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BUMPS - Help!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Heh, crossed posts Laughing
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The best skiers and trainers I know are very humble and keep it simple.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@TTT, yeah. Me too.

So?

All. I am saying is that skiing bumps, fluidly, is a specific skill set. Based on solid fundamentals, sure, what isn't. But has a unique blend of:

Pre-rotation / compression-absorption-extension / rotation / skarving

That is not generally combined in other terrain.

And that even having a good grasp of each of these skills is not, in and of itself, going to result in fluid bumps skiing. Which is, as far as I can interpret it, your assertion.

P.S. Yeah, "ski like a porpoise" is real keeping it simple Puzzled you ever seen a porpoise ski?
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Another video that is worth a look.


http://youtube.com/v/DUlYznYkEyw&feature=youtu.be
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Thought that this video is a good starter for 10


http://youtube.com/v/M4yJgn9HdAM

I recall being taught these methods very early on such as to brush the snow off the top then turn , by no means an expert but seems to be useful to have these basic coping techniques.
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@under a new name, nice run!

If I can look half as good as that by the end of my holiday in March I will be very pleased.
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@Pynch, cheers!! snowHead
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
under a new name wrote:
@kitenski, Yes, I don't think you could do them with poor fundamentals.

It is me, thanks, albeit somewhat younger - it's from 2006.


Let's see on from this or last season Wink
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kitenski wrote:
under a new name wrote:
@kitenski, Yes, I don't think you could do them with poor fundamentals.

It is me, thanks, albeit somewhat younger - it's from 2006.


Let's see on from this or last season Wink


Is this him? wink


http://youtube.com/v/YOdpu4fTyBs
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@DB, now that's what I call "getting spat out" Shocked

Ouch!!!
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Shocked Shocked
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
As I understand TTT's advice to the OP is just have better stance, balance, upper body management, edge control, rotational skills and your bump-skiing problems will disappear. That is probably true (depends on how much better!) but not really very helpful (actionable) is it?
And tactics can be very helpful at letting you deploy your best technique to build confidence and reinforce good habits
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@jedster, depends if you just want to be able to cope with a bumpy piste - or actively seek out bumps to ski actively.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Every good trainer regardless of terrain or nationality ii have been with has worked on developing the fundamental skills so yes it is actionable. With good fundamental skills you can not only get down but ski well down anything. I think there is a misunderstanding of the word fundamental. It does not mean basic skills. The laws of physics and human biomechanics are the same regardless of terrain. There is not some special physics or biomechnaics that suddenly appear when you are in a bump field. The fundamentals are how the human biomechanics interact with the laws of physics everywhere including bumps. If you are balanced against the centre of mass of the ski then suddenly skiing is very easy everywhere. Very few holiday skiers are. Great skiers have great fundamental skills. Physics and biomechanics must always apply. It is absurd to suggest they don't apply in a bump field.

I'd agree that there is l decision about how to apply those fundamental skills but that is tactical rather than technical ability. If you have good fundamentals then the tactics are intuitive to work out but if you are not good at the fundamentals you can't ski them well.

People want to be buy some magical solution and instructors are happy to sell it. Getting better at the fundamental skills is what helps and that takes time and effort.
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@TTT,
Who suggested that physics and biomechanics don't apply in the bumps?
I will agree that it's balance and extensive set of technical skills that tends to set the great skiers from the rest of the pack. (e.g. Some old school skiers ski with their legs very close and skid / skarve everywhere bo they get down everything). When someone posts on here about how to get fit for skiing I push them towards balance exercises (BOSU etc)

You can get down virtually anything wit this type of turn but I doubt that is what the OP (and others) are looking for.

http://youtube.com/v/pfFB0f-jMaQ

IMHO good balance and your definition of "fundamental skills" alone are not enough to make someone a great skier as the different techniques/methods are missing. When you only have one tool in your toolbox it's hard to fix everything.

Lower level skiers tend to use much the same technique/turn and as you say are often out of balance. There's also more than one way to ski bumps, powder etc. There are different types of bumps / powder.

