Control
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jimmy
May 16, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
All this talk about mass transit and waiting for Godot is making my head ready to explode!!! Anybody mind if we talk about skiing/riding for a bit?

Crush quoted some interesting stuff about the Concept of control a while back. That and an observation SCWVA made about my skiing got me thinking about control.

Is there such a thing as too much control?

Can being a control freak hold you back in your skiing?
Roger Z
May 16, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
I don't see how being out of control improves your skiing! \:\)

A couple months back, I read the collection of essays Outside 25- fantastic book by the way. Outside Magazine has got to have some of the best journalists in the field (no pun intended) these days. Anyway, one of the essays was about a world cup champion skier from Austria. Being such an expert with names, I've already forgotten his. But one of his statements was pretty spot on, in my opinion. He said something to the effect that skiing is at it's best when you're right at the limit between control and chaos.

Probably it's when you get close to that edge, you're tempted to back away from it. More often than not, I think we all do, and that's not a bad thing. But that "edge" isn't just about speed, it's about pushing yourself to try new ski styles, take on new slopes, grind yourself through mogul fields and snow-crud chutes season after season to learn it (been there, done that). If you get to that edge and EVERY TIME you step back, I think you'd be holding back your skiing ability and the exhiliration that comes with the sport.
JohnL
May 16, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
Is there such a thing as too much control?

Can being a control freak hold you back in your skiing?


If "being in too much control" means that you are too rigid and not having body flow, then yes.

Actually, gravity is in control, the skier is just along for the ride.

As an extreme data point, the ski racer in most control is usually not the fastest down the course. Franz Klammer's '76 Olympic Downhill run is a classic example. He wouldn't win any PSA awards for that run but it shur did look purty to me. Trying to be overly precise with your turns and line can slow you down a bit; sometimes it's best to let the skis run a bit. Let them run too much, and disaster can happen, so it is a fine line.
crunchy
May 16, 2008
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
 Originally Posted By: jimmy


Can being a control freak hold you back in your skiing?


it does for me.. start focusing too much on technique and concentrating on little details... maybe start tensing up which is not good either... then I end up not enjoying the skiing day as much as much as when I just decide to "let em run"
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tromano
May 16, 2008
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
I think trying to control speed too much (by braking) can lead to bad skiing, not moving down the hill, inefficient skiing, you getting more worked than the other guy or whatever.
kwillg6
May 16, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,034 posts
 Originally Posted By: Roger Z
skiing is at it's best when you're right at the limit between control and chaos.


I agree with you on this one Roger. In racing, it's the guys/gals that push the limits and go for broke that win races. We can talk grace, perfection and beauty, but it's the Bodies of the world who make thee sport fun to watch and are the innovators of skiing. Take the Mahre brothers. Their creativity and innovation redefined the slalom turn. To really improve you must be a risk taker. If you always do what you've always done thou will always see the same results. I enjoy moguls (or whales ). I'm not good at them....yet, but had I not challenged myself to do them I'd never begin to enjoy them. Although I'm beginning to feel the limitations of age,I really enjoy and appreciate a challenge. It makes life worth living. \:\)
Roger Z
May 16, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
 Quote:
start focusing too much on technique and concentrating on little details


Yeah that's a great point Crunchy. When I truly want to enjoy a run, I step back from concentrating on technique and focus instead on the moment, the feeling, the place. Grace and perfection take a definitive backseat... if you don't have enough instinctive talent for the terrain you're in, you'll suffer mighty quick for doing this! \:\) But if you're comfortable letting the skis be skis on the particular run you're on, you wind up having one of those moments that you just can't put into words, that when you splutter it on a lift to someone else they either get it and you feel like long-lost brothers, or they don't and you move on to the next run.
tromano
May 16, 2008
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Crunch has it right imo. If I focus too much on what I am doing, then I lose track of where I am going. The biggest thing I learned skiing in the last two years was just to keep my head up and focus on where I am going. Technique is irrelevant if the technique is inappropriate to the terrain and the only way to know if it is appropriate is to look and feel the snow.
JohnL
May 16, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
See Timothy Gallwey's classic book, The Inner Game of Tennis. The thesis of the book is that the highest level of sports performance is achieved when the mind is turned off and the body's autopilot somehow takes over. It is applicable to all sports, not just tennis.

