Level Shoulders - Thanks TW

HortonHorton Posts: 27,206 Administrator
edited August 5 in Technique & Theory
About 2 years ago I skied with @twhisper for a few sets at the end of my KD Platinum review. (https://www.ballofspray.com/forum#/discussion/18600/kd-platinum-review/p1 ) Terry suggested that I needed to work on keeping my shoulders more level everywhere in the course. That day I am not sure I made it my focus but I filed it in the back of my mind as something to work on later.

Currently, it is one the most important keys to my skiing and one of the things I use the most in my coaching. There is no “cure all” in skiing but I am still surprised about how many problems this solves for skiers I coach.

For me it is part of what helps me moderate my intensity approaching the wakes and to manage my upper body approaching apex.

What really surprised me is how much it helps skiers at 15 off & 24 – 30 mph. In retrospect maybe is it obvious but level shoulders for skiers at this level very much helps stability and stack at the wakes.

(see Terry I do listen :-)

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Comments

  • LazLaz Posts: 320 Baller
    I think this is similar to the reverse C position I’ve been working on at 32 and 35’ off. Definitely helps keep me of the tail coming into the turn.
    dbaconaz
  • LakebumLakebum Posts: 25 Baller
    @Horton, I agree. If I work on that one thought going into the ball, I extend better, the rope stays tight, my ski finishes well and I’m stacked immediately. Makes all the difference for me at 32 & 35 off.
    MISkier
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,897 Mega Baller
    @Horton do you have a thought that helps with that? On my onside I tend to drop my inside shoulder. Lately I have been trying to keep the zipper on my vest pointed down course or even outbound in the preturn and it seems to help.
    Mark Shaffer
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,206 Administrator
    @laz I know what the Reverse C is but I do not know how anyone works on it. Everytime I read someone talking about I am worried that there is a misunderstanding. If your shoulders stay level and your lower body swings out then you are doing it right. Is that what you mean?

    @Chef23 for me it goes with being tall. If I come off the second wake and my chin is as far as possible from my feet and my elbows are on my vest I can rise up with level shoulders as I approach the ball line. Does that help?

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    jipster43ballsohardShark
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,897 Mega Baller
    @Horton that helps and is actually what I have been working on. I am trying to be as tall as I can on the ski coming into the turn. I am only skiing 30 mph these days but I am trying to work on some real strong fundamentals including staying really tall. I haven't thought about my chin but I like that.

    In watching some recent video of good skiers lately Terry Winter, Nate, Will etc. regardless of their position behind the boat they are really long coming into and out of the turn. I have been trying to emulate that and the ski seems to turn much better and I am in better position when the boat picks me up.
    Mark Shaffer
    Hortonballsohard
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,787 Mega Baller
    This is key because when it happens the skier is in an improved state of balance. Tall and balanced is what we strive for. When I coach beginning course skiers, I often see too much movement forward-aft and/or left-right. I focus them on being still and balanced on top of their ski, (never "falling" through a turn or into a lean). This always makes the shoulders more level and provides stability and confidence. Balance plus a tall stance creates the foundation for everything else needed to master the course.

    So if "shoulders level" ever doesn't click for a skier, try "still and balanced" as key words for them.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,418 Crazy Baller
    I have never seen anyone get as tall as Adam Caldwell... and stay tall and level throughout the pass.

    I’ve been picking up 3 ball with my vision when I come into 1 and 4 ball when I come into 2 etc. That really seems to have helped with my shoulders, but I still suck keeping my hips up. I guess I need to really focus on getting my chin further from my feet.
    adamhcaldwelljimbrakeandjules
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 909 Mega Baller
    I haven't used "shoulders level" for a while. I'll give it a crack. The problem with the whole hips back thing is that the bio-feedback loop for it is broken/missing behind the boat, at least for me. As in I can run a pass and think I had it NAILED, then look at video and sure enough shoulders are leading and butt is behind. The only place I can positively feel alignment is free from the boat in the glide. Then the feedback loop opens and it's lost in the course.
    jipster43
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,522 Mega Baller
    Level shoulders, especially into my offside turn, is one of two things I am working on this year. The other is an earlier pullout and longer glide where I wait for the boat to take the line a little, so I can turn in for the gates on a tight line. Both are paying dividends, when I do them consistently.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • skibrainskibrain Posts: 61 Baller
    Thanks for this thread and the article link.
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,278 Mega Baller
    @jipster43 - me too. Having "long distance" vision down the buoy line really helps me stay level, improves my balance, and smooths out the finish of the turn. If i look at the ball I'm coming in to, then I crank my turn and am lucky to make it out of there.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
    andjulesjipster43DragoDirt
  • LakebumLakebum Posts: 25 Baller
    @Chef23 , I just saw a video (can’t find it right now) where the skier used the language: “don’t rotate, ever” initiate everything with your hips.” I haven’t heard those words before, but will have in my mind next set. When I rotate at the ball, instead of keeping my shoulders level, my body turns before the ski, inside shoulder dips and I typically don’t come out of the turn. Hope that helps.
    jimbrake
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,054
    The way I learned it is to use your hips and "Slide to the Handle". No Rotating and NO Reaching. Works for me, and I'm old !!!

