Sunday, March 29, 2009

Internet Ski Lesson - Any tips or suggestions?

Both of these were filmed in the ungroomed chop to the side of the Wildflower run at Sundance yesterday. The sun had softened up the snow and also made it a bit heavy.

In this first video my legs get bounced out of position a few times but I manage to hold on. Would more pressure on the front of my boot and perhaps more speed help my legs power through the junk?

Run #1

In this one it looks like I'm a bit too far in the backseat. This happens to me a lot: I'm worried about catching a tip so I stay back. The problem with this is that I'll inevitably hit a bump and really get tossed back. I can usually hold on when this happens but am forced to cut across the hill in order to get everything under control before I can point the skis down again. You don't see it in this video but it happened a lot in Bishops and Grizzly Bowls which are steeper and the snow is a lot rougher.

Run #2


Ski Bike Junkie said...

First video, you look fine. You may have been bounced into the backseat a bit, but it wasn't noticeable (to me at least). When skiing chop like that, you're naturally going to get bounced around. The important thing is to get re-centered when you do.

The principal problem with skiing from the back seat is that it gives you nowhere to go to recover when you do get bounced. That and it just wears you out.

Second video, you're maybe a little rear of center, but you don't look like you're just leaning back and hoping for the best.

Unlike groomers, when skiing heavy or chopped snow, too much pressure on the fronts of your boots can actually be a bad thing, because you can get pitched forward and go over the bars, as it were.

You just want to be centered so you can adjust fore or aft to keep yourself upright. Most of us learn to ski on groomers, so we're taught to be as forward as possible, in large part to get us over the natural tendency to lean back.

Overall, you're progression this year has been remarkable. Next season I'll be asking you for lessons.

Thinair Boy said...

I would echo what ski junkie said. I noticed in clip one that you were applying a lot of pressure at the end of the turn. Try keeping the pressure even throughout the whole arc of the turn. When you push hard at the last of turn you can get pushed around by the snow. Keeping a balanced foot over the ski is easier if your arc in consistent. More edge pressure early then glide out of the turn.

Anonymous said...

Mark, you are a damn good skier! You already ski at a pretty decent speed so going faster isn't an answer to your small issues. (Sorry if this sounds long winded.)

Your boot is there as a support system. Leaning on the front or back won't help you make better turns. However, it is important to make sure they are hugging your leg comfortably so they react instantly to your movements. Skiing is balance in motion. Sometimes balance is precarious so we fight to stay in the sweet spot. The secret is about constantly moving throughout the turn rather than being static on the ski.

Two things are happening in your skiing. The very first turn of the first video shows you balancing over your uphill leg at the finish of your turn. You can see a width difference between your legs as a result throughout the turn. Releasing the downill ski becomes more difficult when the hip is over the uphill ski rather than over the downhill.

Two, you are engaging pressure by dropping your hips to the rear of your skis. This not only weights the tales more, it allows the terrain to dictate your moves. You can see this by the bounce that happens at the end of your turn.

The simple answer is balance over your downhill ski at the start and throughout the turn, keeping the hips aligned with your ankle and arch of your foot. That may mean you will feel pressure on the front to the side of the tongue of your boot in a constant smooth manner. Allow your legs to absorb pressure of the snow by letting them travel towards your chest rather than chest toward your knees. Sit on a chair and flex your tips of your skis toward your head. This is ankle flexion. It is the small but important function skiers forget to use in pressure control.

email me if you have more questions or video.

UtRider said...

Thanks for the feedback. One thing I want to avoid if at all possible is developing any obvious bad habits. Skiing is fast becoming a real addiction for me!

Blackdog said...

My comment is probably less technical and remember have not taught in about 15 years. I like everything Theresa said. One suggestion is to move your hands higher and a bit more forward. Think of of your forearms like you are carying a tray balanced on them. Do not reach for your pole plant. Swing the pole with your wrist. It helped avoid being in the back seat. So maybe it will help you.