Return of the infrequent skier

Return of the infrequent skier

Postby sburman » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:04 am

Hi All

Some of you may recall I posted just over a year ago http://www.pmts.org/pmtsforum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2159 asking for some guidance and appropriate drills (I have not skied often and do not ski regularly, although when I do I try work on PMTS - more background is in the attached url above). Anyway, I skied last year and worked primarily on the TFR and a few other drills. I must say I felt my progress was slow, if not backwards. I have enclosed a clip of some of my skiing below. All skiing is in rented boots (I planned on purchasing boots last year, but had no confidence in the bootfitters that I saw in France) and rented Dynastar Contact 10 skis.

My own thoughts on my skiing:
- I seem to have regressed since the previous clip in the previous url where my turns seemed more rounded and controlled
- My hand position and pole action is still pretty poor
- In the slalom course clip(I just did it because it seemed like fun), my technique deteriorates more under pressure
- I've always felt my tipping was reasonably good, but having read some of the more recent posts, perhaps it isn't.

What isn't captured in the clip:
- I do not have a BPST (but I guess that would be pretty apparent), so struggle to control speed on icy slopes or bumps.
- I've nver really actively worked on the phantom move - is that very apparent?

Anyway we are skiing for 2 weeks this year in France so would appreciate thoughts on what to work on and/or particular drills. I will also try and post some "live" video from the trip to get "live" feedback.

Many thanks - and as always, please don't hold back.

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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby Petter_F » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:22 pm

Sorry, but I have nothing to add regarding your skiing.

But, my wife and I are wondering where it is you are skiing. Looked like endless slopes, and high up.
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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby MonsterMan » Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:50 pm

Do some research on turn shape. Work out how to tip more at the end of each turn. First though, learn to really tip, Geoffda gives some great advice in his recent camp notes about loosening up to be able to tip as well when moving as you can whilst stationary. It takes lots of practice at slow speed. I recently lost what limited ability I had to tip and the only way out was to practice doing railway tracks for days to get it back, (but in a Steve Austin way it's better than before, and Harald doesn't charge $6M).
"Someone once said to me that for us to beat the Europeans at winter sports was like Austria tackling us at Test cricket. I reckon it's an accurate judgement." Malcolm Milne
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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby MonsterMan » Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:58 pm

"Someone once said to me that for us to beat the Europeans at winter sports was like Austria tackling us at Test cricket. I reckon it's an accurate judgement." Malcolm Milne
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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby h.harb » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:23 pm

Tipping is a much harder Essential to grasp then skiers believe. Your skis and not engaged (not tipping) they are slipping or skidding. Your ski angles are created by leaning and inclination. In the Essentials DVDs there is a complete instruction format for learning how to tip your skis.

Speed control, roundness of arc, and edge engagement, are all dependent on foot tipping, this is therefore the most important Essential. Your skiing doesn't show these movements.
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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby sburman » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:30 pm

Thanks Harald and Monsterman.

I will focus heavily on the tipping drills in Essentials and see what progress I can make. I think this just shows how easily you can lose something if you don't practice it regularly - I was at a Fernie camp a few years ago where my instructor felt I was tipping quite well, but given that I've only skied 2 weeks since then and did not really work on tipping, it seems to have disappeared ...

Aside from tipping, are there any other comments? Or is it just a matter of tipping being so important, that I should leave the other essentials for now?

Petter, the clips were all taken in France, most at Val D'Isere and one at Sainte Foy. Val Disere is big and pretty high, but can get busy. Sainte Foy is quite small but relatively empty. Lots of fun at both though.
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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby sburman » Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:13 am

Hi

I have just returned from 2 weeks skiing in France. As with many on this forum,I am very lucky if I get to ski 10 days a year and as a result have probably clocked up maybe 70 days total lifetime skiing spread over the past 10 years. As a result, with such big gaps between skiing, it takes some time to get back up to speed each time. I attended a Fernie PMTS camp in 2007 and have since tried to focus on PMTS on my 3 trips since.

Following the feedback received from my last posting above, I spent most of this trip doing the tipping drills from the Essentials DVD and focussing on tipping when free skiing. In addition, I purchased boots for the 1st time [Nordica Speedmachine 110].

To my untrained eye, I can make the following observations:
- my tipping seems much better than the last video although lots of room for improvement [angles of skis are often different]
- my pole plant still appears awful
- my feet seem to drift too far apart at times

In addition to the above, I can make the following comments:
- at times, although not necessarily in this bit of filming, I feel a bit in the back seat
- I struggle to tighten the arcs to produce shorter turns on steeper terrain without twisting the skis. I know focusing on free foot pullback and more tipping should help, but have had limited success with this.

I would appreciate any comments on the above as well as any other observations you can make. I am hoping to make it to a camp next year [a bit tough coming from South Africa], but if not, would appreciate any comments on what to work on.

