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Making More Round Turns

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I am an intermediate/advanced skier that would like to improve my skiing. I find that in more challenging terrain I tend to make my turns with more of a z shape than a rounded c shape. I was told that I kept my upper body separated and facing down the fall line well. I can feel myself accelerating and then slamming on the brakes to turn before repeating.

 

One tip that I received was to pressure the inside ski boot at 11 o'clock when making a left hand turn and 1 o'clock when making a right hand turn.

 

Does anyone have any other drills, I did a search of this forum and could not find anything but I know it must have been discussed.

 

 

Thanks in Advance,

post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by NSskier View Post

I am an intermediate/advanced skier that would like to improve my skiing. I find that in more challenging terrain I tend to make my turns with more of a z shape than a rounded c shape. I was told that I kept my upper body separated and facing down the fall line well. I can feel myself accelerating and then slamming on the brakes to turn before repeating.

 

One tip that I received was to pressure the inside ski boot at 11 o'clock when making a left hand turn and 1 o'clock when making a right hand turn.

 

Does anyone have any other drills, I did a search of this forum and could not find anything but I know it must have been discussed.

 

 

Thanks in Advance,




ski a square. Turn down the hill and stay in the fall line for a count of 3. Then finish one turn accross the hill and start the next one and do it again. Most people who make Z shapes turns are trying to rush to get out of the falline.

 

 

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks Josh, I will give it a try next time out.

 

I am not finishing the turns because I can feel myself going faster and faster and then having to change to medium or large radius turns to slow down.

post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by NSskier View Post

Thanks Josh, I will give it a try next time out.

 

I am not finishing the turns because I can feel myself going faster and faster and then having to change to medium or large radius turns to slow down.



yeah do not let there be any gap between turns, finish one turn strongly and then start the next one.

post #5 of 27

You might try to keep turning back up the hill to slow down before turning in the other direction. Let your turn shape control your speed rather than hitting your edges hard at the finish.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NSskier View Post
I am not finishing the turns because I can feel myself going faster and faster and then having to change to medium or large radius turns to slow down.


 

post #6 of 27
Round turns come from patience.

Go to some really comfortable terrain, initiate turns by rolling your ankles gradually toward the turn and moving your center of mass both along the skis and toward the turn. Let weight change from the old downhill ski to the new outside ski gradually and progressively. As this process becomes comfortable, take it to slightly steeper and steeper terrain.

I personally like to feel my shin contact with the boot tongues move from, say, about 2 o'clock where 12 is straight ahead to about 10 o'clock as a left turn progresses. I want to feel that contact throughout the turn. I also try to keep in my head the thought that I want to "go there", meaning toward downhill, as I begin a turn.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by NSskier View Post

I am an intermediate/advanced skier that would like to improve my skiing. I find that in more challenging terrain I tend to make my turns with more of a z shape than a rounded c shape. I was told that I kept my upper body separated and facing down the fall line well. I can feel myself accelerating and then slamming on the brakes to turn before repeating.

 

One tip that I received was to pressure the inside ski boot at 11 o'clock when making a left hand turn and 1 o'clock when making a right hand turn.

 

Does anyone have any other drills, I did a search of this forum and could not find anything but I know it must have been discussed.

 

 

Thanks in Advance,

 

The bit in bold is the essence of your problem. Braking is not turning and until you learn to ski without constantly using the skis as s brake you will find yourself following dead end movement patterns. In particular you need to stop pushing the tails of your skis. I don't need to see you ski to know that you push the tails your description of your skiing fairly screams tail pushing.

 

You need to learn to guide the tips of the skis along and curved path. Once you do that you will feel the pressure move smoothly from the big toe side of one foot to the big toe side of the other when you stop guiding the skis in one direction and start guiding them in the other. You will feel the pressure smoothly increase as you continue to guide the skis through the curved path you are following. At the same time your edge angle will smoothly increase allowing you to better deal with the pressure as it builds. This pressure and edge angle will cause the ski to bend and because the ski is now traveling more forward than sideways this bending will engage the sidecut of the ski and will help propel you along the path you are following.  You will be able to control your momentum by guiding the skis to point more across the hill and even back up the hill if necessary.

