MA for a friend

MA for a friend

Postby Max_501 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:50 pm

Here's some video of a friend of mine (some of you know him as Dawgcatching). He a great skier and has had the good fortune to be coached by Eric D. and one of his X-Team coaches. I thought it would be a fun learning experience for members of this forum to MA his skiing and Dawg graciously agreed. So what movements do you see Dawg using? Are there any movements that could be improved and if so, what would be the SMIM (single most important movement)?

Note: the terrain is steeper than it looks, and the snow is DEEP (4' in places) and on the heavier side due to some wind packing.

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Re: MA for a friend

Postby dawgcatching » Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:59 pm

Well, in that 2nd to last clip, I got late with my feet and paid the price. Got to keep my feet moving in the transition so I am not playing catch-up. It is easier said than done, especially in the soft snow with not-great visibility. If the snow had been more predictable, I would have felt more comfortable extending on the backside of the bumps (some later clips, not shown, in better light, had me using more "snakey" legs. Also, my pole plants could be smoother at times. Other things I would like to work on are more aggressively pulling in the inside foot up to bring the skis around quicker, although it isn't really necessary in deeper snow like this. Still a little rusty, this was my 5th day on the snow this year, maybe 35 runs total.
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Re: MA for a friend

Postby Max_501 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:00 pm

dawgcatching wrote:Also, my pole plants could be smoother at times.


This bit is worth exploring in more detail. What could be done to make things smoother?
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Re: MA for a friend

Postby HighAngles » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:25 pm

The skis were so rarely seen in that video that the pole plants are all you have a chance to critique! (just kidding).

Nice to see dawg participating over here.

I know the pole plants aren't textbook PMTS style, but I like them nonetheless. Yes, they may be a bit "busier" than PMTS teaching would like, but they definitely have style. The inside-outside moves definitely come from the steezy cookbook.

So Harald's advice on pole plants is well documented in his books and videos. I guess it would be good to see dawg try to adopt the no-swing pole plant and see what that does for him. I know for me it really is the key for maintaining my counter (CA) and if I lose focus on my planting my skiing directly suffers. As Harald says - it's really easy to undo a great turn with poor pole plants.
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Re: MA for a friend

Postby ginaliam » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:45 am

I got to ask-knowing Dawg's penchant for and knowledge of gear...what skis are you using in this video? And, damn, I got to move to Washington!
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Re: MA for a friend

Postby Max_501 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:53 am

ginaliam wrote:I got to ask-knowing Dawg's penchant for and knowledge of gear...what skis are you using in this video? And, damn, I got to move to Washington!


Video was shot in Oregon at Mt Bachelor.

I'm don't remember which skis Dawg was on. He switches skis on a daily basis. We were both on big skis that day. I was using my Shaman's and glad I had them.
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Re: MA for a friend

Postby ginaliam » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:39 am

Ah, Bachelor-I thought it said Mt Baker--well, then, I need to move to oregon!
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Re: MA for a friend

Postby milesb » Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:13 pm

Hard to see with all the snow, but it looks like the legs get static in the middle/bottom part of the turn. Keep tipping, flexing and pulling back, even a little action makes a difference. Hard to do when tired!
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Re: MA for a friend

Postby kirtland » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:27 pm

Max501,
I've never been a fan of what I call the Wind Up Pole Plant. Where you plant your pole with your hand in front of you, your elbow is tucked in a little, then let the pole plant push your body over, like this fellow likes to do. It is definitely a stylized way of skiing, but I don't know what it is all about. If this fellow wants to change it, he needs to move his elbows out away from his body, like he is holding a tray, and keep moving his hand down the hill through his pole touch, as Harald does. Getting your hand to keep going down the hill through the pole touch, (NOT PLANT, it's not supposed to stay there), is a hard idea for some people to get. The late Buck Martin (you may have known him, he did the Mt Bachelor ski school training in the late 70's to early 80's.) Would say punch your hand through the pole plant, it is an image that works.
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Re: MA for a friend

Postby Mac » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:12 am

Hand and pole action doesn't seem to get talked about much outside of this forum, but I find myself spending a good amount of time working on it, and it has helped me a lot. I remember watching video of Dawg years ago when he had a similar pole plant followed by a big up extention motion. In a more recent video of Dawg demoing some skis, I noticed that the up move had pretty much been eliminated, so I figured someone had been working with him. But other than that, the snow they are skiing in looks so funky that it's hard to make judgments on, at least by someone of my limited knowledge. I remember back in mid December when Billy Dee, ToddW and I got together at Loveland one afternoon and skied some pretty wild conditions. The wind was howling, the snow was blowing sideways, visability was tough. We went from patches of snow where the wind had scoured it down to solid ice, to windblown knee deep cut up crud to bottomless powder in the trees. In fact, on that day on every run the conditions were different. I'm just as glad there was no video on that day, cause it would have been ugly. Point is that it's tough to judge anyone's technique without really knowing what the conditions really were like. Sometimes what looks like wonderful powder on film can actually turn out to be some pretty nasty snow, as was the case in parts of Harald's new DVD.
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Re: MA for a friend

Postby dawgcatching » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:35 pm

Thanks, been working on the pole plant more, and it has cleaned up a bit. Will try to post updated video sometime in the next week, if Max and I can meet up on the hill.
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Re: MA for a friend

Postby HeluvaSkier » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:43 pm

See if we can get something where we can see your feet. :wink:

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Re: MA for a friend

Postby dawgcatching » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:28 pm

Working on it! One key I did see is that I am not initially relaxing. I may be tipping, but I need to get to a point where I am relaxing at the end of the old turn before starting to tip. Otherwise, it is just some sort of a stem if I simply unweight that old outside foot and tip it. Getting the relaxing of the old outside foot to happen, before getting active with new-turn movements, is probably a key for me.
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Re: MA for a friend

Postby Ken » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:52 pm

At :57 seconds, do you need your weight back for that day's snow?

At about 1:03 & 1:04, do you see how your arm motion of the pole swing pulls your shoulders around the wrong way? Can you practice some easy skiing where your only concentration is keeping your hands wider than your elbows and the direction your body faces? It'll take lots of concentration and many, many repetitions to change a habit.

For tipping in soft snow, try a day with soft snow over a base. With equal weight on both feet, practice your tipping. You'll lighten the tipped leg, but not too much, and you'll develop the feel you need for tipping in bottomless snow.

Kirt, don't we do a pole touch on packed snow and a balancing pole plant in bumps and deep snow?
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Re: MA for a friend

Postby kirtland » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:26 pm

Ken,
I prefer to keep my pole touch the same in all conditions. If I depend on my poles for balance, it causes me problems. If I use a Pole plant (as opposed to a touch) in the bumps, it may not plant and just slip down the face of a hard bump which throws me off balance or if it does plant, It brings my arm back and disrupts my balance. If I do a pole plant in powder, it not only bring my arm back, my pole will often sink so deep it throws me off balance, in spite of the fact that I use old 6" powder baskets. Plus, I like the sensation in powder, that my poles are just walking down the hill in slow motion, with my hands staying relatively quiet and just my lower body is doing the skiing.
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