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# Carved vs. "railed" ????

OK, so I recently stumbled upon this little gem.....

"The lower end instructors often

do not understand what railing is and what the difference is between a railed turn

and a carved turn."

and subsequently searched in vain trying to find "the difference" articulated definitively..... so now i got a headache......

anybody care to share ????

Tausend dank !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LouD-Reno

OK, so I recently stumbled upon this little gem.....

"The lower end instructors often

do not understand what railing is and what the difference is between a railed turn

and a carved turn."

and subsequently searched in vain trying to find "the difference" articulated definitively..... so now i got a headache......

anybody care to share ????

Tausend dank !!!

I define a carve as any turn using mostly edging and pressure movements and a arc(aka railed) is using all pressure and edging movements.

carved turn = turn where the tail of the ski follows the exact same arc as the tip.

[Edit: See posts 6 and 7 below...I like that definition of railed]

I interpret(ed) "railed" to mean an extremely pure carve, where there is almost no snow displaced by the skis, and your tracks literally look like "rails" in the snow. As mcdave69 said, this would result from the tails following the exact same line as the tip.

Many will argue that a carve isn't actually a carve unless it meets this criteria, but for those who agree that it's possible for a turn to basically be a carving motion, while allowing part of the edge (usually the rear) to slip a little, we have this distinction.

Edited by LiveJazz - 12/6/11 at 3:35pm

railed = carved = arced = pencil thin lines in snow/ice without smudging at transition

Some instructors practice grade inflation to coddle egos (students' and their own) and call steered turns with some edging 'carved.'  To compensate for this, they rename carved turns to arced turns or railed turns or pure carved turns.  Of course, the name 'carved' arose long ago with racers, so they own it and instructors have no business perverting the term ... but that hasn't stopped them.  The racing notion of carving has actually become more stringent over time as equipment improvements let them approach more closely their carving ideal.

The majority of instructors -- those who can't reliably carve the entire turn themselves -- tend to use the weaker definitions.  Those who can tend to either switch terminology depending on who they're talking to or stick to the true definition. (disclaimer:  as with any general tendencies or trends, there are individual exceptions.)

It's a shame to let the term deteriorate this way.  It's an excellent visual and kinaesthetic metaphor.  Carved tracks look exactly like a knife carved or sliced a precise line into the snow.  When carving, it feels like you're slicing through the snow.  As if you should call your ski edges blades rather than edges.  None of this is true with the "gentleman's C" version of carving.  All turns on snow are fun, but they're not all carved turns.

From the context I would say railed = "park and ride".

Park and ride is carving.  But it is the lowest form.  No steering is happening.  A skilled skier can steer while carving.  And no I dont mean adding pivoting.  You can leave perfect pencil lines and alter that line by increasing/decreasing the edge angle and/or altering your fore/aft pressure distribution along the skis length.

Carving with the steering described above is the goal for hardpack skiing, but something most will never even realise is possible let alone attain.

Park and ride is what many do...they simply tip and ride.  They are usually limited to one particular arc (ie no steering ability), which due to thier lack of skill is typically long and shallow.

skidude quote.

"From the context I would say railed = "park and ride".

Park and ride is carving. But it is the lowest form. No steering is happening. A skilled skier can steer while carving. And no I dont mean adding pivoting. You can leave perfect pencil lines and alter that line by increasing/decreasing the edge angle and/or altering your fore/aft pressure distribution along the skis length.

Carving with the steering described above is the goal for hardpack skiing, but something most will never even realise is possible let alone attain.

Park and ride is what many do...they simply tip and ride. They are usually limited to one particular arc (ie no steering ability), which due to thier lack of skill is typically long and shallow."

Agree here,

and with Bushwacker, and not at with the rest of the replies.

Passive, ski design arcs are often called railed,

more active carved turns with a variety of progressive edge angles, working w/ pressure, and even steering are more often considered carved.

also, when you start finding more forces, those "pensil lines" can get bigger was well, and as opposed to a less dynamic turn, this often shows a more dynamic turn creating more impact on the surface w/o skidding.

as those of that ski mountains with a real pitch and obstacles know very well. blending the carve, tip/tail following the same exact path, with the drift (some horizontal displacement and skidding) in the ideal amounts to put the skis exactly where you want them, at the speed you want them there, that is art to me. railed is a nice drill, to work on balance and learning to contol the natural skid.

