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  1. #21
    Ok, I'm back : )

    I wanted to post one thing on another subject before we discuss moguls...

    There is a lot of debate online these days about how much hip angulation someone should have. I have always just done what feels right...

    Here is an interesting couple of articles that discusses what this top race coach believes is the proper modern technique. He seems to think that this way should become much more prominent over the next several years.

    What this coach is discussing here fits fairly well with what I've always 'felt' working well.

    Of all of the ski schools in the interski (all the schools in the world), I have often thought that the Italians are perhaps skiing the most 'naturally'. I think their way also fits fairly well with what is discussed above. I don't see any kinking or anything blatantly added in their skiing.

    The Italians:
    Last edited by '9'; July 2nd, 2014 at 05:33 PM.

  2. #22
    From Allen,
    Again great work and kudos to all the Saunders for offering up such wonderful stuff !!!
    Thanks for watching and enjoying the videos : )

    More amazing stuff !!! Now you've done it though. I really need some tips on how to approach moguls..... ....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.
    The "styles" video shows a good possible learning progression, so I think I can answer your question well by discussing it in some more detail.

    The shot at 1:18 shows a pivot slip. This can be done at slower speeds than what I show there. The way that I am turning here is... I would say that I am rotating at the highest point on the bump. In other words, I am waiting until I am centered on the top of the bump at the point when the snow is right under my feet... At this point, my tips and tails are either in the air on either side of the high point, or they at least don't have much weight on them. If you stand still on this point on the bump, you will notice that with your tips and tails off the snow (or pretty much off the snow), you can wiggle, using your poles to push back and forth, rotating, back and forth as if you're doing part of a 360 in the air. On a bump with a good shape, you could probably rotate almost 45 degrees left and right if you were anchored well enough with your poles. We're spinning back and forth to the point where your tips or tails will hit the snow and stop you from rotating further. Spinning back and forth in place like a top with your feet on the high point of the bump. This is essentially what a pivot slip is.

    You can start out really slowly. Do this rotation standing still to feel it. While rotating, keep your feet together and your skis parallel. Let's say that the natural path of the next mogul (the path flowing water would take) dictates that you will be making a left turn on it. Simply rotate standing still on your high point until you are pointed left about as far as you can rotate. Hold it there then side slip down to the next mogul. Side slip with enough of an angle so that you are stopped in that left turn on the next bump. Proceed to the next high point. After this high point we are assuming a natural flow to the 'right'. Stand still on that high point and rotate right (you can also stand there rotating back and forth first if you want to feel it). Rotate right, then side slip down into the next natural right, slow enough so that you'll be stopped there again before proceeding. Proceed to the next high point and repeat. You can then go slightly faster and not completely stop on each high point or each bottom of each turn... just connect the dots and start to keep continuous motion. Don't worry about body position or anything, just focus on an effective rotation at the high point and an effective side slip down from that high point.

    It's helpful to choose a path that like, left, right, left, right, left, right... Choosing a good line is always a good idea in all types of skiing.

    Now in the "styles" video, in reference to that pivot shot I say "This is just a slight variation of that slowest speed". This is true. Let's look at another part of the video at this point because I play the sequence slightly differently the second time. If you look at "shot 1" at 3:35 and then the one right after it at 3:43 (and I guess the one after that too at 3:53)... the difference between these shots and the pivot slip shot is only a slight variation. After you master the pivot thing, just try to make your turns rounder. Trying to make your turns rounder will naturally cause you to take a wider path, more to the outside. Start out going really slow, then you can make them faster as you are able. These are carvier turns than a pivot slip, but anything that would be in between the pivot slip and these rounder carves is also a good step to go through. Any mixing is ok. You can see some mixing with the pivot technique in the slowest shot at 3:43 when my skis slide sideways briefly at one point. These carves are not 100% razor's edge carves. These carvier ones go more around the outside than the pivot slip which cuts corners off the moguls. The carvier ones are the same line that you see in the shot at 3:09.

