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Technique or gear

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Ok - an "is it me or is it the gear" question. I weigh 83kg and am 183cm tall. I am currently skiing a 184 Black Crows Atris mounted on the line with Shifts as my main ski. My boots are a 130 Lange Freetour fitted by CEM and canted/balanced by Andi. I ski at an ok level having done multiple seasons but am getting older and am not as good as I was, which wasn't any real good to start with.

Issue is that I am going over the bars a lot with the Atris. I am having a repeated type of fall in which I stuff the tip in soft snow and end up with the full face plant grande, either with single or double ejection from the Shifts. This is annoying me as, while I am not a fast skier, I rarely fall and have not had this specific issue before. On firmer snow the Atris skis really well and I have no issues with it. I am pretty confident that I have set this Shifts up properly and am skiing them at 7.

The question here is, is this a gear issue or do I just suck? I am fine with it being the latter but I need to know either way.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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It’s definitely the gear.
The good news is I’m happy to take it off your hands.

More seriously, sounds like a session with a good instructor would set you straight.
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there should be a small amount of heel lift but otherwise weight mostly centered rather than lieaning too heavily forwards.
also keep the skis a little close together to ensure the uphill one isn't dragged back or sinking too much
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Have you always skied at a 7 din?
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It's not the DIN. Maybe the Atris are triggering a new level of aggression in your skiing and you should just give them to me before you go full Hulk.

More seriously its quite plausible that a new ski you are quite in tune with has you going a bit faster and less defensively than before hence more tip stuffing. Just try mellowing out a bit and think "floaty" and see if the problem resolves.
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@WASHOUT, no. I was at 8 ten years ago when I was 10 years younger and skiing off piste every day of the season. I dialled it down after a calf injury in 2014.
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It sounds like there is something going on with how you are remaining in balance in soft snow ie. Not subtly adjusting your position between soft and hard snow.

On hard snow, you can press forward and across to engage the tips......do this on soft snow and the tips might react as you say.

That's just a guess - so the suggestion of a good Instructor sounds sensible to me.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Tue 11-02-20 17:32; edited 1 time in total
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If you have not spent too much time on the Atris' then you will probably just need to fine tune your body position to get more centred. Same happened to me when I changed skis a few years ago.
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It's stack height, or boot fitting, or flex, or canting or something....
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So assuming that you've not become crap overnight:

Double check the forward pressure as it has to be bob on. Also the toe height - the AFD just touching the boot but remember to pull the boot hard back first and always adjust the AFD upwards. Remove boot and press down firmly on the AFD to make sure that it's fully seated.

If all's well with the above then up the heel din by one as the Shift heel has a bit less vertical elasticity an STH etc. I've a number of customers that ski their Shifts with the dins one higher in the heel than the toe - and assuming that you have a 311-330mm bsl then 7 is not high at all for someone of your stats.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, yeah. The question is why now? Since we last skied together outside of a fridge I have a further 200 days off piste without a guide and at least a further 50 or so with a guide/instructor. I was also much, much faster and aggressive after the season I spent trying to keep up with BobinCH in Verbier than I am now. So why am I suddenly faceplanting like a beater?

I suspect that dropping down a ski size (age) has exposed a technique flaw. With previous skis I suspect I was leaning on the shovels and they weren't sinking because I had an additional 5cm of tip and I was a bunch lighter (getting older is rubbish). Now I am doing the same thing and I am stuffing the tips. Thanks all for the helpful suggestions.

@davidof, Haha. No it isn't. I know you are taking the wee wee but I know what it's like to fight your gear and this isn't it.
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Quote:

Double check the forward pressure as it has to be bob on. Also the toe height - the AFD just touching the boot but remember to pull the boot hard back first and always adjust the AFD upwards. Remove boot and press down firmly on the AFD to make sure that it's fully seated.


Cheers - I will do this again. The instructions are crap, mind.
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Quote:

The instructions are crap, mind.


Not yours, obvs, the Salomon ones.
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You know it makes sense.
gorilla wrote:
200 days off pistet...


