The outside ski to outside ski drill.

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by Josh Matta, Feb 22, 2017.

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  1. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    There are many many variations of this and its now becoming a PSIA exam task. The PSIA is calling for the entire skis to be lifted of the snow. I have always and will always teach this with the tip down. The National Team Member I asked on youtube stated that....

    "Holding the entire ski off the ground is more difficult from a lateral balance perspective. Putting the tip down can assist people who are back stay forward. The goal at this level of performance is to be centered rather than forward."

    So let me be clear, at my current alignment I am awful at this drill as stated as soon as my entire ski comes of the snow I just go back and its feels very off balance. Over the past couple weeks I tried shimming out my binding to level my ramp off and voile I could easily do the drill then. I could even do it with no poles. Unlike the National Team member it meant I was not dragging my poles. The issue I ski like shit at that ramp angle.

    This is Jonathan Ballou's verison of this drill, the USSA is promoting the same thing now.



    I just want state to that jonathan is among the people I most respect about ski teaching, but IMO this is purely chasing a look and ideology that is not based on objective facts. but I quite frankly find this demo pure and utter crap, its looks very static and he is dragging his inside pole as a means of staying upright though is 2nd point of contact. His skiing is typically exemplary, far better than I could ever hope to achieve.

    USSA use to like the tip Down



    Reilly and JF both like to keep the tip down. IMO this is a much more natural ways of doing this drill. Objectively speaking its is far easier to keep the COM moving forward if your only focusing on lifting the tail of the inside ski. Easier in my mind = better. Drills are suppose to build or replace on skills we want to build in our skiing. For me and every student I have had, having them lift the entire inside ski just takes away confidence as every seeks to gain balance when the drill itself is putting them out of balance.

    So Basically want I want to ask is objectively speaking which way is better and why? Is the PSIA just chasing a look and ideology here? maybe its to separate themselves from the PMTS style of doing things?

    UPDATE>>>>>

    here is my attempts my descriptions of this video is on page 3 of this thread.

     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
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  2. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor, Jeep Wrangler driver and winter lover Skier

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    I love this drill. My mentor Ron always has me do this one with the tip of the ski down as I turn.
     
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  3. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    I spent two days of clinics last week doing outside ski drills. It seems to me that there are various reasons you might do an outside ski drill, and the mechanics might be different depending on what your objective is. If you are attempting to train upper body position to be disciplined and over the outside foot, then you might be ok with dragging the tip of the inside ski or, even better, the outside pole. On the other hand, if you are attempting to explore early pressure on the new outside ski, then dragging anything creates a fulcrum. That might not be what you want. We were exploring turning the ski via tipping and pressure. To turn the ski via tipping and pressure you are going to pressure the tip, not the center, of the ski.

    Josh, you should be able to do both. If you are finding that picking the ski up completely results in you moving back, you might consider that as feedback that you need to practice the drill more.

    Mike
     
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  4. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Except I can do it easily with my toes lifted....I would also not call a demo with clear inside pole drag as someone doing it easily. Lets be clear I have not seen a completely outside ski drill done with out pole drag on video or in person.

    Mike King how can you have more "early pressure" then just having one ski on the ground. Remember pressure is a feedback mechanism not something that can be created. also if your at maximum pressure at the start of the turn, could you get any more as the turn develops

    BTW In most cases as you need to practice more would be correct, but I am just going to carry shims with me if it the drills comes out to play at a tryout. there are no rules against it.
     
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  5. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Curious wouldn't the inside pole be a fulcrum as well?
     


  6. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    I generally agree with you that pressure can't be created, although can increase it (up and down unweighting, for example).

    It is more difficult to do an outside ski turn without an inside/outside pole or ski tip/tail dragging. That's because either/both provide a fulcrum against which rotary force can be applied. Without a fulcrum, your turning mechanics are reduced to edging/pressure management.

    The "early pressure" thing is another whole rabbit hole to descend into. In Aspen, one of the themes of the year is "the process of weight transfer starts before edge change." Some seem to be interpreting this as pressure exchange occurs prior to edge change. One of the drills that Jonathan Ballou used in a clinic I was in last year to work on this element was the outside ski drill where the new inside ski is picked up before edge change. BTW, difficulty increases not only with removing the fulcrum, but also by how early in the turn the ski is picked up. So an easier progression is to leave a fulcrum, but start by picking up the ski in the finish, then in the shaping, in the initiation, and finally before the transition. Similarly, remove the fulcrums and move through all phases of the turn. That's a way to increase the difficulty in pieces that makes the drill more accessible.

