Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby gaku » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:05 pm

Hi fellow skibums, just found out about this site, and I am so glad I did! This looks like the perfect environment to take one's skiing to the next level.

Would love to hear some tips on how to improve my skiing. I'm a die hard ski addict, and have learned movements mostly by myself. I haven't had the chance to hit the snow this year, but this year I 1) want to use Shiffrin and Hirscher as rolemodels for my slalom skiing, and 2) want to get better at GS. I don't know if it has to do with my angulation or ski length/radius (I use Elan SLX), but whenever I do GS, I feel like I 1) can't keep the pressure through the turn without digging too deep into the snow with the edges, 2) can't get my hips inside the turn, and 3) feel that if I release pressure, the skiis will shoot forward so fast my upper body won't keep up.

I suspect a lot of this has to do with using slalom skiis for GS turns, but I also think I need to learn how to angulate my body at higher speeds / forces (i.e.: flexing inside knee, getting outside knee to the inside booth, hips inside the turn) and time when to apply pressure. If you have any good drills for this, I would love to hear it.



The video was taken during my first skiing day of the year. I only regret that I didn't get to record my improvement during the weeks (we were two weeks in the Alps), so that I could record the differences I in my skiing (less upper body movement, better at pulling my feet up toward my upper body during the transition phase, better control of the back and front edges to control the radius of the turn, and controlling the speed all the way down a steep hill).
gaku
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:36 pm

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby Max_501 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:25 pm

Read and follow the instructions in the PMTS books in the following order:

1) Anyone Can Be an Expert Skier 1
2) Anyone Can Be an Expert Skier 2
3) Essentials of Skiing
User avatar
Max_501
 
Posts: 4051
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 7:39 pm

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby milesb » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:54 pm

C'mon Max, that's not really fair!

Gaku, while ultimately that is the correct answer and best course of action, I think new members could use a little more help.
So let me explain briefly what PMTS is all about. The basic idea is to balance on the outside (stance) ski, while tipping the inside (free) ski to the little toe edge. Additional leg movements (flexing and pulling back) and upper body movements (counterbalancing and counteracting) support ski tipping and balance. Ski tipping is the key movement, but the other movements are required for more than moderate tipping. Note that any other movements- such as extending, leaning, twisting- inhibit balance and tipping.


So the first step is to get really good at balancing on the stance ski and tipping the inside ski. The books Max501 listed will show you how.
There are also online ski lessons here that give you a taste of what you need to do. http://harbskisystems.com/index.php?opt ... Itemid=183
YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH78E6wIKnq3Fg0eUf2MFng
User avatar
milesb
 
Posts: 977
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 10:17 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby Max_501 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:49 am

If you want to do this:



and this:



and this:



and this:



Then you need to master the Essentials of PMTS skiing. Other than attending a PMTS camp the PMTS books/DVDs are the best method to learn PMTS.

Read the Glossary of PMTS Terms.

Harald has uploaded many videos that provide an excellent introduction to PMTS.

PMTS - Phantom Move

PMTS - Essentials (quick tips)

PMTS - Movements for Advancing Students

PMTS - Mastering the Two Footed Release

PMTS - Dryland Training with a Slantboard

And this thread has some good information: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure
User avatar
Max_501
 
Posts: 4051
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 7:39 pm

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby h.harb » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:15 pm

Lot's of free information on how to ski like the best, on my blog.


http://harbskisysems.blogspot.com
User avatar
h.harb
 
Posts: 6772
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:08 pm
Location: Dumont, Colorado

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby geoffda » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:21 am

Hi Gaku,

if you want to improve your skiing, you need to stop pushing against your skis. You can see that happening both from the fact that you are extending in transition as well as the fact that your outside ski periodically breaks away. Movement-wise, working on flexing to release will help you start to break that habit. Boot-touch drills are your friend.