 

To learn to guide the tips of the skis go to a gentle green slope. Start moving forward and instead of trying to 'turn' just point the tip of your left ski to the left see what happens.This movement will start you moving to the left, continue to feel that you are pointing the ski tip to the left and you will keep going left and will begin to slow down because you are no longer going down the hill but more and more across the fall line. Now stop pointing the left ski left and start pointing the right ski right the skis will take you right. Repeat this process and gradually take this new way of skiing to steeper slopes.

 

Also, stop doing hockey stops. Learn to stop by quickly but smoothly guiding the tips of the skis up the hill not pushing the tails of the skis down the hill,

 

fom

 


 

 

post #8 of 27

All good advice so far.  I'd also add that you may need to embrace the speed a bit more and trust that if you make full complete turns you will slow down as you move perpendicular to the fall line.  Stay on the ball of your outside foot (but balanced, not too much pressure) and resist the urge to push out on your heel to create friction and brake.  As a former Z-turner, these were the thoughts that helped me start making better turns.  That and ABT (Always Be Turning).

 

I think one of the biggest misconceptions from what instructors say is the whole "don't turn to slow down" - it's true but it's not.  You do turn to control speed, but you shouldn't *initiate* your turn to slow down, it should happen as a function of a proper turn.


Edited by JayT - 2/6/12 at 10:41am
post #9 of 27

Hard to say without vid, but when I have students with this issue, we always have to go back to some basic balanced stance work.

post #10 of 27

Kneale and fom both have excellent comments.

 

Kneale:

 

Quote:
Round turns come from patience.

 

As you make a round turn, you will feel your skis accelerate as they approach the fall line, ie, as they point more "straight down" the hill. This is, admittedly, intimidating, especially if you're already on your heals. That's why Kneale says to take your practice sessions to some really comfortable terrain. It's difficult to learn anything when you feel like you're about to lose control.

 

To avoid the dreaded Z, you have to allow the skis to help you complete the turn. Continue guiding the tips in the desired direction, even, as some posters have suggested, completing the turn to the point that you're going slightly uphill.

 

Balance on your skis without shoving or pushing. Balance over your arch. Too much pressure on the ball of your foot will shove you into the back seat. Too much on your heals, and it will feel like your skis have developed skegs (like a water ski) or that they are about to get away from you. When learning on easy terrain, you can do it with the skis pretty flat. If you find you're cranking them up on edge and then pushing on them, dial it down. Flatten them and guide the tips. There's plenty of time for high edge angles when the forces are greater at higher speeds. Learn the moves first.

 

One of my morning drills (not applicable on powder days!) is to make sure I start each turn with a clean release from the old one, guiding the old downhill (new inside) ski in the direction of the turn, making very flat, smeary turns at low speeds, even as the terrain gets steeper. Complete each turn without slamming on the brakes, instead continuing the turn uphill if necessary. No traverse is allowed. As soon as the turn is done, I want to move down the hill into the new one. By the way, on groomed snow (or any snow, actually), no unweighting is required. No abrupt twisting. No pushing or shoving. Just move from the uphill eges to the downhill edges. Focus on actively guiding the ski that's on the inside of the turn - i.e., the left ski for left turns, the right ski for right turns.

 

On easy terrain, can you keep it smooth and round? Can you flow smoothly from one turn to the next? Can you do it in three groomer widths? Can you narrow it to two? One? My goal each morning is smooth, round short radius turns on a groomed run of intermediate pitch (on the steep side of intermediate in my case), with a track no more than one groomer width wide. Speeds should be low, so each turn must be complete. No unweighting, no big rotary at the start or finish or anywhere else.

 

Let's also be clear that this is not a pure carve, although the fundamental moves are the same. Your skis will skid, as they must to make a turn that short. But it is not accomplished by pushing the tails out. And yes, as the terrain gets steeper, the edge angles increase - as they must to balance the greater forces created by the terrain.

 

Be patient. Release. Allow the turn to start as gravity pulls your tips downhill. Allow the turn to develop. Allow the centrifugal force to pull you onto your new outside ski. Allow your ski shape, with a little help from you, to pull you around through to the end of the turn. And when it's done, don't just stand there. Move downhill to release again.

