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Skiing with straight legs - with added video

 Poster: A snowHead
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@under a new name, I just had the arthritis in my right big toe joint dealt with. Swimming hurts. Doesn't get more low impact than being in the water. Some things just suck.
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Come on Frosty you know you want to wink


http://youtube.com/v/we2RtuBXg6g
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@DB, Laughing

Monoski down Corbet's Shocked
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@rob@rar, aye.
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Pussies.

I have monoíed down the wall. In March. With big bumps. Before it was pisted*

*it is rarely pisted...

Mono skis. Solution looking for a problem that was never found. Not even found in powder.

Compare and contrast with the elegant Skwal in the first few seconds.
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Quote:

Personally, I donít see why skiing - in and of itself - should be hard on the knees? Itís low impact on a soft, cushioned surface (usually).


Touch wood I have good knees so I'm not best placed to comment but from skiing with my wife I know that once you have inflamed knees it is surprising how uncomfortable even vibrations that you and I would barely notice can be. Never mind big hits.
The other point comes back to@Frosty the Snowman's original post - when you hurt it can be hard to commit to the technique that prevents you getting more hurt. I think we all have experienced it when something is sore and changing your movement patterns to protect that just makes everything worse.
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@jedster, also a good point.
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under a new name wrote:
... I have monoíed down the wall. In March. With big bumps. Before it was pisted*...

Which wall, precisely?
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@philwig, The Wall.

(Pas de Chavanette, Les Crosets). It has something of a mythical status amongst tourists. Probably due to sloppy and lazy journalism.
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wink Thanks. Swiss Wall, yeah, monoed that. The glacier snout in Tignes shares the name and is also entirely mono-able.
You weren't forced into the air by either of those from what I remember.

It looks like they picked their conditions in that video, and I'm not over impressed style-wise. It's not really for Americans.

But I do suspect that both monos and snowboards are good on the knees.
That said, if your knees are already toast... it boils down to easy pistes where you don't need to flex much
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@philwig, Not sure about Snowboards + sore knees. My son's a keen boarder and I see him kneeling quite a bit. Things like a traverse on a toe edge, you've no option but to kneel if you have to stop.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Thu 11-10-18 18:18; edited 1 time in total
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@philwig, I've never seen bumps on the Tignes snout as big as the ones on the "Wall" - but I haven't skied Tignes quite so much.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Thu 11-10-18 15:09; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:

@philwig, Not sure about Snowboards + sore knees. My son's a keen border and I see him kneeling quite a bit.


My wife's specialist has given her strict instructions to avoid kneeling so I tend to agree with you
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Here is one in some of the best snow we had a Zauchensee.
I really appreciate the comments. I think you maybe.can see here bloke that sort of knows what he should be doing, but skis in a manner that has adapted to cause the least pain.
Thoughts?



http://youtube.com/v/GqaD0S7sxrM
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What I see, is a bit of Z-Turning...instead of a smooth C Shape, where the ski eases over all the way through the turn....there is a quick twist of the feet, where too much turning is happening too quickly, at the top of the turn.

IME. The gentler the slope, the longer it takes to ease the skis over onto the new edge.

Darren Turner gives some help here


http://youtube.com/v/ya9utfEz6sA
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Frosty the Snowman, decent skiing (and top marks to the person with the camera).

On that slope with that snow you are making effective movements, steering the skis well and linking the turns effectively. Good, technical skiing. You're not doing anything wrong that could be 'corrected' to make it easier on your joints. You are comfortable when balanced on your right leg (making turns to the left), but you are backing away from your left leg a bit, which causes occasional wobbles when you are turning to the right. Even when you don't have a little wobble you probably have marginally more weight on your inside leg (right leg) than is necessary when you are turning to the right. That might be because most skiers have a strong side and a weak side, or it might be the left leg/knee/hip gives you more grief. From what I can remember of your skiing in Val Thorens you haven't lost any technical ability, just look a bit more cautious. Good news is that you're skiing well, bad news is that there's not an easy technical fix to make your turns less painful.

