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Twin tips - carving problem

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi all

 

End of last season I purchased 2012 Volkl Bridge skis without testing them (but read good reviews).  It is the first ski that I have ever owned, as for years I have simply been renting out my skiing hardware.

 

Anyways, last weekend I finally got to ski them.  Overall I liked the feeling, however...  It is hard to explain, but a couple of times when I was trying to do sharper carve turns with legs a bit closer together (but not touching), the rear of my inside ski (that is, the ski in the direction of which I was turning) felt like it got stuck in the snow.  Both times tried to come up and regain my balance, but unsuccessfully and ended up wiping out.

 

Now, I am an advanced but not an expert skier and my misfortunes might have been due to poor skiing technique.  However, as I have never experienced such problems before, I want to consider other potential reasons.

 

I have never skied twin tip before but I have read that they are not as stable when turning as normal skis - could that be a problem?

 

When I purchased the skis, the ski shop detuned the edges.  Could the edges have been detuned insufficiently?  Again, I am not an expert and these are my first non-rental skis, so I am not sure how detuned skis must feel.

 

BTW, the snow was hardpack, but Volkl Bridges are supposed to handle such conditions well.

post #2 of 16

Strongly suggest a lesson or three. Twin tips feel a bit different than traditionals, but shouldn't cause the specific issue that you describe. In fact, tails should feel a touch vaguer and looser than a flat. And detuning is preferred by some for tips and tails after splay, but others don't like it. Depends on your terrain and style. Would discourage you from any more detuning. Suspect your problem is technique. Take a lesson and have the instructor pay attention to whether you're using both edges when you turn. This is not a ski designed for a short radius turn, so you may be unconsciously trying to steer it with a flat inside ski, causing it to catch.

post #3 of 16

Twin tips have a reputation for releasing the tails more easily than other skis so that should not be a factor. I understand these are the first skis you have actually owned and previously you rented. Unless you were renting high performance demo skis my suspicion is you are used to cheap floppy rentals that are dull and won't hold a proper edge but are very easy to turn regardless of tecnique or lack of it. Sounds like classic skiing in the back seat. not driving the ski and not weighting the downhill ski properly. As Beyond  suggested, it sounds like lessons are in order and that will take you to the next level. One other possibility might be ski length if you jumped up significantly from shorty rentals but again lessons will put you on the right path.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Beyond and Dave, thanks for your comments.

 

I have taken quite a few lessons in the last couple of seasons (happened to stay in ClubMed chain of hotels for few weeks when skiing in Europe, which include free instructions) and I did try to rent more higher end rental skis (among those available - e.g. K2 Aftershocks; Rossignol S80, etc).  Still, following your explanations, I agree that it must have been my technique.

 

The good news is that the season is only starting, so a lot of opportunities to practice! smile.gif

post #5 of 16

There is a whole subset of skiing that is quite popular wherein the idea is to keep the ski "stuck in the snow" and moving forward instead of unstuck, pivoting and moving sideways.  You should try and explore it.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Haha, thanks.  I probably should have been clearer - I was on ski edges already being in-turn when it felt like rears would get stuck, not on flat skis.

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

There is a whole subset of skiing that is quite popular wherein the idea is to keep the ski "stuck in the snow" and moving forward instead of unstuck, pivoting and moving sideways.  You should try and explore it.

ooohhh, I've heard of that subset, they're the same ones with the pole stuck firmly up the rectum, right? Interest technique... if you are into that sort of thing.

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by vladiator View Post

Haha, thanks.  I probably should have been clearer - I was on ski edges already being in-turn when it felt like rears would get stuck, not on flat skis.

 

Common symptom of sitting WAAAY back.  Can be other things....but that would be my first guess.

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by vladiator

....End of last season I purchased 2012 Volkl Bridge skis....It is hard to explain, but a couple of times when I was trying to do sharper carve turns with legs a bit closer together (but not touching), the rear of my inside ski (that is, the ski in the direction of which I was turning) felt like it got stuck in the snow.  Both times tried to come up and regain my balance, but unsuccessfully and ended up wiping out.

....BTW, the snow was hardpack, but Volkl Bridges are supposed to handle such conditions well.

 

I'm trying to decipher what actually happened.

1.  You were trying to do "sharper ... turns" on hard snow with new skis when the problem arose.  I suspect this means short turns, with a short radius, in quick rhythmic succession, on groomed hard snow.

2.  You felt you were doing carved turns.

3.  You moved your legs closer together as you tried this, almost but not quite touching. 

4.  The rear of your inside ski hooked up and refused to go along with the short turn.

5.  You tried to "come up and regain your balance," which means something about the turn mechanics threw you down low.

6.  You wiped out when the "coming up" failed to get you re-balanced.

 

So let's take this one step at a time.

