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Body position any quick fire tips ?

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Well here we go, a very rare pic of me actually skiing ....finally managed to convince hubby to whip out the phone Anyhow I look all stiff and awkward so any quickfire body position tips gratefully received ! FYI Im on a very mellow intermediate slope as you can probably tell heading back to the car after skiing incredible windblown pow all morning xIMG-20220801-WA0001.jpg
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
So, we have a number of instructors that are probably salivating right now.

So, what am I seeing? As you say...static picture, but..
1. Knee is in line with the ankle...so back seat. Not much, but enough. More flex on the ankle. Nose, knees should be over the toe binding.
2. Shoulders (and hands) should line up with ski tips. So you're square to the skis. This starts at the hips, and will take some time to get. I'm also seeing a little bit of an inside shoulder drop. Try raising your uphill arm right after your pole touch.

OMG - I want to get on skis...

@liquidfeet , @nopoleskier , @snoWYmonkey ??
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Thankyou @Jilly , I know its hard when its a static pic but its all I could do to get him to take this shot let alone a video :laughter:

1) I've been working hard (when I remember that is) on trying to get more ankle flex so I'll be bringing that thought to front of my brain and try and be more consistant, I do notice a massive difference when I do it!

2) I've been told before that I have a tendency to drop my inside shoulder so again thanks so much for pointing it out, even by visualising it in the pic I can see it would help immensely. I'm a little confused with the square to the ski tips. How does that work when you're trying to keep your upper body quiet and let your legs do the work? Are you supposed to allow your upper body follow your ski tips throughout the turn ? x
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I'm a little confused with the square to the ski tips. How does that work when you're trying to keep your upper body quiet and let your legs do the work? Are you supposed to allow your upper body follow your ski tips throughout the turn ? x
Aha !!! I think I've just got it, am I maybe guilty of a little hip dumping on my inside ? So when you talk about square you're meaning parallel to my tips rather than always being directly above them? x
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@AJM, yes as others have pointed out, you do have too much weight on your inside ski. In this pic, that's your left ski. To prove this, look at the snow spray coming off your skis. It looks like both skis are producing the same amount of spray. Meaning, that inside ski is as heavy on the snow as the outside ski.

How to fix? Lift your inside shoulder and hand to lean a little sideways, outward, downhill, towards the outside ski. Your torso will end up vertical instead of leaning sideways.

Right now your torso is leaning sideways, up the hill, to the inside of the turn. This is a common thing people do. It helps to edge the skis. What's really happening is you are leaning your whole body to get the skis edged, leaning it as a unit. This works, it edges the skis, and people feel confident leaning into the turn this way. But, it puts weight on both skis. Higher level skiing focuses weight on the outside ski.

There are reasons to have that outside ski carrying most of your weight. On hard snow it's essential to have the outside ski fully weighted in order to maintain its grip on the snow. "Leaning in" on hard snow makes your turns more skidded that most people would like. It lessens control and that lessens the feeling of security. But in this pic you are not on hard snow, so that advantage is not so important.

Learning to keep your torso vertical means you don't have to lean your whole body left then right then left then right and so on all the way down the hill. When you are making long turns, as it looks like you're doing in this pic, that left-right leaning doesn't pose a problem.

But if you want to be able to make short turns, leaning everything left-right repeatedly is a non-starter. It takes too much time to lean left for left turns and right for the next turn. Short turns can't be made. Learning to edge your skis without involving your upper body will open up the possibility of making short radius turns. So teach yourself to keep that torso more upright.

Those short radius turns are the way to get down something steepish with less speed. You'll spend less time heading down the fall line when you make short turns. If steeps give you the shakes, learn to make short radius turns and you'll be able to get down them with a good sense of control and with less mind-boggling speed. And that means you can't lean in. Lean out.

