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# The Basic Wedge Christie - Page 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman

TDK6,

Let me ask you this!  Looking at your drawing of the stem christie, how would you initiate a parallel turn from your traverse or a parallel turn completion?  What has to happen?  Do you hop both tails to pivot around your tips as with the stemmed ski in your drawing?  How exactly do you perform a parallel entry?

This is key because it should be the same movements as an advance wedge christie, basic christie, or wedge turn for that matter!  Please explain to us exactly how you make a parallel entry happen?

Then what do you do to make a shorter radius turn than your sidecut and flex will permit?

Hi Bud. Glad you asked such good questions. I had a revelation not long ago where I came to the insight that all parallell turn entries are up-unweighted. Except carved turns. It was actually carved turns that lead me to this conclusion. Anyway, it can be debated that a parallel turn can be performed without any up-unweighting but if you want functional wide range performance then you pritty much need to vary the pressure under your skis in order to make them turn quicker. Dissclaimer; if you dont want to stick to the protocol of proper old school values such as counter and angulation and resort to upper body rotation you can pritty much fuel your parallel turn without unweighting.

Paragraph 1

Traverse: I would up-unweight my skis by extention of leggs and pivot them to initiate a skid angle.

Parallel turn completion: I would not have to extend to unweight as much as in a traverse but a hint since I would have some momentum to carry over from previous turn.

Yes, I would hop and pivot. This is the exact way I would form a parallel entry. Except that you dont have to hop up in the air. Just a bit to be able to start the steering phase. If done correctly the up movement is hardly visiable and the pivot is non existing.

Paragraph 2

In a wedge turn you dont have to unweight your skis since they are already skidding at a skidding angle. Also not in a wedge christie or a stem christie. The whole point of the outside ski brushing the snow at a skid angle is to be able to steer it through out the turn. The parallel turn is different because you dont have that feature. Your to be outside ski is on its LTE. How do you put it on its BTE and initiate a skid angle is the whole clue to parallel skiing. There is a significant difference.

Paragraph 3

The whole point of steering the ski is to be able to turn tighter than the turn radius. And/or to scrubb some speed off your turns. A good dry land drill is to stand up on the floor and jump up in the air and try to turn arround. The higher you jump and the quicker you turn the further arround you go. Synonymous with tightening the turn radius. The skis turn radius or stiffness has nothing to do with this. I can easily turn tight with my SG skis even if they are super stiff and with a turn radius of something like 40m.

IMHO offcourse.

There is a side slipping drill you should practice TDK6, I can't remember the name of it to save me, but you sideslip tails first then drop the tips into a turn, then pass the tips with your tails again and begin to side slip backwards in the opposite direction and repeat.  Some one here will name the drill I am sure!?  This drill is a great way to practice releasing the edges and get the tips to dive down the fall line.  The tails do not displace up the hill, rather the tips merely drop into the fall line from releasing the edges and moving the weight forward a bit.

There is another great drill you could experiment with where you stand with skis across the fall line with your hips and torso countered to stretch the core and leg muscles.  With your pole planted down the fall line from your feet, simply de edge your skis slowly until the tips begin to seek the fall line.  This drill takes patience to release the edges slowly even once they begin to slip, permitting the tips to dive.  (note; the edge change does not occur until around the fall line).  The patience here is like letting the clutch out on a manual transmission, even once the car/skis begin to move you must still let the clutch out the rest of the way slowly to gain momentum.

These two drills will highlite the release action to which we are focusing on in the Centerline demonstrations.  There is no need for unweighting of any kind, or an extension, or a displacement of the tails.  These two drills can be done without any forward momentum whatsoever too!  When we ad forward momentum from the previous turn it gets even easier to release and steer both skis into the fall line and the edge change occurs sooner and sooner as forward momentum increases.  The result is a very fluid, energy efficient method of turning.

Quote:
I came to the insight that all parallell turn entries are up-unweighted. Except carved turns.

This is an interesting statement, TDK6, and you're right that we could debate it in many ways. But as you affirmed later in your last post, it surely is possible to make non-carved parallel "turns" without unweighting (up, down, or otherwise), at least if you are willing to allow some "other" movements into your technique--counter-rotation, upper body rotation, strong blocking pole plant, and so on. Great skiers surely incorporate all of these "situational" movements in their repertoires too, bringing them into their skiing as necessary.

