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Carving

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi David - I assume you mean the Ali Ross video and indeed I found that (and several weeks in Tignes with the man himself) to be of immense value. However, I would point out that modern thinking tends to favour more hip angulation (ie moving both legs/skis across) rather than the apparent focus on the knees as Ali did in those days. Nevertheless, the old "hand on the knee" exercise is great for feeling what the ski will do for you.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Apologies to David Snell, snowskisnow, Alan Craggs, Wear The Fox Hat, and all other Snowheads keen to help fellow skiers improve. You’re not going to like this.

Snowheads is full of wonderful advice on how to carve, or ski powder, or crud, or whatever, and I think it all useless.

Those who have cracked it want to help those who haven’t. It is noble and friendly, but in the end useless. No one learns a skill by reading about it. There is something about skiing that makes us want to describe what we do to help others, but where are all the articles and books on how to ride a bicycle, or swim? (I bet they do exist, but no one reads them). You learn a skill by being shown how to do it by an expert, and then doing it yourself. Books and articles don’t help – get yourself a good instructor and practice, practice, practice, and then go back to your instructor for more lessons.

I read often “you will know when you’re doing it right because it will feel right.” Not necessarily true. Very bad habits can “feel right”. You can get away with it for a lot of the time, but when the going gets tough – crud, ruts, slush, crust, whatever – your bad habits will let you down.

I have skied for many seasons with an excellent teacher in La Plagne, Christoph Roc, and he has taught me 2 good lessons
1. Just because it fells right, doesn’t mean it is right
2. If you are doing it right, it is easy – noticed how your instructor is never out of breath? Nothing to do with fitness. I ski with marathon runners, but they are always puffing at the bottom of the run. Christoph never is.

So, if you want to get on in skiing, get an instructor and practice. Have fun trying to explain how you do it to your mates, but ignore anything anyone says about skiing to you, unless it is their round. Madeye-Smiley

Is this a rant?
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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?
Jonpim, be calm - we're also getting at least one private lesson! Thanks to the collected snowHeads I already have a 'theoretical' knowledge of what I'm trying to do.
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Oh, sorry Ian, so it was a Rant. (My first Madeye-Smiley )
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Jonpim, not a proper rant but I was just making sure you were not getting over-excited. Very Happy
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Oh dear. Not a proper rant, eh? I'm a ranting failure Sad
Then we need a "How to Rant Properly" section in the new keenly awaited "Beginners Guide to Skiing" - order your copy now!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hi Jonpim, I agree that there is no substitute to actually practising ski-ing yourself and having a decent teacher. However I believe there is a place for the video to make one aware of what you should be doing, but yes practice makes perfect.
I had another learning experience about 12 years ago when I attended an "anti-rust" day and a half course in Val d'Isere. On the second afternoon we were videoed and later saw the results in the evening. It wasn't till I saw a video of myself that I realised that in the turn that my downhill leg was too straight. Seeing this and now correcting this for me has been very helpful. I cannot say that I have seen of many ski lessons around that incorporate the video camera as part of the 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!
Jonpim, apology accepted, BUT...
Last summer I asked a friend who is an instructor, if there was any book she would reccomend to me. She told me to read Ron LeMaster's "The Skier's Edge". It wasn't a breakthrough, but I learned a LOT from that book which helped me ski better.
I think the issue is how different people learn. There's been discussion elsewhere about this, so I'll try to remember it. It's something along the lines of...
We all learn in a variety of ways, but for most people, one method will outweigh the others.
The main ways of learning are:
Intellectual - reading/listening to others, then applying it in your mind, before applying it to your body
Visual - watching someone else do it, and copying their physical movements
Experiencial - doing it, and learning from your mistakes.

Unless someone has a disability, most learning will be made up of a combination of the above.
here's some examples (not skiing)
Learn a foreign language: 1. read a book. 2. listen to the language (films, etc) 3. go to the country on your own.
Each of these three methods will allow you to learn the language on their own, but combinations of them will be the most efficient way for you to have a rounded knowledge of the language.
Golf? Same thing - read, watch or play.

When you are with a good instructor, they will be trying to teach you using all three methods, and try to find out which is the most dominant for you, so that you can learn the most.

