Last season I experienced my left
ski wobbling--not to the extent that I could not control it. I
will make sure my skis are tuned up before hitting the slopes to
rule out any mechanical problems... Could there be another cause
behind this. I have the knee binding bindings on the skis. Stockli
I have a slight pronation problem
with my left foot that we more or less corrected with orthopedic
inserts. I have Head Raptor--body punch boots--which is a racing
boot, but with a recreation feel. Assuming I do not have a
mechanical problem, could the wobble be due to my ramping angle
being off. I can't say I had the problem on the right ski. Any
thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
|Can you tell me
when the ski is wobbling. i.e. on the flats or on icy terrain, in
the moguls, at a certain speed, etc....
I take it that your
right leg is your stronger leg. You are more comfortable putting
most of your weight on it rather than your left leg if you had
If so you maybe floating the left leg a bit
(not enough pressure on the ski with an appropriate edge, also
seen with lighter front tip of ski than tail). Compound this with
less coordination on that foot (a slight lack of rotatation and
tipping control) with strong tendency to pronate the foot and
therefore catching the edge a bit on the snow then one tends to
lighten the foot/ski a bit (a slight unconscious un-weighting)
this makes the ski vulnerable to being knocked a bit causing a
If this is the case practice resting your shin
on the tongue of the boot by relaxing the ankle, knee and hips and
sit into your boot more (bring your rear down just a bit squatting
a slight bit but keep your shin resting on the boot tongue with a
relaxed ankle and knees). Also make sure that your knees are
slightly bent and relaxed and the knee cap pointing and going over
the big toe. This will give your skis a slight pronation that
gives stability as thee skis moves straight down the hill. If
this solves your problem then there is nothing wrong with your
Note this is a body alignment and putting
weight or pressure on a slight inside edge.
You do not want
a perfectly flat ski as it will slide side to side.
is not an alignment, pressure, edge issue then the next easy thing
to check is boot cuff cant.
Put the boots on putting the
upper two buckles and booster strap on with just a sight snug
feel. Do not over tighten them as we want to see a slight
firmness of the boot cuff around your leg.
Stand on a flat
hard floor in your athletic stance, toes relaxed, ankles relaxed,
knees relaxed, hip relaxed, shins resting on the tongue of the
boot. Now with knees over the middle toes (skis are perfectly
flat) the boot cuffs should have equal pressure on both sides of
your lower leg. Have someone look from the front and back of the
lower leg. They should see that one side is not having more
pressure on the boot cuff than the other side of that same leg.
If they are equal; in pressure then the cuff alignment or
canting is fine. If one side is pressing more than the other you
need to adjust the boot cuff cant. See boot manual on boot cuff
These are the two most common reasons that can be
Now there might be a third one and that has
to do with your orthopedic insert. Many times shops and
physicians recommend orthopedic inserts. I have found that after
practicing and training properly to ski that the body musculature
and skeletal body frame readjusts itself and strengthens the foot
position providing appropriate ski rotation, pressure and edge.
For example the more you practice the lower your rest or neutral
stance in the boot. This slightly lower body position (lower
center of mass/gravity) realigns the leg and foot so it pressures
the ski differently usually in a more controllable position. So
I found is that the foot bed may be great when you are not in good
practice form helping out t first but it starts to fight you as
you become better in the season. That orthopedic insert which was
a great aid at the beginning of the season becomes a bit of a
hindrance in the later half of the season. This is just an
observation that I have observed through several of my students.
The more they train they find that replacing the orthopedic insert
with the original foot bed they found better edging and ski
control in their turns. This is only with my small group of
students that i have seen both on snow testing and on the
Endless Slope, it was not intended to be a real scientific
study but a subjective one. But then again I have never seen a
real scientific study on foot beds or at least not found one that
I felt was done with good controls in the form of good
especially before training and after training studies. It all
seems to be conjecture that foot beds would be better for all
skiers. They appear to help in walking and running shoes but then
again skiing is different than walking, running, and jogging.
My rule regarding foot beds is if you like something and you
feel it works for you then stick with it or if you have any doubts
then it is easy to trade out the foot beds and try comparing them
on the same runs back and forth several times with the different
footbeds and only after several tries then make the decision. It
maybe worth taking a morning or afternoon to do so since it will
affect your skiing for the rest of your life. It is subjective
but it is your subjectivity.
|My wife and I are
veteran skiers for over 30 years. We have as far as we can
recall have favored one side over the other (our stronger side)
which happens to be for both of us our right leg making left
turns. We control our speed and stop using that side.