As an example you could take a very good red run skier who has fantastic technique and balance on a red run, he can carve no problem. You put him in the bumps for the first time he doesn't know where to plant his pole, how to absorp the bumps, that he should be skarving rather than carving. He will proably bail out or get spit out of the bumps because the technique is missing. I've seen something similar on a glacier when the junior racers got taken into the powder for the first time by their trainer. It was carnage until they where given a few tips by their race trainer on how to deal with it (more equal platform etc). It wasn't magic, just good instruction but it worked wonders.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@DB, I still think we are only disagreeing on terminology. Fundamental does not mean basic. There are no bump tips on here which are not about developing your fundamental skills. We can only move in 3 dimensions. That is fundamental. In harder terrain you need to be better at moving in those 3 dimensions. In bumps you need to have better fundamentals and know how to apply them. But they are still the fundamentals of skiing. They have to be unless physics and biomechanics change in bumps. They don't.

There is a lot of snake oil for sale in the ski instructing world about secrets of skiing and technique. I've bought some. It is easier to think in terms of the fundamentals. It is physically impossible for everything not to come down to the fundamentals.
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@TTT == @Fastman ?

Instructors don't sell magical solutions. They sell ideas and things to try to help find those technical changes needed to overcome obstacles and create a toolkit. Some ideas work for some, but f**k up others. If you don't have the fundamentals, you can persevere daily for a season to gain that fore-aft and lateral balance, but will still need to make actual changes based on terrain and snow conditions.

As for bumps, don't ski like John Wayne having a dump. I reckon a half day in moguls on a monoboard might be interesting.

Now why is it that every time I try to have a bumps clinic I get flat hardpack scrapey noisy snow?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
TTT wrote:
@DB, I still think we are only disagreeing on terminology. Fundamental does not mean basic. There are no bump tips on here which are not about developing your fundamental skills. We can only move in 3 dimensions. That is fundamental. In harder terrain you need to be better at moving in those 3 dimensions. In bumps you need to have better fundamentals and know how to apply them. But they are still the fundamentals of skiing. They have to be unless physics and biomechanics change in bumps. They don't.

There is a lot of snake oil for sale in the ski instructing world about secrets of skiing and technique. I've bought some. It is easier to think in terms of the fundamentals. It is physically impossible for everything not to come down to the fundamentals.


A groomed red piste is physically different to a bump run. I see hard off-piste / bumps not so much "moving in balance" but using techniques to stay in balance and recover from being knocked off balance. The OP asked for tips. Dicussing the meaning of "fundamental" isn't going to get him as far as taking a lesson with a good bump instructor. A good instructor will teach him the techniques to deal with different terrain. If his balance is off, improving that will also vastly help.
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It is just a different way of thinking about the same thing. My favourite run is a mixture of steeps, carving, shorts, bumps and off Piste. I find it simpler to think in terms of varying the fundamentals as the terrain changes as opposed to a specific technique for each section. For sure in some sections those fundamentals will need to be more skillfully and differently applied to be effective but they are still the same fundamentals. They have to be. If it works for someone to think differently about different terrain on a run fine. For me being told by a trainer that it is all a variation of the same fundamentals was a break through moment.
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Then what is snake oil to one man is a break through for another. Smile
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@DB, and those "techniques" are merely improving the fundamentals. If those fundamentals are well developed on an easier piste then you don't even notice you are suddenly in bumps. If you have got good fundamental skills bumps are easy. The top racers have great fundamentals. They talk about the same fundamentals but they are a lot better at them. Bump skiers have great flexion/extention but it is not something you should just be doing in bumps. Well developed fundamentals will stand you in good stead everywhere. You may be thinking say dolphin turn which will keep you centred. I will be thinking keep centred and therefore do a dolphin turn. I prefer to keep things simple and relate back to the fundamentals. Just different ways of thinking about the same thing. I think it is chicken and egg to be honest. I think it is good to go with different instructors with a common philosophy but who may approach the same question in different ways. Ultimately it all does relate back to fundamentals which ever way you think of it. It has to. Just different ways of thinking about it.
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There's a good (but short) black bump run in La Plagne off the top of the Carella chair - go right at the top off the chair, there's usually a line of people at the top scoping the slope before throwing themselves off! It's quite steep but the steep bit is fairly short and you need to get a bit a of speed up before the bottom as it's a long, fairly flat schuss back to the bottom of the chair. The runs up the Bellecote Glacier can be nicely bumped as well sometimes..
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@TTT,

