Proper Skiing Posture - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-24-2013   #1
 
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Proper Skiing Posture

I am struggling with skiing posture. I feel like I am forward, but my girlfriend that is also a ski instructor says I am not. Lot of people say that learning from a person your dating or married to is a bad idea, and I see that there is a lot of truth in that. Anyway I have been skiing now for a total of 13 days. I have been skiing on mid range blacks, and double blues for about 4 days. While skiing a black the other day I was focusing on this whole staying forward bullshit, and felt a pop only to look down at my ski tumbling away from me. After crashing I was hesitant. I am also working on inside ski turn initiation, and pole plant timing. I am a 6'4" guy so I feel like a hutch back when I try proper posture. Today I worked on it all day, and one guy with close to perfect form told me I looked pretty good, but I was rotating my body to much. I felt it in the front of my thighs, and I am not sure if that is right or wrong. Damn I am ready for the water to start.

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Old 02-24-2013   #2
 
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If you have been skiing for a grand total of 13 days, and a ski instructor says you are doing something wrong, then you are. Sorry....

-former ski instructor

also - if you feel like a hunchback, then you are NOT in proper poster. You don't want your shoulders forward. Think shins and hips forward. You should have a natural athletic stance. Pretend you have some pennies in the front of your boots and if you don't maintain pressure on the tongues they will fall in your boots.
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Old 02-24-2013   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifer View Post
If you have been skiing for a grand total of 13 days, and a ski instructor says you are doing something wrong, then you are. Sorry....

-former ski instructor
Thats why I am asking. I am not trying to have someone tell me I am doing it right when I am not. I am a ACA certified kayak instructor, and understand that I very well could be doing it wrong. What I am asking for is help correcting it. My girlfriend mainly teaches very young children, and women, and doesn't have the knowledge to teach a 6'4" guy to correct certain issues. I am doing all that stuff with my legs I think my problem is body positioning. Thoughts?
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Old 02-24-2013   #4
 
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I've always thought skiing is in the hands. Where your hands go, so go you. If you are hunchback think about relaxing/dropping your shoulders, do that first. you're probably pretty rigid. then maybe relax your hand/arm position. Don't drop them, either bring them closer or open them up a bit- like you are carrying a cafeteria tray. Picture your upper body standing tall, a line from the top of your head down to your sacrum. Bend (forward weight) with your hips, not your back.
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Old 02-24-2013   #5
 
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F_S_M,

A forum is not the best place to diagnose skiing posture/body positioning. Like kayaking, a skier is in a dynamic medium with dynamic forces at play. Could you as an ACA Instructor correct my poor edging without seeing it? You could offer suggestions based on your experience and training, but a $150.00 private with you would serve me better. I say this as a Certified Professional Ski Teacher for nearly 40 years.

While suggestions could be offered, nothing supplants the real world in a sport as kinesthetic as skiing. There are no shortcuts that don't come back and bite. There could be a whole lot of issues going on with you, just like with me on a river.

While there is a basic athletic posture that allows the body to do what one wants under outside influences (gravity, terrain, speed, momentum, etc.)--study good tennis and basketball players for example--you still need live diagnosing.

As jennifer says, hunching is a no-no. As is leaning upstream on a peelout.

And lhowemt's cafeteria tray illustration is a good one as long as you know where the tray should be facing. And bending with your back will not only preclude good skiing, it'll turn your older years into agony.

With the abundance of GoPros, Magicams, Contours et al., and the ease of making DVDs today, it should be a snap working with a PSIA school with video capability. But also have them give you (or get yourself) *good* video from *good* instructors demonstrating body attitudes. Visualization with these can help, once you get the basics dialed.

Above said, here's something to try once you get the basics: Check in with yourself every few seconds. Where are your legs, knees, hips, feet? Where are your hands, arms, shoulders? Where's your head (physically)? Don't ignore your breathing. I'll bet 12 PBRs you're not breathing right if you're hunching. Poor breath control tenses you and that can lead to all sorts of uglies.

Get with that teacher and go back to the skill pyramid and work on exercises. For example: Where are your shoulders in an easy traverse? A slow, but steep traverse? A bumpy traverse? Can you carry a mug of Mt. Dew in each hand and go from one side of a trail to the other without spilling much? and remember to always work on those exercises. Yeah, 08:00 on 11" fresh it's hard, but like warming up in your boat with strokes, power circles, etc helps, so does dropping back and messing with the basics on a mountain.

Besides hunching being lousy kinesthetically and physiologically, it closes you up mentally--takes lustre off the venue, makes the bumps unfriendly, limits vision, and more. So off the hunching, stand up and in balance (360 degrees), take deep breaths and listen to the teacher.

HTH
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Old 02-24-2013   #6
 
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Good point BCxp. I have taken about six lessons, as well as pointers from a good friend (that just shattered his collar bone, and shoulder blade), and my girlfriend (that is a really good skier, but I question her ability to teach me) I have a three week every saturday Blue/Black adult workshop starting next saturday that I am sure will help. One issue I have is I am an instructor, and possibly being an instructor in another sport puts undue pressure on my ski instructors. It seems like at Brighton at least the way for someone to get you to change a movement is to call you out on it. Tell you how ridiculous it looks, and tell you to change it with very little instruction on how to properly make that change. For me to change a movement I need to know is it efficient? Is it safe? Is it proper form? The whole breakdown of the steps seems pretty important. When I show someone a move on a river I don't tell them you are doing it wrong, and then just so them how to do it. I do it several times breaking down each move, and then let them do it while I coach. When an instructor sees that my pole plant is late they should do three turns then have me try coaching as I go. They should not blast down the hill then when I get to the bottom say well all those were wrong. There just seems to be a huge difference in teaching styles, and I don't understand when. Maybe it's because they deal with so many off the couch people that want to look cool by saying that they ski. Honestly I don't care about that skiing is a secondary sport for me, and kayaking well always supersede it. This is to kill time during the dead season, but if I am going to spend thousands on a sport I don't want to be a leisure skier. I want to progress to harder, and harder runs. Just as I did in kayaking. My rant is over
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Old 02-24-2013   #7
 
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Oops. DumbSmartphone sent to your Brighton post instead.

Sent by HTC Sensation
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Old 02-24-2013   #8
 
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Hands shoulder height down hill, driving down the slope. No matter what you ride. Hands shoulder height shoulders square to the fall line. Stand tall,forward is better than the back seat
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Old 02-25-2013   #9
 
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Maybe you should try another instructor. As you know, that dynamic is critical. And keep in mind that since you are athletic tour form will probably prove with time as you won't have to try so hard or think so much. Give it time, and be patient.
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Old 02-25-2013   #10
 
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Take a cue from racers. They all have, ostensibly, perfect form. Yet, when race time comes, only one wins and everyone else loses. Meaning, rarely does anyone have perfect "form" every day. If you're able to ski blue/black runs, I would wager it's time to just ski for a bit. Any bad habits you have are already established and are likely just as hard to fix now as they will be after skiing on your own five or six more days. If you really need external feedback, don't get it from others, get it from yourself. Get someone to record you skiing so you can see exactly what you're doing. Or, post it here and we'll all give you different advice! (shoulders; no it's knees; wait, pole planting will set you free; lose the poles, they're just a crutch; wear more neon colors...).
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