EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching ›  Wedge turns, stem christie waist of time ?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Wedge turns, stem christie waist of time ?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

 Often a skier has a limited amount of resources (time, money) for taking lessons.

 

 I kinda think the industry could be making a mistake by teaching wedge turns & the steam christie. Instead should the focus be on learning parrell from the get go.

 

 The snow plow does come in handy now & then i.e., when traveling @ a slow speed to slow down a little or stop when fileing into a lift line or a wedge is often use to stand when facing downhill other then that I have never found the pizza very practical.

 

This is what I see happening @ some hills. New skiers take x amount of days of group lessons. Half the time is spent on wedge turns & stem christie. The remainder of the time is spent on going to parrell but the skills needed to ski parrell are not broken down & learned individually & the step is to big.

 

 Would a better approach be to not waist time on the wedge turns & do drills that are more practical for parrell skiing i.e., side slips ?

 

 

 Maybe more money is being made by teaching wedge turns & then having to start over & teach parrell ?

 

 Of course safety has to be of primary focus. I have always found it so much easier to do parrell then the snow plow but maybe Iam wrong & learning the snow plow first is easier making it safer to learn first.

post #2 of 26

Well Krazzy Legs,  What you are describing may have been true almost 30 years ago when PSIA still used "snowplows" and "stem christies"?  The fact is, contemporary instructors who "get it" use a "gliding wedge" to teach movements of expert skiers.  They do not teach wedge turns rather use a wedge to introduce the movements of expert turns.  Wedge turns are merely the embryonic stage of parallel turns and the movements taught in a wedge should quickly lead to a christie and ultimately to a parallel turn.  Many times more athletic students move quickly to parallel turning with very little effort.  Conversely, those instructors and trainers who do not quite "get it" yet still embrace the braking movements of a "snowplow" and exaggerated active weight shifts which are the antithesis of releasing the old turn to begin a new.  

 

If an instructor truly understands the intent of the "Centerline" concept introduced way back in the mid eighties they can see how all of the PSIA tasks and demos reflect the gliding focus or the intent to GO rather than to SLOW down.  Unlike snowplows and stem christies which are braking movements, the wedge openings and parallel entries of today share the movements of "release" to permit the tips to seek the fall line rather than the braking effects of stemming, platforming, and snowplowing.  Every turn wedge or parallel should begin with a release of the old turn and moving everything forward into the turn direction.

 

So in summary, the contemporary instructor teaches parallel movements from the beginning!  The athletic students can be taught parallel approach from the beginning and the more timid students can use the stability of a wedge to develop the same parallel movements until such time as they are ready to commit to the parallel initiation.  The key here is we should be teaching from which ever beginning configuration we choose, the same movements!  It's just that some students need training wheels and some do not!

post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazzy Legs View Post

 Often a skier has a limited amount of resources (time, money) for taking lessons.

 

 I kinda think the industry could be making a mistake by teaching wedge turns & the steam christie. Instead should the focus be on learning parrell from the get go.

 

 The snow plow does come in handy now & then i.e., when traveling @ a slow speed to slow down a little or stop when fileing into a lift line or a wedge is often use to stand when facing downhill other then that I have never found the pizza very practical.

 

This is what I see happening @ some hills. New skiers take x amount of days of group lessons. Half the time is spent on wedge turns & stem christie. The remainder of the time is spent on going to parrell but the skills needed to ski parrell are not broken down & learned individually & the step is to big.

 

 Would a better approach be to not waist time on the wedge turns & do drills that are more practical for parrell skiing i.e., side slips ?

 

 

 Maybe more money is being made by teaching wedge turns & then having to start over & teach parrell ?

 

 Of course safety has to be of primary focus. I have always found it so much easier to do parrell then the snow plow but maybe Iam wrong & learning the snow plow first is easier making it safer to learn first.



I agree with Bud, and can say from the CSIA we have also not taught a manevour based progression since the early 80s.  The focus since then has been a skills based progression where the skills a skier will use for their entire life are taught on day one.  The form may take the shape of a wedge to start, but this becomes parallel as soon as the skier is able...often within the first few hours of their first lesson...and often sooner then that. 

