Author Topic: Check out this move...The swivel!  (Read 1373 times)

Liam

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Check out this move...The swivel!
« on: November 09, 2012, 03:50:19 am »
I just watched this short video of a Japanese (??) skier in the bumps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scWyY1YOZkw&feature=endscreen

It's pretty great bump skiing (IMHO)-but check out the swivel move he uses at the top of this run, and then again about midway down.  There is only one other skier I have seen use that move (as a substitute for typical zipper-line banging/deflection and to negotiate very tight spaces and trees at speed) and that is my original ski mentor Luke KornBluh.  It's a money maneuver. When you see it in person it almost looks like his skis are snaking and slithering through the terrain.

He has tried to explain to me exactly what he's doing when he pulls off the swivel...but never very clearly as he admits, he doesn't really know how to explain it, or even when and how he acquired this move.  When he was an instructor at Taos, the older directors there all said he had a very French style of skiing, and I believe there is a fairly well-known old school french style (Joubert) turn called the swivel, or Serpent-turn or something like that.

So here's my question, does anyone know how to do that swivel move shown in the first seconds of this video, how to use it in advanced terrain, and more importantly how to break down what it is and how to learn it?   

Gary, does JC ever use that sort of a move (he has a generaly smooth, serpentine style that can be a little swivel-like as well)?

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midwif

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 12:45:24 pm »
Looked a little like "wedeling" (sp?) demonstrated by Ott Gangle on epic.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 12:48:31 pm by jim-ratliff »
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Gary

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 01:27:06 pm »
Love the way he attacked his line...really owned that run, strong and fluid.

Funny you ask Liam....JC actually has this swivel move he'll demo on the flats and likes to see if any of us can do it behind him.
Like the skier in the video, John can perform the same manuver in the bumps. Hard to follow him when he throws one of those turns when I'm hot on his tail.

I've seen guys like Ron do it in the trees making quick direction changes...I'm sure Bush has his version too.

It truly is a swivel move, a strong twist or pivot with the skis flat (a must) on the ground....gotta be flat on the bottom to be able to pull it off. It's truly big time rotational but it's great tool for a mid run correction or avoidence manuever.

Lining up behing John trying to repeat his  mulitple motions of this reminds me of the dance called the "twist"...very rotational feeling that drives from the knees and hips.

In a panic move I can do it....but not good enough to own it yet like John or the skier in the video.

Best way to practice is get on a green or blue good snow day, and with your weight centered over the balls of your feet, upper body down the fall line, try rotating your feet, knees and hips. I've only been able to do this with ankle bones and knees tight together. I THINK OF IT AS A WIPER BLADE MOTION. It can only be totally effective with quick pole touches.

You can even dryland practice it....hands out to the sides for balance, knees bent, weight centered on balls of feet, now twist your bottom half left and right.  At least that's the sensation I have performing it.

It's a start Liam but try it and let me know if you can get a few.

Best, G
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 02:20:19 pm by Gary »

Liam

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 07:17:03 pm »
Gary,

I'll give it a shot (first let me spray some pledge on my hardwood floors and put on some socks!).  Do you usually exaggerate a counter rotation with the torso to pull this off?   I figured JC would have a handle on this slithery French style turn  ;)

The Wedeln is a more stacco, bouncy move...but that can be a fun thing to do as well...everybody do the twist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWcPrEOrbBI

Actually about the 1:19 point or so he busts out some serpantine squiggles that qualify.   The goofiness of the singing aside, that's a fun skiing video.   I understand he's actually a past Austrian WC skier of some achievement.


HighAngles

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 10:38:43 pm »
I "owned" that move and that style of skiing from about age 14 - 22.  It's what all the "cool" kids did back in the day.  Note that there's no direction change from this ski swiveling move.  It was purely for style.  I would challenge myself to see how many extra "turns" I could throw in while tearing down a mogul run.

Fast forward to my last 12 years living in Colorado.  I've spent the better part of the last 10 years trying to get rid of that swivel move.  It still comes out from time to time when I ski moguls.  I'm still working hard to bring my PMTS skills into my mogul skiing - my old mogul movements are just so ingrained in my skiing.

I would love to understand why any modern skier, given today's "tools" (skis), would want to own this move.  It accomplishes nothing - it's purely for style points and only appreciated by those who like the style.  Note that this is NOT a pivoted turn - there's NO turn happening since there's no direction change.  The skis are sideways. but the direction of travel is still forward.