The instructor will talk to you, and tell you what to do - "kick your knees into a turn", or whatever.
He will then show you, physically moving his knee, either by standing still, or by skiing.
He will then tell you to go and ski it, at which point he will probably watch you to see if you are doing it right.

I think there is value in teaching online, and I also like to see what others say, how they describe things, hopefully to improve my skiing.


(EoR)
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DAVID SNELL and Wear The Fox Hat both make good points.

I avoided videos on purpose when stating my case for the sake of clarity. I think videos are probably of some help as they demonstrate the proper actions, but...

WTFH is right in stating different people learn differently. And books of course are involved in the learning of many things, but...

My objection to both is the time lapse between getting the information and being able to act on it. Learning a language is not just reading the books, but doing the exercises: writing the words and saying the words with feedback (preferably immediate) on performance. Ski instructors do use words and diagrams in the snow, but then pupils can immediately try the instructions out. I suspect those who have read the books are there on the slopes saying: “Now what did it say again……??”

On thinking more about this (in lovely bubbley bath) I wonder if the ultimate ski teacher would be an outfit with sensors, maybe in boots and skis as well, with the sensors fed into a microprocessor which outputs to helmet earpiece and video display on inside of goggles: personal tuition with on-line analysis of your actions.
I’m phoning the patent office right now…..
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Jonpim, well, that is very true. One thing I did as I went through the book was to go up to Milton Keynes to try bits out, also spent some time reading the book while wearing my ski boots
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Which is why you ski like this Smile
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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.
Jonpim, from my own experience I concluded that reading and watching instructional videos were of much help in improving my "hard surface" technique (after a few weeks on snow so that I coud relate to what was being said, I don't think that I could have "learned" without practical). However, for me. no amount of "how to ski powder" could ever take the place of actually doing it and feeling what was going on - and that includes all the instructors and "gurus" I've ever skied with. WTFH has to wear his boots whilst reading because, I understand, he can't get them off.
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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
Jonpim wrote:
On thinking more about this (in lovely bubbley bath) I wonder if the ultimate ski teacher would be an outfit with sensors, maybe in boots and skis as well, with the sensors fed into a microprocessor which outputs to helmet earpiece and video display on inside of goggles: personal tuition with on-line analysis of your actions.
I’m phoning the patent office right now…..


There is a lot to this. Expecially since balance is the most important aspect of skiing, and I am convinced that most of us (including me) really don't have any idea what we are "overcoming" trying to stay in balance and how much our equipment could be changed to make it more natural and easier on us.

I'm spending a lot of time on this right now, and am learning a lot. But, I'm not quite ready to proclaim "new knowledge". However, this kind of approach would help a lot. Get thee to the patent office!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

I wonder if the ultimate ski teacher would be an outfit with sensors, maybe in boots and skis as well, with the sensors fed into a microprocessor which outputs to helmet earpiece and video display on inside of goggles


I wonder if the race teams already do this?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Ian Hopkinson, there has been some work that I've seen, but it's mostly recorded and correlated later, not provided for instant feedback to the skier.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Some interesting points. Much of what has been written here in terms of advice and description of what it takes to ski in a particular way has been instructive, but only with the benefit of hindsight following introductory lessons to start with.

I tend to find that on snow qualified instruction is what really does it - especially with the level I'm at. Try explaining in writing the feel one needs with your feet.

The practical demonstration I had was to unclip my boots (on a blue at the time), and do something called the "Autumn Leaf". This was shifting weight sufficiently to allow the skis to naturally move round into the fall line and then angulating to bring the skis round and across the slope. The whole idea was to feel what your feet are doing as they move more freely in your boot, and then use the information to ski better turns. Just one of a variety of ways in which to understand what is going on and one more piece in the jigsaw to ski well. There are so many pieces, and to describe them so that someone understands relies heavily on other pieces already being there, surely?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Mark Hunter, that's often a good drill to help you understand that skiing starts from your feet up. Typically, skiers will ski from the upper-body down by nature, and learning that you can expend much less effort for much better results by using your "feet first" is a significant epiphony.

