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What am I doing wrong?!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I have just booked my 4th week skiing for February (if Covid allows!!) and I am really desperate to improve.

I plan on doing maybe one or two lessons out there but it gets quite pricey so I’m hoping I can improve mostly on my own.

Except, I’m not sure where I’m going wrong. My stance is very wide, my upper body is lent forward and I’m still turning slightly plowed.

I know the pressure needs to be on the front on my boot, upper body upright but relaxed and the leg up the hill slightly bent and turning towards the hill to carve but I cannot seem to grasp it.

I absolutely cringe watching videos of me skiing but it looks like such a mess
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person

http://youtube.com/v/5C1_YbgyjxA
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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?
I'm sure a lot of instructors will be along with some useful advice. My own observations would be that the body is very rigid and doing the steering rather than the legs. You don't look in control. If you had to stop or change direction suddenly, I expect it would all go wrong. You're holding the poles in such a way that you might want to use them as brakes, that would definitely end in tears.

Hope you get lots of good advice. Good luck.
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Honestly, the best possible advice is to join a good ski school (preferably small groups) for the entire week. It looks as though you've done several weeks of skiing without instruction already - and I entirely agree with QPP that you look out of control. If I saw you on the slopes I'd give you a wide berth. Practice makes permanent, remember.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
And welcome to SHs. Sorry for such uncompromising advice - but you did ask!! snowHead
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@GemmaRalph13, Plenty of time to improve. Go along toyour local dry slope and enroll in a long period of weekly lessons and take @pam w's advice
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Poles ! -- You are not using your poles at all. Used properly, they are great for getting your weight forward and planting them gives you something to pivot around..
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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!
Thanks everyone. How do you feel about lessons on the dry slope? I could do quite a few of those leading up to the trip then book 1 or 2 private lessons when I’m out there?

With poles, should I plant slightly behind me just before I turn?
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
The main thing you are doing wrong is being filmed by a snowboarder.

Good now we've got the statutory joke out of the way we can analyze your skiing. And some of it is not your skiing but where you are. That slope looks pretty steep at the beginning and later on narrow and busy. None of which makes it easy to ski relaxed and undefensively. Plus you are skiing a fair time between rests. There is no harm in doing 20 turns, pausing for a brief reset then 20 more. It's what I do when I'm skiing some crapped out mogul field.

Ok there will be pros along soon. But my main observation is hips/ pelvis. Find a wide gentle slope and first of all practice skiing stacked in a straight glide with your hips pushed forward. Then when you do that consistently add in turns. But don't take on too much trying to travel around the area and keeping up with whoever. Remember feeling what stacked and balanced feels like is your goal not skiing around.

That said I don't see the lack of control that others are referring to and when you get to a gentler gradient you even look quite "flowy" so don't be discouraged.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Sun 4-10-20 11:32; edited 1 time in total
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Personally, I'd take your poles off you - you are a long way from needing to learn how to pole plant. Instructors often get people skiing without poles. You need less to think about, not more. It's about using the skis, not what your upper body or poles are doing. One week of excellent lessons I had, years ago, the instructor filmed us all from the hips down. A group of half a dozen of us, all in black salopettes, and he never had any problem telling who was who!

Yes, some lessons on a dry slope would definitely be worthwhile, if not a whole lot of fun.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
The slope, especially during the first part of that video, is too steep for you, so you are learning survival technique rather than building up a foundation of good core skills.

You are rushing your turns, sometimes the first part of the turn, sometimes the middle of the turn. So rather than following a smooth, rounded turn shape, you are quickly twisting your skis. This is related to the slope being steeper than you feel comfortable with.

You are not balancing well on your outside ski. One consequence of this is that the 'turning' ski isn't giving you a lot of grip in the snow, drifting around a little as you turn. This also accounts for the big wobble you had at 1.28 in the video. Too often you rely on you turning the skis quickly rather than the skis taking you around a curved path.

It's not all bad news, in the latter part of the video when you were on gentler terrain you were making some effective movements at the start of the turn, which will help you create a good foundation for your future skiing. However, as soon as you started moving a bit quicker, and when you skied up to some people in front of you the bad/survival skills quickly came to the fore.

