Want to improve quicker?

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Want to improve quicker?

Postby h.harb » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:53 pm

Learning to ski in less time, keeps coming back to foot ,ankle and boot tipping. After a busy week with a Blue Camp at Sol Vista I had a chance to reflect. Every camp and every group is different, as are the people in the groups.

We have great fortune at Harb Ski Systems, because we have the best ski technique, teaching and testing facility in the world. We ski with repeat customers, we ski with new customers, we ski with aligned skiers and we ski with unaligned skiers. This happens year after years and we gather great amounts of information from our coaches as to what is working and what is just going through the motions. We compare returning customer progress and new customer learning rate. Now going through the motions to us; is using already tried and true applications of PMTS, but we are always looking for better ways to apply our teaching.

That’s how we evolved to the Essentials DVDs and book; by trying to make skiing easier to understand and easier to apply for skiers. It also helps our coaches stay focused.

Last week I noticed a huge need in my group, 4 out of 6, needed help with torso and hip counteracting. I tried numerous anti hip and torso rotation exercises and drills, they helped, especially the hip-o-meter it was very effective for skiers with too much hip rotation. It is amazing how many skiers can’t get the hip locked back into a counter-acted situation. Also, we often see the outside hip jacked up higher than the inside hip, which is opposite to the way it should be.

So I did an experiment, after a few attempts, I left all the hip and upper body exercises alone and reintroduced tipping. I had everyone exercise their greatest amount of tipping while stationary. Then I let everyone traverse the slope doing, “on and off tipping”; engage and release tipping. No improvement, although the stationary tipping was perfect. I had them do it again, but this time I had them move very slowly only a few feet while tipping to high ski angles. I saw an immediate result of greater range of tipping.

Then I took out my video and taped everyone tipping stationary. Then I taped the traverse tipping and showed them the difference. The ones who had the range of motion in stationary tipping immediately were amazed how stiff they became while just traversing. Traversing means moving to intermediate skiers, and that’s when they freeze up.

HH Quote:
Skiing is about relaxing muscles, so individual body parts can move in the correct way, without dragging other parts with them, making everything incorrect and difficult.


The slow movement tipping traverse had a much more positive affect. I continued with it until the skiers could sense the results, and I’ll tell you the results were amazing. I had skiers getting to carving in half a run, true, but also skiers lost their fear of the transition and could make parallel releases even at very slow speeds. This means they also improved balance with this approach, because slow parallel turns require much more balance than fast skiing parallel turns.

Very satisfying indeed, but what it tells me is that there is always more to tipping than any other part of skiing; if introduced correctly. And PSIA and CSIA don’t even teach tipping. Well the poor students who are taking lessons there, are really missing out.

I have to add, many of the other exercises we did in the five half days of instruction contributed to the success, but that doesn’t diminish the amazing results you acquire with tipping your feet in skiing. Most skiers, 99% on any given slope, don’t tip their feet and they don’t know what it means.
Also, tipping doesn’t result from many days of free skiing; you have to practice it, to achieve, and increase it, and make it part of your skiing.
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Re: Want to improve quicker?

Postby Ken » Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:03 pm

Learning to ski in less time
I'm amazed at the time and money some people I know have invested in some of the better traditional ski instruction with very gradual progress, and I'm amazed at the rapid improvement I've seen in the first 3 days (plus the remainder of the time) at a PMTS camp. Note to anyone planning on attending a camp...observe the skiing ability of others on the first morning and on the 3rd or 4th day, especially skiers in other groups where you don't see their gradual progress. Big changes.

And PSIA and CSIA don’t even teach tipping.
Some PSIA clinic leaders are teaching it...verbatim from your books. They also add...ahem...steering to guide the skis while tipping. :roll:

this time I had them move very slowly only a few feet while tipping to high ski angles. I saw an immediate result of greater range of tipping.
I'll use this. I've seen this in random action, but I didn't put it together and create specific drill.
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Re: Want to improve quicker?