    Example A does not involve any pivoting, it's pretty carved... but because of how direct it is, it also cuts corners taking a line that is similar in that way to what you'll do with a pivot slip. There is overlap, you see. Mixing the two ways is ok because they're basically one and the same. A pivot slip would make a really wide track if you could see your tracks... they'd be about as wide as your skis are long especially if you're going slow. To make a carvier turn you can think about trying to make your tracks less wide. To go from the pivot to something carvier you will circle around each mogul more and cut the corners less. Master the pivot slip first with stops, then without complete stops... continue until you can go down the moguls with mild speed... once you can do that you can easily work on the rounder ones like what we see in 3:43 and 3:53.

    Moving forward from there it becomes more about absorption in order to increase speed. Don't worry about it too much until you can do what's discussed above... you might just incorporate it a little more as you go, as you feel comfortable

    How's that all sound?
    Last edited by '9'; July 2nd, 2014 at 03:19 PM.

  3. #23
    I'm not sure if anyone looked at that yet, but I just edited it a lot.

  4. #24
    From Superbman:
    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.
    I've started to find it unusual how ideological many people in the online community can be. It's as if they're so gung-ho about how they're doing things that they feel the need to come online and tell about it, and therefore, many forums attract a very unusual small-percentage of skiers. When I go to the resort on a weekend when there are over 10,000 people there... When I look at the lift line with over 100 people in it, I doubt that even 1% of the people standing there are idealized in any way. They just ski from an athletic point of view.
    Last edited by '9'; July 2nd, 2014 at 05:14 PM.

  5. #25
    Here for a holiday
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
    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.
    Hi LF !

    As always your questions and comments are really deep and insightful !!!

    O.K. I ski in the east so yeah, there's lots of ice and hardpack.
    I am a weekend warrior or in my case at present a Monday and Tuesday warrior. I get about 25 -30 days in but remember a good portion of that time is spent teaching.
    And the $64,000 dollar question...are there easy, as in beginner terrain barely there

    So the last couple of years they have been making snow on an intermediate section (rather long too) which had pretty much been abandoned but I think as you are suggesting it was clear that there were no even intermediate bumps. This is now basically the "intermediate bump run". I'm grateful for that except these bumps are NOT barely there,get very close together and sharp and icy and go on for a long way. As I am experiencing this I can tell you this is not a good place to learn bumps. Close, sharp and icy is not really conducive to learning. I am usually intimidated and in a mess before I even get started. There is so much emphasis on carving and groomed terrain and I have to give the Mtn credit for making sooooooooooo much snow and grooming it soooooooooooo well but... there is nary a place (as you have so keenly queried) to LEARN bumps. They tend to mow down (often to my great relief) all bumps and pool table groom the terrain. Really amazing but with no consciousness toward creating gradually more difficult bump runs with the aim of facilitating the aspiring bump skiers skill.

    And as you so keenly suspected what is left is big honkin' steep icy gnarly bumps on steep slopes where I feel like every turn is like diving down a steep chute. I kind of laugh when I see some of the techniques put forth for skiing big round soft bumps that are pretty far apart. That is just not my reality. Thank you for helping me to clarify this. It is not and can not be an excuse. I simply can not move forward unless I can wrap my head, heart and technique around this. Bumps frankly scare, embarrass and intimidate me now and this really needs to change.

    Thanks, I always appreciate you giving me the value of your precoius time and considerable intellect.


  6. #26
    My horse knows his own way home Snow Sport Instructor SMJ's Avatar
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    Hey Allen, your situation is exactly the same as mine. I also ski in the east and don't find many easy bumps to learn on. When I go out West, which I do for a week every year, I find lots of great learning bumps. Unfortunately a week of that followed by returning to icy east bumps doesn't make for a lot of progress year to year.

    All I can say is good luck! (To both of us.)
    I need to be a conqueror, a liberator of my potential, kept prisoner all these years.

  7. #27
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    Allen, two more questions before I and hopefully others jump in with suggestions on how to build bump skills on difficult bump terrain when that's all that's available. I am intimately familiar with your situation, just like SMJ is. I bet we both can offer good advice.