I'm not sure you are skiing back-seat. Your arms are forward, your shins are tilted forward relative to the skis, and your spine's tilt matches your shin tilt. The snow spray under your skis starts up front, ahead of your boots. That's pretty difficult to get to happen if there's little weight on the fronts of your skis.

But, you look like you are going pretty fast, and your skis don't look bent even though you are at the bottom of the turn where the forces are strongest. So you could benefit from having more weight on those shovels to get the skis bent. Bending the skis helps you get a rounder turn with a shorter turn radius than this pic indicates you've got. That roundness and a shorter radius will help you get downhill more slowly on pitches where you'd prefer to go slower and feel more in control of those skis. Being able to make short turns is an important skill for a skier building higher level skills.

How to get weight more forward? Close those ankles up more, as has been pointed out upthread already. Bend them more forward - inside the boots. Keep your heels seated as you do this; do not let your heels get light. Do this ankle-bending not to force the cuffs to flex forward, but to move your entire body above the ankles forward. It only takes a little more ankle-bend to get the whole body to shift more forward. Then its weight will hover farther over the fronts of the skis than evident in this pic. That forward body-weight position in turn will bend your skis. Your cuffs will probably flex too. Flexing the cuffs is a sign that you have your body weight hovering far enough forward to bend the front of the skis. And if you've kept your heels solidly down on the backs of your boot soles, the backs of the skis will be weighted enough to be part of the bend in the skis. You need the backs weighted as well as the fronts to get a good bend.

When you bend your ankles forward with more ooomph, continually as you ski, holding them more bent, you'll feel more solid tongue-shin pressure. You'll also feel your muscles maintaining that bend. Those two things will tell you that you're successful in holding the forward flex of the ankles. The official word is "dorsiflex." You can train yourself to do this, but it takes time and concentration. Spend time on easier terrain working on maintaining your dorsiflexion. That's where you can keep your mind on this task. Do this for a bit every day. Then when you go up the hill, you can do what an instructor friend of mine does to help keep those ankles solidly dorsiflexed. She repeats out loud with each turn "more tongue-shin" "more tongue-shin" "more tongue-shin." It works for her. Maybe it will work for you.

Good for hubby for getting this image. Next time talk him into getting video. Have him stand on the side of the run and video you as you come down from above, as you pass him, and also as you head away downhill from him. Be sure you pass him far enough away so he can get your head and your skis in the image. That side view is short in duration but very important for discerning any back-seat issues.
 
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liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I'm a little confused with the square to the ski tips. How does that work when you're trying to keep your upper body quiet and let your legs do the work? Are you supposed to allow your upper body follow your ski tips throughout the turn ? ...So when you talk about square you're meaning parallel to my tips rather than always being directly above them?
You are skiing "square." This means as your skis turn to point left, your whole body turns to point left. And the same with turning right. "Square" means your body, shoulders, hips, and feet, all point in the same direction as your skis. You are probably getting your skis to turn by turning your whole upper body a wee bit earlier than your legs/feet. Then you let the feet/legs catch up with the shoulders, and the turning of the feet make the skis turn. The upper body "leads the turn."

This timing, say shoulders first - feet/skis second, may be imperceptible to you, and it's certainly not visible in a single pic. But the fact that your shoulders and hips and feet and skis are all pointing in the same direction here at the bottom of a turn is a good sign that you are doing this. Many skiers ski square. It works. But in a limited fashion.

It's that short radius turn thing again. Skiing square works fine for long radius turns. Those are the fastest way down the hill. But skiing square doesn't work as you shorten the radius in order to get down the hill slower. Short radius turns require you to face your shoulders and hips downhill as you get your skis to turn to point left-right. You can't turn your whole body to face left-right-left-right-left fast enough to make real short turns. The heavy body just won't turn that fast, and you'd get dizzy anyway if you could get it happen.

