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"To Carve or not to Carve"

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Didn't mean to highjack Rick's thread with my questions for discussion but exactly when does a "Carved turn" not become a "Carved turn"?

 

Is it all about the tracks left behind in the snow or is it a combination of things? Such as the equipment the skier has on their feet. In other words, we all know it's not so easy to carve on skis that are 115 underfoot, but it can be done. I can do it. Not as cleanly or as efficiently as when I'm on 74 underfoot. But, in all reality, when you get them up on edge and let the sidecut work, it's carving.

 

Should we then take our skis off and hike back up to see if the tracks left behind qualify as pure carving? And is it perceived as "Hacking" by those who watch from the lift as someone is laying down what tracks they can on their fatties because someone is working their ass off trying to get 115's on edge? Certainly, equipment does play a factor.

 

Certainly, the goal of every skier who really cares about their skiing is to ski all the terrain they happen upon as efficiently and as effortlessly as possible. This involves using the tools on their feet the most effective way with the least resistance possible expending the least amount of energy possible, every run. I would suppose this means perfect carves on every turn, right?

 

So, is this really the goal? Should this be the only goal?

 

And for debate, "At what point does a Carve not become a Carve?"

 

Is it at that moment when the edge breaks loose and starts to loose traction? (skid)

 

Or somewhere inbetween?

post #2 of 14

While carving can certainly be a worthy goal, it is not the best technique for all conditions.

 

When speed control is required, there are better options.  Take bump skiing for example.  A very strong and skilled person might be able to "carve" them, but he would be bashing them pretty badly and taking quite a bit of punishment even if he didn't mess up and managed to get down without spearing a bump.

 

Some skiers look perfectly elegant making speed-controlling turns all the way down a smooth groomer.  Other skiers look just as good carving down a smooth groomer.  It's all good.

 

 

post #3 of 14

There are skis that have the same measurements as any other carving ski but are so torsionally soft that they cannot be carved. Call them beginners skis if you like.

 

Yes, carving is dependent on equipment.

 

Is it important to be carving all the time? Or is it important to be able to call everything you do carving?

post #4 of 14

The picture of you skiing  through the trees in powder answers your question.  You never want to carve all the time.  To me, a carve is simply a turn on edge where the tails follow the exact radius of the tips.  Some skis are great for carving differing radii, while others are not. The flared tails you see on many racing skis seem to help with this. You can carve almost any ski, but some of the fatter ones, particularly the twin tips, are better at the raduis closer to their natural arc.  I'm some many people will disagree.  In general, tortionally stiffer skis are much better on ice.

 

Do you want to carve all the time?  I sure as heck don't.  There are times when I love the feeling of accelerating through a wide arced turns or slicing up the hard stuff while others are skidding out of control.  There are also times when carving makes no sense.  I just want to ski.

post #5 of 14

Lars, here are my thoughts on the topic

 

 

The-Circle-Of-Skiing-Skills,web.jpg


Edited by Rick - 3/11/11 at 7:06pm
post #6 of 14

Isnt carving like pornography.  I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it.

 

 

 

Although if I was to try and define carving, I still think the traditional definition is best:

 

Turn made by the skis cutting into the snow?  Carving.

 

Turn made by the skis slipping over the snow?  Skidding.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Isnt carving like pornography.  I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it.


Nope!

 

Good skiing is, but carving is a specific technique.  Your statement would allow a hockey stop to be called carving.  That's like getting the two "ends" of the spectrum mixed up in porn eek.gif.  Might look good to you but it ain't the same thing wink.gif .

 

Fixed it for you:

Isnt carving good skiing like pornography.  I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it.

 

Ken

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post




Nope!

 

Good skiing is, but carving is a specific technique.  Your statement would allow a hockey stop to be called carving.  That's like getting the two "ends" of the spectrum mixed up in porn eek.gif.  Might look good to you but it ain't the same thing wink.gif .

 

Fixed it for you:

Isnt carving good skiing like pornography.  I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it.

 

Ken



I think you are confusing "parallel" with carving.  I assure you, your skis are not cutting into anything with a hockey stop.  A hockey stop is a full on scrape over the snow.  Scrapeing and cutting are not the same thing.

 

 

 

Also nothing specific about "carving" technique.  I can lay down perfect pencil lines in a myriad of ways.....some of which would not be considered good skiing at all.

 

post #9 of 14



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post


I think you are confusing "parallel" with carving.  I assure you, your skis are not cutting into anything with a hockey stop.  A hockey stop is a full on scrape over the snow.  Scrapeing and cutting are not the same thing.

 

 

Also nothing specific about "carving" technique.  I can lay down perfect pencil lines in a myriad of ways.....some of which would not be considered good skiing at all.

 


 My point, is that what is good porn is subjective.  Porn covers a wide range of activities; disgusting nonono2.gif to some while enjoyable to otherspopcorn.gif .  To say someone is skiing well, they don't have to be carving.  To say someone is carving well, they have to be carving.  I'm trying to say that carving should be less subjective.  IMHO, your statement opens up the apreture to wide and lets too many things in therefore letting it be subjective.

post #10 of 14


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post ...This involves using the tools on their feet the most effective way with the least resistance possible expending the least amount of energy possible, every run. I would suppose this means perfect carves on every turn, right?...
 


