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Get those legs apart - not good!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So I went in for a "tune-up" lesson today. After an ACL injury and my strong leg now becoming my weak leg, I have wanted to get some technique down. Now, I am aware that I have skiied with my legs too close together, and using vertical movements when turning. Not the way on carvers, really (and weird, given that I learned on carvers, not old straight skis). But my skiing has been in control, neat, and pretty versatile.

The instructor was excellent, immediately identified both the things that I had, and we worked on correcting them.

Oh. My. Word.

I can't ski anymore! Eliminating that small vertical to unweight the skis, adopting a wider stance, and learning to initiate better with my knees has resulted in me feeling like a complete beginner again. I feel unstable, out of control, and whilst this all works well on carved turns, pivots feel appalling.

I am here for a season, and so could practice and hopefully get this all right, but there is a little voice in my head saying "well, correcting all of this could take a whole season, and you may not feel as good about your skiing as you did before - and what gains will you make?". I know that these are minor corrections. I angulate happily, especially on long and short carved turns, but my pivots are, apparently, a mess with my legs apart. And frankly, with my legs more apart, I feel that my skis want to go in different directions now!

Have any of you had to un-learn narrow stance and vertical movement (minimal, but there) in your turns? And were you as demoralised as me?

For info, in a vid we took, I look fine with the new stance/movement. But I feel terrible!! Runs I had absolutely no issue on whatsoever are now giving me all sorts of problems. We were practising this all in the chalky snow to the left of a black run in Chammossiere, in the PDS (instructor felt we needed to be challenged and the pistes weren't exposing problems). I have bounced down that any number of times with no issues whatsoever. The new me can barely get down it.

Also, I am apparently turning to sharply and not giving the ski time to roll around. This is obviously a result of me pivoting my feet very quickly when formely unweighting with that outmoded vertical movement I have always done.

Wife has the same problem, but less pronounced, Our other friend is like me. All three of us are rather demoralised...

Wide stance, and elmination of vertical movement in turns. Bl00dy hard, apparently. Sad


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Mon 25-02-19 21:03; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Oh, and some researching of online "how to ski" resources tells me that vertical movement (compression/extension, rather than leaping around - which I never did except when jumping around or getting airborne in moguls) is an accepted way of turn initiation, rather than the deadly fault I have just been told it is. Confused? Me? Absolutely.

Yes.

Yours, a formerly confident and now wobbly skier.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Mon 25-02-19 20:46; edited 1 time in total
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Harry Flashman, there’s a big difference between popping up and unweighting, with a extension movement where you balance against the new turning ski adding a little pressure in the setup phase of the turn.
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As my last instructor kept saying, every 'rule'in skiing can be broken when the time is right, skiing bumps requires narrow stance with lots of vertical movement, carving groomed piste not.

I'm not being much help am I Puzzled
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Thanks chaps. Rob, I agree, but our man had me keeping my body completely still (or trying to) and using only lateral movement of knees to turn in very steep and variable terrain. I'd usually use a combination of them. He looked amazing doing this. I felt like I was going to headplant at all times. I know that the small unweight I have unconsciously been using in tricky terrain is a cheat (especially as it allows a super-quick transition in the rough/steep stuff, rather than the smooth one). I am equally sure that my bouncing around happily in powder needs to be consigned to the bin. I'm a little demoralised by it all though.

I need to find some drills and do some work. For info, I can ski this way - and use the ultra still upper body and laterally moving legs thing when doing fast, short carved turns, or sometimes bullying my way through soft, uneven snow at speed. But I found doing it all the time, this morning, to be exhausting!

I think I need to sort the stance first, and then the vertical thing second. Doing them both at the same time has me in all sorts of trouble...


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Mon 25-02-19 20:56; edited 1 time in total
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@Harry Flashman, speaking with personal experience and as a teacher, change is difficult!

The key is versatility rather than relying on your favourite way of turning and trying to impose that on whatever terrain you happen to be skiing.

Stick with it, I’m sure you’ll start to enjoy the new sensations sooner or later.
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Thank you Rob. I think I'll be booking a session or three with you when I get back to Blighty this summer...
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@Harry Flashman, by the way, who was the instructor?
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Ricey at Ski Beyond, Morzine. Very nice man, great teacher, and rather tasty skier. Despite my now feeling like I can't ski anymore (hardly his fault, that!).


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Mon 25-02-19 21:10; edited 1 time in total
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I learned old-school - narrow stance/up and down unweighting/foot steering.

I found modifying my technique interesting and required concentration and practice.....but not the problems you are highlighting. My problem was that the old technique crept in (and sometimes still does), if I stopped concentrating.