Great skiing cannot be forced. Once you have mastered the correct movements, you need to be able to combine them properly to allow your body to continuously adjust position throughout the turn such that at every instant, you are always in the correct position over the skis so that the skis themselves will perform the turn properly. This requires balance and continuous movement. It also requires considerable relaxation. When you can do this, your skis will deliver pressure and grip as a reward for your great technique. This idea is elusive and extremely difficult to adequately describe (which is why we deal in movements). The best way that I can think of to describe it is that when you can do this, you will feel like you aren't *doing* anything at all. There is almost a feeling of bewilderment when the pressure comes and the ski grips and hooks the bottom of the turn. It feels too easy to even be possible.

I mention the above because if you go looking for pressure and grip, you will never find the technique you are trying to emulate. In soft snow it is very easy to put a ski on edge and generate pressure early by bending the ski by pushing against it. It feels really great and it makes you think you've really got something. Unfortunately, this is not what you are looking for. Pushing against the ski kills tipping. Once you stand on the ski, the turn is over. This is why many people who can make short turns in soft snow can't buy a short turn on hard-pack. You have to replace pushing to bend the ski with continuous tipping and the requisite supporting movements.

With great skiing, the pressure actually comes late and the amount of time you spend feeling like you are actually "on" the ski is surprisingly brief. For racers it is even briefer. If you watch the footage of Mikaela Shiffrin at Levi, you can see this happening. She is making slalom turns, yet she spends almost no time standing hard on edge. High level PMTS skiers can produce the same skiing. The only difference is that we hold the edge a bit longer to round out the turn for speed control. But pressure and grip starts for us in the exact same place and it is equally automatic.

So: Step one is developing each of the Essentials. Step two is mastery: combine balance, relaxation and the Essentials to produce elite skiing. Step one is relatively easy because we can adequately describe how to perform each movement and provide external cues for verification. Step two is harder because you have to discover it on your own. However, practicing the Essentials can lead you there if you stay the course. It takes time and effort, but it is very possible.
User avatar
geoffda
 
Posts: 857
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:42 am
Location: Copper Mountain, CO

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby gaku » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:59 pm

Happy new year, lads!

A lot of things took up my time last month, but even though I haven't had the opportunity to answer before now, I've been thinking about your comments on many occasions.

This year's skiing season finally started December 21th, and boy, did I feel like chasing my skiis all throughout the first day! Fortunately, I started to get some of my angling and release back on the second day.

The conditions were mixed. I don't mind icy conditions -- slushy, bumpy conditions where soft snow mixes with moments of ice, however, I find incredibly hard to ski well on. Either I loose the grip when ice follows slush, or I grip too much, feel the ski lag as it carves through the bumps of slush, and due to the added resistance, shoot forward in my boot, loosing my fore-aft balance.

I noticed something interesting during my week of skiing (god bless holiday and cabins!): Whenever I applied minimal pressure, used zero upper body movements, kept my stance close and angled the ankles and knees, I seemed to glide over the slush. However, once conditions got harder, I felt the grip wasn't strong enough. In contrast, whenever I used upper body movements, angled ankles, knees and hips and got lower in my stance / added more pressure on the front of my boots, I got better grip and speed out of turns on normal to hard conditions, but once the snow conditions where soft or mixed -- the sking became very bumpy. This can't be a coincidence? I suspect it is the difference in pressure and hip position / upper body CA / CB that does this, am I way off in that suspicion?


Anyway, I used the opportunity to focus on drills rather than ingraining counter-productive movements. I did about 8 runs of drills (2 repetions for each drill, so 4 types of drill in total), then 1 run where I just skied and tried to incorporate what I'd focused on. The drills varied depending on the day, but I had a lot of focus on one-ski drills, including the Phantom Move, close-stance carving (boots touching), weight-shifting (fore-aft and inside outside). I also did some CA / CB drills for balance, and hand-to-knee, hand-to-boot drills to get used to staying through the turn / not releasing prematurely.

Annoyingly, I have a hard time figuring out how to do the flexing and releasing without pushing. In the video I posted above, I feel like I flex and release, I certainly don't feel like pushing because I can feel the forces pull me from one turn into the other, and all I have to do is control this force by flexing my legs and absorbing the forces just enough not to get out of balance during the release.

But apparently, I'm pushing rather than releasing at the end of those turns. How can I feel the difference?