With regard to more challenging conditions, such as heavier snow which is bumped up, my guess is that the very slight hesitancy I see here is going to be magnified and rather than skiing as well as you do in this clip you're going to be more hesitant, backing away from your skis so they don't work as effectively, perhaps getting a bit more in the backseat. That's going to mean less effective movement, more trying to throw the skis around the turn, possibly placing more stress on the joints. I don't think there's an easy fix for this (and it's a bit of guesswork really not having seen you in those conditions), but I'd suggest you think about the tactics of how you ski those conditions. Keep the speed as low as necessary to manage the pain of joint stress, so think about turn shape, especially controlling your speed by keeping the turn going until speed is controlled. If the snow allows, perhaps stick with the turn size you are demonstrating in this clip rather than lots of tighter turns. This might mean you "power through" some of the mounds of snow and hopefully your natural suspension will allow that to be controlled by flexing your legs, but I think that might be a better tactic than putting in lots of short radius turns if you try to plot a route around the bumps, which I think is going to stress your joints much more. Hopefully that will allow you to ski with less pain and stress, so you will be comfortable to ski the conditions confidently, avoiding any sense of backing away from your skis.

Hope that helps.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 11-10-18 19:54; edited 2 times in total
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Old Fartbag wrote:
What I see, is a bit of Z-Turning...instead of a smooth C Shape, where the ski eases over all the way through the turn....there is a quick twist of the feet, where too much turning is happening too quickly, at the top of the turn.
Not sure I agree with that. I saw two slightly quicker pivots at the start of the turns, both to the right because be didn't balance as effectively on his weaker left leg at the start of the turn. Other turns looked pretty smooth to me.
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rob@rar wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
What I see, is a bit of Z-Turning...instead of a smooth C Shape, where the ski eases over all the way through the turn....there is a quick twist of the feet, where too much turning is happening too quickly, at the top of the turn.
Not sure I agree with that. I saw two slightly quicker pivots at the start of the turns, both to the right because be didn't balance as effectively on his weaker left leg at the start of the turn. Other turns looked pretty smooth to me.

You are the Instructor and have a better eye....and would recommend that the OP pays more attention to what you said.

I just feel if everything is as patient as possible (for the gradient), the smoother style will be easier on the body. I have found everything takes longer than you think on a gentle slope and it's very easy to get lazy and not "work" all the way through the turn, when the going is easy.

What I see...and could be wrong...is an occasional (slight) Up movement, which allows the slight skid I see on some turns. If there was no Up movement, then the turn would have to be very gradual.

Every time I watch it, I see it slightly differently...so I'm then not sure that I'm right.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 11-10-18 20:13; edited 1 time in total
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Old Fartbag wrote:
I just feel if everything is as patient as possible (for the gradient), the smoother style will be easier on the body. I have found everything takes longer than you think on a gentle slope and it's very easy to get lazy and not "work" all the way through the turn, when the going is easy.
Completely agree. When conditions get more challenging the instinctive response is to try and snap the skis around quickly, which is more technically demanding if you are going to do it well but for many skiers is not done well and therefore they lose a bit of control rather than gaining more control. Trying to keep the turns smooth and well linked, while managing the speed and staying in dynamic balance on the skis all gets more challenging. One way of addressing that challenge is to make good tactical decisions about getting down the tricky pitch.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Thu 11-10-18 20:20; edited 1 time in total
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Old Fartbag wrote:
What I see...and could be wrong...is an slight Up movement, which allows the slight skid I see on some turns. If there was no Up movement, then the turn would have to be very gradual.
Again, not sure I can see that. He's extending his inside leg at the end of one turn as it becomes his new outside leg, but the rate of that movement looks appropriate to me, matching the speed of the transition rather than being a bit "poppy". That allows him to balance against the new turning ski very early in the turn, which is definitely what we are looking for.

There are some turns where his outside ski drifts a bit, from what I can see it's always his left ski when he is turning to his right. It's not a lack of edge angle, but a lack of pressure as he has too much weight on is inside ski for part of the turn, so the outside ski loses grip and drifts around a bit. I don't see this happening on his right leg, although it might be there a little but as the filming was done from the left that's the side I can see more clearly. To address this I'd hesitate to suggest any one-footed drills (which would be the normal port of call for this common issue), but just getting FTS to focus on skiing with more determination on the outside ski, providing pain levels allow that.
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rob@rar wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
What I see...and could be wrong...is an slight Up movement, which allows the slight skid I see on some turns. If there was no Up movement, then the turn would have to be very gradual.
Again, not sure I can see that. He's extending his inside leg at the end of one turn as it becomes his new outside leg, but the rate of that movement looks appropriate to me, matching the speed of the transition rather than being a bit "poppy". That allows him to balance against the new turning ski very early in the turn, which is definitely what we are looking for.