Postby h.harb » Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:18 pm

Ken, when PSIA uses steering in tipping, it's not PMTS tipping, PMTS doesn't work with steering. That's what I'm curing in intermediate skiers the first place. Their skis are steering due to incorrect leg activity, but there is no tipping going on when you see this. You can steer plenty without tipping, remember that. It's what you see happening on all the slopes. But getting a skiers to tip with steering doesn't help, (if they can even achieve it), which I don't think you can, the steering overrides tipping, in a bad way. These instructors/trainers are so idealistic. I think sometimes they don't ever teach real skiers, they only train instructors. We are talking intermediates here, who if they get a smell of steering, end up steering everything, including hips, shoulders etc. We aren't talking instructors here who spend years perfecting a Wedge Christie.

You have to isolate the tipping movement and develop it separately and preciously or it won't work. Anyone who tells me they (PSIA, CSIA) are using PMTS, has not seen the difference between the results we get and PSIA results.

So every time I hear (they) PSIA or CSIA are teaching PMTS tipping, they are not! Maybe they'd like to be? But they won't until they are accredited, and have gone through PMTS accreditation training, while in that process we can show them the difference between quality skiing movements and what they teach. In such a situation, we can guide them toward skiing understanding. They just don't get it on their own. It's the paradigm they have created for themselves. Everything has steering and steering has to be part of every ski turn, that's what destroys skiers. If I have a skier who has been taught steering, it takes twice as long to right them.

It's analogous to the Pink Salmon in Alaska, they are beautiful fish in salt water, but as soon as they even smell a drop of fresh water, they go bad. Intermediate skiers taught with a hint of steering, (it never ends up just being a hint) end up having to re-learn.

If you always remember that in PMTS, we do not teach turning, we teach arcing and arcing means , you change edges in transition, ; not ski direction, which is what happens when you use steering to an edge. There is a monumental development chasm between the two systems. :D
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Re: Want to improve quicker?

Postby jbotti » Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:19 pm

I was skiing some very steep terrain today with soft snow and some medium sized bumps. I was vey focused on staying forward and on staying countered. My results were pretty good but I knew I wanted to ski it better. I went to some moderate terrain and I did short radius turns. As I really worked the SRT's I kept asking myself what would take these to the next level, and I decided to really increase the tipping. Bingo!!! The same thing happened that Harald mentioned, in that my counter just naturally increased. I think this is because you can only tip so far with out adding in counter balance and couteracting movements and these (at least for me) are the movements that truly compliment tipping and will increase edge angles with agressive tipping.

I was working with my brother today on his SRT's and we spent a lot of time working on the two footed release. He is just like every person to which I have ever taught the TFR in that all of them have trouble tipping enough and committing to that movement early enough in the releasing drill. I was no different when I really started to work this drill. This is also why in continue to belive that the TFR and SRT's are the best thing for one's skiing as you can't do them well without a very high level of committment to tipping.

As an aside the other thing that I really focused on in the SRT's was another of my favorite directives from Harald; "Finish the arc!!" You can't finish the arc in a tight turn without intense tipping, and srt's where the are arc gets finsihed are the key to all great off piste skiing in challenging terrain.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
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Re: Want to improve quicker?

Postby Icanski » Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:38 pm

I took my family skiing today, (it was a statutory holiday in Ontario called..."Family Day"). There were lots and lots of people out skiing. I was working on introducing PMTS to my wife. As we were going up the chairlift my daughter was commenting on how many people were just going down the fall line in shaky wedges, and asked me to point out some things. I mentioned two for starters: watch for a wedge at the start of the turn, and for the first movement to be rotation of the upper body.
After a few minutes up the lift, and on several more trips, both my wife and daughter commented that they were seeing that in almost everyone on the hill. Even the few people who were doing reasonable parallel, they still saw it, and my daughter quickly pointed out, "lots of up and down movement" (can you tell she's been indoctrinated with PMTS technique?).
My wife noted that there weren't many people really skiing parallel and many were at that, what we call "terminal intermediate" level. I said, most had gotten there from traditional training, and many would stay there for most of their skiing lives.
The difference between PMTS skiers and traditional ones on the mountain is really amazing.
I was watching some videos of a well known ski teaching group that came in one of their ads. These were clips of their clients skiing all over the world. Same thing happening, rotation all over the place, leaning into the inside of the turns, wide stance with wedges and stems. And these were after a week of skiing.
The difference from the end of a week of a PMTS camp to this is huge.