Think we have more chance of proving there is/isn't a God as discussed in another thread. wink

I had no reason to use dolphin turns on a groomed piste. Didn't know what they were until I read about them on the Internet but they help when skiing bumps. Where on a piste would an intermediate red run skier land on his ski tips to stay centered as with a dolphin turn? Many movements in skiing ar not natural, one reason why so many are on their heels. If someone doesn't tell him/her about these techniques how else does he/she find out about them, should he just "feel the force Luke, feel the force" ? Toofy Grin
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It is good to practice dolphin type turns on piste though to help develop your balance skills so I would develop fundamental skills on easier smooth piste and then take them into the bumps. Fully agree with the point about skiing being counter intuitive and I like your feel the force as I definitely think it is important to consciously develop the feeling of being in balance and then I think you naturally adapt your movements to keep that feeling of being in balance on the move.
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That's hilarious. Never attempted to ski a dolphin turn before but obviously do try to point tips into troughs when bump skiing. What I find funny is that dolphin turns look like a good drill and fun (I'm going to play with them next time I ski) but are a very contrived technique that is very specific in utility to bump skiing - seems to rather contradict TTTs assertion that you don't need to do anything different in bumps...

Where I agree is that it is unrealistic to aim to ski bumps well unless you have got the basics in place on smooth snow. Unless you can link nice neat pivoted short turns down the fall line on a steep slope then you are going to find bumps tough.
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I think it is still up for debate whether dolphins or porpoises are better bump skiers.
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@jma, Thanks - I will put that on my list and aim to get to it early in the week before I have the excuse of being tired!

@TTT, and others - it doesn't really seem like there is much disagreement here...

My take on this thread is that it is a shameless chance to stand on the shoulders of others (giants?) with my learning curve. I live a long way from snowy hills and only get to do the ski thing a few times a year. To this end I am mercilessly drawing upon the experience of others so that I can reduce the amount of mistakes I make and dead ends that I take in developing my fundamental skills further (and yes i will be getting some specific lessons too).

I'm not looking for a quick fix / 'sixpack shortcuts' approach to skiing. However, I am using all of your input to make sure I take the right opportunities to test and improve the skills I have in more challenging terrain where possible. Hopefully getting a rounded view of what to do / techniques to apply / tactics from the lovely people on SnowHeads will let me do this in a way that builds my skills more quickly in the limited time that I have, rather than needing to use my own less informed judgement about what to try whilst I am actually wearing skis.

Quote:

I think it is still up for debate whether dolphins or porpoises are better bump skiers.


At the moment I think I'm more like a seal:
http://youtube.com/v/KoWobrXnxDM
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@Pynch, Happy. I don't think there is any disagreement in substance. It is only that we learn in different ways so different explanations of what is ultimately the same thing will click for different people. I like to use like minded but different instructors from different countries as coming at the same things in different ways helps everything fall in place. Whatever gets someone more centred more of the time and enjoying bumps more is good.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

Whatever gets someone more centred more of the time and enjoying bumps more is good


Yes.

