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#1 Mon, Jun 1, 2009 10:09 PM

horne38
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Skis At: Lone Rock
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Straight Legs and Bent Knees

I am in need of some suggestions on how to get my knees bent in the turns.  I ski into 35 off and every one tells me if you would just bend your knees you would be getting into 38' off.  For some reason just thinking bend your knees does not work. 
If any one has a suggestion please let me know.  I jsut need some ideas to try.

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#2 Tue, Jun 2, 2009 3:28 AM

GarrettGroller
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From: Slatington, PA
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

I'm all ears. I have the same problem too. I think I personally do it when I am tired.

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#3 Wed, Jun 3, 2009 5:35 AM

Lt Dan
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From: Loveland, OH
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

What bindings are you using?   I've heard that using the "boot" style bindings, e.g. HO Approach, versus the more standard type, e.g. HO Animals (which I use and although I am a slalom course hack struggling at 15 off 34 mph I have the same knee issues) put you in more of a knees forward, ankles bent stance which should relate to more bended knees.


Struggling yet still smiling

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#4 Wed, Jun 3, 2009 9:13 AM

JasonHutchins
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From: Salt Lake City
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Skis At: I wish I had a place
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

I'm curious as to what happens when you try to bend your knees?  Are you looking for just bent knees, or an athletic active lower body?  Understanding first what you're trying to achieve is of most importance.  The most common cause I have seen to the "straight legs in the turn" problem is 1)someone who is very static with their lower body through the edge change. 2)Most likely has their weight too far back at all times. 3)Thinks they have to push against the ski to make it turn.  I will say that coaching without seeing is like giving driving directions without knowing the starting location.  So with that said, my safest advice would be relax your lower body, but stay active and strong.  Trust the skis natural carve when there is weight near the front (no tail riding!) Do some squat jumps and lunges (hips up) in your warm-up routines, show your body and mind you are strong without being stiff.

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#5 Wed, Jun 3, 2009 9:41 AM

Garn
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From: Alpine, Utah
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

That it great advice Jason.  Thank you for posting that.

Garn

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#6 Wed, Jun 3, 2009 8:55 PM

horne38
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

Thanks for the advice.  I feel as though I straighten my legs to push and turn the ski.  I am told that throught the wakes Im in good position, its my turns that suffer and mostly on my off side.  I think that is why i need something else to think of so I dont "push" on the ski. 
Would trying to "sit" on the bouy help? 
Jason say hi to Tom

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#7 Thu, Jun 4, 2009 5:24 AM

h20dawg79
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From: nashville,tn.
Registered: Fri, Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 562
Skis At: Old Hickory Lake, TN.
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

horne38 wrote:

Thanks for the advice.  I feel as though I straighten my legs to push and turn the ski.  I am told that throught the wakes Im in good position, its my turns that suffer and mostly on my off side.  I think that is why i need something else to think of so I dont "push" on the ski. 
Would trying to "sit" on the bouy help? 
Jason say hi to Tom

I know someone who is in a simular situation and he reinforces his thought pattern by thinking - "Soft Knees"... - he even coined the phrase: "the Soft knee's prayer"!

I have a different situation myself. But, I feel so much of our little problems stem from muscle tension... (over thinking it, over skiing it and over gripping it...)   I have found that for me, a "Heavy grip"  translates into a stiffer, tighter body. Kinda like one sets himself right before gripping & lifting something Hvy. (i.e. the boat trailer tongue, etc...) So, I am trying to "Ski light" with a lighter grip that doesn't promote a counter productive physical response from the rest of my body...

Good Luck!cool


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#8 Thu, Jun 4, 2009 9:04 AM

StevenHaines
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From: Canyon Lake Ca.
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

oK, I hear what you guys are saying, but  I am finding that trying to stand (straightening my legs) as tall as I can in the turn helps "me" to stay off the tail. I am also focusing on a strong counter move starting at my hips and trying to move my hips to the inside of the turn. So, sitting on the buoy or pushing your hips cross course could help. For me, standing tall and countering is the only way that I can "smoothly" get my hips (com) going in the right direction. I too struggle with the tail push, so if anyone has a better idea I'd love to hear and try some different things to try to rid myself of this bad habit! But so far this has been my best fix!