I spent a great deal of time working on sideslip and releasing with my wife today, getting the feel of the feet tipping. For her it was difficult to get used to how small the movements of PMTS are to get a result compared to the big movements and muscles involved in traditional techniques. For her, that was one of the biggest discoveries; PMTS has more subtle movement for effective results.
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stationary vs moving while tipping

Postby John Mason » Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:56 pm

I wonder if the difference is people staying within their envelope of balance - or maybe comfort zone is a better word. Stationary tipping, most anyone can really crank it. Add the movement and then tipping will feel much more unstable. Very slow movement as a stepping stone to increase that balance comfort zone sounds really effective.

One simple reason for this is when tipping while stationary there are no changes in dynamic balance. Add any movement at all while tipping and lo and behold, the skis will turn! This makes the balance issue very dynamic. Building a base from very slow movement while tipping will let the person experience this variable tipping - variable turn radius balance challenge. Dynamic balance as the ski change edging - the ski bends more as you become more one footed - dial in more counter and counter balance which both increase tipping is one of the most fun things to experience for me in skiing. The permutations of balance are a lot of fun. Hard carve, soft carve, see how tight you can crank a turn without the ski breaking loose on different surfaces and types of snow. Once a person has developed some sense of dynamic balance this makes skiing more akin to a bird flying. I can see this stepping stone slow motion tipping stage in shallow garlands and progressivly steeper garlands could really wake up this dynamic balance skill in people.

Wide stance, golf cart steering, 2 legged pressure all trade balance for stability. Managing unstability via balance is the fun way to ski! This is going to be fun.

I will play with this very slow motion while tipping with a friend on Thursday. (Perfect North if anyone else wants to come)
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Re: Want to improve quicker?

Postby h.harb » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:07 pm

"Perfect" What? Been there done that. How's the family?
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Re: Want to improve quicker?

Postby h.harb » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:09 pm

PMTS has nothing to hide, in fact, expose everything we do, that's what they (traditional Instruction organizations) are afraid of, that PMTS will be exposed to the greater skiing public.
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Or perhaps Perfect South

Postby John Mason » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:32 am

I guess Perfect North would be a good name if you're from Kentucky. It's more perfectly as far South East as I can drive in the State of Indiana.

I've been going out once a week to work on stuff and been going out west each month too. (working on page 191 stuff in prep for the race camp. As I get a better handle on fore/aft things are really clicking.)

Family is great. Dan and Charlie love their new Nordica boot setup (finally a volume boot for those tough foot shapes). I absolutly love the new Raptor setup.

Maybe I'll get brave and post an up to date vid Thursday.

I like Perfect North's setup for beginners in terms of facilities. They have dedicated even pitch green and blue slopes with short lifts just for training plus the bunny hill with 3 magic carpets. Sorry to say not much PMTS style skiing to be seen though. My rule has been don't train a ski buddy unless they ask. Since they see me ski they've been asking so I've been training. This will be a lot of fun to try out your latest tweak. Us guinea pigs are useful!
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Re: Want to improve quicker?

Postby Ken » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:18 am

jbotti wrote:As an aside the other thing that I really focused on in the SRT's was another of my favorite directives from Harald; "Finish the arc!!" You can't finish the arc in a tight turn without intense tipping, and srt's where the are arc gets finished are the key to all great off piste skiing in challenging terrain.
Also keep in mind that there's never time to finish the arc if the turn isn't started correctly. Anyone who isn't finishing their turns right needs to look at both the beginning and the end of each turn and check for correct movements.

Let's ask HeluvaSkier for any tips about finishing the arc.
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Re: Want to improve quicker?