Too bad we didn't have helmet cams and video camcorders back when I was a kid or I'd have tons of video showing skiers flying down an entire run only doing the swivel move while heading straight down the slope.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 10:42:03 pm by HighAngles »

Liam

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2012, 06:24:19 am »
HA,

 I have seen it in practice and it has way more utility than you suggest.  There is no direction change of his upper body-and that's the point!  He snakes his skis through quick and tricky surfaces while avoiding having to bail from his chosen line.   Now, imagine the same run, but now with trees, shrubs, logs and rocks demanding you hold the same line (typical expert tree runs in VT, NH, and gnarly western Mountains Like Red Mountain and Whitewater in BC), your options become limited, but the ability to get your skis to slither and negotiate tight/ trough-strewn terrain while keeping your upper body moving in a more direct line allows for a fast commanding expert way to ski such terrain.

See, what you point out as it's weakness-the ability to quickly turn the skis/ guide the skis (in very trick spaces) without changing directions is what gives this move it's utility.  Sometimes you want to (or have to!) keep your body moving straight or in a corridor (not just tight trees and chutes, but think about late spring skiing in trees or tight bumps were all but one safe line has melted out), but what's happening at your feet-level (obstacles, troughs, bumps, stumps, Liftline poles and cement platforms, etc) makes that a difficult proposition.  This move is a way to rectify that.  And it's one that allows the skier to keep his speed up, and not use hard braking movements.

Take the 1st video above...aside from looking kind of cool, he was able to keep his speed and direct line through what was a succession of deep troughs that would have otherwise required deflection turns (wc mogul style), edge sets, or taking another line.  Instead, he slithered his skis right through those sections and then resumed his more conventional attack on his chosen line.

Honestly now, how many of us on this board could ski that same run as well and with as much energy (or style) as the Japanese skier featured?  You don't think that maybe he found utility in that swivel move that enabled him to ski the line of his choosing?

H-A, this move is undoubtedly from a past era, but that to me is hardly a reason to decry anyone wanting to learn it.  Modern tools are great, but you ski enough varied terrain and you learn that sidecut isn't always your friend and sometimes something else might be needed.

As has been said In many, many threads and forums for years: DYNAMIC BALANCE is the ultimate ski tool-it connects the modern and the premodern.  And, the Japanese skier in the first video is a good example of this (actually, so is the yodeling Austrian skier in the second video!).  All of his skiing happens from a great centered and re-centering balance from his feet up, which makes both his swivel turns and his mostly very modern rounded bump turns so effective-and it is why he is able to move easily from one type of move to the next.

Max, I'm sure the femurs are involved, and of course it involved pivoting, but I am not sure it is so simple (and certainly not so simple to bust it our where this skier does, maintain your centered balance and chosen trajectory).  I think there is some foot and ankle steering as well.  And this move is seldom done as 'one-slither turn' but usually (as in this video) done as a set of turns.  That level of Pelvic-femoral rapid fire coordination is a fairly challenging kinesthetic skill. Is it an easy skill to acquire the ability to keep a floating edgeless ski, with perfectly centered and calm balance in in steep moguls?  There is a certain level of composure required to pulling this off in challenging terrain that is also intriguing.

Oh, and yeah, the fact that it is pretty freaky-stylie is part of the appeal to me.  But as you all know, I'm very upfront about the motivational aspects of aesthetically pleasing skiing.  And you also all know, I don't believe I'm alone in this.

Gary

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2012, 07:15:57 am »
Liam...I'm on the same page with you...it's wicked cool seeing how it's being used and to use it as fluidly as he did as well as what I've seen John do...ANOTHER great tool for the ski skill bag.

Working with John, he told me it's not just about the rotation...it's got to have a rapid fire pole touch. The upper body stays quiet and in the fall line, but each quick pole touch (I think the hardest part of the move) is the part that ignites the pivot on that glued together piston beneath the hips. I know when I am able to do it, I don't feel any ankle or foot steer, what I FEEL is pure rotation of two very flat skis. Now I've only practiced this on flat groomed snow so I may not be the best indicator but it happens so fast and the rotation is so powerful and immediate, I don't sense any foot or ankle steering.

I have seen many many sloppy rotation and twists but to see them done that quick and with intended purpose be it stylin', explosive directionaly change, or just saving a bad situation....seems like another good tool to have in my surgical bag.

So grease up the floor man....put on Chubby Checkers "Twist and Shout" and start your engine..oh yeah....hydrate first!  :D

Best, G
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 07:17:02 am by Gary »

Gary

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2012, 11:24:55 am »
Hey Max...the movement that I'm describing is not what I see illustrated in the video you posted.

