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  1. #11
    Living in a van down by the river Ski Patrol
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    Are there any compromise skis, in your opinion? Say a narrower twin tip with camber, or something like the new Icelantic Pilgrim SKNY? Or, maybe the reverse question is more apt, what is the most versatile mogul ski?

    My question directly related to your video is, if you had only one ski (or one non-mogul ski), how would you ski moguls? In the rounder style? The slightly slower zipper line style? I understand WC level bumps skiing requires the right tool just as WC slalom level racing requires a race-room sl ski.

    what are you using in the off-piste all mountain skiing?

  2. #12
    Here is an interesting video that we can relate to the natural skiing video...

    What you see here is that each ski school has their own way of skiing. If you think about how these styles developed throughout the years that these ski schools have been in existence, a lot of the technique probably came from someone simply feeling what seemed right to them and then passing it on to the other skiers in the group. Every country looks different. The French, for example, look nothing like the other countries. I believe that this is because for the people in France that were integral in developing this style, this way was right for them. The Koreans look quite a bit different than anyone else, and also may be likely to have unique body shapes compared to the Europeans, again, for the guys over there that put the most thought into their technique, this way was right for them. While the people who join later and master these predefined, specific techniques may not be skiing naturally the guys who developed these ways, I believe were skiing naturally, doing what felt right to them. The differences between countries shows the wide range of movement and positioning patterns that could be right for any person.

    http://youtu.be/LEGbfm5DUmI

  3. #13
    Are there any compromise skis, in your opinion? Say a narrower twin tip with camber, or something like the new Icelantic Pilgrim SKNY? Or, maybe the reverse question is more apt, what is the most versatile mogul ski?
    The problem with things like that Icelantic is that the tips are still pretty wide. It helps to have your feet together in the moguls because moguls are uneven and the farther apart your legs are, the more they are not going to be on the same plane. Those tips will want to overlap.

    The closer a ski is to the shape of a mogul ski, the better it will be for moguls. If you were missing one important golf club, like a sand wedge, I guess the next best thing would be a pitching wedge and you'd use that in sand... if you didn't have that, I guess a 9 iron... it's less and less of a compromise the farther off you get. Conversely, the farther you get from the shape of a mogul ski, the more versatile it'll probably be. I think that having more than one ski is important. Just like you shouldn't play golf with one club.

    My question directly related to your video is, if you had only one ski (or one non-mogul ski), how would you ski moguls? In the rounder style? The slightly slower zipper line style? I understand WC level bumps skiing requires the right tool just as WC slalom level racing requires a race-room sl ski.
    From age 20-25 I skied on one ski. It was the Dynastar 4X4 which was a mid-fat. I would ski moguls in my usual direct and fast way (Example A in the video). I could do it fine. We even have a little video from back then, and my mogul skiing was still similar to what you see now. It's just significantly harder, and for someone learning it would be horribly harder. I've heard than John Smart skis the Olympic way on mid-fats during some of his camps. I think it's not so bad IF you can already do it really, really well on a regular mogul ski and you have already learned. Non-mogul skis would not be a very good plan for someone learning.

    K2 just stopped making their mogul ski, just like so many other brands. There are now only four brands making mogul skis. People don't understand how important they are. ID One and Dynastar are the only ones left (and maybe Hart and Volkl). I may buy ID Ones next just because they are a company that is trying to fill the market gap and I want to support the making of mogul skis.

    what are you using in the off-piste all mountain skiing?
    Mainly what you see is the Salomon XT850 Enduro from 2012. I may replace that with the blue "pro" Nordica Fire Arrow. I already have the black "EDT" fire arrow. I have suspected for a while that Nordica is now making the best skis, and I have confirmed that to an extent this year when I got on the EDT. That ski is too explosive though, for anything but the groomed. So I may end up with the blue one as well. I also have a fat Nordica 'Girish' that you see in a couple deeper, crustier shots in the video. I may end up with 3 Nordicas next year. If I don't, I'll see if I can figure out what that Salomon Enduro XT850 turned into. Anyone know? I don't think they're selling the same model under the same name.

    For a few years there I thought that Nordica was the only brand that was still selling mosty real skis. For a few years, they were almost the only thing I would see in the shop that wasn't a twin-tip or something.

  4. #14
    I have my own seat in the pub Skier Village Coach Coach Rick's Avatar
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    Blake, excellent job! Have you introduced your "skiing natural" concept elsewhere on the Internet before this project, and if so how was it received? I'm not monitoring the web these days, but I'm betting if it get's some exposure it's going to be the subject of much conversation, both supportive and not.

    I like it, a lot. Too often people get stuck on favorite techniques, favorite positions, right vs wrong, when in reality it's skill versatility blended with personal style that makes for truly strong skiers. Searching for and attempting to emulate a particular favored "look" can become confining and limiting to development. People are just put together differently. Two people can be making the same good turns, demonstrating the same level and type of edge control, in the same state of balance, yet because of individual body type look (out of necessity) quite different. Or, they can intentionally be using different technique and both be skiing great. It's when the constraints of popular belief are severed that people can truly begin to spread their wings and grow as skiers.

    I have fond memories of several students who where mystified that I was teaching them to intentionally introduce skid into their turns. They'd been taught that skidding was wrong, that it's a lower level form of skiing, and that they should strive to learn to carve so they can forever more abandon skidded turns. Within an hour they were thanking me for giving them permission to ski "wrong", and expounding on how much it had done for their confidence and competence.


    Keep up the good work, Blake.

    And oh, by the way,,,,,, excellent narration work too. Really sounds professional!