1 & 2.  You were attempting short turns with a rockered ski whose turn radius is 24 meters.  You will most likely need to be rotating the ski, not carving, since you are trying to get the ski to make a turn that's lots shorter than 24 meters in radius.   So let's assume that you were using some muscle action to rotate the two skis, rather than riding the sidecut of a bent and tracking ski.  That's fine; everyone does it.  You just need to know how.

 

3.  You consciously moved your legs closer together than normal to make these turns.  Probably not a good tactic.  Try making these short turns next time without moving the legs closer together.  

--With the two legs normally separated, you can angulate out over the outside ski better, and that's a good thing to do.  You need your weight on that outside ski.  "Angulate" means bend sideways out over that outside ski, so that it has more of your weight concentrated on it, leaving the inside ski light.  

--With the two legs and skis close together, it's more difficult to focus your weight on the outside ski; you can't angulate because the inside leg is in the way.  The two skis end up pretty much equally weighted.  This is not good, because it usually is accompanied by the skier banking/leaning in.  The skis won't cooperate and turn if you are banking and trying to rotate them.  

--All this to say that your inside ski, because it was so close to the other one, probably had too much weight on it as you made the turns and it tripped you up.

 

4.  You were focusing on making short turns by moving those skis around in a short radius.  That's fine!   But, the inside ski's TAIL hooked up and refused to cooperate.  The TAIL had too much weight on it; it was in the way, and it had your weight on it.  Not good; this is a sign of the classic problem of skiing in the "back seat."  

--First, move that inside ski away from the outside ski

--Second, focus your weight on the frpnt or center of that outside ski by bending your whole body sideways out over it.  By that I mean FORWARD over it, by the way, so you won't be in the back seat.

--Here's the most important part:  bend forward at the ankle, not at the waist.  You need an instructor to help you get this right.  Problems will persist until you get this part.  It's hard to explain with words. 

--*** worth repeating:  VERY IMPORTANT:  You need an instructor to watch you and let you know when you're doing it right.  This is the crucial issue; forward, not back; angulated, not banked; and weighting the outside ski, not /leaning in over the inside ski.

 

5.  That weighted tail threw you down and back, out of balance.  You tried to come up, but couldn't.  Why would that hooking-up inside ski's tail send you "down?"

--Because the skis continued to travel forward as your upper body stalled.  

--Think about this:  what if your upper body had been forward, in front of the skis, as they shot forward?  You couild have regained your balance.  

--Most likely you were back as this whole scenario started; there was no way you could regain your balance, and you went down.

 

6.  You went down.  That's ok.  You posted here; that's good.  You're on the way to improvement.  YUou can fix this, but it's best if someone who teaches regularly, and well, takes a look at your skiing.  Best of luck!  


Edited by LiquidFeet - 7/3/12 at 4:26pm
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

 

I'm trying to decipher what actually happened.

1.  You were trying to do "sharper ... turns" on hard snow with new skis when the problem arose.  I suspect this means short turns, with a short radius, in quick rhythmic succession, on groomed hard snow.

2.  You felt you were doing carved turns.

3.  You moved your legs closer together as you tried this, almost but not quite touching. 

4.  The rear of your inside ski hooked up and refused to go along with the short turn.

5.  You tried to "come up and regain your balance," which means something about the turn mechanics threw you down low.

6.  You wiped out when the "coming up" failed to get you re-balanced.

 

So let's take this one step at a time.

1 & 2.  You were attempting short turns with a rockered ski whose turn radius is 24 meters.  You will most likely need to be rotating the ski, not carving, since you are trying to get the ski to make a turn that's lots shorter than 24 meters in radius.   So let's assume that you were using some muscle action to rotate the two skis, rather than riding the sidecut of a bent and tracking ski.  That's fine; everyone does it.  You just need to know how.

 

3.  You consciously moved your legs closer together than normal to make these turns.  Probably not a good tactic.  Try making these short turns next time without moving the legs closer together.  

--With the two legs normally separated, you can angulate out over the outside ski better, and that's a good thing to do.  You need your weight on that outside ski.  "Angulate" means bend sideways out over that outside ski, so that it has more of your weight concentrated on it, leaving the inside ski light.  

--With the two legs and skis close together, it's more difficult to focus your weight on the outside ski; you can't angulate because the inside leg is in the way.  The two skis end up pretty much equally weighted.  This is not good, because it usually is accompanied by the skier banking/leaning in.  The skis won't cooperate and turn if you are banking and trying to rotate them.  

--All this to say that your inside ski, because it was so close to the other one, probably had too much weight on it as you made the turns and it tripped you up.

 

4.  You were focusing on making short turns by moving those skis around in a short radius.  That's fine!   But, the inside ski's TAIL hooked up and refused to cooperate.  The TAIL had too much weight on it; it was in the way, and it had your weight on it.  Not good; this is a sign of the classic problem of skiing in the "back seat."  

