February 14, 2006

More self analysis

Once again I didn't really carry the video camera quite often enough, so I don't have as much footage as I'd like. I have to remember that a) sometimes you'll plan to use the camera and then decide against it, b) it's not heavy and I'm unlikely to break it even if it's strapped to my head and c) the results are always useful even if they're not pretty.

As usual I didn't take the camera out at all on the first week which means we're somewhat lacking in "normal" ski footage to pull apart. Still, I can pull my technique apart from memory and in the interest of remembering how things are going that's what I'll do.

Note this is probably only of interest to me!

As I said back before the trip I had some, specific, goals for this trip. Namely to be more dynamic in the off-piste steep and deep. Well, we didn't have a great deal of deep, unfortunately, but I skied a fair amount of fairly cruddy off piste and I skied it considerably better than I did last season. No more "super tanker" turns, instead I was a bunny rabbit (don't try and picture that one at home), bouncing dynamically from one turn to the next... So I can tick off that goal for the Megève trip and try and include deeper and steeper testing in Colorado in a few weeks.

Something that I'd almost forgotten from last season was how much better my stance and general position on the skis is now. This was the main change last season. After 85 days on snow I felt comfortable all the time in all kinds of situations. This is "a good thing". I'm simply much more balanced on my skis and my weight and body seems to stay "stacked up" above my feet all the time, the fore-aft swing that I used to have at the tail end of the turn is gone for good on all terrain and in all conditions, as is most of my shoulder rotation. I still need to work on my arms and that has to be the number one item on my goals list for Colorado. The arms are much better thanks to me holding my arms in the "correct" ski position during many of my exercises at the gym; I must have trained some muscle memory as I always used to find it hard to keep my arms up and forward and now it's much more natural... There's still work to do though, mainly to stop the pole plant dragging the arm back (flick the wrists) which will cause rotation which will be amplified by challenging conditions.

I can safely say that I wasn't "in the back seat" at all for the whole of the trip and this translates to much more control. I did have a couple of instances of the "juddering turning ski" but as I said last season, this seems to be a minor weight distribution thing that only affects me when skiing steep slopes fast and is now very easy to fix once I feel it starting to happen (by increasing commitment and moving my hips fractionally forwards and angulating more).

I skied longer and faster than I have done before; though the one downside of all this improvement is that I failed to find any steeps that were really steep. Even my old friends Voltigeur and the Michel Dujon blacks seemed flatter this year; still, it meant that I could move on to practicing skiing them straight down the fall line in controlled short swings whilst maintaining the same speed no matter what the slope did...

So, all in all a good trip for me but more work to do in Colorado.


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Posted by Len at February 14, 2006 06:31 AM | Categories: General
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