet first
    --skier rotates the hips to face the outside of the turn early, at the very start of the turn, in order to enable dropping the hip ... without doing what needs to be done with the feet and legs
    --skier then projects the hip out and down to edge the skis...
    --what needs to be done instead: pulling or holding the new inside foot back, tipping it to the little toe edge inside the boot, shortening its leg to edge the skis at a rate determined by the skier, keeping that tipped inside foot up under the body ... all of which together gives the skier strong fine-tuning options for the edging and ski-bending and resulting radius as the turn develops
    --this hip projection takes time and has its own momentum going on because the hips have mass and are being moved across a sizable distance; once the projection is started, the hip drops at its own rate; the presence of that momentum gives the skier no further options for manipulating the turn radius
    --if the hip drops early, the skier reaches maximum edge angles early and rides the skis around (park-and-ride) in their pre-determined radius (the hip-dumping bergfex example is quite obvious in this respect)
    --if the hip drops late, the skier reaches highest edge angles way beyond the fall line, when release for the next turn needs to be happening instead
    --since the hip drops slowly, as it will, be it late or early, it does not help the skier bend the skis with any control; the skier is not doing what needs to be done to manipulate the bend in the skis nor the turn radius which that bend produces
    --in both of these scenarios, early and late hip dump, the skier will be aft at the end of the turn, putting the knee's ACL in danger should a snow snake attack
    --being aft in this way at the end of the turn necessitates a big muscular up-and-over-and-forward "huck" of the body across the skis to start the new turn; the skier has no possibility of developing a smooth flowing path for the CoM

    I went through my own hip dump phase. I loved these turns; they taught me what my skis would do when railed, but they didn't teach me what my skis would do when railed and bent to a degree that I could choose during the turn. Did this hip-dump phase hurt my progression as a skier? Probably not, because I became a ski instructor and was told not to do this, after which I worked hard to figure out what I was supposed to do instead. This was not an easy task because the replacement movement pattern was never clearly described to me. Also, it was hard to give these turns up given the euphoric feel they produced, and the fact that clueless onlookers praised my resulting angles. Did this hip dump phase slow my progression down? Maybe, because I had to purge the hip dump, but at least I knew it was something I needed to delete and replace. Recreational skiers might never find this out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
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  7. Thread Starter
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    karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    The excerpted parts of the list are not the hip dump I am thinking of. What I am thinking of needs another name.

    1. No hip rotation to face outside of turn. Instead, pelvis is dropped or thrown downhill while skis are still crossing hill, so dropped down the fall line. (I forgot another benefit. Better learn where fall line is)

    2. Hip is projected in, not out, relative to the arc.

    3. As a result, doesn't take much time. But, yes, options become limited, as happened to those Japanese, and to Ted.

    4. Skier is not aft.

    The only body angle that is severe for sure is angle if legs to hill, in how little angle there is, resulting in high edge angle. Upper-lower body angulation is optional, from none like the Japanese, to very high angle for a severe redirection of travel.

    Upper lower body angulation is not a result of high turn forces building up towards apex of turn, like a racer's. Rather, its a choice amongst the range of possibilities, from the inclination of the Japanese, to high angle à la Caston, depending on what one wants to do.

    Two things. Hip dump is a term already used for something very specific. Another term is needed for what I am thinking of. Second, what I'm thinking of is likely not suitable for those training to race. But, such folk will discover that quite quickly, on their own, if they try it, though I think I recall seeing racers do it, to not miss a gate, losing speed in doing so. But, the point of this "dump" is not speed, nor versatility. Really need another term for the hip dump I'm thinking of.
     
  8. Monster

    Monster Monstrous for some time now. . . Skier

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    Sometimes aka "a$$-skiing". . .:roflmao:
     
  9. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    ^^^ This.
    I spent a ton of time getting rid of my 'big move' hip dump.
     
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  10. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Giving up my hip dump felt like giving up the thing that made skiing worth doing. There was no immediate replacement that felt as good. I had to stay the new course totally on faith. For a few years I couldn't get my hip that low any more. My skiing became more visibly sedate ... but a whole lot was going on proprioceptively that I was monitoring and developing. I persevered because I knew I was on the right track, but I remember feeling the loss at first.

