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Help!" Do I ski like an old frenchman

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Confused Englishman! Confused
Your legs are too close together, you ski like an old Frenchman my Chalet friends shouted to me last season.

I can ski black runs fall line, with my feet together (exept on sheet ice) I have tried to devolpe independant leg control by the use of vadeling (I hope that's spelt right).

Are my techniques out of date now I use carver skis or do I go back to the drawing board with some private lessons, to exorcise my old Frenchman and look 20 years younger on skis.
I await your comments and help then go and sort my dad out for teaching me this seventies ski style. Mad
Thanks from Monsier Tony
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
tony sales, until just a few years ago, that was the way to ski (wedeln is spelled like that!). Now, however, with skis that can carve tight turns, it is an inefficient way to ride them.

Instead, allow your feet to "dangle" from your hip sockets (natural foot width). Use tipping movements of your feet and ankles to tip the skis. Balance on the ski (not against it), and the ski will turn you. The key thought: let the ski turn you instead of you turning the ski.

There are refinements, but this will get you started.
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Frustrated ski instructor trying to get me to widen my stance last year: 'stop mincing! you're not a bloody frenchman....." rolling eyes

The drill I was given was very similar to what ssh suggests. The realisation that came to me was that on modern fatter skis it's actually harder work to ski with your feet close together. The skis work best when they're kept on their edges as much of the time as possible.
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tony sales, I would recommend a couple of private lessons to help you make the change to a more modern approach. I did this a few years aho (after many years of aiming to ski with my legs tight together) and found it an extremely rewarding process. It will allow you to use modern skis as they are intended to be used. However, make sure that you don't get an old French ski instructor! Wink
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johnnyrotten, have you ever played with RR track turns? They can really teach a lot about stance width and how it makes a difference.

RR track turns: with feet hip width apart on a gentle slope, tip your feet (inside your boots!) to one side or the other. Lead the tipping with the foot on the side to which you're tipping (for example, if tipping left, start the tipping with your left foot). Just your gentle back-and-forth tipping movements to create arcs just using the skis' sidecut.

Now, play with the width of your stance. What happens when you put your feet together (notice the way the skis get in the way!)? What about wider? Play with it.

Then, take those turns, let the speed and slope increase, and let them become dynamic carved turns. Let 'em ride!
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I take it that the tips you have given will, still work on fall line moguls if so I fell like a lesson comming on.

Is thier any videos or DVD's on the market to help me understand this style with drills for me to do?

Thanks Guys
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The Warren Smith DVDs might be worth looking at. Each of them has sections on carving, bumps, etc, all with a modern approach to technique.
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tony sales, don't try RR track turns in the fall line in moguls. It will make it really the fall line! Laughing Laughing snowHead
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Well, I don't know about you lot, but I only wish that I could ski like an old Frenchman .........
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PG, he wasn't old when that picture was taken! wink
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ssh, he may be into his sixties, but from what I hear, there are few snowHeads that could keep up with him today!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Is that Killy? I'd love to see some video footage which showed how competitive ski technique has evolved over the years. A comparision of Killy, Stenmark, Tomba and Miller would be interesting, and the extent to which recreational skiing did (or didn't) mirror what competitive skiers were doing.
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ssh.
Can I take it that the techniques i have been using to ski mogals (whock have taken from ski tips 4 video how to moguls made in 1995 byMartin Heckelman) are syill good today.

Or Is it the case that Martin Heckelman (the frenchman) i should be blaming not my dad,
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
rob@rar.org.uk,
Well, I always wanted to copy Stenmark and Tomba on slalom pencils. I still think those techniques work today.
The only thing that has changed is that you don't have to accentuate them so much to turn now. But I believe you are still going to need to manipulate the skis sooner or later, you just will not have to spend all day knackering yourself doing it..!!!
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PG, I don't doubt that! wink

BTW, look at his technique in that turn: feet hip-width apart, skis edged the same, counter, hands front. Apart from the distance from the gate ('cause those bamboo poles hurt!), that's pretty darn modern technique!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
tony, skiing moguls (properly) is one of the few (2?) techniques where you want to keep your feet together. That allows them to spin together on the top of the bump.

AFAIK, feet together went out of fashion in the 70s so it's high time you updated your "style"!!! Little Angel
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tony sales, Where are you in Kent ? Come down to Bowles on a Monday night (7:30 - 9:30, Adv Coaching), and we'll sort you out ...
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
tony sales, there are a number of different mogul techniques. The one that David Murdoch mentions I call "zipper-line". However, you can ski moguls with similar technique that you would use on the groomers with feet hip-width apart (this is how I ski them). Note: with some new skis (like my b5s), there is no way to ski anything with feet together! 127mm at the shovel and 76mm at the waist means that my feet can't be together! snowHead
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ssh, what are the different mogul techniques?