While the conditions were still good early in the day, I also took the moment to practice flappers for fore-aft controll. What surprised me was that I could do it easily on light slopes, but once it got steeper, I had a really hard time generating the force to lift skis. Do I need to get more forward compared to my feet (due to the increased incline), or lower in my stance, to do them on steeper slopes?

Woopwoop to a new skiing season and new improvements! :D

Best,
Gunnar
gaku
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:36 pm

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby jclayton » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:36 pm

Gaku wrote -

" But apparently, I'm pushing rather than releasing at the end of those turns. How can I feel the difference? "

This takes some practice , if only to recognise the difference ( lots of posts on this subject ) . Your move is rather like inline skating .
I think the basic move to practice is just tipping the new free ski ( progressively more and more ) and let the stance ski just go along for the ride , not even thinking about it . I think you are rushing things a bit with all the drills , there is no way around starting at book one and follow stage by stage .
skinut ,among other things
User avatar
jclayton
 
Posts: 1019
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:37 pm
Location: mallorca ,spain

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby Max_501 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:56 pm

gaku wrote:Woopwoop to a new skiing season and new improvements!


The honest answer is you did too many drills for too many Essentials in such a short time frame. Find your SMIM and then concentrate on that until something else becomes your SMIM.
User avatar
Max_501
 
Posts: 4051
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 7:39 pm

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby jclayton » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:22 am

The exuberance is good !
skinut ,among other things
User avatar
jclayton
 
Posts: 1019
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:37 pm
Location: mallorca ,spain

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby Basil j » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:23 am

geoffda wrote:Hi Gaku,

if you want to improve your skiing, you need to stop pushing against your skis. You can see that happening both from the fact that you are extending in transition as well as the fact that your outside ski periodically breaks away. Movement-wise, working on flexing to release will help you start to break that habit. Boot-touch drills are your friend.

Great skiing cannot be forced. Once you have mastered the correct movements, you need to be able to combine them properly to allow your body to continuously adjust position throughout the turn such that at every instant, you are always in the correct position over the skis so that the skis themselves will perform the turn properly. This requires balance and continuous movement. It also requires considerable relaxation. When you can do this, your skis will deliver pressure and grip as a reward for your great technique. This idea is elusive and extremely difficult to adequately describe (which is why we deal in movements). The best way that I can think of to describe it is that when you can do this, you will feel like you aren't *doing* anything at all. There is almost a feeling of bewilderment when the pressure comes and the ski grips and hooks the bottom of the turn. It feels too easy to even be possible.

I mention the above because if you go looking for pressure and grip, you will never find the technique you are trying to emulate. In soft snow it is very easy to put a ski on edge and generate pressure early by bending the ski by pushing against it. It feels really great and it makes you think you've really got something. Unfortunately, this is not what you are looking for. Pushing against the ski kills tipping. Once you stand on the ski, the turn is over. This is why many people who can make short turns in soft snow can't buy a short turn on hard-pack. You have to replace pushing to bend the ski with continuous tipping and the requisite supporting movements.

With great skiing, the pressure actually comes late and the amount of time you spend feeling like you are actually "on" the ski is surprisingly brief. For racers it is even briefer. If you watch the footage of Mikaela Shiffrin at Levi, you can see this happening. She is making slalom turns, yet she spends almost no time standing hard on edge. High level PMTS skiers can produce the same skiing. The only difference is that we hold the edge a bit longer to round out the turn for speed control. But pressure and grip starts for us in the exact same place and it is equally automatic.

So: Step one is developing each of the Essentials. Step two is mastery: combine balance, relaxation and the Essentials to produce elite skiing. Step one is relatively easy because we can adequately describe how to perform each movement and provide external cues for verification. Step two is harder because you have to discover it on your own. However, practicing the Essentials can lead you there if you stay the course. It takes time and effort, but it is very possible.


