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6 days down - gettin' it, I think

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6 days down - gettin' it, I think

Postby jayc » Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:50 am

Opinion:

I have 6 days under my belt - sort of. I think my average is all of 6-7 runs/day, so there isn't much before my legs go south. I'm getting much better endurance-wise as my technique gets better. My nagging problem is that my rear (uphill) ski tends to snowplow a little bit. I thought it was a knee roll or foot position issue, but I think it is more lack of hip rotation. I'm used to keeping my hips and shoulders square to the fall line - it appears that in tele I have to swivel my hips to accommodate the forward downhill leg, so I think that is getting better.

I do have a serious issue with hand position though, that I've identified thanks to vids last year - I've been skiing with too-long poles my whole life, and it's even worse with tele - so my hands are chronically too high - reeks havoc in the bumps. I'm working on that problem. Also, I find that when I get a sweeping tele-turn to hook up just right, I can't help but hold my arms out straight to the sides and kinda play airplane - "WOOOOOOSH!" - which exasperates the too-high hand issue among other things. Seriously - happens all by itself. I have a couple of vids of me from Saturday - please comment on technique, etc.

Crusing turns:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/11551187@N05/11488544443/

Taking a jump:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/11551187@N05/11488197505/
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Re: 6 days down - gettin' it, I think

Postby Dirk » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:58 pm

Pretty damn good for day six. As you say though, your hands are all over the place. Here's a good drill. Take a few runs on easy terrain with both poles held in front of you, horizontally, like this jauntily-clad fellow. When you do this, your hands can't migrate back behind your body because the poles create a physical barrier. Also, when you're skiing with your poles held in the normal fashion, try and visualize driving a car. Your hands should mostly be in about the same location relative to your torso as if you were holding a steering wheel.

Image

"Hands low, and you will flow. Hands high, and you will die."
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Re: 6 days down - gettin' it, I think

Postby Rene-Martin Trudel » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:18 pm

Hello,

Great skiing indeed. Kudos

My advice, bring your leg forward in the turn, instead of bringing the back leg backwards.

At first, it will feel awkward (you've been warned) but with practice, it will become natural.

What it does:
Right now, your hip movement is crazy good, you really caught that. But it happens to soon in the turn. Bringing your leg forward will slow your hip movement so that the movement is progressive trough out the turn. You should even aim for a last second hip dip in, just before you change direction.
I'll move my outside leg forward at the beginning of the turn. I'll move my hips only once past the fall line and continuously.

Cheers and happy freeheeling
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Re: 6 days down - gettin' it, I think

Postby Williamtele » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:06 pm

Hi Jay,

I finally got the video to play.

You clearly have spent some time on skis. You're showing great, no, exceptional balance considering the short time on teles. I'll make two quick suggestions of things you could work on. First, try to create a little more space between your skis. I saw a some Stein Eriksen in your technique - great angulation but narrow stance. Wider is better in most conditions particularly in the east. Secondly, when you change leads, try to make it independent of the turn initiation. So begin your turn before initiating any lead change; move your body across the downhill ski and release its uphill edge. Then gradually begin moving the uphill ski forward so the tips pass when you're +/- in the fall line. A great drill for this is doing turns in both directions without changing leads at all (Monomarks).

Keep the video coming. You're a pleasure to watch.
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Re: 6 days down - gettin' it, I think

Postby jayc » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:04 pm

Interesting suggestions, William. While I get the trandy wide-stance thing, I'm still an old school mogul skier, so I'm no fan of the shoulder-width space thing. I have spread my skis apart a bit lately, however, but shoulder width isn't gonna happen :). About not making lead changes part of the turn though, that is horrifically confusing. I'm a fall-line skier by trade, so I don't get why one would want to change leads later in the turn. Maybe I'm just not understanding the description - I like to think of turns in terms of vertical position - you're at max compression at the apex of a turn, and standing straight up at the center point between turns - I would expect to be mid-lead-change, or have my feet side-by-side at that moment. Please elaborate (though it might be moot).

After a couple more days, I'm pretty much totally on top of it. I cut 4" off of my poles which made all the difference with hand position (BIG difference while alpine mogul skiing too). I've been getting all kinds of complements on my tele skiing lately, specifically regarding my level of aggression and violence, which makes me feel pretty good. The last day out I evidently made some kind of technique breakthrough, because I was able to do the complete (half) day without having to quit due to my legs wearing out (wife's legs wore out first - HAH). Unfortunately, I DID have to quit because my knee hurt so bad I couldn't make another turn (recently operated on - #4). I skied on my alpine rig the next day just to see if it was tele or skiing in general that my knee didn't like. I'll tell you - after becoming accustomed to the body position and relative sloppiness of the tele rig, I found myself near driving my shins through the fronts of my boots, with ski placement precision measured in millimeters, all while bumping up against the speed of sound all day. I ran a mogul slope with my wife doing GS turns on the flat next to the bumps, and absolutely obliterated her - f'n FAST. I haven't had that much fun in a long time, and my quads felt like I spent the day drinking (felt it a little in the butt though). My knee did get sore by the end of the day, but nothing like the day before on the teles. If nothing else, a week on teles makes me into superman on alpines :).

