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Weight Distribution in a Carving Turn

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

What is the correct weight distribution during a carving turn? 

Since I am largely self-taught (especially since switching to carving skis), I had never given much thought to the correct weight distribution when executing a turn. For the most part, it seems to me that my weight is distributed fairly equally on both feet.

Is there even a single correct approach?

post #2 of 20

Outer leg.

post #3 of 20

Centered and stacked.

Plenty of angulation with a touch of inclination.

Sounds like a good woman!

post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoAsYouPlease View Post

Is there even a single correct approach?


GAYP,

 

There will be some of this  ROTF.gif  followed by duel.gifthen more of words.gif to the point somw one will get hopmad.gif while everyone else goes ski.gif 

 

Welcome aboard.  Don't forget to hold on.

 

Ken

 

 

post #5 of 20

Do whatever you like in your daily turns.

 

But, you should be able to balance comfortably while carving on one ski to handle balance "challenges" at carving speed.  Certainly you should develop the ability to be 100% weighted on the outside ski and ski with the inside ski lifted slightly off the snow to verify this.  For extra credit and improved balance, learn to ski on the inside ski.  Once you've developed the balance ability to confidently ski on just one ski, distribute the weight however you like in your daily turns.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks. I think I tried something similar last time out (alternating between lifting the inside and outside leg while in a turn). I felt pretty much as stable on either, so I couldn't decide. 

post #7 of 20

GoAsYouPlease,

 

   I think there is no precisely right or wrong answer to your question.  Sometimes weight will be almost all on the outside ski and sometimes equally distributed on both skis.  I did attend a PSIA clinic earlier this season, in which the instructor, a Level 3 Examiner, said, (pretty much exactly), "We are no longer completely on or off the outside ski as in the old days.  We are about 90 percent on the outside ski in the beginning of the turn and then after the apex of the turn we are beginning to pressure the inside ski more and more."

 

  Good luck.

 

Tom

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks Tom, 

 

I think this article describes a similar approach. I guess what I have picked up is what the author calls a "railroad tracks" style.

http://www.youcanski.com/en/coaching/inside_ski.htm

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post

Do whatever you like in your daily turns.

 

But, you should be able to balance comfortably while carving on one ski to handle balance "challenges" at carving speed.  Certainly you should develop the ability to be 100% weighted on the outside ski and ski with the inside ski lifted slightly off the snow to verify this.  For extra credit and improved balance, learn to ski on the inside ski.  Once you've developed the balance ability to confidently ski on just one ski, distribute the weight however you like in your daily turns.


This is good advice. At the end of the turn, many intermediates are far too hung up on the inside ski already, which hampers their ability to release edges and start a new turn. (when you're weighted on the old inside ski, your body is uphill; it takes a grosser movement to move your body down the hill than if you were balanced laterally over your old outside ski.) So for intermediates, one foot outside ski skiing can be a great exercise. eventually it's helpful to learn to ski on the inside ski for recovery moves--but not as a general skiing technique. 

 

Conversely, you'll also see intermediates make abrupt all-or-nothing transitions from outside ski to outside ski. That's not very balanced either. 

post #10 of 20

GAYP, no correct answere to your original question.

post #11 of 20

OK.. No smart butt answer this time.

 

Everything stated so far is true.  Mainly that there is no set formula but from transition, it should be something like (plus/minus somewhat for terrain, abilities, turn shape, and desired outcome):

 

From transition - 50/50ish starting to favor the soon to be outside ski

up to turn initiation  - maybe a little more on new outside ski - IMO this is skier dependant.  some seem to focus briefly on the inside then switch to the outside immediately.  I like to give the controls to the new outside ski just before transition while still on uphill edges.

through the apex - significantly more on the outside than inside but enough on the inside to recover should it be needed.  Also make sure that the inside ski isn't weighted because it is under your torso.  It should be weighted while out to the side.

coming out of the turn - transfer of control heading to the current inside ski soon to be outside ski (on uphill edges)

To transition - heading to 50/50 again.

 

Repeat.

 

I think it's not worth the energy and hard to figure out if you have 70% or 80% or even 90% on which ski.  Very easy to figure out which ski has the majority of pressure.  I tend to think of that ski as the control ski and the other ski is back up.  There will come a time when you might have a ski go from 50%-60%-70%-86% to 83% -71% etc, but by then, it will be happening naturally and you won't have to think about it.  I also don't think it is the same everytime.

 

Ken

post #12 of 20

GoAsYouPlease,

 

   Thanks for the article reference.