 

Fast Track to Parallel has been common for a long time now, in FTTP progressions the skier may start from parallel straight away...however many first time skiers (especially adults) prefer the physcological comfort a wedge gives them for its perceived speed control benefits.  However the focus is still on the skills...not the manevour.  No unlearning needed...just building.

 

post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 

Bud & ski dude  interesting comments

 

  I have only been an observer from ridding the lift & I most likely failed to understand what was happening when they were skiiing with skis in wedge shape.

 

 Iam not certain any type of wedge shape from the get go is practical. I have done no experiments to see if it benifits some but ski dude I think your on to something with regards with the physicologial comfort, if it gives some skiers more confidence it most likely does help because they are not frozen like a deer in front of head lights unable to move or act rationaly  & would be less likely to sit in the back seat & turn their upper body up hill away from that which is causing the fear. Once they become more comfortable ( less fear) the wedge would in my opinion become more useless.

post #5 of 26

I see it as more about balance as the root cause than psychology. When deciding whether to start new skiers with parallel or the wedge, I use balance skills as the main criteria. New skiers with good balance skills learn best via parallel. If a new skier is not very stable just walking around in boots, then they will learn best via the wedge. Little kids in power wedges are the proof. Although this makes ski coaches cringe like fingernails on a chalkboard, kids do this for a reason. It may be inefficient, but it's simple and with respect to balance it's bomb proof. Although power wedges are a great argument for why not to teach the wedge, this is like arguing not to eat apples because some of them have worms in them. Most apples don't have worms in them and most skiers who learn via the wedge can easily progress to effective parallel skiing. Most pros trained in modern teaching systems understand this. Some pros disagree. I'd like to see the percentage of new skiers taught via parallel go up, but I recognize that there are logistical challenges that first need to be met. If you have an interest in exploring this issue in greater depth I recommend taking an ITC course at your local ski hill, reading some ski instructor training manuals and/or taking a level 6 lesson but asking the coach to work on your wedge and wedge christy turns instead of parallel turns.

post #6 of 26

Even a world cup racer will use a wedge to turn at a very, very slow speed. If you go slow enough it is the only way you can change direction.

post #7 of 26

This is one of the worst things in skiing in my opinion: young and new skiers are taught a movement pattern that is the opposite of good ski technique. So yes, skip the wedge!

post #8 of 26

I'm always in favor of strong wedging skills along with everything else.  It's difficult to negotiate tight chutes, and nasty lift corrals without strong wedge skills in your toolbox.

post #9 of 26


Quote:

Originally Posted by squawbomber View Post

This is one of the worst things in skiing in my opinion: young and new skiers are taught a movement pattern that is the opposite of good ski technique. So yes, skip the wedge!



If wedges and stem Christies were still being taught as base movement patterns like when I learned to ski (mid-80s) then I'd agree. But as Bud and Skidude72 point out, that may no longer be the case.

 

OTOH, one does still see skiers of all ages locked into/falling back on those movement patterns. They seem unable or unwilling to exchange those habits for more effective ones, so the risk of arrested development still exists. It's there to see on nearly every slope.

 

I'm a solid L8 skier in most circumstances but in private lessons this season with two observant LIII instructors, both identified vestiges of those patterns in my skiing, especially when stressed (e.g., tough moguls, tight trees, uber-steeps). They both offered useful suggestions for alternative moves/sensations at turn initiation. These made immediate improvements and skiing the gnarly stuff became easier and less tiring. Dancing down a one-mogul wide drainage in steep trees at Taos (North American) while matching a veteran instructor turn-for-turn? Priceless!

 

Old habits die hard, but die they must.

 

 

post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

I'm always in favor of strong wedging skills along with everything else.  It's difficult to negotiate tight chutes, and nasty lift corrals without strong wedge skills in your toolbox.

I agree, crgildart, you just hit the tip of the iceberg with that statement.


I've been skiing all of my life, I'm 47yrs old and have been on and off skis 46 of those years.  My biggest complaint about skiing is that the new equipment (shaped skis vs Straight) allow a skier to progress to parallel skiing too quickly. Simply (no offense to the good instructors here) roll the ankles and you can parallel.  The down side of this is that the skier that learns this way does not have a feel of a balalnce stance as this progression is over passed and when it becomes required at the higher levels it is now difficult to learn.  Bad habits have been formed an now must be un-learned.

