Alignment Problem?

Alignment Problem?

Postby ChuckT » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:38 pm

I got my son new boots this year and he seemed to have a distinct A-frame as seen in the following video


It could be a technique problem, but here is a picture of him on his old boots last year
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Re: Alignment Problem?

Postby kubaG » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:30 am

I think that on this video it's hard to see anything except that he has too short skis.
Picture shows some technique problems. I think he is A-framed. His skis are not parallel (tails much closer then tips) and if they would go parallel he would show A-frame.
Hip is dumped in to the turn. Free ski needs to be pull back and relaxed with more CB.
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Re: Alignment Problem?

Postby Max_501 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:50 am

With this type of footage it is difficult to identify an alignment issue. In addition, kids are growing so fast that an alignment fix may be outgrown in a month or two. Instead focus on technique. I'd suggest starting with Book 2 and following the progression. Do not progress to the next section until passing the tests described in the book.

And the skis do look short.
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Re: Alignment Problem?

Postby Skiasaurus Rex » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:55 am

How old is your boy?

I think He looks pretty good for a youngster. You may be sweating 'alignment' just a tad prematurely. You can align them one month and by the end of the season a longer lower leg, and foot that has grown messes the whole thing up!
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Re: Alignment Problem?

Postby ChuckT » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:05 pm

He is 10, about 4'7" tall at the moment and seems to be having a growth spurt. I bought these skis (130 cm) for him last year.

We ski about 10-15 days a year and watch Harald's DVDs together. Like me, he still has problems with fore-aft balance and CA. His CB seems to be better than mine. (We both suck at getting video. His video of my skiing was too jittery and out of focus for MA.) We need to be more disciplined and do more drills instead of free skiing all the time albeit always with the attempt to focus on the Essentials with a big grin.

On Sat he skied in these boots for the first time and his right ankle hurt a lot at the end of the day, pressing against the boot. I also noticed that he had an A-frame much bigger than usual, but he said he felt balanced skiing on the stance foot. His arc is abnormally weak. We stopped by a Rite-Aid store and I bought him a pair of small inserts (I didn't tell him they were for women shoes). We skied a lot on Sunday. His ankle pain was gone, and the A frame much reduced. I thought maybe I could get rid of the A frame all together with some simple tweak, but as you said, it's not worth fussing over that.

One question on hip dumping, is that caused by skiing in the back seat?
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Re: Alignment Problem?

Postby HeluvaSkier » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:22 pm

ChuckT wrote:One question on hip dumping, is that caused by skiing in the back seat?


It is caused by not knowing how to tip his feet.
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Re: Alignment Problem?

Postby ChuckT » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:57 pm

HeluvaSkier wrote:
ChuckT wrote:One question on hip dumping, is that caused by skiing in the back seat?


It is caused by not knowing how to tip his feet.


How would you tell him to tip his feet? Thanks.
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Re: Alignment Problem?

Postby Max_501 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:01 pm

Chuck, have you worked through books 1 and 2 with your son?
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Re: Alignment Problem?

Postby HeluvaSkier » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:20 pm

ChuckT wrote:How would you tell him to tip his feet? Thanks.


A simple instructions while stationary like "Lift this set of edges [showing him]. Now lift this set of edges [showing him again]; this is tipping, you should only be using your feet"... then make very precise accurrate movements while skiing and say follow me - "do what I do - we are only tipping our feet". Most kids are incredible at mimicing the movement patterns of people they look up to.

The problem arrises if you can't properly demo for him, because he will mimic your movements anyway - good or bad. It is less about what you tell him and more about what you show him.

I did this a 10 year old the other day and in the distance it took us to ski from the lift to the top of the pitch, he was already arcing his skis back and forth right in my tracks.
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Re: Alignment Problem?

Postby ChuckT » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:35 pm

Max_501 wrote:Chuck, have you worked through books 1 and 2 with your son?

I need to do that systematically. My bad. Now that we both could ski with enjoyment on and off piste (to varying degrees depending on the terrain and condition), we don't do drills diligently as we should. Like Helluva said, he probably mimics my deficiencies.
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Re: Alignment Problem?

Postby Max_501 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:49 pm

1 or 2 runs of drills followed by a run or 2 of freeskiing (with a focus on something from the drills, make a game of it by having him exaggerate so much that you can see what he is working on), rinse and repeat.
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Re: Alignment Problem?