 

   One more thing: another Level 3 Examiner told me this year to start relaxing the outside ski after the turn apex.  Relaxing the outside ski has the effect of shifting weight to the inside ski. It produces a smoother transition.  My take on this suggestion is that it is an option, among others, to accomplish weight shift.

 

   Good luck.

 

Tom

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl R View Post




Are you describing the "phantom move"?



 

Without turning this into a CSIA vs PMTS thread... Phantom move is fine as a drill for balancing over the outside ski. I've worked with this technique with some learners who are having challenges tipping.  

 

When I talk about abrupt transitions from one outside ski to the other, I think more about a pronounced step which may be accompanied by a slight stem. It works at different levels, but not really go-to technique. (Yeah, we can argue that some racers do it... ... it still wouldn't be my go-to technique for freeskiing a bump run or a recreational run.)

 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

OK.. No smart butt answer this time.

 

Everything stated so far is true.  Mainly that there is no set formula but from transition, it should be something like (plus/minus somewhat for terrain, abilities, turn shape, and desired outcome):

 

From transition - 50/50ish starting to favor the soon to be outside ski

up to turn initiation  - maybe a little more on new outside ski - IMO this is skier dependant.  some seem to focus briefly on the inside then switch to the outside immediately.  I like to give the controls to the new outside ski just before transition while still on uphill edges.

through the apex - significantly more on the outside than inside but enough on the inside to recover should it be needed.  Also make sure that the inside ski isn't weighted because it is under your torso.  It should be weighted while out to the side.

coming out of the turn - transfer of control heading to the current inside ski soon to be outside ski (on uphill edges)

To transition - heading to 50/50 again.

 

Repeat.

 

I think it's not worth the energy and hard to figure out if you have 70% or 80% or even 90% on which ski.  Very easy to figure out which ski has the majority of pressure.  I tend to think of that ski as the control ski and the other ski is back up.  There will come a time when you might have a ski go from 50%-60%-70%-86% to 83% -71% etc, but by then, it will be happening naturally and you won't have to think about it.  I also don't think it is the same everytime.

 

Ken


Apex? I admit to not knowing how PSIA describes turns. 

 

I was going to argue the mechanics until I started to realize it's so dependent on your turn shape, speed, pitch, snow conditions... size of one's cojones... biggrin.gif to stay in balance, on hardpack at moderate speed down a moderate pitch, I would still like to see close to 100% on the outside ski through the end of the turn, as otherwise I can only picture someone falling inside and back... then needing to make a biiig recovery move. We're talking pencil lines (a carve). well, I imagine so anyway, though from what I understand, people have taken to redefining carving lately too... sigh.

 

Either way, carving is just one way to get down part of the mountain, and it doesn't work everywhere for everyone in all conditions on all skis. Even the diehard carving philosophy folks talk about a "brushed carve" for recreational skiing. Carving is worth attaining, among the many other ways to get down the hill.

post #14 of 20

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post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

 

Apex? I admit to not knowing how PSIA describes turns. 

PSIA?  I learned what apex meant at St. Mark's Parochial School when I was in 5th or 6th grade.

From Wikipedia:

Apex (Latin for top, peak, summit) may refer to:

In racing sports, the racing line is the route the vehicle must take in order to minimize the time taken to complete the course.

When analyzing a single corner, the optimum line is one that minimizes the time spent in the corner and maximizes the overall speed (of the vehicle) through the corner. If one used the path with the smallest radius, that would minimize the distance taken around that corner. However, by fitting a curve with the widest possible radius into the corner, the higher speed which can be maintained more than compensates for the extra distance travelled.[1]

The apex or clipping point is often used in motorsport, though other racing sports such as skiing and bicycling have similar concepts of an ideal line. The apex is often but not always, the geometric center of the turn. Hitting the apex allows the vehicle to take the straightest line and maintain the highest speed through that specific corner. It is also the tightest part of a corner.

Apex of turn.bmp

“I was going to argue the mechanics until I started to realize it's so dependent on your turn shape, speed, pitch, snow conditions... size of one's cojones...   to stay in balance,…”

I agree and stated that

“…on hardpack at moderate speed down a moderate pitch, I would still like to see close to 100% on the outside ski through the end of the turn, as otherwise I can only picture someone falling inside and back... then needing to make a biiig recovery move.”

What?  You lost me.  Please explain.

“We're talking pencil lines (a carve). well, I imagine so anyway, though from what I understand, people have taken to redefining carving lately too... sigh.”

Have you seen my signature on this forum?  There’s a whole other thread with pages on the definition.  In order to get pencil thin lines, two skis need to be carving.  I don’t see how one ski can have “almost” 100% and that would leave enough on the other ski to bend it into a carve.