(haven't posted in awhile, but just got back on the skis, and skiing a flat mtn w/ a fun group, some of them key players on this board, and along with noticing some good skiing, I also tend to notice a propensity for 1 turn., here's what I wrote to one of the skiers I skied with and a good idea for those more "park and ride" oriented skiers.

To be sure, that is one of the things that bugs me about skiing N*, you end up making pretty simple carved turns over and over. No need for speed control, no need to actively shorten or lengthen the radius. I enjoy that turn (more w/ a shapelier ski), but I really like to shape the turn more, and put the ski places, that is why I do most of my free skiing at squaw, you have to direct your skis to the right spot, or things are not good. At N*, for early season, I would think about shortening up the radius on the little steeper pitches, and the opening it up in the flatter ones. Also, as you are coming up on a breakover, think about reducing the radius a bit at a time, like you are going down a funnel, slightly shorter, slightly shorter, to shorter, the open it back up out again the same way, from funnel to hourglass… that will tune you up quicker to DIRT, Duration, Intensity, Rate, Timing, of the movements.

cheers,

Holiday

Doc and Holiday, that makes a lot of sense. I was influenced by the visual of rails in the snow, but the analogy of using the sidecut of the ski like riding rails/tracks is just great! I'm excited to get up and really play around with my turn radius.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72

From the context I would say railed = "park and ride".

Park and ride is carving.  But it is the lowest form.  No steering is happening.  A skilled skier can steer while carving.  And no I dont mean adding pivoting.  You can leave perfect pencil lines and alter that line by increasing/decreasing the edge angle and/or altering your fore/aft pressure distribution along the skis length.

Carving with the steering described above is the goal for hardpack skiing, but something most will never even realise is possible let alone attain.

Park and ride is what many do...they simply tip and ride.  They are usually limited to one particular arc (ie no steering ability), which due to thier lack of skill is typically long and shallow.

Dude !!! (& BWPA & Holiday too !!!) Thanks !!!  I think I got it... and I've been trying to understand what was meant by  "park and ride" as well :o).....

But now I have a follow-up.... within the context of the Level 3 Tasks.... when doing "Railroad Tracks".....  would "railing" be bad/fail.... "carving" as you've defined above be good/passing/desired ???

Nochmals Vielen Dank !!!

Edited by LouD-Reno - 12/6/11 at 4:24pm

I"ll give it a shot. The way I see the difference between a carved and a railed turn is. The skier that simply uses the side cut of the ski to track their edges by rolling the ankles over from edge to edge would be known as Railing. Although the skis are tracking well (generally a wider stance) the skier remains static in a flexed position. There ability to adapted to various terrain is hindered but do well on groomed slopes. The Carver has the ability the progressively bend a ski from tip to tail  picking up the new edges high in the arc through extention and blending skills to realease the power generated. The carving turn is more adaptable for different terrain and conditions. Deep snow, soft snow less carve. Railing is railing only. Roller Blade Turns on flatter terrain to  railing. Hope this helps. Turn em!!!! Mount Washington B.C. Tek Head

My two cents worth. Carving is part tipping and steering the skis through a turn without much in the way of brushing or skidding going on. Railed is a bad tune where the skier goes flying into the woods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LouD-Reno

Dude !!! (& BWPA & Holiday too !!!) Thanks !!!  I think I got it... and I've been trying to understand what was meant by  "park and ride" as well :o).....

But now I have a follow-up.... within the context of the Level 3 Tasks.... when doing "Railroad Tracks".....  would "railing" be bad/fail.... "carving" as you've defined above be good/passing/desired ???

Nochmals Vielen Dank !!!

railroad track turns are a railed turn depending on the context you should be bending the ski significantly to cause a tighter radius than just park and ride skiing.

1.  "Railroad Tracks" is a drill.  It's a nearly straight run, with the skier in a somewhat upright stance on the skis, skiing straight down the fall line, on gentle terrain, with little speed, just tipping the ankles/skis a bit to the right then the left.  What results is a sequence of gently rhythmic, just-barely-there turns with pencil-thin lines in the snow (no sign of skidding).  The point is to see if the skier has the skill to just tip'em without any muscular rotation of the skis.

