MA for Cerulean

MA for Cerulean

Postby Cerulean » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:02 am

Hi, this is my first MA request!

At the beginning of this season I was 25. I started skiing at 12, but only 1-2 days per season. This year I decided to really get into it, buying a season pass, my own gear, etc. After a few ski days, I turned online for tips to improve and discovered PMTS.

This is how I looked just before starting PMTS:


1/26/2019 was my first day attempting PMTS. Between then and now I skied 1-2 days per week with a couple of 3-day trips thrown in. I've been self-teaching using both Expert skier books, Essentials, the youtube videos, the slantboard series, and this forum.

Honestly, learning via PMTS has been amazing. The depth of knowledge and clarity of presentation is unmatched, and I could see a steady improvement in my skiing, which was addicting.

It's become more difficult to self-diagnose the next thing to work on from my own videos, so I was hoping to get some pointers from someone more experienced. This is my current skiing, taken yesterday:


A slightly older video, but could be useful for some more material:


I know that my alignment isn't great, see: http://www.pmts.org/pmtsforum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5487, but it's as good as I could make it using duct tape combined with on-snow assessments. I have plans to get the full Harb alignment done next season.

What do I need to work on? Is my skiing moving in the right direction, or is it back to book 1 page 1 for me?

Thanks for this forum and for PMTS!
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby noobSkier » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:46 am

I think the first clip is much better, so I'll only talk about that one.

First order of business: get some video of slower skiing. Yea, you probably won't look great, but it's the only way to diagnose issues that speed would otherwise hide. Leaving the speed issue aside, IMO this is a huge improvement from your season start clip..good job. What I see here is a pretty weak (often non-existent) balance transfer to the LTE, resulting in some adaptive movements to engage the skis (pivot, push). This really cripples your skiing and absolutely requires slow work to fix. IMO get aligned and work on slow super-phantoms with great emphasis on transferring balance to the LTE; holding it for a moment before tipping.
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby Cerulean » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:30 pm

Thanks for the feedback, noobSkier!

There's a 50/50 chance that my season is over (snow pretty much melted at my home resort) but I might make one more trip somewhere.

Either way, next time I get on the snow I will try to get video of the super-phantom touch-tilt, going slow and holding the LTE. I did these during practice, and believe I was able to do them OK, but as you say, video would be best. Can't wait!
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby Cerulean » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:36 pm

Something interesting I noticed rewatching these clips is that in 2/3 of them, I end up losing my balance to the inside of a right turn. This also happens fairly often when skiing off-video...way more often than the other side. I think something's weaker about my right turn but I'm not sure what.
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby Max_501 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:29 am

The improvement shown in the video clips is remarkable. Based on the clips my guess is that you moved through the Anyone Can Be An Expert Skier books too fast to develop the fundamental movements and balance used to create the super phantom which is the basis for PMTS. IMO a student should master each chapter of Book 1(confirm with video) before moving to the next chapter. Because you've jumped to carving it will feel like taking a big step backwards but I don't know of a faster way (other than skiing with a PMTS coach) to develop the Super Phantom then starting with page 1 of book 1.
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby h.harb » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:18 am

501 is right on with his comments. BTW, amazing progress!

PMTS is foremost about learning how to tip your skis using the lower body, that means feet ankles and boots. The role of the legs is to stay relaxed so they can follow the tipping movements. This isn't easy that's why other systems don't teach it. Skiing isn't about throwing the hips into the turn.

I suggest you slow down and learn to make rounder brushed carve turns. You can't make brushed carved turns without foot tipping and balance. It may not sound sexy but it's the fastest way to "Expert Skiing".
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby Cerulean » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:10 pm

Thanks for taking a look guys!

I can definitely see how that happened. When I started trying to improve myself, I had this mistaken belief that anyone who can carve must be a really good skier. And I was pretty frustrated with not being able to show anything remotely resembling a carved turn despite 10+ years of skiing. Within the 3rd day of starting PMTS and practicing just one movement- lift the inside foot and tip- I started feeling my outside ski locking into a carve.

At this point I got hooked on that feeling. I did spend time doing every exercise in Expert 1 and 2 at least a couple times, but I never got video. More often, I got video of myself attempting to carve, picked the one Essential that I thought was missing most, and chose drills to target that Essential specifically, drills like Schlopys, Outside Boot Touch, Double Boot Touch on Release, Power Release, etc.

Heluvaskier has a big youtube drills list, and all of them seem sexier than Harald/Diana's slow one-footed/two-footed release videos. He also does the Phantom and Super Phantom drills at speed and edge-locked. I spent tons of time on all his drills.

I think the conclusion is I spent a lot of time skiing quickly. Thinking about why this happened even though I knew (from reading this forum) that skiing slowly was the ideal approach.