    25-30 days is plenty enough to make some headway during a season, but of course that depends on how much of that time is yours and how much is teaching (I'm assuming ski instruction) and what you do when you are not teaching. Can you say more about how much do-what-you-want-free-skiing-time you get in during those 25-30 days on snow?

    Second, do you have the freedom during those 25-30 days to go ski at another mountain different from the one where you teach? I just looked up Huntington, NY. Looks like you are on Long Island, so you must drive some distance to ski if I've got your location right. If you can go to another mountain and use a letter from your ski school to get yourself a free lift ticket, is there one that maintains easy-peasy bump terrain on a green or easy blue slope? If so, that would give you an entire day for working on nothing but bumps. If you could do this one day a week, and only ski bumps all day long, you'd be good to go by the middle of the season and could transfer your bump training to your own mountain. That's what I did to up my bump skills. My mountain has great "Level III" frozen-solid-tightly-spaced-deeply-rutted bumps.

    I do have some suggestions in either case, and I'm sure others will too, but I want to hear your responses to these last questions before I jump in.
    Last edited by LiquidFeet; July 8th, 2014 at 09:48 AM.

  8. #28
    Allen, how does what I said in post #22 sound to you?

    Does it sound helpful?

    I could explain more, or differently if you want.

  9. #29
    Here for a holiday
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    Hi Blake,
    Please don't take my tardiness as a lack of gratitude !!! Not only am I am simply thrilled that people like you an LF will take the time and effort to help I really am honored to be in such company. I just wanted to wait until I could sit down and answer thoughtfully the careful, thoughtful suggestions you guys made. I answered LF this morning and was just sitting down to answer you when I saw your post. So please...I am very grateful to you guys !!!

    I carefully went back and watched the video again (as well as the 2012 posts and the Japanese video) and paid close attention to all the time signatures and the comments that you made relating to each of them. Please tell me if this is a correct if much simplified focus that I can take away to at least begin.

    O.K. I think that your telling me that's it's O.K. to focus on the pivot first. Slowing the pivot down or "widening it" to more of a carve can come with time. Very importantly I feel like your saying it's O.K. to forget about trying to focus on absorption for now. It's a lot to try to do it all at once. You're obviously doing both at lightning speed. As much as I appreciate it and am awed by it, it makes my head spin to try to think about absorbing such huge bumps. I don't think it's anywhere near my reality to absorb those things at this point. I do feel however that I could focus on the turning part. I know that sounds pretty stilted but that's where I am at right now.

    What about the feeling that even with a good pivot point how the heck do you ride that trough, stay forward in what is bound to be a steep pitch between bumps and then end up ready for the next turn. Should I be focused on a "reverse turn" i.e. extending and pivoting at the same time and flexing at the bottom of the turn. Have I answered my own question unknowingly ? Does this take care of the absorption ? Sorry for all my confusion. You may think twice about getting into this with me. This is the level of my confusion right now. So you can imagine when I stand at the top of a bump run I am just totally flummoxed. I just don't know what I am supposed to be focusing on. Is the "reverse" thing key. If I am thinking about how I make turns on the groomed "two dimensional" surface so much of my concentration is now going into ... not going "up" but extending down the hill, softening the inside leg while extending the new outside leg, "pedaling" and keeping that smooth exchange going while staying forward in my boots. Is there a huge component of extending to pivot with both legs and flexing at the bottom of the turn with both legs ? O.K. you can see what's happening here. I am staring to get tied in knots and this is pretty much what happens out on the hill which basically results in brain lock and the physical equivalent i.e. rigid limbs and absurd movement. Aaaaarrrrrggggg****** !!!!!!!!!!

    Last edited by Allen; July 8th, 2014 at 05:10 PM.

  10. #30
    Moderator Snow Sport InstructorSkier Village Coach LiquidFeet's Avatar
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    Allen, don't forget to answer my last two questions!


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