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How do I explain how to bend and carve a fairly straight ski (e.g. mantra)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Last weekend I demoed the Mantra and my wife demoed the Aura (women's version of Mantra).  I thought the Mantra was fantastic in the big, soft, steep bumps- very confidence inspiring.  On the smooth sections, I had to pull some old tricks out of the back of my mind to get them to carve.  They have a fairly straight sidecut, so I found I had to unweight, and then sort of dive the tips in on the start of the next turn.  That put a bend in the front part of the ski, and then they were on rails- excellent carving.

 

My wife wasn't much of a skier before the days of shaped skis.  Her carving knowledge is basically, 'put 'em on edge, wait a sec, & let 'em carve'.  Consequently, she didn't like the Auras.  I tried to explain how to carve on the relatively straight sidecut (basically what I wrote in this post), but it didn't get the message across. 

 

So, how do I explain the proper technique of putting a bend in a relatively straight ski to let it carve?

post #2 of 14

I'd suggest she attend a lesson with an instructor, rather than with her spouse ;) There may be a variety of issues holding her back with carving on such a fat ski--tough to say without knowing how she skis right now. 

 

That said, given how wide underfoot it is, there's a limit to how much investment I'd suggest she put into this ski... If she likes to carve and she can't put it on edge after a bit of coaching, it's almost certainly not the ski for her at this time. If carving's her thing, there are tons of great skis with narrower waists for her. Sorry for sidestepping your question...

post #3 of 14

patience and pressuring the outside skis.

 

with that said the aura is a pretty stiff skis and isnt not for most people. I would put her on the bridge instead which will ski alot more intuitive for most people .

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

We'll, she's on K2 Burnin' Luvs right now, which are fine for carving on piste.  We're looking for something more suited for soft, powder, crud, trees, big-bumps on narrow chutes, etc.

 

She tried the Vokl Kenja, too, and love those.  They're sized and shaped somewhere between her Burnin Luvs and the Auras.  I think though that while they'd make a great replacement for her Luvs, if she's going for a 2-ski quiver something wider might be better.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by carve View Post

We'll, she's on K2 Burnin' Luvs right now, which are fine for carving on piste.  We're looking for something more suited for soft, powder, crud, trees, big-bumps on narrow chutes, etc.

 

She tried the Vokl Kenja, too, and love those.  They're sized and shaped somewhere between her Burnin Luvs and the Auras.  I think though that while they'd make a great replacement for her Luvs, if she's going for a 2-ski quiver something wider might be better.



try the bridge seriously the Kenja is more of hardsnow ski.

 

The bridge, THe blizzard The crush, Rossi Scimitar would all be great choices...

post #6 of 14

ski behind her and pay attention to a few things:

 

1. does she have both knees bent?

2. does she appear to be roughly 50/50 balanced between feet?

3. are both skis cleanly carving?  

 

to really learn how to load and bend a ski, you need to revert away from the above techniques, get dialed on bending the ski, and THEN apply it to 2 footed skiing.  so, i would suggest:

 

1. make sure the downhill leg is straight (more power on the edge)

2. un-weight the uphill foot, and carving 100% with body weight on the downhill edge

 

 

higher edge angles = straight knee, and more weight on downhill edge.  you can ski with your knees bent at high edge angles, but there is no power in to the ski, and therefore very difficult to bend and load the ski.  

 

there are a million drills to learn how to do all this stuff, but those are pretty difficult to teach online.  

 

99.9% of the skiers out there in the world do not even remotely have the above technique, and almost all that do have a formal race training, just fwiw.

 

 

 

post #7 of 14


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by msolson View Post

ski behind her and pay attention to a few things:

 

1. does she have both knees bent?

2. does she appear to be roughly 50/50 balanced between feet?

3. are both skis cleanly carving?  

 

to really learn how to load and bend a ski, you need to revert away from the above techniques, get dialed on bending the ski, and THEN apply it to 2 footed skiing.  so, i would suggest:

 

1. make sure the downhill leg is straight (more power on the edge)

2. un-weight the uphill foot, and carving 100% with body weight on the downhill edge

 

 

higher edge angles = straight knee, and more weight on downhill edge.  you can ski with your knees bent at high edge angles, but there is no power in to the ski, and therefore very difficult to bend and load the ski.  

 

there are a million drills to learn how to do all this stuff, but those are pretty difficult to teach online.  

 

99.9% of the skiers out there in the world do not even remotely have the above technique, and almost all that do have a formal race training, just fwiw.

 

 

 


I'm not sure I'm really getting what you mean in this post about skiing with a straight knee. Quite simply, it doesn't make sense. If you ski with a legitimately straight knee over your downhill ski, I can only think of three possible results:

 

1. Your downhill ski will be so far behind you that it will be completely unweighted, and you'll effectively be on your inside ski with your outer ski acting as an outrigger.

2. You will be so far on the tail of your downhill ski that you will not be able to flex the ski, or control it effectively.

3. You will be so far forward on both of your skis (like a ski jumper type of 'superman' position), that you will have no control and tumble forward.

 

Your comment about those with race training skiing with a straight knee got me looking. Below are two of the best racers in the world, Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller. Even when they have extreme edge angles built up, they still have bent knees.

 

r-LINDSEY-VONN-TESSA-WORLEY-large570.jpg Outside knee, clearly bent, just after turn apex

 

Lindsey-Vonn.jpg Significant knee bend, at turn apex

 

2010%2B11%2B30%2BBode%2BMiller%2BFastest%2BUS%2BDH%2BTraining.jpg Noticeable knee bend, before turn apex

 

image.jpg Knee bend at turn apex.

 

Not only does skiing with a straight knee lead to ineffective skiing, it is also dangerous. Your legs are your shock absorbers. If you lock out your knee, you don't absorb energy through your muscles, you send it through your skeleton, which can cause damage. Not to mention, a locked out knee under stress is immediately at risk for hyperextension, which would lead to potentially severe injury.

 

post #8 of 14

Great skiers don't ski with a straight leg. But beginners and intermediates mistakenly believe this to be the case. The misconception, I think, stems from the appearance of "pushing" as the ski deflects the skier's mass. (obviously there isn't any pushing happening in good skiers - but it can appears that way to beginners/intermediates.)

 

Watch the nice, constant flex in JF Beaulieu's legs as he makes some performance turns in New Zealand: 

 

post #9 of 14

so a few things...

 

first off, i am willing to bet that olympians know how to bend a ski ;)   i am also willing to bet that these ultra elite athletes can want to conserve their fall-line momentum and do not need to put all of their power into the ski on every turn and come too far across the fall line, and therefore feather the degree of bend in their knee to control their trajectory to maximize speed.

 

second off, i am not saying stick straight, 0 degree bend, i am saying MUCH straighter than the 60-75 degree bend you see in most recreational skiers.  

 

 

 

but since you mention it, you might look at pictures of ted ligety (you know... the fastest GS race on the planet...)

 

 

ted-ligety-2009-fis-world-gs-getty-images-afp-fabrice-coffrini.jpg

 

here ted in in the 2nd quarter phase of the turn, the downhill leg is basically straight (maybe 10-15 degree bend).  the uphill foot has moved forward of the knee, and is engaging the tail of the ski.

 

Men+Slalom+FIS+Final+Ski+Alpine+World+Cup+rb0DMTktqqZl.jpg

 

here ted is in a 2 foot carve, downhill ski is probably a 10-15 degree bend, and the ball-of-foot of the uphill ski is right @ the patella of the downhill leg.  the edge angle on both skis are similar, and the downhill leg's knee is INSIDE of the BOF/HIP 

 

 

Men+Giant+Slalom+FIS+Skiing+World+Cup+-Xn_LY1hLhPl.jpg

 

here you can see that ted is carving 2 footed again, but the inside ski's edge angle is higher than the outside ski's edge angle.  to maintain power on the outside edge, ted has brought his knee above the line between hip and BOF, and is counter steering with his outside foot.  again, the leg is likely 15 degrees.  

