Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Skiing dynamically means limit folding at the waist even for expert skiers.

Hip Collapsing robs angles, ski bend, and tip engagement!

Even expert skiers can be seen collapsing their hips to reduce pressure. When the timing and correct movements of leg retraction and counteracting aren't coordinated or are miss-timed that's the result.

This is an expert skier, however, this skier is giving up fore-aft balance and power because the timing of collapsing the hips is too early. This reduces tip pressure and also moves the hips back on the skis. 


If you look at the outside right hip it is open and there is no folding or lowering from the hip. The hip is driving forward to keep the tip leading the arc.

Here you can see the change in hips more extended to hips more collapsed. This results from a lack of counteracting of the hips or staying too square to the skis.

The comparison shows the obvious benefits of keeping the hip and torso up and driving forward. The result is more power in the ski, more tips leading the turn, and higher angles.

Again notice the left hip Counteracted, this gives you more control of the turn and more versatility for a change of angle and turn size without skidding.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Different turns by Odermatt in GS.

This turn by Odermatt shows a strong retraction release. Many analysts would like to point out that Odermatt uses an extension to exit his turns. Nothing could be more false in their analysis. It is incorrect and he doesn't use an extension to exit his turns. That kind of incorrect analysis is pervasive in ski coaching, ski instruction, and teaching. This turn clearly demonstrates a decrease in leg length (bend the legs to release) to access the new angles for the next turn.

Here Odermatt is well positioned coming under the gate ready to begin his movements to start the next arc.

Using a full bending of the legs to absorb the turn angles and forces, Odermatt uses retraction and absorption to put his skis flat on the surface in transition. A retraction or leg bending release reduces the pressure on the skis, making them light often both skis are pulled off the snow when the retraction movement isn't forceful or timed fast enough to keep snow contact. During this period in a transition changing ski angles and engagement is much enhanced due to the lack of resistance of the skis to the snow.
The transition is comprised of a leg bending movement to release pressure and edge angles from the previous arc, while the skis are light the feet can be tipped to the new angles for the next turn. This is a typical flexing retraction release and is most effective for steep slopes and tight turns.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

You can't cheat in "Pure Carved Turns" if you know this simple rule!

I often show my students how to determine if they are pivoting, hip thrusting, or extending too much into the new turn by showing them this very simple "tell".

This is a completion of the turn at the bottom of the arc that requires bending and or retraction of the feet and knees to link pure carved turns.

In this frame, the transition to the new edges has begun; the retraction is not yet complete of the lower or outside leg to match the knee bend of the upper leg.

Now the retraction is complete and during that process, the skis go flat to the snow.

Now we are at the "CRUX" of the matter. This frame tells you if you are truly carving or faking. If the tails of the skis go uphill at this point you pushed yourself out of the previous turn. Other reasons for the tails of the skis going uphill are, you used too much hip thrust to counter or you pivoted your feet while the skis were flat. If the tails follow the tips without a spray coming off the tails you have tipped your lower body properly into the next turn with your skis set on new edges and you have angles for the new turn.

The result is a purely carved turn with only two circular edge lines showing an arc in the snow.


Sunday, December 25, 2022

Power up your skiing using Richie Berger as a model!

In this series of photos and with the text added, I explain the development of high-energy turns used by the world's best skiers. As with all PMTS skiing, the angles are developed through relaxation and inside foot, leg, tipping, and inside leg shortening, or bending.

In my Books and Videos "Anyone can be an Expert Skier 2 and "The Essentials of Skiing";  I explain in detail how this changes your skill levels and ability to ski all turns and terrain. The PMTS teaching System was developed well before either Richi or Marcel Hircher were known to me, however, they both ski perfect PMTS technique.  My books were published before I knew Richi Berger or before Marcel Hirscher won his first World Cup race. Every movement and body change shown here is exactly as I have explained in my books, although my books and videos go into much more detail for learning these exact skiing traits.

With the energy stored in the ski and the potential rebound developed from the previous turn this amount of inclination is possible as long as you have the skills to stay balanced, which are described in the next frames. If your release timing is too late or your outside ski balance and angles aren't creating enough hold and carve, start your counterbalance earlier in the turn.

Here you can see how all great skiers increase counteracting and counterbalance as the turn comes to the finish. All world cup slalom racers show the same movments.

The blue arrow demonstrates he has increased his upper body and hip counteracting. notice that the pole tip has moved forward, his shoulders have leveled with his increase in Counteracting and Counterbalance. He is also being his outside leg shortening or bending to begin his release.

Notice that by the time Richie releases, his shoulders have come to level and his hip counteracting is still help strong, this is the act of holding the CA and releasing the feet, knees, and skis for the transition.


Conparison: By the falline (skis pointed straight down the hill) there is a slight inclination in my turns as well as Richie's. However, if you understand the difference between dumping the hip into the arc first, verses tipping the feet, ankles and skis first, these two frames clearly show the result of the knees and legs moving first that result in these angles developed. 

Follow-up notes: Don't be fooled by how easy this looks. It may also look like the movements are subtle, small or require little effort or exaggeration. I can tell you from having worked on these movements for decades these movements are not subtle, they require full engagement and commitment. 

Friday, November 18, 2022

Skiing at the highest level: How to Transition with Fore/aft Balance preparation.

       The PMTS Transition as applied by World Cup racers.

All skiers at any level can learn to use the World Cup PMTS Transition. We teach this at our Harb Ski Camps to all levels of skiers. Does everyone get it into their skiing immediately? Sometimes yes, however, even if you don't get it right away, learning this sets you up for success and ongoing improvement to your skiing.

The sequence below shows the results of correct movements are used by David Ryding who's slaom technique closely resembles Marcel Hirscher's skiing. Observe the changes made in how the old stance ski or outside ski is lifted. Fig. 1 Bend the leg and pull the ski off the snow. Fig.2 Free the whole ski from the snow and transfer balance to the other ski while it is still tipped to it's little toe edge side. Fig. 3 the arrow tells the story, pull the lifted foot back while tipping it to the new edge. The LTE. (Little toe Edge) You can use and identify for yourself if you are properly executing this series of movements by the lifted ski's position. At the release the tip is up higher, by the transfer the ski is level to the snow, when you pull the ski back the tail is off the snow and the tip should be touching the snow. 

Fig. 1 The Release
Fig. 2 The Transfer
Fig. 3 The foot and ski pull-back

 A skilled coach will approach this teaching one small step at a time, skiing slowly. The idea at first isn't to produce a perfect turn. In fact, it preferable to not be concerned about the quality of the turn, it is more important to focus on the movements that create this transition.

The Release
Bend the outside leg and lift the ski off the snow.

Transfer balance to the uphill little toe edge side of the ski.

Pull the lifted foot and ski back under the hip until the back of the ski is lifted more than the tip.

Once you have a good sense of the lifting and pull-back movements then you can add the timing for the double pole tap.
Notice the hand position. He is about to tap the snow with both poles at the same time. This triggers the foot pull-back

Double pole tap timing.