Where do you see most performance plateaus occur?

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bud heishman

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@bud heishman we are on the same page, as equipement has changed so has the sequence of how things are taught. As to video yes it works to a point, but.....while it is a great solution it should as be recognized that it has its failings, specially when the "stall has occured, that seems to be the limit of the individual". Individual grasps and see fault, but in practice can't make change as corrective action does not translate as correct action. More of feels right but is wrong vs feels wrong and is right until the body remembers and accepts action as right.

What alternatives are there? One is coach/instructor in the ear so to speak over riding to self envisionment. In swimming this is done with a ear piece on the swimmer and coach correcting each stroke (or part of stroke) to work past fault (after video and other methods of course). Seen it first hand in training, amazing to see.
Right, or we identify the root cause and take it back to a wedge turn and rebuild the mechanics back up the to free skiing.
 

Tricia

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I

Example.....hhhmmm.....like when a poster asks a question is given an answer and fails to comprehend so asks for an example.....

and

see above.

ogwink :ogbiggrin::beercheer: Sorry had to be a smart a$$ here.

Seriously, what we envision we are doing and what we actually do can cause a stumbling block because we believe we are doing it right because we grasp the concept but that doesn't relay into our actions.

As to the second statement quoted was in respond to LF's post, all skills are need eventually, teach them as early as possible.
I can't tell you how many times I've gotten Pictures or videos of my skiing, whether for pleasure or video MA, and found that the video/photo didn't look at all like what I thought I was doing.
 

4ster

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I can't tell you how many times I've gotten Pictures or videos of my skiing, whether for pleasure or video MA, and found that the video/photo didn't look at all like what I thought I was doing.

LOL :) :roflmao:!
The more I see (of myself), the more realistic my expectations become.
During my waterski years I got to where I just didn't want to see it anymore :doh: .
In snow skiing I have become numb enough to it that it doesn't bother me & has become my greatest tool for self analysis & hopefully improvement.
 

skiki

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I can't tell you how many times I've gotten Pictures or videos of my skiing, whether for pleasure or video MA, and found that the video/photo didn't look at all like what I thought I was doing.
Ah yes, the love/hate part of a Taos ski week-- the video. I dread it, but I know it is good for me in the long run.
 

Tricia

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Ah yes, the love/hate part of a Taos ski week-- the video. I dread it, but I know it is good for me in the long run.
Right??? The best tool is to be humble enough to know that the video is helpful and will help you grow in your skiing.

I'll never forget one of the ESAs, when one of the groups was in their MA session, Bob was giving some instruction and the person he was doing MA for kept saying things like... "I don't normally do it like that." "The video just happened to catch me in the rare moment that I do it that way." or "I was nervous. When the camera isn't on me, I don't ski like that."

With that kind of thinking, she was never going to improve.
Me? I have few illusions that I need to take direction when given by a respected instructor.
 

Aquila

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I love how much discussion was inadvertently prompted by my comments about relating strongly to skiers who hit a plateau through being unable to carve!

Had a busy weekend of skiing in fact, so replying to some things now:

(apologies for some of this inevitably being incoherent, I am quite tired)

@LiquidFeet with regards to doing outside-ski turns, lifting the inside ski - I'm used to just leaving the tip on the snow so I tried lifting up the entire ski as you suggested. Should this be a lot harder to do? I found it really difficult to physically keep that tip off the snow, I felt like I had to sort of tuck that inside leg right up and forward (bend it at the hip a lot more to lift the entire leg up, and not have my knee too bent because that forces the tip down) because otherwise the tip brushes against the snow more. It felt pretty odd so I figured I'd just ask about what I'm meant to feel there! I am almost certainly doing something quite basic wrong there, or it's normal and I'm just not used to it!

Anyway I always like trying new things, so it was for sure good to break out of my usual way of doing outside-ski turns.

Worthy goals, good description, rounder, cleaner should be in your immediate sights. Forget about what you look like. Concentrate on what the skis do on the snow. The fact that you are skidding halfway in the turn indicates... what? Are you in a hurry to make the turn happen? Why?

