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Are you centered?

Seek and dispense advice regarding snowsports technique at The Ski School.

re: Are you centered?

Postby HDHaller » Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:14 am

Cannonball and Geoff,

...about using teleskiing or unbuckled boots to work on being centered: I think these two methods are of only limited use. The most common centering problem, by far, is being in the back seat, leaning back into the hill, into the back of the boot. And one CAN lean into the back of a tele boot or an unbuckled alpine boot. Teleskiing and unbuckled alpine boots may keep you from getting too far forward, because, obviously, telebindings and unbuckled alpine boots will let you fall on your face if you get too far forward. But you can still hang in the back seat. So these two training methods do little for the most common centering problem. THoughts?
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re: Are you centered?

Postby Ryan » Sun Dec 25, 2005 9:29 am

I'm with HD on the thoughts here... I don't see using unbuckled boots as being a very good way to approach a back seat problem. If a person is too far forward it has a point but finding that student is long and far between. I have only seen a few and I think that there are better was to correct it that changing the equipment. What do you think that they are going to do as soon as the buckles go back on.
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Re: re: Are you centered?

Postby lookn4powder » Sun Dec 25, 2005 11:53 am

Ryan wrote:I'm with HD on the thoughts here... I don't see using unbuckled boots as being a very good way to approach a back seat problem. If a person is too far forward it has a point but finding that student is long and far between. I have only seen a few and I think that there are better was to correct it that changing the equipment. What do you think that they are going to do as soon as the buckles go back on.


I agree with you that unbuckled boot drills cannot help cure the backseaters' centering problem. The best drill I've found for this is the drill where the skier must execute giant slalom turns while simultaneously executing many slalom turns per GS turn. One cannot sucessfully execute this drill uncentered. The problem is that this drill is suited only for fairly advanced skiers. In addition, the drill is safe to do only on fairly empty slopes.

For less advanced skiers, getting centered is perhaps accomplished by removing the technique errors that are pulling them into the backseat. Having just watched a video of a powder clinic where the students took many falls, I would say that the most common problem was dropping the uphill arm. Droppng this arm back--or not keeping the arm/shoulders agressively forward would pull each skier's body out of the fall line into the hill. Just before each guy fell, his body was firmly in the backseat even if his fall was initiated by catching a tip inducing a forward fall.

I am not suggesting that the dropped arm is the only problem that might drive a skier to be uncentered, but my "gold standard" drill is unlikely to help lower level students. Thus, my only thought is to remove each technical error that keeps one from being centered.

Finally, based on my last outing when I skied two boot-ski sets on boilerplate, I believe that some ski models reward centered technique more than others. For example, my Volkl G31's responded to centered methods better than my race level Fischer GS skis. So, some skis may help some people achieve centered technique more quickly than others. Just a thought.

Jeff
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re: Are you centered?

Postby joegm » Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:08 pm

I?m not gonna argue the merits of unbuckled boots being or not being an effective method of getting one?s self centered as a general rule for everyone?.but I will say this.. I begin every ski day with unbuckled boots AND no substantial power strap closure ( I use after market booster straps btw) for at least the first 60 minutes or 5 or 6 runs on flats. This probably contributes to my annual trashing and subsequent replacement of my boot buckles every year :cry: . I then take at least one run skiing ( still unbuckled ) what mike Atkinson who used to coach at SMS now momentum would call the ? reverse line ? in a bump run. ( pretty much skiing over the tops of the bump and staying completely away from the direct line. I would say 50% of the reason is that I do this is because it seems to in fact force me on the balls of my feet, and the way I think of it, I view that as being centered. Anything other than that in bumps, I view as deadly. Or in other words, when I am not on the balls of my feet , I feel I am not centered?so obviously I am a big advocate of unbuckled boots. The other 50% is that it just gives me a feeling of sinking into my boots and really settling in and feeling the ground ( ?feel the snow? , right boys) by flexing my ankles. It?s at the point now where I am almost afraid to start out not unbuckled because I feel like I can?t effectively bend my boots if I buckle up right away. But that?s me
Jeff- expand on the sl within the gs.. I?m not following
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re: Are you centered?