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  5. #15
    Blake, excellent job! Have you introduced your "skiing natural" concept elsewhere on the Internet before this project, and if so how was it received? I'm not monitoring the web these days, but I'm betting if it get's some exposure it's going to be the subject of much conversation, both supportive and not.
    lol... yeah : )

    I like it, a lot. Too often people get stuck on favorite techniques, favorite positions, right vs wrong, when in reality it's skill versatility blended with personal style that makes for truly strong skiers. Searching for and attempting to emulate a particular favored "look" can become confining and limiting to development. People are just put together differently. Two people can be making the same good turns, demonstrating the same level and type of edge control, in the same state of balance, yet because of individual body type look (out of necessity) quite different. Or, they can intentionally be using different technique and both be skiing great. It's when the constraints of popular belief are severed that people can truly begin to spread their wings and grow as skiers.
    This is exactly what I'm trying to say... I'm glad it makes sense : )

    Keep up the good work, Blake.
    Thanks

    Keep an eye out for a personal message from me soon : )

  6. #16
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    Hey Blake,
    More amazing stuff !!! Now you've done it though. I really need some tips on how to approach moguls. I've tried but am clueless and yes all the emphasis on carving and groomed technique is filling my head and perhaps obscuring what I should be focusing on in moguls. Great philosophy on "natural skiing", common sense and intelligence, fancy that. And yes, can't give Rick enough props for bringing common sense and intelligence to bear and offering it to all of us. Wow this could be a trend !!! Anyway please feel free to offer some advice on how to start in bumps. I've tried flailing away, tried carving, pivoting, keeping my zipper down the hill, trying to keep my hips facing down the hill, on and on but I'm just still awful. After seeing you go through the bumps and watching the "styles" video I've got to think you've got some ideas on a proper learning progression.

    Again great work and kudos to all the Saunders for offering up such wonderful stuff !!!

    P.S. Also sent you a pretty badly spelled and grammatically rough message as I wrestled with my ipod touch yesterday which should probably pop up in "personal notification". No less heartfelt even if grammatically bad.

    Thanks,
    Allen

  7. #17
    Living in a van down by the river Ski Patrol
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    Yeah, Rick's forum has become the place to go for level-headed, non-ideological driven discussions about all things skiing. That's why hey quality stuff like Blake's is so well received here.

  8. #18
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Hey Blake,
    More amazing stuff !!! Now you've done it though. I really need some tips on how to approach moguls. I've tried but am clueless and yes all the emphasis on carving and groomed technique is filling my head and perhaps obscuring what I should be focusing on in moguls. Great philosophy on "natural skiing", common sense and intelligence, fancy that. And yes, can't give Rick enough props for bringing common sense and intelligence to bear and offering it to all of us. Wow this could be a trend !!! Anyway please feel free to offer some advice on how to start in bumps. I've tried flailing away, tried carving, pivoting, keeping my zipper down the hill, trying to keep my hips facing down the hill, on and on but I'm just still awful. After seeing you go through the bumps and watching the "styles" video I've got to think you've got some ideas on a proper learning progression.

    Again great work and kudos to all the Saunders for offering up such wonderful stuff !!!

    P.S. Also sent you a pretty badly spelled and grammatically rough message as I wrestled with my ipod touch yesterday which should probably pop up in "personal notification". No less heartfelt even if grammatically bad.

    Thanks,
    Allen
    Allen,
    While Blake's away I'll respond to your request for how to get started in the bumps.

    Can you do pivot slips on a groomer? Pivot slips are you sliding straight down the fall line on a blue groomer, the icier the better, with no travel left nor right. You pivot your skis so they face all the way to the left then face all the way to the right as you side-slip down the hill facing one direction then the other. Your hips stay facing mostly or fully downhill the whole way, jacket zipper and all. It's a great beginning drill to master before getting into the bumps.

    There are many reasons why this drill helps prepare skiers for bumps, but I'll not get into that right now. Can you do them (they are difficult!)?

  9. #19
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    Hi LF,
    Yes, oddly or disturbingly, yes I can do them pretty well. I have a concept of the natural lead created when hips are countered, I can keep facing down the hill but the bumps just freak me out and confound me. Maybe it's HAVING to turn. Maybe its having to deal with the "three dimensional aspect", absorbing as well as going left and right. I just become completely clueless. I get REALLY stiff and generally feel like I completely regress. The slope suddenly seems incredibly steep. In big steep bumps every turn is an event, as I look to make a turn I cannot fathom how I will stay forward and in control as I dive down that big steep gully. In small bumps that are closer together my skis are suddenly 20 ft long and I just get instantly tripped up. I have generally avoided bumps but I can no longer do that. I am a very hard worker but the level at which bumps confound me is ridiculous. I can't claim skill I don't have but I am relatively respectable on the groomed but just absurdly bad in the bumps. I don't get to the point of using anything I have learned. I just immediately regress.

    Thanks for getting into this with me. It's really the next frontier and I have to "conquer" it. I am spending a lot of time on the ski machine. I am watching a lot of video, trying to put good images in there. I must admit when I watch good bump skiers I just have no idea how they are doing what they are doing. Even if I know the theory I just can't imagine how they actually do it.

    All suggestions gratefully accepted !!!

    Thanks,
    Allen

  10. #20
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    Allen, I'm glad to hear you can do pivot slips. That sets you up well for one way to handle bumps.

    ---Where do you ski?
    ---How many days per season do you get?
    ---Are there easy bumps available on your mountain? I mean EASY, as in barely-there bumps?
    ---Or are you stuck learning bumps on steep blue runs with nothing but big icy monsters?

    How you approach learning to ski them depends on what you have to deal with.

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