Postby arothafel » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:34 am

Chuck,

Along with what Helluva and Max said re: "kids will mimic" be sure to tell your son NOT to mimic the other kids he sees. I ski Mammoth all the time and for some reason it appears that they continue to coach an "up" move and "tip leading." I'm sure you see it, too, when going up Broadway Chair over the courses. Try to keep him focused the right moves.

In the start of your video, check out the guy in the yellow. I think he/she is a junior race coach.

If we're ever up at the same time I'd be happy to video both your son and you.
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Re: Alignment Problem?

Postby ChuckT » Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:43 pm

Thank you, Art.

I did notice the "up" move from a lot of Mammoth skiers and found out incidentally that it's part of the teaching. We stopped on Dave's Run close to a uniformed instructor and two skiers. He showed them how to release and turn by transfering weight to the uphill ski and extend. His demo actually looked very smooth. My son was impressed and immediately asked "why not?" when I told him not to push off like that. I couldn't think of a simple way to explain to the kid, and couldn't claim that I skied better than that instructor. Fortunately, my answer "Because The Master in the DVD said so. Who do you think ski better?" was accepted without further challenge.
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Re: Alignment Problem?

Postby geoffda » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:14 pm

ChuckT wrote:I did notice the "up" move from a lot of Mammoth skiers and found out incidentally that it's part of the teaching. We stopped on Dave's Run close to a uniformed instructor and two skiers. He showed them how to release and turn by transfering weight to the uphill ski and extend. His demo actually looked very smooth. My son was impressed and immediately asked "why not?" when I told him not to push off like that. I couldn't think of a simple way to explain to the kid


Here's why any kind of extension in transition is undesirable.

1) Extension kills tipping. You can't tip well while you are pushing off the ski so during the time you are extending, you have very little control over the ski. This might matter if you need to turn NOW.

2) Extension kills grip. If you get in the habit of pushing off your edges, you will never be effective on hard snow because you will always be pushing your ski loose at the top of the turn.

3) Extension at pushes you out of balance. Forces to balance against are limited at the top of the turn. Trying to extend into the turn will usually result in one of two things. Experienced skiers will sense the impending balance problem and immediately steer the skis into the fall line to avoid it. The other option is to lean in, which (if you don't end up on your hip) will usually result in your balance being on the inside ski. Either way, you end up accelerating into the fall line way before you are ready and you will be late with whatever attempt you make to control the turn from there. That will probably lead to a late, hard edge set to control speed. Late hit skiing can work on soft snow, but it's not a good choice for ice. Only people who don't know any better think the bottom third of the arc is the "control phase".

4) What goes up must come down. If your ability to change edges is based on extension, at some point you have to flex in order to be ready for the next edge change. If you get long to change edges, then you have to get short somewhere else in the turn. Unfortunately, flexion is a release move, so if you flex in the middle of the arc (which is what most extenders do), you end up weakening your grip. That ends up putting you in a vicious cycle. The energy you would otherwise use to release is disappated by the premature flexion, which means that you are going to get no help to move into the next turn which means that you will instinctively extend and the cycle repeats.

5) Extension takes effort! Flex to release involves giving in--both to the forces of the turn and to gravity. In a proper turn, extension happens as you move inside the turn and forces build. You use the extended, strong leg to resist the forces and then you get a free ride to the new edges when you quit resisting. If you extend to change edges, you get no chance to rest. You extend to get on your new edges, but then you have continue fighting for grip. At no point do you get to relax!

6) Elite skiers don't extend in transition. When "gurus" start pointing out extension or "up movements" in elite skiers, what they are really seeing is not enough flexion. In very high energy turns, if you don't flex quickly enough and hard enough, the turn forces will pull you upright. Although they can point to some leg lengthening, what they are seiing is not extension in the sense that there is no pushing against the ski happening.

7) Elite skiers don't extend in transition. In the rare cases where you see elite skiers hopping a turn, it is almost always done with aggressive retraction (sucking up the legs), rather than pushing off them.

Extension in transition sucks. Only hacks use it. Don't be a hack. What you want to be able to do is use flexion to release the old turn and allow you to move to your new edges in balance. Use the top third of the arc to get established on the edge, get forward, and be ready to ramp up the tipping and gripping movements to generate whatever kind of turn shape you are looking for in the middle third of the arc. This will allow you to precisely control your direction and speed. This is the difference that PMTS offers. Only elite skiers have the ability to ski with absolute control and precision. PMTS movements will lead to that level of skiing. TTS movements will not.
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