I think it starts farther back. I think your turn initiation leads you away from carving and into skidding. Spend a lot of time on an uncrowded slope very easy for you. Round out the turns, feel the edges bite. Round out the beginning as well as the middle and the end. Be patient. Follow the edges, do not flatten and swish. At the end of the turn, do not "get the turn started, do not "bring the skis around." Leave that behind for now. As you finish the turn, come over your skis and roll evenly, smoothly, both skis rolling in unison onto the new edges. That's all. Feel the new edge bite the snow. Stay on that edge. Be an ice skate, not a toboggan. As the turn starts to happen, let the pressure build. Then slowly release, flatten the ski still riding the edge, and roll onto the other edges for the next turn. After a while, play with higher and lower edge angles to modify the turn radius. On a gentle slope, you might only make turns 20 degrees each way. It's important to find the edges such that you feel zero skid, zero slippage. Worry less about turn radius. If you need to, stop and start over. If you can't keep from going too fast, find a gentler slope.

As you go a little faster, as you pressure the skis more and bend them, as you tip the skis more, the radius decreases. Forces will build exponentially. So it gets harder in a hurry.

It's good that you're taking lessons. Ask your instructor to teach you "railroad tracks"

The more I learn about skiing, the more I realise that everything starts back earlier than expected. Turn initiation preventing me from doing carved turns...? Yeah, probably, haha. Even though my turn initiation is definitely the strongest part of my turn (and the turn completion has always been the weakest! my nzsia level 1 examiner told me that my turn initiation was comfortably above passing standard but my turn completion was initially below passing standard, hah) I wouldn't be surprised that it has a part to play in the turn completion being bad. Like when I discovered last season that (at the time) my turn initiation was better on one side, because my turn completion was better on the other side, and that affected how I could start my next turn. It all flows together eh?

Funnily enough I got told to do railroad tracks last weekend. My instructor is currently off work while recovering from an injury, but I ran into them on the lift and they spent 30 seconds demonstrating them for me, for something to work on before I can actually have another lesson. So I've been practicing that. Today I practiced doing giant turns on mellow terrain and trying not to rotate the ski, but just let it follow the edge. I'm positive that I was doing turns that were a lot bigger than the stated radius of my ski, but hopefully it's a step in the right direction anyway!

I wasn't really flattening my skis between the turns though, because the speed and turn size was such that I was in danger of exceeding the edge of the run, hah. So I was moving pretty quickly from edge to edge. I need to "complete" the turns a little less to have space to roll slower from edge to edge I think.

As @LiquidFeet noted, when the desired outcome is pure carved arc-2-arc turns, pivoting to begin a turn is not the right move.

Purge the pivot, just start off by trying to go straight down the hill, only tip the skis, don't turn the skis, ride the edge and let them take you where they want to go when tipped on edge - untip and tip in other direction, WITHOUT pivoting the skis, just let the skis do as they will when tipped, Repeat. All very good, but wait there's more!

If you are finding that your carve breaks out of its locked in path in the bottom half of the turn, but is ok before that, then consider this. When you tip your skis you tip them past the critical angle and they carve; there is enough tipping angle to be past the critical angle to handle the forces needed to make you turn, and when your skis are at the midpoint of the turn (pointing straight downhill), that's all the force they need to handle. If you keep turning, then once you get to skis pointing across the hill, the skis have to handle the force needed to make you turn PLUS the down-slope component of gravity. And the skis aren't tipped enough to handle that force, as the critical angle for that force is higher.

There are two solutions to this: 1) Keep turning, but tip the skis more so they can hold against the greater force; and, 2) start releasing your body from the turn (as the gravity resistance force builds) so that the skis don't have to turn you so much while the skis keep turning (separate paths of body and skis) until you cross over the skis or the skis cross under you and you begin tipping skis in new turn.

Solution 1) works up to a limit. That limit depends on your skis side-cut radius, your speed, radius of the turn you're in and the related how much you're tipping the skis. The more you tip the skis, the tighter the turn they dial up. If you're making pure arc-2-arc turns then your speed will rapidly increase unless you are on a very mild slope. You will very soon reach a the limit due to speed and sidecut radius where the turn dialed up by tipping requires too much force to hold given how much you've tipped the skis to make that size of turn, unless your skis have a very large side-cut radius. That limit will likely occur in the bottom half of the turn first, since that's where the skis have to deal with turn force added to gravity force.