It is just easier to engage that leg so we favor it. We work
out at a gym and the left leg seems to be just as strong so why is
it that we are unable to ski more symetrically? We believe
we could become better skiers if we could be confident on both
||You are right
your skiing would greatly improve as favoring one side is a root
cause of most problems in skiing. Barring any physical
differences the left leg is just less coordinated due to lack of
proper turning training done with the leg. The less
coordination is due to poor positioning, timing, flexibility,
agility and lack of proper reaction to balance stimulus. You
have also established poor to bad habits to reactions on that
side. The most important first step is to relax the foot,
ankle and knees on that side as you begin to turn on that side.
Relax into the ski boot and allow the boot to support the foot and
lower leg as you begin and proceed into the turn. this allows for
a stronger weight transfer to the downhill ski. Make sure
that your left knee is over the big toe of the foot so as to
pronate the foot to provide an inside edge to the downhill ski.
Raising your big toe on the foot will allow the foot to dorsal
flex easily and allow a stronger pronation and allow you to even
evert the foot to provide a greater edge to the downhill ski.
Practice these tips and watch your confidence increase on that
side. A great way to develop this off season and even
during the season are lessons on the Endless Slope. These are
exercises that will be covered in the very first lessons at
SnoZone Endless Slope schools.
Sam, when I saw a picture of myself skiing I thought of the
broomstick analogy. I’m tilted pretty far out. Shouldn’t I be
more over my skis, with just my ankles tilting? If so, it’s
easier said than done; I’ve been trying!
As long as you are counter balancing, you want your hip to go
toward the center of the circle you are going around. Therefore,
from an appearance point of view you are not over the skis but if
you were to measure the force pressure on your skis you will find
that they are directly over both the edges. This is due to your
counter balance and centrifugal force that is created as you carve
your turn. What I saw in the photo was pretty good in your attempt
to counter balance. Sure it could of been more angulation at the
ankle, knees and waist, but then maybe you would need to be going
faster as well. You were also performing a counter movement where
you were beginning to face down the hill as well which adds to
edge lift. You looked pretty relaxed (not stiff) and I was
impressed with your good edge bite and good lift on the skis. I
could read the bottom of your skis. If you studied the markings
left on the snow by your skis I bet you would of seen very sharp
defined cuts in the snow indicating that you were on edge and
carving your turn. Continue to practice your counter balance
move. To help a little more keep your right hand a bit higher up,
out and in front as you make the right turn and it will help
provide a stronger counter balance and more pressure on the
Sam, I still fall apart on the steep and revert to angling the
front ski across the fall line for speed control. I should be
able to do that with more effective edging, which I think I can
accomplish with better balance.
A lot of the steep stuff is mental and one is scared of going over
to balance onto the new downhill ski. Fear of not having edge
control causes people to whip the skis around too fast resulting
in a rushed slide around or going into a wedge position.
Therefore, you have to get use to the feel of falling straight
down for a brief second and at the same time relaxing and keep the ankles
flexed and your weight on the ball of your feet then you can
properly transfer your weight and then tip onto the skis edge
regaining a controlled turn. Then releasing the edge to go into a
fall again then transferring the weight and tipping onto the edge
regaining the turn. This is easier said than done since we do not
feel relaxed falling.
To prepare your self you should first side slip down a steep run
to get use to the slope. Do this on both sides alternating as you
Then once you are use to the slope then point your self down near
the bottom of the slope so as to pick up speed and as it levels
onto the flat transfer your weight and engage the edge and you
will turn in a nice arc. Next time start to point yourself
down a bit higher on the
slope and repeat. Repeat this each time starting a bit higher on
the slope until you start making the turn while still on the
slope. Do this on both sides and then try linking them.
You will find that you are getting use to the falling feeling and
are relaxed transferring and engaging the edge.
How can I bring my skis closer
together for tighter parallel skiing? I am a little bow legged and
my skis feel they are far apart.