SO - I'm glad I learned how to do tele and I think my technique is solid enough to look and feel good doing it. I will continue to play with the sport it for sure, but I'm pretty sure that I can't physically hang with telemark 100% of the time. I am missing most of the lateral meniscus in my knee, and I have advanced chondromalacia patella...I have NO hyaline cartilage on the back of my patella...evidently you need that stuff in there to do telemark. I was hoping that the increased quad work would help my overall knee function, but apparently I just don't have enough cartilage left to allow the load bearing required without hurting like hell. Dang.

Incidentally - I did a full test of the NTN Freeride release feature last week. I went with the system specifically for the release feature - given how bad my knee is, skiing w/o release seemed like a bad idea. Anyway, I was in the middle of a 'tuck-to-the-bottom' run (which you can't really do on teles - but whatever is closest), so I was hauling ass in a sweeper when I caught a patch of ice - I slid momentarily and hit a poof-ball of fresh snow, which threw me over the fronts of my skis. My downhill ski got sucked back behind me, and I ended up in one of those exciting high-speed cartwheeling ass-over-teakettle tumbling falls - on the second rotation, the tail of my right ski (bad knee side) slammed into the ground like a pickaxe - the ski released and ejected straight up no less than 30 feet into the air. I decided even before I stopped rolling that the NTNs were money well spent.
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Re: 6 days down - gettin' it, I think

Postby Williamtele » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:21 pm

Hi Jay. Right, no need for shoulder width but if you have skis with more than minimal sidecut, you might find yourself overlapping you tips during your transitions. Then you lose your edge and all is lost.

The lead change/turn initiation thing probably deserves some video as part of the explanation. The concept is valid: the lead change should not initiate the turn. Your body moving across the downhill ski facilitates uphill edge release and engagement of the downhill edge, which SHOULD initiate the turn. Try the monomark drill and it might make more sense.
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Re: 6 days down - gettin' it, I think

Postby Footer » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:18 pm

Jay,

First off you are doing great for day 6, I'm sure you have more days than that by now though. Do I see some PSIA instruction in there?
Your angulation is great ad you seem to be weighting the uphill ski fairly well. Just a few things to try that helped me and made me a better skier.
Keep your hands forward but bring them in, no airplaning. When pole planting just reach and flick, when you plant hard your hands end up behind you and we all know how that ends. This should be familiar to you as a mogul skier.

Keep your shoulders down the fall line and a quiet upper body, again just like moguls. And the biggest thing that will help you link great turns is to not pogo. Stay compact and shuffle your lead changes. As your ski unloads from the turn use that energy to propel you through the lead change. There is a moment of "weightlessness" where there is minimal pressure on the skis and your legs, make your lead change then. And don't stand up to do it, let it happen under your upper body. We're skiing here not doing lunges.

Keep it up! This is what worked for me and how I ski, it may not be your way but it's always worth a try.

Image
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Re: 6 days down - gettin' it, I think

Postby Footer » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:21 pm

And if you make your way to the Killington/Pico area give me a shout, I'll ski with ya!
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Re: 6 days down - gettin' it, I think

Postby Britta » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:38 am

I do have a serious issue with hand position though, that I've identified thanks to vids last year - I've been skiing with too-long poles my whole life, and it's even worse with tele - so my hands are chronically too high - reeks havoc in the bumps. I'm working on that problem. Also, I find that when I get a sweeping tele-turn to hook up just right, I can't help but hold my arms out straight to the sides and kinda play airplane - "WOOOOOOSH!" - which exasperates the too-high hand issue among other things. Seriously - happens all by itself. I have a couple of vids of me from Saturday - please comment on technique, etc.
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Re: 6 days down - gettin' it, I think

Postby Williamtele » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:41 am

Hi Britta,

Until you get shorter poles you can use your airplane wings to your advantage. Make sure your "airplane" is facing down the fall line. That keeps the upper body properly countered. Also, keep the wings level which requires stretching the inside half of the body and scrunching (technical term) the outside half. The result should be a nicely angulated and balanced stance.

Watch some tele racing video. Lots of airplane wings. They throw their outside arms behind them for balance and to get their inside shoulders/arms moving down the hill.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCgDM_TwHBs
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