My advice, much like others above, would be lessons. The location of these (dry slope, indoor slope, in resort) probably less important than finding a good instructor who can help you change what's going on now before they become ingrained habits and movement patterns.
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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.
"With poles, should I plant slightly behind me just before I turn? " -- Forward, decide where you are going to turn, stab that point (well forward) and pivot around the pole..

As with all things, people have different views on what is best Smile

But, Lessons are a must
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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
To add to all the (not doubt good) advice above I would say one thing: I became so focussed on improving my skiing last winter I stopped enjoying just being in the mountains and talking to people. Don't let that happen to you!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hey Gemma,
If you can get to an indoor slope and a couple of lessons. Really you need a 'tidy up' to get you going. Essentially you appear quite capable, and confident, so a couple of lessons in a small group or individually will do fine before you go. My thoughts are that your stance is a little off, particularly too much forward lean with your top half which is likely to compensate for a little too much rear seat, try to keep shoulders facing down the fall line. However, really an instructor is best placed to give you advice in person.
Remember that skiing is a lifetime skill, so its worth investing in getting it right.
Go for private / small group tuition if you can maybe a couple of half days in resort will bring you on massively.
I bought my daughter 2 days private tuition for Christmas a couple of years ago, the tuition accelerated her enormously, now I can't match her on the pistes.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
GemmaRalph13 wrote:
my upper body is lent forward


But your lower legs are vertical and you're skiing 'arse out' a bit . I'd say you need to bend the ankle more and put weight on your shins/the boot. That'll also help the skis do the turning rather than the upper body as others have pointed out.

Ignore this bit, it's cr@p [Also, try and separate turns. Do a traverse then turn, traverse, turn. You'll be in more control an be able to concentrate on your turn more.] snowHead


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Sun 4-10-20 12:15; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

Do a traverse then turn, traverse, turn

Hmm. Not what instructors have told me.....
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Agree with the advice to take lessons - and the advice from @rob@rar. He’s an instructor really well rated by many here. I have not had lessons from him, but I have strong memories of skiing in with him in a group on some steep terrain, which was causing me serious bother. Thanks to calming and spot on advice from him I got down safely under control. I suggest you PM him for advice on what to do next, including maybe indoor slope lessons. If he can’t help you personally, he could probably recommend a way ahead. IME money spent on good lessons is never wasted.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sun 4-10-20 12:49; edited 1 time in total
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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?
MorningGory wrote:
Do a traverse then turn, traverse, turn. You'll be in more control an be able to concentrate on your turn more.
No, no and no. Worst advice ever. If an instructor says that to you, get a new instructor.
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@rob@rar, OK, my bad Very Happy Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
MorningGory wrote:
@rob@rar, OK, my bad Very Happy Very Happy
Sorry to be blunt, but it's really not good advice.
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@rob@rar, No problem, really. Very Happy
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Unqualified to talk about technique save to say that Rob knows what he is talking about. Also, that looks a lot like Happy Valley. If so, tt's a piece of crap at the best of times and especially so when it's busy. It is hard to learn anything new under stress and many many more experienced skiers than you would find that a high stress environment.
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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!
Rob's analysis is (of course!) spot on. I also see someone who is skiing terrain that isn't the easiest with some confidence. I think with some careful tuition you will quickly improve, especially as you've taken the initiative to seek advice.

If you do find yourself skiing before your next lesson the one thing I would recommend focusing on is to balance on the ski that goes round the outside of the turn. You should aim to have that ski supporting you, ideally through the whole turn, and so the inside ski will feel relatively light. Do this on gentle terrain at a speed you feel completely comfortable to start with. You'll get lots of other advice and pointers but that is the most fundamental thing to work on, and other improvements will follow.

You asked specifically about poles. I wouldn't recommend any kind of pole plant at the moment. Just let them touch or drag on the snow beside you, like whiskers feeling the surface. This will help with balance, and so make it easier to work on being supported on the outside ski.
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@GemmaRalph13, Thanks for posting. I was so happy to see some snow and the mountain scenery was beautiful. I can’t wait to get back out there.

