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How to hold edge thru gates on icy course? - Page 2

post #31 of 51

I believe the OP is asking about a race course that is consistently ice. You don't really have the luxury in gates of picking and choosing the type of snow you are going to initiate a turn on like you do free skiing. So yes it makes sense to begin or tuen on softer snow, but what if there is non?


 

A couple of observations from my gate experience.

 

#1. There are definitely master's or cheater Gs skis that will hold an edge like nobody's business. Case in point Atomic D2 Race Gs non-FIS.

 

#2. Too stiff a ski longitudinally fro a particular racer  is going to be a detriment on ice. You have got to get the ski bent into an arc and if you can't bend the ski you can't carve on ice. Which brings me to #3 and #4

 

#3.You absolutely must have the proper tune/bevel angles. I would submit that in GS this is a .7 to true 1 degree base bevel and a 3 or 4 degree side edge. A 1 degree or 2 degree side edge simply will not due. I had the pleasure of skiing a Head i.speed in a 180 with a 2 degree side edge back to back in the same course with my more flexible 177cm Supershape speed with a 3 degreeside edge.

 

Yep, the SS speed held much better. I attribute it to 2 characteristics:The increased side edge bevel and the softer longitudinal flex.

 

#4. The above discussion about getting on your new outside ski before the fall line is crucial. A great and very easy drill is to traverse a moderate pitch in a normal traverse position and while still traversing get up on the little toe edge of the uphill ski. stay there until you decide to turn and then roll the uphill ski from the little toe edge to the big toe edge to initiate the turn. when you finish back in traverse position, on your downhill ski, you again step onto the uphill skis as before and initiate the turn on the uphill ski only.

 

#5. Supple ankles. There is a tendency to get stiff in a race course particularly a very icy course. You must be extremely focused but let your ankles stay supple, not locked.

 

#6. this is going to sound a bit crazy, but you really need to pressure your tips in the opposite direction of the turn. If you press on the ski directly on the edges you are trying to engage in the the same direction as you want to turn you are going to slip and chatter every time. And the steeper the pitch the worse it is. you must let your tips drop slightly away from your intended travel path towards the fall line not try to press your edges across the fall line and let the tips hook up. This will begin the tip bending and allow the ski to begin to arc. this move is very un-intuitive. The otter part of the equation is progressive pressure.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nateteachski View Post



Good point slider. The skier demoing the upside-down traverse is too square to his feet. There needs to be a leading inside hip/shoulder/hand. Then you'll drive through the boot instead of laterally into in.

Skiing ice is about early edge engagement. Being on edge a slicing before you get to the ice instead of trying to push harder into the ice.

Ask your self this. Do I look at the ice as I come to it or am I looking at the snow after the ice? Most people, when they see ice, stair right at it even to the point that they are on it. Think about what that does to your body position.

Getting on those edges early and slicing and then looking ahead in the course you can move through the ice before you even get to it. 



 

post #32 of 51
I was doing this early uphill/inside edge gig on icy sections today. Really blasted my skiing up a notch. It was the first time I've ever felt that description from Witherell's first book -- "like running down the hill on ice cleats." That's exactly what it was like. Requires a lot of inside-half action and especially presence.

What I really liked about it was how well it transfers from snow to snow. The run was variable, sometimes piles of soft cutup powder, sometimes piles of more-consolidated cream cheese, sometimes frozen chunks, some hardpack, some soft packed powder, and a few patches of ice.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

I believe the OP is asking about a race course that is consistently ice. You don't really have the luxury in gates of picking and choosing the type of snow you are going to initiate a turn on like you do free skiing. So yes it makes sense to begin or tuen on softer snow, but what if there is non?


 

A couple of observations from my gate experience.

 

#1. There are definitely master's or cheater Gs skis that will hold an edge like nobody's business. Case in point Atomic D2 Race Gs non-FIS.

 

#2. Too stiff a ski longitudinally fro a particular racer  is going to be a detriment on ice. You have got to get the ski bent into an arc and if you can't bend the ski you can't carve on ice. Which brings me to #3 and #4

 

#3.You absolutely must have the proper tune/bevel angles. I would submit that in GS this is a .7 to true 1 degree base bevel and a 3 or 4 degree side edge. A 1 degree or 2 degree side edge simply will not due. I had the pleasure of skiing a Head i.speed in a 180 with a 2 degree side edge back to back in the same course with my more flexible 177cm Supershape speed with a 3 degreeside edge.

 

Yep, the SS speed held much better. I attribute it to 2 characteristics:The increased side edge bevel and the softer longitudinal flex.