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#9 Thu, Jun 4, 2009 8:11 PM

MattP
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

I also straiten my legs in the turn. When this happens I find that my turns are not as tight and controlled. But when I think of bending at the knees and ankles in the turn and let the ski turn the way it was designed it works! Trusting the ski it will turn quick and not force it around in the turn allows for a better turn and more speed and angle.

My .02


Looking for a place to ski near Kennesaw, Ga.
-MattP

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#10 Fri, Jun 5, 2009 6:25 AM

tsixam
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

“every one tells me if you would just bend your knees”

First question is: are you aware of your straight legs or do you know just because others tell you?
If you not are aware I would suggest that you try to find out if you bend your knees at all or if they are straight at all times. Next time you are skiing try to feel how you are using your legs. If you don´t know where you are starting from you will not know where you are going.  I can assure you that if you just make sure that you feel how your legs and knees are working when you are skiing will start the process of bending your legs in the turn.

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#11 Fri, Jun 5, 2009 6:51 PM

JasonHutchins
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From: Salt Lake City
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Skis At: I wish I had a place
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

Horne38, ok so... This is my take on what could be going on.  If the problem is more so on your off-side it is something coach's see almost every day.  My guess (again, no video evidence "a picture is worth a thousand words" blah blah) you probably have a pretty decent onside cut, where maybe it feels sick BUT you could be overloading the line and picking up a ton of speed.  Maybe even cutting a little long.  A lot of people feel uncomfortable with their offside, so they go like mad on their onside to make up time, only hindering the offside even more.  So, if this sounds like it might be the case work on hooking up smoothly out of your onside, not trying to stretch the rope too much and getting a nice effective edge change.  This SHOULD set you up with a little extra time for your ski to set up and let you be more patient (softer lower body) through the finish of your offside turn.  I would not recommend thinking "sit on the buoy", lots of angulation will result in too much separation from the handle.

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#12 Sat, Jun 6, 2009 4:24 PM

horne38
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

I have been practicing the suggestions and it is going great. I was just working on back to back 28's and they felt smooth.  At first when I bent my knees I let everything bend. Then I went to more of a athletic stance down"low" and let my knees bend not force and what a difference. Also on the plus side a did not get a tired a major plus. And the ski finishes the turn.
I don't want people to think I'm magicaly fixed. I still have to think about it, practice and be patient with it. But I know what I'm looking for now.thanks every one.
I still have room to improve so of there is any more suggestions please let me know.

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#13 Mon, Jun 8, 2009 5:50 AM

ChrisRossi
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From: Orlando
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

One of the most important aspects of my skiing is that I never push on my ski at any point of the course.  At least when I am skiing well:)

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#14 Thu, Jul 30, 2009 6:28 PM

BensonWdby
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

Chris
Sometimes the simplest statements are the most profound.  I have never thought of skiing in this light, but I can understand how elementary it is.  After all, the skis are designed to do the work, so I guess we should let them.  I hope I can implement this concept.
Dave

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#15 Fri, Jul 31, 2009 6:06 AM

lagdawg
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

"Bend your ankles not your knees"

    Whenever I hear someone telling a skier to bend their knees I almost want cringe.  This mostly comes from my experience as  snow ski instructor but I have found it applies to water skiing as well.  Most of the time if someone says you need to bend your knees in the turn, what they are really telling you is you are pushing on the ski as Wade and Jason have already talked about.