Postby h.harb » Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:34 pm

What most skiers don’t realize about Tipping; even if they begin to get it, is that Tipping is the consummate verb for movement skiing. Tipping is not a position, it’s an on going movement, with the tipping off the edges to realize a release and tipping into higher angles while arcing. So when you are skiing and you stop Tipping in an arc; you have stopped performing. Watch skiers on the slopes with this idea in mind. You will notice that 99% of skiers don’t tip; if they do they stop after the first degree of angle and then steer to a skid.
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and here is an example of the 99%

Postby John Mason » Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:22 pm

Look at all the flat skis

http://www.viddler.com/explore/mjheinri ... os/1/1.271

No one is demonstrating anything. This video is not for MA. It's just a video on the title page of the Indy Ski Club. This is normal - steered - flat ski - skiing.

And, these people are having fun. That was probably the goal of their ski instruction - to have fun.

(I could say something like - they could be having as much fun as helvarelease - but I won't)

Also, when I see a video of skiing like this I can hear Diana shouting - "Show me your bases!!"

This is probably quite a representative sample of the skier style many of us were as we entered the PMTS camps the first time. In know it's much like I was (except I was throwing my shoulder doing top down rotation much worse than the worse of these at my first PMTS camp).
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Re: and here is an example of the 99%

Postby HeluvaSkier » Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:29 pm

John Mason wrote:(I could say something like - they could be having as much fun as helvarelease - but I won't)


Hey now... you try doing a few of those before you start to knock them. :lol: Once you remember your name, the date, what state you're in, and where you parked they aren't so bad.
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I'm glad you're all right

Postby John Mason » Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:16 pm

That was a scary video clip to watch. It certainly illustrates how much rebound is there to use or be abused by.

As far as memory goes or lack thereof in concussions - isn't that what helmets are for?

I have to play that video again. Did the videographer speak?

I also remember how very fast you go (and how unsuccessful I was at trying to keep up) over at Holiday Valley. Your videos every now and again hint at how steep the terrain actually is and how much force you're playing with and making look easy.

And for the record I liked the music you picked on your GS/Slalom video.
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Re: I'm glad you're all right

Postby HeluvaSkier » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:34 am

John Mason wrote:That was a scary video clip to watch. It certainly illustrates how much rebound is there to use or be abused by.

As far as memory goes or lack thereof in concussions - isn't that what helmets are for?

I have to play that video again. Did the videographer speak?

I also remember how very fast you go (and how unsuccessful I was at trying to keep up) over at Holiday Valley. Your videos every now and again hint at how steep the terrain actually is and how much force you're playing with and making look easy.

And for the record I liked the music you picked on your GS/Slalom video.


It is impressive how much energy can be released in these turns. I'll admit, I was a little surprised when I looked down and the ground was moving away from me. My girlfriend was the person filming and she didn't say anything - neither did my father who was standing right next to her taking photos with our DSLR. He actually stopped shooting when he realized what was happening - so I don't have any high-res pics of the crash. They have both seen me go down like this before (just not into trees) so they weren't that shocked when it happened.

As far as the steepness of the terrain is concerned - I prefer to have video taken on terrain that pushes me to ski well and will force me outside of a typical range of motion that is used on flatter terrain. This means more tipping, flexing, foot pullback, etc. in order to make the turns that I want to. The mistakes and shortcomings really stand out on that kind of terrain. This is similar to the comment that jbotti made in either this thread or another thread recently that it is better to get high performance turns on film versus simply filming lazy "pretty" turns. Sure all the ingredients can be there - but to what degree you can execute those movements will separate the men from the boys (IMO of course).

I'm glad you like the music I selected. It certainly wasn't a "random" selection.

Back to the topic of this thread... Harald is dead-on about tipping. It is the single most important movement to develop in your skiing because it starts at the feet. I'd say the number of skiers who progressively tip through an entire turn is even lower than the 1% that Harald stated above. In order to see someone who can really arc their skis you usually have to look to racers and even in that arena there is a lot of tipping to one edge angle and riding it through the entire turn. It takes practice, commitment, and trust to "get it" but when you do, it opens up a whole new dimension to your skiing. Every day that I spend on snow I take some time to work on tipping (and EARLY tipping), whether it is stationary or while moving along a cat track. Those stationary drills that Harald uses for tipping are a lot more difficult than you might think (hops anyone?), so they can definitely bring a skier to a higher awareness and comfort level on their edges.

Later

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