But the real question remains, can we make basic parallel turns, and wedge christies too, without any sort of unweighting, and without needing to resort to harsh upper body exertions to twist the skis into gross skids? The answer, as Bud and others here have also attested, is yes. But it does involve some dramatic rethinking of a number of things that you may hold dear as "Truth."

I've done my best to show how the skis will move in these offensive, gliding turns (which are, by my definition, "as carved as possible," although definitely not always pure-carved, as my animations and illustrations show). But there are a few things that must happen to allow them to move this way, and I suspect that some of your other beliefs may yet conflict with these things and make it difficult for you to visualize the turns we're describing.

So, I have a couple quick questions for you TDK6, to see if we can get to the bottom of all this.

First, in the image you have in your mind of your skis turning, parallel or otherwise, where do you see the "pivot point(s)" of the skis? If you were to look down at them while turning them, where would the axis of the rotation be--the point on (or perhaps even in front of or behind) the ski about which the whole ski pivots?

Second, where do you feel the center of pressure, fore-aft, is or ought to be on your skis when you start your turn? In other words, where do you feel like you balance (or should balance) on your ski(s) fore and aft? Where do you feel the pressure focused on the sole of your foot, and within the cuff of your boot?

What do you think?

Best regards,
Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman

There is a side slipping drill you should practice TDK6, I can't remember the name of it to save me, but you sideslip tails first then drop the tips into a turn, then pass the tips with your tails again and begin to side slip backwards in the opposite direction and repeat.  Some one here will name the drill I am sure!?  This drill is a great way to practice releasing the edges and get the tips to dive down the fall line.  The tails do not displace up the hill, rather the tips merely drop into the fall line from releasing the edges and moving the weight forward a bit.

There is another great drill you could experiment with where you stand with skis across the fall line with your hips and torso countered to stretch the core and leg muscles.  With your pole planted down the fall line from your feet, simply de edge your skis slowly until the tips begin to seek the fall line.  This drill takes patience to release the edges slowly even once they begin to slip, permitting the tips to dive.  (note; the edge change does not occur until around the fall line).  The patience here is like letting the clutch out on a manual transmission, even once the car/skis begin to move you must still let the clutch out the rest of the way slowly to gain momentum.

These two drills will highlite the release action to which we are focusing on in the Centerline demonstrations.  There is no need for unweighting of any kind, or an extension, or a displacement of the tails.  These two drills can be done without any forward momentum whatsoever too!  When we ad forward momentum from the previous turn it gets even easier to release and steer both skis into the fall line and the edge change occurs sooner and sooner as forward momentum increases.  The result is a very fluid, energy efficient method of turning.

The first drill is feeding the tip drop by the momentum created by going backwards first. You cannot make that turn as easily and efficiently turn without going backwards first. Great drill by the way.

The second drill is only possible if you use your pole as an outrigger to turn arround. In one of the videos I posted earlier or one in the same series the guy was trying to do such a relese. But he used his pole. Thats the secret to the skis swinging arround like that. I made several demos of this at some point.

IMO forward momentum does noting for you when it comes to initiate at turn. It has impact on how tight your turn radius will be. More speed wider turn radius and vice versa. You need momentum. The theory of inertia. The movement of the CoM. Thats why skiing in the bumps doesent require up-unweighting. Thats what makes it so difficult for lower intermediates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes

Quote:
I came to the insight that all parallell turn entries are up-unweighted. Except carved turns.
This is an interesting statement, TDK6, and you're right that we could debate it in many ways. But as you affirmed later in your last post, it surely is possible to make non-carved parallel "turns" without unweighting (up, down, or otherwise), at least if you are willing to allow some "other" movements into your technique--counter-rotation, upper body rotation, strong blocking pole plant, and so on. Great skiers surely incorporate all of these "situational" movements in their repertoires too, bringing them into their skiing as necessary.
But the real question remains, can we make basic parallel turns, and wedge christies too, without any sort of unweighting, and without needing to resort to harsh upper body exertions to twist the skis into gross skids? The answer, as Bud and others here have also attested, is yes. But it does involve some dramatic rethinking of a number of things that you may hold dear as "Truth."
I've done my best to show how the skis will move in these offensive, gliding turns (which are, by my definition, "as carved as possible," although definitely not always pure-carved, as my animations and illustrations show). But there are a few things that must happen to allow them to move this way, and I suspect that some of your other beliefs may yet conflict with these things and make it difficult for you to visualize the turns we're describing.
So, I have a couple quick questions for you TDK6, to see if we can get to the bottom of all this.
First, in the image you have in your mind of your skis turning, parallel or otherwise, where do you see the "pivot point(s)" of the skis? If you were to look down at them while turning them, where would the axis of the rotation be--the point on (or perhaps even in front of or behind) the ski about which the whole ski pivots?
Second, where do you feel the center of pressure, fore-aft, is or ought to be on your skis when you start your turn? In other words, where do you feel like you balance (or should balance) on your ski(s) fore and aft? Where do you feel the pressure focused on the sole of your foot, and within the cuff of your boot?
What do you think?
Best regards,
Bob

