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The Basic Wedge Christie - Page 4

post #91 of 108
That's strange--don't know why that link would have brought up this page again, but I have fixed it. For what it's worth.

Yes, I'll be happy to discuss jbharstad's so-called "automatic turn" in another thread, if he brings it up. I've taken lots of notes....

wink.gif

Best regards,
Bob
post #92 of 108

I just finished reading all the post.  I normally reply before finishing.  I hope there is more to come because this stuff is what help me be a more rounded coach (instructor).  Bud mentioned in post 80 about left and right brain. I my situation I need to get all or most the the piece before the light is on completely.  I don't know if I'm left or right that OK with me.  

 

I think it was bob who used the expression letting go of the mountain that I will use, if I remember next season.

 

Thank guys

hank

post #93 of 108

Hank and others,

 

I consolidated Bob's posts here: The Basic Wedge Christie

 

Enjoy!

post #94 of 108

Thanks Nolo

I had read that before I found this thread.    I'm real glad that bob is part of this great community called Epicski.  Him and others are real helpful to me.   they get us all thinking during off season time about what is really happening during a turn.  Thanks again

 

Hank

post #95 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

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.
rolleyes.gif
Best regards,
Bob

You are thinking too small ".Teaching to Ski Crossunder " is a landmark paper! There is virtually no chance of a meaningfull discussion unless both parties can ski it exactually as I described in my paper.You should be aware that the Automatic Turn, the crossunder turn,and the countersteered turn are all the same turn! I suggest a procedure for learning to ski crossunder that I used to teach myself Jouberian turns.I would read the book and then try it out in the slopes.I would invariably fail.Next I would read the book and make myself some notes and try it out on the slopes. Again I would usually fail. Finally,I would make notes to myself using the books exact words.Then I would test it out on the slopes and try to figure out what Joubert meant.In this way I was able to accomplish all of Joubert's turns exept .the most difficult  which required a high degree of athletism. I recount this to alert you to the difficulty of learning to ski crossunder especially for experienced  PSIA skiers and instuctors.  REGARDS,Bruce

post #96 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbharstad View Post

You are thinking too small ".Teaching to Ski Crossunder " is a landmark paper! There is virtually no chance of a meaningfull discussion unless both parties can ski it exactually as I described in my paper.You should be aware that the Automatic Turn, the crossunder turn,and the countersteered turn are all the same turn! I suggest a procedure for learning to ski crossunder that I used to teach myself Jouberian turns.I would read the book and then try it out in the slopes.I would invariably fail.Next I would read the book and make myself some notes and try it out on the slopes. Again I would usually fail. Finally,I would make notes to myself using the books exact words.Then I would test it out on the slopes and try to figure out what Joubert meant.In this way I was able to accomplish all of Joubert's turns exept .the most difficult  which required a high degree of athletism. I recount this to alert you to the difficulty of learning to ski crossunder especially for experienced  PSIA skiers and instuctors.  REGARDS,Bruce

Start another thread and let's discuss it.  

post #97 of 108
Bruce--seriously, this is not the place to discuss it. Start another thread and make your case.

Best regards,
Bob
post #98 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

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

 

OK, there's an epiphany going on now in my head.  Bob, I'm going to restate and add my thoughts to what you've said above.  It prompted an ah-ha! moment for me about why ski instructors have such difficulty with this turn.

 

The difficulty for instructors understanding how to do a wedge christie the way it's being described by Bob and others in this thread lies in their knowledge and experiential base.  

Their bodies ski parallel intuitively.  They ski more challenging terrain at higher speeds normally.  The wedge christie is "unnatural" for them.  It's slow, and it requires going into and out of a wedge.  This means they have to override their intuitive movement patterns to ski with wedge christie turns.  

 

They do this override by focusing on the mechanics of the wedge christie; break it down, do one thing at a time, put those parts back together, achieve flow, hopefully.

The wedge christie looks to a parallel skier like the tails go out from a parallel stance, then go back to the parallel stance.

So that's what the instructors do.  They deliberately push their tails out, then pull them back in, with the parallel stance being their intuitive "home base."