The video is a bit far away, but hopefully OK. I may be able to post a better one in a few days time

Thanks
Saul

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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby jclayton » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:06 pm

It is easier to tip more if the release is done . You don't really have a flex to release so the weight does not come off the skis . With less wieght on the skis and the legs bent the tipping can be started earlier and more effectively .
Try balancing for a short period on the new edges , legs retracted as you go across the slope .
skinut ,among other things
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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby sburman » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:31 pm

Thanks JClayton. I think I can see this - will do some flexing and tipping drills next time out.

Can you see anything noticeably poor with respect to fore/aft balance? I know I probably shouldn't ask as my brain seems to struggle with more than one Essential at a time ...

I've also included another video with a few shorter turns [unfortunately my cunning videographer chose to hide behind a pole] ...

Please let me know if this particular clip shows anything else not already mentioned.

Thanks
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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby jclayton » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:28 am

. The legs are stiff during the turn so you get a zig zag rather than S turns , no flex to release , which in itself rounds out the turns .

You are not controlling speed and weight is back . As you flex , pull back both feet , hard . Slide them backwards , feel the hamstrings working . Work the hamstrings all through the turn .

In Haralds agressive turns the skis slice forward at the beginning .

It is better to practice at your stage pulling/sliding feet back all the time . Hamstrings pulling the ski tails up toward the gluteus muscles at transition and holding them there .

Then tip . Ideally the pull back and tip happen at virtually the same time when the skis are unloaded but I think it is good to get a clear feeling of the two essential movements seperately then combine them .
skinut ,among other things
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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby MonsterMan » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:56 pm

Ideally the pull back and tip happen at virtually the same time when the skis are unloaded


And unlike me, do this without it looking like an extension as the feet come back under the hips. I hope that by working on tipping the new outside hip low rather than the new inside hip high as Harald has suggested will work immediate wonders and keep my upper body over the skis more in the high C.
"Someone once said to me that for us to beat the Europeans at winter sports was like Austria tackling us at Test cricket. I reckon it's an accurate judgement." Malcolm Milne
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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby jclayton » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:01 am

Just imagine the upper body is a bent banana facing forward and the lower body a bent banana facing backward and and the upper/lower combination a banana with two big hands bending it side to side really fast and you wont have any trouble .
skinut ,among other things
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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby MonsterMan » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:13 am

Just imagine the upper body is a bent banana facing forward and the lower body a bent banana facing backward and and the upper/lower combination a banana with two big hands bending it side to side really fast and you wont have any trouble .


This actually makes sense, so if it is a banana bender joke then its a fantastic double entendre by the newest, (yet unfinancial), member of the Hintertux Beer Club.
"Someone once said to me that for us to beat the Europeans at winter sports was like Austria tackling us at Test cricket. I reckon it's an accurate judgement." Malcolm Milne
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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby sburman » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:40 am

Thanks jclayton and serious.

I certainly see the lack of flexing and I can definitely relate to my weight being back, as I've felt this especially at the end of some turns.

However, I must say that I am struggling to see the pivot/rotary entry, certainly on my most recent video [although I suspect it's because I'm not quite sure what this means and what it looks like!]. Is this different to a wedge entry?

There are a host of flexing exercises on the Essentials DVD which I intend to work through, but are there any particular drills which you would suggest I work on?
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Re: Return of the infrequent skier

Postby kirtland » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:42 am

R-T-E, R-T-E Release Transfer then Engage. Go back to Anyone can be an Expert Skier 1 and work on the the basic Phantom turns. The R-T-E explanation is in there in detail. You need to Release (Flex the Stance Leg) completely from the previous turn, Transfer your weight to your new stance foot ( When you transfer you have to have the new stance foot back underneath you, feeling the little toe edge and the front of the foot, not the heel or middle of the foot) then Engage (Tip).

Then the skis will turn without having to step and rotate. You have to use stepping and rotation to make the skis turn, if you start the turn without pressure on the front of the ski. If you release from your old stance ski and transfer to your new stance ski, you cannot stem it. Remember this is release and transfer to your Little Toe Edge, not step and extend to your big toe edge or a flat ski.

Break the turn down into 3 distinct parts. Release (flex the old stance leg, when you are finishing the turn) and Transfer (Balance on your little toe edge and wait to tip until you are sure you have the pressure on your little toe edge and the front of your new stance foot, you can do this by keeping the released foot lifted, and touching the tip of it to the snow), then Tip (Engage) trying to touch the bottom of the heel of your free foot to the new stance foot boot cuff. When you tip down the hill, keeping your free foot pulled back and keep tipping , your skis will seek the fall line and continue to turn by themselves.

Practice traversing and side slipping on the little toe edge of your uphill ski, experiment with fore and aft balance, until you know when you have your foot back underneath you and pressure on the front of the ski, then tip off of it into garlands, until you get the feel of how it feels to balance on it and be back underneath you, to initiate the turn. Then practice One Footed Releases. If you cannot traverse on your uphill ski, you may have a lateral alignment issue. If you have a hard time pulling your foot back or pressuring the front of your ski, you may have a fore aft alignment issue. You need to be able to flex your boots and have enough forward lean to keep your feet pulled back under your hips.

Hope this helps.
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