That skier in the video is UPweighting to transition. In the video Liam posted and what I've seen John do (and I have practiced) is where the skis have constant contact with the snow, dead flat using a powerful lower body rotation. (think windshield wiper)

Your idea of practicing pivot skips on groomed with the skis flat is spot on. Do this while focusing on picking up the transition speed that each pole touch starts is a good way to learning how to apply in 3D terrain.

Don't think I'd use a blocking pole plant in this situation at all...in my experience, it's very rapid fire touches with the pole plants and get-em out of the way.

When I've see JC do a series of 5 or 6 of these in a row, his arms are to the side and the poles hanging straight down, no wrist or swinging pole movement.... it's just touch touch touch touch....with each touch the skis swing right then left then right then left......for this movement, it's so freakn' fast and amazing to watch and more so when I could link 3 or 4 together.

G
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 12:08:09 pm by Gary »

Gary

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2012, 11:58:39 am »
Well Max...we differ on what we are seeing in that particular video. In the video you posted, I see the front of his skis clearly lifting up and off the ground during transition..and that in itself is not the movement I'm referring to.

I've always thought of the pole plant as a concert conductors baton...it sets the timing for the orchestra. Translating  that to skiing, I see the pole plant or touch function to set the timing for speed of transition. IMO anything other that a light touch or even brush of the pole tip in the movement we've been discussing would be counter productive to producing a rapid fire rotation.

I've never seen a written description for what I'm describing as a blocking pole plant. Maybe it's the word blocking in this application that's throwing me off.  But my mind is an open sponge to learning.

When I've see JC do a series of 5 or 6 of these in a row, his arms are to the side and the poles hanging straight down, no wrist flicking or swinging pole movement.... it's just touch touch touch touch....with each touch the skis swing right then left then right then left......for this movement, it's so freakn' fast and amazing to watch and more so when I could link 3 or 4 together.
Best, G
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 12:12:57 pm by Gary »

bushwacka

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2012, 02:36:11 pm »
I am guessing most of the people on this site can do this if needed. Its something I cannt say I ever practice but is sure is a part of my skiing when needed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KsULFyp9r4

I know that video is flawed, I am using it since I know I do the swivel in it. Try skiing hardpack bumps on a 108mm ski with a 35 meter sidecut....I was only being filmed to show that those skis were decent at stuff they shouldnt be decent at.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2012, 02:58:10 pm »
I would say that your turns weren't the swivel move shown above, but were in a sense better.
Looked to me like you were getting angulation and edges even in the tight swivel places rather than just swiveling?
IMO.
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Gary

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2012, 07:36:33 am »
http://mogulmasters.us/forum/?p=516

Guys if you watch this post and at the very end from 4min to 4min 8sec's...you'll see John perform the swivel movement.

Plus some pretty nice relaxed mogul skiing.

Think it's pretty cool how his student, a 1 year skier, is capable to look so smooth in the bumps.

Best, G
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 07:41:57 am by Gary »

Liam

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2012, 10:54:23 am »
That is exactly it in the last few seconds.

That's a real nice video....had she been working with JC for her whole first season??  IF she really is a true adult newbie to skiing-than that is quite a plum for the Clendenin Method.   

The final bump run is in some pretty huge (but well spaced) bumps.

Watching this video makes me think about another aspect of the whole technique discussion....What are your prospective learners looking for and what can you give them and how soon can they put it into practice?  JC's product seems well-mated to his clientele. 

And I think, apropos  of my earlier threads, he is definitely serving up a distinctive style of skiing that has a few fairly pronounced techniques that are fundamental to his style.

Gary,

I have JC's book, and have always liked his skiing and his approach to teaching....Does JC ever work with more aggressive and higher end skiers than those typically featured in his videos (and I am not knocking the people in his videos, but they are mostly older true intermediates who wear fancy white jackets with fur trimmed hoods and elaborate designs on the back ;))?  Does he do a 'black level Camp'   or camp for more advanced, fit, skilled skiers?  How skilled is the rest of his Camp coaches (I get the impression that Tino is the next top dog n the line)?


Gary

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2012, 11:26:56 am »
Hey Liam...I never met that young lady but I believe this was the first time he had worked with her. Just blew me away how well she took to the technique. OH yeah..gotta love western soft round bumps...yeeha!

What your take from watching his video is what brought me to him in the first place. For an upper level intermediate to advanced skier that struggles off piste or in the bumps, his technique can be learned very rapidly and applicable day 1 on their home mountain....at least it was for me. I have worked with others sharing what John has taught me and still do...with very positive and immediate results.

