2 changes can make a huge difference..

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2 changes can make a huge difference..

Postby Skizoo » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:48 am

I received my essentials DVD set a couple weeks ago.. I have watched each of the DVD's several times.

I'm 52 years old and ski about 80 days a season,

There is enough material in these DVD's to keep any skier busy for several ski seasons. But I want to share 2 things that stood out for me and created one of those 'aha' moments.

When Harald did the segment about staying crouched in your turns and not returning to an upright position, a light bulb went off..

I went and looked at some video of me skiing earlier this year and in previous years, and also very recently, and what I noticed was that in the more recent vids, I was tending to become upright during turns. I'm thinking that becoming upright in turns is basically 'lazy' much easier on the legs and a habit that can be acquired without even realizing it. I'm in Summit County this week so getting plenty of opportunity to work on this and what a difference..

But the second and even more important change I've made, and one that for me at least has made an even greater difference, is the segment where Harald discusses keeping the boots behind the hips, in turn initiation. It felt a little strange at first, but after doing the drills associated with that segment it started to feel very normal rather quickly, and the results... WOW., the difference in how I perceive my skiing is like night and day.. I still have to 'think' about it, and it is not yet instinctive, but we're talking huge improvement in just 3 days of working on this.

After watching these vids, it really makes you watch other skiers, (more than I did before) and for me, just watching how others do these movements or lack of these 2 movements is also very eye opening, the number of skiers who keep the boots behind the hips and don't 'upright' during their turns is minuscule.

I am not a great bump skier but did a couple long bump runs today and while I will never win any mogul comps, my technique was noticeably better, but the difference for me was huge on powder, and broken powder.. it really made skiing these conditions effortless.

I'm just sorry the season is winding down, as there is just so much to digest on these vids. While the essentials are an entire process, I'm certain there are a couple specific drills or techniques for most decent skiers that would almost literally overnight improve their skiing.. It did for me..

This stuff is pure gold!, Thanks Harald.
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Re: 2 changes can make a huge difference..

Postby h.harb » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:43 pm

Thank you, we are thrilled by the skier response to the DVDs. PMTS is educating and changing one skier at a time.
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Re: 2 changes can make a huge difference..

Postby metaphor_ » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:36 am

Skizoo wrote:I received my essentials DVD set a couple weeks ago.. I have watched each of the DVD's several times.

...I noticed was that in the more recent vids, I was tending to become upright during turns. I'm thinking that becoming upright in turns is basically 'lazy' much easier on the legs and a habit that can be acquired without even realizing it. I'm in Summit County this week so getting plenty of opportunity to work on this and what a difference..


Skizoo: you've struck a chord with me about easy skiing! I also find it very easy to stand upright rather than counterbalance. The downside (for my skiing) is losing the ability to engage high edge angles - instead, the turns are mostly skidded. Plus it limits me to blue runs. Unfortunately, I've found no "easy skiing" substitute that still lets you do all the terrain you want.

Any comments from folks on this? No matter how much you clean up your technique, I theorize that you'll still encounter massive G-forces against your lower body as you move through the fall line. But I'm also open to other possibilities. Is there a high performance easy skiing path that doesn't require much muscle? Is this simply a matter of strength conditioning in the off-season? If we think about racers, they seem to do 6 days a week of conditioning in the off season - maybe it's the same for us? (Our goal really is high performance skiing on the whole mountain...)
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Re: 2 changes can make a huge difference..

Postby BigE » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:30 am

Metaphor_

It sounds like you think all turning is done below the fall-line. I assure you that this is not the case. PMTS gets more turning done before the forces build.

It sounds to me like you are bracing against the forces at the bottom of the turn when you should be releasing. ie, you are extended where you should be flexing.

Short answer: Work on your releases, especially flexing to release. Work on developing a "float" phase in your turns.
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Re: 2 changes can make a huge difference..

Postby metaphor_ » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:07 pm

BigE wrote:Metaphor_

It sounds like you think all turning is done below the fall-line. I assure you that this is not the case. PMTS gets more turning done before the forces build.

It sounds to me like you are bracing against the forces at the bottom of the turn when you should be releasing. ie, you are extended where you should be flexing.

Short answer: Work on your releases, especially flexing to release. Work on developing a "float" phase in your turns.


Hi BigE,

Interesting thoughts on bracing - Bracing references a few bad things that concern aspiring skiers: pushing off on the snow, and locking the ankle, hip, and knee. This is all bad stuff we work hard to avoid.

So presuming you don't stay locked up, I think there's still another element to consider that could wear you out: Pressure. That "pressure" should, I believe, build between the ski and snow before transition. Isn't that pressure building as your leg muscles resist collapse? I believe that's why we do have a float - during transition, we let our legs compress in, as they naturally want to do, from those forces. So if all the pro racers out there didn't have strong leg muscles, how would they avoid compressing inward into pancakes?
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Re: 2 changes can make a huge difference..

Postby BigE » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:49 pm

If you are feeling MASSIVE forces below the fall-line, you may simply be holding onto the turn too long. When free-skiing, it is not necessary to 'complete the turn' with traversing across the fall-line. The skis can move across the fall-line without being so heavily pressured.

As you say, if you are resisting the forces after the fall-line, then the legs should be trying to remain extended, they should not be dealing with these forces as flexed. Flexion is present in the inside leg, during the turn, and in the outside leg during release. Flexion is not compression from forces overwhelming the skier -- it is intentional.

