Monster Trip Report

Monster Trip Report

Postby MonsterMan » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:05 am

After a request in the hip thread I have put together the only usefull footage I could get of myself from my two recent ski trips which is included in the following.

Any comments welcome.

"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: Monster Trip Report

Postby carver_hk » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:24 pm

Encouraged by MonsterMan, I ll try to comment on the first part as I can't see the Niseko skiing too clearly. Few free to correct me.

There are insufficient tipping to make the skis turn on its own, as a result the skis was not turning as desired therefore there are signs of mini-hockey stop. To correct this problem I ll concentrate on a better turn initiation following the RTE model and continued tipping throughout the turns. More input from the experts? :D
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Re: Monster Trip Report

Postby leopold_bloom » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:09 pm

Hello Monsterman,

One question. What kind of motion are you using to release your skis between turns?

Leo
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Re: Monster Trip Report

Postby MonsterMan » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:38 pm

What kind of motion are you using to release your skis between turns?


Hi L.B. where have you been hiding?

I was trying to flex further and tip off edge, little toe first of course, and with a two foot pullback. The footage is in chronological order I think the turns right at the end, with a weeks additional practice under the belt are a little better executed.

The issue I have been fighting is not really the release, but a heel push engagement. What do you see in the release?
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Re: Monster Trip Report

Postby leopold_bloom » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:02 pm

Hello Monsterman,

From what I see, your heal push is a result of your release mechanics.

You have eradicated the up move but (I hate to say it) you still have a push off transition.

There is no obvious extension but if you look very closely you will see a little bit of a push off the old edges. You are moving your feet out away from your body. Where did the force to do this come from? You must have pushed against something to create this force.

A thought experiment. You are skiing through space, the final frontier. What would it take to move your feet out away from your body if there were nothing to push against? It would take some counter movement of the upper body. Newton tells us: for every force there is an equal and opposite force. Your upper body is quiet in your skiing. It can't be this. There is only one culprit. A push off from the end of the last turn. A force through your feet against the snow.

In a released transition you are essentially weightless like in space. There is nothing to push against. Your body is going in one direction and your skis in another. Angles are created by your body crossing your skis and moving downhill not by pushing your feet out away from your body. These two are exact opposites. One is right and one is wrong.

I would suggest approaching this problem two ways.

First, on a very, very gentle slope like a cat track, practise turning by tipping only. Use only your ankles. You don't have to tip much. Just enough to get to the other edge. This is really an awareness exercise more than anything else. Develop an awareness of what it feels like to change edges without changing the way the skis are pointing. Stop and climb back up to look at your tracks to verify that you are doing it correctly. This may sound very tedious but I can't tell you how much you can learn with this simple exercise. I still do this every day and learn something new.

Secondly, practise releasing out of a garland. The idea here is to develop pressure and counter at the end of the turn and apply it to the release. Start by doing garlands to a full stop such that you turn up into the hill. Start with the feet/ankles as always. Add in counter tipping of the hips and counter turning of the hips (CB and CA). This has to be a continuous motion. At any given moment you will be a little more countered than in the previous moment. Flex the inside leg to increase angles. If it feels like you're going to fall inside you are too far back on your skis. When you've got it going on it will feel like your skis are accelerating, slicing through the snow and pulling your feet across the hill. Obviously there are limits to how much you can counter; try to find them.

Now try to release out of the garland. When I release, I think of relaxing everything from the hips on down. Everything. Try this at home. Put a big soft pillow on the softest sofa in the house to create a nice soft landing zone. Drop into the sofa by letting go of everything from the hips down. Note what this feels like. This is the best simulation of a release that I can think of.

On the hill, momentum is your sofa. It will save you from landing on your can. But, you need to feel the force at the end of the garland that is pushing you to the outside of the turn. To get a really dynamic release you have to be actively countering as you release. In the context of your garland, think about releasing before you reach that point of maximum counter to avoid hitting a dead spot. Think: build counter, build counter, build counter--release. Try changing the timing point where you release. Try surprising yourself with when you release. The important thing is that you go from actively countering to relaxed abruptly.

It doesn't take much force to get the effect. All you need is enough to get your body to cross the skis. Once you have this try for more and more. This is best done on a soft day. Releasing and having your body move across your skis into a face plant would be a major victory. A dynamic release feels like the hand of god is tossing you by your tail bone into the next turn.

Build this into your skiing by starting every run by pointing straight down the hill. Go into a garland and release out of it into your first full turn.

Good luck. This is an awful lot to work on and will take some time. Don't get discouraged.

