Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

PMTS Forum

Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby jbotti » Tue Feb 08, 2022 5:50 pm

We get asked a lot in the gear forum for recommendations for PMTS pow skis. Here is a link to a recent request and the responses that ensued. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5757
Everything I am going to write in this post has been covered before on this forum but I thought it would make sense to highlight some of this. Lets start with the obvious. I for many years could carve great arcs on groomed terrain but I lacked a BPSRT and when I went off piste I was pretty bad and often pretty lost. I was constantly searching for the ski that would make skiing pow and tougher off piste conditions easier. And I tried everything. From the most Rockered skis with zero camber (The DPS Lotus 138) to hybrids of that, to super fat skis, to less fat ones, on and on and I never got much better off Piste. My come to Jesus post was this one which is now a sticky and mostly everyone who frequents this site has read some or all of it. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1596

As has been said over and over again, skiing off piste well requires all the fundamentals to be working in every arc. When this happens SRT's are pretty easy and skiing steep and hard terrain and bumps gets very manageable. But for me, (remember I was someone that had developed strong tipping skills and I could get very high edge angles and put my rear reasonably close to the snow (and I still sucked off piste)) the game changers were 2 essentials. CA to me is the ultimate game changer off piste. The drill that will take you to the promised land is Angry Mother https://harbskisystems.com/collections/ ... ing-evideo
Everyone wanting to improve their off piste skiing should buy this video because almost everyone who struggles off piste lacks proper CA movements in their skiing. But its also really important to remember that it took me 2.5 seasons of doing angry mother for several runs every ski day, and putting constant focus on CA all the time until it started holding up off piste. But once it does, everything that was really hard started to be manageable and even easy at times. There are few guarantees in life, but this one is legit. if you want to ski better off piste, guaranteed you will if you get your CA movements down so they hold up off piste. Hopefully it will take others less time than it took me, but no one gets this in a few skis days. Expect to have to work on it diligently for some time.

For me, the next game changer, and for me it was equally game changing as nailing CA, is free foot pullback, or properly managing my Fore Aft balance. Once CA was holding up in every arc off piste (and I no longer had to think about it to make it happen), I started focusing on pulling back my free foot, hard at the top of every arc. All of sudden I was arcing slalom turns off piste that gave me high C tip engagement and some awesome rebound coming out of the turn. What a huge leg saver on a pow day or when skiing crud or bumps (forget about skiing bumps well without super high level CA AND free foot pullback as its not possible). It also took my groomed terrain carving to a whole new level because I starting tightening the arc much more than I used to.

Perhaps most importantly, after I got both of these dialed in, I went back and did some lesson days with HH and we focused for 3 days on doing nothing but perfect SRT's on groomed terrain. I now spend almost all my time on groomed terrain practicing perfect brushed SRT's. These are perhaps the greatest coach you will ever have, because to do them well, every essential has to be in place in every arc. With some help and some video, I was able to notice which essential was out when I made an arc that wasn't perfect (or very good). After a while I could just ski and notice in each arc if something was off and put it back in place in the next arc. Doing perfect brushed SRTs is not easy. Almost everyone has the tendency to get back some on the tails and juice the skis a little. Those are not perfect SRT's.

Stepping back, if you can't tip, learn to tip. Learn to balance on one ski, to do the Phantom move and the super Phantom move. Going off-piste without these in place is exactly what HH said in his first video, "its going into gravitational warfare without the proper artillery!"

But once you can tip, balance on one ski and have Super Phantom arcs in place in your skiing, its all about CA and free foot pullback. And again, it requires serious work and diligence to get both of these to hold up in your skiing especially off piste. It may sound obvious, but if it isn't holding up on piste, there is no way in hell its going to hold up off piste and in steeps. I spent seasons practicing CA on piste where it held up and then going off piste where it immediately disintegrated. So I would go back on piste and practice some more and come back and hour later to see if it would hold up. Eventually (months and years) it did.

I love skis. Ski are great and great skis are just amazing! But skis will only take you so far and in reality, fat skis, rockered skis etc won't make you a decent or good off piste skier, only proper movements will. Save your money. I should have. Having said that there is nothing wrong with having a ski that you think makes off piste skiing a little easier and to use this while you venture in while doing the aforementioned work.

Again, everything I have said here has been said before (its kind of why there are so few new posts on this forum). I posted it because perhaps my journey will help someone that truly wants to put in the time and the effort. It did not come easily for me (years and years of sucking off piste at least compared to my models which were HH, Diana and Max501). But I am proof that if you are willing to really grind and not give up even when you have worked really hard and still suck off piste, the result is absolutely obtainable.