    But to descend the rabbit hole a bit further, there's some resistance to the early pressure mantra, including by some of Aspen's trainers and some PSIA RM examiners. Evidently, RM is considering telling folk that early pressure exchange, e.g. before edge change or that the process starts before edge change (there's some confusion on what the message is), is a desired outcome. Some in RM look to the World Cup and claim that those athletes are exchanging pressure before edge change. Some (evidently fewer, or at least less influential) examiners are unconvinced, even when doing MA on the same video.

    I've been thoroughly confused by the different messages I'm receiving from my clinicians and at least one of my coaches. I do know that if I'm going to successfully perform basic parallel turns at an extremely slow speed and I try to do anything to change pressure, there's a break in the flow of the turn that requires some other movement to make the turn happen. If I wait for pressure to come to the outside ski, the turn can flow without interruption.

    I've also found that pressure exchange occurs earlier in the turn as the radius and performance of the turns increases.

    My reconciliation of all of this is that Level 3 skiing is versatile. I need to be able to exchange pressure earlier than edge change as well as well after. And I think I more or less have that worked out now. Now if I could just master some of the Level 3 maneuvers like switch railroad tracks and backside pivot slips....

    Mike
     
  7. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    BTW, I don't know where this early exchange of pressure movement started but Josh Fogg told an interesting story that may have something to do with it. Evidently, Ron LeMaster gave a presentation to the Aspen ski school a few years ago that was titled something like "Early Pressure: What it is, and Why You Want to Have It." After the presentation, Josh supposedly went up to Ron and asked him where in the turn he was referring to having early pressure. Ron replied "At the apex." Josh told him that most of his audience thought he meant at or before the transition. Ron's response was that that was impossible, as the ski couldn't receive pressure prior to the fall line.

    What I took away from this was that I should be attempting to establish the edge on the outside ski from initiation to the apex of the turn so that it could receive pressure as the hill was providing it to the ski.

    The whole discussion of pressure exchange has highlighted a problem with all of this. The English language is quite ambiguous and trying to describe a highly complex and dynamic process, like skiing, is fraught with potential misunderstandings. Just look at the word "pressure." Many might believe that a desired outcome is to "press" on the ski...

    Mike
     
  8. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ Let's go! Pugski Ski Tester

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    Ballou did a clinic here a few weeks ago and will be back. Man, maybe I need to see if I can audit it.
     
  9. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    At the women's edge camp we did this tip down. So I'm thinking the CSIA is tip down. I think I'm a little like Josh in that lifting the whole ski tends to put me in the back seat. @Lady_Salina ?
     
  10. epic

    epic Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    First of all, I just want to say that it looks like his poles are barely touching the snow. Sometimes, they aren't touching at all.

    I haven't read everybody else's posts yet, but IMHO it only matter tip up, tail up or level if someone is holding a scorecard and tells you it matters. Other than that, it is up to the coach to use the drills they see fit and a good coach should be able to modify it to best suit his needs and those of his student. Personally, I like to do it ski level and tails crossed a little bit before edge change. But that's just me.
     
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  11. Lady_Salina

    Lady_Salina Getting off the lift Skier

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    Well i was working on both these drills this week in a session. It was quite fascinating. I know exactly what Josh means as when i lift that inside ski I always want to drag that pole. Since I feel that's cheating I then make sure that i lift my poles and then I feel horrible. I complete the drill but I fight with lateral balance and keeping the ski completely level and raised. This week the sessioner said, "Don't hold your ski so high." I was like what, he said lower your ski to just a few inches off the ground we are going to progress this drill to everyone putting their ski back down after they have sufficiently practiced having all weight off it. It doesn't have to be raised to you knee. So at this point when i lowered the ski and kept it off the snow but a few inches I could ski. My lateral balance was fine, my hips could again cross my skis, full pressure was on my down hill ski, my edge increased and decreased naturally through the turn and the drill was just skiing. It worked very well and is for different things then the tip down. The tip down drill can assist to center people who are on their tails or just have maybe too much shuffle, as it will promote pulling the heal towards your butt, and keep your feet closer together (shuffle wise), both under/aligned with your hips, in the turn, but allows people still to have pressure on both skis which may be what we are trying to eliminate for some.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  12. David Chaus

    David Chaus Eschewing obfuscation Skier

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    I have to keep reminding myself, "credit card thickness" between the snow and the ski is all that's required. I tend to hold the ski high like a stork.

    I find this type of drill, and leapers, and gliding on one ski on a straight run, to hop to the other ski, is way easier to do on my left leg than my right. There's some muscle tweaking that happens in my right rear hip and I'm still working on it. (Yes, boot canting and alignment were done, binding toe pieces shimmed).