 

Read some of the questions asked in the forums and you will clearly see what I'm talking about.

 

I guess the best way to discribe this is when you learnt to ski a straight ski, you learnt to "drive the ski" (muscles, wt shift, counter motions, etc) to make the tight turns that come very easily with a shaped ski which is primarily "carve the ski" (roll from side to side to various degrees depending on the turn size desired (yes I'm over simplifiying)).

 

Again reading the forums we see examples of skiers that are not in control when something unexpected happens.  This happens because the skier while they appear solid (and feel they are level 7 or 8 and for the most part ski in conditions which one would exect of that level) miss the basics which would allow them to avoid the situation.  Very good example of the equipment determining the ability vs the technique determinig the ability.

 

Dumb old basics are required, while seldom used with shaped skis.  When required they show the difference between a true level 8 or above vs a skier that looks like a level 8 and in reality are level 5 or 6.

 

Shaped skis are here to stay (I'm glad I finally broke down a got a set this year), put fun back in skiing (less effort to ski).

 

For the industry it definitiely attracts and encourages new skiers as the appeared progression is great, but lets not forget that, What it appears and What it is! are different things.

 

Teach the basic well, don't dwell on them, as the skier progresses, they will recall some of what has been taught and the overall ability will be better (and safer for all of us).

 

Sorry this is my primary pet peave about current skiing and instruction, again sorry to the good instructors out there, I do appreciate and see the difference when you are teaching, both in instruction and how your students ski.  The rest, please learn and listen to these knowledgeable individuals.

 

Bit of history, I have skied with lace up boots and cable bindings, my first buckle boots were Trappeur Boots 2 or 3 sizes to big (blue and black cuffs) clear out sale, was all that I could afford at about 12. Skied my dad's old 210 Yellow Arnstiener Blizzard at 14 (I was about 5-10 weight about 105lbs) talk about learning to drive the ski, when I raced them in high school, I used to lock the bindings by cranking the screws all the way down, couldn't twist the toe piece with a pipe wrench (DIN Eqv. prob about 40 or more) on 10-12yr old bindings in '78. My idea was if the ski came off the binding had better come with it.   Luckily no injuries.  I'm sure that this will bring back some memories good/bad for the "old" guys/girls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #11 of 26

Hey oldschoolskier,  Go on youtube and search Didier Couche and check out his last run in the worldcup gs of his career.  He did it on really old gear from 50 years ago!

 

Skiers either use gravity or friction to control speed.  This may sound simplistic but choosing one intent or the other has a dramatic affect on ski performance!   Beginners who are comfortable with a little speed and learn to shape their turns using gravity to control their descents will progress quickly to nice parallel turns.  Conversely, those who discover or worse yet are taught to use friction as their primary means to control speed are destined to a very slow path to parallel skiing and many never discover the skills needed to initiate a parallel turn.  I see it all the time with level I instructor candidates and unfortunately even with Level II candidates who have squeaked by a more liberal examiner(s).  They have a habitual stem or sequential movement to their turns rather than releasing efficiently and moving their CoM smoothly over their feet.

 

Unfortunately, many new instructors discover the easiest method for them to introduce speed control and turning is to focus on increasing friction which is the antithesis of expert skiing skills.  These defensive braking movements become ingrained to the point many never overcome them and never experience the joy of turning to "GO" rather than to slow down.  This method is the easiest for the instructor to get results rather than what is best for the skier's development toward parallel skiing.  Taking the extra effort to elicit a release to begin a new turn and the associated movements that facilitate this is the key to the fast track to parallel.

 

"When learning to parallel a wedge just happens!"  "Bob Barnes"

 

"I don't teach wedge turns, I use a wedge to teach the skills of expert skiing!"  "bud heishman"

 

"The wedge is a parallel turn with training wheels!"  "bud heishman"

 

 

 

 

post #12 of 26

Bud mentioned the instructors who get it and this is reflected in the comments we see from everyone. It really isn't a matter of plugging into a set progression like we saw back in the early sixties. Then again newer instructors tend to rely on regurgitating information learned in their training. Not all of our coaches take this training to the level where they expand their understanding of the sport, and why the skis end up in a wedge. For those folks we encourage them to stick to tried and true paths to success, so on some level we are responsible for what they are teaching. So on some level Krazzy is spot on about what he has observed. I personally don't see that as a bad thing since the student and the instructor are at least on a path to success.