But I still disagree with you that fluid fall line bumps skiing is simply a matter of "good fundamentals". It is not. Neither is slalom racing, for example.
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@under a new name, I still don't think we are disagreeing in substance at all, only semantics of terminology. For me the fundamentals principles of skiing covers everything - posture, balance, movements, steering (edge /pressure/rotation) and line. You are still doing these things in bumps and slalom. What else can you do. No doubt for bumps and slalom skiing you need to apply these fundamental principles more skilfully and be tactically aware of how to apply these skills. For some people it will help to relate back to these fundamentals to understand what you are trying to do and for others it won't. If you listen to pro racers and trainers talk, they do talk in terms of fundamental principles but of course there skills at applying these principles are at another level.
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@TTT, so just to be clear, your suggestion to the OP, to help him improve his bump skiing is... "Become a good/better skier"? rolling eyes
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@adithorp, Happy not quite what I said but yes work on your fundamental skills. If there was a quick easy fix we would all be great skiers. If only it was as simple as there are these 5 common errors you have to work on or we have discovered this unique approach which will make you a good skier as some ski schools claim. It is good marketing and what people want to hear but not reality I'm afraid. All the elements need to be there. I have had plenty of this is the one thing you need to do which is what we all want to hear but if the other elements are not there it does not work and has been a complete waste of time and money. Good trainers work on advancing all your fundamental skills. If you want one thing then I would say balance on the move but all the other elements need to be there to allow you to do that. A good trainer though will be able to work on your biggest weakness at a point in time which will help you most but as soon as you fix that there is something else before it all comes together. It's endless which is what makes skiing so great and so frustrating at times.
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For me, the vid posted above by Stewart Woodward is one of the best I've seen on this subject - especially the part with the graphic circling the target point for the turn. Recognising this was the thing that made bumps click for me, well relatively speaking anyway. I'm still a weak bumps skier, but no longer find myself traversing out of control across a series of bumps. I think of it as skidding into the uphill face of the next target bump and then pivoting the skis around the side face of the same bump, whilst aiming for my next target. Before this, someone said "turn on top of the bump" - that didn't work for me at all, because in big bumps you end up with a few foot of drop off into the trough below and an almighty bang when you hit the bottom.
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@mickv, +1 for the vid from @stewart woodward. that makes so much sense to me. T minus 2 days and 3 hours until we set off for what looks like a very sunny week's skiing and hopefully some nice bumps to play on.
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UPDATE

'Bad news' first - due to technical issues, there is no footage of me attempting moguls for people to laugh at, or indeed provide useful insight on rolling eyes .

Good news (for me) by the end of the week I seemed to be getting the hang of it... Very Happy

I did two things to prepare based upon recommendations from this thread (and the forum in general):

- Two private lessons with Reflex specifically on moguls - a great school with very good instructors.
- I also bought, and read from cover to cover, the excellent book "The All Mountain Skier" by R. Mark Elling.

All of the tactical advice given to me on here ahead of my week away was very useful to get my head in gear. The main issue identified by Reflex, and which I still need to work on, is that I spend too much of my time on my ski edges: Great for carving, bad for moguls. Being on edge gives me speed when I don't need it and slows me down when I want to pivot my tips from one bump to the next.

The breakthrough for me came from practising pivoting my skis like windscreen wipers at an increasing speed on the flat and then on relatively easy slopes. This drill helped me to think more usefully about when my ski needs to be flat, rather than on edge, and begin to get a hang on the upper body separation that needs to go with that flat ski in moguls, rather than just in short turns.

By the end of the week, me and my girlfriend were very cheerfully searching out mogul fields all over La Plagne and Les Arcs to get as much practice in as possible, including with a skier from our chalet much more experienced than ourselves. We aren't yet elegant, but we are no longer those people who get stuck, spread out across an ungroomed black for half an hour either.

Though I aimed to get some more forgiving, shorter, bendy skis to help with bumps, when the ski shop didn't have my preference (K2 Shreditor) I decided to spend the week on the Blizzard Brahma in 180cm. Did this make bumps more difficult? Probably, but they were great fun for the rest of the time!

(and they look cool too Cool )
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Best bumps skiing I ever saw was at the back end of Argentiere the year of avalanches and the tunnel fire. There is this flat-ish but long section where two Italian couples were shredding the bejezus out of the moguls. They were all tiny on short, short skis. They were turning so quickly with their heads and shoulders so level it looked cartoonish. I gave up on bumps about then .....
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I've just noticed that all these training guys in the videos are using tiny, tiny skis...... huummmmmmm.
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Naaaah - this is the proper way to ski bumps snowHead


http://youtube.com/v/ZeCnXIB60RM
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@geoffers, oddly enough, with only a little modification, a mono ski works in bumps.
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geoffers wrote:
Naaaah - this is the proper way to ski bumps snowHead


http://youtube.com/v/ZeCnXIB60RM


I ski bumps like that! Well, at least the part where I stop to [shakily] have a cigarette to celebrate my survival Embarassed
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