 

#4. The above discussion about getting on your new outside ski before the fall line is crucial. A great and very easy drill is to traverse a moderate pitch in a normal traverse position and while still traversing get up on the little toe edge of the uphill ski. stay there until you decide to turn and then roll the uphill ski from the little toe edge to the big toe edge to initiate the turn. when you finish back in traverse position, on your downhill ski, you again step onto the uphill skis as before and initiate the turn on the uphill ski only.

 

#5. Supple ankles. There is a tendency to get stiff in a race course particularly a very icy course. You must be extremely focused but let your ankles stay supple, not locked.

 

#6. this is going to sound a bit crazy, but you really need to pressure your tips in the opposite direction of the turn. If you press on the ski directly on the edges you are trying to engage in the the same direction as you want to turn you are going to slip and chatter every time. And the steeper the pitch the worse it is. you must let your tips drop slightly away from your intended travel path towards the fall line not try to press your edges across the fall line and let the tips hook up. This will begin the tip bending and allow the ski to begin to arc. this move is very un-intuitive. The otter part of the equation is progressive pressure.

 

 

 



 


Great input Atomicman. Could you elaborate a bit on #6? How do you " let your tips drop slightly away from your intended travel path towards the fall line"?  Do you mean a foot pullback?

 

post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post

Yep, all true.  But that's true of all skiing, which is that you have to keep moving.  Park and ride doesn't cut it, especially on ice. When you go from neutral to the upside down traverse, you need to extend to apply some pressure to the ski...because it's currently the uphil ski, it ain't gonna do anything on its own. As the ski hooks up, yep, you're right...your momentum and gravity work together in the fall line to provide the pressure, so you need to start flexing through the bottom of the arc to keep the pressure optimum...too much, and the ski starts to chatter.  That's pressure control.  And that's the idea, to get the ski to turn you, rather than having to muscle the ski around the corner.  But to get it all started, you need to get on the new edge before the fall line and extend to get some pressure on the ski.

 

Pressure control is also pressure distribution.  To carve a turn, you want to follow the ski's sidecut from tip to tail. At the end of the turn, the forces are pretty naturally going to put you on the tail of the ski, which is what you want.  The go to neutral phase is your opportunity to pull the skis back underneath your CoM (it disturbs your balance less to move the feet under the body mass rather than to try to move the upper body forward and back over the feet, and it permits more refined pressure control). Now you're set up not just to bend the new outside ski, but to bend it from the tip, then you bend the middle of the ski in the fall line, then the tail at the finish.  All this can be done by feeling the pressure through the bottom of the foot, and using ankle flex to adjust where the feet are.  You don't want to be hanging forward at the start, in fact that's counter productive.  I think about feeling the pressure predominantly through the ball of my foot at the top of the arc, at the front of the arch at the middle of the turn, and at the back of the arch at the finish of the arc...

 



 


Good input 55. I'm still not clear what kind of extension you mean. Is it done in non-loaded state or are you pushing against the CoM?

 

If we look e.g. at this clip, I think that most of the time he is already extended when the pressure comes. The turn at 42 seconds where he extends with pressure is a mistake and is because of the fail at the previous gate.

 

post #35 of 51

I'd say it's in the non-loaded state.  Got a chance to run some gates with Ron LeMaster last weekend, and I thought about something he said in this context.  A couple of years back, he had a talk where he said "What do you do at the end of a turn?" and the answer, which was obvious, but I couldn't come up with it, was "Stop turning!"  You do that by rolling to flat skis and putting even pressure on them.  A flat ski with 1/2 the body mass is relatively non-loaded.  Now you roll over to the new set of edges...still not much load on the new ski, so you extend to get some load on the new edged ski...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt View Post


Good input 55. I'm still not clear what kind of extension you mean. Is it done in non-loaded state or are you pushing against the CoM?

 

If we look e.g. at this clip, I think that most of the time he is already extended when the pressure comes. The turn at 42 seconds where he extends with pressure is a mistake and is because of the fail at the previous gate.

 



 

post #36 of 51

I still think he's extending, but (a) he's doing it as he rolls to the edge, which is really what you want.  I said go to the edge and then extend because it's maybe easier to visualize as a two part thing, but blending the two together makes the most sense, especially where you want to be quick in a course and (b) extending just means relative to a flexed leg.  It doesn't mean standing up way tall, or fully extending the leg.  It just means making it longer, whatever that is, to get some pressure going...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt View Post


Good input 55. I'm still not clear what kind of extension you mean. Is it done in non-loaded state or are you pushing against the CoM?

 

If we look e.g. at this clip, I think that most of the time he is already extended when the pressure comes. The turn at 42 seconds where he extends with pressure is a mistake and is because of the fail at the previous gate.