It is important to relax your toes, ankles and
knees as you ski. This will allow you to ride more over
the skis. You will begin to feel the edges of your skis and how
they can be used to bring the skis in closer together. To
develop the feel of the skis edges perform the following exercise
on a gentle slope:
A lot has to do with relaxing and using your
edges to bring the skis in. Try this on a very gentle slope. In
a parallel stance, first relax your feet and ankles so that your
shins of your legs are resting on the tongue of the boots. Then
roll and tip both your feet toward your big toe side of each foot. You
can bring your knees closer together to accentuate this movement.
As you slide down slowly on the gentle slope the skis should come
closer together. Now roll and tip both your feet toward the little toe
side of each foot. You can bow leg your knees out a bit for this
to get on the outside edges of your skis. The skis should ski
apart. Practice this until you can form hour glass shape
tracks in the snow. As you get better at this your feet begin to
develop control of the skis width apart but most of all you begin
to ride over your skis more.
What is important is to be relaxed at your toes,
ankles and knees. While relaxed you naturally push forward your
knees and your feet are more likely to pronate (place more
pressure on the big toe side of each feet. By stiffing your
joints which you do not want to do you stand up straighter and you roll toward your little toe
side of the feet (supinate). So do not stiffen up but relax and
let your ski boot do some of the work of holding you up. This is
why you paid so much for good pair of ski boots, right!
"Why does my ski
want to go one direction when I want to turn and go the other
This is most
likely due to not transferring appropriate weight to the ski which
will become the new downhill ski when the new turn is made. You
may think you placed weight on this ski but most likely all you
did was turn the ski on it's inside edge causing it to track and
continue to go in a straight line.
What I recommend
to over come a weak weight transfer is to pretend you are riding a
bicycle and pedal down on the ski that will be the new down hill
ski and like a bicycle the other ski foot lightens up and comes
around staying parallel. So think of riding a bicycle and pedal
your feet to turn.
My 2 year and 2 months
old. Is he too young to be on endless slope?
Regarding your son skiing and learning
on the Endless Slope. At 2 some kids have the muscle strength to
form and hold a wedge with their legs and pronate/evert their
foot/ankle to provide enough edge capability to slow down and make
turns. It really is a try and see thing since each child is
unique in their lower body development and coordination. I find
that most of the time I will be aiding them by holding onto their
skis and positioning them properly. They begin to enjoy the
sensation of ski edge control while developing muscle action. The
wonderful thing about the Endless Slope is that I am right in
front of them able to aid with the movements. They obtain an
early feeling for skiing, developing proper muscle coordination
and body position. This gets them off to a great start. An
important aspect to realize is that you will need to continuously
offer them practice, because at that young of an age they are also
developing and refining their
for walking, running, hopping, jumping, skipping, sliding, etc,
and since they have greater opportunity to do all these activity
more than skiing they will forget the ski coordination unless they
occasionally ski with appropriate frequency. So if you want a
young skier once you start them you will need to occasionally
acquaint them with actual skiing such as that on the Endless Slope
so they do not forget or replace the ski skills and avoid picking
up bad habits that result in inappropriate movements. Remember
walking and running movements use opposite positioning to skiing.
My suggestion is to have your child try it and see how they like
it then go from there. But never expect too much from a child at
that age. Some of the best skiers in the world started when they
were two but once they started their parents frequently had them
skiing, and that makes all the difference. Practice, practice and
practice correctly and frequently.
How do I ski moguls? Ice? Powder?
Skiing different terrains see "Ski
What exercises do I do to be ready for this
exercises see "
Ski / Snowboard General Article SG2"
What is the correct way to pole plant?
Using the ski poles see "Ski
How can I improve my skiing?
