Technique Analysis Example – Felix V1 Offset

Key Points

  • With deeper snow and snowy conditions, sit back a bit in V1 Offset. You don’t need to work so hard to get your edges to bite into the snow. Instead you want the ski to float over the deeper snow as much as possible.
  • You want to get your weight onto your ski in offset, without overcommitting to it. There is a tendency for skiers to over-commit to their poling-side ski which can make it difficult to get weight effectively onto their non-poling side ski.
  • Shoulder and torso position is another challenge in V1 Offset. It’s easy to rotate through the shoulders, but better to keep square with the trail. Torso
  • The right and left skis should be able to produce virtually equal force, regardless of which side you pole on. Trying to “pop” off the non-poling side ski is a good way to learn to generate more power with that leg kick.

Transcript

Note: There’s a link to downloadable pdf version of this transcript at the bottom of this page.

0:00

This is a clip that Felix submitted. I was trying to guess where this was. I was thinking maybe Mount Orford, in Quebec. I could be wrong. [Kim: It’s such a beautiful, snowy day.]

We’re going to watch it a couple of times at normal play. Then we’ll bring in a side by side for comparison. A couple of things: When I watch videos I look at the conditions. You can see here that it’s a bit of a powder day which obviously makes technique a little bit more challenging. It also changes some of the rules that need to be applied.

So, with Offset climbing on a snowy day like this, you do need sit back a little bit more. That will affect your positioning and even affect the comments that we make, especially when we relate it to a side by side.

1:03

Kim: Can you explain why you said that you needed to sit back a bit in these conditions?

Chris: You just need to weight back on the skis a little bit so the ski itself can ride up and try to float over the snow. If you get too far forward and place too much on the front part of your ski, your ski is going to plow into the snow a little bit more. You’re just trying to use the conditions and move your body with it.

Watch Felix here. Some things that really stand out to us is: powerful skier. Very strong. Basic movements, really good. Really good position. Gets into the hill. Gets low. Arm angles are really good, especially on – on both sides, actually. That really strong left arm position.

2:02

Kim: Yeah. He’s a really good skier. Felix, if you’re listening, you’re a great skier.

Chris: It’s actually funny. When we first sat here… really, what are we going to comment on? But once you slow it down, there’s definitely some things that we can pick up on. But, more than anything, this is a good, solid foundation to start from.

So, we’ll speed up here and I think we’ll move on to our side by side. It’s a lot easier for us to highlight some things when we can do a side by side comparison.

We pulled up Olivia, here. We’re going to use her today to look at Felix a little bit. In the Offset tutorial – in a lot of the technique tutorials, really – we talk about body position and how strong the body position has become in skiing, as athletes become stronger, as strength just becomes more relevant in today’s world, period.

3:04

We’ll start there. If you look at Felix, the shoulder position is a lot more rolled over here versus Olivia. See Olivia? Her shoulders are much “taller” and open. That kind of sets the tone for a few of the other things that will come along here.

Kim: I’m just going to ask questions when I think we might need some clarification. So, when you say, “A lot more rolled over”, you don’t mean – it’s not a huge amount? [Chris: No.] And, by “rolled over”, do you mean a forward or a sideways “rolled over”? Which direction are you talking about?

Chris: I guess I shouldn’t use “rolled over” because the black markings at the top of the jacket definitely kind of add to the forward position. But just more rounded through the whole back.

4:15

Kim: Sort of hunched over? [Chris: Yeah.} OK

Chris: Whereas Olivia – again, a side shot would probably help us be able to isolate this a little bit more easily. We’re just taking it from where his shoulders are. And his shoulders are also a little bit more up towards his ears whereas Olivia’s are lower down, in a more relaxed position.

The next thing is Felix really comes over to this ski, but then ultimately kind of goes really past it. So it’s a little bit of a… I kind of call it a reverse C position. So, it would be a little bit, here.

5:00

Whereas when you watch Olivia come over here, it’s a little bit more vertical.

It’s the ability to be able to keep the body weight a little bit more centred in the middle, while still being able to get that weight shift onto that ski.

And the other thing that you see here is that his shoulders turn a little bit more to this ski than Olivia’s. Olivia’s shoulders stay a little bit more centred down the trail.

Kim: So, the right shoulder. You can see it’s turned a little tiny bit towards the ski.

Chris: Yes. So, just those few little positional things. They’re not much – they’re not much to change. But what ends up happening is, you watch here, because Felix’s weight is a lot more over here – he’s leaned over – it’s a bit more of a counterweight on his right side – his right ski lifts up quite a bit more and he ends up having to recover it back in.

6:01

Whereas, if you watch Olivia, that leg stays a lot lower to the ground. It’s basically just coming back underneath her hip. You can see the difference in those angles right there.

There’s a couple of little things you can do to change that. One is…if we had a side by side, you’d see that a lot of Olivia’s depth comes from the hips down. It’s that side position we talk about, where you’re creating that positive angle through the shin to the knee. You’re driving the weight forward that way versus creating a lot of the angle through the upper body.

See how Felix’s upper body is a little bit lower?