 



 

post #37 of 51

I agree with you 55. I see too many coaches here that gets the kids to extend too soon and too hard. I was just making sure we were looking at this the same way and I think we are.

post #38 of 51

Yes, indeed...keep channeling Hirscher and you can't go wrong!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt View Post

I agree with you 55. I see too many coaches here that gets the kids to extend too soon and too hard. I was just making sure we were looking at this the same way and I think we are.



 

post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt View Post

I agree with you 55. I see too many coaches here that gets the kids to extend too soon and too hard. I was just making sure we were looking at this the same way and I think we are.



In my relatively low skill set, I float the turn after the initial edge set and light pressure and "wait for it". Letting all the parts get aligned at the fall line. This where I am the strongest and balanced. It is prolly far from correct but it works for me.

post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post



In my relatively low skill set, I float the turn after the initial edge set and light pressure and "wait for it". Letting all the parts get aligned at the fall line. This where I am the strongest and balanced. It is prolly far from correct but it works for me.



I generally view the float as something before the edge set, but maybe we are talking about different things.

post #41 of 51


I don't think you have a low skill set, but see what JAMT says below.  It's probably just terminology.  I agree with "light pressure" on the new edge,  you don't need or want to beat it to death.  "Floating" sort of implies unwieghted.  In the old days, we used to talk about "unweighting" and "weighting".  Required, maybe, on the old skis, not required or even advisable on the new skis. In the go to neutral phase I've talked about, you're not really unweighted, you're weighting both skis evenly, and because they're flat, you can finesse them to what LeMaster calls "the initial steering angle" (I would have called it "the initial carving angle") where you can start a carved arc that will put you where you want to be on the course or on the hill.  But I don't think of this phase as floating, and once I have the new outside edge in the upside down traverse, I don't want to float it, I want to, as you've said, give it light pressure.  Floating and light pressure aren't the same. 

 

"Floating" sounds more like what you said when you said "wait for it".  I would agree that you have to be patient and not rush the fall line phase of the turn, but "waiting" for anything, on skis, sounds like a park and ride, which isn't good.  While the ski is hooking up, heading into the fall line, you should be doing a ton of things: adjusting the feet, especially the outside one, back and forth under the body to put the pressure distribution where you want it (middle of the ski, front of the arch at the fall line), continuing to move the upper body inside the arc and down the hill (this is the phase where the skis are gaining speed in the fall line, and you don't want the upper body to be in the back seat), keeping the the hands driving with the upper body, looking two gates down the hill at the next gate in the corridor. 

 

"The corridor" is a Loeffler concept.  If you have a series of open gates, all the left-footed turns form a corridor, all the right-footed turns form the other corridor.  If I'm making a left-footed turn, at the gate, in the fall line, I should be looking down the left corridor at the next left footed turn.  It's only when I'm past the gate, in the finish of the arc, that I should be looking at the next gate, which is in the right-footed corridor.  The fastest racers are the ones who spend the most time in the fall line. The slower racers ski gate to gate...across the hill, which is the slowest way to ski. The fastest racers try to spend as much time as possible in the corridors, and as little time as possible getting across the hill from corridor to corridor...

 

smile.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post



In my relatively low skill set, I float the turn after the initial edge set and light pressure and "wait for it". Letting all the parts get aligned at the fall line. This where I am the strongest and balanced. It is prolly far from correct but it works for me.



 

post #42 of 51

Floating is not the right term,it just feels like it prior to the increasing pressure/edge phase. Maybe dialing in the angles would be a better way of saying it. I like the corridor idea that really makes sense to me. I noticed today that my inside pole was coming up against my inside Hip in the fall line. Maybe the arm is back to much. Good information 55/Jamt,thanks.

post #43 of 51

I agree.


 

Although in the video above there is a lot of redirection going on in almost every turn.

 

The float comes during transition, what I call neutral.  when your skis are free of the pull of the hill. You can controll how long the "float" lasts. but when you end the float, the key is to not stand 100% or more on the new edge. Ittakes a lot of finesse to let the edge start hooking up and progressively add pressure. Particulalry when you ahve the gates coming at you and you have to turn where someone else has decided for you.   The most  important thing with gates in all of this is probably line.  I am going to assume most everyone in this thread can carve a pretty good dynamic turn when freeskiing.  So hwat is the difference when you get in the course. LINE!!! And I don't hear enough on Epic in general about the RISEline concept. In fact,

No one has mentioned the riseline, here. But if you go to straight at the gate you are not going to be able to hold an edge. (this is always my problem) I get sucked into the gate and either go to straight and get low and late or I don't wait for the riseline and have to double turn or skid in order to not put my head through the gate.