    Loving the new ZO Rev. S Plus Mode C3+
    So_I_Ski
  • So_I_SkiSo_I_Ski Posts: 116 Baller
    If you were to consider the mechanics of "how" to keep your shoulders level and yet still turn the ski, it would seem that the more "open" you are, the easier it would be to accomplish. And there is only one way I can think of to keep your shoulders perfectly level throughout the turn and that would be to open so dramatically that your back was to the course which some of the better skiers are almost able to do on their onside anyway.

    In effect you would be falling backwards or dropping your lower body only while standing sideways so that your shoulders could stay level with respect to one another. For that matter, there is a great pic of Horton's onside at the bottom of his Denali review doing almost that very thing. He is so open that his head is turned to the shore and his shoulders are virtually level at the apex of the turn. Great form and something to emulate.
  • skialexskialex Posts: 849 Crazy Baller
    Assuming your vest has a front zipper :), keep your zipper facing down the course, at the turn in and the apex of the turns. It works for me and for everyone I know that have tried it. Doing this also keeps my shoulders and head level
    OldboyII
  • ShaunTShaunT Posts: 39 Baller
    Nice timing on the post @Horton . I was just reading and searching through old 'level shoulder' posts last night because a year in 'level shoulders' is something I'm needing to work on.

    Probably one of the only two 'zen' moments i've experience while skiing the course was when I managed somehow to have very level shoulders and maintain an upright head position the whole pass. The pass literally unfolded before me, smooth and controlled, and I just felt like a passenger on the ski but in a very very good way.

    I've seen some extensive analysis from @twhisper on level shoulders and now just trying to work out how to get it happening while thinking of the 50 other things I need to remember. :D

    Zman
  • ShaunTShaunT Posts: 39 Baller
    @jimbrake Looking at the ball is a habit I need to break. Rarely ends in good things happening. :|
    jimbrake
  • ShaunTShaunT Posts: 39 Baller
    @Bruce_Butterfield I saw that article last night and you linked to another but it gives me a Permission Problem when accessing it. http://www.ballofspray.com/forum#/discussion/comment/113807
  • gsm_petergsm_peter Posts: 731 Crazy Baller
    Hmmm. I just learned to ski a little bit more closed to the boat. That helped me get more load on the back arm, much earlier and got better, more stable turnes....
    Could I have been too open, especially after the centre line?
    Life is too short not to enjoy every day!
  • LOTWLOTW Posts: 97 Baller
    Is there a good slowmo video?
  • So_I_SkiSo_I_Ski Posts: 116 Baller
    @Bruce_Butterfield for the link you added to that thread on "staying open" it doesn't indicate who wrote it. Could you provide the name of the author, please. Thanks.
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,479 Mega Baller
    @So_I_Ski I wrote that article.

    I guess I need to sue the site administrator for not including the author’s name.
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
    ShaunT
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,206 Administrator
    @Bruce_Butterfield the site admin is clearly a knucklehead.

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    Bruce_ButterfieldShaunT
  • BoneHeadBoneHead Posts: 6,028
    Clearly
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,509 Mega Baller
    @gsm_peter there is open and there is giving up to the boat one looks like solid body position and the other is handle separation.

    Trying to stay a bit more closed is a tactic to keep handle control - by doesn't mean necessarily that your shoulders cannot be level.
    gsm_peterski6jones
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,206 Administrator
    I have a theory that being more level makes me more open but I would never try to be open just to be open.

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    Zmangsm_peter
  • brettmainerbrettmainer Posts: 245 Crazy Baller
    I have a theory that beer makes me happy, but I would never drink beer just to drink beer. Or would I?
    Mateo_Vargas
  • georgertgeorgert Posts: 1 New Baller
    I've probably watched this video 20 or mre times to get good visualization of many of the things discussed in this thread. How many moves and shapes can you pick out?
    Bruce_Butterfieldvernonreeve

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