Leo
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Re: Monster Trip Report

Postby MonsterMan » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:27 pm

Thanks Martin and L.B. for your comments.

There are insufficient tipping to make the skis turn on its own, as a result the skis was not turning as desired therefore there are signs of mini-hockey stop. To correct this problem I ll concentrate on a better turn initiation following the RTE model and continued tipping throughout the turns.


From what I see, your heal push is a result of your release mechanics.

You have eradicated the up move but (I hate to say it) you still have a push off transition.

There is no obvious extension but if you look very closely you will see a little bit of a push off the old edges. You are moving your feet out away from your body. Where did the force to do this come from? You must have pushed against something to create this force.


I've read your analysis quite a few times L.B. and think you are after me trying for a very dynamic release so that the body moves inside and the tails remain "on track" without the dreaded push.

So that I can focus on what you are both describing, I would be grateful for some additional feedback say with time references based on some of the footage. I've trimmed out some of the most recent turns and post same below.



Thanks for doing this,

Geoff
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Re: Monster Trip Report

Postby leopold_bloom » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:21 pm

Hello Monsterman,

You are very close. You are transferring energy from one turn to the next but your mechanics and timing are wrong I am sorry to say. I won't provide timing points, rather reference points in the turn since each turn is fairly consistent.

Let's start with the moment when the skis are flat on the snow. Are you tall or flexed relatively? Forward or back?

It looks to me like you are most centred (i.e.most forward) when you are flat. You also look tallest at this point. Both legs are relatively extended. These are relatively subtle differences. You don't have a lot of up or down motion in your turn, but don't interpret this as a sign of ultimate success.

In fact, this is the opposite of the ideal picture. When you're skis are flat, it should look like you are back because your legs are most flexed, but it doesn't matter since you are moving forward as you approach the apex of the turn.

Now, here is the most important idea.

With your release mechanics, you extend you legs out to the side and in front of you. At the apex of the turn you are more back then at flat because of this motion!

This is opposite of the desired outcome.

With a proper release, you are most forward at the apex. You are on top of your skis when you need to make them carve. The momentum from the last turn carries you forward onto the front of your skis relatively.

There are two great outcomes from a proper release: it carries you across your skis to help with early edge angles and it carries you down the hill to help you re-centre fore-and-aft so that your skis will engage and pull you through the turn.

Another way of expressing this contrast is: you are pushing your skis through the turn rather than letting your skis pull you through the turn.

This brings us back to the garlands. In this exercise you can find the pull-through-feeling.

Leo
Last edited by leopold_bloom on Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Monster Trip Report

Postby MonsterMan » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:59 am

Thanks L.B.

I'll have to think this through as I count turns tonight. (Life used to be so simple when we counted sheep!).
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Re: Monster Trip Report

Postby carver_hk » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:58 am

MonsterMan wrote:I'll have to think this through as I count turns tonight.
And...I ll suggest try to count each essential in every turns you make too. That would probably burn the essentials into your subconscious mind, hopefully! :D
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Re: Monster Trip Report

Postby A.L.E » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:58 am

Nice MA Leopold.

There is lots to like about these turns from Japan Geoff.

I see the heel push resulting in a straightish stance leg at skier's 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock. It's throwing your weight aft. Need to stay more flexed through the turn.

Review any video of HH and stop frame it at the same 10 & 2 o'clock, he is always more flexed. I have been looking at my video ever since you posted it to compare my best turn (1st turn) and frozen images of HH at the 10 & 2 o'clock position. The more flexed position allows him to be more forward on top of his skis and also makes it easier to have a stronger counter at the point of being prepared for a pole plant.

I don't quite understand what part the previous turn's release plays in this heel push problem, I'll sleep on that one.

Maybe by increasing the radius of the turn a little, to round it more, with less brushing, will allow you slow things down to be more patient in setting up the turn. Really concentrate on what your feet are doing early in the Hi C. Be sure they are only tipping not pushing. Particularly make sure the inside boot doesn't step or slide across, pushing against the other boot. This was the a problem at times in Loveland although that seems to be gone from the Japan video.

Garlands will be good as LB suggested, turning them into carved turns as the progression to get the feel of the tails following the tips without the skid caused by the heel push.

I think this heel push may have originated from practicing the TFR incorrectly without enough tipping and replacing tipping with pivoting.
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Re: Monster Trip Report

Postby MonsterMan » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:19 pm

It looks to me like you are most centred (i.e.most forward) when you are flat. You also look tallest at this point. Both legs are relatively extended.
L.B.