To achieve high performance by shutting down your mind, you have to have done enough perfect reps of an activity for some level of muscle memory to have been established.
kwillg6
May 16, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,034 posts
 Originally Posted By: JohnL


To achieve high performance by shutting down your mind, you have to have done enough perfect reps of an activity for some level of muscle memory to have been established.


DING! DING! DING! And the winner is!!!!!!! Thank you John. I teach this every day in class and coach this every afternoon on the track. The same applys to skiing.
However, the problem is we have created muscle memory of the bad habits as well. Therein lies the problems we encounter in making improvement. Undoing bad habits or "the wrong way" is twice as hard as learning to do it the correct way from the start. I always wondered why, as a ski instructor, we taught the wedge instead of teaching parallel turns from the start. With the new shape technology it would make light years of a difference to new skiers.
JohnL
May 16, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
Undoing bad habits or "the wrong way" is twice as hard as learning to do it the correct way from the start.


My ice skating coach quoted some number, but it was a lot higher than twice. (I realize you were probably just using a figure of speech.) Apparently there have been studies on this. X reps to establish muscle memory, Y reps to unlearn improper muscle memory. Both are in the thousands.

The past six months I've been taking power skate lessons for ice hockey. First time I ever had lessons. It's been a very interesting learning experience; going back to square one and learning and practicing the very basics (even though I've been playing hockey for decades.) The hockey lessons will either really help or really hurt my skiing next winter, since some of the upper body stacking, alignment and even foot balance appear to be different from skiing.
Tucker
May 16, 2008
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
I think you will be golden with the skating lessons. I think the majority of skiing and snowboarding ability comes down to balance and stance. If you discount the fear factor,,,then it seems that after you know how/when/where to pressure your equipment in different types of terrain it's all about balance and stance and muscle memory...aka repetition.

There are plenty of other valuable techniques involved especially if you are racing competitevily, skiing/riding variable terrain, or you are trying to get a skiing organization(cough cough PSIA cough cough) to tell you how awesome you are. (PSIA= Please Say I'm Awesome)...just jokin...sorta..not really

I had a buddy come down from Alaska a couple years ago who was a hockey player and who had never skied before. We went over to T-line and after one hour lesson he skied every trail on the mountain. Now granted their is really no difficult terrain at T-line...edit here...however skiing the entire mountain the first day skiing is to say the least impressive...end edit... he attributed his ability to balance and ice skating and the helpful pointers that the famous instructor "The Edge" gave him during the lesson.

As for thinking about skiing/riding while you are riding that is an interesting topic. I have always had trouble not thinking about all my body movemens while I'm riding(probably because I taught for so long and I'm analytical rider)...but this season when I was out west skiing the deep pow I rode with an I-pod for the first time a lot(when I was riding lift access)...and I really found it to take my mind of of thinking about the mechanics of what I was doing. And sometimes I found myself picking tighter lines or riding a little faster then I usually do(pushing my control envelope). I enjoyed riding to music and was surprised by the music genres I enjoyed the most while I was riding.

Having said that I would never ride with an I-pod or tunes at Timberline (or any other crowded Mid-A resort). There are just to many idiots around who are out of control. Besided who need tunes when you can listen to the same Willie Nelson album all season long.
Crush
May 16, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
ya johnL - in 1997 i started to completely take apart all of my skiing b/c i realized i was not keeping up with what was going on re: more new-school skiing techniques. took a while but indeed, going back to square-one is scary but usually worth it.
Roger Z
May 18, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
 Quote:
Undoing bad habits or "the wrong way" is twice as hard as learning to do it the correct way from the start.


Yep. One summer, maybe when I was about 12, at band camp... oh wait that's another memory. But maybe I was 12 or 13 I went waterskiing one summer, learned how to do it maybe did five or six trips with the folks down to Lake Anna. I spent the next four winters trying to stop leaning back when snow skiing. Ever since then, I haven't had much of an urge to try to waterski again, though jet skis sound pretty fun!

