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Couple of problems

Started by Cirrus in Ski Technique - 15 Replies

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Re:Couple of problems

Cirrus posted Jan-2016

Hi all, been skiing half a dozen times over the years - nothing too special as a skier but the last but one time I went, 6 years ago I felt I made good progress and was tackling most reds and blacks safely. I went last year and bought my own boots. Now I am a big guy - 6' and 19 stones and I spent a lot of money on the boots and custom footbeds. I rented skis from the resort but all week I struggled. I was picking up a lot of speed very quickly compared to my friends and turning was a nightmare - big, clumsy turns and lots of them whereas my friends were gliding nicely with some carving (I can't carve). I felt like I was really putting in a shift each run, trying everything to help, incliding to use the boot and my foot to steer which resulted in excruciating pain on my outsteps - to the point I physically had to stop skiing on several runs and actually remove my boots! I would like to thibk the boots are ok but I am due to ski again at the end of this month and I wondered if it is likely that the skis were not suited to me or my style of skiing? Any advice greatly appreciated.

Dave Mac
reply to 'Couple of problems'
posted Jan-2016

If the change point was the boots, then it may be possible that the boot may need to be set with a more forward cant. To check this take them back to your point of purchase or to a reputable boot fitter. (it is the fitter that is important, not the shop)

If you are in resort, and have the problem, then do not be afraid to rent a shorter ski, and one that is not too stiff. With your experience, I doubt that you will ski at excessive speeds, (over 100kph) Go for a carver ski.

Then technique. If due to your boot cant, if you are too upright, you will find it difficult to retain control, and your speed will increase. To avoid this, keep your hands and knees well forwards. This will pressure the ski into a carve.

I will look out a video I saw from Canada a couple of weeks back, and post it. It just gives an alternative way of thinking about our skiing ~ "searching for the bottom of the rectangle"

Dave Mac
reply to 'Couple of problems'
posted Jan-2016

Ok here is the video. When you are teaching someone to carry out four different actions at the same time, the trick is to try and encapsulate a method which does not try to separate and then bring together the elements.

This was posted by a good friend who was British Speed Ski champion ~ he too still searches for the best description.

https://www.skicanada.org/tips-up-balance-on-skis/?utm_source=SnowOnline+subscribers&utm_campaign=473a2b3639-Tips_Up_Oct_910_9_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b2f88be4ac-473a2b3639-101196109

Ranchero_1979
reply to 'Couple of problems'
posted Jan-2016


Have to say I really doubt is the boot cant regardless of where they are set you will have enough power to flex them where they need to be. You seem to have linked your boots to skiing badly when is almost certainly a combination of technique and flexibility.
The good news is boots are never very comfortable for the first week until you have packed the lining out, so at least this will give some relief. However if you really want to fix the problem:
1) Book a few morning lessons. As soon as you are off balance point it becomes very difficult to properly flex knees and ankles. This in turn is resulting in your feet ligaments being stretched and hence the pain. If you don't fix this the below will not really help that much, just delay the onset by a few runs.
2) Start ankle and calf stretches now. Flexibility makes a huge difference to the comfort of your feet whilst skiing.
3) Buy a golf ball and start to roll it under your feet focusing on the inner and out foot ligaments. This will help to lengthen them a little before ski holiday.

Dellaga
reply to 'Couple of problems'
posted Jan-2016

Hi Cirrus, I agree with Ranhcero, I think you probably need to book some lessons to regain confidence with the skis and slopes.
From what you said, the problem seemed to be more with the technique than the boots being painful. (They started giving you problems when you started fighting with the turns)
Also, when you do hire your skis next time, get something softer, for beginner or early intermediate, as they are usually easier to turn. And you can always go back and ask for a different pair if the ones you hired are not right for you. (your instructor will be able to advise you on that)
Skis for expert skiers, or GS skis tend to be good for speed, which you probably do not need.
Enjoy your ski trip wherever you go. The snow has started to fall on the Alps at long last!!

CanadianSkier
reply to 'Couple of problems'
posted Jan-2016

As you get to be a better skier, as your technique improves, at each level it gets a little easier and less demanding physically. You would infer correctly from this that someone just starting out or trying to take their skill to the next level has a tougher time of it physically and mentally. Here's my advice:

1) If you are going to own one piece of equipment, let it be your own boots. They should be functional and comfortable.

2) Learning to ski better(at all levels) is all about good foundation of skills and practice practice practice . So take some lessons.

3) Fitness. You are a big guy, so you have to be that much fitter to move that big frame around. It's no use trying to improve if you're physically spent.

Have fun!!!



Always follow the 20cm rule!

Elovabloke
reply to 'Couple of problems'
posted Jan-2016

Dave Mac wrote:Ok here is the video. When you are teaching someone to carry out four different actions at the same time, the trick is to try and encapsulate a method which does not try to separate and then bring together the elements.

This was posted by a good friend who was British Speed Ski champion ~ he too still searches for the best description.

https://www.skicanada.org/tips-up-balance-on-skis/?utm_source=SnowOnline+subscribers&utm_campaign=473a2b3639-Tips_Up_Oct_910_9_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b2f88be4ac-473a2b3639-101196109


HID loves the visual vid but feels it would be more helpful and realistic on something a little steeper.

CanadianSkier
reply to 'Couple of problems'
posted Jan-2016

elovabloke wrote:
HID loves the visual vid but feels it would be more helpful and realistic on something a little steeper.


I'm a Ski instructor in Canada, I have a day job but teach most every weekend in Western Canada. I was lucky enough to take a 3 day clinic at Sunshine at the beginning of this year. I personally got a lot out of it. Each Saturday, I, along with the other instructors get a free 90 minute lesson as a perk of the job. MY point here is, I not only teach, but get taught on a regular basis.

"...more helpful and realistic on something a little steeper..."

Getting to my point; at every level we learn and practice our skills in an environment that is non-threatening as in the video. Once we really understand and can perform the skill, we then take it to the "steeper slope".

At my home hill we are lucky enough to have an area we call the "chutes". The tallest, "Lone Star" Starts close to 50 degrees for the first 10 or so turns, then eases into 35ish until you get to the bottom (top to bottom, over 600m vertical drop in one continuous fall line). This is an in bounds run accessible from the lift. Not for the faint at heart.

The reason I single out this particular run is we wanted to improve our skiing of Lone Star. What we did was spend a few hours on a run very similar to the one in the video and worked on our turns, in particular balance and edging through separation of our upper and lower body.

To repeat, we learn on an easy slope and apply it on a more difficult one.

Hint: do a <right Click> / "View image" to see it larger.

If you do zoom in, you can see the run we did our clinic on, "Pony Express".






Edited 3 times. Last update at 05-Jan-2016

Topic last updated on 06-January-2016 at 20:29

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