Whoops. I can show you how to suck eggs as well if you like
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@cmsd2, yeah but I'm the one currently faceplanting my way down the equivalent of a blue run and then asking questions about it on the internet.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
gorilla wrote:


@davidof, Haha. No it isn't. I know you are taking the wee wee but I know what it's like to fight your gear and this isn't it.


those skis are too rockered for you, you feel like you've got a 184 skis but it is more like a snowblade underfoot
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Here is what might be a ridiculous answer:

You had no problem before you went through the whole getting properly balanced thing.....so you may have got used to compensating for an imperfect set up. You are now correctly balanced, but still skiing the only way know how - which is compensating for a problem that no longer exists.
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gorilla wrote:
I suspect that dropping down a ski size (age) has exposed a technique flaw. With previous skis I suspect I was leaning on the shovels and they weren't sinking because I had an additional 5cm of tip and I was a bunch lighter (getting older is rubbish). Now I am doing the same thing and I am stuffing the tips. Thanks all for the helpful suggestions..


That feeling has some basis I feel. With similar stats to you, I feel the 190cm ski is where it really comes alive in pointing them at anything without a care in the world and have the confidence that they'll not tip you over the bars. Generally I'm skiing shorter than that currently punting around with the family and have to make a bit of allowance for the tips in fast-n-big terrain.

Also had a while ago had some head monster in 190 cm but the boot line was unusually far back from centre, to the point that they looked odd. But with shorter tails and longer tips they'd ride over literally anything with sublime ease. Have you considered mounting them more rearward?
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gorilla wrote:
.......I suspect that dropping down a ski size (age).......

If you must downsize for age - by which I assume you mean less aggressive - I'd leave the length but go with a softer flex.
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This is very interesting ....
I have literally just got back from Canada where I fell twice.... both time ejecting forward from my Shifts, once dropping a measly one foot back onto a groomer, but at speed.
This was a huge surprised and I felt it was not warranted .... and it hurt!
I am on 6.5. Maybe as Jon says, I should go up a bit at the back?
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@gorilla, @FoofyNoo, I sell these for such circumstances:

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New setup and you haven't adjusted to it yet. In tricky snow perhaps focus on pressing down through your heels in the second half of the turn? You'll have moved your centre of mass back ever so slightly, enough to inhibit tip dive but not so much that you are skiing in the backseat with consequent extra work for thigh muscles. You might also be skiing a bit more tentatively because of (a) the new setup and (b) being more aware of the possibility of tip dive because it's happened a few times. The answer to that is pretty much Jon's prescription, but in the form of "keep moving" rather than take one of the yellow and red ones.
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No specific assistance from me, I’m afraid, but do try not to smash your face when planting it into the snow. It’s inconvenient at best.
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@gorilla, I've been skiing the Atris 184 for well over two years now, I'm 180cm and circa 77kg, your CV is good so I can feel your frustration and once it gets in your head it's hard to get rid of and I have some skis in my garage that I don't ski that often for pretty well the same reason rolling eyes

They are my Go-to Ski, I actually have two pairs*, one mounted with Tectons, which I tour a lot on and the others mounted with F10's which I use with Alpine boots though do occasionally skin with rather than boot pack.

Pretty sure that bindings are centre mounted.

I do ski them pretty hard and aggressively and tend to only go over the handlebars if I hit a shark or something and then there's an ensuing superman impression Laughing

The obvious question is how many days have you been skiing them on and on what type of snow-pack, that said I find they are pretty damn good on all snow, though I don't tend to ski pistes that much but when I do they handle corduroy really well with the only limitations being on hard icy boilerplate.



*the reason I have two pairs is that I loved them so much 18months later end of the season I saw some on offer and I offered the shop proprietor cash which he found too hard to resist Laughing

PS if you're coming on the SOPB you're welcome to try mine etc
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@Weathercam, cheers - that's good to hear. I've been skiing them since 2017, two trips mounted with Vipecs. Multiple trips thereafter mounted with Shifts. I remounted as I didn't quite trust the Vipecs at high speed on firm snow. To be honest, some of the snow I have skied on this setup has been total crap but I am reluctant to blame this issue on the conditions.

Think the action plan here is:

1. Mrs gorilla's instructor to take a look at me in April. She's been pretty complimentary about my skiing in the past but this may just have been good client management.
2. DIN up one notch on the Shifts. Thinking about it, I didn't have the same sorts of issues with the Vipecs.
3. Technique adjustment - I think I have got too used to leaning on the tips, which comes from skiing bigger skis in the past. The Atris is pretty short shoveled and I haven't fully adjusted to that yet. I'm not paying attention to the subtleties of where my weight is through the turn because for most of the last 11 years I haven't had to.
4 Some time on my 191cm powder skis that don't used because they don't have a touring binding.
5. Jon's pills.

If that doesn't work then I may be in the market for a longer ski. But I am reluctant to throw money at an issue that probably has a technique element to it. Thanks all for your helpful suggestions.
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@gorilla,

I've had a tendency to go over the handlebars in soft snow in the past (although have to say - not really with a ski as wide and rockered as the atris, more on trad camber). It's generally been because I've been skiing too forward (too much pressure on the front of my boots) and too stiff-legged. What happens is that you come off a little roll (not air, just enough to unweight you a bit) and you rotate forward and stick your tips in. I don't think the issues is bindings, I think they SHOULD come off if you stick your tips in.
For me the answer was to relax and ski a bit more flexed/lower - that helps me stay more centred and adjust to the terrain rather than try to blast through it.
On hard snow you can get away with much more forward pressure without coming unstuck

Just my experience
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gorilla wrote:
@Weathercam, cheers - that's good to hear. I've been skiing them since 2017, two trips mounted with Vipecs. Multiple trips thereafter mounted with Shifts. I remounted as I didn't quite trust the Vipecs at high speed on firm snow. To be honest, some of the snow I have skied on this setup has been total crap but I am reluctant to blame this issue on the conditions.

Think the action plan here is:

1. Mrs gorilla's instructor to take a look at me in April. She's been pretty complimentary about my skiing in the past but this may just have been good client management.
2. DIN up one notch on the Shifts. Thinking about it, I didn't have the same sorts of issues with the Vipecs.
3. Technique adjustment - I think I have got too used to leaning on the tips, which comes from skiing bigger skis in the past. The Atris is pretty short shoveled and I haven't fully adjusted to that yet. I'm not paying attention to the subtleties of where my weight is through the turn because for most of the last 11 years I haven't had to.
4 Some time on my 191cm powder skis that don't used because they don't have a touring binding.
5. Jon's pills.

If that doesn't work then I may be in the market for a longer ski. But I am reluctant to throw money at an issue that probably has a technique element to it. Thanks all for your helpful suggestions.

It's hard to argue with that approach.

Good luck with it and I hope you find the answer (cheaply).
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With the caveat that I don't really know anything....

I'm roughly the same stats, 80ish Kg and about 190 tall. I had the same issue. Kept going over the front, run after run, in the soft stuff. Was very demoralising.

Then I tried another pair of skis and realised what the problem was. The skis I was on, (Line Prophet 100s) were far too stiff for me. The ski simply wasn't bending under me, so the shovel just wasn't lifting at all, so as soon as I put the slightest pressure on the shins it was akin to a U-Boat skipper shouting "DIVE DIVE"...

Their replacements, movement Scoops, were quite a bit softer and also had a bit of rocker. I never went over the front on them in the 5 years I skied them.

I think the Atris are quite stiff aren't they? Could be worth thinking about a softer ski if you'd prefer to stick to your current technique...
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@flaming, Atris is stiff underfoot but has quite soft shovels. I'm coming off a ski that is a bunch stiffer but longer.
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gorilla wrote:
@flaming, Atris is stiff underfoot but has quite soft shovels. I'm coming off a ski that is a bunch stiffer but longer.


It's the length isn't it? You were getting away with being a little too forward on the longer ski but with less support in front that slight error is catching you out..
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 Poster: A snowHead
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flaming wrote:
With the caveat that I don't really know anything....