You know, reading Tucker's comments, a thought also occurred- when you're in real technical terrain (tight trees, chutes, a good mogul field, etc) you have to focus on the terrain much more and therefore concentrate on your technique much less. In other words, you have to have an inherent trust in your skiing ability and be constantly, subconsciously adjusting as the terrain changes. Early season mogul fields out west are a great place where this happens, because you just never know what you're going to find around the next bump (rock, stump, powder, bare patch, snow, ice, repeat), so if you're thinking "flex knee here, put pole there" you're going to get chewed up and out and need a new set of skis by the time you get to the bottom. I found it easier to make a set of 10 or 12 turns and if they didn't feel right, pull up, work through the line in your memory and feel what you were doing wrong, as opposed to trying to overcompensate on the fly. Usually the next set of turns set up better, then you go through another mental model and adjust, etc.

As you stay in terrain like that, work up and improve within it, I find at least that your confidence increases and you take harder lines almost for the fun of it. Some of the trees I was skiing through at Cooper in March, while doing the snowcat skiing, were so tight I wouldn't have dreamed of ever doing anything like it, but there I was on these powder skis and I felt invincible. Granted, I wasn't invincible, which was driven home when on the last run the best skier in our group blew out his achilles tendon when he blasted through a creek bed he didn't see coming. Again, a good reminder to always have some awareness of the terrain. Even a seeming-wide-open powder field can hold surprises for which you should at least be dimly scouting for while enjoying the epic run of your life.
jimmy
May 18, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
 Originally Posted By: Roger Z
You know, reading Tucker's comments, a thought also occurred- when you're in real technical terrain (tight trees, chutes, a good mogul field, etc) you have to focus on the terrain much more and therefore concentrate on your technique much less. In other words, you have to have an inherent trust in your skiing ability and be constantly, subconsciously adjusting as the terrain changes.


Where's the inherent trust in your ability come from? We were skiing soft spring bumps, well SCWVA was skiing the bumps i was doing more like tromano described, trying to carve turns thru and around them, using way to much energy. Scott says to me "you have plenty of control, why don't you try skiing a straighter line?" plenty of control, too much control? I was in control but too much, skiing too conservative a line. I didn't realize that i already had the ability to control my speed in those bumps. My desire to always be in "control" was holding me back.

Side slip and pivot slip drills are supposed to teach and develop what? Edge control, but the other part of the drill is the part where you are slipping, somewhat out of control. Falling down doesn't necessarily improve one's skiing but one's skiing won't improve without falling down a bit. Doesn't matter what level your stuck at, i think you have give up control, or your mental comfort zone to get unstuck?
Tucker
May 18, 2008
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
Yeah I think you can make a distinction between loss of control and going outside your comfort zone...maybe...maybe it's just semantics...maybe it's all in one's head...but once you get nervous or in the back seat bad things usually happen...

I know one exercise I used to use a lot is increasing the speed threshold or comfort zone(mostly for hitting park feature, but feeling more comfortable at higher speeds in general)...I would get someone to ride/ski on totally flat equipment(totally flat no edging at all which is a crucial skill for any type of terrain) and ride/ski until the speed is a bit scary then ski ten feet past that point then stop and then continue the same exercise upping a notch each time. Increasing the speed comfort zone was the goal and we usually did it switch or backwards.

I know when I used to ride alot of park features we always used to say your not learning if your not falling...but I think that is all relative to your age, your mortgage payment, and your ability to work(or not to work) if you can't climb a ladder or swing a hammer the next day...

It's the same thing with big drops(cliffs) to I think...the guy who drops the thrirty or fifty footer is necessarily a better skier or rider then the guy who doesn't it's just the fact that he's braver or maybe dumber...probably a little of both... As I get older and way more conservative I find myself opting for pow turns instead of 20 footers and riding around the park instead of through it. When I pull up to a big drop or big booter I used to think "hucking carcass" now I think paying mortgage.