  The second thing that bothers me about "bend your knees" is the bio mechanics of how it happens.  A few people have said something like "when I bend my knees I get my weight back on the ski", so lets look at whats going on.  Whenever I am teaching snow skiing I never say "bend your knees" or "athletic stance".  I challenge you to stand up tall and then try and bend only your knees, what happens?  Your butt will move back and down and your weight will move backwards.  Now stand up tall again.  This time think only about flexing the ankles forward (we call this closing the ankle in snow skiing), and what happens this time?  Yes your knees will bend as bio mechanically they have to, but this way they only bend as far as they need to in order to keep you in balance.  The most important part is that even though you are flexing the lower body (knees and ankles) you still keep that "hips forward" positioning that every one talks about in slalom skiing.  This is the same whether you are in your pull behind the boat or in the turn around the buoy.

   So if you find yourself about to say "bend your knees" I would ask that you try and rethink your choice of words.  Wow, this got a little long sorry.

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#16 Fri, Jul 31, 2009 10:46 AM

Thomas Wayne
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Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

edit

Last edited by Thomas Wayne (Mon, Oct 5, 2009 1:31 PM)

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#17 Sun, Aug 2, 2009 5:33 AM

ColinCanski
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From: Kent, England
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Skis At: Gosfield WSC
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

Skiing last week W/E I thought I understood soft knees, skied Friday night and I was back to banging through the wakes, even though I thought I was 'pushing' through the ankles.

This is what I logged for my two sets today:

Just skied today and instead of thinking about "bending your knees", I took TW's advice about tucking my back knee into the side/back "pocket" of my front knee, form the start.  Instantly I noticed the ski move better for the pull-out, I could feel myself over the centre of the ski. The ski turned better and therefore  did not 'ping' the handle on my on-side as I usually do at least once in a set.

And in line with advice from another post about sticking to learning one thing at a time, only worked on this for both sets at one speed, and came home a happy skier.



If you finish your turns with your back knee tucked in against your front knee you'll be finishing with "bent knees".


Ski to Live - Live to Ski

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#18 Sun, Aug 2, 2009 5:52 AM

h20dawg79
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From: nashville,tn.
Registered: Fri, Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 562
Skis At: Old Hickory Lake, TN.
Foot Forward: left

Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

Colin Canski wrote:

Skiing last week W/E I thought I understood soft knees, skied Friday night and I was back to banging through the wakes, even though I thought I was 'pushing' through the ankles.

This is what I logged for my two sets today:

Just skied today and instead of thinking about "bending your knees", I took TW's advice about tucking my back knee into the side/back "pocket" of my front knee, form the start.  Instantly I noticed the ski move better for the pull-out, I could feel myself over the centre of the ski. The ski turned better and therefore  did not 'ping' the handle on my on-side as I usually do at least once in a set.

And in line with advice from another post about sticking to learning one thing at a time, only worked on this for both sets at one speed, and came home a happy skier.



If you finish your turns with your back knee tucked in against your front knee you'll be finishing with "bent knees".

I think maybe these 2 topics "cross-over"... Check this link also: http://www.proskicoach.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=889


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#19 Sun, Aug 2, 2009 4:36 PM

H20SkiGirl
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From: Eagle Point, Oregon
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

Tucking in your knee does help because I think it lifts your hips forward and open to allow the ski to turn and get angle... 

I really like video.... If you have someone who will video you take advantage of this and watch it in slow motion...  Then watch some other folks who you look up to and compare where the shoulders, elbows,  hands, hips and knees are throughout the pass.  Especially pay attention to how they are making the turn (knees bent, straight, tucked or whatever)  ...  You never know it may not be your knees at all but how you are positioined through the wakes and/or how you counter and utilize that proud stance on the ski!

Happy skiing~


Observe, Listen, Learn, Share and Grow, but most of all have fun~

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#20 Thu, Aug 13, 2009 5:38 AM

RuralHack
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Re: Straight Legs and Bent Knees

You did not get to 38 off with poor habits. You are into the realm of mind over rope length. I think the ones that are telling you to bend your knees are just messing with your mind. Ski Ya!


Grew up at a ski school; started teaching old men like me at around 8 years old... I was a better teacher than my coach so I got to ski more if I taught them. wink

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