 

Whether the course is icy, soft, rutted, crunchy, whatever. The course is all about line.

 

Now, JamT. I wish you were sitting here in front of me so I could explain the tip thing in he opposite direction of travel to you. It is easy if I could show you with my hands and arms as my skis.

 

But trying to put it into words is tough.

 

The best I can do is that it is almost more of a mindset then actual move. but again instead of pressing on the middle and tip of your ski in the direction of travel you let your tips drop slightly away from the dirction of travel. So if you are turning left you press yur tips right. Instead of trying to press your whole ski left.

 

How I came across this:

 

My boys raced for CMAC (Crystal Mountain Alpine Club) here in Washington. Scott McCartney, Libby Ludlow, Paul McDonald, Jill McDonald, Courtney Hammond, Tatum Skoglund, Ingrid Backstrom all came out of CMAC and were coached by the still current head coach, who was on the US Ski Team in the 80's and was in the top 20 of all WC downhillers.

 

So i ran inot him at lunch.There are a couple of steep pretty dang slick faces on one of the the popular runs. I was getting some chattering and was having a hard time getting rid of it on those faces.

 

Al, the head coach said he was getting some of that too. He asked me if it was in my tails or under foot. I said underfoot. He then went on to explain this concept of pushing your tips away from the direction of the turn. He put his hands together with some edge angle so to speak. Llittle finger of left hand lower then thumb side and thumb side of his right hand lower then little finger side to out in front of him slightly  to the right of his body to represent ski tips to his right and then simultaneously pushed his hands in parallel farther to his right with his fingertips getting lower as he pushed his hands to the right (This remeber is represnting a right footed left turn)

 

this is how he described the tips being pushed in the opposite direction from the turn. He said this pressures the tip away from the turn and starts the ski bending.

 

it is very counterintuitive, but once you get the hang of it it works

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt View Post



I generally view the float as something before the edge set, but maybe we are talking about different things.



 

post #44 of 51

Thanks Atomicman I'll try that out next time we have ice, which is usually not to long in Sweden.

 

I love the rise line concept. It works great when explaining to juniors that they cannot simply ski to the next gate and turn around it.

post #45 of 51

My two cents worth.

Make the floating phase quick and then you have more time to build pressure on the ski and get it to arc before the fall line.

Lazy transitions get you late and skidding.

After you get some of the basics it is all about seeing the fastest line for your skills and the course, then actually holding it.

 

Tonight I get to run beer league in 39 degrees and slop over ice.

The racing line gets really narrow and close to the gates in these conditions.

Get out in the marbles and you slow down fast, or worse.

Holding the line is critical in these conditions, somebody will probably get hurt tonight by running wide and hitting a wall of sludge.

 

 

post #46 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post

 

Tonight I get to run beer league in 39 degrees and slop over ice.

 



Wow, that's pretty steep.

post #47 of 51

Great discussion folks! Lots of stuff to work on!

post #48 of 51

Seems like it after the Beer.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt View Post



Wow, that's pretty steep.



 

post #49 of 51

Here's my two cent

 

Ball, Fall to wall..    at the top of the turn you need to be going to the ball of foot of the new outside ski and fall away from it ( downhill). the the wall is letting the counter develop.  

 

The apex of the turn you should be on your ach of the foot .  Now from here to the transtion you need to be releasing the skis. 

 

what we are hoping for is that edge engagment is from the top of turn to the Apex than its being released from there to the transtion.

 

 

 

 

 

post #50 of 51

Wow, this is a great thread I'm stumbling onto belatedly. Very good posts by lots of people, notably including Atomicman. My attempt at a contribution is appended below Atomicman's quote.
 

First, a minor quibble. Someone used the expression "set an edge." For some of us, this harkens back to the harsh sideways-slamming mini-hockey-stops that people often used in the '60s,  '70s, and '80s for speed control. I'm sure no one intended to evoke this movement patten from the glued-together-skis days, but to me it's a misleading phrase just because it has this baggage. Okay ... moving on:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

The float comes during transition, what I call neutral.  when your skis are free of the pull of the hill. You can controll how long the "float" lasts. but when you end the float, the key is to not stand 100% or more on the new edge. Ittakes a lot of finesse to let the edge start hooking up and progressively add pressure. Particulalry when you ahve the gates coming at you and you have to turn where someone else has decided for you.   The most  important thing with gates in all of this is probably line.  I am going to assume most everyone in this thread can carve a pretty good dynamic turn when freeskiing.  So hwat is the difference when you get in the course. LINE!!! And I don't hear enough on Epic in general about the RISEline concept. In fact,

No one has mentioned the riseline, here. But if you go to straight at the gate you are not going to be able to hold an edge. (this is always my problem) I get sucked into the gate and either go to straight and get low and late or I don't wait for the riseline and have to double turn or skid in order to not put my head through the gate.