 

Is there a more expeditious path that will save the student both time and money? Perhaps, especially when a newbie instructor is involved and their depth of knowledge and ability limits their ability to present alternative lesson plans. That is what the certification process is all about and it's why most of us here strongly support the idea of continuing education for all instructors. I would go one step further and suggest a veteran coach / instructor who simply relies on habitual teaching progressions isn't much different than a newbie doing the same thing. But that is opening the door to a debate over continuing education and I am not wanting to go there as much as point out that the teacher should be at least as open to learning as their students. When they aren't, their students see that pretty quickly and are far less likely to openly trust that coach. In this worse case scenario, they come across as hypocrites.

 

Another hot button here is the idea of defensive verses offensive movement patterns. Wedges tend to be classified as defensive and the mantra of never doing a defensive move has gained a lot of traction here and in PSIA. Some argue that a gliding wedge is actually offensive. Since it (a gliding wedge) is designed to use friction to limit acceleration and speed I would argue it is a blend of offensive and defensive intent. I would also offer the idea that in practice having a few defensive moves in your arsenal is a good thing. Even in the race community we see this echoed in the advice that to finish first you first need to finish. The shorter version of this is, DNF and you don't win. So where does all of this take us? To the very same idea offered by the always offensive crowd, intent dictates tactics and technique is how we translate intent into actions. Within that is the duality of purpose I just mentioned. Be offensive when it makes sense but don't lose sight of the fact that we cannot be offensive all the time.

 

As a teacher encouraging our students to be offensive is good advice (IMO) but like so many other sayings we use, it can be over done and result in a dogmatic belief based solely on a limited understanding of the original concept. I would offer the following saying as middle ground in this debate, "Know when to be offensive, know when to be defensive". If a wedge helps a student get over a mental hurdle, or if one occurs spontaneously it isn't a big deal. Same goes for a wedge entry (Wedge Christie). Even the sequential release Doug just mentioned need to be considered viable options as long as we understand why we are using them. If they are default (unconscious and habitual) moves that have a negative effect on the turns we are trying to do, then fix them. If they produce the desired outcome by all means use the move.

 

To wrap up this rather lengthy post (and to step back off my soapbox), I would say, I've repeatedly posted a montage of WC racers using this very move (converging skis) and offered the idea that the wedge and wedge turn entry have a very legitimate place in alpine skiing at all levels and labeling them as always defensive and always negative, is simplistic. Which leads me to the conclusion that gliding and braking wedges and wedge Christies are included in every expert's toolbox, so they are not a waste of time.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by justanotherskipro - 3/22/12 at 2:52pm
post #13 of 26

I actually learned to ice skate and play hockey before teaching myself the basics to skiing.  I linked abbreviated hockey stops, but did use the wedge some when I didn't have room.  First day of lift served skiing I  ended up in an intermediate group with my "snow plow doesn't look cool" method.  I don't care if there is an occasional hint of A-frame present in my old school style.  But, it isn't there from learning the wedge first because I actually didn't.

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Hey oldschoolskier,  Go on youtube and search Didier Couche and check out his last run in the worldcup gs of his career.  He did it on really old gear from 50 years ago!

 

Skiers either use gravity or friction to control speed.  This may sound simplistic but choosing one intent or the other has a dramatic affect on ski performance!   Beginners who are comfortable with a little speed and learn to shape their turns using gravity to control their descents will progress quickly to nice parallel turns.  Conversely, those who discover or worse yet are taught to use friction as their primary means to control speed are destined to a very slow path to parallel skiing and many never discover the skills needed to initiate a parallel turn.  I see it all the time with level I instructor candidates and unfortunately even with Level II candidates who have squeaked by a more liberal examiner(s).  They have a habitual stem or sequential movement to their turns rather than releasing efficiently and moving their CoM smoothly over their feet.