Without out a doubt the fear of falling and fear of loss of control feeling is the hardest obstacle to overcome in snowsports. The quickest learning students I ever worked with were kids with good balance(maybe some transfer sports involved) and kids who played football, lacross, or ice hockey. These kids where used to taking a pounding like it was all part of the game.

I remember one kid from Pittsburgh who I taught several times throughout the season who would wear a steelers starter coat. This kid was a quick learner but he would take some of the nastiest wipe outs I had ever seen...I could barely watch sometimes...but he would always pop right back up. I would say let's take it a little slower and to try to avoid those explosions...and he would look at me like I was crazy and say that was nothing compared to his football practice last week. I said but dude it's hurting me just watching you fall like that. He would say with a big smile "whatever"...take off make a couple turns and explode again.
jimmy
May 18, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Crush wrote


 Quote:
ah ... this is from Martyn Hurn's book "Advance Skiing" which i have posted about several times - a book written in the early 90's. This is possibly the most insightful, eloquent writing on this subject i have ever read. I live by it. I no longer have the book; it fell to pieces after so long. but i saved this single page - page 14 - with this on it -

" .. The concept of control

Fear usually raises its ugly head when you no longer feel in control of a situation. The concept of control is an important one in advanced skiing. Consider for a moment the mogul masters, those bump skiers par excellence. When you watch them, not only are you impressed by the speed and directness with which they approach the bumps, but also by the fact that they seem to be in control. Yet ask yourself if they could actually stop quickly and the answer is, of course, no. So are they in control? In a sense yes and in another no. They are in control because they know that although they cannot stop immediately they can ski down to the bottom and stop there. When you were a beginner you were probably very conscience of the fact that you could not stop immediately, and this is what control meant to you. Yet as you got better you learnt that you could turn to miss obstacles and also that, although you could not actually stop on that spot, you could stop within a few metres and that was fine. As you progressed, so the distance over which your concept of control expanded. But at each hurdle in your development it will still be one of the stumbling blocks, therefore you should develop a strategy for overcoming it each time.
.......
We should examine this idea of control a little bit further because I imagine that for most of you control means keeping your speed down, yet there will come a stage when control will also mean building your speed up or at least maintaining it. This leads to another notion - that of whether you ski offensively or defensively. "

Crush
May 18, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
J - well u know how i ski. most of it comes from knowing i can do it. speed de-sensation experience, and being very balanced so my skeleton and core muscles are up to par and can keep up with the terrain - and that lets me relax.

if u are relaxed, your muscles are a lot less busy, so they can react quickly.

having experience in being 102% and going a little out of control lets your body learn how to get it back in control. it solves problems and remembers - the trick is to feed it problems and not get busted up!

your eyes are #1 important - where to look. i look ahead at where i want to end up at the end of a turn and keep looking ... i get there unless it is not possible given my abilities and equipment. it works everywhere, park, steeps, trees, bumps - your body will follow your eyes so look at the right things, next turn, in between trees, top 1/3 of a bump (not the rut-part).

try to make your head go thru first on every turn.

pull the inside foot back even harder than the outside one.

make sure the inside hip is behind the inside foot (or lead with the outside hip) - it will make you more square over your skis and stronger to absorb rough terrain. A lot of "countering" is so '90's now - don't do it unless you r in a tight chute (where u can't make GS turns) that's very steep - so you make a blocking turn.

as you make each turn, put your hands out in front of you and make them touch near the beginning; it will make a nice position for the turn.

be gentile with your edges when going very fast - the faster you go the more slow you should move. when u edge almost think in your mind as your edges go up .. tick ... tick tic tic tic ... tick ! and then you are at your edge angle - work up to it and let it build.

in bumps don't "crunch up" but have a "proud position" and make your back very straight and stand up tall. it feels scary but it works when you go fast in bumps. your body becomes a ramrod and your legs (keep your knees rubbing against each other - your legs will act like mountain bike front forks) work like a suspension system - and never relax !!!!