 

Atomicman, I don't disagree with what you are saying above, but the way I read the OP's original post and responses, I do not think your advice about line speaks to his particular problem or stage of development as an ice carver. (I say this as someone who has many weaknesses a racer, but who nevertheless typically moves up several notches on the leader board on particularly icy nights ... so this is an area where I have made significant personal progress.) The OP says, "I think my skis are slipping as soon as I try to tip them on edge at the beginning of a new turn on ice." Well described. I see this phenomenon every Wednesday night among my teammates and others. It's not a matter of line; these folks have the same exact problem when free-skiing on shiny surfaces. (Right, Passionate Skier? I'll wager your turns are not squeaky-clean speed-preserving gliding ice-skate arcs on ice outside of the course, either. True?)

 

The real problem is that the OP doesn't yet really have a bombproof initiation for a clean carved turn. He's almost there, but not quite. He gets away with it when conditions smile because the skis hook up relatively solidly and quickly, before his slightly late, slightly impatient rotary movements can muck anything up too much. However, on ice he rushes into the turn even more than usual, precisely because he KNOWS it's slippery and is in a hurry to get into the high-angle zone. This has the opposite effect from what was intended. The several posters who talk about patient extra-early edge engagement hold the key to solving this problem. (These posters include YOU, Atomicman, with your advice to "push... your tips away from the direction of the turn," which makes total sense to me and which I would characterize as a different way of describing how it feels not to introduce any rotary forces into the turn, with a big pinch of hips-forward tongue pressure thrown in.)

 

Passionate Skier, you have to tip BEFORE the beginning of the new turn, in what others are calling the "upside-down traverse" (although of course in practice the "traverse" is only an instant in time). In the first half of the turn, relax your inside knee much more than you think you need to. This is what will allow you to get inside of both skis quickly and achieve as a by product the high edge angle you need for the ice. The paradox is that you will actually get to these angles faster if you are more patient. Bizarre but true. Aggressively driving the skis around, out and away from you, like you might well do in a scarved turn to get more edge angle on slightly softer snow, won't work here, because the ice doesn't build up into enough of a platform for you. (Plus it would slow you down even if it did work.) Keep your inside hand punching aggressively down the fall line. This will set you up well for the next early edge change. All this is much harder to DO than to SAY, I fully recognize. Took me years for my body to figure it out, even after my head had the basic concept down. Keep practicing on green and very easy blue slopes and eventually you will get it.

 

None of this is about line choice, which IMHO comes into play only after you can already make the clean carved ice turn while free skiing.

 

 

post #51 of 51
Atomicman,

Regarding your #6 above -

By 'pushing the tips away' do you actually mean the foot inversion/eversion thing which occurs when you "twist your feet right" to start a left turn?

When I want very early edge engagement going into a New LEFT turn I simply continue twisting both feet further to the RIGHT at the end of the old turn while my CM crosses over my skis. This has the effect of both skis getting to the new edges more quickly since the Left foot inverts and the Right foot everts by doing this.

I also find it very helpful to make sure my CM (overall body for that matter) is moving across the slope when I try to engage new edges. Quite often people dive across their skis during transition (toward the inside of the next turn) which takes away their cross-slope momentum. Without momentum across the hill we've only Gravity and Leg Extension as resources to press the new edges into the snow/ice. If we've retained some upper-body momentum across the hill then we can use that directionally-biased Mass as an anchor to "push from" and press the new edges into the surface.

If we've already launched our upper-body too directly downslope (across the skis) then we only have a limited range of leg-extension by which to press edges into the surface. If the edges have not engaged and started turning us by the time we run out of leg-extension - we lose edge pressure because we've not yet any centrifugal force to take over pressuring the edges for us.

I know most people in the race guild prefer actively stepping to the new outside-ski early, even before it gets to its new edge, but I find it works just fine to stay on my old outside-ski as it becomes the new inside-ski right into the beginning of my new turn. Everything else (movement wise) remains the same but now it's strictly centrifugal force that creates pressure on the new outside-ski rather than leg extension - still leaving me to use leg extension at will. The only trick to this is making sure I keep sufficient tension pulling that new outside-foot back so that it comes back under me as I cross over the skis (and thereby maintains tip pressure while keeping me in fore/aft balance).

.ma
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