 

Be patient. I'm not a natural athlete, so it took me years. It probably won't take you that long.
 

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

 

Thanks to all who have responded. Keep the ideas coming.

 

From the advice that has been given above it seems that I am headed in the correct direction. 

I like the idea of patience and also allowing the skis to stay in the fall line for a 3 count.

I feel like I do most of these things when I am making turns that are 2 or 3 groomer widths wide.(Medium to Large Radius Turns)

 

I do most of my skiing on the edge of the trails making short radius turns.

 

Do you feel that by continuing to work on these items that I will be able to make these rounder turns inside of a groomer width?

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by NSskier View Post

 

Do you feel that by continuing to work on these items that I will be able to make these rounder turns inside of a groomer width?



If you did everything correctly, yes, and in crud too. Chances are though that one single lesson (sign up for a private with a couple of friends who ski at the same level to share the cost) will make the process much faster and infinitely less frustrating.

post #13 of 27

So there are two areas for you to work on. Shape of your turn from a Z to a C…. this has been well answered above. The second area I will give you some ideas on how to improve your upper and lower separation.

As you know the turning effort (pivoting, steering) should come from the lower body. When turning with the whole body it will usually cause a few problems. 1) When you are in a short radius turn the tail of the lower ski will brake away from the upper ski, giving you a mini snow plow look. 2) You will loose a “centered and mobile stance” basically your rotational balance will be out of whack.

So this is what I would do to improve your upper and lower body separation. A) find some intermediate terrain B) Drill, no poles C) arms straight out, make a picture frame with your hands …now pick a stationary object at the bottom of the hill, tree, building etc. All you are going to do now is ski down the hill doing short radius turns keeping the object in your picture frame. Once you are comfortable on Intermediate terrain with this drill now move to Advance terrain and try it again. Now go back to intermediate terrain, grab you poles and see if there is a difference. It takes you body 10,000 times of doing something new before you get muscle memory. cheers superdave       

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superdaveski View Post

So there are two areas for you to work on. Shape of your turn from a Z to a C…. this has been well answered above. The second area I will give you some ideas on how to improve your upper and lower separation.

As you know the turning effort (pivoting, steering) should come from the lower body. When turning with the whole body it will usually cause a few problems. 1) When you are in a short radius turn the tail of the lower ski will brake away from the upper ski, giving you a mini snow plow look. 2) You will loose a “centered and mobile stance” basically your rotational balance will be out of whack.

So this is what I would do to improve your upper and lower body separation. A) find some intermediate terrain B) Drill, no poles C) arms straight out, make a picture frame with your hands …now pick a stationary object at the bottom of the hill, tree, building etc. All you are going to do now is ski down the hill doing short radius turns keeping the object in your picture frame. Once you are comfortable on Intermediate terrain with this drill now move to Advance terrain and try it again. Now go back to intermediate terrain, grab you poles and see if there is a difference. It takes you body 10,000 times of doing something new before you get muscle memory. cheers superdave       

 

I thought the pivoting and steering would be the cause of the z turn. But is must the quick pivoting instead of the gradual pivoting that causes the z turn.

 

Patience is needed in the turns. 

I do plan on getting a private lesson shortly.

 

Thanks for the advise.

 


 

 

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post



If you did everything correctly, yes, and in crud too. Chances are though that one single lesson (sign up for a private with a couple of friends who ski at the same level to share the cost) will make the process much faster and infinitely less frustrating.


+1 to this!

 

The watchful eye and real-time corrections of a capable ski instructor can do so much more to help you conquer this problem than reading a variety of tips can do.....even when it's very good advice, such as above.

 

A couple hundred bucks toward an afternoon of quality instruction will go much further to improve your skiing than even a small fortune on the latest and greatest gear. 

 

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

All good advice so far.  I'd also add that you may need to embrace the speed a bit more and trust that if you make full complete turns you will slow down as you move perpendicular to the fall line.  Stay on the ball of your outside foot (but balanced, not too much pressure) and resist the urge to push out on your heel to create friction and brake.  As a former Z-turner, these were the thoughts that helped me start making better turns.  That and ABT (Always Be Turning).

