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Differing Instructor Advice - Facing Down The Mountain

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All

Two private lessons, with schools recommended on here, one in Morzine one in Meribel.

One lesson. Separate top half of body from bottom. Chest faces down mountain and look down mountain.

Second lesson. Some but lesser separation. Shoulders should face sides of the piste, vision should also look towards sides of piste, following leg direction during turn.

So we've been told completely different things. This was told to me, a intermediot ,and my very capable wife (skiing since she was a child, for 25+ years)

So...who.is correct?

Thanks
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IMO second instructor. Generates a much more stable position, minimises excessive upper body rotation, makes it easy for the hips to stay aligned with the feet and the skis will naturally follow a skiers line of vision
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IMO. For Short Turns, you have chest facing down the hill...skis crossing under body

For Long Turns, you remain "Stacked", with your upper body following your skis round...body crossing over skis.

Daren Turner gives good demos on Youtube.
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Agreed @Old Fartbag, it all depends what you are trying to achieve, one instructor was probably trying to develop short radius turn techniques, the other no doubt trying to encourage a longer GS type carve. All useful skills in the toolbox, depending on type of slope you are on.
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@barbossine, Real GS technique is to keep the body facing down the fall line for longer turns too, at GS speeds they feel like short turns anyway.

I have no idea why BASI teach the whole body turning with the skis thing.
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@rjs,

Really? If you look at Ron Le Master's bible of photo montages you'll see lots of world class GS skiers looking at the apex of the turn rather than down the fall line.

e.g.,
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=ron+le+master+photo+montage+gs&rlz=1C1GGRV_enGB752GB752&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=-Dmgxr-PQ3SlBM%253A%252CylSoLlYG6tvfpM%252C_&usg=__M2v5kCbnAai6LCLh4c4ePl9I5Ik%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj03emA5dnYAhWJJcAKHZ8AAYkQ9QEILzAB#imgrc=AHBsY_jKr0k6kM:
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@jedster, Yes really, I don't see any pictures of people skiing BASI style in your link.

Race technique is to be "stacked" up to the waist, with the pelvis tracking round with the skis.

My guess is that BASI and other teaching organizations don't feel that the average punter has the core strength to do this so they teach other things. What kind of compromise is needed may vary with different clients, which leads to the different advice given to the OP.
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Quote:

race technique is to be "stacked" up to the waist, with the pelvis tracking round with the skis.


@rjs,
you just contradicted yourself!
I agree with what I quote above - as RLM's pics show.
But that is definitely not the same as

Quote:

Real GS technique is to keep the body facing down the fall line for longer turns


i.e. "tracking round with the skis" is NOT "facing down the fall line"!
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I think this thread is off on a sidetrack. It's perfectly possible for everyone to be right. Short radius around the fall line you want a whole load of counter and facing the fall line. Longer radius with greater traversing element its natural to track the ski more. Then as the latter speeds up and gets more dynamic more counter is useful.

I think it illustrates the problem with taking snippets from what instructors say as biblical commandments - context is everything and finding your own self awareness to be able to experiment and adapt is the real end goal.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, +1.
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Isn't it something to do with your body facing the direction of travel of your centre of mass, and the shorter the radius of your turns, the more nearly your centre of mass is just travelling straight down the hill with the legs/feet going one side and then the other. So you end up facing almost down the hill for short turns, but on longer turns your feet are making much bigger s shapes, so your centre of mass has to follow the s shape more, and your body ends up pointing much more in the direction your skis are going?
Probably badly explained and easier to do if i could draw it...
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@Dave of the Marmottes,
Quote:

taking...what instructors say as biblical commandments
Aren't they? Shocked Who knew?
wink
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@Dave of the Marmottes, @rob@rar, +2 . I had exactly this discussion with a client last week.
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rob@rar wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes, +1.


+3, my thoughts as well.
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I have been taught every which way over the years, but the most recent way is demonstrated here by Darren Turner:


http://youtube.com/v/W2x3BFhNUGg
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Old Fartbag, that's long/medium turns though. For short turns he says this...

http://youtube.com/v/l5gnnZXoDK0

It's not about one correct technique for all situations/conditions. It's a number of different techniques for different situations and blending them as the situation changes.
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@adithorp, I didn't mean to imply it was...but you have to start somewhere...first, learn the basics and then learn to blend them.

The thread started with the OP starting to get his head round the basics. For me, it's the difference between an Advanced skier and an Expert one.
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Darren Turner teaching turns?