Aha. As the skier, let me tell you what I was working on in those turns. I was trying to get my two foot pullback completed earlier, i.e. during the release and before flat. Could this have been detrimental to the timing? When you say I am tallest when the skis are flat, do you mean that the legs have straightened by then? perhaps with an incorrect pullback movement that has an element of extension? or that the head has arced over rather than through? (pendulum effect).

When you're skis are flat, it should look like you are back because your legs are most flexed, but it doesn't matter since you are moving forward as you approach the apex of the turn.


This is different to the timing I was using. I was also trying to "slice" each turn and finish with more aft, but then re-centre through the release, not after the release.

Another thing I was trying to do is increased tipping with increased flexion just before the release. To achieve this "comfortably" I was trying feel maximum extension at the fall line. This "felt" like it was working.

I understand the concept of the dynamic release you recommend L.B. I think it might be like the feeling I get doing linked power releases, but somehow achieved at slower speeds.

Particularly make sure the inside boot doesn't step or slide across, pushing against the other boot. This was the a problem at times in Loveland although that seems to be gone from the Japan video.
A.L.E.

I also see that they are staying separated more in the recent runs, so I'm happy with that. When I watch the tails of the skis in some of the turns I can't actually see the tails slipping with respect to the tips, so I also think that I am starting to get used to "feeling the tails". So if the tails are gripping, (I know not every turn yet), is it then not ok to extend? This is the only way that I have been able to achieve more tipping at the end of the arc, (with more flexing after this extension).

There is a common theme that I need to flex more. I can work on that, although I'm a little timid with this as I've been trying to minimise the waist flex and maximise the leg flex. L.B., as asked above, please confirm if you see a leg extension when you say I get taller through flat. Could it be that I am now standing "too" tall in my effort to eliminate the belly flex?

There is a lot to think about for me with the detailed M.A. you guys have generously provided. So that I can clear this up and prioritise in my head, I first need to know if the two foot pullback timing I was using, (through the release), was right or wrong. I thought I heard this from a reasonably high level coach, but maybe it was a misinterpretation on my part. I'm sorry for not getting this straight away guys, it actually seems a lot harder to "see" when my muscles are remembering. (I'm told I am a kinestetic learner, so that is my defense or now).
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Re: Monster Trip Report

Postby leopold_bloom » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:12 pm

Hello Monsterman,

Don't get me wrong, I think you're getting real close to jumping to the next level but I still see some fundamental issues.

Have a look at this image of Ted Ligety in a GS race:

http://www.ronlemaster.com/images/2006- ... -gs-1.html

Disclaimer: I think it is dangerous to analyse skiing in terms of positions since there is only one position in skiing; the one you were in at the top of the run before you set out; the rest is continuous motion.

Having said that...

In particular look at the fourth and tenth positions. This demonstrates the "flat and square" reference point. The skis are flat on the snow and the body is square to the skis. He has tipped off his old edge and is about to tip onto the new one. He looks like he is sitting on an invisible chair. You might think that he is way back on the tails of his skis at this point but this is a misconception because he is in motion and more or less weightless. He's not on his skis at all, really.

Look at the next frame. Look at how his body has crossed his skis. Also look at how he is re-centering fore-and-aft very quickly. Remember, this is one continuous motion that started the moment he let go of his old edge with the flex-to-release move.

It may be cruel and unfair to draw comparisons to super human WC skiers but such is life. Here is what I see you doing:

Instead of a flexing to release I see a very, very slight push off or up move on your turns. On some turns there is hardly any motion at all but even if you're only resisting (with no apparent movement) when you should be giving in (flexing to release) the net result is the same. With the up move, there is inevitably a little pause at the top when you are fully extended. Here you lose the continuous motion that you really want. You aren't moving across your skis and developing early angles. You aren't re-centering either. So what do you have to do? You have to get angles by pushing your feet out away from you. Look at how the angles are built by Ligety by continuously flexing the inside leg and allowing the outside leg to get longer. Once again a continuous motion!

ALE does that address your question about the connection between release and heal push?

Just one more comment. I think you're confusing yourself with all this intricate analysis of the timing of what you're doing with your feet. None of this will make sense until you have your release working. By the same token, don't think about moving the feet forward at the end of the turn to "slice". You will start to slice when you start to arc from above the fall line. This will happen when you really flex to release and let your body cross your skis to help make those angles in the top half. You will feel your skis accelerate out from under you and you will be slicing! There are some things in skiing that are indirect consequences of other movements. This is one of them. You shouldn't try to make this happen directly just like you shouldn't try to make your skis turn directly by turning your feet or pushing your heels.

