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Tips for Skiing Tight Lines

MadMadWorld

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Lately, I have been having to work a lot on my technique in tight trees and other narrow chutes. What advice do you guys have?

When I ski, I try to look at only the spaces in between the trees and when I get in a tight spot I find that it's important to always keep your skis moving, even if it's just a side slip as odd as that might sound.
 

HD333

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My very untechnical suggestion is simply commit to your line and trust it. Any hesitation/doubt and I almost always have to bail wether it be on a board, skis, or MTB.
 

St. Bear

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I tend to ski in a wide stance and have difficult keeping my skis together, so by extension I have difficulty in tight lines. On fast groomers, I try to practice keeping my skis together, but I don't really get out enough to reinforce it.

Doesn't really address the original post, but whatever.
 

Hawkshot99

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My very untechnical suggestion is simply commit to your line and trust it. Any hesitation/doubt and I almost always have to bail wether it be on a board, skis, or MTB.

+1. Trust yourself to get the job done. if you question on whether not you make the line, I usually find that I struggle with the line.

Sent from my SGH-S959G using Tapatalk 2
 

Puck it

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Avoid the trees is what I do. It seems to work for the most part.

It is just moguls with trees.

Bill is in the mail!!!
 

bdfreetuna

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Skis tight, knees bent, look ahead and look where you want to go (not at the trees).

I suspect you are a better skier than myself.. and that these tips are fairly obvious for advanced/expert skiers.

At some level it's mostly a mental thing, and just like any sport which deals with low levels of objective probability, you can gain a lot by totally committing and having no doubt in your mind that you are about to achieve exactly what you intend.

Certain situations, like if you need to hit a couple pillows on the way down to a tree gap, and the pillows are a little staggered before you get there.. I guess it doesn't hurt to plan your line so that you have a straight shot through the gap.

Steep narrow gullies... if you are comfortable alternating between straight lining it and hockey-slide to jump turns.. you can really just ski them any way you want to have the most fun. Certain terrain for me isn't about how fast I get down it, but how much variation and unconventional skiing I can cram into a certain run.
 
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MadMadWorld

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Skis tight, knees bent, look ahead and look where you want to go (not at the trees).

I suspect you are a better skier than myself.. and that these tips are fairly obvious for advanced/expert skiers.

At some level it's mostly a mental thing, and just like any sport which deals with low levels of objective probability, you can gain a lot by totally committing and having no doubt in your mind that you are about to achieve exactly what you intend.

No matter what level a skier is at, the best way to learn new skills is by getting feedback from other people.

My skiing has definitely been slacking lately and anything I can try to in order to get better is a good thing so thank you.
 

KevinF

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In tight lines, the less that turns, the better. If everything turns when you turn (i.e., head, shoulders, hips, feet), then you have a lot of mass to get moving the other way. If you can get just your feet turning and your legs rotating in their hip sockets (i.e., torso facing downhill), then it's pretty easy to get going the other way. It's basically a problem of economy of motion; nothing moves that doesn't have to.

Basically, learn how to do this:

Be prepared to practice. A lot.
 

Scruffy

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In tight lines, the less that turns, the better. If everything turns when you turn (i.e., head, shoulders, hips, feet), then you have a lot of mass to get moving the other way. If you can get just your feet turning and your legs rotating in their hip sockets (i.e., torso facing downhill), then it's pretty easy to get going the other way. It's basically a problem of economy of motion; nothing moves that doesn't have to.

Basically, learn how to do this:

Be prepared to practice. A lot.

I agree with your words bolded above, but that video is showing rotary turns on a flat snow surface. Those turns might work in tight trees if you had blower POW over a hard base. If your in deep chutter snow in the tight trees, that may not be your best move, you could easily catch an edge and whack a tree.
 

snowmonster

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Aside from everything that's been said here, keep your weight forward. Once you fall into the back seat, your skis will shoot forward and you'll be in for the ride. Plot your line then execute. And, most importantly, keep both skis on the same side as the tree.
 

KevinF

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I agree with your words bolded above, but that video is showing rotary turns on a flat snow surface. Those turns might work in tight trees if you had blower POW over a hard base. If your in deep chutter snow in the tight trees, that may not be your best move, you could easily catch an edge and whack a tree.

Sorry, I was too brief in my initial reply (the hazards of posting while at work... :sad:)

The point of learning a pivot slip isn't so much that you'd want to do one in a tight spot. The point of learning how to do a pivot slip is that it teaches you how to get your skis pointed at the trees on one side and then the trees on the other side -- without your feet moving left/right. In a perfect pivot slip, your skis never leave the corridor that they started in. If you can do a perfect pivot slip, it's easy to move into "real" turns while maintaining a ski-width corridor. In fact, watching somebody who can do really good pivot slips, it can be hard to see where pivot slips end and really steery short turns begin.
 

KevinF

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I should also say that I can't do a pivot slip to save my ass... But last year I went to my favorite instructor and discussed this very problem (skiing tight lines) and we spent ALL MORNING doing nothing but pivot slips (or at least me trying to). A little practice went a long ways.
 

BMac

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Aside from the great ski advice coming from above, when I'm skiing a particularly tight line I pay close attention to my poles and more importantly baskets. Hooking a basket on a tree can throw you off balance so I'm always envisioning where the tips of my poles are at. I often throw my hands behind my back when i need to go through a near shoulder-width gap.
 

MadMadWorld

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I should also say that I can't do a pivot slip to save my ass... But last year I went to my favorite instructor and discussed this very problem (skiing tight lines) and we spent ALL MORNING doing nothing but pivot slips (or at least me trying to). A little practice went a long ways.

Pivot slips are surprisingly difficult to perfect but are very useful in narrow chutes. I'll have to give it a shot
 

bobbutts

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Maybe repeat some of this terrain that's giving you trouble over and over. I think some people have trouble improving because they insist on always a different trail/line every single run. Often this is combined with poor ability to read and react to the terrain, so you end up with defensive skiing and little improvement.
 

kingdom-tele

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In tight lines, the less that turns, the better. If everything turns when you turn (i.e., head, shoulders, hips, feet), then you have a lot of mass to get moving the other way. If you can get just your feet turning and your legs rotating in their hip sockets (i.e., torso facing downhill), then it's pretty easy to get going the other way. It's basically a problem of economy of motion; nothing moves that doesn't have to.

Basically, learn how to do this:

Be prepared to practice. A lot.

wow, that is remarkably poor information. stable pelvis?

where do people think their pelvic bones are? that video is demonstrating relatively stable hip joints. the rotation is happening above the pelvis. Quick turns means quick transition through your posture of choice, it takes dynamic motion of the spine, not less, more instability=quicker turns.

stand on a patch of ice and twist your lower body side to side, you can feel what hip motion alone feels like, what pelvic rotation feels like, where your spine is mobile or not.
 

MadMadWorld

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wow, that is remarkably poor information. stable pelvis?

where do people think their pelvic bones are? that video is demonstrating relatively stable hip joints. the rotation is happening above the pelvis. Quick turns means quick transition through your posture of choice, it takes dynamic motion of the spine, not less, more instability=quicker turns.

stand on a patch of ice and twist your lower body side to side, you can feel what hip motion alone feels like, what pelvic rotation feels like, where your spine is mobile or not.

From what I can tell, to perform a pivot slip well, you have to get both skis as flat as possible in the transition true?
 
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