Tuesday, April 5, 2011
I meant to thank you for your freerideskier web site a couple of months ago, but I was busy skiing!
I took up skiing 2 seasons ago at age 52 in order to have something to do while my son was out snowboarding. I took some beginning lessons that were just like what you describe in Kill the Snowplow. I tried desperately to control my speed and to make quick turns while using the wedge/snowplow technique.
I got NOWHERE. If a trail was even moderately steep, I would pick up velocity and no amount of "snowplowing" would slow me down. I felt like worst skier on the slope. I didn't mind that at first, but after a few ski trips where I made no improvement, it got discouraging.
I found your website while Googling "how to hockey stop on skis". I felt that if I could just stop myself when I needed to, then I wouldn't be such a danger to myself and others. I read about your low opinion of the snowplow technique and it described my experience exactly. It was great for learning to slide around on skis that first day, but on ice, or steeps or a narrow trail? The snowplow was worthless and it was VERY hard to break my dependence on it.
Your website had GREAT instructions on how to progress to a hockey stop, or what you call "controlled stopping" -- starting at the end and working backwards. I actually printed out your instructions and took them with me. I know that I looked pathetic pulling out my folded pieces of paper and reading them after getting off the lift, but so what.
I worked really hard on your hockey stop guide ("Kill the Snow Plow"). I couldn't figure it out at first, but I made a record number of trips to my local slopes and eventually got the feel of side slipping / edge controlled stopping. After a lot of tries, I was able to do a "fast turn" where I would end up sliding slightly uphill. I was able to STOP!
I worked on turning my feet faster and -- after many hours of trying -- I got it! I was doing hockey stops! Skis perpendicular to the fall line, upper body facing the fall line, as much edging and pressure as needed. I could stop myself on moderate steeps even if I had already built up some speed. I was so proud and thrilled, I wanted to scream.
Since then, I have been working on making good turns -- using edging and pressure to make aggressive turns and control my speed. During the winter of 2011, I went from a rather poor beginner to a decent intermediate skier. No one else helped me like you did and I can't thank you enough.
Ellicott City, MD, USA
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Dmitry has some good points and some bad points, firstly his balance is good and not too far back and he is edging his skis to try and cave, also his upper body is very quiet and not moving around too much.
The first thing I would change is his hand position, his hands are too high and too far forward. If you are not careful this will actually push your weight backwards! The correct position is more around your waist and more relaxed, by bringing your hands down and more level with your body this will encourage you to lean a little forward with your whole body and bring your bum in a little, which will help with the initiation of the turn.
Secondly you are rotating and flaring your top ski during the turn, this means that your skis are not parallel and only your downhill ski is on its edge. The effect of this is again to push your weight backwards as you push your uphill ski forward. Also a side effect of this is the change in width between the skis during the turn. The width should remain constant! The easiest was to fix this flair is to keep the tips more level and don't push your uphill ski forward. I usually say about 10cm max between the end of the tips. Also try not to get too wide usually a boot length apart is plenty, your flaring is also taking your weight too much on the inside.
I would focus on starting your turn by edging BOTH skis the same, the more edge the better. Try to keep your ballance 60/40 to the out side ski, and let the ski technology turn you not ankle rotation.
With these few simple adjustments I'm sure Dmitry will become a very good skier!
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Clearly James (on the left) for a six year old is a great little skier! He has good upper and lower body separation and edges his skis nicely. Unfortunately he lost this little race, which must be frustrating as he is clearly the better skier. He just took the long way round the gates! In order to improve in the gates he should focus on turning before the gates (in the gap) and going straighter and closer past the gate!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Here Rosie just needs a little separation from her upper and lower body. Her bottom half is technically quite good she just need to move her head more over her downhill ski keeping the weight more down the hill. She has a tendency to lean into the turn which is reducing the efficiency of her good lower leg angulation.
1) Move your weight more over your downhill ski.
2) Stand a little more upright, not bending so much at the waist. Bringing your weight forwards.
3) Bring your hands a little closer to you body.
Here Rebecca is skiing one of her first red runs and making a nice job of it. She has fundamentally good technique but need to adjust her upper body position. Excessive bending of the knees is forcing her weight backwards and making her ski on her heals. Also she is rushing the beginning of the turn with excessive ankle rotation instead of waiting for the edged ski to make the turn. She has good separation of her upper and lower body with her shoulders facing down the hill during the turn.
1) Bring your hips forward more over your knees.
2) Edge you skis more to initiate the turn instead of using ankle rotation.
3) Try to get you head more over the downhill ski.
Clearly Rod has the grounding of a good technical skier. During this clip you can see a tendency to straighten his out side leg forcing his skis a little too wide apart. Plus a slight excessive bending at the waist force his bum and weight back in the turn. During his last turn you can see good angulation and a better pole position.
1) Don't push so much with the down hill leg, edge the ski more instead.
2) Keep you head over the downhill ski ( as you did in the last turn)