I’ve been wrong before and anxiously await the information that will bring me to greater understanding.

Ken

post #16 of 20

In skiing, think of a turn's apex as the point at which you have 50 percent of the total direction change of the turn completed.  

 

Some believe the point during a turn at which the skis are pointing straight down the falline as its apex.  It can be, but it doesn't have to be.  It's only the case when the angle to the falline at turn initiation and turn completion are the same.  As "free" skiers, we're not limited to those turn shape and placement confines.  

post #17 of 20

L&AirC: my bad; I was actually only addressing you in the context of what you meant by apex. It's not part of my skiing vocabulary as it's not brought up in CSIA, though I'm quite impressed that you learned it in grade five. The remainder of my comments were simply thoughts out loud not even remotely directed at you. 

 

 

Addressing the remainder of your response would take more effort than I'm willing to invest, given the barbs launched in your last post. 

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

L&AirC: my bad; I was actually only addressing you in the context of what you meant by apex. It's not part of my skiing vocabulary as it's not brought up in CSIA, though I'm quite impressed that you learned it in grade five. The remainder of my comments were simply thoughts out loud not even remotely directed at you. 

 

 

Addressing the remainder of your response would take more effort than I'm willing to invest, given the barbs launched in your last post. 



Metaphor,

Might have been grade 6 or 7.  I know it was a long, long time ago.  My point was that I'm not sure it's part of PSIA's vocab but I have used the term in PSIA classes.  I agree with what Rick said and it's the 50/50 part of the turn and it doesn't matter if the skis are pointed down the fall line or not.

 

I can be rough around the edges at times but I didn't mean to launch any barbs.  I'm genuinely motivated in studying this sport and engaging in these discussions.  If I ask for an explaination, it's because I don't understand something stated.  I'm more than willing to admit I missed something and I was incorrect. 

 

I'm not saying I'm right or wrong.  I'm saying I don't understand how you can have two carved lines in the snow when almost 100% of the weight is on the outside leg.  I'm not saying one or the other is correct UNLESS there is a specific desired outcome that only one or the other can bring. 

 

Outside of doing drills, there are times that I might unweight the inside ski to get more bend on the outside ski.  I could probably accomplish the same thing s few other ways; pull the inside ski back, more forward pressure etc., but this will work.  When I do that, the inside ski is going along for the ride and I don't understand how it can be bent in the same arc as the outside ski.  The track for the inside ski would be smeared, if only a little, or the skis will converge.

 

Ken

 

 

 

 

 

post #19 of 20

When I am linking turns free skiing, my path down the hill is connected by right and left turns who's radii are constantly changing.  My skis and my cm also enjoy some freedom and don't follow the exact same path, neither do my left and right ski, but for the purposes of this discussion, lets call it the average radius of my two skis.  A left turn for example starts at transition with an infinite radius that shrinks as the turn progresses to a minimum radius for that turn and expands back to infinity before beginning a turn in the other direction.  When I am at transition, the weight is evenly spread between the skis.

 

If I am shooting for a fast hard turn on hard snow, I try to put as much weight as possible on the outside ski at the apex (my meaning of apex here is the point where my turn has the smallest radius), while still keeping enough weight on the inside ski to keep it decambered and carving a nice smooth groove.  The reason for putting more force on the leg that is closer to the outside of the turn is to get the most turning force possible without being tipped over to the outside of the turn due to the reaction force that must accompany that turning force (to the downward force) at the ski, if the ski is going to hold.  Reaction to weight on the inside ski pushes you up (with a lever arm that depends on ski separation) around the outside ski, gravity pulls you down (with a lever arm that depends on angle and length of your legs), you have to keep the torques balanced.  Also my weak old legs cant take multiple g forces all day long if they aren't almost straight when those forces are applied, and in a turn, my outside leg is almost straight and my inside leg is very much bent.  (actually after four hours of high g skiing my legs are cramping up regardless).

 

If I am skiing very soft snow I cannot put all my weight on the outside ski or will sink too much, so I compromise and stray less from the 50-50 that occurs at infinite turn radius.  The amount of compromise varies on how soft and deep the snow is. 

 

If I am just putting around I vary weight distribution to affect tipping and control turn radius.


 

post #20 of 20

I often use the amount of weight as well as stance width as a counter balance to the G force created throughout the turn ( as well flex & extension outside ski leg). On real steep terain I find it most practical to have all my weight on my outside ski @ the end of the turn & step up hill onto my inside ski.

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