if you are in the back seat, pull your feet backward under you like you are trying to kick your own [censored]. at the same time do a stomach crunch and grunt like u are in a gym - it works.
- also, push your chest forward , my arms are usually wild like bode m. , but we both try to do the same thing - huck torso forward.

emergency stop - lay down on the inside hip and dig your outside ski (area just under the foot) into the snow with your outside hand over the ski and try to make and arc with it - man you can stop really quick!

emergency self-arrest - lie on one side and grab both poles in both hands. jam your poles into the snow over your head, and pull the poles (with both hands) down until they are under your side near your waist, and the put all your weight on them. they will stop you from falling on things greater than 35 degrees.

put skis on in powder - find the skis (heh, usually within 6 feet of where they came off), pack down an area, sit, stick ski in the snow in front of you so tails are in the snow and the tips point straight up, or better lean a little towards you. clear each binding, an try to put your boot back into the binding - sometimes you have to grab your ski in front of you and force it back on your boot. when two skis are on, just push them over stand up on them and away you go?

and some late-feb day, pick a blue run with some little bumps on it , with no one on the run. straight-line it and make your body like a bow-spirit on a ship, and see how easy it can be to go fast when in balance - it can surprised you!

- there - now you have enough ammo to ski 102 % !
JohnL
May 18, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
J - well u know how i ski. most of it comes from knowing i can do it. speed de-sensation experience, and being very balanced so my skeleton and core muscles are up to par and can keep up with the terrain - and that lets me relax.

if u are relaxed, your muscles are a lot less busy, so they can react quickly.

having experience in being 102% and going a little out of control lets your body learn how to get it back in control. it solves problems and remembers - the trick is to feed it problems and not get busted up!

your eyes are #1 important - where to look. i look ahead at where i want to end up at the end of a turn and keep looking ...


Off the top of my head, I've skied with Roger Z (Dick Cheney in blue jeans), Tromano, Sheena, Johnfmh, wgo, Denis, Jimmy, Mrs. Jimmy, JimK, Tommo, Comprex, Ro, Telerod, Laurel Hill Crazie, Marcus, JohnnysZoo, and plenty of Barking Bears. And some dude named Crush. Great apologies to those who I'm forgetting for the moment.

With the possible exception of Bushwacker (Josh), no one I've skied with lets their skis run as well as does el Crush.

As Crush said, vision (aka looking several turns ahead) is extremely important. So is being relaxed and being able to adapt to changing terrain.

But, there is a lot more to it than that. What else?

Conditioning. I'm over 40 and work a desk job. I'm in pretty decent shape for my age, but I don't ski 6 days a week. (8 days a week if you're a Beatle.) I also don't work out as much as I used to, and don't exercise every day. Nowadays, my core muscles get their biggest workout attempting to hold all the beer calories I imbibe in their proper place. Makes a huge difference when hitting it hard. Plus ski area locals tend to ski their butts off for 3-4 hours a day and call it a day. Us touristas tend to ski longer days when we do hit the slopes, and we just aren't in good enough shape to nail more than 3-4 runs a day very hard.

Timing. Do anything six days a week and it feels more comfortable. There is usually a point in my ski day where I feel my timing is locked in and I can let my skis run totally. By that point, my body is generally getting tired and I'm not sure if it is safe to push it that hard. If I only lived next to a ski area ...
JohnL
May 18, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
 Quote:
Where's the inherent trust in your ability come from? We were skiing soft spring bumps, well SCWVA was skiing the bumps i was doing more like tromano described, trying to carve turns thru and around them, using way to much energy. Scott says to me "you have plenty of control, why don't you try skiing a straighter line?" plenty of control, too much control? I was in control but too much, skiing too conservative a line. I didn't realize that i already had the ability to control my speed in those bumps. My desire to always be in "control" was holding me back.

Side slip and pivot slip drills are supposed to teach and develop what? Edge control, but the other part of the drill is the part where you are slipping, somewhat out of control. Falling down doesn't necessarily improve one's skiing but one's skiing won't improve without falling down a bit. Doesn't matter what level your stuck at, i think you have give up control, or your mental comfort zone to get unstuck?