I need to go to bed so quickly. Im sure you can turn without any unweighting. Under sertanin circumstanses that is. But that applies to all kind of turning. And there are things I dont know so I will not tell you guys are wrong. Just expressing my thaughts.

The pivot point of my skis depend. If my skis are very close together then the pivot point is at the tip of the ski in a stem or a wedge christie. If I make a parallel turn on a bump the pivot point is under my boots. If my skis are wide and I need to put them into a wedge I pivot them arround the front part of my bindings or so. It all depends on my skis really.

I keep my weight forward. In the one and two footed relese drills I needed to be very far forward. I have no direct rule for it. Just not to be in the back seat. Which is something beginners often are. Thats why I have them move arround a lot to find a good balance point when they wedge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman

There is a side slipping drill you should practice TDK6, I can't remember the name of it to save me, but you sideslip tails first then drop the tips into a turn, then pass the tips with your tails again and begin to side slip backwards in the opposite direction and repeat.  Some one here will name the drill I am sure!?

Is this the famous W falling leaf?
Quote:
...the pivot point is at the tip of the ski in a stem or a wedge christie...
. . .
...I keep my weight forward. In the one and two footed relese drills I needed to be very far forward. I have no direct rule for it. Just not to be in the back seat.

Ahh, TDK6, thanks for the reply!

And here's the thing: to make the turns we're describing, you must give yourself permission to center the pressure considerably further back than you have described--directly under your foot, and specifically, closer to your heel than to the ball or toes--directly under the "tibial axis," and sometimes even aft of that. A forward pivot point literally describes skis twisting into an intentional skid, with the tails taking a much longer, wider path than the tips--as in a stem christie. If you look closely at the animations I've drawn, you will see that the pivot points of the skis are well aft of center, which is the key to (and virtually the definition of) guiding the tips into the turn, instead of twisting the tails out.

That doesn't mean you need to be "in the back seat," by any means. And in fact, as you pressure your skis in the "sweet spot" I just described, your body (center of mass) must be moving down the hill such that it is downhill of your feet as you enter the pressure/shaping phase of the turn. But that downhill movement of your body is not necessarily a "forward" movement in relation to your skis--it is, in fact, more of a lateral movement at the moment the turn starts, IF you have completed the last turn such that you are traveling (and your skis are pointing) more across the hill than down.

That should give you something to think about as you drift off to sleep up there in Finland. I'll catch you later--I'm on my way out for a bike ride, since our weather has returned to unseasonably warm again here in Colorado.

Best regards,
Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson

Is this the famous W falling leaf?

That sounds like a good description of the exercise!

TDK6:

"If my skis are very close together then the pivot point is at the tip of the ski in a stem or a wedge christie"

TD, this is also a telling quote which illustrates perhaps a misunderstanding about the differences between a "stem" and a "wedge" christie?  While a stem is pivoted around the tips, a wedge christie is NOT.  The wedge christie as Bob, myself and other here have pointed out, has it's pivot point under the tibial axis just ahead of the heel or back of the arch area.  The ski tails are displaced in a stem while the ski tips move down hill in the wedge christie.  It is a gross misinterpretation to use these two terms synonymously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes

OK, animations finally here...
Summary of keys to the wedge christie, as discussed:
• Offensive intent--the GO! Factor--intent to control direction, not speed (with speed control indirectly, as a result of tactics and line, not directly from intentional braking); desire to gain, not lose, speed when turn starts; "go that way," not "stop going this way." Other intents (purposes) dictate different techniques, not wedge christies.
• Positive Movements--in a right turn, all intentional movements go right; skis tip right, both skis and legs turn right simultaneously (but at different rates); body (cm) moves right.
• Edge releases and both tips turn downhill, into turn at initiation and throughout the turn; NOT edge set and tails twisted/pushed out of turn into intentional skid (which is a Stem Christie).
• Wedge results spontaneously from both legs rotating into the turn, as the outside leg rotates more quickly. Matching results from continued rotation of both legs into the turn, as the inside leg rotates more quickly. Unequal rates of rotation are unintentional, but result from low skill development, and the unequal resistance on the two skis in different parts of the turn (due to the mechanics of the turn itself).
• Since intent is to control direction, not speed, skidding is unintentional. But some skidding or brushing is likely due to low skill level, and inevitable when turns are smaller than the skis can carve.
• Fundamental intent and movements are the same as for parallel turns, and wedge christies will naturally evolve to basic and then high-performance parallel turns as skill, confidence, speed, and terrain steepness increase (and offensive intent remains).
So here are the animations I promised. Let's look first at the movements of each ski separately, to see if they concur with the bullet points above. First, the left ski:

Movements and path of the left ski in wedge christies
Clearly, this ski turns continuously in the direction of the turns--it's tip moves continuously to the right in a right turn, and vice-versa, It pivots about a point somewhat aft of ski-center, and at no point is its tail twisted toward the outside of the turn. In other words, all positive movements.
Now for the right ski:

Movements and path of the right ski in wedge christies
Same thing, of course!
So let's put them together:

Movements and paths of both skis in wedge christies
Now we can see that, even though both skis and legs turn continuously and simultaneously right in a right turn (and left in a left turn), because they turn at different rates, they open into a wedge as the turn starts, and match to parallel later in the turn. The uphill (new outside) tail is NOT stemmed out at the start, as the downhill (new inside) ski releases and slips downhill into the turn. And at no point is the inside tail pulled out toward the outside tail to bring them parallel; on the contrary, the matching occurs not by pulling the tails together, but literally by pulling the tips apart--continuing the active movement of the inside tip in the direction of the turn, but more quickly now than the outside ski. No negative movements!
And at no point do the skis or legs turn (rotate) in opposite directions. That's the seeming paradox that seems to confuse many people. Clearly, one way to create a wedge position is just that--to rotate both legs internally, turning the toes or tips toward each other, in opposite directions. But that is absolutely not what happens in a wedge christie, as these animations show.
---
TDK6--I hope this makes sense to you. As others have suggested, the key is the edge release of the downhill (new inside) ski at the start of the turn. That is the missing piece in your diagram of stem christies (post #54). Note that the left ski tracks straight ahead in the first two frames (top of the picture)--in other words, its edge does not release--so it cannot turn down the hill, and the only turning to the left at the start of the turn therefore must involve the right ski, and it can only turn by twisting its tail to the left (because the other ski is in its way. Hence, a stem christie, not a wedge christie.

TDK6's illustration of a Stem Christie. Note that all movements at the turn initiation are negative movements--movements away from the turn--as first the uphill (outside) tail, then the inside tail, twist to the right in this left turn. This sequential "tails-out" movement pattern is the opposite of the simultaneous "tips into the turn" movement pattern of a wedge christie. In typical "real" situations, these negative movements of the skis will accompany a negative movement uphill of the body (cm) as the turn starts, causing an active weight transfer to the outside ski, but involving movements literally in the wrong direction (IF, and only if, the skier's intent is actually to go downhill, and gain speed in the process!).. Remember--stem christies and "negative movements" are not necessarily "bad skiing." They are appropriate, and commonly used even by expert skiers, when the intent is to brake, to "stop going this way," to slow down and minimize downhill movement as the skis turn. They are essential movements in a skier's repertoire, just as the brakes are critical for a car. Important techniques, but still (I maintain) bad habits. And simply, not wedge christies.
Best regards,
Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes

Here are still montages based on the animations above, to help with discussion:

Since some people like to see the fall line pointing down, and others prefer to see it pointing up, I've done it both ways. The frame numbers are the same for each one. The little white arrows indicate the skier's intended rotary input--both tips into the turn, from start to finish.
Best regards,
Bob

Thank you for these illustrations.

