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Hopping to initiate turns?

BMR

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
This has been mentioned a few times, so I thought I'd start a dedicated thread because I am curious what the experts here think.

Last weekend I made some big improvements. Maybe it was the conditions, maybe it was starting to click or whatever, but I had a really good ski weekend. I was getting better at making smooth wide turns, putting my skis on edge while separating and angulating, and I could FEEL what my body is supposed to be doing. I think what helped was very very strong head wind that kept my speed in check while I was playing around with different things.

And now for the question: when shifting weight from the inside ski to the new outside ski I felt almost like a little hop. Not a true hop, but just a quick weight shift. It felt good to do, but I am not sure it is something I am supposed to be feeling or visualizing. I watched racers from the lift, and they do the very quick edge to edge shift with what almost looks like a hop. I suppose to quickly shift your weight you have to stand taller first before you go lower again on the other side, and if you do that fast it's almost like a hopping sensation?
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
The three videos below will explain the two basic ways to start a new turn. They are very different from each other. Try to learn both, try keeping them separate. Once you can do both, work on blending them. Use what you like when you like. There is no right or wrong.

The video looks at racers at the top of their game. Don't let that put you off. Just use the information. It's explained well.

The instructor putting these videos online uses the terms "compact transitions" and "extended transitions." You'll also run into other terms for these two movement patterns that start turns, including flexion turns or retraction turns (compact transitions) and extension turns.

The major difference between these two types of initiation for non-racers who don't get their hips on the snow, is how high or low the body stays between turns. You'll notice in one of the videos we are told that body height during transition isn't that important. Well, it is for normal skiers, but it isn't for the racers he's describing since their hips get to the snow.

If your body stays high, or if it pops upward, you are doing an extension to start your new turn. It your body stays low, crouched between turns, you are doing a flexion transition, a compact transition.

To do a compact initiation, bend the downhill leg, aka old outside leg, aka new inside leg. Don't straighten the uphill leg at all. A turn will start. There are things you can add to that movement which will keep you out of the back seat, but those are not addressed in these videos.




There are other ways to start turns too, and other things you can add to an extension or a flexion initiation. Extension and flexion initiations are excellent ones to learn, but most people don't learn the flexion/compact one. It's a bit harder to wrap one's head around, so instructors tend to teach the extension one, or people pick it up on their own.
 
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tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
Ditto what liquidfeet said much more eloquently and clearly than I could have. My default is to use that up motion to unweight/reduce pressure on my skis to transition into a new turn. I've previously done a few years of race clinic, and they were trying to drill that motion out of me, wanting me to stay more compact through my transition. I'm not there yet, but it's definitely not a hop that racers are doing to transition between turns.
 

BMR

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
Interesting, thank you all.

I was watching the third video, the one with the extended transition, and his new inside ski is definitely off the snow through the transition:

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 11.58.53 AM.png

The new outside ski looks somewhat unweighted too at this point, which probably feels like a bit of a hop without the new outside ski actually leaving the snow. It is that momentary feeling of no or little weight on either ski that I was trying to understand.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
When I first learned to ski (self-taught), I extended through transition, then collapsed downward onto the skis afterwards. It felt thrilling, that air-borne sensation and the drop immediately afterwards. I had to work hard, for years, to replace that movement with a "compression" through transition. It was worth it.

My skis grip the snow much better now. There are big benefits to the flexion/compression way to start a turn. I wish I had not lost all those years of skill-building, though, because of the up move. Life's short.
 
#7
Interesting, thank you all.

I was watching the third video, the one with the extended transition, and his new inside ski is definitely off the snow through the transition:

View attachment 14683

The new outside ski looks somewhat unweighted too at this point, which probably feels like a bit of a hop without the new outside ski actually leaving the snow. It is that momentary feeling of no or little weight on either ski that I was trying to understand.
IMO lifting your feet at anytime to make a turn (unless a rock/dirt) or a recovery move, is not good smooth rhythmic skiing. Lifting your foot 'interrupts the turn' and I think is bad habit.

Skiing smoothly is like being a human gyroscope always adjusting your body, tall, small, long leg short leg, adjusting weight and pressure on the skis, constantly adjusting your center of gravity to stay in balance.

this is a pretty cool series on turns with some videos and does talk about Hop turns in narrow chutes

https://getcarv.com/blog/ski-turns-an-expert-guide-to-ski-turn-types-and-techniques
 
#8
Interesting, thank you all.

I was watching the third video, the one with the extended transition, and his new inside ski is definitely off the snow through the transition:

View attachment 14683

The new outside ski looks somewhat unweighted too at this point, which probably feels like a bit of a hop without the new outside ski actually leaving the snow. It is that momentary feeling of no or little weight on either ski that I was trying to understand.
Yes there is a "quiet' spot in between turns.
 
#9
Interesting, thank you all.

I was watching the third video, the one with the extended transition, and his new inside ski is definitely off the snow through the transition:

View attachment 14683

The new outside ski looks somewhat unweighted too at this point, which probably feels like a bit of a hop without the new outside ski actually leaving the snow. It is that momentary feeling of no or little weight on either ski that I was trying to understand.
One of my instructor clinics we worked on feeling the quiet spot where you are transitioning your weight pressure our clinician had us think of a word to say when we felt the quiet spot.

I think it's great you are so aware of your feet and the feeling of your weight transfer and that quiet spot! It does Feel GOOD and FUN to 'go ski to ski' I love making big turns then I throw in some small tight turns. Keep doing it! Just don't physically pick up your foot (watch people ski from the lift you'll see some usually old style skiers that lift their foot- those giant long straight skis did need to be picked up, shaped skis made skiing smooth..

one more comment.. The statement in the screen shot above- 'the butt is inline with the heels but not behind" Yes that's true but I don't like anything that may result in skier being in the back seat, I I'd rather say where you should be - I like to say have your hip joint lined up centered/balanced over your foot, for the most power.

Sounds like you're on your way to smoother, easier skiing!
 
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BMR

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
I think it's great you are so aware of your feet and the feeling of your weight transfer and that quiet spot!
:yahoo:Finally, a bit of improvement. I've been working so hard and now I am starting to enjoy vs always working hard. This past weekend for the first time I felt that smooth "Wheee!!!!" feeling while staying in control and not freaking out.

The statement in the screen shot above- 'the butt is inline with the heels but not behind" Yes that's true but I don't like anything that may result in skier being in the back seat,
Oh year, I didn't like that statement either and chose to ignore it. I don't want to visualize my butt hanging over my heels, that immediately makes me think back seat.
 

Tryin2Ski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
Maybe its just me but when I am doing a "compact" transition it gets tiring being in that low position if I do it too much. I mean it definitely feels smoother when carving fast but if I am just taking it easy, I would rather do the extension.