Having skied with you, your main issue on tougher slopes is keeping your upper body facing downhill. Same weakness for myself on tougher slopes, but our pucker limit is a bit different.

Solution for each of us?

Locking in our technique on easier slopes so it is bulletproof. Easier said than done, since easier slopes don't expose weaknesses as do tougher ones. You think you are skiing well, but you really aren't. For you, concentrate on turn initiation. For both of us, drills to maintain upper body square to the fall line. Holding ski poles across the body is a good one.

Conditioning.

Skiing tougher terrain more often, so our bodies get used to it. Mountain goats probably have pretty sucky balance when they're born, but their balance improves pretty darn quickly. Or else they end up feeding the ecosystem down in the valleys.
Crush
May 19, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
 Originally Posted By: JohnL

.... Nowadays, my core muscles get their biggest workout attempting to hold all the beer calories I imbibe in their proper place. Makes a huge difference when hitting it hard. Plus ski area locals tend to ski their butts off for 3-4 hours a day and call it a day. Us touristas tend to ski longer days when we do hit the slopes, and we just aren't in good enough shape to nail more than 3-4 runs a day very hard. ... There is usually a point in my ski day where I feel my timing is locked in and I can let my skis run totally. ...

100% perfect insight - and i find i have this window during the day (something around 12-1 pm ) where i feel very strong . before or after that, it sort of tapers off ... until 3:00 pm comes and then i think about alcohol !!!
Crush
May 19, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
 Originally Posted By: jimmy
... trying to carve turns thru and around them, using way to much energy. Scott says to me "you have plenty of control, why don't you try skiing a straighter line?" plenty of control, too much control? I was in control but too much, skiing too conservative a line. I didn't realize that i already had the ability to control my speed in those bumps. My desire to always be in "control" was holding me back. ...


ah - yes . hit the top 1/3 of the bump (the "sweet spot" ) and don't drop in the trough too much. think about just deflecting off the bump, not really making a for-real turn. you will go very fast, but again, what does it matter if u can absorb the bumps and keep in balance?

find a nice soft, wet set of bumps, only 4-6 of them, on a slope you feel you can straight-line on, and from a stop just straight-line thru the bumps and concentrate only on absorbing them. .. let your feet go up and down, your upper body straight and not moving - a great way to gradually see what you can do.

My limit always comes when they start coming up too fast for me to shove my feet down the backside of the bump enough, or the absorption i have to do on the next bump (a big deep bump) at the speed i am going freaks me out because i don't feel i have the strength to do it (most of the time i find i can - well ok *some* of the time) . when i had clinic with Shawn Smith, i was amazed how he could let his knees come all the way up to his chest and then straighten out completely, like a giant leg press.

as JohnL said - we non-pros just don't have the physical training and power to do that kind of stuff - so what? just see how much you can do with what you have - it might surprise you!
Roger Z
May 19, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
 Quote:
trying to carve turns thru and around them, using way to much energy. Scott says to me "you have plenty of control, why don't you try skiing a straighter line?" plenty of control, too much control? I was in control but too much, skiing too conservative a line. I didn't realize that i already had the ability to control my speed in those bumps. My desire to always be in "control" was holding me back


I found that I made my greatest improvement in skiing moguls when I finally decided to stop trying to ski them the way I thought they were supposed to be skied, and start skiing them the way I enjoyed going through them instead. For me, that meant coming over the top of the mogul. I'd edge at the top then ski off the back side, edge the bottom, and let the ride up the next bump keep my speed in control.

What happened is over time, I got more and more used to the troughs, what it meant to make a turn in them, and was able to start transferring that subconscious knowledge into linking turns inside the troughs as opposed to through them (another big secret to mogul skiing- you don't turn ON THE MOGUL. You are executing your turn dead center in the trough, with your weight forward your tails sweep off the mogul behind you- when you're leaning back they grab the mogul behind you, point you forward and off you go like a rocket. You lean forward, execute at the center of the trough and just absorb the mogul with your knee as you sweep around it to lock in your next turn in the next trough).