NOT being cheeky I hope you understand, but AFAIK you can ski them in a normal fall line swallowing the bumps and rotating on top, you can ski as if you were in a competition rutline (if you know how and have carbon fibre knees) or you can pretend they aren't there in which case you're not really skiing them. I'm having trouble visualising getting down steep and tight bumps using the currently in vogue carving turn. I do appreciate that on mild to moderate gradients you can simply absorb them mid carve.

Funnily enough I found the Atomic M:11 (same sidecut and size as the B5) quite happy in bumps with feet as close as possible, which isn't, as you note, terribly close together at all!
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David Murdoch, I tend to carve the shoulders of the bumps, alternating the "long exit" and "short exit" of the bumps. I use the shoulders and back side as great places to carve, tightening up the turn at the end for speed control. I tend not to "jam" the entrance or use the troughs to define my line. There are also times when I'll use a "leaper" to jump a trough and land on the downhill side of the following bump. So, in general, I'm still carving the turn for the most part, although likely using some pivot at the top of the turn to shorten the overall turn radius. I tend not to use the top of the bumps or a dramatic pivot at all.

I've never been a "slap-slap" zipper-line bump skier. I do tend to take more "short exit" routes when the snow is soft...
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ski wrote:
tony sales, Where are you in Kent ? Come down to Bowles on a Monday night (7:30 - 9:30, Adv Coaching), and we'll sort you out ...


I live in the medway towns but work in Hasting so i can get to most of Kent.
Where is the Bowles?
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ssh, Steve, now I'm really confused, but that's most likely due to the 1/2 bottle of cab sauv at dinner!

I'll reply via PM as bumps are my fave thing and your comments are interesting indeed.

Cheers!
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David Murdoch, could be me that's confused! But, I'll look for your PM... snowHead
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I glad someone else is confused. I been reading all of your comments and trying to keep up.

Ssh. you describe the way you attack the bumps not too similar to what I try to do now.
What width of stance are you normally trying to achieve between the skis to have the most efficient carving with the modern style look?
What method of pole recovery do you use, out of interest do you roll your wrist in from the elbow?

PS please can we try and keep this discussion going on the board and not revert to PM's thanks. I want to learn Madeye-Smiley
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tony sales, Bowles is off the A26 between Crowborough and Tunbridge Wells, near Eridge. Signposted from the A26. When you get there, park in the lower car park, and walk up the hill. The slope is on your left, with the ski hut on the left of the slope.
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I skied yesterday with a young frenchman, on huge long old skis, who had the classic french style, it's not just the old. he got down everything beautifully except bumps because his skis were simply too long - they wouldn't go round corners which, I guess, were made by shorter skis. my son, an equally good (English) skier and also a bit of a legs together merchant, did much better even though his skis (177 Volkl Energy Motion) are really a bit long for today's thinking. they're new to him, and he's having to learn to get his feet further apart and have one leg straight and one bent, to use them to best advantage. But on the wide open cruisy reds I think my son had more fun, carving really fast right across the piste, whereas the frenchman did that elegant wiggle down the fall line. my son had a much longer ride, too, he must have done three times the mileage during the day, mostly at high speed as he always gets to the bottom first despite the carving. But I must admit that watching the french lad, in ancient extremely old fashioned ski boots, on ancient extremely old fashioned skis, covering the mountain so elegantly did make me wonder about the fuss we make about the latest hardware! I would like to be able to ski as well as he can - I couldn't do the bumps as well, even on my short carvers. combination of poor technique, old age and dodgy knees.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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pam w,

Apart from the french skiing with their legs bolted together I am not sure what the problem is.
Big red cruising runs can be skied anyway you like and on anything you like. Its when the terrain gets tighter that
you need to adjust. Until I came on this board I was largely unaware that you needed a different techique.
Carvers make getting on edge easier and therefore should be less tiring through the day. You are still going to need more than one way of turning to ski the whole mountain and you always have had that.
I will try a typical 'new'carver and make the adjustments I feel I need to ski it. If it is too far to go I will change the ski.

All skis carve and all skis skid, although some might be more suited than others.
But it appears that tight turns still need the skis to be 'worked'. The final thing is it is easier to adjust from an old style to a new style than the other way round.
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Quote:

The final thing is it is easier to adjust from an old style to a new style than the other way round.
ah there's hope for me yet.
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You know it makes sense.
kuwait_ian,

From the discusions on this board I would guess that a good indication of how well this style has been embraced by
european skiers would be how the Atomic Metron b5 ski sells.
According to ssh who raves about this ski, to get the best out of this you need a modern carving technique and because of its weight you really do not want to be lifting it with an old slalom type style as you will tire easily. And you don't want to skid it and you need to ski with your feet hip-width apart..- which I can remember Ali Ross going on about -etc.
All of which will be against the habits of someone who has skied more than, say, 10 years, unless they have updated their technique.
So if this modern ski is a best seller it might indicate that people have learnt to ski this new way in Europe.
I would reckon that this new carving style is less important to the majority of skiers here. I may be wrong but it will be interesting to see how this pans out....