 

Unfortunately, many new instructors discover the easiest method for them to introduce speed control and turning is to focus on increasing friction which is the antithesis of expert skiing skills.  These defensive braking movements become ingrained to the point many never overcome them and never experience the joy of turning to "GO" rather than to slow down.  This method is the easiest for the instructor to get results rather than what is best for the skier's development toward parallel skiing.  Taking the extra effort to elicit a release to begin a new turn and the associated movements that facilitate this is the key to the fast track to parallel.

 

"When learning to parallel a wedge just happens!"  "Bob Barnes"

 

"I don't teach wedge turns, I use a wedge to teach the skills of expert skiing!"  "bud heishman"

 

"The wedge is a parallel turn with training wheels!"  "bud heishman"

 

 

 

 


Hi Bud,

 

Thanks, saw it already on youtube and on TV.  I have film of my parents skiing that way.

 

I agree part of the the problems stems from the systems used to teach and evalute the  instructors. I'm not a certified instructor, but the comments are based on watching and talking to certified instructors and am amazed at the lack of understanding on the mechanics involved in skiing.  I guess this must be the engineer in me.

 

I hate using the this term "defensive" braking, is not well taught and ingrained.  If you don't delieve me I would suggest you ski Blue Mountain, ON Canada Happy Valley run for a few days exclusively.  Stand off side at the narrow 2/3 of the way down watch and particapate in the collisions and near collisions because of this very reason.  You view will change....Disclaimer...this is at your own risk of life and limb.  (Won't include snowboards in this mix...a whole other thread).

 

"Taking the extra effort to elicit a release to begin a new turn and the associated movements that facilitate this is the key to the fast track to parallel." well put, and not well taught

 by some.

 

"I don't teach wedge turns, I use a wedge to teach the skills of expert skiing!" "bud heishman"

 

"The wedge is a parallel turn with training wheels!" "bud heishman"

 

Again, correct of the new students.

 

I would add "it is part of the progression to understanding ski dynamics/mechanics as part to understanding the carved/parallel turn." is it more for the instructors to understand and not the students.

 

Again to to good instructors out there, this is not intended for you (BTW Bud, I think just by your comments you are definitely one of the good ones, thanks)

 

post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer View Post

Even a world cup racer will use a wedge to turn at a very, very slow speed. If you go slow enough it is the only way you can change direction.


Well, maybe, maybe not. If there's a slope, gravity will help. See below.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

 

 

"When learning to parallel a wedge just happens!"  "Bob Barnes"

 

 


I have actually heard Bob say this in person and demonstrate how it happens, but...

 

I've also seen Bob and others demonstrate that a nearly zero speed parallel turn is possible. Like virtually all other modern turns, it depends on flattening the skis relative to the hill in order to achieve release, as Bud says. Once the skis start to let go, it is necessary to focus on steering the new inside ski as much as the new outside ski so that the skis remain parallel. It is indeed possible.

 

What generally happens (and what causes the wedge to "just happen") is that the downhill/old outside/new inside ski has a little more pressure on it and doesn't release quite as easily or completely as the uphill/old inside/new outside ski. The skier tends to steer that uphill ski a bit more at turn initiation as a result, because it's a little easier. Nonetheless, a modern wedge or wedge christie, like a parallel, requires a release of both skis, and it requires the tips of both skis to seek the fall line, even if they don't seek the fall line at quite the same rate.

 

If a wedge is taught, it should be taught so that the release, and the moves to achieve release, are the same for the wedge, wedge christie and parallel. As accuracy of guiding the new inside ski improves, the wedge naturally disappears.

 

I'm willing to claim that, despite what WC racers may do for various reasons, it is quite possible to accomplish a parallel turn at extremely slow speed, at least with the skis most of us use and with a little slope so there's a fall line for the tips to seek when they release. It is this, in fact, that makes the pivot slip possible.
 