I will say, however, that the key to a good demonstration of a Basic Wedge Christie is the cross over feeling.  If you can feel it and keep that sensation in mind, then you can demonstrate.

That is a good point Tricia and is key to a smooth release and wedge opening in this demo!  Conversely, Stems stall the fluidity of offensive turning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes

Quote:
...the pivot point is at the tip of the ski in a stem or a wedge christie...
. . .
...I keep my weight forward. In the one and two footed relese drills I needed to be very far forward. I have no direct rule for it. Just not to be in the back seat.
Ahh, TDK6, thanks for the reply!
And here's the thing: to make the turns we're describing, you must give yourself permission to center the pressure considerably further back than you have described--directly under your foot, and specifically, closer to your heel than to the ball or toes--directly under the "tibial axis," and sometimes even aft of that. A forward pivot point literally describes skis twisting into an intentional skid, with the tails taking a much longer, wider path than the tips--as in a stem christie. If you look closely at the animations I've drawn, you will see that the pivot points of the skis are well aft of center, which is the key to (and virtually the definition of) guiding the tips into the turn, instead of twisting the tails out.
That doesn't mean you need to be "in the back seat," by any means. And in fact, as you pressure your skis in the "sweet spot" I just described, your body (center of mass) must be moving down the hill such that it is downhill of your feet as you enter the pressure/shaping phase of the turn. But that downhill movement of your body is not necessarily a "forward" movement in relation to your skis--it is, in fact, more of a lateral movement at the moment the turn starts, IF you have completed the last turn such that you are traveling (and your skis are pointing) more across the hill than down.
That should give you something to think about as you drift off to sleep up there in Finland. I'll catch you later--I'm on my way out for a bike ride, since our weather has returned to unseasonably warm again here in Colorado.
Best regards,
Bob

Woke up this mornin.... yeah, by default I pivot my foot under the heel of my foot. Lets say I would do a jump and a 180. With my skis on the snow its usually a bit closer to the ball of the foot since thats where my CoM is located. I have to pay attention to this the next time I ski in 6 months or so. But Im not so sure its like you say it is. From a purely mechanical point of view the ski tails will allways trawel wider. If not you would be carving an edgelocke carve. And "twisting" is the same thing as "pivotting". If you want to initiate a skid angle on your ski you must twist/pivot the ski. After its done no further pivotting/twisting or femure rotation or anything is needed because you are allready in orbit. Unless you want to increase the skid angle to tighten up the turn. We usually do this to compensate for entering into the fall line to hold an evenly brushed arc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman

TDK6:

"If my skis are very close together then the pivot point is at the tip of the ski in a stem or a wedge christie"

TD, this is also a telling quote which illustrates perhaps a misunderstanding about the differences between a "stem" and a "wedge" christie?  While a stem is pivoted around the tips, a wedge christie is NOT.  The wedge christie as Bob, myself and other here have pointed out, has it's pivot point under the tibial axis just ahead of the heel or back of the arch area.  The ski tails are displaced in a stem while the ski tips move down hill in the wedge christie.  It is a gross misinterpretation to use these two terms synonymously.

I agree with you about the pivot point difference between a wedge christie and a stem christie. But the reason is purely the width of the parallel position. The stem christie is much closer to a parallel turn since the skis are parallel for a longer time period. And there is a clear distinction between the stem phase and the parallel phase. I tend to keep my skis feary close together to emphasize the difference between the phases in a stem christie. I want the students to see the parallel phase clearly. A wedge christie I demo more closer to a wedge. In a beginners lesson for adults the wedge christie is typically thaught and mastered at the end of the first lesson. But I dont teach the stem because its not really accepted by the general public. But I did it once a year ago to two adults. I use it in my own skiing a lot just for fun and to stand out. Same as with my carving with my leggs glued together, except that its a legimit thing to do today. Im allways behind and ahead of the rest of the skiing world.

The stem christie can be done from a wide parallel position with the pivot point of the ski under the heel just the same as in a wedge christie. One thing to remember is that the stem christie builds on the "weight transfer" consept. Your weight is on your downhill ski untill you match the skis parallel. Making it sequencial.

Yes, the fact that the wedge christie and the stem christie are polar opposites in virtually every respect is becoming increasingly clear, isn't it?

