Notifications
Clear all

Hunchbacked Skiing

   RSS

0
Topic starter

Alright, I could use some of the big brain power here to help address something I've uncovered in my skiing, particularly when doing the aggressive short radius turn I loathe so much. Namely this:

 

Screen Shot 2021 03 30 at 11.45.54 AM

 

What the hell am I doing?!?! I'll have a video showing how I got here at the end of the post

 

Here's an image from immediately prior:

Screen Shot 2021 03 30 at 11.46.20 AM

That one almost makes me feel ok.

I skied the same run the next go around and focused solely on keeping my chest up. I also elongated my poles from 120 to 125.

 

Screen Shot 2021 03 30 at 11.45.26 AM

Still compressed. 

 

Here's a video of the two runs side by side. Not exactly thrilled with either of these.  The one on the right is the super compressed, not thinking about it run. The left you can tell I'm not thinking about my feet AT ALL and just trying to stay taller...

 

So, should you have the time, I'd love some suggestions on how to rediscover my spine while skiing!

I've got a few current thoughts:

1. Looking at my tips. I realized I like to keep my tips in the bottom of my vision, which I think is making things worse.

2. Too obsessed with keeping the transition compact.  

3. Although I've gotten much, much better at moving the pressures in my feet rather than simply bending the front of the boot to death, I'm still showing my legacy of thinking that "forward" is a shin game. 

Thanks yall!

14 Answers
1

Thanks for posting @kable

Let’s dissect these turns from the skis up. 

The pivot point on the skis is ahead of centre creating a windshield wiper effect where the tails move out to the side and take a much wider path than the tips.

When I look at the movement patterns, the cause comes from a combination of moves at the ankles, knees and hips. You mentioned forward shin pressure which which I agree has probably created a little more ankle flexion than necessary, and you pointed out there is quite a bit of flexion at the hips which appears to remain constant throughout the turn. Being overly focused on a compact transition, or constantly watching your ski tips could both be contributing factors. In addition to the ankles and hips, there is rather abrupt extension of both knees at turn initiation which adds to the mass moving forward.

To create a rounder arc, the solution lies in getting balance through the middle of the ski, then focus more on moving rotionally (by turning the legs and feet) and laterally by bending one leg at time... rather than moving fore/aft by bending/extending them simultaneously.   

You could try stomping your heels down and feeling pressure there before starting the run. Then from this neutral stance pick up the inside ski. It should help create some lateral moves, but will also give you pretty instant feedback if anything goes astray in the fore/aft plane. If the tail slips out and you have to put your inside foot down it may signal a need to move back to the heel. If the ski takes off, you’ve probably gone too far.

1
Posted by: @geepers

Be interested in feedback on that choice of progression.

I think it’s a solid plan. It’s hard to go wrong with Hockey Stops when it comes to short turns as they are so easy to adapt for just about any skier.

The one thing to consider in this situation is Hockey Stops generally work the end of the turn, whereas the windshield wiper effect is mainly happening at the top of the arc in @kable ‘s case. That’s not to say they can’t work well, but I would probably aim for a J-shaped Hockey Stop (rather than the twist then grip in a straight line variety) focusing on the initial moves/sensations to remain centered coming out of the fall line. Then try to incorporate these into the initiation as you begin linking them back together.

0
Topic starter

Addendum: 3 runs after writing this I’m 96% certain it’s all because of this dumb dumb looking at my skis thing. 

 

0
Posted by: @kable

aggressive short radius turn I loathe so much.

? ? Bet you learn to luv 'em!

Can I ask why the word "aggressive"? Does this imply something about the effort required to get the skis from one side to the other?

0

@kable, the abrupt extension of the knees that @skinerd describes is the thing that stood out to me. I call this the 'lurch.' I see it sometimes as an intentional move to get over the front of the skis to get the tips pulling you into the turn but in my opinion it's too much and causes all sorts of fore aft issues and as described, moves the pivot point too far forward causing the windshield wiper effect.

An external cue you could try if this is your intention is just to press your ski tips into the snow momentarily at initiation.

As @geepers asks, what do you mean by aggressive? If it's about being committed and focused then that's positive but if it's causing you to try and muscle the skis around, it could be that you need to rein in that feeling a bit to get something a bit smoother going on. Some people need those kind of cues for optimal arousal and performance (my wife could do with being more aggressive) but others are already beyond that optimal state. Play around with that intention and see how it impacts on your skiing.

 

0
Topic starter

Thanks for the replies folks. It's awesome to get all this feedback from the community!

 
Posted by: @geepers

Can I ask why the word "aggressive"? Does this imply something about the effort required to get the skis from one side to the other?

So I'm differentiating, perhaps inaccurately, from the sort of short turn where I can keep the ski on edge the entire time vs the "aggressive" short turn where I have to pivot faster than I can on edge. 

These would be non-aggressive short turns:

So on these turns I'm actively trying to bypass that early edging. Looking back the footage it's pretty clear how that's throwing my tails out of whack.

Posted by: @adrian_hamilton

As @geepers asks, what do you mean by aggressive? If it's about being committed and focused then that's positive but if it's causing you to try and muscle the skis around, it could be that you need to rein in that feeling a bit to get something a bit smoother going on.

Yep, makes sense. On these specific turns I'm trying to get them around faster than I can going from edge to edge. The turns on the left are a nightmare cuz I'm entirely focused on the upper body, while the right side is a more accurate example of what I normally do when trying this style of turn...which is still borked. lol

Posted by: @skinerd

To create a rounder arc, the solution lies in getting balance through the middle of the ski, then focus more on moving rotionally (by turning the legs and feet) and laterally by bending one leg at time... rather than moving fore/aft by bending/extending them simultaneously.   