While using text to teach skiing is certainly a challenge, I find that it is a worthwhile endeavor both for the teacher and the student. When a student gets back on snow after a number of conversations, there are typically resulting "ah-ha"s.
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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?
Yes Mark Hunter, skiing with the clips undone is an excellent excercise. It really shows up your bad habits.
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Jonpim wrote:
Yes Mark Hunter, skiing with the clips undone is an excellent excercise. It really shows up your bad habits.


Only the ski=ing ones, fortunately Laughing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mark H - unless your bad habits include not changing your socks very often?
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Cedric, even a fresh pair every day make no difference - the damage has been done I fear.. Exclamation
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I sympathise Mark Hunter. Those weapons inspectors are looking in the wrong place: some of us can take out a whole apartment just by taking our boots off.
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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!
Jonpim, try Boots foot deodorant (talc). Put it in your boots the night before. (also drying your boots by putting them near a fan)
These tend to reduce my socks ability to stand up on their own.
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Wear The Fox Hat, I worry that puting powder into my boots might make the inner lining set like concrete.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
just don't put 3 parts sand in, and you'll be ok.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Okay, so when I turn up in VT I am looking for an hairy man with smelly feet (possibly concreted into ski boots) and a snowHeads t-shirt...mother did warn me about meeting people from the internet Twisted Evil
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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.
Ian Hopkinson, sometimes I take the t-shirt off and go boarding . Twisted Evil
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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
I've really enjoyed reading this thread. Lots of good advice for all of us, but be careful with the knee roll. The whole leg should move not just from the knee, as the knee is not a rotary joint and not designed to be moved sideways.

One thing I find works for most people is to press the uphill big toe into to corner of the boot between to sole and the sidewall to initiate the turn. It's relatively easy to find your big toe, and although this will not give you a strong edge it will give you enough for the ski to start turning. The resultant speed will be less than getting the ski onto a strong edge from the start, so it's helpful for "starters" and less like freefall if you're a bit nervous.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
easiski, interesting. I'm going to start a new thread after my day yesterday; I'd love to see your thoughts...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Well, I tried some of this stuff out in Val Thorens and I have to say this thread was really helpful. I now know how carving feels, but my turns tend to be a combination of carving and skidding.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
From reading what various people have written, it seems that 99.9% of peoples' carves are not "pure", so I wouldn't worry! It's more a matter of how pure you can make it Wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It's the first time we've tried ski=ing independently for a whole week (we've always done several hours lessons per day and been too knackered to do much else). Trying things out and just getting a load of miles seemed to be a big help in improving confidence.
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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?
Ian Hopkinson, I'm with masopa; it is pretty rare that typical skiers carve pure arcs. However, I suspect that the sensation of carving will keep you coming back for more, eh?
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ssh, oooh yes! Great fun snowHead

I tend to slide more and more as the slope gets steeper. I also tend to go faster and faster until I have a bit of a panic and do an emergency stop!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Ok Ian, then you're onto the netx step, as ssh puts it when referncing to BB:
"ski the slow line fast"....or, control speed by means of line choice, not braking...
I hav re-read but cannot find it anymore, me eyes are a bit sore.
Still, I always enjoy re-reading that discussion. Thanks ssh to have brought up here the subject.
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This line thing seem to be the next step in improving my ski-ing, as far as I can tell I am competant at the basic operations but my choice of line / speed is rather erratic. Maybe I should try following in the tracks of someone else who looks competant, but not too fast...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
"Follow me" it's great teaching tool for kids, and a great game to be played for grown ups too. But I don't know if it is the right choice to learn the methodology
of skiing one petrticular line rather than another. In the end one ends up following someone else, and unless done as a game, I found that I tend to concentrate on the person in front of me rather than taking concious steps to understand why we're skiing there and not there.
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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!
Matteo, I guess this other problem is that it could be considered 'stalking'!
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ROFL!

I always ask first, if the person is someone unknown. Or I keep a distance big enough that it will not beconsidered stalknig but skiing the same place....
If it is a friend, though, 50 cm is the usual tails to tips distance I try to keep (but I haven't done this in a looooong time)
At the same time, you are right, it's great to force someone to keep a pace, rather than having oneself accelerating till "fear-speed" is reached and stop orders are issued by the brain.
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and don't forget to finish the turn, to make your skiing look stylish and easy
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