It's hard to ski slowly because...
1. I wanted to link turns right away. Even when practicing a one-footed/two-footed release directly from the book on a green slope, I would gain speed rapidly if I didn't intentionally come to a full stop between each turn.
2. I over-focused on maxing out each Essential rather than the exercises from Expert 1 and 2. Once at speed, the edge tends to naturally lock when performing the Essentials. It reminds me a lot of something Harald wrote at the end of a chapter in either Expert 1 or 2 (paraphrasing): "If you perform the movements as described in this chapter, the only possible result is a carved turn."
3. I had a natural aversion to the feeling of a slipping/skidding edge. Maybe from being a terminal intermediate for so long.
4. Edge-locked just feels good to ski. More control, more g-forces, more angles, more speed, more fun.
5. When skiing with friends, there's pressure. "Why are you skiing like a grandma" (skiing slowly) vs "Dang you look good" (fast carving). You also don't want to keep everyone waiting for you, or imprisoned on green slopes.
6. It's natural to assume that if you can do something quickly, than you can do it slowly and simply choose not to. True for lots of things in life.

I'll definitely go back to the Expert 1 and 2 exercises and turn the speed way down, whether it's this season or next.

I guess my time wasn't totally wasted because at least you're saying there has been some improvement. Hopefully some of that will carry over to slower drills and make them easier than starting from scratch. And I got to impress my non-PMTS friends with observable changes.

Thanks again for the feedback. So far PMTS has been just an awesome experience!
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby milesb » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:26 pm

If you want to go to Baldy next season I can ski with you. It’s not quite the groomer heavens that you were skiing on in your video, but pmts works well everywhere.
YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH78E6wIKnq3Fg0eUf2MFng
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby Cerulean » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:27 pm

Haha, I guess you recognized Snow Summit? Or Mammoth. I usually go to those, (Ikon pass) but yeah I'd be happy to meet up sometime, maybe you could show me around Baldy. My only ski friends are moving away this summer.

We could finally get some decent MA material by taking turns videoing! :lol:
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby milesb » Sat May 04, 2019 11:18 am

Me and a few other pmts fans are going to be at mammoth 5/28-5/30.
YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH78E6wIKnq3Fg0eUf2MFng
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby Cerulean » Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:22 pm

Hello all, it's been a while!

I'm still really excited about PMTS. Just got my third day on snow this season. I've been trying to follow the above feedback, working on slow skiing.
I will say that it's impossible to get video of every exercise starting from Book 1 Page 1...the people I ski with simply don't have the patience.

I worked on my own for a while, then for my limited film opportunity, I decided to attempt to copy Diana:


Here are 2 of my attempts.


Since my last post, I've gotten HSS alignment w/ footbeds done by Ryan Nordell. The only thing we still need to dial in is 0 deg vs 1 deg cant to outside on the left foot. The first clip in the above video was taken with 0 deg, the second clip with 1 deg. My skis are unfortunately rental Volkl Deacon 76 (76 width), which are probably anti-pmts and a far cry from my own skis. I'm on a green slope trying to stay brushed mode. I'm just trying to lift, tip, touch ankle with inside edge, set down, balance on LTE, repeat. I'm not trying for any of the Essentials aside from tipping.

Watching my video, to me it seems that my right turns (left leg stance leg) are weaker. I've always felt this way- like I have trouble holding the left LTE.

Is my skiing better in one clip than the other?
Overall, is there any improvement from last season?
Am I on the right track?

Thanks much for any feedback!
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby h.harb » Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:45 pm

Look closely and watch your inside foot when it goes down to touch the snow. It is flat and in many cases, you push it uphill. This is a wedge, Christie. Put the ski down while it is tipped onto the little toe edge.
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby Cerulean » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:32 pm

Thanks Harald. I do see that wedge entry now that you pointed it out.

This LTE balance has been really difficult for me. The instant I transfer my weight to that foot, I feel that it automatically wants to drift away from my body in order to keep me balanced. When I tried to keep it tipped I feel like I'm going to fall over immediately.

I have tibial varum in both legs- that does not make LTE balance more difficult does it? ( Yes I am looking for excuses :D )

I will keep trying to balance on the LTE. Maybe one day it will click.
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby noobSkier » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:03 pm

it looks like you aren't actively keeping the inside ski tipped throughout the arc so inevitably the inside ski goes right to the BTE in transition preventing a little toe edge lead (aka, wedge entry). Keep the inside ski tipped with a strong ankle contraction...this will ensure you actually engage that little toe edge instead of having it pivot right to your BTE.
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Re: MA for Cerulean

Postby ToddW » Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:08 pm

Cerulean,

If you're having difficulty reliably acquiring LTE balance exiting the turn, consider this post from 2011. It contains two ideas, both originating with Diana: tipping the free foot an extra 20% at the end of the turn and a drill called hippo turns.

Focus on tipping the old LTE an extra 20% at the end of the turn and firmly establishing balance on it before tipping to engage the new edges -- this is the superphantom move. The effort to tip 20% extra will keep the ski from flopping down and will add some oomph to your turns. For learning, exaggerate by doing what jbotti calls "hippo turns." Traverse balancing on the old LTE counting "one hippopotamus" "two hippopotamus" before engaging to turn. Then "one hippopotamus" and later "one hippo." The goal is to find your place of safety* on the LTE at the start of each transition and take this into your freeskiing. (* "place of safety" is skiersynergy's excellent name for this.)
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