I'm roughly the same stats, 80ish Kg and about 190 tall. I had the same issue. Kept going over the front, run after run, in the soft stuff. Was very demoralising.

Then I tried another pair of skis and realised what the problem was. The skis I was on, (Line Prophet 100s) were far too stiff for me. The ski simply wasn't bending under me, so the shovel just wasn't lifting at all, so as soon as I put the slightest pressure on the shins it was akin to a U-Boat skipper shouting "DIVE DIVE"...

Their replacements, movement Scoops, were quite a bit softer and also had a bit of rocker. I never went over the front on them in the 5 years I skied them.

I think the Atris are quite stiff aren't they? Could be worth thinking about a softer ski if you'd prefer to stick to your current technique...


Funnily enough the handlebars moments I described were on prophet 100s. I'd say it was the camber rather than the stiffness but similar result. For me it was when an unweighting allowed the ski to spring back into its trad camber so tips down. If I may weight was slightly forward then I could come a cropper.
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gorilla wrote:
@flaming, Atris is stiff underfoot but has quite soft shovels. I'm coming off a ski that is a bunch stiffer but longer.


I think it's fascinating how our body adapts to the cadence, inertia etc that we present it when using equipment attached to or held by us.

My read of "longer and more stiff" ski is that they will lift you sooner in the approach to increase in obstacle's hieght, ie more easily overcome your inertial mass and start to lift it sooner as those qualities both act sooner in the change to trajectory.

As opposed to softer, shorter ski providing exactly the opposite. The ski accepts the obstacle hieght by yealding first and not moving your mass upwards, as that builds so does the friction at the ski tip exponentially and put's the brakes on pretty effectively. Your mass of course then overcomes the binding release torque as you continue forward at greater pace than the skis.
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@gorilla, if you’re skiing a lot slower that might have an impact!
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Ummm, just as an aside, skis really aren't all that stiff ... and (longitudinal) stiffness is rarely an issue for skis, IMV.

Otherwise, I can't add anything. Liking @davidof's over rockered thinking (rocker is anyway sooooo 2018), also @ski3's thesis, totally plausible. Also @jedster's, "getting away with being a little too forward on the longer ski ".

But having learned to ski powder on 1990 207 GS skis and weighing 58 kgs, I do have to suggest there's a technique refinement that could be made, non? Twisted Evil
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Oh, and absolutely as usual, total sense from Rob and Jon.

If it helps mentally at all, I made a radical (I think) boot change from a full bore, foam injected, 2012 race boot to a 2019 touring boot, with (allegedly) the same flex. I am not entirely sure I have quite dialed them in yet despite around 40 days so far (not necessarily 08h00-17h00 days!) with at least some snow touching them ... so tiny differences can make a difference.

(I did not expect them to be the same, BTW).
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@ski3, that's the exact feeling. Just faster. The more I think about it, I got myself used to skiing on a fat, stiff bulldozer and am now wondering why I can't use the same technique with a shorter and softer ski.

I'll report back after I next go skiing.
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@gorilla, sounds like you need to do another season! And of course, new skis Very Happy
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@BobinCH, yeah. I've kind of swapped Swirly for Mrs gorilla and two smaller gorillas. in general I have the better end of the deal but winter sports opportunities are more limited.

I reckon I ski at about half the speed off piste and make twice the number of turns I used to. On piste is similar in good conditions.
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So the problem came only after switching from Vipecs to Shifts, or were many things changed at the same time? Could it be you are used to a different ramp angle? Maybe with time you will get used to it.
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@DB, with the Vipecs but not as bad. I have had Andi look at the delta on the Shifts. Everything is as close to perfect as it gets.

It is probably a combination of the Shift heels and me leaning on the tips. I learned to ski powder on a 186 PM Gear Lhasa pow, mounted at 1040 from the tip. Because of the pintail on the ski you needed to be is a fairly aggressive stance the whole time or the ski threw you with spectacular results. I think I am carrying forward habits learned on the Lhasas on gear that will just not cope with bad technique.
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