    Like Average Joe said, "Teaching hip dumping to developing athletes is like passing out free samples of crack cocaine. Sadly, once they establish the pattern.........."
     
  11. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    :micdrop:
     
  12. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    @karlo, remember one of the important adages of teaching skiing: teach nothing that has to be unlearned at a later stage.

    Mike
     
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    karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    I'm a believer of feeling the feet. It's the one thing I ask folks to feel. Hence my interest in those proprioceptive footbeds (another thread). And, I only think of the hip dump, the one I'm thinking of, with upper body projecting downhill, not countering, as a tool to achieve listed goals, not to get addicted to.

    As for the spark plug analogy, me, I'm thinking where I want my upper body to go. I'm thinking where the fall line is and orienting my upper body to that, using the hip. Then, my brain tells my hip to move my legs in a way as to initiate turn where I want to; my legs reach back or to the side, skis interact and, feeling my feet, or seeking a feeling of feet, I flex or extend as needed. As to the feet, its kinda like that tennis player keeping the feet moving to stay nimble, by flexing or extending legs as needed. To me, my feet are super important, to know if things are good, not to actually do anything. But, no doubt they do something as they pressure the boot one way or the other from the inside. My feet are definitely not my spark plug; if anything, my hips are. How can one initiate a turn without the hip first orienting the legs to where they need to be, unless one accepts where they already are for turn initiation?
     
  14. Nancy Hummel

    Nancy Hummel Ski more, talk less. Instructor

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    I do not think those thought patterns will help you learn the movement patterns to execute a passable wedge christie for Level 2.
     
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  15. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    Karlo, take this one to heart if you're trying to pass L2 ... or simply ski all terrain and conditions more effectively.

    (Gravity will take you're upper body where it naturally wants to go... if you let it. The future is down the fall line. ogsmile )
     
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    karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    Boy, she knows how to hurt a guy. :)
     
  17. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    ^^^ This.
     
  18. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    Karlo, with a load of respect, your conception of turn initiation is completely normal and typical for most 1st time (and multiple fail) L2 candidates. It's going to take a season with a trusted mentor/coach/trainer to begin to understand the inefficiencies and lack of balance you've been compensating for EVEN if you can get down anything on the mountain. If you can let tgo of the 'yeah, but you have to start with the hip' , you'll make huge strides in your skiing. As LF said, it'll feel pretty odd and maybe even downright crummy at first, but hold on and believe. If you were in the PNW, I'd love to help you out. As was said earlier, working in the boot is something that's downright radical to a lot of pretty decent skiers and especially hard for L2's who fail their first attempt at their exam when they read their evaluation sheet and speak with their examiners. This is when we often hear griping about exam results and grand PSIA exam failure conspiracies, but those who own it and are willing to sort it out from square one will quickly understand what the 'ski from the feet' hubbub is all about.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
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  19. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Nancy was too the point in what not to do, but perhaps not as helpful in what to do. The problem with moving the upper body (and yes, the hip is part of the upper body) is that the movement is most likely to wind up with inclination, not angulation, weight on the inside ski rather than the outside ski, balance aft on the ski, with the result that you push the ski away from you to attempt to achieve edge angle, and the maximum pressure arises, as a result, late in the finish of the turn rather than near the apex (in the middle of shaping) of the turn.

    Historically, people were taught to move the body over the skis as that was what was needed to change the edge on straight skis with far less sidecut than what we have today. Modern technique, however, relies on tipping the ski to engage the sidecut and as the tipping continues, bending the ski to decrease the turning radius of the turn.These movements begin in the ankles and continue by tipping the lower leg.

    The linkage to the wedge christie is it is all about the release of the skis. You've got to tip them to be able to steer them. It's really not effective to attempt to accomplish by sending the upper body, or the hip, over the skis. Tip the ankles and follow with tipping the lower leg.

    Mike
     
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  20. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    @karlo your ideas of how to "get there" are on the wrong track. I respect that you're asking for advice and information from the esteemed instructors who've excelled in teaching. Take the advice and wipe the hip dump from your mind.
    This goes along the lines of; what got you here won't get you there.
     
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