Postby joegm » Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:17 pm

is it more critical for bumpers to be on the balls of their feet more of the time than racers? and then, tying this to jeff's post, does being on bump skis with shovels under say 95cm and less side cut make unbuckled boots a relatively more effectivel drill than if one is on modern gs type skis ?
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Re: re: Are you centered?

Postby cj » Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:41 am

joegm wrote:is it more critical for bumpers to be on the balls of their feet more of the time than racers? and then, tying this to jeff's post, does being on bump skis with shovels under say 95cm and less side cut make unbuckled boots a relatively more effectivel drill than if one is on modern gs type skis ?


Joegm,

I could not agree with you more! I always start with my boots loose and do the unbuckled boots as a drill along with javelins, window frames, wedges, etc. to get good and stacked. That way when I get in the bumps, I try to feel the same sensation. This year at camp I asked Chuck Martin how much time I should spend on the flats and he said 50%... I was pretty surprised. The Fins spend 70%! I know that when I was up at Whistler this summer, all of the ski team people (including Bloom) skied flats 90% of the time, with maybe 2-5 bump runs per day. Once a person actaully becomes comfortable with skiing bumps, it is more and more critical that they spend time doing drills. I also asked Chuck if there was one common thing that he saw in his best adult campers (which REALLY rip), thinking that his answer would be that they are great athletes, or that they ski 100+ days a year... but his answer was that they all do the drills. The guy that won Bear Mountain 2 years ago is one of his campers and him and his buddies all go out and do drills together, so it works for every bump skiers at every level.

Jeff, I see you are in Rockville... are you a bump skier? I chase the bumps around at the local resorts and me and my buddy Sam (he beats me in all of the local contests because his airs are way better than mine... plus he is 10 years younger) are always on the lookout for good bumpers to ski with. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be many zipper line bump skiers around these parts (accept for the few guys up at 7 Springs).

Maybe we can hook up and rip some bumps, now that they are starting to form.

cj
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re: Are you centered?

Postby JimG. » Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:49 am

Funny how bumpers all use the same drills...I too start out the day with my boots unbuckled, then lightly buckled. I think the thing folks need to realize is that modern ski boots provide alot of support and allow for some "cheating" when it comes to being centered. I unbuckle the boots to ensure that I'm the one keeping myself centered, not my boots.

If you find you have trouble staying centered with your boots unbuckled, you need to spend more time with them unbuckled, not less.
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Re: re: Are you centered?

Postby cj » Tue Dec 27, 2005 10:21 am

JimG. wrote:Funny how bumpers all use the same drills...I too start out the day with my boots unbuckled, then lightly buckled. I think the thing folks need to realize is that modern ski boots provide alot of support and allow for some "cheating" when it comes to being centered. I unbuckle the boots to ensure that I'm the one keeping myself centered, not my boots.

If you find you have trouble staying centered with your boots unbuckled, you need to spend more time with them unbuckled, not less.


Amen brother!

cj
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re: Are you centered?

Postby joegm » Tue Dec 27, 2005 2:33 pm

i'm really starting to be happy about the fact that there are a few people out there who know where it's at and are into technical bump skiing and who are not 15 years old :roll: . my buddies and i were really ready to throw in the towel as of pretty recently.
my 2 buddies and i are planning on going to K mart the third week of march for the us championships. the schedule looks like training on tues wed and thurs with comps on friday and sat. our plan is to be there tuesday through friday. is anyone who may abe able to get the mid week days off interested in trying to put together some solid hook up times/ dates?. should be a sick week of skiing :P
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re: Are you centered?

Postby joegm » Tue Dec 27, 2005 2:36 pm

i'm really starting to be happy about the fact that there are a few people out there who know where it's at and are into technical bump skiing and who are not 15 years old :roll: . my buddies and i were really ready to throw in the towel as of pretty recently.
my 2 buddies and i are planning on going to K mart the third week of march for the us championships. the schedule looks like training on tues wed and thurs with comps on friday and sat. our plan is to be there tuesday through friday. is anyone who may abe able to get the mid week days off interested in trying to put together some solid hook up times/ dates?. should be a sick week of skiing :P
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re: Are you centered?