Things that I found which helped:

1. Lots of drills with lifting the tail of the D/Hill ski prior to turning, which gives control and forces commitment down the hill to start turn.
2. Make sure that I start turn by softening D/Hill ski leg, which helps get me forward and across and get early weight transfer.
3. Ski from the feet upwards - tilt feet, which tilts knee...then angulate hips.
4. I imagine skiing under a low ceiling.....so flex (soften legs) to change edges (rather than up-unweight)
4. Really concentrate on finishing turns (skis 90 degrees to the fall line)....which gives control and makes starting the next turn easier.
5. Ski with rhythm
6. Keep pulling back my newly unweighted, old downhill ski...to keep that "stacked" position.
7. Make sure my unweighted leg is at the same angle as the turning leg....to stop any A Frame creeping in. I try to make sure my edges change at the same time and by the same amount.
8. Allow/feel the ski run flat, before getting the edges eased over....ie. A moment of float.
9. I like my skis at the narrower end of the acceptable end of the wider stance....but my stance width varies with with speed/turn type/terrain.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Mon 25-02-19 22:29; edited 2 times in total
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@Harry Flashman, Ricey is top notch. Very good on the psychology of skiing, as well as being a great instructor and race coach.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Old Fartbag, Thank you! I shall mess around with all of this. I like the low ceiling idea - mind-visual stuff works for me.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
rob@rar wrote:
@Harry Flashman, Ricey is top notch. Very good on the psychology of skiing, as well as being a great instructor and race coach.


Yep - we are booking him again, especially as I am having some confidence/courage issues after a big knee injury a couple of years ago, and his experience/interest in sports psychology is just what I need right now. Loved skiing with him today. Doubt the opposite is true!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Harry Flashman wrote:
rob@rar wrote:
@Harry Flashman, Ricey is top notch. Very good on the psychology of skiing, as well as being a great instructor and race coach.


Yep - we are booking him again, especially as I am having some confidence/courage issues after a big knee injury a couple of years ago, and his experience/interest in sports psychology is just what I need right now. Loved skiing with him today. Doubt the opposite is true!

I think this is the issue.

You have found a way of skiing that makes you feel comfortable, gives control and doesn't hurt your knee.

You are now working on stuff that is more powerful, but makes you feel uncomfortable, as your old injury is still at the back of your mind.

Once you gain confidence that this works, you will relax and fully commit to it.....which is hard atm. The right instructor, on the right terrain, will achieve this.

Let us know how it all goes.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Harry Flashman wrote:
Have any of you had to un-learn narrow stance and vertical movement (minimal, but there) in your turns? And were you as demoralised as me?


I'm sure rob@rar can chip in more as he helped me a fair bit in the early days, but I had to unlearn both (my vertical was more of a pop very early on). I wasn't actually demoralised as it was something to aim for and improve on.

Some video showing before, during and after improvements! Took me 4 years (30 days of skiing + a fair few hours indoor).

Given you are out for the rest of the season embrace the change Smile


http://youtube.com/v/wt_UsrA5Otc
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Speed helps a lot with widening your stance IME. Some of the wide legged stuff at slow speeds just looks weird. I get why it's considered good foundation technique but horses for courses IMV. If a good little camp wedel gets it done.....
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^This - https://www.facebook.com/130797116984929/videos/948277962027851/
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@Dave of the Marmottes,
Quote:

If a good little camp wedel gets it done.
Laughing Laughing
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@kitenski,
Quote:

I'm sure rob@rar can chip in more as he helped me a fair bit in the early days, but I had to unlearn both (my vertical was more of a pop very early on). I wasn't actually demoralised as it was something to aim for and improve on.
+1 He's still helping me!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The video that @Klamm Franzer linked to, is a fantastic example of how starting slowly and concentrating on "Turn Finishing" gives terrific control. it's one of the things I was working on this year.....if only I could achieve those angles.
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I would counter that a little bit of unweighting isn't a bad thing in some circumstances as the Master demonstrates quite ably here...

https://vimeo.com/17106070

Its in French but you only need to watch the first 30s...

All depends what you want to do. (and yes as mentioned above versatility is great...).
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Old Fartbag wrote:
The video that @Klamm Franzer linked to, is a fantastic example of how starting slowly and concentrating on "Turn Finishing" gives terrific control. it's one of the things I was working on this year.....if only I could achieve those angles.

I have witnessed Simon skiing one morning in Les Arcs this february. The man is actually dancing on ice, a pleasure to watch snowHead too
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@offpisteskiing, nice one, presumably that is a "little bit" steep Wink and a gentle weight on the outside ski turn really wouldn't be pleasant!
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@kitenski, ‘stimulating’ is the word that springs to mind...
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@offpisteskiing, I wanna do that!!! snowHead snowHead snowHead
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@Harry Flashman,

I think this is all a question of degree.
When I last had a lesson (about 8 years ago) the instructor actually got me to use a bit MORE unweighting. I had got overly focused on smooth transitions by softening the old downhill leg and "falling" across it through the fall line onto the new ski. The instructor was just reminding me that sometimes it makes sense to accelerate the release with a little extension.
I reckon he wanted you to strike a slightly quiet balance not stop unweighting entirely.
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@Harry Flashman, I feel your pain! Mr Loatie and I had the same sort of issues. This year, a friend of ours very generously offered us the chance to join him for a few lessons with his instructor and as with you, our existing technique was pretty much ripped apart in the first few minutes of analysis! Cue some pretty hilarious attempts at curbing the 'slinky hips' we'd taken years to perfect and the introduction of some curious one ski drills to get our weight and balance right for a new style of skiing. The instructor was extremely charming and everything he demonstrated looked wonderful when he did it but totally awful when we tried to follow! In the end we decided that it was great to have had the lessons and be aware of what we can practice but in reality we will probably slip back into our existing habits which up until the lessons had been working fine for us! ...... Like you said, your "skiing has been in control, neat, and pretty versatile" which is good enough for most! I guess it comes down to how much time you are prepared to devote to the new techniques versus enjoying the mountains with your existing skiing style. Personally, we're not going to beat ourselves up about it or get too down in the dumps.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
drporat wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
The video that @Klamm Franzer linked to, is a fantastic example of how starting slowly and concentrating on "Turn Finishing" gives terrific control. it's one of the things I was working on this year.....if only I could achieve those angles.

I have witnessed Simon skiing one morning in Les Arcs this february. The man is actually dancing on ice, a pleasure to watch snowHead too

Thank you (you make me sound better than I am)...lucky you didn't see me on the first day....when my back was painful after travelling, the light was flat and I hadn't skied in over a year. I was like Bambi on ice.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks for all the posts with advice and experiences!

I'm absolutely fine with the "new" (for me) technique on carved turns of all shapes and speeds - I have always skiied these with a still upper body, and just need to get my feet apart a bit more sometimes. Easily achieved today.

My issues are arising from steered turns: I need to round out the turn shape with nice, soft legs, rather than unweight and kick my heels around.

An attempt to do this in today's slushy moguls resulted in a lost ski and a wet face. I quickly reverted to legs eight inches apart and bouncing through it all with no problems, looking like some sort of 70's straight ski poseur. Who did not fall again...even if he minced his way down those bumps.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Harry Flashman, legs together is correct for moguls
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Harry Flashman, I think Short Swings are better done with the legs not too far apart.

In case it helps, this is what i try to do:

- Hips hover between the skis
- The tails rotate round the (wider) tip....so knees need to press (quickly) forward at the start of the turn, to get the tips to dig in.
- Weight then allowed to centralise through the turn, towards heels
- "Spring" off edges when they bite.....making sure you don't get thrown backwards.
- Try to minimise the up movement by absorbing upward force with a softening of the knees.
- Use a greater "checking angle" (skis further away from hips, to the side) for control on steeper slopes....but must make a big effort not to be pushed back by the force of the "check".
- Solid Pole Plant is essential.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 26-02-19 21:02; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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offpisteskiing wrote:
I would counter that a little bit of unweighting isn't a bad thing in some circumstances as the Master demonstrates quite ably here...

https://vimeo.com/17106070

Its in French but you only need to watch the first 30s...

All depends what you want to do. (and yes as mentioned above versatility is great...).


Glad I watched that. I have the same Rucksack and now know what some of the loops are for! Must have his helmet in there too.
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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?
Sometimes I think you have to mince your way down a piste, especially when bumps are present. I am increasingly witnessing skiers making an absolute meal of skiing bumps because 'modern' carving technique is all about smooth turns and using the radius of the ski to make graceful arcs.... Surely, sometimes you need to stamp down a field of bumps with your mincey hips and a fag paper between your knees?? Check out mogul competition?! No carving there.

I have been teaching my daughter both carving and mincing (for want of a better term!) this year as, I believe, both have there place dealing with different bits of mountain and she was struggling with bumps and steep pistes as carving didn't deal with them satisfactorily. She either turned too slowly in the bumps or went too fast on the steep pistes when carving.

Horses for courses.
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@Klamm Franzer, a bit of mincing works well for bumps!

Some videos.to show different leg gaps!


http://youtube.com/v/DaT5iheQ7Lw
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http://youtube.com/v/xKo6Cwn1ezw
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I think Bump Skiing is the one area that hasn't changed at all, since I started skiing...and hasn't got any easier.

Versatility requires both Carving and Skidding skills....and an infinite combination of the two.
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Quote:

Bump Skiing is the one area that hasn't changed at all


Personally, as it's nearly my favourite thing, I think it has modified, but the core skills remain the same.

To the lads "hot dogging" down Pic Janvier on Saturday, no, that hasn't been the approved style since pre 1962...
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under a new name wrote:
Quote:

Bump Skiing is the one area that hasn't changed at all


I think it has modified...


I'm struggling to think of anything that has changed....except ski length/shape.
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@Old Fartbag, recreationally, OK, I probably totally agree on reflection. Short stiff FIS SL skis don't help I must confess.
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@Old Fartbag, actually, no, I disagree with myself, the bumps have changed. Much less nice shapes in general. and usually groomed into destruction.
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