Medium radius turns require facing the upper body more downhill than the long turns, but not as dramatically as when making short turns. With medium radius turns, you have more time between turns to get the heavy upper body to turn. It's physics at work. The heavier the thing being rotated, the more time it takes. Important note: "upper body" means everything from the pelvis up. Pelvis needs to point more downhill than the skis. Think: belly button points downhill, or jacket zipper points more downhill.

In these long radius turns, you could benefit from keeping your upper body pointed a little bit more downhill than your skis. There are two advantages to doing this. One - with the pelvis/belly button/jacket zipper pointed a bit downhill, it's easier to lean out over that outside ski. You won't feel such a pinch on the inside of your waist. It's just easier to lean shoulders outward when the pelvis is pointed more downhill. Two - if from turn to turn you keep your upper body, pelvis included, pointing a bit more downhill than the skis, you'll know you are not leading the turn by rotating the upper body first. It will be your legs/feet that are turning first, and the upper body will permanently lag behind.

Why is leading the turn with the legs/feet good? It means you are starting your turns with your legs and feet, not with your shoulders or hips. Starting your turns with your legs/feet enables you to make turns of any radius. It's a higher level skill than skiing square because it enables the skier to make various turn shapes. Say you had to make an emergency stop after this turn in the pic. If your upper body were facing more downhill than the skis, it would be easier to make a shorter turn, then another even shorter turn, and finally a super-short turn to come to a stop with upper body facing straight downhill and your skis pointed across the fall line.

Note: to separate upper body from lower body, you'll need to let your inside ski creep a little forward of the outside ski. It's a natural result of pointing the pelvis more forward. Look down at your ski tips to see if the inside tip is forward of the outside tip. You don't have to make this happen consciously, it just happens when the pelvis is pointed more downhill.

I've just written two long essays. I hope the wordiness adds clarity, not confusion.
 
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liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Aha !!! I think I've just got it, am I maybe guilty of a little hip dumping on my inside ?
You are not hip-dumping. Hip-dumping is an issue that plagues people who ski with separation ("separation" means the upper body faces more downhill than the skis - its a good thing), who want to look like racers with very high edge angles and hip touching snow. They try consciously to get their inside hip down as much as possible, but mess other things up in the process. Thus "hip dumping." That's not you.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@AJM, one more thing. Jilly and I have pinpointed three things to work on....

--Get more forward to bend the front of the skis (keeping heels fully seated).
--Keep torso more upright instead of leaning in.
--Keep upper body including pelvis pointed more downhill than skis, instead of turning with the skis.

That's three biggies. Embedding these three skill improvements into your skiing will do a lot towards moving your skiing closer to the advanced skill level. Your weight will move more decisively to the outside ski, and your stance will allow you to work on shorter radius turns. Short turns will get you onto steeper terrain with increasing speed control and growing confidence.

But three big changes is too much to focus on at once. However, the second two can be combined into one focus, leaving you with only two things to work on. Here's how to combine those second two changes.

As you end a turn and begin the next, do this:
1. Plant pole and afterwards drive (stretch) that pole-planting hand (the new inside hand) decisively forward and upward and keep it there. Your goal is to get the forward hand/arm movement to pull your inside shoulder and hip up and forward, reducing or deleting the square stance and the leaning-in. Your weight will transfer more strongly to your outside ski.
2. Instead of driving the outside hand and arm forward as well, hold them back a little. Feel that outside shoulder being held lower than the inside shoulder (in your current turns it's higher). Your goal here is to retard the rotation of your torso (pelvis and shoulders) and its lean into the turn, so your torso turns less, faces more downhill than your skis, and stays more upright.

Do this on every turn and see how it feels. Especially try it on hard snow groomers. Report back!
 
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marzNC

Angel Diva
--Keep torso more upright instead of leaning in.
This was a big deal for me when I started taking lessons at my home hill in 2012. Took a few seasons to really get rid of that bad habit. Still comes back on steeper terrain if I'm not paying attention.