Absolutely not. 

 

Carving is one way to turn a ski or snowboard.  It is not an advanced skill, though doing it well in difficult conditions can be.  It is tiring; it generally involves higher speeds that may not be appropriate everywhere; it limits your choice of line.  It can also be really fun, of course, and a well-rounded skier or rider will be able to carve well.

 

These days there are lots of people who carve well on blue groomers who can't ski that well.  That's also fine, there are people who ski steeps fairly well who don't look that good on blue groomers, and both are not that well-rounded overall, but both may also be having lots of fun.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post

Certainly, the goal of every skier who really cares about their skiing is to ski all the terrain they happen upon as efficiently and as effortlessly as possible. This involves using the tools on their feet the most effective way with the least resistance possible expending the least amount of energy possible, every run. I would suppose this means perfect carves on every turn, right?

 

Yes, but I think of the goal as perfect movements for every turn.  Quality movements are the required inputs to both maximize ski design and achieve efficient skiing with minimal effort.  Whether that means perfect "carves" on every turn depends on your definition of carving.  One way of looking at carving is that a carved turn is synonymous with quality movements.  In defense of that argument, quality movements combined with perfect execution will always produce a turn that has two distinct tracks because the ski will always bend and the tails will always follow the tips.  This does not mean that the turn is edge-locked; there can be a lateral drift to it, but the tails will never displace to wipe out either track.  There will also always be two narrow lines in transition that show a clean edge change with no rotation.  Skidded tracks look different from carved tracks where there is lateral drift (brushed carves).

 

I don't view edge-locked carving (carving in the traditional sense) as a seperate skill.  It is just one end of the spectrum of turns that I can make using the same fundamental movements.  OTOH, I also don't view simply riding the edge as carving.  While it can be, most people who do this just heave themselves on to edge with gross movements and then freeze until it is time to go the other way ("park and ride").  So again, we go back to the movements. 

 

IMO, this is what ultimately distinguishes quality skiing from hacking.  Regardless of what kind of a ski you have strapped to your feet and the conditions in which you are using it, quality movements are always what distinguish good skiing from bad.  While looking at tracks is certainly a useful exercise, tracks are just a result.  To me what is interesting are the movements (the inputs) that caused the result.

 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post

Certainly, the goal of every skier who really cares about their skiing is to ski all the terrain they happen upon as efficiently and as effortlessly as possible. This involves using the tools on their feet the most effective way with the least resistance possible expending the least amount of energy possible, every run.



My goal in skiing is to achieve the sensations I want. 

 

Efficiently and effortlessly?  Straightlining meets that goal.  No turns.  Just go straight.  Takes no skill.  Takes courage when the speeds ramp up.  Takes native balance when there are bumps in your path.  But effort?  Takes almost none.  And it's mighty efficient.

 

I don't mean to mock you.  I mean only to show that what you're saying can be read different ways, and I mean to show that an extreme emphasis on efficiency or effortlessness can be contrary to what some people seek in skiing.

 

I look for tough terrain and technical challenge, which suggests I'm not looking for the most effortless way down the hill.  But I like to make the turn I want to make in the most efficient way I can, that's for sure.

post #13 of 14


Yes, Justice Potter Stewart knew porn when he saw it.  And all of us know good skiing when we see it.  Below is some damn good carving from a 21-year old who likely isn't thinking about skiing pretty.  My guess is that he is just "feeling" his skis do their thing while he concentrates on his line (going fast):

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Isnt carving like pornography.  I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it.

 

 

 

Although if I was to try and define carving, I still think the traditional definition is best:

 

Turn made by the skis cutting into the snow?  Carving.

 

Turn made by the skis slipping over the snow?  Skidding.



 

post #14 of 14

I don't think it's all that complex.  Think back to 15 or 20 years ago, when ski construction was kinda still in the stone age, and skis with a lot of sidecut didn't exist.  A lot of us wanted to carve, for whatever reason, and could do so, but only with great difficulty.  Now, we have sidecuts available to all...but not everyone chooses a ski with a lot of sidecut.  A lot of the fat skis, to me, look like they're just plain fat...not a lot of sidecut. Same kind of idea, and this is just my perception, for a lot of the twin tippers.  So maybe if you choose those skis you're not all that interested in carving, but are interested in skiing backwards, or whatever.  Fine, I approve that program. It's still skiing...I think.

 

On the other hand, you're interested in carving, so you went out and got a pair of skis with a 12 meter sidecut.  It's pretty simple:  To paraphrase Stu Campbell, carving is just putting those skis on edge and making them bend.  Then, they follow the sidecut and the skis turn you, with grace, precision, and control, instead of you having to muscle the skis around, which is the cool thing about these skis and carving.  Do you have to steer to get to a good place to put the skis on edge? Yep, sure do, see Rick's discussion about the interlocking skills.  How much is the right amount?  A precise definition would be what LeMaster calls "the effective steering angle", but on the hill, it's whatever the right amount is for the job.  Are there variations in the amount of edge angle and pressure you use for different radius carved turns?  Absolutely, and it's up to you, the pilot, to figure out the right mix for the job.  Make sense?

biggrin.gif

 

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