Welcome to snowHead
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Skis too wide apart in my opinion but the main problem i see is that I don't think you commit at all to being on the downhill ski. Your weight is at least 50:50 through the turn on both skis.
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MorningGory wrote:
GemmaRalph13 wrote:
my upper body is lent forward


But your lower legs are vertical and you're skiing 'arse out' a bit . I'd say you need to bend the ankle more and put weight on your shins/the boot. That'll also help the skis do the turning rather than the upper body as others have pointed out.


Maybe the boots are too stiff? But yes she needs to flex the ankles so the knees come over the front bindings, weight evenly balanced across the foot - something you can try in the living room if you have skis and boot. Not ski like she's sitting on the loo.

A bit knocked kneed - seems typical for women skiers, even good ones. I'd bring the skis in a little, it looks like the remains of a snowplough to me but this will probably naturally sort itself out when other issues are addressed - maybe a balance issue?

Back concave, aim for more of a "goalkeeper" position - loose, shoulders a bit rounded like you are going to catch a ball. Lose the fanny pack - let the hubby carry it if necessary.

In general be a bit more dynamic.
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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.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
The main thing you are doing wrong is being filmed by a snowboarder.


Actually that's not far off the mark. With skiing, starting on gentler slopes lets you build on good technique and confidence, snowboarders on the other hand tend to need a bit more of a slope to get going so they don't necessarily choose the best terrain for a ski beginner.

As usual robrar is giving great advice, he taught me to ski so no bias here whatsoever Madeye-Smiley .
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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
@GemmaRalph13, My 2cents. I think you’re doing really well.

You missed the little kid in yellow, traversed to the right when told (he should stop that). Could get tricky at speed but you are able to control speed by skidding.

First thing - fix posture. Get out of the back seat. Flex at the ankles, not the knees. Arms forward. Feel pressure on your shins - that’s how you drive the skis.

Stay loose, relax, head n chest up. Enjoy the view.
Feel the snow.
Be the ski.
Cool
#ZenSkiing
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
You're standing up and getting down the hill which is skiing! Practice will give you confidence.


Private lessons are great, particularly if someone recommends the instructor. But don't get frustrated. Skiing isn't easy and not really a natural thing. throwing your head down the fall line and committing goes against instinct. It takes time for the unaccustomed mind to get this. Just enjoy the journey along the way. Don't worry if you fall a bit on your next stage of the learning curve. That's very common and shows you're changing things and adjusting to new dynamics which will, in time, make things easier and more enjoyable.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@GemmaRalph13, Your not leaning forward, you are sitting back, hence pressure is not where it should be.

This means you are probably having to force turns and never getting into a rhythm - and in all probability feel a bit out of control.

Private lessons from a decent instructor are whats needed.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
GemmaRalph13 wrote:
What am I doing wrong?!


picking skiing over snowboarding
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Roguevfr wrote:
Skis too wide apart in my opinion but the main problem i see is that I don't think you commit at all to being on the downhill ski. Your weight is at least 50:50 through the turn on both skis.


Agree with thie above!! It almost looks like some weight is being put on the outside ski for the initial turn, then weight is transferring more to the inside ski during the turn, and then the inside ski is being forced to slide round to become parallel to the outside ski.
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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?
My advice is always to listen to Rob - but am happy to list what I see.

I completely agree with Rob, when he says that you have gone into survival mode - which usually accentuates bad habits and promotes poor technique.

So to my untrained eye, what I see is the following:

-Skis too wide to be able to control properly
- Bending forward at the waist with a hollow back - screws up your balance and weakens your core. Your back should be rounded, with your hips tucked under and you should be more upright.
- Your arms are too narrow and pulled in towards your body, instead of being wider and pushed forward....which makes balance difficult and dealing with any sort of speed uncomfortable.
- You are using the twisting of your shoulders to help turn the skis - which leaves you facing too far up hill, making it almost impossible to keep the proper amount of weight on the d/hill ski, while losing control of the tails of the skis. It's also hard to start the next turn from that position.
- You are in the "Back Seat", with little pressure on your shins, through ankle flex. Without ankle flex, you cannot drive/control the ski.
- You are rushing your turns, with a sudden twisting of your feet...which when added to the shoulder turn, leaves a very skiddy turn.

