- Skier: Connor Bishop
- Skier Type: Intermediate
- Skiing Goals: I am still fairly new to skiing. Transitioning from a snowboarder and learning to become a better skier now. My goal is to confidently be able to ride any groomer this upcoming season with speed!
- Experience: a few years but I only ski about 1-2 times per year.
- Equipment Specs: I usually rent a different pair each time. Will buy my own soon.
- Physical Considerations: Torn ACL and meniscus in right knee.
- Interests: Snowboarding, skateboarding.
- General Comments: This is an experiment to see how you can coach athletes that submit ski simulator footage of themselves. Ideally we would like to offer this to more of our ski simulator athletes.
Video Run #1 - June 22, 2023
Run Objective: Parallel and carved turns. Minimal and correct body movement.
Terrain and Conditions: Ski simulator controlled environment training sessions.
Although most symptoms aren’t evident on the simulator, I’ll mention a few that can sometimes arise from these movement patterns so you have an understanding of their cause should they happen on snow.
On the simulator, we can see the skis are on different edge angles through part of the turn which often leads to some sort of deviation in direction between the two. On snow this often presents as a slight scissor with the outside wandering off or a stem with the inside ski tracking towards the outside ski.
Due to some slight rotation of the upper body into the right footed turns, there appears to be momentary loss of connection to the outside which could again result in a scissor or perhaps a loss of grip. A lack confidence on this side from the previously mentioned knee injury may also play a roll in the asymmetry.
The slight A-frame of the lower legs through the transition makes it difficult for the new inside ski to release and the mass to topple into the new turn. Sometimes this movement pattern causes an up-stem or lifting of the ski off the snow, but in this case it is compensated for with the aforementioned rotation of the upper body into the new turn.
1) Release and Initiation: Maintain parallel skis by actively releasing the old outside ski and tipping the lower leg of the new inside ski proactively.
2) Initiation to Control: Allow the legs to naturally unwind from the old turn, then lead the steering effort with lower body.
3) Control: Maintain a connection with the outside ski and increase edge angle by developing some hip angulation.
- Invert the downhill foot to allow the lower leg to tip over and release the edge. Continue this move with the inside foot into the new arc.
- Add some hip flexion/abduction to create angulation as pressure builds towards the bottom of the arc. Leading the turning effort with the legs will develop a small amount of separation to facilitate this.
Cues To Experiment With:
- To Release: Focus on the inside foot. Make the inside ski light and lift your arch off the footbed. Feel the inside knee driving into the turn before the outside ski… almost like you’re trying to ski bow legged.
- Stay Connected: Try getting your chin over the toes on your outside foot at the bottom of the arc.
Possible Drill Variations
I’ll work on adding some simulator drills to the library for future updates, however the following should give you some clues on how to approach skill development.
Roller Blade Turns are the go to drill for mastering inside foot control and a precise edge release. On the simulator you could put your hands on your knees, using the inside hand to help push the inside knee into the turn. This will also help you gauge how the lower legs move together.
Summer Simulator Thighs: On the simulator try holding your upper thighs so you can feel the lateral rotation of the femur while you invert the inside foot.
Sunder Bars: On the simulator hold a pole with horizontally in both hands. Try to keep the pole level (and your shoulder level with the pole) to develop a stable upper body and some angulation at the apex of the turn.
Roller Drop Plop. Try falling onto a pile of pillows at home. Focus on rolling the inside foot first to allow yourself to topple. As you start to go… slow things down by reaching to get your chin over the outside foot.
It would be great to see some more video on the simulator experimenting with some of these cues. I look forward to seeing your progress Connor!
Update: Video Run #2 - July 7th, 2023Run Objective: Tried to film myself with better camera angles and tried to achieve more parallel turns. Next videos I submit will be of the drills you suggest!
Terrain and Conditions: 23' wide Ski Simulator set on constant hard-pack snow conditions.
Foot Roll to Release…Much improved. Continue to focus pin inverting the “downhill foot” ahead of tipping the other foot to release the skis.
Separation and Angulation…
Continue to work on levelling the pelvis, shoulders and hands so you can tip the skis over further while maintaining balance against the outside ski.