Postby JimG. » Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:03 pm

I'll have to check my travel schedule...that's the middle of trade show season for me. Should be able to get away for a few days regardless.

More later.
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re: Are you centered?

Postby joegm » Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:31 pm

Jimg wrote:
[color=orange][size=9][QUOTE]If you find you have trouble staying centered with your boots unbuckled, you need to spend more time with them unbuckled, not less.[/QUOTE][/size][/color]

jimmy, u r a wise man indeed!!!!!
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re: Are you centered?

Postby lookn4powder » Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:57 pm

I don't start my days with unbuckled boots, but they are really loose for the first 3-5 runs. In addition, during a day, I'll often unbuckle completely for a few runs. Sometimes, I'll forget that I'm unbuckled and ski something hairy. My big toe nails usually fall off 3 months later... For teaching centered skiing, I am not certain that unbuckled boot drills work well for everyone. Probably, it's just one of several drills that one should try.

joegm wrote: Jeff- expand on the sl within the gs.. I?m not following


Here?s a way to envision the SL-GS drill. Take a clean sheet of paper and draw a couple wide GS S?s down the page. For the next step, subdivide complete each full GS turn into 7-9 sections. Then, draw loops (forming short S?s) that connect the subdivisions. When you envision this construct as a ski exercise, you would be executing a series of short-radius SL turns that trace a large radius GS turn. When you perform this pattern on the hill, you should try to maintain the same speed throughout the entire exercise. You will find that you will be initiating turns at many gradients and that you can only turn when you are centered.

I did not come up with this exercise. It is a drill that some local patrollers use to find their center.

cj wrote:
Jeff, I see you are in Rockville... are you a bump skier? I chase the bumps around at the local resorts and me and my buddy Sam (he beats me in all of the local contests because his airs are way better than mine... plus he is 10 years younger) are always on the lookout for good bumpers to ski with. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be many zipper line bump skiers around these parts (accept for the few guys up at 7 Springs).
cj


It?s hard to call me a ?bump skier?. I don't ski contests--too much organization for it to be fun for me. I?m too old, too heavy, and started too late to ever be really good. But, I?m probably not chopped liver either. I prefer skiing steeps, deeps (powder), and trees when I can. For bumps I prefer spring slop and powder snow. But since I live in M.A.S.H.*, I mostly ski ice/hardpack bumps at night. I am not a zipper-line bump skier since I rarely see bumps around M.A.S.H. that can support them.

So, I am just a skier, who isn?t lost in most situations. I really have no clue as to how good I am except that I don?t slow down for much during a season.

Perhaps, we can ski a few turns.

Jeff

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re: Are you centered?

Postby joegm » Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:22 pm

jeff writes:
"when encountering a skier, turn"
this sums up why bumps skiers destroy all others on the hill... and i'm not saying this to start a war or anything cause that's been done to death and it's over with. i respect racers to a point....but good bumpers strive to be able to turn anywhere , any terrain, any conditions, anytime on a dime... no excuses, snow's too hard :roll: , too soft :roll: :roll: , too heavy :roll: :roll: :roll: , too wet :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: .... watching racers this preseason has show me how un-versitile race technique really is.... i am not saying it does not take talent...but moguls skiers are better all around skiers....numerous times this year we have seen race teams- very irresponsibly i might add- doing some foolish mini gs simulated race drill on a stretch of public lane. my buddies and i will be anywhere sandwiched in between these packs practicing our turns, occasionally varying the radius... and that right there, any deviation at all from a line, is enough to send a fast approaching " racer " into stiff panic. and it sucks cause you can see them freeze right up and more often than not they seem to lock up and head right for you :roll: that's it i'm done.. i just think the quotes funny
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re: Are you centered?

Postby joegm » Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:26 pm

i should have added, as i have said before, that good telemark skiers, to me , are on the same plane as bumpers.. forward, on their toes and always turning... :P
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