John does work with high level bump skiers.....he's kicked my ass (medium level bump skier) in some of those classes. I've worked with 4 of his coaches all rock solid bumpers and all mountain skiers. Chino in Portillo is fantastic, but he's got a great crew in Aspen for sure. When I have the choice, I work with John....he's so freakn' silky smooth ripn' lines through bumps or just cruzn' through them. I've "play time" skied with him on a 6" powder day in Jackson...just the two of us all mountain skiing and what a blast.

John's skill set really opens the door for both young and old that have "bumpitis" or "allmountainfridgiti s". But skiing behind him when he's seeing 5 bumps ahead, zipper line....he's supurb and certainly, what I aspire to.

Thanks Liam,
G

« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 11:28:54 am by Gary »

jim-ratliff

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2012, 11:28:18 am »
Gary:
I hate to point this out, but I think Liam just called you an older terminal intermediate with a white coat and fur lined hood?  And, by the way, how are you doing with your arthritis medication?
Jim
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 02:45:01 pm by jim-ratliff »
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Gary

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2012, 11:31:02 am »
Actually Jim...I got that....and I do truly like my fur lined underwear!!  :-*

Now Jim...your point was?    8)

Best, g
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 12:25:28 pm by Gary »

Gary

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2012, 12:36:32 pm »
http://mogulmasters.us/forum/?p=511

Liam..check out this clip of John with a more advanced skier....owner of Aspen.... :o

Watch John about 6:18...he can turn up the volume!

G

Liam

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2012, 04:53:48 pm »
C'Mon, Jim-I was just talking about the well-heeled ladies John prominently features in his camp videos---I know Gary is the real deal!

I Really like that last video, Gary (he ends again with some swiveling!).

Showed a nice progression from groomer to zipper line.  That's what I'm saying-when someone comes to you and says 'I want to learn to ski bumps"--you have a few options and a few different approaches.  Some yiled better results than others, some take a lot of time and work.   It seems like John has really nailed a teachable technique that gets folks from all walks of skiing off the groomed and into the uneven terrain with balance and control in a pretty short time (respectively).   

You skied with JC at Jackson on a Powder day, huh--that must have been something to see.   Does he stay as floaty-smooth coming through the maw of Tower 3 Chute?

Another thing I realize whenever I watch JC's videos is that I've never Skied the resorts of Aspen...I really should plan a week there....though that would be a wife trip and not a buddy trip (save my pennies and stay at the St. Regis sort of thing).

jim-ratliff

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2012, 06:39:30 pm »
Liam. I know.  ;)  And you are correct, John may have a preference for a certain type of student.

One of the highlights of his approach is the "follow him through the bumps" moment.  I don't know if he has an exceptional ability to pick a good path through the bumps for the student, or whether it's because a big part of the decision making is taken away as he makes the decisions on where to turn, but it works.  And, as far as I know, it was something that only he did with each student in the group. 
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 06:53:06 pm by jim-ratliff »
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Liam

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2012, 09:00:33 pm »
You might have a point there, Max, our bumps tend to be toothier and much more closely packed together .   But there is something to be said for JC's relaxed less edgy technique even in New England moguls.   Still, for a first year student, the lady in the video showed real balance and fairly adept bump negotiation (for a newbie).  And in the final segment of the video with the owner of aspen, JC gets him to negotiate a fairly tight line, in control without stopping---clearly, he learned something of value.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 06:51:49 am by Liam »

Gary

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2012, 07:50:31 am »
Gentlemen...please allow me to empatically state there is NO skidding;

1 Skidding definition by the dictionary: an unexpected or uncontrollable sliding on a smooth surface

John teaches his students to employ drifting or floating in a controled fashion towards a designated direction.  This float or drift can be used in short bursts for quicker direction changes or longer drifts for more lazy lines through the bumps.

Skidding intimates lack of control and that is certainly not the case. Skiing bumps totally on the edges of the skis, edges scraping down the fronts of bumps, hard edge sets and body angles make skiing bumps at least for me and many I know, very difficult to manage speed and also use loads of more energy. As I said....this is my experience. Furthermore, being able to own the ability to drift or float is a KEY factor to skiing off traill, trees, bowls, powder. I believe this to be a very effective and important skiing skill.

Max, you have a good point about the quaility of the bumps his students are working on...round soft bumps certainly make learning bumps so much easier. Also, it's true following someones line like John does make LEARNING bump skiing much easeier. BUT the point is ...it's about learning to ski the bumps. I have to admit I have a more difficult time with our local icy, toothy bumps we get at Bristol and if they're hard as rock, I stay off them..just no fun for me and may never be. My greatest pleasure is adding JC skill sets to my ski skill quiver and have had wonderful experiences skiing much more of the mountain in a variety of snow condtions with complete confidence.