That's why when you see demos or video of folks skiing fast with most modern shaped skis, they don't complete there turns; instead they use method 2.
This was really interesting. My skis are certainly not carving at all even in the top part of the turn, but they're at least following a better line before I completely lose it partway through the turn, hah. It's because of my own technique, but even while aware that I'm not doing carved turns, on very hardpack cord (like we actually had at 8am this morning at the skifield) I get a lot of vibration and complete loss of grip at the bottom of each turn, I really notice the point at which I completely lose grip because the strong vibration is very hard on my shins!! Every once in a blue moon I manage to keep grip all the way around and it feels pretty sweet. I imagine what I'm doing is pivoting the skis midway through the turn which means that they suddenly have a lot of force applied to them - more than they can hold, without building up to it through the turn.

Anyway, my experiences really track with what you're saying. I need to watch some more videos of people doing nice carved turns, and pay attention to what they're doing at the ends of their turns.

Aside from that, sounds like railroad tracks etc are still the way to go, for practicing that tipping movement. I tend to do big movements with my knees and hips while skiing so only really thinking about my ankles while doing the railroad tracks feels very odd. I keep feeling like I need to pull myself forward too, like I'm falling back. I think I'm really used to bringing my ski around in front of me, so I'm always braking downhill.

I can't tell you how many times I've gotten Pictures or videos of my skiing, whether for pleasure or video MA, and found that the video/photo didn't look at all like what I thought I was doing.
Honestly!! 99 out of 100 times!

I like the progress of this skier documented in this vid. Not focusing on the starting nor ending points, just on the year by year changes.

Also, I really liked this. I'd love to see something similar from someone starting from even further back though! Their "starting point" is further ahead than where I currently am :P
 

Chris V.

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The more I learn about skiing, the more I realise that everything starts back earlier than expected. Turn initiation preventing me from doing carved turns...? Yeah, probably, haha. Even though my turn initiation is definitely the strongest part of my turn (and the turn completion has always been the weakest! my nzsia level 1 examiner told me that my turn initiation was comfortably above passing standard but my turn completion was initially below passing standard, hah) I wouldn't be surprised that it has a part to play in the turn completion being bad. Like when I discovered last season that (at the time) my turn initiation was better on one side, because my turn completion was better on the other side, and that affected how I could start my next turn. It all flows together eh?
Ha ha, the finitiation!
Funnily enough I got told to do railroad tracks last weekend. ...Today I practiced doing giant turns on mellow terrain and trying not to rotate the ski, but just let it follow the edge. I'm positive that I was doing turns that were a lot bigger than the stated radius of my ski, but hopefully it's a step in the right direction anyway!
...My skis are certainly not carving at all even in the top part of the turn, but they're at least following a better line before I completely lose it partway through the turn, hah. ...I get a lot of vibration and complete loss of grip at the bottom of each turn, I really notice the point at which I completely lose grip because the strong vibration is very hard on my shins!! Every once in a blue moon I manage to keep grip all the way around and it feels pretty sweet. ...Aside from that, sounds like railroad tracks etc are still the way to go, for practicing that tipping movement.
Just keep doing those railroad tracks on very gentle slopes, where speed control is not an issue. People will give you all kinds of advice--move this, tip that--but in the end you have to figure out for yourself how to get all parts of the body working together. The most reliable feedback is your tracks. Climb back up the hill and look at them. Your goal is two thin, consistent parallel lines in the snow, with a very short, straight transition from left turn to right turn. If the tracks reveal a form break anywhere in the turn cycle, think about what might have led to it. Do you see chatter marks? Do you see one of the skis leaving two lines rather than one at some point? Hmmm, what could have caused that? Then give some focus to what you feel coming up through your feet. Relate that to what your tracks look like. How does carving feel different from skidding? Then focus on what you hear.

When you start getting good at this, see if you can increase the edge angles a bit, and decrease the turn radius, while maintaining clean tracks. If that's difficult at first, try some J turns, where you don't have to think about a transition. Do this before you increase the pitch that you're practicing on.
 

SSSdave

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...In snow skiing I have become numb enough to it (video) that it doesn't bother me & has become my greatest tool for self analysis & hopefully improvement.
Thread drift...
Just the little POV GoPro8 self videos I did at the end of last season showed me that it is going to be extremely valuable and fun tool this coming winter. Watching my skiing is almost like being there. Over my first couple decades of skiing, I used one of those bulky VHS-C camcorders I'd customized to automatically record some of my skiing but nothing the last decade plus. (Even some shots acting like Stenmark haha, bouncing down Lower Main at Sierra Ski Ranch) As I noted on another thread, on fresh powder days, at any point descending on a slope with POV recording ski tips and wonderfully untracked approaching slopes , one can briefly pull up stopping, turn around 180 degrees and also shoot one's turn tracks of what one just skied that won't lie about technique. Will welcome any others with video tools joining me at bit taking turns skiing behind others recording.
 