My guess is that this is primarily an American thing the same as Ski evolutif was a LeasArcs/French thing.
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JT, not at all, for year the French in common with just about everyone else have been promoting a wider stance. In fact the legs together style was an Austrian technique, it used to be called the Arlberg style and you could always tell someone who'd learned their technique in Austria, as I did, the downhill knee was pushed right into the back of the uphill knee. Looked great and I never found anywhere I couldn't ski but it was bloody hard work. That goodness for short skis, so much less effort.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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David@traxvax,

You are right to say the legs together bit was Arlberg induced and maybe adopted by the French I was following the flow of the thread.
But my main point is how much people have changed their technique. Apart from skiing hip width, which I seem to remember was a BASI mantra ages ago, what do people do differently? The skis are more turney but have these people specifically changed something through lessons (and I know some people on here have) or do they do the same things getting the ski on edge but just use less effort. It may take a ski concept like the B5 to make it apparent that the technique is different. I haven't used these skis but as ssh raves about them I will try them as soon as I can find them. I hope to be on them in La Plagne but I don't know how I will get on with them as I have the old lifting technique and I expect that to go due to the weight of the ski. But when you want to get them round I will be resorting to what I always do which is get them up in the air. And how do other people use them? Do they all have to re-learn..?
I use this ski and this analogy to try and ask the question of how much does it matter what style you use. If you can ski, you can ski. Unless all new skis are non conpatible with the old technique' how much does it all matter which way you ski?
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JT, you are of course absolutely right, I learned to carve on 2 metre plus planks, the diferrence now is there is no need to unweight, just roll your knees to the mountain and round you go, no need even to check your speed. What it means for style, is that we have to adopt a more athletic, style, the old goalkeeper/tennis player position. It also means IMO that a more dynamic posture enables us to cover more ground, be less tired and to use the terrain more effectively. Now these are all techniques that used to take months if not years to develop. The advent of parabolic skis, I won't say carvers because all skis are carvers, has meant that these techniques can be introduced much earlier in a skier's progression.
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Ski
Thanks for all your help tonight on the slopes. I haven’t enjoyed two hours of dry slope skiing in years.

Excellent teaching and I believe we are well on the way of exorcising my old Frenchman from the piste. However, Very Happy from the bumps will rake a few more sermons from yourself.

See you soon Very Happy
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tony sales, Thanks for coming ! snowHead
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Oooh - just to set the cat amongst the pigeons ...

My take on this is that to ski bumps effectively and fast you need to asorb, ie down-unweight passing over the front of the bump and then to drive the front of the skis round on the other side. Important this. Most skiers let their tails come round or drag them round. Turn the front of the skis. Every good bump skier skids their skis round. You can not carve bumps and ski them fast. Indeed the very best bump skis use short straight skis. OK, blue touch paper lit and I have retired to watch fireworks. Skullie Toofy Grin

Incidentally the current arlberg technique still advises thinking of tucking in that downhill knee - though of course it doesn't mean actually imbedding it in the cavity back of the uphill knee like it used to. Laughing
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B00thy,

Yep, can't see anything wrong in it. Of course you want to conserve energy that is what reds are for. A carve is a great turn until you can't use it to do what you want to do.
Anyone who has skied a bit has a whole host of turns. Horses for courses...!!
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Fascinating discussion. Very Happy

Old Style, nu skool: In the old days I skied 35cms above head height. I had to downsink, pole plant, pop up to unweight the skis, pivot my feet, drop my hips into the turn, downsink again, edge the skis and that was just one turn. Sad New technique: skis around head height or shorter (much shorter for clients) put the ski on the edge and stand on it. Shocked No contest. OK, there's a bit more to it than that, but not much.

BTW it took me 2 years to learn to ski with my feet apart, it was bl**dy hard but worth it. snowHead Laughing
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18 months ago I did the refresher and recyclage for both BASI and SIMS (French) on the same weekend. The French were on about feet apart, so I asked "why are you still discussing this? How long ago did you change?" the trainer said "about 5 years ago". I pointed out that we'd been preaching it for 20 years and he had to admit that they were behind the Brits!!! Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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easiski, have you stopped laughing yet? wink
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easiski, couldn't agree with you more, it took me some time to force my feet apart. Have you found that there are some skis that you just can't ski now unless you keep your feet apart. I used one of my son's Dynastar Ski Cross skis recently and they just didn't seem to work properly unless you keep your feet well apart.
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