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# High C

Shaping is a term I rarely hear.  Pressure is one of the big three (along with rotary and edging).  Pressure at the bottom of the turn is natural for most.  Shaping  at the top is not.  There is a lot of talk about creating angles in the high C, but not much talk on how to do this after you 'tip'.  Is the pressure phase always at the bottom of the turn?  If we are carving, how can I begin to shape at the top if the pressure phase is at the bottom (carving means without pivot in this case)?  Can I make the same shape turn and also vary where the pressure phase is?

It seems almost as if we reversed these two terms in the diagram that we may find earlier success with our students.

I have my ideas, but I thought I would give Rick's MO a shot and see what you come up with.

True, pressure naturally develops its highest levels late in a turn but it can be managed such that pressure is distributed more evenly throughout the entire turn - even eliminating the "float" phase entirely.

If a skier comes out of Apex and toward turn finish while remaining mostly extended they can retain a good deal of body-length into transition. As transition begins they can progressively flex into (and through) transition while changing edges. Doing this they can reduce pressure under their skis through transition while not actually eliminating it. Timed correctly, the skier can emerge from transition and begin the new turn by extending from a largely flexed stance. At this point the skier can progressively extend the legs to maintain continuous pressure on both skis right at the top of the turn.

This method permits a skier to firmly engage both ski tips right at turn entry and enables an Edge-to-Edge carve transition. No unweighting and no float phase is necessary. Obviously, as the slope gets steeper this gets harder to do since the skis would need to be tipped ever further to get onto the new edges at the top of the turn.

The key to shaping the top of a turn on any slope is to have sufficient forward momentum across the hill to successfully engage the new edges and begin turning - before falling on one's downhill ear. For short radius turns you can often substitute ski-speed across the hill for overall momentum in that direction.

In any event, the skis need to engage and produce sufficient turning forces (to stand laterally against) before the skier falls too far inside and is forced to twist the skis just to remain upright.

.ma
Actually, you don't need to actively extend or dive or anything like that.

All you need to do is to perform a retraction transition, and start the next turn by tipping your new inside ski while keeping the weight on the outside ski by flexing the inside leg. The outer leg will extend somewhat by itself and the outer ski will get the same tipping angle as the inner ski also by itself. It may take a few runs to get used to it, but it works really wonderful once you do it right.

* Remove weight from current outer ski
* Retract both legs
* Tip inner ski
* Keep retracting inner ski.
* Keep tipping inner ski more and more.
* Let the other stuff happen by itself.

Sure you can play with it.  You can, for instance have most pressure in the diagram above when the skis are pointed straight down, and quickly decrease the pressure after that point instead of letting it build up.  This will generate most lateral acceleration at that point and change the path of the cm so that more pressure is applied (and needs to be to arrest it's greater lateral motion) sooner in the next turn.

Speaking about the path of the CM, perhaps some software is available to model this so the maximum acceleration of the CM in the drawing matches the application of maximum force (coincident with maximum pressure, unless ski area is changing).  With the given pressure distrubution, the turns in the CM' path would be more j and less

..)..

.(..

Speaking of Play.  Here's some fun.  Carl's flex to release can be carried quite far; releasing suddenly right after apex at GS speed can really snap you into the next turn - be careful not to slam into the snow if you over-do it.

I like that! Do you think a little more involvement with the outside ski dynamics to bring the ship on around?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl R

Actually, you don't need to actively extend or dive or anything like that.

All you need to do is to perform a retraction transition, and start the next turn by tipping your new inside ski while keeping the weight on the outside ski by flexing the inside leg. The outer leg will extend somewhat by itself and the outer ski will get the same tipping angle as the inner ski also by itself. It may take a few runs to get used to it, but it works really wonderful once you do it right.

* Remove weight from current outer ski
* Retract both legs
* Tip inner ski
* Keep retracting inner ski.
* Keep tipping inner ski more and more.
* Let the other stuff happen by itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slider

I like that! Do you think a little more involvement with the outside ski dynamics to bring the ship on around?

I don't really understand your question, but I'm guessing you are asking if I work actively with my outer ski?
In that case, the answer is most likely no.

If you are talking about a flush (vertical combination) in a SL course or a tight difficult section I'll probably resort to add outer knee drive to the above.

If we are speaking GS course, or just freecarving I can't see any compelling reason for it. Once I really understood inside knee tipping I've been using the outer leg as a passive shockabsorbing support. Thinking about the knee as a shock absorber, it doesn't make any sense to push it sideways.
It's actually a very nice side effect, that the load bearing knee isn't subjected to sideway forces.