Leo
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Re: Monster Trip Report

Postby MonsterMan » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:16 pm

Instead of a flexing to release I see a very, very slight push off or up move on your turns.


ok then, it's learn to release aggressively for me then, but I don't want the belly bend back, I'll learn to do it properly.

I think you're confusing yourself with all this intricate analysis of the timing of what you're doing with your feet.


I'll have to work on this as a separate excercise because I need to keep working on stopping the ingrained heel push. Perhaps trying to pullback during the "non"-release is wrong after all. It certainly doesn't seem consistent with what that racer chap does in a GS course, so I'll assume that the timing is the same in shorter turns and just more compressed.

A.L.E. I think you hit the nail on the head with your assessment that I have been practicing an incorrect two foot release in recent times and actually ingrained the heel push into muscle memory. Nice pickup.

And thanks again guys for the advice.
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Re: Monster Trip Report

Postby A.L.E » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:39 am

MonsterMan wrote:
Instead of a flexing to release I see a very, very slight push off or up move on your turns.


A.L.E. I think you hit the nail on the head with your assessment that I have been practicing an incorrect two foot release in recent times and actually ingrained the heel push into muscle memory. Nice pickup.


I watch HH's youtube TFR drill and notice how his legs/boots, apart from LTE tipping, are very static. No twisting or pushing feet out away from his body. I find there has to be tension from the hips down, maintain the flexed position and as always the tipping of the inside boot to the LTE is the key driver of the turns. There is independent foot movements in all the turns and there is an inch or two between Harald's boots. I picture your TFR's with feet locked in more of a unison locked feet movement.

leopold_bloom wrote:
Instead of a flexing to release I see a very, very slight push off or up move on your turns. On some turns there is hardly any motion at all but even if you're only resisting (with no apparent movement) when you should be giving in (flexing to release) the net result is the same. With the up move, there is inevitably a little pause at the top when you are fully extended. Here you lose the continuous motion that you really want. You aren't moving across your skis and developing early angles. You aren't re-centering either. So what do you have to do? You have to get angles by pushing your feet out away from you. Look at how the angles are built by Ligety by continuously flexing the inside leg and allowing the outside leg to get longer. Once again a continuous motion!

ALE does that address your question about the connection between release and heal push?

Leo


Yes, thanks. I think I see the little extension. Actually I think I see it in my own turns as well. I might start another MA thread and get your feedback.
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Re: Monster Trip Report

Postby h.harb » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:59 pm

I must say, as it is distinct that your skiing in this video is a more refined version of the skiing you brought to Loveland. What I mean by this is, there are less forceful movements and all the movements are more coordinated, therefore there is less interruption or stopping time, between arcs.

I'm seeing two things happening. As we worked on at Loveland separating your feet will give you notice about how much you are tipping each individual foot and the timing of this tipping. (Geoffda, has had the same instruction.) I encourage you to keep a small distance (six inches, that is the women's measurement of six inches not a male version) between your feet and practice how to maintain this. As Ian said, your feet at times are locked, and it usually just before release and before engagement. Keeping them apart will make you realize when you push, it will become more obvious to you, so you can realize how and when it's happening. Now that you have eliminated your up movement, you are addressing the remainder of your built in push. Also, with feet apart, it requires each ski to be individually tipped, this will encourage you to increase tipping, as you will feel the skis as they skid, skid becomes more obvious when skis are apart.

Part of the push on the tails of your skis is coming from hip energy in transition, as your hip crosses, it drops inside before the skis become angled by tipping, this allows the skis to remain flat until you are comfortable, but the skis are therefore further to the side before you get to add more edge tipping. Remember leaving the hips behind (in the old arc location) and allowing the skis to go out to the side will result in a tipped or angled ski, but it will come up late, further down the arc or slope. A foot and ankle tipped ski is immediate and it happens while the skis are under the hips. To stop this you have to physically CB and keep your hip outside on the new arc as the edge change begins, (this is part of the hip switch over in CB and CA. This is done with and while the skis are tipping off and onto the new edges. When you see this on video, the knees are inside the arc in the High C. If you watch the video in slow or stop frames look at how your hip drops inside, (slightly back) while the back of your skis travel to the outside of the arc. It is minimal but it's the small change to achieve compete control. Your hip has to shift to the outside of the new arc, while your foot tipping actions increase the ski angles, this is seen visually by the knees moving to the inside of the arc. Keep the outside hip down/lower and lift the new inside hip as you transition, while tipping. This is the edge change while the skis are under the hips. Edges should change sides under your body not to the side. It's definitely a twisting and crunching of the hips move to get this done.
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