Liam...there were no chutes that day with John but we were in Saratoga Bowl with bumps and trees galore and yes...he's silky smooth there too.

Best,
G
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 08:01:29 am by Gary »

bushwacka

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2012, 09:02:26 am »
I am intrigued by that video. but as a ski instructor in my mind its not success till someone can do it with out following me. which is the hardest thing to teach and IMO can not be 100 percent taught.

I have a fairly open idea of what good skiing is, and honestly while I think John is skiing well, even the instants of 'turning it up" I do not think he skis great(my standards is pretty high and only about 10-15 people I have ever seen I person would classify as great skiers) with that said I think he could ski anywhere on the mountain smoothly and and in control which is my definition of an expert.

I do think being able to skid, and float, and drift are keys to being good off trail skiers, but to be great i think you have to learn how do slice more than you slarve while still having that option if you need it or want it.

for those of you curious and saying John couldnt ski like that on the EC. I am certain I can do the John techniques in our moguls at stowe. I teach stuff very similar all the time. I feel like bump skiing and short turns on groomers feed into each other alot and one doesnt really come before the other. Bumps are in fact a great way to get students to learn to flex to release instead of extending. that just one of many ways they feed into each other.


jim-ratliff

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2012, 09:43:16 am »
I am intrigued by that video. but as a ski instructor in my mind its not success till someone can do it with out following me. which is the hardest thing to teach and IMO can not be 100 percent taught.
Bush: That is certainly true, but I assume you would agree that much of teaching is setting the student up for success; and getting them "in the bumps" with the most likelihood of a positive experience is what I think John's approach does.  Plus it's a level of "individual attention" that much of his clientele probably appreciates (or expects).
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

bushwacka

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2012, 09:56:13 am »
M y standards of success are much higher than most students :P

but i agree with you and its part of the reason I find low angle softer bumps runs at first and do exactly what john is doing.

with that said I use follow me alot less than most people because I actually like to watch students and see what is going on.

Gary

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2012, 01:57:18 pm »
Max....the technique does work on narly tight bumps as I've seen John use it by shortening up the movements.

Like "lifting is for learning" (Harold) ....with John, long lazy lines are for learning.

Technique is technique...it's how its applied to particular terrain and the comfort and enjoyement level of the skier.

Bush....during clinics or lessons with John, he does a lot of watching.

As an instructor you can appreciate this...he use green light, yellow light, red light as an individual skier would apply to the personal comfort level in a particular bump line. John will watch closely where the student is comfortable (green light) noting movements the skier owns and picking up movments that the skier needs to improve on to feel comfortable in more difficult bumps.  When he's working in students red light terrain, for sure following a better bumper in deep steep bumps builds confidence and repetition does the rest.

G
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 02:04:57 pm by Gary »

Gary

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2012, 02:47:27 pm »
Right Max...cause I'm still the student...and in all honesty I can get down those narly eastern bumps...but not as pretty as I can ski those soft round biggies out west...and I"M ok with that. So whether some day I ski the icy, toothy, displaced, icy on trail bumps we get at our resort...I'm not worried about it....I get no great pleasure skiing those.

But what John has masterfully broght to me is the ability to ski 3 D snow with great confindence and like I said....adding another ski skill to my ski skill bag.

BTW...my devotion is to any master that can allow me to ski with confindence anywhere on the mountain. Keeping in mind to that  I have a great deal of respect and devotion to what HH gave me.

For me Max...it's all in the plus column!

G

Gary

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Re: Check out this move...The swivel!
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2012, 06:51:46 am »
Dude...wow...Really!?!?

How many world bump champions have you skied with?

My point Max I'm guessing few here will ever ski those gnarly, icy frozen bumps as well as you...some of us actually look to avoid those INBOUNDS crap bumps....still an All Mountain EXPERT skier must ski it all, everything everywhere all over in bounds, out of bounds, side country, in total perfect control and form...so glad you're that level 10 skier, which I may never be.

My final point: The rest of us mortals, young and old look for the most effective way to play in terrain that gives us the greatest satsifaction, you know...fun. For those that are struggling skiing bumps and have not found a technique that works for them....Clendenin offers a simple system IMO that is easy to learn, easy to apply, useable in all mountain conditions, and easy on the body.

For those of you level 10 skiers that ski zipper line in gnarly, icy shark tooth bumps....I bow to your skill....you don't need John.

Best, G



« Last Edit: November 17, 2012, 07:02:36 am by Gary »