They get a turn that doesn't match up to the preferred wedge christie described in such detail in this thread.  

 

This is opposite of what a beginning skiers does.  Their "home base" is the wedge.  It's the parallel part that comes unnaturally to them.

 

Bob says that if instructors focus on going downhill over here, then going downhill over there, they may be able to do the wedge christie without pushing the tails out.

Or if they look closely at Bob's three animations, they may see the difference as they break down the turn into its mechanics, and then be able to do it.

I'll add two other things that might do it.  Much of this overlaps.

If they rotate the skis with the pivot point under the boot, being sure to keep the feet the same distance apart through the whole turn, that might do the trick.  Especially the inside ski.

Or if they focus on turning that inside ski slower than the outside ski, again with the pivot point under the boot, and NOT rotating that outside ski at all, that might do it.

post #99 of 108

Liquidfeet wrote:

"The difficulty for instructors understanding how to do a wedge christie the way it's being described by Bob and others in this thread lies in their knowledge and experiential base.  

Their bodies ski parallel intuitively."

 

That's the problem.

When I was learning to do demos, the best explanation I got for wedges and wedge christies was "do it the way beginners do it."  What that means is you need to balance on both feet the way beginners need to.  If you focus on the movements, the result is awkward and often incorrect.  If you focus on balance, or rather if you abandon your well developed lateral balance skills, the result is perfect every time.  Unfortunately, the way we describe those turns is based on the movements (which is all we can see to describe), so most of us end up trying to mimic the movements, instead of focusing on balance skills.

 

BK

post #100 of 108
Most of the folks who fail exam wedge christies fail to keep weight on both feet. They try to move weight emphasis to the new outside ski at initiation.
post #101 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Most of the folks who fail exam wedge christies fail to keep weight on both feet. They try to move weight emphasis to the new outside ski at initiation.

Also not allowing the tips to seek the fall line as they form the wedge. A gliding wedge and even the "gliding " parallel  finish. are very skidded .  Low edging allows for the slippery feeling and the least resistance to gentle steering

post #102 of 108

How about looking at  this way.  Balance on top of the ski ( on the ski) not against the ski .  If they don't have enough skid they are balancing against the ski.   How that sound???

Hank

post #103 of 108

Bob,

 

Could part of the problem that instructors are having is that they are skiing on higher end shaped skis?

 

Just having switch to shaped skis this year I have noticed that certain things are definitely more difficult to do (especially when you have higher performance skis as they are less forgiving as torsional stiffness is greatly increased).  This said, could it be suggested that a beginner ski which has little performance value for a better skier might actually allow the instructor to more easily demonstrate the turns because of the inherent forgiveness (lack of torsional stiffness) in the beginner ski?

 

The better skis that most instructors are skiing could actually be hurting what they are trying to teach, as the ski does what the instructor tells it and hence the problem, versus the ski letting off a bit and allowing the technique to work as it actually required.  Better yet, maybe the instructors are "over skiing"?

 

Very good instructors such as you can make it look easy with any set of planks available biggrin.gif

 

To be fair I am not an instructor,  but a very observant good skier.

post #104 of 108
Quote:

The better skis that most instructors are skiing could actually be hurting what they are trying to teach, as the ski does what the instructor tells it and hence the problem, versus the ski letting off a bit and allowing the technique to work as it actually required.  Better yet, maybe the instructors are "over skiing"?

 

It can definitely be tough to dial things back without it looking forced and stiff.

 

Personally, I had to use rentals a few times this year when my skis were in the shop, and I didn't find it any easier to do demos on them.  They feel the same at the low end and just don't HAVE any high-end.

 

Might be different if you're on something like race skis that are VERY stiff.

 

Quote:
Very good instructors such as you can make it look easy with any set of planks available biggrin.gif

 

Yeah, they do...

post #105 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post

Bob,

Could part of the problem that instructors are having is that they are skiing on higher end shaped skis?