Here is a link to a thread that most have seen. Its worth reviewing as well. It has some awesome photos demonstrating off piste turns using the exact same movements that are used on piste. The discussion is also excellent. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2715

Between this site and the HSS site with all the evideos, the resources are all easily available for anyone that wants to take their off piste skiing to the next level. Clearly coaching at camps and privates will give a major boost to the learning curve. But instruction at camps and privates will only take one so far. Without the work that gets put in every ski day, everyone will plateau. HH has been my coach for almost 20 years. He by himself was never going to make me into a black level PMTS skier. Only my hard work and focus was going to get that result. And that's the same for everyone.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
User avatar
jbotti
 
Posts: 2187
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 10:05 am

Re: Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby Jjmdane » Wed Feb 09, 2022 10:52 am

Got video?
Jjmdane
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:57 am

Re: Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby jbotti » Wed Feb 09, 2022 11:26 am

Ahh, you don't just believe that I have become a black level PMTS skier. I have some video from SRT lessons with Harald for a few years ago. I also have HH coming out in March where we will shoot some video off piste that I can post.

Having said that the point of the post wasn't to say or what a great skier I have become but rather to lay out a path and acknowledge the struggles along the way.

I'll post some video when I get some time.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
User avatar
jbotti
 
Posts: 2187
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 10:05 am

Re: Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby h.harb » Wed Feb 09, 2022 8:08 pm

Everything that John wrote here is accurate. I've watched his skiing changes and movement improvements and I remember every step we used to modify his equipment. John has an old foot injury that makes his boot set up more complex than for most skiers, yet he skis as well on that side as the other. I remember when he first found CA on his right foot turn. All the breakthroughs along the way were significant. I'll repeat what John said, "this presentation isn't about how good or great a skier John is, it is about the journey. However, John is now one of the best skiers at Yellowstone Club mountain and probably any other mountain he chooses to ski on. If you must see a video, great, go to my YouTube site.
User avatar
h.harb
 
Posts: 7047
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:08 pm
Location: Dumont, Colorado

Re: Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby Jjmdane » Thu Feb 10, 2022 6:05 pm

Actually I’m not doubting your skiing proficiency and I apologize if my post was abrupt. The reason for my request for video of your use of CA is that I am fascinated by your use of CA off piste and I totally agree that it is essential. I am curious where in the kinematic sequence of an off piste turn do you engage your CA? I’m assuming you ski into counter to avoid hip dumping and gradually increase or decrease the amount of CB depending on the arc of turn you are trying to make. If you don’t get it exactly the way you want, would you want to have to much or too little CA, assuming you can partially execute.
Jjmdane
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:57 am

Re: Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby h.harb » Thu Feb 10, 2022 7:36 pm

Actually, you are right, your "Got Video" response, after the effort John put in to help people to understand the process of learning and understanding the dedication that is required to become a highly proficient skier was rude and totally inappropriate. You are fortunate I was in a good mood last night or you would be off this site. That is a warning.
User avatar
h.harb
 
Posts: 7047
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:08 pm
Location: Dumont, Colorado

Re: Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby BrettBPotter » Fri Feb 11, 2022 5:05 pm

Quick note!
I’ll forever be grateful JB went out of his way a gave me my first (in person glimpse) of the BPSRT at Squaw Valley (lake Tahoe in 2016. I was on my way the next month to my first camp and John gave me the shock of my life!
All day he showed me this tight brushed turn! Turn after turn after turn…
He told me this exact information/mentioned the angry mother and said, “don’t make the mistake I made, just Patrice this SRT in the exact progression that is layed out the the books”

As I left I asked JB (I guy that if you look has been on this forum since almost the beginning) “how long did it take you to learn the BPSRT”?
John said 3 years. A guy that’d been skiing pmts and with personal lessons for both D&H for over a decade before!
This will be my 4th camp next month, and for that day with John till this day, I bet I’ve made a million!
He told me
“Make it tight and then make it tighter”!
Thanks John I am forever grateful!
BrettBPotter
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:46 pm

Re: Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby jbotti » Mon Feb 14, 2022 8:49 am

Jjmdane wrote:Actually I’m not doubting your skiing proficiency and I apologize if my post was abrupt. The reason for my request for video of your use of CA is that I am fascinated by your use of CA off piste and I totally agree that it is essential. I am curious where in the kinematic sequence of an off piste turn do you engage your CA? I’m assuming you ski into counter to avoid hip dumping and gradually increase or decrease the amount of CB depending on the arc of turn you are trying to make. If you don’t get it exactly the way you want, would you want to have to much or too little CA, assuming you can partially execute.