 

post #16 of 26

I'm taking a day off from skiing and will help beat this dead horse for a while.  There have been many long threads here on this question.  The issue comes from a misunderstanding between a high edge angle "snowplow" and a low edge angle "wedge" and the differences between a "Stem Christie" and a "Wedge Christie".  While the techniques may look the same to the casual observer, they are actually very different.  Sadly many ski instructors don't seem to understand the differences much better than the average lay person and when the beginner lesson is taught poorly by a (hopefully) new instructor wedge turns and Christies can be if not a "waste of time" at least an inefficient means to advancing a skier.

 

Bud, Skidude, and JASP have done a pretty good job of explaining the differences between the old and new paradigms.  What the wedge position offers a beginner is a wider base of support when learning the moves of a parallel turn.  As Bud said, when done right the wedge turn is a parallel turn with training wheels.  When I teach FDB students, I focus on teaching turning through a directional move to flatten the inside ski.  This is an offensive move because the CM has to move down the hill and the effect of this move is to release the skis to seek the fall line.  It is very much the same move that I teach to aspiring bump skiers at levels 7 & 8.  As has been said in previous posts, the speed control comes from line selection and turn completion much more than from edge braking and friction...  IE offensive tactic vs. defensive tactics and will work to control speed on a steeper slope where a straight up snowplow won't.  The directional move also introduces anticipation/counter and long leg/short leg in a relatively non-dynamic fashion.  Of course I don't spell "these things" out to a beginning student, only accurately demonstrate the moves to avoid hopelessly confusing them on their first day.

 

One nice outcome of flattening the inside ski to initiate the turn is that it tends to lead to spontaneous matching of the skis after the fall line.  I never teach Wedge Christies to beginner or intermediate students.  To me the Wedge Christie is a waste of time for these people.  It is an intermediate step on the way to parallel turns and something that happens relatively spontaneously.  I "might" teach a Wedge Christie to a serious advanced student because to do these turns well requires a high degree of accuracy that feeds into all of a skiers advanced turns.  This is why the Wedge Christie is one of the hardest demos that advancing PSIA instructors have to master on the road to level 3, for a recreational skier who skis a week a year... Not so useful.  Usually in a 6 hr. group FBD lesson, I can get relatively coordinated people making basic parallel turns, riding the chairlift, and skiing all of our green terrain confidently by the end of the first day.  Our Blue terrain is a huge leap from the green at JH so it is uncommon to take a FDB to Apre-Vous, but it is not unheard of.

 

I see vestiges of wedges in advanced skiers everyday.  I see lower level students initiating turns on steeper slopes with a wedge even when they don't on the easier slopes.  To me this is not a "bad" thing, especially if they match the skis after initiation.  IMO most of this is a defensive fear based hesitation that expresses itself as the terrain/condition challenge increases and the skiers comfort level decreases.  Most often it stems (pardon the pun) from a reluctance to release the old turn.  If a skier is supporting them self on the outside ski BTE at the end of a turn, it can be very mentally challenging to release that edge.  When that edge is held and the old inside ski is released first, you see a spontaneous wedge open up and a 1-2 rotatory push off move tends to be the result.  Teaching the directional move to release the new inside ski from the very first day can only help avoid this, it is up to the advancing student to discipline themselves to commit to their moves as they push into harder terrain or to get additional instruction from a pro who understands turn mechanics to help with simultaneous and progressive edge release.  It is not the fault of the wedge.

 

One of the best compliments I've received so far came last season while I was teaching an FDB lesson.  I was at the beginner area in the middle of the second hour explaining and demonstrating the directional move to my student.  My student skied away through the cones quite nicely.  I looked over and PJ Jones had been watching me.  He said "that's really good stuff" and continued teaching his lesson.  

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie 

.... When I teach FDB students, I focus on teaching turning through a directional move to flatten the inside ski.  This is an offensive move because the CM has to move down the hill and the effect of this move is to release the skis to seek the fall line.  It is very much the same move that I teach to aspiring bump skiers at levels 7 & 8.  .... The directional move also introduces anticipation/counter and long leg/short leg in a relatively non-dynamic fashion.  Of course I don't spell "these things" out to a beginning student, only accurately demonstrate the moves to avoid hopelessly confusing them on their first day.

 



TPJ, please spell "these things" out to us here.  What are the parts, mechanics, etc., of the directional move that you teach your students on their first day?