Fundamentals see "Fundamentals
Key to Skiing and Snowboarding"
in the morning Dillion had
difficulty so I adjusted the bindings and he still had trouble
getting on his toe side. So, I had him get off the hill and I was
scratching my head as to what could be the problem. Then it
dawns on me, that the board Dillon and Taylor were using on your
deck had it's binding so close together they had a hard time
putting a foot between the bindings. So I moved the bindings
together, despite the boards length, and he snapped to the toe
side just like he was on the deck. We had a great time at Donner
Ski Ranch, Dillon was making turns on blue runs, finding jumps
everywhere and we were the last ones that were on the hill. As
you will see in the attached video some of the stills were taken
on the Face, a black diamond run that Dillon insisted on going
down, I wasn't more than eight feet below him the whole time. I
almost called you from the lodge just to let you know how
everything went. We owe it all to you, thanks. See you on the hill
You were wise
to move the binding stance closer together. The wider the stance
the more stable the straight ride is but you run the risk of
sacrificing turning capability. The closer the bindings are the
better control you have for turning. The stance distance is a
compromise between turning and stability. I recommend for
beginners to have a narrower stance such as a width just a little
more than their hip or shoulder width. As they gain control of
their turning (especially the toe side turn) then to widen the
stance until comfortable with both turning and stability
I am new to the sport and I know very little on setting up my new
bindings to my snowboards, can you help me?
These are basic
rules to get you started in binding set ups:
1. Decide if you
want the following basic angles for the bindings: A;+15 & 0, or
B;+15 "& -15, or C;0 & 0. (note: the first number is the degree
of the front foot binding) Position A is typical of what
you find when you rent a board and you favor riding in one
direction only, Position B is one that allows you to ride switch
easily and Position C is one that some people find
comfortable with their feet position.
2. Now we
want to determine which holes to use on the board for the screws
to go into for attaching the binding. Start with the holes 4
closest to the tip and the 4 holes closest to the tail of the
board and place the bindings on them with the angles you decide in
step 1 and loosely attach the screws. Now put your feet in them
and see if you are comforatable with the spread. Most likely it
will feel too wide. Now move both bindings closer together by one
hole distance at a time. Then try it by putting your feet in the
bindings. Keep moving them closer together evenly bringing both
bindings together until your feet are close to shoulders width
apart. I suggest this width of your shoulder width for your
beginning stage riding as it gives you the most control on the
board. Now tighten the screws down.
3. You are
not finished yet as you have to adjust the boot on the binding so
that it has even boot toe to toe edge distance as the boot heel to
heel edge distance. We are trying to make sure that the boot is
centered across the board so that doing a toe edge has the same
leverage as doing the heel edge.
If it is
not centered you need to adjust the back plate that hinges up to
move either it in or out by loosening the side screws and nuts
that position the back plate out or in to the binding frame.
(note: this is not the back plate angle adjustment that is found
on the back of the back plate, we will discuss this adjustment
boots are centered move onto 4
4. Next, Adjust both the angle straps and toe straps so that
they are able to easily and snuggly bind your boots (with your
feet in them) to the binding. You may need to remove the screw on
the strap and reset them in a different hole position shortening
or lengthening the strap. If strap is way too long may need to
shorten the strap by cutting it properly so as to screw the
strap in a shorter hole position.
5. The last thing is to adjust the back plate angle with the
adjustment on the back of the Back Plate. By loosing the hold
down screw the adjustment piece will freely move up or down.
Moving it down puts the back plate in a more forward angle
position and causes the back plate to contact the back of your
lower leg sooner causing you to engage a heel edge quicker. Too
much of a forward lean angle makes your leg more tired as you have
to keep the leg bending so as not to engage the heel edge. On the
other hand if you have it adjusted so that the back plate is
straight up then it causes you to not make a strong heel edge or
cause it to engage it late. My suggestion is to start off having
it straight up (adjustment as high up as possible). Ride it
awhile then lower it and try it again until you find it to your
6. Get use
too riding the board and then as you get familiar with it
re-adjust the stance, the width, how far back the back foot
binding should be from the tail vs. the front foot binding to the
tip (this will optimize the type of riding and terrain you ride
with this board i.e. in powder may want greater distance from tip
to front foot binding to keep the front of the board from diving
into the snow) and the back plate lean angle optimizing your
I can make a
heel edge turn but unable to do a toe edge turn?”
Turning on a
snowboard requires a weight shift to the front of the board. This
shift allows the board to pivot under the front foot allowing the
tail of the board to come around by turning the hip in the
direction of the turn. Because of the position of our stance on a
snowboard it is usually easier making a turn onto the heel edge.
This is not always true but in my guesstimate about 80% or more of
the population have a harder time initiating a toe edge turn than
a heel edge turn. To make a weight shift prior to a turn relax
the ankle and knee of the front leg which will allow the ankle and
knee to flex and thereby shifting your body forward pressing more
on the front foot. This is easier said then to perform. People
have a fear of relaxing the front leg when speeding down a hill.