There are some turns where his outside ski drifts a bit, from what I can see it's always his left ski when he is turning to his right. It's not a lack of edge angle, but a lack of pressure as he has too much weight on is inside ski for part of the turn, so the outside ski loses grip and drifts around a bit. I don't see this happening on his right leg, although it might be there a little but as the filming was done from the left that's the side I can see more clearly. To address this I'd hesitate to suggest any one-footed drills (which would be the normal port of call for this common issue), but just getting FTS to focus on skiing with more determination on the outside ski, providing pain levels allow that.

I agree about the one footed drills...which are the normal way to highlight and correct an issue.

I think I may be being over critical (or just wrong)...but I find it interesting. My hunch is that there is something being hurried at the start of the turn....What I see is a period of traverse at the end, rather than linked S shaped turns, where the end of one, is the start of another.....so a sort of Turn...Traverse....Turn......Traverse etc.
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Old Fartbag wrote:
My hunch is that there is something being hurried at the start of the turn....What I see is a period of traverse at the end, rather S shaped turns, where the end of one, is the start of another.....so a sort of Turn...Traverse....Turn......Traverse etc.
Not sure I see that, certainly not of any significance. He's skiing more cautiously than I can remember, but this ski trip was after a lengthy break away from skiing so probably not a surprise. I see a couple of moments of hesitation at the end of a couple of turns, always on the weaker left leg when he's not quite balanced well enough to flow in to the next turn, but that's part of a general picture of being slightly less comfortable on the left hand side (and is being very picky about what I'm seeing). But overall his skis are pretty much always turning so I can't see a traverse happening at the conclusion of turns.

[John, apologies for discussing your skiing in general rather than addressing my comments to you]
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rob@rar wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
My hunch is that there is something being hurried at the start of the turn....What I see is a period of traverse at the end, rather S shaped turns, where the end of one, is the start of another.....so a sort of Turn...Traverse....Turn......Traverse etc.
Not sure I see that, certainly not of any significance. He's skiing more cautiously than I can remember, but this ski trip was after a lengthy break away from skiing so probably not a surprise. I see a couple of moments of hesitation at the end of a couple of turns, always on the weaker left leg when he's not quite balanced well enough to flow in to the next turn, but that's part of a general picture of being slightly less comfortable on the left hand side (and is being very picky about what I'm seeing). But overall his skis are pretty much always turning so I can't see a traverse happening at the conclusion of turns.

[John, apologies for discussing your skiing in general rather than addressing my comments to you]

Thanks for the comments....apologies to the OP for any diversion.
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Wow, thanks. As the week went on I tried to rush the turn less.
Yes my left knee is particularly fooked.
My thoughts when skiing were that my downhill leg was always too straight and actually trying to angle the skis gets the knees out if line slightly and that is very painful and unstable.
One sees many shots of skiers angulating at the knees, but for those with well fooked knees they know how that hurts.
I ski so much better when I ski hard but that doesn't make for a long ski day.
I think by the end of the holiday I was back to where I was 6 yrs ago, just a broken man

I'm just looking for a magic fix
Thanks again
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Frosty the Snowman wrote:
Wow, thanks. As the week went on I tried to rush the turn less.
Definitely a good thing to work on.
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
Yes my left knee is particularly fooked.
It's fairly obvious when looking at the video. Is this something that can be addressed with strength and conditioning, or is it just the way it is? If you can't do much about it then I think there are some ways of making sure your technique is as good as it can be, and some good tactical awareness will make the most out of each skiing day, but I think it's also important to manage the demands you put on your joints in a sensible way and make sure that the days and the weeks ae enjoyable rather than a battle with pain.