The float is more than this compression of the legs as forces want them to do.... the float involves momentum moving the body from one side of the skis to the other. (In CSIA terms flexion is used at turn completion, to release the upper body from it's arc.) This release of the upper body is what I consider a key part in the float. It is during this release that the legs are flexed, but they are NOT under a heavy load -- the flexion removed that pressure, and allowed the upper body to float downhill accross the skis.

If there are massive forces below the fall-line accompanied by skidding, the upper body is not keeping up with the skis -- the end result is bracing and chatter late in the turn, and sore quads. Pulling the feet back and under would help fix this. Allowing the body to move downhill, especially through the float, is also necessary to avoid bracing late in the turn.
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Re: 2 changes can make a huge difference..

Postby jclayton » Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:01 pm

Metaphor ,
PMTS doesn`t have to be high performance in terms of W.C. type skiing . With the correct technique it should become a lot easier to cruise and enjoy a relaxed day on the slopes

Instead of high pressure building at the end of the turn it can be managed all the way around so it is a progressive releasing .

I have skied in several camps now and Harald and Diana will tell you I don't tend to do things by halves . However I can be my own worst enemy , when I got the feel for a good strong release/rebound I got hooked on it . This meant that I gave myself a bit of a rough ride , often losing control of the release by letting the pressure build too much and releasing too late .

Watch the pros , they master pressure management beautifully but of course they are always on the edge when competing . Watch some videos of Thomas Grandi practising on YouTube , ultra smooth .

If you can get a smooth/progressive/controlled release it becomes quite effortless . This of course is on easier slopes . Edge to edge carving on black slopes is always going to require strength . The answer here is of course the BPST with brushing .

You will find on icy steep slopes proper CB with balanced brushed BPST^s is a lot less effort than standing up and skiiding the turns . Your thighs will thank you at the end of the day .
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Re: 2 changes can make a huge difference..

Postby metaphor_ » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:40 am

Thanks for clarifying, BigE and jclayton. I guess I do need to get the float down... this weekend is our club's last four-day trip (Quebec) so I'll try more PMTS drilling and see if I can feel the float properly.
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Re: 2 changes can make a huge difference..

Postby Ken » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:34 pm

metaphor_ wrote:I also find it very easy to stand upright rather than counterbalance. The downside (for my skiing) is losing the ability to engage high edge angles - instead, the turns are mostly skidded. Plus it limits me to blue runs. Unfortunately, I've found no "easy skiing" substitute that still lets you do all the terrain you want.

Any comments from folks on this? No matter how much you clean up your technique, I theorize that you'll still encounter massive G-forces against your lower body as you move through the fall line. But I'm also open to other possibilities. Is there a high performance easy skiing path that doesn't require much muscle? Is this simply a matter of strength conditioning in the off-season? If we think about racers, they seem to do 6 days a week of conditioning in the off season - maybe it's the same for us? (Our goal really is high performance skiing on the whole mountain...)

In PMTS skiing, the outside (stance) leg is held nearly straight during the turn, so it holds the forces easily. The body is counterbalanced, so it isn't stressed. This type of skiing is easier on the muscles and joints than the usual skiing movements of flexing the knees to absorb forces in the lower half of the turn, then pushing against those forces to get into the next turn. The heavier forces are in the lower third of the turn where centrifugal force and gravity are working together, and the near-straight stance leg carrying 90% or so of the skiers weight is the best way to hold this force. When the turn ends (the release), that near-straight leg just relaxes, or its knee pulled toward the chest for a quicker turn, and those forces carry the skier across the skis for an effortless transfer to the new edges. No muscular effort nor joint stress is involved except that to pull both feet back behind the hips and to tip (and tip more and more and more and...).

You've seen Harald's drill where he counterbalances on a slight slope on his downhill edges, yes? Do this on an easy green slope and push yourself so you slide across the hill on those downhill edges. Do this enough times, especially in garlands on the easy green slope, and you'll learn effortless counterbalancing.
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Re: 2 changes can make a huge difference..

Postby h.harb » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:06 am

In PMTS skiing, the outside (stance) leg is held nearly straight during the turn, so it holds the forces easily.


I want to clarify this statement because it has the possibility of being misinterpreted. We do not hold the stance leg straight in PMTS. We flex to release, we tip to engage and counter into the top of the new high C arc and then, (after leg and foot tipping is used up); we begin to allow the outside leg to lengthen; through inside leg bending and tipping. We never actually hold the outside leg straight. there is always movement into what becomes close to straight, but there is always movement going on, either some to get longer (unbending) or some to get shorter. Holding it straight or getting it too long is highly dangerous, as any slip of the outside ski can and might cause a hook up on the inside ski (an unintended quick weight shift due to the slip) and that causes a dangerous spin out.
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Re: 2 changes can make a huge difference..

Postby h.harb » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:08 am

Also, trying to go straight will almost always cause shift to the inside.
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Re: 2 changes can make a huge difference..

Postby metaphor_ » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:57 am

h.harb wrote:
Holding [the stance leg] straight or getting it too long is highly dangerous, as any slip of the outside ski can and might cause a hook up on the inside ski (an unintended quick weight shift due to the slip) and that causes a dangerous spin out.


That's so true! A few times this weekend I over-extended with the stance leg. Big mistake in spring slush! One drill that's helped me is lifting and tipping the free leg to initiate the new turn at high C position. You can't over-extend the stance leg if your free ski is only touching at the tip - you'd have nothing to balance on!
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