7:00

You want to try to keep the lower body a little bit lower so that when you step, like Olivia does, off this side, the hips stay a little bit lower to the ground, which allows that foot to just come through and the hips stay with it as well.

Then, there you see this knee angle that steps up the hill, whereas Olivia’s is… so this is the knee angle you see because of him stepping up the hills… and again, we talked a little bit about the snow conditions and that plays a little bit of a factor. But I think we would see this as well, even in a more hard packed condition.

Kim: I’ll jump in here and mention that Felix had sent us a note and said that he had watched the Offset course and had used the cue to keep his feet under him in stead of trying to step up the hill and he found that was really positive. So he probably doesn’t step up the hill now as much as we’re seeing in this video now.

8:06

Chris: The last thing I wanted to point out. And all these things are very much related. Especially this one to what I just talked about with the hips. And you watch Felix kind of come up onto this leg. A lot of it is about climbing up. He’s in a low position, with that leg forward, but he has to really climb up. By the time he climbs up onto the leg, you can see he’s already turning his hips and shoulders back over towards this ski here.

Whereas, if you watch Olivia, her hips are a lot more square. Her shoulders are more square. And then, what we’re going to look at here is the leg push on that right leg then becomes more of a follower. So then instead of being able to really push off of it, it’s a little bit more kind of falling off this side, because we’ve already moved the weight – so we haven’t kicked off the leg yet, here, but we’ve already started transitioning the weight over to here.

9:08

And, with Olivia, you see she hasn’t started transferring her weight over yet, now she’s about to get into a position where she is going to be able to kick. And, as Kim pointed out earlier this afternoon, it’s like  a little bit of a pop off of that leg of Olivia’s.

You see here? It’s like, there’s a lot of action, right here at the very end. She’s able to do that because the hips are still square, so she’s still bale to leverage herself off of this leg.

Kim: And she still has some weight on that non-poling side foot.

Chris: Yup. Yup. Again…conditions.

10:00

Like, when it’s soft snow like this, it’s harder to do that and you naturally kind of fall away in softer snow like this. It’s just don’t have as much ski…the free glide isn’t quite as available. So conditions also play a bit into this.

Based on the video that we have here in front of us, those are definitely some things that I think, that we think, can help Felix take his skiing from great to excellent.

Kim: So, one thing that you had mentioned before that really resonated with me was that you used the word “overcommitted” to his strong side. I think that’s something that, well for sure that’s something I struggled with with offset was trying to get a feel for how to distribute the power between – honestly – between my right and left side and my upper and lower body. I couldn’t really decide.

11:00

It’s like in Offset you can feel how uneven it is and I’d think, “Should I be pushing more with my feet? And the weak side…it’s so hard to get any power out of it, right? And I think that I would have a tendency to overcommit to my strong side because that’s the side that I feel works.

Chris: Yeah. We almost need to change the jargon away from strong side/weak side because on the weak side, it’s not really a weak side. You get a really good – you get more leg action on the so-called weak side than you do off of the so-called strong side.

Kim: Yeah. The weak side is the one that you can kick off of.

Chris: So it’s really looking at non-poling versus poling side.

Kim: So, I’m pretty sure in the literature they talk about the poling – they do use the terms strong and weak. And for sure your one arm is stronger than the other, but the legs are actually quite even.

12:00

Like if they measure the forces produced by good skiers, they are fairly even between the right and left legs.

Chris: Just getting back to Felix really quickly. I’d say starting kind of from the shoulders up and looking at Olivia’s shoulder position. Her chest is a bit more open. The shoulders are able to stay down and relaxed a little bit more easily. I think that’s your starting place.

Kim: So the first piece of advice you would have for Felix is to open up his chest a little bit and bring his shoulders down and a little less hunched over.

Chris: Yes. I would also, if I had Felix standing here, we’d probably also take a look at his pole length to make sure they’re not too long. If the poles are too long, again, it’s hard to be able to get deep enough through the hips and at the same time stay relaxed through the shoulders.

13:00

So, this upper body position – because as soon as you get a little bit taller through the torso, it allows you to move your weight more forward through the lower leg. And then just trying to keep the hips more square, which is going to keep you a little bit more centred.

And you still need that weight transfer for sure because you need to be able to commit to a ski to be able to push off of it.  But you don’t want to get so committed to that ski that you start to lean over to that side.

And then lastly what we talked about was just finishing the kick. And just being able to make sure that you haven’t – that you aren’t starting to lean off of that side this way. Because that’s going to be a sign that you’re kind of falling off that leg instead of – watching Olivia being able to stay connected to the snow a little bit longer. Then she has that really nice sort of poppy push off to the side without seeing much of a shift through that torso region.

14:05

Kim: So a little bit – so even the cue of being able to skip off of that  – or gallop. To me it feels kind of gallop-y, would be… because you can’t really do that unless you have some weight and power to be able to put into that foot. So just trying to do that would probably help him to be able to get more weight onto that non-poling leg.

So, that’s Offset with Felix.

Chris: And hopefully Felix finds this informative and everyone finds this informative. Because everyone does things or sees things in other people’s skiing that they can draw comparisons to, so even if you aren’t confident enough to send a video in yet, hopefully other people’s videos can have a really strong effect on your skiing.

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