What I get from what you've already said is you have the student move their hips downhill over the old outside ski, with some flexing of that knee, and with a bit of a rotation at the femurs to turn their torso towards the new apex, and some tip lead change accompanies this.  I also get that you don't say any of these things but just demo it. 

What I don't get is you telling or showing the student to roll the ankle or knee to flatten that ski, nor to pull that foot back.


Edited by LiquidFeet - 3/24/12 at 4:49am
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post



TPJ, please spell "these things" out to us here.  What are the parts, mechanics, etc., of the directional move that you teach your students on their first day?

What I get from what you've already said is you have the student move their hips downhill over the old outside ski, with some flexing of that knee, and with a bit of a rotation at the femurs to turn their torso towards the new apex, and some tip lead change accompanies this.  I also get that you don't say any of these things but just demo it. 

What I don't get is you telling or showing the student to roll the ankle or knee to flatten that ski, nor to pull that foot back.


I think you've got it backward, LF. I think he's saying that if you release the old outside edge by flattening that ski, which is a big part of starting the wedge christie, the rest of it follows. In other words, the release at the foot moves the knee toward the turn (rotates the femur), which moves the pelvis and torso toward the turn, etc. If this process begins from a GOOD stance with the center of mass over the feet, there is NO NEED to pull the foot back because the CM moves with the foot.
post #19 of 26

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post


I think you've got it backward, LF. I think he's saying that if you release the old outside edge by flattening that ski, which is a big part of starting the wedge christie, the rest of it follows. In other words, the release at the foot moves the knee toward the turn (rotates the femur), which moves the pelvis and torso toward the turn, etc. If this process begins from a GOOD stance with the center of mass over the feet, there is NO NEED to pull the foot back because the CM moves with the foot.

 

I've asked students in a narrow wedge to roll the ankle, point the knee, bend the knee, move the hip, turn the ski, press the little toe edge down, pick the big toe edge up, all kinds of things to flatten that ski.  Even pull the foot back.

It's not easy for them, and nothing I have tried so far works for most people.  Even in a narrow wedge.  

 

Do you just say "flatten the ski" and they do it?

 

post #20 of 26

Actually LQ, it's not about flat as much as flatter. Flat enough to facilitate the release. Even newbies can feel that especially as they sideslip and side step. When the skis hold they can move up the hill, or not slide down. When they don't maintain enough edge the skis slide downhill. It's the flip side of the sidestepping coin and why we teach side slips / falling leafs. Want a challenge? Do wedge sideslips without overedging the uphill ski. Why would I suggest doing that? Well, isn't that what we are asking our students to do?

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Actually LQ, it's not about flat as much as flatter. Flat enough to facilitate the release. Even newbies can feel that especially as they sideslip and side step. When the skis hold they can move up the hill, or not slide down. When they don't maintain enough edge the skis slide downhill. It's the flip side of the sidestepping coin and why we teach side slips / falling leafs. Want a challenge? Do wedge sideslips without overedging the uphill ski. Why would I suggest doing that? Well, isn't that what we are asking our students to do?


jasp, continuing with this line of thought...

I used to have three hours to teach never-evers.  Now it's 1 1/2 hours, so I'm really interested in things that you experienced pros find works.

 

Do you have noobies do sideslips before you have them do their first turn?  

If so, do you keep at it until they can sideslip down a pitch that they just sidestepped up?  

Do you have them do falling leafs while you're at it?

Do you have them do wedge forward falling leafs that become their first turns?

 

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post


jasp, continuing with this line of thought...

I used to have three hours to teach never-evers.  Now it's 1 1/2 hours, so I'm really interested in things that you experienced pros find works.

 

Do you have noobies do sideslips before you have them do their first turn?  

If so, do you keep at it until they can sideslip down a pitch that they just sidestepped up?  

Do you have them do falling leafs while you're at it?

Do you have them do wedge forward falling leafs that become their first turns?

 



I have newbies learn about their edges by sidestepping....in their boots. We sidestep up a bit, sidestep back down, usually between their poles planted to the side at arm's length. It's one of several bootwork activities I use. After we put the second ski on (we do some one-ski stuff first), we revisit sidestepping with a release to slowly slide back down after we've stepped both directions. It's all about the edging.