Remember, though, that this discussion is primarily about what a wedge christie is. The discussion of "what we do when we're skiing, or teaching," is another thread (or thousands) entirely. In the context of this thread, the best thing about the stem christie is that understanding what it is can very much help in the understanding of its opposite, the wedge christie.

TDK6, your suggestion that stem christies are arguably closer to parallel than wedge christies because the skis are parallel through more of the turn intrigues me again. First, I would say that it is not necessarily true, as you can hold the stem as long as you want, and the "parallel phase" (literally, the "christie" phase) tends to be (but does not have to be) very brief and hurried in a stem christie. Likewise, a wedge christie can run the spectrum from a "just barely there" wedge that lasts only a fleeting moment before the skis match, to turns that reach parallel only at the very end, with the wedge all the way through.

And that's as it should be, as the wedge christie really does represent only a phase of development in the evolution from first turns to advanced, high-performance turns. As others have pointed out earlier in the thread, PSIA's Center Line (TM) Model originally recognized two wedge christies, representing two points in the evolution. WC1 had later matching, beginning after the fall line, with generally a wider wedge at the top and low speed just a small notch above wedge turn speed. WC2 was defined by a smaller wedge, higher speed, earlier matching before the fall line, and a pole touch, marking the "milestone" of development just shy of actually full parallel turns.

So I insist that wedge christies are actually much closer to parallel--at least to what we call "basic parallel turns" (which like wedge christies are 100% offensive)--than stem christies, both because they involve all the same movement patterns and intent (unlike the stem christie) and because they represent merely a phase on a continuum, upon which basic parallel also simply represents but a small phase. But parallel turns come in many guises, just like turns that involve a wedge/stem phase and a parallel phase. Stem christies are much closer to the defensive, braking, intentionally skidded parallel turn. Unfortunately, we don't have convenient common terms to distinguish these very different types of parallel turns, as we do with wedge and stem christies. That adds to the confusion, because certainly, all parallel turns are not created equal, and they, too, can involve polar opposite movement patterns that serve polar opposite intents.

Best regards,
Bob
Quote:
the key to a good demonstration of a Basic Wedge Christie is the cross over feeling. If you can feel it and keep that sensation in mind, then you can demonstrate.

Yes, TrekChick! That "neutral" moment, where the paths of the body (cm) and feet (balance point) cross, the moment the edge release takes place and the skis let go of their grip on the mountain and the new turn starts smoothly, effortlessly, and with contnuous, flowing, uninterrupted motion of the center of mass--is indeed the key to all of these basic turns, from wedge to wedge christie, to parallel, to beyond. You're on it! It is an unmistakable sensation, and I like that you have described it is a "feeling," not something you can just "do" as a step in a linear sequence of discrete physical, intentional movements. It's just a moment in the continuous cycle of uninterrupted motion that linked, gliding, offensive turns all share. And it feels good, doesn't it!

Best regards,
Bob

Is the wedge christie an instructional drill or is it something we would see "in the wild," so to speak?

We see it all the time, don't we Nolo?

I've often had to chuckle when I've seen instructors working and fretting at perfecting their wedge christie demos, sometimes finding it frustrating, when we then see a beginning skier doing a near-perfect demo, and making it look (obviously) easy.

The big difference is that the beginning skier was surely NOT trying to do wedge christies. He or she was just trying to turn, as well as possible, and without a doubt hoping for "parallel."

That's what a wedge christie is. In the wild!

Best regards,
Bob

Oy, and don't even get me started on Spontaneous Christie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes

Yes, the fact that the wedge christie and the stem christie are polar opposites in virtually every respect is becoming increasingly clear, isn't it?
Remember, though, that this discussion is primarily about what a wedge christie is. The discussion of "what we do when we're skiing, or teaching," is another thread (or thousands) entirely. In the context of this thread, the best thing about the stem christie is that understanding what it is can very much help in the understanding of its opposite, the wedge christie.
TDK6, your suggestion that stem christies are arguably closer to parallel than wedge christies because the skis are parallel through more of the turn intrigues me again. First, I would say that it is not necessarily true, as you can hold the stem as long as you want, and the "parallel phase" (literally, the "christie" phase) tends to be (but does not have to be) very brief and hurried in a stem christie. Likewise, a wedge christie can run the spectrum from a "just barely there" wedge that lasts only a fleeting moment before the skis match, to turns that reach parallel only at the very end, with the wedge all the way through.
And that's as it should be, as the wedge christie really does represent only a phase of development in the evolution from first turns to advanced, high-performance turns. As others have pointed out earlier in the thread, PSIA's Center Line (TM) Model originally recognized two wedge christies, representing two points in the evolution. WC1 had later matching, beginning after the fall line, with generally a wider wedge at the top and low speed just a small notch above wedge turn speed. WC2 was defined by a smaller wedge, higher speed, earlier matching before the fall line, and a pole touch, marking the "milestone" of development just shy of actually full parallel turns.
So I insist that wedge christies are actually much closer to parallel--at least to what we call "basic parallel turns" (which like wedge christies are 100% offensive)--than stem christies, both because they involve all the same movement patterns and intent (unlike the stem christie) and because they represent merely a phase on a continuum, upon which basic parallel also simply represents but a small phase. But parallel turns come in many guises, just like turns that involve a wedge/stem phase and a parallel phase. Stem christies are much closer to the defensive, braking, intentionally skidded parallel turn. Unfortunately, we don't have convenient common terms to distinguish these very different types of parallel turns, as we do with wedge and stem christies. That adds to the confusion, because certainly, all parallel turns are not created equal, and they, too, can involve polar opposite movement patterns that serve polar opposite intents.
Best regards,
Bob

Quote:
I've often had to chuckle when I've seen instructors working and fretting at perfecting their wedge christie demos, sometimes finding it frustrating, when we then see a beginning skier doing a near-perfect demo, and making it look (obviously) easy.

Isn't it ironic?

I am glad TKD6 has joined this conversation because it demonstrates a stark contrast in understandings and perceptions I believe many instructors share.  Hopefully we can cause an epiphany or two for some others here!

Perhaps it is a left brained, right brained thing?....  Do some people need to process skiing in a more linear, sequential, check list kinda way while others process more holistically and in constant motion, creating fluid sinuous motion?  It would seem this divide exists between grasping the difference in the wedge christie and the stem christie?...

Edited by bud heishman - 4/25/12 at 12:53pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo

Is the wedge christie an instructional drill or is it something we would see "in the wild," so to speak?

Hmm.   Makin' the pizza gives people a balance platform that often pops back up when we take them to steeper terrain from the green pastures. They use it defensively and it builds a sequential edge change habit. It's always in my mind when I send them to new terrain . If we get speed control from line and turn shape then they can still make use of the wedge if we coach it as a way to gain confidence into the fall line move and not a stall before the scary part move. .One is defined by taking positive action and moving right into the turn and the other another defensive move that often has balance issues tied to the lack of confidence and commitment.

Makin' the pizza means we're heading down to get it made . It just lasts a moment and we're done with it

This also speaks for spending a bit more time on the green slopes before we take them to steeper terrain. We need to be patient with this  For them to build confidence in themselves. If you move too quickly then you will retreat much farther than needs to happen.

We have to get them through the scary part and make it routine so we can move on in their development. This is a very big deal to both partners . It begins with their first wedges, builds in their wedge turns and it  is hopefully hammered down as we  begin to ditch the wedge by learning matching and independent steering with the wedge christy.

Thanks Bob for your interestin my post and for expertly advancing the knowledge and understanding of skiing and ski teaching. I admit to a poor choice of words in my post. The PSIA wedge christie is contrived compared to a turn where rotation, edging and pressure are all spontaneous reactions [automatic] reactions based on the laws of physics. THERE IS SUCH A TURN. I described and named it many years ago.Initially as the Automatic Turn and later the Crossunder Turn. I also call it the countersteered turn. All three terms are descriptive and accurate.

Hmm...where do I remember hearing about your "automatic turn," jbharstad? You wanna' go over it again, just as a refresher? Can't really compare turns without a bit more to go on.

Best regards,
Bob

As always Bob, those wonderful explanations and graphics are so spot on. Like Trish I feel once you perform the turns as you so artfully describedn them, the feedback will immediately tell you if you are doing the maneuver. Additionally if you feel you have to do something to create the wedge, or match the skis, it's time to start over and focus on equal steering effort not equal turning outcomes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo

Is the wedge christie an instructional drill or is it something we would see "in the wild," so to speak?