It's a good question, OldSchoolSkier, and one that I think we (instructors) must constantly ask, because it touches on the critical question of whether--or when--teaching methodologies become outdated or obsolete. My short answer is yes, current technologies can make it harder for strong skiers to do "real" wedge christies. But no, the fault is not in the wedge christie itself--it remains as current and viable as ever. We certainly don't want to either avoid the technological advances of modern gear, or to "dumb down" our technique and skill, just so we can emulate some unnecessary and dated image!

Modern skis turn so easily that they do make it possible for many skiers to progress to parallel turns (not just parallel skids) in a very short time. The "wedge christie phase" in their development can pass so fleetingly that it may even go unnoticed--which is a good thing! But it will still exist, and understanding its mechanics and the reasons why it occurs still remain important in understanding the mechanics and development of genuine, offensive (ie. "good") parallel turns. Indeed, all skiers, at any skill level, will make wedge christies and wedge turns in certain situations (particularly, tight turns at very low speeds, such as rounding the tight corners in a lift line).

Some like to argue the point that, because the wedge christie phase in learning is so brief and insignificant, we should ignore it and focus on "direct to parallel." Although I do get their point, to me, that is a very big mistake, for a number of reasons. First, the emphasis on "parallel" in the first place is misplaced, in my opinion. It's good marketing, partially because "parallel" is one of the easiest characteristics of a turn for average skiers to recognize. Expert skiers do tend to ski "parallel," so it is a simple (but false) leap of logic to equate parallel with expert skiing. THAT is a big mistake! As this thread has, I hope, made clear, there are wedge christies and there are stem christies--and there are parallel turns and parallel, um, other things. Not all parallel "things" are good turns, by any stretch, and parallel skis alone most certainly do NOT make a skier an expert!

Parallel is a false goal. Good movements and movement patterns, sound tactics and offensive intent should be the goal of all skiers, at any level, if they truly want to become better skiers (instead of just getting better at bad skiing). Consider a common scenario: a beginning student learns great stuff--all the right skills, offensive intent, and "positive movements" from an instructor with sound understanding and good intentions. The instructor then demonstrates all these things with picture-perfect parallel turns. The student tries to emulate the demonstration and does virtually everything just right--but a wedge happens (for the reasons we've discussed at length in this thread).

If "parallel" is the goal, this student will get frustrated because he failed to make a parallel turn--and he'll probably try to do something to "fix" the problem, typically meaning pulling the inside ski out toward and parallel to the outside ski, while ceasing to continue guiding the outside ski. That's a negative movement, which will interfere with the turn shape, increase the skidding, and ultimately lead to bad habits and poor (although perhaps parallel) technique.

But if sound movements and tactics are understood and become the goal, the student (and his instructor) will recognize them, ignore the wedge, and realize that with continued practice, those movements will evolve seamlessly and directly to parallel turns--GOOD parallel turns.

That is my concern with so-called "direct to parallel" instruction. It can easily create a misunderstanding and a false goal that lures students down a dead-end path to mediocrity. Direct to Parallel may be compelling marketing, but "Direct to Excellence" is my preferred slogan. Great instructors do teach direct to excellence--and that means, "direct to excellent parallel turns" (among other things)--but they recognize that directly on the route to excellent parallel turns lie a few wedges, wedge turns, and wedge christies. They are not bumps in the road, and the mistake is not making wedge christies--it is trying to avoid them.

These are not new ideas, by the way. I can remember thirty years ago, when GLM (Graduated Length Method of "Direct to Parallel") was a teaching methodology still employed by a few ski schools, my supervisors at Breckenridge lamented that the marketing of "parallel" as somehow important caused students (and instructors) to seek shortcuts to parallel mediocrity. Better to de-emphasize "parallel." Replace it with an understanding of what good skiing really involves, and make that the goal. Good instructors today--as well as back then--do not teach parallel turns, or wedge turns.

Good instructors teach good skiing! Good instructors teach movements that will, certainly, evolve to create good parallel turns. They may teach with wedges and with wedge christies, but neither of these is a goal in itself, any more than parallel should be. Wedges and Wedge Christies and Parallel are easily-identifiable milestones of progress. They are NOT steps in a progression!

No matter how quickly their students may pass through the "wedge christie phase" in their learning on modern equipment, good instructors MUST learn how to demonstrate--and to understand--excellent wedge christies, even if they have attained the high skill level required to make parallel turns at reasonably low speeds. Demonstrations MUST be accessible and attainable for our students, at their level of skill.

---

So--to your first point--how do you do that, on today's oh-so-easy-to-turn-parallel equipment, with the higher (than their students) skill level of an instructor? I have been fortunate to have some early experience with that question, as I was working with Elan skis when the pioneering deep-sidecut SCX line came out, along with the PSX-Short line of learning-specific beginner skis. At first, most of my colleagues still skied on traditional 205'ish CM skis, while I was on 173cm SCX's. (I took my share of ribbing for skiing "on your little sister's skis," but I quickly realized that the joke would soon be on them!) At first, my wedge christies on those skis just sucked. I'd ski the same turns my colleagues were skiing, but my skis made them cleaner (less skidding) and parallel. If I tried to "cheat" and push the tails out to create a wedge, and flatten and twist my skis to cause some intentional skidding, I knew perfectly well that those were the wrong things to do in a real wedge christie. My friends would say say "no--those turns are too high-level--too carved, not enough skidding, too parallel...."

"What do you want me to do, screw 'em up just to make you happy?" I'd reply, but to myself, I'd start asking that critical question: have wedge turns now become obsolete? I experimented a lot, and finally realized that no, they were not obsolete! The new skis did make learning real parallel turns easier, and in some situations, they might even make them "directly." But wedges still happened, for all the same reasons, whenever the turns were small enough and slow enough. "Shaped" skis will carve great turns with much less edge angle, less speed, and less pressure than it used to take on "straight" skis--and we should certainly encourage students to discover and exploit that advantage. That's why my wedge christie attempts became "too dynamic," "too parallel."

But we (instructors) still need to be able to demonstrate the wedge phase for those students in the situations where their "perfect" turns will involve wedges. I soon discovered the trick that I've put forth in prior posts as an unbreakable rule if you want to make real wedge christies that demonstrate all the right stuff: you must ski turns that are significantly shorter-radius than your skis can carve on their own--regardless of what equipment you're on. (And you must also complete them sufficiently to keep the speed very low.) On my SCX's, I had to make much smaller and more complete turns than my colleagues on their straight skis. With that revelation, my wedge christies returned.

And it all makes sense, doesn't it? Yes, modern learning skis do make parallel turns easier. You can make them at lower speeds, with smaller radius, and with less skill than it once took on older equipment. So those are the tactics it takes to demonstrate "real" wedge turns and wedge christies: Just as students' first turns will naturally evolve to matching (wedge christie) and then parallel more quickly (that is, with less skill and speed), we must back down our own tactics to those appropriate for even lower level skiers than before, if we are to show the right stuff.

My advice to instructors remains: if you need to demonstrate wedge christies, use the best "parallel" technique you can muster, and ski as fast as you can, on a slow enough line, with small enough and complete enough turns that you can't help but make wedge christies. With the right tactics, not only are they not difficult--they become difficult to avoid!

It's a good (and essential) trick!

Best regards,
Bob
post #106 of 108

Thank you Bob,

 

This was the answer I was expecting and hoping (and it was better phrased than I was expecting icon14.gif).

 

I agree, skiing hasn't really changed, equipment (ski primarily) have improved to make skiing at the beginning easier.  Your statement re: direct to parallel vs direct to excellance is right on the money.

 

You see the lack of technique the moment a skier gets into trouble (because the shaped skis have provided a false sense of skill).  This is a pet peave nonono2.gif.

 

What you are preaching hopefully catches on with all instructors.

 

Well put, well phrased....everyone listening!

post #107 of 108
Thank you, OldSchoolSkier! (And thank you for "baiting" me with an irresistible question!)

Best regards,
Bob
post #108 of 108

I find sometimes its easier to ask the question than provide the answer, both require thought, however, the answer requires intelligence and wisdom.

 

Hopefully my "baiting questions" in the future remain as insightful and thought provoking.

 

Enjoyable icon14.gif

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