2a.  "Railed" turns are nice round completed turns with pencil-thin lines in the snow (no sign of skidding), with a radius determined by the sidecut of the skis.  The skier has just tipped them, and ridden the sidecut.  The path of the skis usually looks like linked Cs because the turns are completed, but they don't have to be fully finished.  Speed happens.

2b.  "Park-n-Ride" refers to doing #2, tipping them up to an angle at the top of the turn and keeping them at that angle until the turn is finished, with the skier effectively frozen in a static position on top of the skis. Pencil-thin lines result (no sign of skidding), along with speed.  These turns are definitely carved, but if someone wants to denigrate them they label them Park-n-RIde or Railed, to distinguish them from the turns they like better which they simply call Carved.

3.  "Dynamic Carved" turns produce pencil-thin lines in the snow (no sign of skidding), but the radius has been shortened below the sidecut radius of the skis because the skier has bent them. They may be completed turns, appearing as linked Cs, or they may be almost completed, or barely-there fall-line turns.  This bending of the skis comes from higher speed, more steepness to the pitch of the slope, and pressure manipulation due to the skier's actions.  The highest pressure happens at or near the fall line, after which the skier releases the edges and allows the skis to begin to move to their opposite edges.  In a railed-vs-carved discussion, this definition probably applies to "carved."

4. All the above turns are carved because the produce pencil thin lines in the snow and no sign of skidding.

SE has a very strict definition and in some ways it's accurate. Although I would add that a knife with a nearly 90 degree edge would be pretty dull. So the slicing that the two tools create is quite different. The simple fact that we see trenches in the snow tells us some lateral displacement of the snow has occurred. We obviously want edge grip but even SE will tell you a ski can be too sharp.

BTW, railed is a term that describes a concave ski base and should not be confused with the test maneuver called railroad tracks. In addition, a skier who gets stuck in a static position and fails to appropriately flex and extend during RRX would fail that portion of the test.

What is SE?

Sharpedges...

PSIAMAN is a great example of a inanimate object carving a great turn. If his joints were frozen in place all of that beautiful carving would stop. If his skis were too sharp getting them to release would be difficult as well. It's a Goldylocks thing, everything needs to be just right to carve a good turn. Too much edge, too little edge, too much pressure, too little pressure, too much steering, too little steering all of these would inhibit the outcome of a well carved turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro

PSIAMAN is a great example of a inanimate object carving a great turn. If his joints were frozen in place all of that beautiful carving would stop. If his skis were too sharp getting them to release would be difficult as well. It's a Goldylocks thing, everything needs to be just right to carve a good turn. Too much edge, too little edge, too much pressure, too little pressure, too much steering, too little steering all of these would inhibit the outcome of a well carved turn.

But ... but ... but ....

PSIA man has no brains, and no muscles, and he can do it.

We need visuals.

What it means depends on who says it and in what context.

What it should mean is debatable.

Some folk will say "I railed that turn!"  Meaning they carved a very clean arc with speed and style and significant force.

Some folk will mean clean cut arc when they say "carve"; some don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost

What it means depends on who says it and in what context.

What it should mean is debatable.

Some folk will say "I railed that turn!"  Meaning they carved a very clean arc with speed and style and significant force.

Some folk will mean clean cut arc when they say "carve"; some don't.

Well... just for discussion then..... let's make the "who" a PSIA Examiner.....  and the context a Level 2 or 3 exam... either ski or teach..... (and then let's hope that what it should mean ISN'T debatable.... lol !!!!)

Oh yeah, and thanks !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wigs

......... Railed is a bad tune where the skier goes flying into the woods.

That's why I never listen to music when skiing.....

For the purpose of carved vs railed discussions definitions: pretty much what others have mentioned but summarised here.

They both create pencil thin tracks in the snow.

They both have skis locked on the edge from start to finish of the turn.

Difference:

Railed passively relies on sidecut to determine turn shape.

Skier actively bends the ski to determine turn shape.

Railed, skier is static for parts of the turn - hence park and ride description.

Carved, skier is constantly (dynamically) moving to bend the ski.

To learn how to carve, you usually have to first know how to rail.

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