Much of what you are asking and or describing is what one does on-piste while working on perfect brushed carved arcs. On groomed terrain too much CA too early can cause the tails to wash out and one gets right angle turns vs round turns. Perhaps your mind works much faster than mine (and others) but when skiing difficult off piste terrain, movements end up being default movements (for almost everyone). Which is to say, that most of us don't have time to think about turn shape (often or mostly dictated by terrain) or when to add counter and how much, but rather we are reacting to terrain and hopefully all our hard work produces the right result (the right default movements). I think this is why it took 2.5 years for my CA to hold up off-piste, when after 1 month of practicing on groomers it was holding up in every turn there. I will also say that the few times I have noticed that I had "too much CA, too early" off piste, it slowed me down and gave me a second to think before my next turn. This may not be purely correct, but I definitely use CA (lots of it early in the arc) to cause a brief skid off piste to help control my speed. If one does this in every arc, it ends up being pretty bad skiing, but throwing it in occasionally when I need to control my speed (especially in steeps and bumps) is something that I do. Not sure if HH, Diana and Max do this, but at times I need to.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
User avatar
jbotti
 
Posts: 2187
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 10:05 am

Re: Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby Jjmdane » Mon Feb 14, 2022 9:35 am

I completely agree that the way to acquire these skill sets in off piste, or anywhere else is to change one’s default patterns. (unconscious competence) The fact that your skis response to the more difficult conditions, chop,cut up, crud, wind blown, dense pow, etc. is much more non linear than when on a race course or a prepared trail means that while you strive for perfection it’s going to be much harder to achieve. Your observations on the effects of too much CA slowing you down and giving you time to gather yourself is very interesting. When I coach and instruct I try to familiarize my subject to each end of the scale so they can acclimate to the initial discomfort and find a middle ground where they can codify a default response. Now if I could just get enough new snow here in NH to turn into crappy snow, I could experiment with your CA ideas. This winter this is a big ask.
Thanks
Jjmdane
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:57 am

Re: Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby jbotti » Mon Feb 14, 2022 3:02 pm

And to answer your question which I guess I missed, off piste we would always rather have "too much" vs too little CA. I would have thought that was self evident as most skiers don't come close to having enough and rotation is the death move when skiing off piste. And again, we can never have too much in the second half of the arc, off piste or on groomed. Look at Hirscher at the end of every arc. His CA is maxed and his flexibility is exceptional. We should all aspire towards this at the end of every arc.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
User avatar
jbotti
 
Posts: 2187
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 10:05 am

Re: Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby Max_501 » Tue Feb 15, 2022 9:43 am

Jjmdane wrote:I am curious where in the kinematic sequence of an off piste turn do you engage your CA?


I begin CA movements as soon as the edges for the new turn are engaged.

Good thread: About Counter Acting
User avatar
Max_501
 
Posts: 4124
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 7:39 pm

Re: Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby tigernbr » Tue Feb 15, 2022 12:27 pm

Max_501 wrote:
Jjmdane wrote:I am curious where in the kinematic sequence of an off piste turn do you engage your CA?


I begin CA movements as soon as the edges for the new turn are engaged.

Good thread: About Counter Acting


Correct me if I'm wrong Max, but CA movements always begin as the edges for the new turn are engaged regardless of whether one is skiing on or off piste. Is that correct?
tigernbr
 
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:50 am

Re: Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby Max_501 » Tue Feb 15, 2022 2:15 pm

tigernbr wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong Max, but CA movements always begin as the edges for the new turn are engaged regardless of whether one is skiing on or off piste. Is that correct?


Hold your counter through the transition and until the skis are on the new edges. No additional counter (in either direction) should be added when the skis are flat, just hold whatever you have at that point. If you attempt to change counter while the skis are going through flat they may begin to skid. Begin countering in the new direction as soon as the skis are tippped to the new edges.

http://harbskisysems.blogspot.com/2013/ ... -mean.html
User avatar
Max_501
 
Posts: 4124
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 7:39 pm

Re: Skiing Pow, Chop and Other Off Piste Conditions

Postby h.harb » Tue Feb 15, 2022 3:30 pm

"Your skiing never gets better when you attack more difficult conditions." Therefore your "Essentials" need to be solid on groomers.
User avatar
h.harb
 
Posts: 7047
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:08 pm
Location: Dumont, Colorado


Return to Primary Movements Teaching System

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests