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Use carving or rotation (steering)?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm an intermediate skier who's confused. I read a lot about how skiers should primarily carve their turns, but I observe many skiers who seem to be using lots of angulation and rotation, like skiing was done on the old straight skis. The I read that steering is called for in certain situations, especially on steeps. My question is this: should an intermediate skier use a combination of counter-rotation and steering along with carving, when using carving skis? (I.e., use tipping along with steering). Or should carved turns be practiced exclusively?

post #2 of 10

"Steeps" and carving skis are kind of mutually exclusive these days.  If it's really steep, it's not groomed.  On steep off piste terrain, being able to steer your skis is an important skill, such as quickly checking speed, for example.  On groomers, not so much although I'm sure there are exceptions.

post #3 of 10


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
 
Content deleted by Cirquerider


Bushwacker puts down a first-timer again.  Way to go, Bush. Do what you can to humiliate those newbies!

 

post #4 of 10
Originally Posted by 60sdog View Post

I'm an intermediate skier who's confused. I read a lot about how skiers should primarily carve their turns, but I observe many skiers who seem to be using lots of angulation and rotation, like skiing was done on the old straight skis. The I read that steering is called for in certain situations, especially on steeps. My question is this: should an intermediate skier use a combination of counter-rotation and steering along with carving, when using carving skis? (I.e., use tipping along with steering). Or should carved turns be practiced exclusively?


 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 60sdog View Post

I'm an intermediate skier who's confused. I read a lot about how skiers should primarily carve their turns.

 

carved turns can be done nearly anywhere with enough practice.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 60sdog View Post but I observe many skiers who seem to be using lots of angulation and rotation,

 

define rotation?

 

by my definition there is a rotary aspect in EVERY turn.  As we get better its becomes alot more passive and the bending of the skis and the way we pressure it can cause the ski to rotate out legs. Some time more pivot and active are necessary.

 

Angulation is used in nearly every turn. At least by my definition the only question is how much?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 60sdog View PostThe I read that steering is called for in certain situations, especially on steeps.

.

it could be, personally the better I get at moving with my skis and commiting my body down the hill the less I need to steer actively on the steepest slopes. With that said its very atheletic to ski steep slopes with no rotary input and let the skis turn you.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 60sdog View Post My question is this: should an intermediate skier use a combination of counter-rotation and steering along with carving, when using carving skis? (I.e., use tipping along with steering). Or should carved turns be practiced exclusively?

 

 

you should use whatever works. A counter rotation and steering are part of carving. The steering just is not active and we need to be countered to stay strong on our outside ski.  carved turns should be what your goals is but it is not the end all to be all.

 

 

also comparing Carving to rotation/steering is kinda of a weird comparison

 

is like comparing baking to kneading. Or riding a bike to pedaling. driving a car to shifting, mowing the grass to starting the lawn mower, posting a thread to typing. You get the drift right?


Edited by BushwackerinPA - 12/19/11 at 4:12pm
post #5 of 10

Josh, the moderation team does not request your assistance in vetting new members.  Stop it.  Post constructive answers, or don't post.  I'm fine either way.

post #6 of 10

60sdog, it depends who you ask.

 

The two main ski schools in North America (CSIA and PSIA) teach the application of edging combined with pivoting to create steering. Sure, you can make a purely carved turn in a lot of situations. You could also make turns using lots of pivoting, as beginners/intermediates often do when developing a short radius turn. Depending on your ability level, terrain, conditions, pitch, energy level, etc. you'll use a different blend. 

 

The PMTS school, on the other hand, teaches that pivoting is not required. There have been lots of heated discussions over this topic in the past, and the two camps are unable to reconcile on these points (due to fundamental differences in ideology). PMTS isn't discussed here, but you can find out a lot about it at the PMTS site.

 

There are good and bad skiers in both camps. (Though I'd say the top skiers are in the CSIA camp duck.gif) For a recreational skier with aspirations from anything from intermediate to world cup level, I'd say to keep an open mind and go forward learning both pivoting and edging. On particularly steep stuff, you may find you mostly use neither - resorting to a hop turn anyway. (FWIW, I've had lessons from all three groups and am relatively undamaged.)

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

60sdog, it depends who you ask.

 

The two main ski schools in North America (CSIA and PSIA) teach the application of edging combined with pivoting to create steering. Sure, you can make a purely carved turn in a lot of situations. You could also make turns using lots of pivoting,..

 

The PMTS school, on the other hand, teaches that pivoting is not required. There have been lots of heated discussions over this topic in the past, and the two camps are unable to reconcile on these points (due to fundamental differences in ideology). PMTS isn't discussed here, but you can find out a lot about it at the PMTS site.... On particularly steep stuff, you may find you mostly use neither - resorting to a hop turn anyway...



Hop turns haven't been a go-to move on steeps for quite some time. Since 60sdog asked in particular about steeps, it's noteworthy that some of the most ardent PMTS devotees who post on here have had difficulties on steeps and bumps that might be a little inconsistent with the "expert skier" mantra they use, and make the criticism that PMTS directs at great skiers, including current and former USST members, or great skiers from other disciplines like Glen Plake, sound in my opinion a little cheap.  You actually could look at recent or past footage of, say, Glen Plake and do pretty well saying, That's how I want to ski.  On a technical level, nobody who skis anything really steep does so with "pure" carves that leave a thin line in the snow.  You can look good on blue groomers with frontside carvers leaving thin lines pretty easily, or look good on mellow ungroomed terrain in particular with heavily tapered, deep-sidecut skis that some mellow-carve people like to use, but that same reliance on solely carving technique and equipment-wise on carving training wheels will put you at a big disadvantage on steeps.

 

If you really want to learn steeps, don't worry about technique descriptions, just go to a mountain like Snowbird or Jackson and, ideally, enroll in a week-long program.  You need to learn from people who do.

 

post #8 of 10


Quote:

Originally Posted by 60sdog View Post

I'm an intermediate skier who's confused. I read a lot about how skiers should primarily carve their turns, but I observe many skiers who seem to be using lots of angulation and rotation, like skiing was done on the old straight skis. The I read that steering is called for in certain situations, especially on steeps. My question is this: should an intermediate skier use a combination of counter-rotation and steering along with carving, when using carving skis? (I.e., use tipping along with steering). Or should carved turns be practiced exclusively?


That's a lot of ski terminology used. Sometimes before we can answer a question, we need to confirm the definition of each term. (Maybe we need a glossary section created for everyone so that we're all on the same wavelength). Here's my take on the terms and I expect vehement disagreement from others. Therein lies the crux of why there is so much disagreement in ski technique discussions. It's not so much that there is disagreement on conceptual approaches. We just aren't speaking the same language really.

 

(Pure) Carved turn- A method of skiing that is done with skis locked on edge throughout the turn. The tracks would be a pencil thin line from the start till the end. Thus far, this would fit the description of a railed turn as well. The difference between a railed turn and a (pure) carved turn is that a skier actively bends the ski in a carved turn to control turn shape. In a railed turn, the skier relies on the sidecut of a ski to determine turn shape.

 

Angulation - The way we make angles with our body in skiing. Comprises of knee and hip angulation. Angulation should occur in all forms of skiing, carved or otherwise.

 

Rotation - For me, it's the turning power a skier applies to the skis. It can come from the shoulders, hips, both (upper body) or legs. Does rotation occur in a carved turn? This is a question of terminology rather than technique in my opinion. Passive femoral rotation (thigh bone turning in the hip joint) occurs if you're carving and bending your ski properly. But is that enough to fit some people's description of rotation? Does it need to be active rotation to be considered rotation?

 

Steering - Such a vague term that could really encompass so many things by so many different people. I won't attempt to define it yet.

 

Steeps - This can be very relative. Some say anything above 35 degrees in incline is steep. Others, 40 degrees. Some think a blue is steep. I don't mean to sound patronising but I feel more accurate definition is require every time the word steep is used.

 

Counter rotation - The act of quickly twisting the upper body one way to make the skis turn the opposite way. Used strongly in the twister aerial movement. Generally an undesired movement in skiing. This is very different to a countered position.

 

Tipping - Banking, inclination. Terms that could all be describing the same thing or not. Generally its agreed the body is in a straight line (there is no angulation). How you get there and whether or not it's good or bad is a subject of much debate mostly due to a difference in the interpretation of the term. 

 

I hope this is a start to clearing the confusion. Perhaps with clearer definitions of the different jargon, you could repost the question?

 

post #9 of 10

I don't know where you are in your learning curve, but there is an early stage on the learning curve where you attempt to get your skis turned across your path so that they will bite into the snow and turn you.  Then there is a stage where you realize that the "bite" just requires a little bit to get started, and then the snow will turn the skis enough for them to turn on their own.  If you are at or around that stage, I would concentrate on using as little force and torque on the skis as possible, but still enough to get them started turning on their own.  With old-style skis this action would involve pressuring the tips a lot to put a bend into the fore-body of the ski and then tipping the skis so that bend would take you around the curve.  With newer skis the shape of the ski is usually enough that you just need to have weight on a tipped ski to get it to bend into a curve without over-doing the forward pressure, just have enough pressure on the tips to keep the edge from slipping sideways.

 

Hope that helps.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

All of your posts have been helpful!

 

I learned to ski back in the old straight-ski days, using Austrian "counter-rotation" technique basically. Then no skiing for 24 years, started back a few years ago and boy how skiing had changed. Have gradually learned to use shaped skis, but still locked in the past to some degree. Guess what I'd like to know is if you can still employ some of the old skils (i.e., counter-rotation, steering, maybe even a little heel-thrust, etc., when using shaped skis). I see counter-rotation and waist steering, etc. mentioned a lot more on this forum that in the past, so I assume skiers must be using these techniques with the new shaped skis.

 

I understand that on really steep stuff, these old skills can be more useful than on blue groomed, but wouldn't it be useful to suspend with carving sometimes on blues and  practice them so they will be readily available to use when on the steeps? Some of you may think this all sounds a little jumbled, but rest assured that I'm a little confused myself.

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