Are the skiers making wedge christies in the wild skiing so fluidly through this milestone because they are cognizant of the mechanics of what they are doing or are they using very little left brained effort and just going with the sensations and joy of playing with gravity?  Have they discovered the GO factor on their own? Do ski schools in general attract more patrons who are left brained, analytical types who migrate toward sequential checklists which favor stopping one thing before beginning another in a segmented regimen?

Instructors must be careful in finding the understanding we need to do our job yet communicating to our students in a way that offers simplicity and nurtures fluidity rather than a checklist of things to do!  We must also try to steer our over analytical students, you know the ones who are making a checklist in their minds, toward holistic movements and sensations.  Descriptions like Bob & Cgeib's medicine ball graphic communicate holistic movements that link turns with fluidity.  Focusing on the psychological intent to turn in our students to help them find the "GO" factor and separate the intent to turn from that of slowing will improve their performance without any reference to turn mechanics!  This kind of focus is fun to play with and changes up the typical drill/exercise linear progression routine.  Perhaps moving our teaching progressions a bit more away from left brained activities and more toward right brained activities would help with our ultimate goals?

Weem's "Sports Diamond" addresses this idea of oscillating between four points of his diamond to round out focus away from areas where we can get stuck.  For me it has always been the "power" zone where I focused perhaps too intently on the technique and mechanics of skiing.  While I have not abandoned this area I have expanded over the years to focus more on the psychological aspect of skiing, the intent to turn championed by Bob Barnes has HUGE implications on skiing performance!  My TAPP sports analysis model places focus on technique, alignment/equipment, psychological, and physiological areas to improve skier performance.  All of these concepts show that a focus on this psychological area can affect substantial gains in skiing performance.

I believe this holds very true when discussing the wedge christie as it clearly shows a divide between the mechanics of  "stem" vs. "wedge" christies.  If we can cause an epiphany in the skiers' intent here and in the wedge turns before, we can change the technique and consequently improve performance and discover a much easier path to expert skiing!

Edited by bud heishman - 4/26/12 at 9:51am

Bud,

First, thank you again for reminding all of the importance of fundamentals.

Now I can only speak as an experienced skier (haven't been a beginner in oh too many years), I must say that when I think about all of the turns that I do during a day out on skis, there is the chance that I will do at least one of everything from the simplest to the most complex during the course of the day.  A majority I don't even think about because it is natural in the lift line, slow zones, getting off the lift, providing assistance and so on, just to get to do what I want which is do "perfect high speed turns" on a run.

I don't think about what I am going to do, because I am not instructing but out to have my fun and hit those AH HA moments.

That said, I think that:

• Experts do whats required because it's natural and without thought if conditions warrant.
• Intermediates do it because its needed and a bacon saver.
• Beginners do it to survive as needed. Sort of.

Being taught the skill is important (that way it can be mastered as required during the course of the skiers life), it gives that extra trick up the sleeve to look and ski well.

The rest of you well,  nice graphics and descriptions....does help explain it to people that don't know.  Thanks to you as well.

Thanks for your interest. I published a paper online recently for" teaching yourself to ski crossunder".. It has five teaching progressions for beginners to bumps and ten references.Hopefully you will find the time to test them out. REGARDS, Bruce

Quote:

Thanks for your interest. I published a paper online recently for" teaching yourself to ski crossunder".. It has five teaching progressions for beginners to bumps and ten references.Hopefully you will find the time to test them out. REGARDS, Bruce

Google the title, Gary--you'll come up with www.skicrossunder.com, where you'll find links to a Word document and an eBook file for his paper.

I read it. I have no comment at the present time. (In other words, I don't even know where to begin....)

Judge for yourself: "Simply stated, to turn right you would push the skis a few inches to the left" (page 1). And 12 pages later: "There is another similar version of the crossunder turn that involves pushing only one foot diagonally uphill from the traverse rather than both." JBHarstad--I hope you recognize that you have just described the Stem Christie as a step toward learning to twist your tails out into a parallel skid. OK, if that's what you're looking for. If you think you'd like to discuss "your turn" any further, please start a new thread. As you yourself have said, it is not a wedge christie, so this thread would not be an appropriate place to discuss it.

Best regards,
Bob

The part about moving away from the direction of the turn lost me in the first sentence. When we turn all movement should be focused towards the path of travel not away from it. It becomes more important when the risks multiply