I used to work where lessons were an hour long. Then where they were 90 minutes. Then where they were two hours. My very first assignment was about 20 beginners for an hour. I love having half-day and all-day assignments now!!!
post #23 of 26

LQ, I can't say I think about all of that stuff and create a lot of set progressions. When stepping up the hill, we play with side stepping and side slipping. Most instructors focus on the edge engagement but fail to take the brief opportunity to introduce a release. Not sure why not but they are already focused on near flat edging skills, so I have them sideslip a few inches just to get a feel for releasing the edges. So I guess no I don't make them sideslip all the way down the hill they just climbed. IMO that would be cruel. If I'm using a parallel lesson plan I would introduce a patience turn entry from a diagonal traverse, if they are in the wedge a J turn from the fall line makes more sense. When I change terrain (after they demo linked turns) and we reach a slightly steeper pitch, I again talk about releases and letting Gravity be the primary motive force since it will pull them and their skis into the fall line. But only if you release the skis and let Gravity do that.

 

As far as the rest of your ideas, well you could use all of them but know why you are doing them. BTW, Falling leafs tend to occur naturally as they are learning to side step. Tips more uphill / downhill causes a spontaneous falling leaf as they strive to step up the hill. Instead of labeling those errors why not introduce the idea of why falling leafs occur in the first place. Beyond that my folks are playing games as we motor around and do boot work. Follow the leader, fox and hound, reciprocal fox and hound, circle the wagons, figure eights, diagonal strides both up and down the hill, it really isn't something I script. Bottom line is getting them moving and getting used to wearing skis, sliding on them, gripping with them, turning their feet / legs, and most important is moving the body towards where they want to go. When they are ready for lift served terrain, they have already shown me they own the appropriate skills to link turns. If that is a wedge, if that is a step turn, it really all leads right to the exact same place.

post #24 of 26

I tried a new way of introducing edging and pressure management late this season to my adult never evers.  

 

I had them do their first sliding straight down the hill backwards .... in a backwards wedge.

After the initial bootwork, I had them put both skis on and side step up a small incline, side step down, then herringbone back up to a stop.

While they were standing there, I explained edging and we played around with that using the knees/ankles, and I talked about tension in the feet/legs needed to hold the skis in the backward wedge.

Then I got behind them and had them slide straight down backwards toward my voice without turning around to look.

 

They could only do this if:

1.  they released both big toe edges by flattening both skis equally, by moving the knees out (which we had practiced at the top)

2.  they maintained the wedge with functional tension in their legs (leaning forwards into their boot cuffs)

3.  they kept their skis in a stable gliding wedge pointing towards my voice (staying centered over them)

3.  they didn't turn around with their upper bodies to look 

 

So, backwards, I got them to lean into their boot cuffs, keep their upper bodies still, pay rapt attention to their feet and legs, know by feel the position of their skis, and adjust their skis from edged to flat and back again while feeling the effects.    

 

It was a great starter; took about 15-20 minutes.  Then we turned around and did it forwards, keeping the same thing going.  I think removing the visual (since they were skiing to my voice and not looking) got their attention on all those other essential things.  Oh, and no poles.

 

1 1/2 hours is so short.  I'm still not sure this is an efficient way to introduce these things, but it worked the few times I tried it.

 

 

 

 

post #25 of 26
I routinely use the backward wedge both for developing edge awareness and demonstrating good stance. We start from a flat and climb up a slight grade in the wedge, which is when I point out the importance of where their pelvis is in relation to their feet. After two or three backwards slides, we sidestep up and then use stepping around in a wedge to face down the same grade. We then do the first slide in a wedge, hopefully with the pelvis as forward as when climbing in the wedge.
post #26 of 26


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

I routinely use the backward wedge both for developing edge awareness and demonstrating good stance. We start from a flat and climb up a slight grade in the wedge, which is when I point out the importance of where their pelvis is in relation to their feet. After two or three backwards slides, we sidestep up and then use stepping around in a wedge to face down the same grade. We then do the first slide in a wedge, hopefully with the pelvis as forward as when climbing in the wedge.


Exactly! 

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching ›  Wedge turns, stem christie waist of time ?