I find myself struggling with this piece the most as well. I have been diligently working on the PMTS fundamentals, green drills and Blue drills this season. I have 11 days on the snow now and I can definitely feel a difference in my skiing. At slow to moderate speeds I do not push against my skis at all and the turns almost happen automatically. Tipping and Counter balancing bring me through the turns nicely. My problem is when I pick up speed and my turns become faster on steeper terrain with energy loading and releasing between turns. I am finding that there is a split second where I am shifting my weight onto my new ski then sliding my free foot in. I feel like I gravitate back to what I have known for years when the terrain becomes daunting and it is frustrating. I would say that 60% of the time I am on the hill now, my focus on turn initiation is totally on the inside free foot and I have found that bump skiing has become much less jarring and smoother with that approach.
As many have said, it is tougher to unlearn what I have been doing for years, than it may be to learn from scratch. After 25+ years of skiing a certain way, there is a lot of reprogramming going on. Some runs feel effortless and perfect, some are frustrating. The nice thing about PMTS is that there is a definitive check list to work off of, so it is easy to recalibrate. I am happy so far with my progress as I have really been trying to relearn how to ski from scratch. I have made a big enough change, where my ski pals now ask me, "What are we working on today?" with much interest and readiness to drill with me.
It has been in the single digits all week and we actually cut our vacation short due to cold, so getting video has been impossible so far. Sunday is supposed to be warmer so I will try to get the wife to film this weekend. All I have is an I phone. is there a way to post video from an I phone?
Basil j
 
Posts: 228
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:52 am

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby go_large_or_go_home » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:35 am

Yes you can…the quality of the footage is surprisingly good. However, unless you have the new 5/5S, there is no zoom with videoing…..You can also trim your video.
Anyway, the process of uploading your video to youtube is almost identical to emailing it to somebody. From the Photo app, select the video to upload/ send, then use the button in the bottom left of the screen - it looks like a square with an arrow sticking out of it. This will lead you into the choices to send by email, message, youtube etc etc…
The only differences may be down to what iOs you are running on the phone. I always ask google - he knows everything….
hope this helps.
User avatar
go_large_or_go_home
 
Posts: 223
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:52 am
Location: UK

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby Basil j » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:55 am

Great Thanks. I have the new iPhone 5 and can zoom. I will try to shoot some video this weekend.
Basil j
 
Posts: 228
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:52 am

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby gaku » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:02 pm

jclayton wrote:The exuberance is good !


Idd, I daresay it's the fountain of you... I won't make myself complete that cliché! :P

jclayton wrote:Gaku wrote -
" But apparently, I'm pushing rather than releasing at the end of those turns. How can I feel the difference? "

This takes some practice , if only to recognise the difference ( lots of posts on this subject ) . Your move is rather like inline skating .
I think the basic move to practice is just tipping the new free ski ( progressively more and more ) and let the stance ski just go along for the ride , not even thinking about it . I think you are rushing things a bit with all the drills , there is no way around starting at book one and follow stage by stage .


"Your move is rather like inline skating" -- Oh, that's just uncanny! Uncanny! I was an active hockeyplayer for a little over 13 years until I was forced to choose between soccer and hockey -- a choice which was initially hard (love and talent for both--weird how often those two coincide), but became a lot easier when I was called up for the U17 national soccer team. That actually explains why I push off the way I do -- and why I feel comfortable doing SL turns, but not GS turns. Are you by any chance related to Mrs. Trelawney? :shock:

Max_501 wrote:The honest answer is you did too many drills for too many Essentials in such a short time frame. Find your SMIM and then concentrate on that until something else becomes your SMIM.


My honest reply is that, while SMIM is an excellent way of manipulating drill variables, there are other methods equally suitable (as long as there is purpose behind picking them)--it all comes down to intentions. Beliefs are at the most dangerous and become shackles the moment we start viewing them as the only way to do things.