    As far as "why" the drill is the way it is "officially," currently, I have no idea about tip down vs parallel to the surface of the snow. I mean I get that they want to see if you are able to do fundamental #1 (fore-aft balance to manage pressure along the entire length of the ski) and #2 (shift balance from side to side, moving weight and pressure to the outside ski). I understand you can't "fail" a skill, it only gives an examiner a clue to watch for possible issues in your skiing, for which they will evaluate. So in that respect I image they want to make sure no issues are masked in the skills, and that it is as challenging as it needs to be to reveal issues.
     
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  13. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    And it was just the tip. Almost really the inside edge of the tip. I'll have to try just totally lifting a little bit to see how that works.
     
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  14. epic

    epic Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Hey Josh, I just wanted to point out to you that neither Jonathan Ballou's or any of the other videos are the outside to outside ski drill as described in the PSIA-E L3 exam guide. If you read it, you will note that it says something to the effect that the ski is lifted for about 2 ski lengths.
     
  15. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    There's no doubt that fore/aft balance comes into the picture with these inside ski drills. But you should be able to correct your fore/aft balance with practice. Picking the ski up doesn't move you back, but if you pick up the ski, look at it's position with respect to the snow. If it is tilted tip down, you are most likely forward. If tilted back, you are most likely aft. If it is parallel with the snow, you are most likely in the center of the ski.

    And to further complicate matters, you do need to pick the ski up a fair ways. Otherwise, how will you properly execute a javelin turn?

    Mike
     
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  16. Nate Gardner

    Nate Gardner Putting on skis Instructor

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    The outside ski to outside ski drill (or stork turns) are one of my go to drills, but I do them in a variety of ways. One way is just to throw the task at the student and ask them where in the 3 phases of the turn (initiation, shaping, completion) they feel the most comfortable lifting the ski. depending on where in the turn, along with whether they need to "drag" the tip of the ski or either pole leads me to some conclusions about skill development.
    Another topic to explore is how they get the lifted ski off the snow. Most will try to extend there outside leg or add height, but this makes entry into the turn difficult just like a vertical motion at initiation makes a turn less effective. I prefer to lift the inside ski by actively shortening that leg which is how Jonathon demonstrates it in the video. I find this forces me to stay flexed in the ankle.
    Lastly, I seek to make the change to the new outside ski while it is still on the little toe edge and then roll into the turn. So if pressed to write out a procedure for the task it would be something like this;

    1) flex inside ankle and transfer weight to inside ski on the little toe edge,
    2) actively shorten the old outside leg to lift the ski off the snow, ideally keeping it level with the snow surface,
    3) ride a ski length or two balanced over the little toe edge,
    4) roll the ski over to the big tow edge while also extending the leg away from me so that the ski takes a longer path then the upper body,
    5) stay on the one ski through the shaping phase and into the completion phase and flex into the ankle as the ski begins to cross under me,
    6) complete move by placing the lifted ski parallel to the contact ski and repeat back to step 1.

    Additionally, I have been practicing this while holding the poles at mid-shaft so that I can not use them as a crutch. I would say I am not there 100% of the time, but I'm pretty damn close. Doing this drill in this way has done a lot for my exploration of controlling my center of mass over my base of support to pressure the ski along it's length and in working on extending my legs into the shaping phase of the turn.

    @Josh Matta maybe we can explore the task together sometime when your feet are feeling better.
     
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  17. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Perhaps try keeping your extension move to no more than a very slight amount -- and make your extension out of the knee while not allowing any dorsi or plantar flexion of the ankle or extension in the hip. What will that do?

    Mike
     
  18. Nate Gardner

    Nate Gardner Putting on skis Instructor

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    Not sure I said I was extending a certain amount, just that the leg was extending into the shaping phase. I'm pretty confident in my execution.
     
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  19. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Didn't mean to imply that you weren't. What one trainer here is calling the "non-extension" is actually a tip pressuring move. That's all I was implying. It's interesting to see how much tip pressure is needed to achieve a certain radius of turn...

    Mike
     
  20. Nate Gardner

    Nate Gardner Putting on skis Instructor

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    @Mike King I would agree that much of the extension is coming from the knee joint, but there is also some in the ankle so that there is a place to flex to as I move from the shaping phase into the completion phase, but I feel it is more a sensation of allowing the leg to extend then pushing into extension as I am allowing the ski to move along a longer path then the body instead of a sensation of pushing the body into the turn. One of my mantras has become, "tight core, loose legs..."
     
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