This may sound like a big list, but they are all classic mistakes of someone who is early on in their skiing journey and feeling out of their depth. You have a gutsy "go for it" approach - so what you need, as others have said, is the correct instruction on an easy gradient, to make use of your enthusiasm. I would expect you to make quick progress under the right guidance.

Apologies for the fact that this sounds a bit like a school report!


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 4-10-20 18:01; edited 2 times in total
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Quote:

I would expect you to make quick progress under the right guidance.


No doubt.

@GemmaRalph13, you can do this...


http://youtube.com/v/wNbEp1SRVag
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Not sure you could do this though...


http://youtube.com/v/37HtpPpdvp0
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Hi @GemmaRalph13;

Good for you, for posting that video!

Main thing from me is: don't lose heart.

For me, you're not so bad as all that - so far - based on what little experience/training you said you've already actually done.
Which isn't much.
In a way it's a miracle you did as well as you did.
Plenty of hope there!

You can't expect to ski like some other person you may see out there at this stage.
I recommend accepting where you're at, and what you're capable of doing in the next step, and how long it may take to get there, and find a way that suits you to just keep improving. It may be slow, or you may take off like a rocket. No-one can tell. Either way, just accept it.

And don't miss out on the fun.
1) Safe
2) Fun
3) Learning

In my experience one does have to pay one's dues though.
Shame about that.
The learning bit takes time and effort, and unfortunately, money.
If you're anywhere near an indoor slope, I'd consider that as others have said.
It's not the same as being in the mountains, but it might be convenient, and it could break in some new habits in more relaxed environment.
Also it's sheer raw hours on snow, which helps a lot.
It's not as nice as mountains, but well, it's a sort of skiing, isn't it?
It could make your time in the mountains pay off more.
Like homework does for an exam.

I agree with others that those slopes are way too steep for you to learn on.

And cheer up.
Don't cringe at yourself.
No reason to be embarrassed.
We've all been there.

Regards
FG
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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@GemmaRalph13, welcome to snowheads, my advice would be when you go for your 5th week book group lessons every morning then meet you mates for lunch and go and mess around with them on the piste in the afternoon!

You're at that point where you've got some basics, you're enjoying yourself and you want to get better.

It needn't be that expensive i and will give you a good balance between working on your technique under the guidance of one of Robs colleagues/competitors and just having fun/being on the mountain (not that you won't have fun in your lesson)
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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!
Quote:

(not that you won't have fun in your lesson)

very good point It's exhilarating when somebody watches you, picks out EXACTLY the one thing you need to try to do, then you try to do it, and it actually works. You do need a good instructor for that - lots of people who ski very well lack that skill to observe and then feedback to you in a comprehensible way. Mastering the basics on an easy slope is what it's all about.

Learning anything which requires brain/body coordination with a good coach is the most fun you can have. Before lockdown I'd been doing some coaching with a brilliant table tennis coach (Polish Olympic team in the past). He routinely coaches people at super high level but had no trouble at all tuning in to my (very low) level and I always came away on a high. But it wasn't cheap - I'm lucky to be retired and able to afford it - lessons on a dry slope if you don't have an indoor slope near you would be well worth a go. I organised family lessons, many years ago, on a dry slope in Scotland so run down and basic that it didn't have a lift - had to shoulder the skis and walk up to the top on muddy grass. Was still good though, even in the rain and dark, to feel that we were improving week by week. And so good for the leg muscles and cardio-vascular fitness. Makes me cringe to even think about it now. Laughing
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AL9000 wrote:
Not sure you could do this though...


http://youtube.com/v/37HtpPpdvp0


wear shin guards, my son was doing his chamois and got wacked in the leg, the wound got infected and took all summer to heal up !
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@GemmaRalph13, for someone who looks like they've had little or no instruction and is certainly over-terrained in that video I think you're doing great - you're obviously pretty bold/fearless. Just follow the advice above and your improvement will be rapid.

And yes, hit the dryslope - with lessons of course.
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