Mike King

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I love how much discussion was inadvertently prompted by my comments about relating strongly to skiers who hit a plateau through being unable to carve!

Had a busy weekend of skiing in fact, so replying to some things now:

(apologies for some of this inevitably being incoherent, I am quite tired)

@LiquidFeet with regards to doing outside-ski turns, lifting the inside ski - I'm used to just leaving the tip on the snow so I tried lifting up the entire ski as you suggested. Should this be a lot harder to do? I found it really difficult to physically keep that tip off the snow, I felt like I had to sort of tuck that inside leg right up and forward (bend it at the hip a lot more to lift the entire leg up, and not have my knee too bent because that forces the tip down) because otherwise the tip brushes against the snow more. It felt pretty odd so I figured I'd just ask about what I'm meant to feel there! I am almost certainly doing something quite basic wrong there, or it's normal and I'm just not used to it!

Anyway I always like trying new things, so it was for sure good to break out of my usual way of doing outside-ski turns.



The more I learn about skiing, the more I realise that everything starts back earlier than expected. Turn initiation preventing me from doing carved turns...? Yeah, probably, haha. Even though my turn initiation is definitely the strongest part of my turn (and the turn completion has always been the weakest! my nzsia level 1 examiner told me that my turn initiation was comfortably above passing standard but my turn completion was initially below passing standard, hah) I wouldn't be surprised that it has a part to play in the turn completion being bad. Like when I discovered last season that (at the time) my turn initiation was better on one side, because my turn completion was better on the other side, and that affected how I could start my next turn. It all flows together eh?

Funnily enough I got told to do railroad tracks last weekend. My instructor is currently off work while recovering from an injury, but I ran into them on the lift and they spent 30 seconds demonstrating them for me, for something to work on before I can actually have another lesson. So I've been practicing that. Today I practiced doing giant turns on mellow terrain and trying not to rotate the ski, but just let it follow the edge. I'm positive that I was doing turns that were a lot bigger than the stated radius of my ski, but hopefully it's a step in the right direction anyway!

I wasn't really flattening my skis between the turns though, because the speed and turn size was such that I was in danger of exceeding the edge of the run, hah. So I was moving pretty quickly from edge to edge. I need to "complete" the turns a little less to have space to roll slower from edge to edge I think.


This was really interesting. My skis are certainly not carving at all even in the top part of the turn, but they're at least following a better line before I completely lose it partway through the turn, hah. It's because of my own technique, but even while aware that I'm not doing carved turns, on very hardpack cord (like we actually had at 8am this morning at the skifield) I get a lot of vibration and complete loss of grip at the bottom of each turn, I really notice the point at which I completely lose grip because the strong vibration is very hard on my shins!! Every once in a blue moon I manage to keep grip all the way around and it feels pretty sweet. I imagine what I'm doing is pivoting the skis midway through the turn which means that they suddenly have a lot of force applied to them - more than they can hold, without building up to it through the turn.

Anyway, my experiences really track with what you're saying. I need to watch some more videos of people doing nice carved turns, and pay attention to what they're doing at the ends of their turns.

Aside from that, sounds like railroad tracks etc are still the way to go, for practicing that tipping movement. I tend to do big movements with my knees and hips while skiing so only really thinking about my ankles while doing the railroad tracks feels very odd. I keep feeling like I need to pull myself forward too, like I'm falling back. I think I'm really used to bringing my ski around in front of me, so I'm always braking downhill.


Honestly!! 99 out of 100 times!


Also, I really liked this. I'd love to see something similar from someone starting from even further back though! Their "starting point" is further ahead than where I currently am :P
I'm surprised no one has suggested the issue may be your fore/aft balance. When doing an outside ski turn with the tip down, generally the pressure will be on the front of the ski with the result that the tail will turn in a broader arc than the tip -- e.g. a skidded turn. It may very well be that you tend to fall on the inside foot, and that is a movement pattern that is often associated with being too far forward at the beginning of the turn and too far aft at the end.