 

I think one of the biggest misconceptions from what instructors say is the whole "don't turn to slow down" - it's true but it's not.  You do turn to control speed, but you shouldn't *initiate* your turn to slow down, it should happen as a function of a proper turn.

It's not a misconception, it's a concept. Control speed with line, not turns.
I don't see this guy turning to slow down.

 

302449_2116666030899_1073160115_32129892_5977794_n_medium.jpg

 

http://www.ovwsf.org/page/show/432503

 

Just say bring the turn uphill.

Go at a speed where you're comfortable going faster when you turn. Practice on terrain that doesn't scare you heading downhill.

 

Here's a slow line down the mountain. How fast you go on it is up to you.

 

curvy-road.jpg

http://judyblackcloud.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/curvy-road.jpg

 

 

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by NSskier View Post

 

Thanks to all who have responded. Keep the ideas coming.

 

From the advice that has been given above it seems that I am headed in the correct direction. 

I like the idea of patience and also allowing the skis to stay in the fall line for a 3 count.

I feel like I do most of these things when I am making turns that are 2 or 3 groomer widths wide.(Medium to Large Radius Turns)

 

I do most of my skiing on the edge of the trails making short radius turns.

 

Do you feel that by continuing to work on these items that I will be able to make these rounder turns inside of a groomer width?



When I ski the edges of trails, I tend to make more schmeared shorter round turns than I do when I'm farther away from the edge and trying to ski in the approximate width of a groomer path. Both are round and good practice though.
post #18 of 27

Like I said, it's true, but my point was the way it's delivered and repeated is often misunderstood.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

It's not a misconception, it's a concept. Control speed with line, not turns.
I don't see this guy turning to slow down.

 

302449_2116666030899_1073160115_32129892_5977794_n_medium.jpg

 

http://www.ovwsf.org/page/show/432503

 

Just say bring the turn uphill.

Go at a speed where you're comfortable going faster when you turn. Practice on terrain that doesn't scare you heading downhill.

 

Here's a slow line down the mountain. How fast you go on it is up to you.

 

curvy-road.jpg

http://judyblackcloud.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/curvy-road.jpg

 

 



 

post #19 of 27

To turn is not to slow down, but to change line or go there...it's the GO factor. Turn shape, line and slope topography can be used to control speed.

Turning to slow down is a bad habit that leads to slow improvement and bad skiing.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Like I said, it's true, but my point was the way it's delivered and repeated is often misunderstood.
 



 



 

post #20 of 27

Yes, I know.  Again, my point is, you have to TURN to get somewhere else, or to take the slow line, whatever - otherwise you'd be doing 11's straight down the fall line at high speed.  So the basic statement of "you don't turn to slow down" is actually incorrect, and I'm trying to tell the instructors around here that repeating it like that can be kind of confusing for new skiers.  That's all.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer View Post

To turn is not to slow down, but to change line or go there...it's the GO factor. Turn shape, line and slope topography can be used to control speed.

Turning to slow down is a bad habit that leads to slow improvement and bad skiing.
 



 



 

post #21 of 27

I like to put it in the 'slow mode' vs. 'go mode'. Slow being braking Z shaped turns, which are finding a slow way down a fast line, and 'go mode' being rounded C's finding a fast way down a slow line. I might have even read that here on Epic, but my age addled brain can't recall. 

post #22 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Yes, I know.  Again, my point is, you have to TURN to get somewhere else, or to take the slow line, whatever - otherwise you'd be doing 11's straight down the fall line at high speed.  So the basic statement of "you don't turn to slow down" is actually incorrect, and I'm trying to tell the instructors around here that repeating it like that can be kind of confusing for new skiers.  That's all.

Well we're objecting to your public service announcement.  We do understand what you're saying. smile.gif

 

"We" don't turn to slow down We turn cause it's fun. "We" follow lines that control our speed. You can change the line at any moment, even in the middle of a turn. If something comes up like a snowmobile and you have to brake, you brake. That's not turning. Turning is gliding, it's not braking to slow down.

Race cars on a road coarse are trying to go as fast as possible around a set curve. It's the same thing. We set the curve.

When you're ready to make that public service announcement, let us know, we'll help out.
 