Frosty the Snowman wrote:
My thoughts when skiing were that my downhill leg was always too straight and actually trying to angle the skis gets the knees out if line slightly and that is very painful and unstable. One sees many shots of skiers angulating at the knees, but for those with well fooked knees they know how that hurts.
No, I think your downhill (technically more accurate to call it your outside) leg is not too straight. You don't want to lock your joints, ever, but it doesn't need to be deeply flexed when you are skiing around the turn. Some skiers will 'angulate at the knee' but it should only be a a little, just to squeeze a bit of extra angle out of the skis. It's done by rotating the femur in the hip socket slightly, turning inwards which puts a put more Q angle in to your stance, tipping the ski slightly more. But it's not necessary, and I agree that keeping your leg in a line is important for your knee health. From what I was seeing in your video the lack of grip you had was mostly with your left ski when turning to the right, and it was mostly a case of not balancing/standing on that ski effectively than a lack of edge angle. Simply balancing on that ski more effectively from the start of the turn all the way around the the finish of the turn will give you much more grip, without needing to tip the ski to higher edge angles. If you do want to tip the ski more do that by flexing the inside leg not angulating the outside leg. If you do this your hips will move across your skis more, naturally tipping your skis to a steeper edge angle.
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
One sees many shots of skiers angulating at the knees, but for those with well fooked knees they know how that hurts.
I ski so much better when I ski hard but that doesn't make for a long ski day.
I think by the end of the holiday I was back to where I was 6 yrs ago, just a broken man
I think managing your "pain budget" for the week will be important, as well as tweaking your technique and tactics to ski as efficiently as you can. My priority for that would be to make sure that you stand more effectively on your left leg when you are turning to the right. You might need to focus on that if your body is instinctively being cautious with a weaker leg, but I think it will pay dividends as you will be making more secure turns on that side, without your skis wobbling and drifting or fighting for balance, which hopefully will put less stress on your joints.


Frosty the Snowman wrote:
Thanks again
My pleasure Happy


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Thu 11-10-18 21:46; edited 1 time in total
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Frosty the Snowman wrote:
Wow, thanks. As the week went on I tried to rush the turn less.
Yes my left knee is particularly fooked.
My thoughts when skiing were that my downhill leg was always too straight and actually trying to angle the skis gets the knees out if line slightly and that is very painful and unstable.
One sees many shots of skiers angulating at the knees, but for those with well fooked knees they know how that hurts.
I ski so much better when I ski hard but that doesn't make for a long ski day.
I think by the end of the holiday I was back to where I was 6 yrs ago, just a broken man

I'm just looking for a magic fix
Thanks again

I was in Brekenridge over 20 years ago..and at that time, the Instructor was very keen on teaching more Hip Angulation, to get away from knee angulation....to protect the knees.
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@Frosty the Snowman, from the video I was wondering have you thought about/tried softer boots? You look as though you donít have the strength to flex at the ankles and this transfers the pressure to a higher joint, namely the knee. Itís a problem often seen in teenagers who have grown big enough to need adult boots but donít have the strength to drive them.
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@Gordyjh, good point. Boots are fairly soft, i think.the ankle flex is in my head as the brain struggles to seperate ankle flexion from the struggle of.knee flexion.

I did try consciously to Q at the hip Rob, but found it very difficult with one hip very new and the other very much the opposite. How could I work on that?
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@philwig, Not sure about Snowboards + sore knees. My son's a keen border and I see him kneeling quite a bit.

That's a learner issue - a bit like kneeling in climbing, it isn't needed doesn't help anyway.
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Frosty the Snowman wrote:
I did try consciously to Q at the hip Rob, but found it very difficult with one hip very new and the other very much the opposite. How could I work on that?
It's a balancing act, literally. I'm a firm believer that the shape/position/stance we have at any particular point in the turn needs to be in proportion and in balance with the forces we generate as we ski around a curve. We don't want to get in to a contrived position creating all sorts of angles with our body if we don't have those G-forces (for what of a better term, physicists look away now) to balance against. Being in a contrived position rarely gets more performance from the ski, often the opposite of that, and will frequently put the body in an unnatural stance, placing undue stress on muscles and joints. So if we want to create bigger angles we need to do that in tandem with creating bigger forces. To do that we need to start with making sure we have plenty of grip from the ski, especially the outside ski as this is the one which does most of the work when skiing on firm snow in regular kinds of turns. To get grip we need to make sure the ski is in good contact with the snow and is being pressed against it (by virtue of our weight and the g-forces acting together). At the moment this isn't working as effectively on your left leg as it could, and that is the first thing to fix. This is the worst example from your clip, but in this frame you can see that your left ski isn't really on the snow, and you're about half way around the turn and really should be standing on it effectively by that point. Trying to angle more at the waist to creat bigger ski angles won't make any difference if the ski isn't working for you, creating G-forces as you go around the turn