I didn't have lessons after the two winters skiing as a young teen until decades later. Wasn't skiing anything but groomers until well after age 50. For me, semi-private lessons with friends have worked out best to improve technique.

A saying that I learned at Taos was "chin up." At times that can help me keep from tipping forward.
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Oh my goodness thank you sooooo much for all the fabulous tips, that must've taken ages to compile and I am so grateful :hug:I have to race out of the door this morning but I will go through it all properly in depth when I get home this afternoon, again THANKYOU xxxxx
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Okay, I'm back home and have read and hopefully retained the info (ok I've taken notes as well :laughter: ), it all makes perfect sense and thankyou for explaining it all so well for me. The last proper lesson I had was about 3 seasons ago with a guy who is the Czech Republics top speed skier (he used to teach in the off season over here), unfortunately all he wanted to teach me was how to go fast in a tuck position which was all good fun but didnt really address any areas I needed to work on !! Hopefully I'll be heading out again tomorrow (if this stupid weather calms down a bit and the ski hill can open) so I'll be putting all your fantastic tips into practise. I cant guarantee that I'll get a video or even another pic but I'll try my best and will definately report back :ski:
 

snoWYmonkey

Angel Diva
My first impression is 'great skiing'! I don't think that I feel prepared to give much feedback on the photo, not because it is of course static, but more so because I am not sure at what exact point in your turn it is taken and that would be key to knowing if the vision, weight distribution and all the usual key aspects of good skiing are present, which I think they are, if you are almost starting your transition to the turn to the right. But I am uncertain.
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My first impression is 'great skiing'! I don't think that I feel prepared to give much feedback on the photo, not because it is of course static, but more so because I am not sure at what exact point in your turn it is taken and that would be key to knowing if the vision, weight distribution and all the usual key aspects of good skiing are present, which I think they are, if you are almost starting your transition to the turn to the right. But I am uncertain.
To be honest I'm too sure either and because its such a close up static pic its really hard to tell :noidea: I'll try all the wonderful tips @Jilly and @liquidfeet have given me tomorrow (fingers crossed) and with a bit of luck I can get some more pics and maybe a video but dont hold your breath as I have to convince hubby to give it another go (you're lucky you got this pic I'm usually just a teeeeny tiny spec in the far distance when he's behind the lense :laughter:) x
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Okaaaaay well we got a video but I can't seem to upload it, can anyone help me?
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
So Im still struggling with the video but did manage to pull this blurry shot from it. Today was horrendously windy and the chairlift closed shortly after said video was taken. Hubby said I skied very stilted and not my normal style .... think a combination of the wind ( which did send me sailing sideways a couple of times), the ghastly clattery snow, the overthinking the ankle flex and dropped arm/shoulder along with stage fright got the better of me ... haha. I think next time I go I'll just focus on the ankle flex and get that dialed before I focus on the upper body/arms. xScreenshot_20220804-161334_Gallery.jpg
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Okaaaaay well we got a video but I can't seem to upload it, can anyone help me?
With Xenforo, while you can upload photos for videos you need to host it somewhere else and post a link. I know of an Aussie who has a Twitter account just to host videos that he's been taking at Perisher. YouTube is the most common way to upload videos for sharing purposes.
 
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liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Nicely done video.

Your stage fright doesn't show. Nor does the wind, and the snow looks soft. You may have been concerned about high wind and snow conditions and the camera, but it's not visually obvious. If those things caused you to ski less competently or smoothly or more rigidly than normal, that's OK. It may even be preferable, because anything undesirable (by you) in your technique will simply show up more, making these things easier to respond to. The usual goal of technical improvement is to replace the old habits with new better ones, not only in ideal conditions, but also when the going gets tough. So sometimes bad habits can be diagnosed better when the conditions aren't perfect.

Before commenting, we might benefit if we knew something about you beyond what we see here. What do you want to do differently? What goals are you chasing? Is there a different way you'd like to have skied that section of the mountain?
 

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