This turn is made this way. I'm balancing on my outside passive leg, the inside decides the tipping angle.

This is above the fall line, the camera guy I'm looking at is straight down from me.

How do you react to higher outside ski forces in a turn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl R

Quote:
Originally Posted by slider

I like that! Do you think a little more involvement with the outside ski dynamics to bring the ship on around?

I don't really understand your question, but I'm guessing you are asking if I work actively with my outer ski?
In that case, the answer is most likely no.

If you are talking about a flush (vertical combination) in a SL course or a tight difficult section I'll probably resort to add outer knee drive to the above.

If we are speaking GS course, or just freecarving I can't see any compelling reason for it. Once I really understood inside knee tipping I've been using the outer leg as a passive shockabsorbing support. Thinking about the knee as a shock absorber, it doesn't make any sense to push it sideways.
It's actually a very nice side effect, that the load bearing knee isn't subjected to sideway forces.

This turn is made this way. I'm balancing on my outside passive leg, the inside decides the tipping angle.

This is above the fall line, the camera guy I'm looking at is straight down from me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slider

How do you react to higher outside ski forces in a turn?

By an equal and opposite force.

Picture this: You stand on one foot, balancing. Someone gives you two shoppingbags to the limit full of beercans. You keep balancing on your foot now holding the bags.

Ergo, I react as if I recieve a lot of beer.

Now I totally get it..........the beer did it.

Quote:
Shaping is a term I rarely hear.  Pressure is one of the big three (along with rotary and edging).

Under PSIA definitions, "shaping" is an outcome, not a primary skill.  You use rotary, edging, and pressure skills to produce the turn shape you want.  But it's critically important as a tactical decision -- I start talking to people about it when I take them up to the top of the bunny hill, just in simple terms.  Rushing through the top (or middle) of the turn causes all sorts of problems.

Getting solid engagement with both edges in the "high C" is not easy.  I've been working on it all season with... mixed results.  That "don't slam into the snow" part takes some work...

Retraction transitions seem to be the technique du jour, but you can pressure the skis early in an extension transition too.

April 12, 2011

Hi M99:

Been working on this same problem all season, also with mixed results.  I have a tendency to "pivot/push/stem/rush" the top of the "C" on a right hand turn.  Doesn't seem to happen as much on my left turns though.  Could you give a brief description on what drills you do to "correct" this?  I was told to make big long slow trail edge to trail edge turns and be patient (making a 2 count) during transition, so as not to rush the carving phase.  I've gotten some good results but have not been able to break myself from this habit yet.  Thanks in advance,

Think snow,

CP

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matthias99

... I start talking to people about it (i.e. turn shape) when I take them up to the top of the bunny hill, just in simple terms.  Rushing through the top (or middle) of the turn causes all sorts of problems.

Getting solid engagement with both edges in the "high C" is not easy.  I've been working on it all season with... mixed results.  That "don't slam into the snow" part takes some work...

In my L2 prep clinics we did a lot of work on short-radius turns and retraction transitions (see post #3).  That said, at my actual exam they didn't seem to care so much about retraction turns per se as opposed to actually getting movement in the direction of the new turn early on.  I wasn't being as successful at that as they wanted me to be.

Skating downhill is a very similar movement.  Start with VERY shallow terrain, as you accelerate rapidly.

Thousand-steps or thousand-shuffles forces you to have your COM balanced properly through the transition.  If you can't step or shuffle cleanly through the transition, you're off somewhere.

White pass turns (initiate on your new inside ski) or just skiing on one ski also forces you to the inside early, although if you are deficient in these areas it can be difficult to jump into.  I spent more than a few runs trying to do these without putting my hip on the snow or faceplanting.

You can also try just two-footed release drills, like garlands, and then blending those releases into turns.  You've gotta trust basically falling down the hill as the skis come around into the fall line, and not twist or push them.

Patience turns are good for not rushing things.  My bigger problem was that I kept throwing all my weight on the outside ski too fast and not actually getting my COM inside during the first third of the turn.  That's a more subtle problem that has proven harder to fix reliably.  Lady_Selina suggested out at the Gathering that I focus on moving my hips laterally while keeping them level and not 'parking' at the bottom of the turn, which requires doing some long-leg/short-leg adjustments throughout the turn.  Making slower and more progressive movements with the legs and feet definitely seems to help.