If you want the ski to carve through the entire arc, you must be in the center of the ski through the entire arc. Have someone who is qualified look at your fore/aft balance -- it may be the issue that is holding you back.
 

Disinterested

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It's not strictly speaking that you need a perfectly centred stance to create high end carving, but very centred is a good way to introduce carving, because when you learn carving you want to be set up to just focus on tipping movements in isolation.

At an advanced level, for one, it's probably net desireable to be forward at the top of the arc and pick up some self-steering effect from the ski to juice the top of the turn. It's also a good idea to juice the tail at the finish, particularly since being very aft at the finish will help pull your ski off its old edge without introducing significant rotational effects.
 

AmyPJ

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From @Aquila 's symptom description this immediately sprang to mind.

This video was interesting. As someone who battles a perpetual stem and push I am curious as to how trying the experiment he had his trainers do would work for me. I tend to get stuck kind of in a squat. Exaggerating that and the opposite (stand up) is an interesting idea that goes along with Deb Amstrong's latest videos about moving forward at the transition, which is something I was just starting to play with last season. I've heard the "don't move up and down" thing so often that I've kind of had it beaten into my head, yet, it might be that exaggerating it at least temporarily or as a warmup will ultimately get me to find that feeling of releasing at the right time that will eliminate the stem (as he said it did for the instructors in the video.) They then find the balance and rhythm and drop the exaggerated move.
 
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bud heishman

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the “Skiers Edge” machine illustrates and allows the virtual bump transition sensations with very little practice. Finding one may be the challenge/

Amypj, I am trying to imagine your turns in my mind and wondering if when you end up in this squated position that you may still be clinging to the platform created by your downhill ski rather than releasing that edge as you flex?
 
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bud heishman

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Try to think about standing up ... down the hill.
Another way to accomplish the same thing is to flip flop the sequence of extension and edge change. Rather than start the extension before edge change, which most do, flip flop it so you change edges first then extend. This small change in movement pattern will help develop the top of the turn and in essence is skiing the virtual bump. It is a milestone in ski technique for sure to be able to change this movement pattern at will for the situation at hand..
 

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Currently rereading some old Joubert, this year it is; "How to Ski the New French Way" (told you it was old). Interesting to see how much of the content is being discussed in this thread.
 

Disinterested

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You know, I don't think it's wrong that edge change happens when you're flexed, but my experience is that sometimes focusing on that as a movement pattern is people get stuck in a squatted low position trying to do all of the tipping with their ankles. You really have to coordinate the move in to the new turn with your tipping movements and flexion/extension all together.

Instead, IMO, if you're still coming up focus on trying to build more energy on the outside ski and then give way to that pressure to help slingshot you down the hill, or focus on pressing yourself even further down the hill.
 

AmyPJ

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the “Skiers Edge” machine illustrates and allows the virtual bump transition sensations with very little practice. Finding one may be the challenge/

Amypj, I am trying to imagine your turns in my mind and wondering if when you end up in this squated position that you may still be clinging to the platform created by your downhill ski rather than releasing that edge as you flex?
Yes. I cling to that downhill ski like my life depends on it, even when I think I'm not doing it. One-footed transitions haven't done much to help, but I discovered late last season that one-footed transitions with a bit of an up and forward move changed the whole sensation. I was feeling that new inside edge at the top of the turn, but I didn't have enough time in the season to drill it into my brain.
 

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It's not strictly speaking that you need a perfectly centred stance to create high end carving, but very centred is a good way to introduce carving, because when you learn carving you want to be set up to just focus on tipping movements in isolation.

At an advanced level, for one, it's probably net desireable to be forward at the top of the arc and pick up some self-steering effect from the ski to juice the top of the turn. It's also a good idea to juice the tail at the finish, particularly since being very aft at the finish will help pull your ski off its old edge without introducing significant rotational effects.
It's physics. If your CoM is forward of the center of the ski, the tail will displace from the path of the tip.

On the other hand, we can use fore/aft pressure to achieve results we want. In the top of the turn when we are light, allowing the tail to displace is not necessarily a bad thing -- it allows the ski to turn inside it's sidecut radius and can set up the bottom of the turn for greater deflection. Using the tail of the ski in the finish, as you state, is a way to stop the rotational forces generated by the ski. So fore/aft pressure management is a tool that can be used to good effect, but these skills are generally advanced. Many skiers have yet to find how to balance in the center of the ski.
 
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