 

 

FIS+World+Cup+Men+Giant+Slalom+Soelden+SsUO92a9Gqkl.jpg

 

this turn is most like the pictures posted above, the downhill leg is the most bent (perhaps 25-30 degrees), the uphill ski is beginning the stem, and the ball of foot on the uphill foot trails the patella.  is is obvious that ted is trying to make a much tighter turn/going too fast into the turn than in #1, and by putting less power into the edge (i.e. the knee is more bent), with a higher edge angle and stemming the inside foot, can get around the turn without shedding *that* much speed, but there is a ton of spray kicking off the tails of the skis indicating more speed loss that in the first 2 pictures.  

 

 

all of this is a bit moot, however, unless you are an olympian.  all i am saying is work on driving your downhill leg by pushing more into the snow with it, and you will bend the ski more.  

 

 

post #10 of 14

marshol.

 

you can balance more on your skis but you can not push any harder.....

 

pressure can only be manage it can not be created or destroyed

post #11 of 14

The technique is the same as skiing skis with more sidecut.  In order to carve a turn significantly shorter than the sidecut (regardless of what that sidecut is), you need to get the ski way up on edge.  That means you need enough speed to hit the necessary angles without falling over.  If her technique is good on skis with a short turn radius, all she needs to do is add speed and patience.

 

If her carving technique doesn't let her do this, it's not a sidecut-specific problem, and would probably be best addressed in person with a good coach.

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

marshol.

 

you can balance more on your skis but you can not push any harder.....

 

pressure can only be manage it can not be created or destroyed


i am not looking to argue with anyone.  you can tell me i am wrong, that is fine.  just go try what i am saying and then disagree. 

 

to put it another way, the more bent your leg, the less rigid, and the more give, which absorbs/robs energy.  a more rigid structure will absorbs less energy into the body, and therefore puts more energy into the ski.  a leg bent at 10 degrees is stronger and less prone to give under g-forces carving with speed, than a leg bent at 50 degrees.  it just simply is.  jump as high as you possibly can and compare what it feels like landing with knees at 10deg and 45deg.  you absorb more energy at 45 degrees. it just is this way.  if you want to learn how to bend a ski, you need to ski with a more powerful stance.  it just is.  a more powerful stance absorbs less energy, and puts more energy into the ski.  this is what bends the ski... or you can become a much more forceful skier (i.e. slamming the ski from edge to edge... see alberto tomb racing SL), and relying on your body weight and constant jumping into each turn to bend the ski, but who wants to ski like that these days?  it certainly is not efficient or graceful.  

 

the reason ted ligety is winning every GS race he enters is because he can carry the most powerful (and therefore pull the most g's and accelerate where others loose speed) stance where others are forced to compromises to get around the same gates see: knees bent, lots of spray coming off their skis.  

 

the video posted is a classic example of a skier riding the sidecut, which appears to be very tight, less than 14m anyhow would be my guess, which is EXACTLY what the OP is trying to teach the wife how to get away from.  

 

to those that do not believe me, go try it.  what i am saying is a very real and tangible experience.   you will hold a better edge, pull more g's and accelerate more.  it just is.  

 

high edge angle, knee at 10-15 degrees (effectively straight), with a large angle in the hip.  you WILL feel the muscles in your hip when skiing like this, unless you practice a lot of yoga.  it will open muscles you never thought you would use while skiing.  more access to the core, more access to the stabilizing muscles in the hip, and less strain/lactic build up in the quads if skiing in this manner for an extended amount of vertical.  

 

 

 

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Straighter knee....more edge angle...more speed.  That's helpful- thanks.  I wasn't even conscious of doing that, but I think you're right.  Any other suggestions on how to explain it?

post #14 of 14

Take a yard stick and put one end on the carpet and push the other end and watch it bend.  Now do it with just a little sideways force as well.  Tell her to shove her tips into the snow a bit to make the ski bend.

 

It's not exactly what she want's to do, and she needn't carry it to extremes (doing a tip-roll isn't all that good for your knees), but it will help get here started on the path to understanding.

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