Once you have got your lateral balance working well, especially on your left-footed turns you will find that naturally the G-forces will get larger, especially if your newfound grip allows you to ski a bit quicker. At that point you can start to develop more angulation at the hip. It will happen naturally just because your body will line up that way if you ski in good balance on your outside ski. But you can also encourage it with technical drills. Anything one-footed is out I suspect (which is a shame as this is a good way to develop angulation), but you could try stretching to the outside of the turn with your outside hand / pole tip or something like the Schlopy Drill:


http://youtube.com/v/n3BQpcXGFCQ

But the main thing is to get a good, strong platform by standing effectively on your outside ski from the beginning of the turn, and staying in balance on it throughout the turn.
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Frosty the Snowman wrote:
@Gordyjh, good point. Boots are fairly soft, i think.the ankle flex is in my head as the brain struggles to separate ankle flexion from the struggle of.knee flexion.
If you have limited ankle flexion for whatever reason you probably want to look at stiffer boots not softer boots. Much easier to get a balance of pressure along the length of the ski, front to back, with stiffer boots if you can't flex your ankles that much.
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Frosty the Snowman wrote:

Thoughts?



http://youtube.com/v/GqaD0S7sxrM


try Telemarking
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@rob@rar, I think it depends on why youíre struggling to flex your ankles.
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Gordyjh wrote:
@rob@rar, I think it depends on why youíre struggling to flex your ankles.
Does it? I get a bit hazy on this point as I'm the first to admit I'm not a boot expert, but it seems to me if your can't flex your ankles much, for whatever reason, a soft pair of boots will simply accommodate whatever movement you are able to produce without requiring any forward pressure from your lower leg.If this is the case aren't you limiting the forward pressure you can apply to your ski by levering your boots?
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rob@rar wrote:
Gordyjh wrote:
@rob@rar, I think it depends on why youíre struggling to flex your ankles.
Does it? I get a bit hazy on this point as I'm the first to admit I'm not a boot expert, but it seems to me if your can't flex your ankles much, for whatever reason, a soft pair of boots will simply accommodate whatever movement you are able to produce without requiring any forward pressure from your lower leg.If this is the case aren't you limiting the forward pressure you can apply to your ski by levering your boots?


That would make sense to me, for what thatís worth.
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My understanding, is that there is a difference between having limited ankle flexion (need a stiffer boot); and having a boot that is too stiff for your weight/strength/ability (needs a softer boot).
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Old Fartbag wrote:
...and having a boot that is too stiff for your weight/strength/ability (needs a softer boot).
FTS doesn't have a problem bending a boot because of lack of ability or weight. If there is a lack of ankle flexion I suspect it's for other reasons, but to be honest I didn't see a limiting factor for that joint.
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rob@rar wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
...and having a boot that is too stiff for your weight/strength/ability (needs a softer boot).
FTS doesn't have a problem bending a boot because of lack of ability or weight. If there is a lack of ankle flexion I suspect it's for other reasons, but to be honest I didn't see a limiting factor for that joint.

I wasn't saying that he had per se.....I was just clarifying my understanding on boot flexion.

I'm not an Instructor or Bootfitter - just an old skier with an opinion. Toofy Grin
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But the main thing is to get a good, strong platform by standing effectively on your outside ski from the beginning of the turn, and staying in balance on it throughout the turn.

I'm very aware of that when I ski, and on a good day can get it right. When skiing last season and aware of the weakness of my left knee I did get the weight onto that leg but my instinct was to get back over onto the other leg asap as I had much more confidence in it. So my turns became asymetrical. I was aware of what was happening and tried to be firm with myself and make the move onto my left leg decisive but it was a struggle - and, unlike FtS, I have no hip issues - my hips are both fine. Once the body starts on those defensive moves it's very ingrained. Once the knee really began to tire I had to stop - and be stern with myself that I was being sensible and mature, not a wimp!

I hope you can manage to do some enjoyable skiing next season, FtS - take it easy, pick your snow and your weather, enjoy the times in the mountain and be glad that you can ski well enough to cope with the various physical limitations - you look good in your video!
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