The front leg if stiff becomes like a 2x4 wood beam pushing you
back against the hill putting your weight mostly on the back
foot. This prevents the board to pivot into a turn.
So if you want
to make that turn relax the ankle and knees so you can shift the
weight to the front to initiate the turn.
I am just starting out and want to buy a
snowboard. How do I choose a snowboard for myself?
Beginners Guide to choosing a snowboard
Help! I am a beginner and I keep face planting
when I attempt a toe edge.
Avoiding face plants see "
Snowboard Article SB1"
General Snow Tips
“How do I tell what wax is right for my skis/board?"
recommend for most recreational skiers and boarders is to use an
“All-Temperature” wax. An All Temperature wax will satisfy most
recreational riders. The only exception to this is to use “Spring
Wax” when the warmer temperatures soften the snow. A critical
property of a good Spring Wax is that it contains an ingredient
that helps expel pollen from sticking to the wax. With Spring
comes pollen that are released from the trees. When pollen sticks
to the base wax they act like anchoring hooks causing the grabbing
effect we get riding on slush Spring snow. Also avoid riding under
the trees where pollen is in high concentration on the snow
wanting more specific temperature or race waxes I recommend
contacting a wax manufacturer to understand their specifics on
their variations of waxes and processes for application.
Some notes on
What I feel is most important about waxing is to first make sure
that the old dirty wax is removed from the pores of your base. A
good base cleaner will do the trick in most of the cases but a
method known as Hot Wax Scrap is the best way to remove old dirty
wax. Look it up on the internet or study it from a wax procedure
What I see at most resorts is the fast $5 to $10 wax job offered
while you wait where they add wax onto your base with a wax buffer
roller machine. I do not recommend this only if you are in a bind
needing to ski or snowboard like right now and that your skis or
board is so dry with little wax or you have dirty wax that is
causing dragging and grabbing then you may be forced to use such
a service. Then ask them if they can first clean and remove any
remaining old dirty wax with a base wax cleaner before applying
the new wax. This maybe an added cost but will minimize mixing
the old dirty wax in or on your base in with the new giving a
longer lasting wax ride delaying the grabbing and sticking to the
snow. I just cringe knowing that other people's dirty wax is
being mixed on the buffer wax roller that dips in the melted wax.
Learn to wax your base and do it often and it will pay off in more
consistent and higher performance skiing and boarding not to
mention extending the life of your bases.
Learn to wax your skis or board at wax
I am trying to save my money but want to buy a
pair of skis. How do I choose a used ski?
Guide to ski and snowboard swaps
How do I choose a pair of gloves or goggles, or
Guide to ski & snowboard accessories
What resort is the closest?
Guide to ski, snowboard, x-country resorts, snow parks
I would like to join a ski club. Which one
has a bus that goes to Tahoe?
Guide to snow clubs
How should I dress for skiing?
Guide to dressing for the snow
How should I prepare for my ski trip?
Article on preparing a fun first day
What should I take on a ski trip?
Skier's Check list
What should I take on a snowboard trip?
Snowboarder's Check List
I am totally out of shape! What would you suggest
I do to get started on a physical improvement and conditioning
program before I begin skiing or taking up snowboarding?
See Article on Circuit training can help
your ski & board conditioning click here
What are some surfing tips for a beginner?
Beginners guide to surfing
How do I pick a surfboard?
Beginners guide to surfboards
How do I pick a wet suit?
Beginners guide to wet suits
I have lousy balance. how can I improve my
balance so I am more comfortable on skis or snowboard or
Improving your balance see "
Ski / Snowboard Article SG7 Keeping our balance
Improving Balance through hand position
Ski / Snowboard Article SG5 Get a grip! e3 puts power in the palm
of your hands"
I want to thank all
who have and will contribute to this section.
This is a section where you can
contribute to make skiing, snowboarding,
surfing and other extreme sports fun
and safe for others.
If you have any tip,
advise or word of wisdoms regarding any extreme sports,
may it be regarding riding, dressing,
equipment, keeping safe and comfortable,
or just some interesting fact that
would be helpful to others please email them to
Warning! Opinions expressed
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of this website