It sure looks like these guys are trying to go as fast as possible when turning. Try telling them they're technically incorrect. They don't seem confused.

 

SnoWorksSkiCourses                            http://youtu.be/4bTxVT3zqGQ


Edited by Tog - 2/6/12 at 10:33pm
post #23 of 27

 

Quote:

I thought the pivoting and steering would be the cause of the z turn. But is must the quick pivoting instead of the gradual pivoting that causes the z turn.

 

Patience is needed in the turns. 

I do plan on getting a private lesson shortly.

 

Thanks for the advise.

your welcome / lots of good advise given by all :-)

 

I was only addressing your upper body as you stated you had two basic problems, z turns and upper and lower body separation. If I was instructing you the first area I would attack would be upper and lower body separation (in short Radius) and from there this would improve your Pivoting (turning/steering the lower body) and rotational balance. Make sure when you get a private lesson to try to get a CSIA III  "have fun"

post #24 of 27

SDave,

 

Actually, the op says that he has been told that he has good upper lower body separation. Strangely enough, this may be part of his problem

 

 

NS,

 

Effective pivoting and steering do not cause the z-turns you are experiencing. Pushing the tails is the least efficient form of pivoting and steering and does cause Z-turns.

 

Also, your comments about needing to go to a larger turn to control your speed is an indication of your heel pushing problem. What you think of as a medium turn is actually a skidding, arced traverse that you are tacking onto the end of your abrupt heel push 'turn'. The general rule in skiing is that the bigger the turn the faster the speed. Again, I don't need to see you ski to know this after 25+ years of talking to students and then watching them ski I know what the words mean.

 

fom

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
Just say bring the turn uphill.

 


Way to go Tog!

 

One little tip that gets a lot of skiers from Z to C is to finish their old turns more, ideally going uphill a little to start with. If you learn to engage the downhill edges at the start of a turn, before the skis enter the fall line then it is far easier to be patient and let the skis bring you through the completion of the turn (and thus control speed through turn shape) than forcing the skis sideways to immediately enable speed control through skidding after the skis have passed through the fall line (i.e. the bottom part of the Z). It's hard to create C shaped finish to a turn when there is a Z shaped start. Start solving the problem by rounding out the top half of the turn.

post #26 of 27

you may want to think about the old turn more, as that is the one you need to "finish"

if you are going too fast *keep* turning

 

this results in less speed once you do change direction, and then that time in the fall line is not so scary.

 

large skidded turns may be another way to balance the patience part that you need with the slower speed that you want.

 

z turns are self perpetuating: you spend most of your time on a fairly flat ski going crosshill/down.

once the z is over you are in the same predicament, just facing the other side of the trail.

 

post #27 of 27

Actually we should feel acceleration as we turn towards the fall line and feel ourself slow down as we turn across the hill. The key is to not get too upset about it. Let it happen!

 

Should we seek to carry as much speed as possible everywhere? Nope, too many situations exist where that would be impractical and even dangerous.

 

So how do we scrub speed without the dreaded heel thrust late in the turn? How do we avoid excessive pressure late in the turns that make the skis lose edge purchase? How do we simultaneously accomplish getting the skis flatter to the snow and still maintain sufficient edge purchase through the end of the turn? How do we finish the turn across the hill and stay in that narrow corridor?

 

So far the idea of a round "slow line fast" has been mentioned over and over but The Rusty suggests doing more in the first half of the turn to round out that segment. Make sense since if we limit the acceleration there, we don't need to deal with it later. What is implied here is a blended first half and this by it's very nature involves some skidding (a form of braking). In the second half the turn it's also implied that we absorb excessive pressure so the skis don't skid quite as much. It's still a blended turn finish BTW. Not easy when we consider we are also reducing edge angle to facilitate a smooth transition into the new turn. The most effective way to do this is by steering the strongly engaged skis across the hill while simultaneously absorbing any excessive pressure created when gravity and momentum combine. Since the corridor has been defined as one snow cat wide, all of this needs to occur pretty quickly and without any delays or lingering in any position. In fact if the turns take more than about a second and a half you're either going real slow, or using a much wider corridor than has been described. Hope that helps flesh out what The Rusty was saying.

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