Basil j wrote:I find myself struggling with this piece the most as well. I have been diligently working on the PMTS fundamentals, green drills and Blue drills this season. I have 11 days on the snow now and I can definitely feel a difference in my skiing. At slow to moderate speeds I do not push against my skis at all and the turns almost happen automatically. Tipping and Counter balancing bring me through the turns nicely. My problem is when I pick up speed and my turns become faster on steeper terrain with energy loading and releasing between turns. I am finding that there is a split second where I am shifting my weight onto my new ski then sliding my free foot in. I feel like I gravitate back to what I have known for years when the terrain becomes daunting and it is frustrating. I would say that 60% of the time I am on the hill now, my focus on turn initiation is totally on the inside free foot and I have found that bump skiing has become much less jarring and smoother with that approach.
As many have said, it is tougher to unlearn what I have been doing for years, than it may be to learn from scratch. After 25+ years of skiing a certain way, there is a lot of reprogramming going on. Some runs feel effortless and perfect, some are frustrating. The nice thing about PMTS is that there is a definitive check list to work off of, so it is easy to recalibrate. I am happy so far with my progress as I have really been trying to relearn how to ski from scratch. I have made a big enough change, where my ski pals now ask me, "What are we working on today?" with much interest and readiness to drill with me.
It has been in the single digits all week and we actually cut our vacation short due to cold, so getting video has been impossible so far. Sunday is supposed to be warmer so I will try to get the wife to film this weekend. All I have is an I phone. is there a way to post video from an I phone?


11 days already, that's a great start! And I who felt lucky getting my 8th day this weekend. :P Your post is a snapshot into my own situation--especially the part about carving smoothly one run, then having these small nuisances show up in another. While one can't controll all variables, getting more consistency (personally, it's not as much run by run, though, as day by day) fom day to day would be rad.

Shame about the cold (I'm not familiar with farenheit; how cold would you say it was in celsius?)--another time, I guess. Get that video up, will you? I'm stoked to see it. :wink:
gaku
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:36 pm

Re: Free Skiing - Technical Advice

Postby geoffda » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:57 pm

gaku wrote:
Max_501 wrote:The honest answer is you did too many drills for too many Essentials in such a short time frame. Find your SMIM and then concentrate on that until something else becomes your SMIM.


My honest reply is that, while SMIM is an excellent way of manipulating drill variables, there are other methods equally suitable (as long as there is purpose behind picking them)--it all comes down to intentions. Beliefs are at the most dangerous and become shackles the moment we start viewing them as the only way to do things.


Hi gaku,

Therein lies the problem. You think you know something about skiing. Speaking from experience, "advanced" skiers who come to PMTS have the most difficulty. We're invested in the idea that we are already pretty good skiers and we think that we just need a few minor tweaks to get to the next level. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. You can't build on what you are showing on the video you presented. At the most fundamental level, there are flaws in your technique. If you are pushing off, you are not tipping. Until you understand how tipping works, nothing else that you are doing matters.

If you think that you are going to improve your skiing by doing a bunch of PMTS drills, you may be right, but you'll be missing out on most of what it has to offer. If you want to emulate Hirscher, your mindset needs to be that you are abandoning everything and starting from scratch to learn how to ski all over again. You need to change (or most probably, develop) your understanding of how skiing works. This means quitting race training until you are ready. This means stop making arced turns until you understand the movements that will allow you to make them properly. This means literally going back to the most basic movements of skiing outlined in Anybody Can Be An Expert Skier 1 and learning how to release, transfer, and engage a ski properly. You'll do this SLOWLY, on green terrain, and you'll stay there until you have confirmed your mastery and can demonstrate a readiness for blue terrain. Then you'll repeat the process on Blue terrain and only then will you be ready for gates. Are you willing to do that? Speaking from experience, I can tell you that is what it takes. You have to be willing to give up what you are currently doing with the idea that you will (eventually) achieve something greater.

Hence the answer to your question about why your old movements work better on hard snow. Your current movements are what you have and to a certain extent you can make them work. Do you want to ski like a decent Master's Racer? We can't help you with that here, but it is certainly possible to take what you have and make it better to the point where you reach that level. OTOH, if you want to ski like a World Cup Racer stick around. We can teach you how to do it, but only if you are willing to start over.

Max_501 gave you the right advice. Start with Anybody Can Be An Expert Skier 1 and go from there. We don't deal in ski tips in the MA forum. We help people who wish to ski in a very specific way. If you want some MA that will be useful in that regard, put up some video of SLOW one footed or two footed releases and we will be happy to give you specific feedback that you can use.
User avatar
geoffda
 
Posts: 857
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:42 am
Location: Copper Mountain, CO

Next

Return to Movement Analysis and Video

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest