I have not been snow skiing, (or downhill waterskiing as I now like to think of it) since I took up skiing some 6 years ago. I headed out to the dry slope for a bit of fun, and yeah... it's different. There is definitely something addictive about the hit you get as the hand goes back on the handle
Anyway, how much cross-over is there betwen the two sports?
This was my experience.
The dry slope I was on is only two pre-gate to start gate lengths long (110m). I tried keeping my shoulders facing the fall-lne (shoulders open to the boat) and alot harder to achieve, ski from the ankles not the shoulders. And also getting my weight forward to turn on the front third of the skis was equally difficult. (same errors as behind the boat really, only in slow motion)
That's what I was trying to do. Any tips greatly appreciated. I'll go and have another go this Saturday.
Oh yeah, really looking forward to going to La Tania in the Three Valleys in France at half term with my son. Where are you going?
Big topic, not easily wrapped up in a short post, but......
There is of course a good amount of crossover between the sports in some of the physics and biomechanics of what's driving you (gravity, momentum, centrifugal forces, friction, the damn boat, etc.) and how you adapt to it/use it (how you accelerate, turn, decelerate, body position, etc.), but beyond that they are a little tricky to compare. Slalom water skiing has set course dimensions and speed with a smaller set of variables such as wind, water temp and depth. Snow skiing has nearly infinite variables even within the sport disciplines.
That said, to answer your question about what to work on, some of this might sound familiar: focus on always moving down the hill with your COM and keep your vision down the hill to help you face down the hill. Hands forward like on a mtn bike. Maintain a quiet, but athletically (attack) positioned upper body and let your legs work underneath you in response to the turning forces of the hill and your skis (much more needs to be said here). Keep your shins parallel in a shoulder width stance (unless in the bumps then keep 'em closer together) and let them work together. Learn the importance of and how to pole plant depending on your speed and turn shape (see: keep your hands forward). Take lessons - preferably a private with a Level III instructor or whatever they have in Europe. Use skis that are appropriate for the conditions, your size, and ability (use race or cross skis for hard snow/ice, fats for powder and cut up snow, or something with enough width to float you in the soft, but enough sidecut to bite on the hard). Get fitted in and buy great boots. Demo a bunch of skis. As soon as you feel comfortable, try getting off the trail and out on the mountain - ungroomed, steep, bumps, trees, little drops (do this with a friend, instructor or guide). The more you can ski all conditions and terrain, the more fun you'll have. Enter a recreational race or pay for time in the gates (addicting like slalom). Ski fast, but don't hit anything or anyone. Scare yourself a little bit. Hope that isn't too confusing and helps a bit.
In lieu of writing a novel, I'm just going to stick with my recent history of being a serial linker.
This is one of a few lessons with Bode Miller and his coach. Lots of good tips and information.
Tons to forget when you go out and ski. I latched on to the section about ankle flex, and that
provided me with a pretty big light-bulb moment.
Another good tip that helps me is to relax the toes. Keeping the feet and toes relaxed helps reduce lower leg fatigue and the uncomfortable feeling of cramped toes. Just a little one, but helpful.
We will be heading up to Whistler for the Olympics at mid term this year.
There is a lot of similarity in term of moving your center of mass in the direction of travel has explain by others but i would like to highlight the main difference: in alpine skiing you push strongly with your legs during the turn to generate speed power. In waterskiing you have to resist and avoid pushing. Great tip Chris gave me a couple years back. If you practice good carved GS style turn keeping your hands in front and generate a lot of pressure and angles on the snow you will simulated waterski pretty close. The good thing you can make 200 turns not just 30. my 2 cents
I have not found many similarities other than COM and counter rotation or hip angulation like was mentioned already. Keeping your hands forward and at chest height will help keep you forward as soon as you drop a hand behind you things can go bad real quick. Old school free skiing is all about standing tall, hands forward, shoulders square with the fall line and very little upper body movement. New school is a little different with the new skis. i see a lot of back seat skiers going straight not making technical turns going fast (helmet required).
Your lower body should do most of the work when free skiing. if racing GS, super G or downhill you will see a big emphasis on hip angulations which is all about driving your inside hip into the hill creating the greatest amount of pressure possible on your downhill ski while at the same time getting the maximum edge set and creating energy from the ski.
Watch video of a downhill racer and you will see what i mean when i talk about hip angulations. If you can learn hip angulations (one footed skiing at maximum angulation) and transfer that technical aspect to the steeps with your free skiing you will have great results. The effort becomes less when skiing this way plus you can control certain situations while skiing at a higher rate of speed in adverse conditions.
Not sure that helped any i have a hard time explaining what is so natural for me at this point in my skiing career. If your ever in Utah and would like to ski drop me a message and ill see if we can make it happen.
Most important thing "Have Fun"
Four days into my snow ski vacation. And I have found a fair few similarities between snow and water skiing.
And the biggest is being able learning technique. These are some of things I've been told from the boat that I've put into practice downhill
Keep the shoulders open This is the big one for me. I've been skiing with shoulders open and then shoulders closed off to the fall line. What a difference this makes to how the ski performs.
Keep the head still
Don't look down, look ahead
Let the ski finish its turn.
Stay balanced over the centre of the ski
Let the ski move underneath you to change edge
Edge change starts at the feet, not the shoulders.
And this last one is something I'd like to discuss.
I have found with my snow boots I really can now feel the feet doing the work. Something I've never experienced using my D3 Driver & RTP (when waterskiing). So when you guys who use hard shells talk about better edge control, is this what you're alluding to?
HO410 The Bode Miller carving technique also helped, thanks.
Another 2 days of fun to go!