MA- Tips appreciated.

MA- Tips appreciated.

Postby tpwpny » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:38 am

This is my first MA video... feel free to be harsh... I can take it! I just want to get better.
Background: I've been following PMTS for about 2-3 years (although it may not show AT ALL here!) I have all the books and videos. Whether I get the chance to practice it is a different story. But you can always refer me to a chapter and lesson-- even if it's in the basic Green/Blue instructor video...

Some more notes:
- This is my first video; I can now see I'm worse than I thought.
- I'm bowlegged... don't know if it will appear but I know it does affect my alignment and skiing.
- I'm a Northeastern skier, although this vid is from a trip to Steamboat last week.
- I find myself in the backseat a lot, and usually thrust there moreso during Engagement.

What should I work on? (Aside from the obvious answer, "EVERYTHING!") Any advice appreciated!
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Re: MA- Tips appreciated.

Postby leopold_bloom » Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:34 am

Hello tpwpny,

I see some positive elements in your skiing. You are doing some good things and you're NOT doing some of the bad things that so frequently block progress. You're in a pretty good starting place for some serious ski improvement.

One thing I don't see is the big push-off transition. You appear to be releasing your skis to change edges and you are getting a bit of a reaction out of your release. Most skiers I see on the hill, including a lot of high level instructors, never release their skis properly so you are ahead of the game.

Sure, there is a lot you could do to improve your skiing but I would suggest you focus on one thing at a time.

Let me suggest one goal and a couple of approaches to achieving it. Right now your skis are creating a very skinny S-pattern on the snow. In other words, you're not turning very far off the fall line. Make it your goal to make fatter or wider S-patterns. You will need more shape in your turn to control your speed on steeper terrain.

One factor that affects turn shape is weight distribution. As you noted, you are too far back. Without some weight on the front of the skis they won't engage properly. This is problem number one for you. Fix this first before proceeding.

I see you lifting and tipping, the phantom move--a good thing. Look closely at the video and you will see that you lift and tip and touch the tail to the snow. Change your phantom move so that you press the tip of your ski on the snow rather than the tail. This will alter your balance point forward and make the skis engage better. Pulling your free foot back (the lifted and tipped ski) will make it easier to touch the snow with your tip. Do this on groomed snow at first so there is no chance of tripping yourself up.

I would also suggest playing with your balance in a more fundamental "drillish" context. Try experimenting with weight distribution in a straight run down a gentle slope by flexing the ankles. A small adjustment at the ankles will have a large impact on weight distribution. Try tipping out of the fall line from your straight run with your weight more forward and take note of how the skis react. You should feel the skis engage and pull your feet through the turn.

Right now in your turns you are getting a different reaction. When you tip onto the new edge, your skis jet out from under you (because you are too far back) and you have no choice but to extend to stay with them. As soon as you start extending you stop tipping.

In summary, change your weight distribution to achieve a better turn shape.

Good luck.

Leo
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Re: MA- Tips appreciated.

Postby tpwpny » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:06 pm

Leo-

Thanks so much for the advice. It's both enlightening and encouraging! Looking forward to getting back on the mountain and practicing some weight distribution. I have HH's Essentials DVD series so I'm going to watch the Upper Body and Balance portions. See if I can give myself the courage to get the tips dug in more.

Good call also on the too-slim turns... I've realized that's probably why I seem to have trouble on steeps. When I make a wider turn, I also habitually lean back into the mountain. I have to work on my angulation a bit in that case as well I think...

Thanks again,

Tony
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Re: MA- Tips appreciated.

Postby tpwpny » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:14 pm

An additional thought concerning being too much in the backseat: Perhaps heel lifts in my boots would help? Or conversely, I heard from more than one bootfitter that lifting the toe -- or front of the boot-- actually inclines you forward. But maybe that's a whole different discussion altogether...
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Re: MA- Tips appreciated.

Postby MonsterMan » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:59 pm

Without some weight on the front of the skis they won't engage properly. This is problem number one for you. Fix this first before proceeding.


I agree with Leo. Ingraining the "get forward" movements is the first priority. When you get this, I think you will be amazed at how well the skis will turn you.

Regarding the boots, can you stand with your hips forward of the heels without skis on?
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Re: MA- Tips appreciated.

Postby tpwpny » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:14 pm

MonsterMan wrote:
Regarding the boots, can you stand with your hips forward of the heels without skis on?


I can, but I feel like it starts to cause some pronating. I think I can lean forward sufficiently, though. Maybe heel lifts aren't a necessity right now.
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Re: MA- Tips appreciated.

Postby MonsterMan » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:14 pm

I can, but I feel like it starts to cause some pronating. I think I can lean forward sufficiently, though. Maybe heel lifts aren't a necessity right now.


This sounds more like an alignment issue.

You said you were bowlegged in the first post. Are you still bow legged when you get your feet back under the hips?
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Re: MA- Tips appreciated.

Postby tpwpny » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:24 pm

MonsterMan wrote:Are you still bow legged when you get your feet back under the hips?


I can't really tell, but when I do lean forward on my skis I do recall getting some disarray in my track. I wouldn't say it's extremely pronounced, though. From what I recall my "prescription" for under-binding canting risers has been 1mm for the left leg and 2mm for the right, although I don't use these right now.
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Re: MA- Tips appreciated.

Postby MonsterMan » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:38 pm

Who's the Harb accredited bootfitter in New York?

Is Orangeman still in Colorado?

Has he learned to do alignment?

However, unless something is very wrong with the setup, you should be able to practice the re centering drills.
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Re: MA- Tips appreciated.

Postby tpwpny » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:26 pm

MonsterMan wrote:Who's the Harb accredited bootfitter in New York?


It wasn't a Harb bootfitter... I got my orthotics prior to my introduction to PMTS. It was "another" well-known boot guru. I kept the canting strips on my previous skis, then got my previous boot soles ground down as a substitute. I haven't considered cant strips for my most recent skis as of yet. My alignment problem hasn't felt as pronounced in my newest boots, on which I do not want to get the sole ground down. But I know alignment is still a factor with me on most days (depends on which day you catch me.)
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