Yeah, this is where I'm clearly screwing up. I wasn't really trying to get a fully round arc but rather sorta launch into the middle of the turn to get the ski around as quickly as I can. Which leads to all sorts of goofy balance issues. 

After posting this I got up to the hill and focused on keeping my eyes up. I could tell immediately that the weird desire to keep my tips in my vision was compromising my...everything, because I had to keep fighting the urge to bring my body down to catch a glimpse. The change in balance point was obvious. 

I'll take another vid next week with eyes up and smooth turns...or at least I'll certainly try!

0

Something else you could look at that might help is a better pole plant. The torque created from a good strong pole plant really helps to get the skis round.

To my eye your pole plant is a bit late after you have  already started the turn. If you think of it as the end of the turn when the skis are flat then the torque will help to get the skis moving. To do this, however, the pole plant needs to create this torque. For this the tip of the pole needs to be angled ahead of your hand, pointing in the direction of travel and firm.

I did an exercise with Ken Paynter a couple of years ago where we were turning just by using this torque and nothing else.

0
Topic starter
Posted by: @adrian_hamilton

tip of the pole needs to be angled ahead of your hand

Never heard of this before, and it's definitely something worth trying!

0

If you plant the pole vertically there is no torque created or at least very little.

0
Posted by: @kable

Yeah, this is where I'm clearly screwing up. I wasn't really trying to get a fully round arc but rather sorta launch into the middle of the turn to get the ski around as quickly as I can. Which leads to all sorts of goofy balance issues. 

 

In this case keeping the pivot point closer to centre should still facilitate the ability to turn the skis quickly, and you may still want to think about getting pressure on the skis fairly high in the arc, just with a little less edge angle so they remain easy to direct.

0

@kable

Re your response to the "aggressive" thing... that's why I asked the question.

Now you may be way ahead of me. But one thing that helped understanding short turns was an external cue/metaphor from Paul Lorenz. He said that he views the short turn line on a pitch as two columns of little trampolines tilted on their sides so he bounces from one back across the hill and into another on the other side. And so on. The key take-away (as I understand it) is that the rapid build-up of the pressure from the snow pushes us back across the pitch. Our job is to manipulate the skis and our body so that they are in the right position to make the skis grip so we create that pressure. The GRF from the snow does the hard work and "all" we have to do is resist that pressure for a short time (get the CoM going the other way) and then manage it so we don't get sent vertically. And the sooner in the turn we can generate that pressure the better.

The 1st time I experienced this was in a thin layer of heavy pow. It was very hard to avoid grip that day - the heel pushers/sliders were really struggling. And there it was. Little trampolines sending me back and forth across the hill.

Of course we can't rely on just right layer of pow every day so the aim is to create that grip regardless of conditions.

For assessment one of the L4s said he compares what a skier is doing with the mental image of a model skier. #29 in the CSIA shorts vid is a good example of an L3 and the VI standard model skier is a great example of how an L4 does 'em. There's a good head on view of shorts at the end of the Roll, Plop and Drop vid - the one on the right hand side.

As I'm not yet very good at holding the mental image of the model skier I created a vid comparing a couple of your turns with VI standard. Can post here or PM you if you'd like.

@skinerd and @adrian are on the money about the tail sweep and the need to be in the middle of ski. Going to suggest a drill progression involving hockey stops. Use a fairly steep pitch so you have to work for the stops.

  • Ski straight down the pitch a short distance - just enough to get a little speed then make a quick hockey stop. Important point is to stop completely with skis ~90 degrees across the hill and hips/shoulders facing as downhill as possible for separation. If not in the middle of the ski then there will be a tendency to continue motion forward or backward. If skis not edged firmly to a firm stop then likely to ski a small curve before stopping.
  • Do this sequentially left and right down the pitch until you are comfortable coming to a quick, complete stop and balanced ready to repeat.
  • Now start to allow the body to topple over the skis so that the stop is short - hardly at all.
  • Next make the edging to an almost stop happen with the skis less than 90 degrees across. As that angle reduces there will be forward speed taking you into the next turn. The aim is to retain that sensation of edge grip from the hockey stops only now you are doing it progressively earlier in the turn and the body is maintaining some forward momentum. Keep attempting to reduce the angle until it is at least 45 degrees or less to the fall line.

I guess if it was an L3 Teach that's the drill progression I'd go for. On snow there would be the chance to correct any issues with the hockey stops or adjust if it wasn't working. Be interested in feedback on that choice of progression.

0

@geepers I like the sound of this progression; definitely something to try.

Yes 29 is a great image; I just watched it again. So would you say that is getting closer to Level 4 standard? That's the kind of image to aim for.

0
image

@kable a good illustration of the pole position I mentioned.

0
Posted by: @adrian_hamilton

So would you say that is getting closer to Level 4 standard? That's the kind of image to aim for.

Certainly some great shorts in that vid, especially from #29 and #17.

In terms of preferred model I tend more to the shorts of @skinerd at the end of the Roll, Plop, Drop vid and another L4 (see below). Previously couldn't quite get a handle on why the preference. The skiing of the L3 guys looks playful whereas the L4 shorts looks efficient, effective.

This MA vid from Tom Gellie helped clarify it IMHO.

 

The original vid used by TG is this... (Be great to have short turn struggles like this!)

 

There's another TG short turn MA I find valuable. Although he doesn't discuss it much in this vid it's interesting looking at how the L4s creates the grip'n'go.

 

The original L4 vid for a larger view.

 

Share:
Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00
X