Also, I was building confidence that I was in control in the moguls, not being beaten by them but instead skiing them. That helped encourage me to go faster with more confidence, and simply put going up-and-over is not a good way to ski a mogul fast. So I got used to the moguls coming at me quicker, I gained confidence in my ability to ski them, and I began to get a feel- that subconscious thing we're talking about- about how to turn in the trough. All three of which led me into better and better trough skiing.

That said, I still use the up-and-over technique in two mogul conditions: ice, and early season. Icy troughs are virtually impossible unless you have a phenomenal edge and are indifferent to slamming into rock-solid moguls at top speed. Early season conditions are even worse, as the troughs are almost always scraped out to rocks or bare spots. Up-and-over is a survival technique in those conditions but when you get the rhythm and are mogul hopping, avoiding the stones and making nice, smooth, linked, packed-powder turns on what otherwise looks like a bomb field, you feel REAL GOOD at the bottom of the run, like you earned it. So up-and-over is not a technique, I've found, to be discarded but rather- like everything for a more advanced skier- one more quiver to use in your arsenal as you come to be able to conquer the full mountain under any condition.
skier219
May 22, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
The entire notion of control and technique falls into the mental side of skiing for me. Ironically, I only tend to think about it when I am not being challenged. So on a day trip to Wintergreen for instance, I can spend a lot of time working on control and refining technique because those things are foremost in my mind.

On the other hand, throw me into some technical terrain, like a steep chute with make-or-break turns, and that's where my skiing really cranks up a notch. My mind is void of any thoughts about technique or control, and it ends up being some of the best skiing I ever do. Even now, I can feel the sense of excitement, adrenaline, and purpose I get in those situations. That state of mind leads to strong, powerful skiing and with it comes whatever natural control and technique I have developed over the years. You can't think about control and technique in those situations, it has to be there as something you draw on without thought.

I guarantee that if I went into those gnarly situations thinking about control and technique, I would screw it up, blow a turn or something, and then the whole thing would go down the toilet (same happens when I am skiing for the camera or an audience -- I'm doomed). I know many times I will be skiing with people who take a long time planning a line and thinking about the run, and some of that is good. But at some point I just need to put my skis into the fall line and let the action guide me through. I am a better skier thinking on the fly and reacting than I am in planning out turns.

I once heard someone wise on Epic ski talk about over-controlled, deliberate skiing as being a series of first turns, and that it might make all the turns be a struggle, and he was right. So I think there's as much to be said for diving in, getting that first turn out of the way, and then moving on to the rest of the run. Don't make a series of "first turns" down the hill by thinking too much. You'll never get into the groove.

Skiing is like the lightsaber in Star Wars -- you're better off using the force than trying to think about it! Just be sure you possess the force before you dive into that chute!! \:D Yoda patrol ain't going to show up and save your butt!! \:o
Crush
May 22, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
 Originally Posted By: skier219
... My mind is void of any thoughts about technique or control, and it ends up being some of the best skiing I ever do. ...



hee hee wee -eeeee-lll yeah went i am a spaz with no brain i ski the best - just like fuc- errr ok scre- ...right u know the in-and-out, the horizontal mambo - the-thang-u-do, the hide-the-salami, the yo-mama, the bang-hoink, the train-in-the tunnel, the-eel-visiting-the-cave, the-slide-slide, dangerous-when-wet, the-jelly-roll, doing-the-nasty, walking-the-dog, getting-it-on, the-uh-uuuh-uuuhhh, slammin', gettin-lucky, gettin-yo-groove-on, the-lay-lay-dance, bang-n'-playin-the-fiddle, tussle-in-the-sheets, the-smak-dowm, layin-ut-out, doggie-dog, freak-freak, and of course - intercourse !!!!

Yeahh - shag-a-delic !!!

JohnL
May 22, 2008
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Folks, Crush has just entered the building.
Roger Z
May 22, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Seriously if Crush is on Facebook or something, he needs to put that on his quote page...
skier219
May 23, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Crush needs more control, not less!
Crush
May 24, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
 Originally Posted By: skier219
Crush needs more control, not less!


;-)
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