More nominative determinism?
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Orange200 wrote:
Darren Turner teaching turns?

More nominative determinism?

I wonder if a name change would help my prospects. Puzzled

FWIW. I know a Bank Manager called Clampit; a guy who sells solid fuels, called Pete Burns and somebody who runs a garden centre, called Pete Moss...so you could be onto something.
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My music teacher at school was Mr. Tune.
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I know* a doctor called Dr De'ath Skullie Shocked

* Really, it's true!
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jedster wrote:
Quote:

race technique is to be "stacked" up to the waist, with the pelvis tracking round with the skis.


@rjs,
you just contradicted yourself!
I agree with what I quote above - as RLM's pics show.
But that is definitely not the same as

Quote:

Real GS technique is to keep the body facing down the fall line for longer turns


i.e. "tracking round with the skis" is NOT "facing down the fall line"!

I should have written "keep the upper body facing down the fall line". Upper being above the waist.

Neither video above demonstrates this separation.
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I always think facing down the fall line in making a turn. Maybe you allow body to traverse as you go across the slope, but you don't initiate a turn by having to move legs, torso, etc in the opposite direction. That would take too long to get the turn initiated and put everything in a stable base. Especially true the steeper the slope.
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Quote:


jedster wrote:
Quote:

race technique is to be "stacked" up to the waist, with the pelvis tracking round with the skis.


@rjs,
you just contradicted yourself!
I agree with what I quote above - as RLM's pics show.
But that is definitely not the same as

Quote:

Real GS technique is to keep the body facing down the fall line for longer turns


i.e. "tracking round with the skis" is NOT "facing down the fall line"!

I should have written "keep the upper body facing down the fall line"

No - that is wrong for GS/long turns. Fair enough for short turns just as @Dave of the Marmottes, says
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@karin,
I think that is a pretty good explanation actually and very much consistent with the photomontages I linked to.
Head and shoulders are at varying angles to the fall line through the turn, moving more with direction of COM
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I can only speak personally, but I'm much more comfortable doing high speeds (Long Turns), when my body isn't twisted too much (D/Hill arm tracking round with the lower ski and U/Hill ski pulled back nearly level with the D/Hill one [as opposed to pushed ahead, like the old days].
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jedster wrote:
Quote:


jedster wrote:
Quote:

race technique is to be "stacked" up to the waist, with the pelvis tracking round with the skis.


@rjs,
you just contradicted yourself!
I agree with what I quote above - as RLM's pics show.
But that is definitely not the same as

Quote:

Real GS technique is to keep the body facing down the fall line for longer turns


i.e. "tracking round with the skis" is NOT "facing down the fall line"!

I should have written "keep the upper body facing down the fall line"

No - that is wrong for GS/long turns. Fair enough for short turns just as @Dave of the Marmottes, says

Well, next time you are in Les Contamines you can tell the local club coaches what they are doing wrong.

I'm not impressed with the videos above, I presume the guy can ski better than that as he is an ISTD. In the short turns one he gets bounced around due to not being stacked, in the long turns one he pivots his skis when turning his shoulders.
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@rjs,

OK - let's analyse this



This is Aksel Svindal skiing GS. I hope you'll agree that the bloke knows how to ski. I imagine it would be tricky to win world championships if you can't.

Please tell me if he is facing down the fall line through these turns.

Look in particular at the images just before and just after he changes edges between the lower two gates. I'd say he is looking much more towards the final gate than down the fall line (which would require his body to be much more countered).
I think it is very poor advice to suggest that when making long / GS turns you should aim to face down the fall line. You clearly have problems with BASI teaching - I've never had any lessons from BASI instructors and have no skin in that game, you may have a point. But your thinking on where to face on GS turns is just wrong.
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@jedster, Svindal has a more countered position through the apex of those turns (look at hip position in the frames either side of the final gate; shoulder position is distorted somewhat by bracing to crash through the gate), due to the extreme forces and angles he's creating (way bigger than any recreational skier will generate). But you're right to to say that he doesn't have much rotary separation through those gates compared to a slalom racer (who also will generate way bigger angles and forces than any recreational skier).

