Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hate Catching your edges and crossing your tips?

Who doesn’t?
Rid Yourself of these Life Long Skiing Problems in One Day!

Catching the inside ski edges and crossing the ski tips are two of the perpetual and persistent dilemmas that plague skiers. How is it that regular ski instruction can’t seem to cure these problems?

Let's Start with, Stop catching an Edge:
To understand these situations completely, let’s look at them more closely. If I understand correctly, you are catching the new inside edge at or after transition. Or to many skiers who have never had a PMTS Lesson, at the beginning of your turn. This is a occurrence that simply means one of two things are happening. You are either leaning your body into the new turn too early. Or you have “old weight” still on the old stance ski and you are pushing yourself into the new arc by extending the uphill leg. This is known in some circles as (extension off the old inside edge and leg ) or inside leg extension, which we don’t teach in PMTS, some think it’s a technique, I won’t go there.

The instant solution, try to time and strengthen your counterbalance.

Notice how my upper body is leaning out over my outside ski? Blue and red lines indicate leaning upper body toward outside ski. That’s counter balance! Develop it at the beginning of each turn.

Also, lighten and lift the inside ski or free ski more aggressively, until you have gained better timing. This is basically the Phantom Move. For references about and more in-depth descriptions, check my Books on Amazon. My first two books are “Anyone can be an Expert Skier 1 and 2.

Link to Amazon: Look over to "Links" on the right of this page, click on Harald's Books.
Counter Balance is described in my fourth book called:

“Harald Harb’s Essentials of Skiing”

Crossing your tips?

Crossing the tips can be disastrous, while being the easiest problem in skiing to rid yourself of, in the shortest time. Fear of crossing the tips can be even more devastating. It holds you back, which makes you a defensive skier. A defensive skier lets more things happen to them, instead of controlling what is happening out front. You can’t just become an aggressive skier by thinking aggressive. You have to make the correct movements that instill confidence, to raise your aggressive levels.

How do you get confidence? You feel your skiing become easier and it begins working for you. So what is the greatest movement to stop crossing your tips and increase you skiing confidence? The greatest movement in the history of skiing, it’s called the Phantom Move.

The Phantom Move is very easy to learn, but very difficult to perfect. With a little practice you can become a Phantom Move expert, instantly functional and reap the rewards. It can be learned by following these simple steps. At the end of each turn, lift your downhill ski. This means you have to shift your weight to the other foot. Try to shift your balance to the other foot while keeping it on the uphill, little toe edge. Your little toe edge is on the outside of your foot, trust me, remember this, as it’s hard to check with ski boots on.

Starting the Phantom Move

As you begin to lift the stance foot or downhill ski, at the end of a turn to get the Phantom Move started, tip the lifted foot toward it’s outside or little toe edge. Just to confirm, both your skis are tipped toward their little toe sides now.

Not really, this can never happen, but the more you try to accomplish this, the better your turns will become and you will never cross your skis again. Notice how my lower ski leads, with the wedge movement background you learned, skiers keep doing the opposite, the upper ski leads, that's why skis cross.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Climbing season is just around the corner

Keeping and staying in good enough physical condition, year round, to ski 150 days a season, is now a full time job. A few years ago, I could do it without metering out my energy. Now I have to measure how I use energy. This means starting my training early, or never stopping. Rest is as important as training, resting properly and not over doing too many hard effort days in a row, makes lots of sense. This has always been my challenge with competition and preparing. I used to over train and try to over prepare. Now I know the consequences and I have learned to spread out my efforts.

My goals are to climb better and more difficult pitches this summer, so training has to start early and stay controlled. Hard to do while still skiing and also preparing for a strong bike riding season. Oh well, I’m sure there are worst problems.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Latest Post: Powder Skiing Tips, Look down the page

It's not too late to get in some of the best skiing of the season. Now that was some fat snow!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Powder tips for Ripping through heavy stuff!!

Powder Skiing for 2008 not over

Some of the best power skiing of the season is in March and April. It may not be the light blow away stuff that marketing photos are always promoting, but it is the type of snow you’ll most likely encounter over the years you’ll be skiing. It makes sense to know how to ski it. You want this to be a fun experience as you’ll most likely see many more of these dumps than the light bottomless kind.

For those skiers that are still dreaming of that perfect powder day; I’ll blow your bubble, they just don’t happen often enough to wait.

How can you have a great time in these heavier one foot type spring snows?

-Start early in the day, as the snow is lighter before the temperatures go up.
-Warm up on steeper slopes than you normally ski, as on blue runs the heavier snow will slow you down too much to develop the momentum you need to push through it.
-Ski the snow like you would a steep bump run, make some runs where you complete your turns before you decide to let loose.
-Ski black bump rums as soon as possible, the snow will slow you down and you don’t have to hold nearly as strong and edge as on hard bumps.

From the technical side:
- You will need to bend your legs to let the skis go flat and into the next arc.
- Keep your core strong and stable over your feet or your body will tend to over rotate.
-Aim to finish each arc with a goal. One of the best technical ideas is to keep the chest facing the stance boot as early in the arc as possible. That isn't the old" face down hill" idea either!!!
-Aim the zipper on your jacket toward the stance boot and hold it in place at the release and transition.

Signs that this is not happening are:
1. Your skis are over turning and you are finding you can’t slow down without a long traverse between turns.
2. You often spin around, end up facing uphill after a few turns, then flip backward downhill.
3. Your ski tails split causing a wedge turn.
4. You thighs start burning.

None of these undesirables will happen if you flex to release, keep a stable upper body and prepare to hold your upper and mid body in a counter acting relationship before the turn ends.

My choices for skis in these situations are the Head, Super Shape or the Monster 78, in a 171cm length; for the turning minded skier. For the straight liner, a Monster 82 will take care of your needs.

There is still plenty of great skiing left in March and April, so don’t put away the skis just because it’s 60 degrees in town and the golf course is greening up.

Skiing at the Yellowstone Club

Here's a Yellowstone Powder Turn...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Carving techniques

Harald Harb and Diana Rogers Carving Together

Harald's Nordic Adventure - Yellowstone

While en route to Montana, we stopped near Yellowstone Park to do some Nordic skiing. Take a look!