If your turns are asymmetric, you could also have some kind of alignment issue, or a strength/coordination issue on one side.  The former can be compensated for with equipment adjustments, the latter with focused training/rehab.  That's harder to evaluate without seeing you in person, or at least on video.

I hope some of that somewhere in there helped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieP

I have a tendency to "pivot/push/stem/rush" the top of the "C" on a right hand turn.  Doesn't seem to happen as much on my left turns though.  Could you give a brief description on what drills you do to "correct" this?
CharlieP,

If I might be of service here....

As you're aware, most of us have 'left turn vs. right turn' asymmetry issues. I get them all the time and find there's a rather easy cure for it (if the reason isn't boot alignment or inherently physiological in nature (injured leg, rib, shoulder - or maybe leg-length issues, crooked bones, etc).

I find that most skiers with a left vs. right turn issues are experiencing an unnoticed range-of-motion issue at the waist, pelvis or hip sockets. If so, it can be 'cured' on easy terrain by consciously and deliberately increasing the rotational range of motion in those joints for the weak turning direction.

Working: Left turn
A skier might easily initiate a left turn. Chances are this skier is able to rotate the left side of their pelvis forward in relation to the right side, and create an early inside-half lead. This movement augments tipping the skis early (onto the left edges) as well as progressively migrating tip-lead from the right ski to the new, soon-to-be leading left ski. Basically, parts of the body that would interfere with turn initiation simply move out of the way and everything works fine.

Problem: Right turn
This same skier might have great difficulty initiating a right turn. Chances are this skier isn't able to rotate the right side of their pelvis forward properly (in relation to the left side) and create an early inside-half lead on their right side. Any inside-half lead that does develop probably develops abruptly - and far too late to assist with turn entry. This lack of rotational movement early on interferes with tipping the skis early (onto the right edges) as well as hindering the migration of tip-lead from the left ski to the new, soon-to-be leading right ski. Here, parts of the body get in the way and interfere with turn initiation.

I had this same problem (in spades) long ago and it re-manifests from time to time. To cure it I simply work on exaggerating my movements on groomed terrain. I just find an easy run and deliberately "over"-rotate my pelvis such that I create immediate inside-half lead during transition - before I even get to 'neutral' edges. Nope, this isn't a 'way to ski' - it's just a way to rebuild my range-of-motion (and movement confidence) in that rotational direction. Once I've forced a number of turns like this and have gotten comfortable driving that problem-side forward as far as it will go ... I return to my normal skiing efforts.

Having done this for as little as a few dozen yards I find my turns are now symmetrical once more and initiations in both directions become equally easy.

This kind of deliberate range-improvement also works for asymmetrical pole-planting issues, turn finishes where I seem to be losing edge-hold on one side, angulation issues where I'm not getting the same deep angles on one side, etc. Regardless of asymmetry, the goal is to regain my range-of-motion (and confidence in that motion) on the problem side. I'd rather do ten really funky turns and then ski well the rest of the day than to continue doing funky right turns all day.

.ma

It's simply a matter of gravity working against lateral balance efforts at the start of a turn, and with you at the end.  Speed helps.   Early angulation, and even a splash of the knee variety, at initiation can help when speeds are low, or the ski's radius is large.

The best thing for helping skiers learn to initiate cleanly, and balance while doing it, is to gradually introduce the gravity challenge.  Start with a small degree of turn, then gradually work your way up to 90s.

Rick,

Why stop at 90?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost

Rick,

Why stop at 90?

Good point, Ghost.  We don't.

April 12, 2011

Hi M99, MichaelA and Rick:

Thank your all for your responses.  I will try your suggestions next season.  Hope that I can fix it.  I believe that Rick has a point, I make better long s-shape turns (his shallow turns) but not the 90 degree version (maybe speeds helps in "hiding" my natural deficiency).  I've worked really hard on this problem all season without a "good" fix, (not permanent, just good), I've never suspected a lack of range of motion.  However, I now recall that when I was doing pivot slips, (which I do 50-100 each time I go out), a ski coach here at Ski Liberty noticed that I could not pivot my hips without some help from my upper body.  I am also planning to make next season a season for all kinds of slipping, pivoting, falling leaf, garland, 360 type drills and exercises.  I will definitely try 10 "funky" turns (over exaggerating of right hip ) and see if that will help me as well.  Again, thanks for your kind and generous input,

Think snow,

CP

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