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Stance in powder and bumps

diannesw

Diva in Training
I am new here and this is my first post. I am an east coast skier and I consider myself an intermediate. I ski on the groomers (blues and blacks) and I am trying to narrow my stance for powder and moguls. Unfortunately, I don't feel as stable when I bring my feet in closer from my athletic stance. For an intermediate skier, how narrow should my skis be when I am skiing moguls and powder? Thanks
 

snoWYmonkey

Angel Diva
@diannesw your question is great, yet there is no set answer. Have you been told that your stance is too wide to be functional in bumps and powder? I always ask because I rarely encourage my students to change something in their skiing movements unless there is an issue.

If you feel off balance, then my suspicion is that you are going too narrow, or are not ready in terms of balancing skills to go as narrow as you believe you need to.

If your skis are suddenly making sounds of hitting one another, that is way too narrow (unless your are not weighting your inside ski at all in the turn and that is causing the clanking). If you feel that your feet are so close together that the ability to move your legs is impacted, you are likely going too narrow.

I find that I can tell how much is enough by trying to determine if my ability to ski the terrain is improved. Sometimes the narrower stance in powder just helps me put more even pressure on both skis, which in turn reduces the risk of a banana splits event (diverging inside ski caught up in the powder).

Do you have some video of your normal stance and then an example of your narrow stance?
 

diannesw

Diva in Training
Thanks for your thoughtful answer. I especially like the advice about adjusting my stance to see if I can ski the terrain better. Thats a good metric.

Being in the east coast, I don't get much powder and my local resort doesn't have much bumps so its hard to practice on actual bumps or powder at my local hill. I go out West for 1-2 trips a year and I want to get better at bumps and powder when I go out West next year. In lieu of skiing actual bumps, I am trying to ski at my local hill with a narrower stance. I am trying to practice short turns with a narrower stance. My hope is that I can develop these skills locally so that I can get as much out the West coast trips. So to answer your question, I have not been told to narrow my stance by an instructor. I am trying to consciously narrow my stance as much as possible because thats what I think I need to do.

I wish I had asked this question earlier in the season because I don't have any videos of stance while I am skiing. The east coast is warming up and its a lot of ice now so I think this week is the last week of my season.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Being in the east coast, I don't get much powder and my local resort doesn't have much bumps so its hard to practice on actual bumps or powder at my local hill. I go out West for 1-2 trips a year and I want to get better at bumps and powder when I go out West next year. In lieu of skiing actual bumps, I am trying to ski at my local hill with a narrower stance. I am trying to practice short turns with a narrower stance. My hope is that I can develop these skills locally so that I can get as much out the West coast trips.
The good news I can share as someone who has taken lessons with @snoWYmonkey at JH is that you much certainly can practice skills in the northeast that will be very helpful when skiing soft bumps out west. In fact, one of the questions I asked her the last time was how to practice short turns on groomers. We talked about rhythm and pole usage, but not about a narrower stance.

I've also learned how to practice absorption and extension at my home hill. While there is one bump run that's left ungroomed, it's only about 3 bumps wide and good for perhaps 20 turns. But that's more than enough after working there with a very experienced instructor a few times.

How wide are your skis?
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I am new here and this is my first post. I am an east coast skier and I consider myself an intermediate. I ski on the groomers (blues and blacks) and I am trying to narrow my stance for powder and moguls. Unfortunately, I don't feel as stable when I bring my feet in closer from my athletic stance. For an intermediate skier, how narrow should my skis be when I am skiing moguls and powder? Thanks
Well, first, let's attack that part up there in bold. When you are normally skiing, would you say you keep your pressure distribution about 50/50? In other words, 50% of your weight on the outside foot and 50% on the inside foot? Or 60/40? Or 80/20? Or 90/10?

1. Ski a little, check this out, and report back about your normal weight distribution.
2. Also check your skis and tell us how wide they are at the waist (middle). You may know this, but in case not, there's a sequence of three numbers printed on your skis. The middle number is the waist width in mm.

I'm asking these two questions because it would be great if you could feel stable when you ski with a narrow stance on groomers and I'm wondering why you don't. Feeling stable with any stance width would increase you general skill level and come in handy at all times. Let's figure out how to get you there first before talking about when and/or why a narrow stance in bumps is needed.
 

diannesw

Diva in Training
I love my Stockli's. It does everything. I ask and it delivers. Now I have to improve my technique :smile:
Here is the link of the youtube video:

I am curious to hear your thoughts about this
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Here is the link of the youtube video:
I'll leave it to instructors to comment on the technique being demonstrated. My gut reaction is that what is being shown is probably only relevant to racing down a zipper line of seeded bumps. That is NOT what I've been learning from instructors at my home hill or at destination resorts like JH, Alta, or Taos.