I think Ron LeMaster is on the money as usual, and I can't recall any photo montage of his showing very pronounced rotary separation in GS size turns with a typical gate offset. He's always a great technical reference.
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@rob@rar,
Yes - totally agree - he is countered at times but in no way is he consistently facing down the fall line.
Although I am obviously not going to ski like that I do find the images of pro racers helpful in that everything is so exaggerated it makes the body shapes etc more obvious. It's clear what you should be aiming for even if you are not going to go all the way.
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jedster wrote:
It's clear what you should be aiming for even if you are not going to go all the way.
Indeed, so I tend to aim for 'all things in moderation'. A bit of counter, a bit of upper body rotary separation, and bit of lateral separation, all in proportion to the forces we generate.
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[quote="jedster"]@rjs,

OK - let's analyse this



2nd and 3rd to last photo his shoulders are not running parallel(facing same direction)to his skis but more to the outside of the turn
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Mother hucker wrote:
2nd and 3rd to last photo his shoulders are not running parallel(facing same direction)to his skis but more to the outside of the turn
He's dipping his inside shoulder to take the gate.

I don't think that in a GS shape turn your upper body has to follow your skis exactly, a little bit of counter is good providing it is in proportion to the forces and angles you are generating. Don't forget that this discussion was started by advice given to the OP which was to "shoulders should face sides of the piste, vision should also look towards sides of piste" (although to be fair we don't know what kind of turns the OP was making when the instructor advised that).
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Quote:

2nd and 3rd to last photo his shoulders are not running parallel(facing same direction)to his skis but more to the outside of the turn


sure. when did I suggest that your shoulders should always be facing the same direction as your skis?
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jedster wrote:
Quote:

2nd and 3rd to last photo his shoulders are not running parallel(facing same direction)to his skis but more to the outside of the turn


sure. when did I suggest that your shoulders should always be facing the same direction as your skis?

you didn't suggest that. I was just saying what I saw and it was you who posted the photos so I had to take your post.
maybe the op has misinterpreted what his instructor said.
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Sorry - take your point @Mother hucker,
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jedster wrote:
@rjs,

OK - let's analyse this

I see good separation at the waist with his pelvis tracking around with his skis and a relatively quiet upper body. To get your pelvis to be as square to the skis as his then it feels as if you are rotating it by a lot. The default aim is to avoid transmitting rotational forces to the skis, having the pelvis square to the skis allows you to vary the pressure on the skis without adding a rotational force, the upper body is quite heavy so letting it rotate could also affect the skis.

Anything else that you see is tactical to get around a difficult course. The CSCF publishes DVDs of racers training, both in and outside gates, which IMHO provides a better way to observe their technique than looking at race footage.

Quote:
I think it is very poor advice to suggest that when making long / GS turns you should aim to face down the fall line. You clearly have problems with BASI teaching - I've never had any lessons from BASI instructors and have no skin in that game, you may have a point. But your thinking on where to face on GS turns is just wrong.

I'm still mildly amused that you feel that you can tell a race coach that they are flat out wrong about race technique and how to teach it.

I don't have a problem with BASI teaching, I'm just interested to know why they and other teaching bodies teach different things to those that race coaches do, we manage to teach quite young children how to race. I suppose one outcome is to make sure the clients don't go dangerously fast. It does mean that instructors often need to unlearn things when they start Test Technique or Eurotest training though.
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@rjs,

Nothing in that reply backs up your initial statement that you should face down the fall line. In reality all GS skiing images that I could post show the upper body moving in relation to the fall line JUST TO A SMALLER EXTENT THAN THE LOWER BODY. Is that is what you mean by "facing down the fall line"? If so then we agree but I'd suggest your language could be clearer.
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This is another good illustration of what I mean I think:



I'd say the fall line is pretty much straight down the image. In this single turn she faces bottom left into the turn and bottom right out of the turn. She certainly doesn't face down the fall line throughout the turn.

I don't claim to be a ski coach but I generally find it more persuasive if people address the point being made rather than avoid the point with a claim to authority.
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@jedster, Where are you putting the fall line in that (earlier) image?

The way I read it, the racing line goes from approx the edge of the trees to a point on the bottom edge 80-85% of the way to the left hand corner. The skier is having to work hard and brake round the blue flag before he traverses across the slope - as given by the bend in the skis, whether the skis line up between images and image density. Then for the final red, he lets the skis run with no loss of speed.

Purely subjectively, I read it that from the moment he starts his turn round the blue flag, he faces down the fall line rather than the apex, and continues to do so until he begins to exit the turn. He then faces the apex for the turn round the red. Two turns, two techniques.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 23-01-18 15:22; edited 1 time in total
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