SnowMotion 2020 Ski Tips Moguls with former US Ski Team Freestyler Michael Friedberg
In this SnowMotion ski tip, Brenda learns how to master the moguls with former US Ski Team member and co-founder of Yellowbelly Chicken, Michael Friedberg. These simple tips will change the way you approach the bumps next time you hit the slopes.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
As @marzNC said, that video is demonstrating an advanced way to ski bumps. By "advanced" I mean heading straight down the fall line in a very narrow corridor, as demonstrated by those two World Cup competitive skiers. Skiing a narrow corridor is called skiing the "direct line."

The direct line skied the way these skiers are doing it is fast. It demands fast reflexes, consistent vision down the hill, solid pole work, precision timing, and very solid fore-aft balance, in addition to the alignment of the legs and knees as the skiers demonstrate.

The line you ski in bumps matters. A meandering line down the bumps is slow. A traverse followed by a single turn followed by another traverse followed by another single turn is even slower. Both of these approaches can be done with a non-narrow stance, even with a wedge. Even the direct line down a narrow corridor can be skied snail-slow if done by side-slipping down the backside of the bumps. Skiing a direct line down the bumps using side-slipping will need you to use a narrowish stance, but not the other two. However, a slightly narrowish stance will be beneficial in steep nasty bumps no matter what line you choose.

Learning to ski any line slowly through the bumps is what people usually do if they are uncertain and want to increase their bump skills. Going slow allows more time to figure out fore-aft balance control, which is critical.

@diannesw, do you already ski bumps, and are you seeking a way to speed up? In other words, are you ready to learn to ski the direct line the way these skiers are promoting? If not, I'd say file their advice for later.

How do you currently ski bumps? Are those bumps on steep terrain, or gentle green pitches, or what?
 
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diannesw

Diva in Training
Golly gosh, I am not looking to ski the zipper line.
The few times that I have skied bumps, I can ski bumps that have a nice wide corridor on gentle blue runs
I do a combination of short turns and pivot slips on these runs.
My stance for the short turns is an athletic stance and not a narrow stance.
When I encounter a a mogul run with a steeper pitch, it gets expeonentially harder for me, I lose my confidence, I get in the back seat and I do a lot more pivot slipping and I finish the run with my tail between my legs.
I know I need more mileage and I try to do as many bump runs as possible when I go out West
I thought I could get better my adopting a narrow stance.
Maybe I am being too hard on myself.
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
FWIW you will not have perfect bumps if you ski where there are snowboarders.... just saying very few runs where I am that look that perfect..... until spring when certain runs become dedicated zipper lines.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I love my Stöckli's. It does everything. I ask and it delivers. Now I have to improve my technique :smile:
One aspect of Stöckli skis is that if your technique is a little off, it becomes very obvious very quickly. My Massanutten instructor that I've worked with the most likes Stöckli, so that's one reason I demo'd them and ultimately bought the Stormrider 85s.

When I encounter a a mogul run with a steeper pitch, it gets expeonentially harder for me, I lose my confidence, I get in the back seat and I do a lot more pivot slipping and I finish the run with my tail between my legs.
I know I need more mileage and I try to do as many bump runs as possible when I go out West
I thought I could get better my adopting a narrow stance.
Maybe I am being too hard on myself.
Sounds like you are pretty adventurous. Even though I've come to like bumps out west or on soft spring snow in the northeast, I stay away from frozen bumps in the east in general.

What resort is your favorite out west?
 

diannesw

Diva in Training
I couldn't agree more about the Stocklis. This is my second or third season on them and I like them more and more every year.

I love deer valley. We had some friends move to salt lake city so we've been partial to going to utah. I enjoy Alta but Deer Valley has a special place in my heart especially because that's where my kids first learned to ski.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I love deer valley. We had some friends move to salt lake city so we've been partial to going to utah. I enjoy Alta but Deer Valley has a special place in my heart especially because that's where my kids first learned to ski.
Which runs at DV do you like for bumps? I've only skied there a couple days. Didn't start until Ikon came on the scene.

My favorite resort out west is Alta. Has been for decades although I didn't start going annually until a dozen years ago. For me, learning to ski bumps was initially just a stepping stone to skiing trees. I wanted to ski trees because that's where it's easier to find leftover power. Once I improved enough to deal with trees, I found that skiing bumps can be a lot of fun too. Meaning in good snow out west.

Have you worked with a very experienced (20+ years) instructor on bumps?
 

diannesw

Diva in Training
I don't have specific runs for bumps. Usually we start skiing the blues and blacks on Bald Mt or Flagstaff Mt. I think there is a dedicated bump run that is a black on Empire Mt called Domingo but I haven't tried it yet.
 

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