--First, move that inside ski away from the outside ski

--Second, focus your weight on the frpnt or center of that outside ski by bending your whole body sideways out over it.  By that I mean FORWARD over it, by the way, so you won't be in the back seat.

--Here's the most important part:  bend forward at the ankle, not at the waist.  You need an instructor to help you get this right.  Problems will persist until you get this part.  It's hard to explain with words. 

--*** worth repeating:  VERY IMPORTANT:  You need an instructor to watch you and let you know when you're doing it right.  This is the crucial issue; forward, not back; angulated, not banked; and weighting the outside ski, not /leaning in over the inside ski.

 

5.  That weighted tail threw you down and back, out of balance.  You tried to come up, but couldn't.  Why would that hooking-up inside ski's tail send you "down?"

--Because the skis continued to travel forward as your upper body stalled.  

--Think about this:  what if your upper body had been forward, in front of the skis, as they shot forward?  You couild have regained your balance.  

--Most likely you were back as this whole scenario started; there was no way you could regain your balance, and you went down.

 

6.  You went down.  That's ok.  You posted here; that's good.  You're on the way to improvement.  YUou can fix this, but it's best if someone who teaches regularly, and well, takes a look at your skiing.  Best of luck!  

 

LiquedFeet - thanks for this very detailed response.  This is a brilliant analysis.  Now thinking back at what happened, my weight was too much back and I did have too much weight on the inside ski.

 

The latter was probably due to me hearing that in a proper carve turn the weight must be evenly distributed between both skis.  But as you have said, I was not even properly carving at the time as I was doing shorter turns than the Bridge's carve radius.  So I should have adapted to the circumstances.

post #11 of 16

With your skis closer together than normal, and with some rotation of the skis taking place for a short turn, there's a chance the inside ski, with the extra tail of the twin tip, rode up onto the tail of the outside ski and was lifted off the snow.  Something to consider.

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by vladiator View Post

 

LiquedFeet - thanks for this very detailed response.  This is a brilliant analysis.  Now thinking back at what happened, my weight was too much back and I did have too much weight on the inside ski.

 

The latter was probably due to me hearing that in a proper carve turn the weight must be evenly distributed between both skis.  But as you have said, I was not even properly carving at the time as I was doing shorter turns than the Bridge's carve radius.  So I should have adapted to the circumstances.

 

You heard wrong. Its only at transition, and then that is not even a hard and fast rule, that our weight is 50/50.  In the actual "turn" the bulk of your weight will be on the outside ski.

post #13 of 16

Valdiator:

 

I agree with Skidude, your problem sounds like lack of commitment to the turning downhill ski.  Trust your ski and put almost all your weight on it, drive forward and it will turn, and the back will naturally release.  That is what the ski is designed to do. Your weight should almost never be on the back of your skis, and definitely not on the back of the inside ski. The simple answer is don't ever weight the back of your inside ski and it will not need to release during the turn.

 

With your new skis you are ready to go to the next level, which is skiing primarily on the front half of your skis instead of the back half.  Upper body pointed down the fall line during the entire turn, hands in front to keep your weight forward, stand on the left and then stand on the right.  I may be wrong, but it sounds like you are experiencing the most common problem of someone trying to break out of the popular "intermediate" double tail pushing turn to a more tip initiated one ski carved turn.  It is just a simple matter of  keeping your weight more forward, which requires trusting your skis.  It is OK to put all of your weight on one ski.   We are bipeds, so in a sense the most natural way to ski is like walking or running down the hill with your weight rolling from all on one ski to all on the other.  If you focus on the feel of one ski grabbing at the tip and flexing into a carved turn you'll never want to be on your tails again.  MF

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks mudfoot, skidude, everyone else who wrote here.

 

This falling experience has been eye-openning.  For the last few years I have been skiing all levels of groomed pistes and might have become overconfident in my abilities.  Your comments showed me that I might have been getting away with some poor aspects of my technique which the new better skis will not tolerate...

 

The weekend is almost upon us.  Time to print out this thread and start packing for the trip to the mountain! biggrin.gif

post #15 of 16

Enjoy that there July snow for the rest of us dealing with lots of green, Vlad.

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by vladiator View Post

For the last few years I have been skiing all levels of groomed pistes and might have become overconfident in my abilities.  Your comments showed me that I might have been getting away with some poor aspects of my technique which the new better skis will not tolerate...

 

You can ski fast and in fairly good control on groomed piste with a tail oriented sliding technique (the majority of skiers never get past this stage), but it starts to fail as soon as you get in any kind of deeper/heavier snow or bumps that hinder the tails from moving sideways.  Twin tips will accentuate this problem.  Once your get your new skis initiating turns from the front you can ride them through almost anything while making turns.  At that point you'll be able to start enjoying the entire mountain instead of just the groomed runs.  If you want to check how your technique is progressing just get off the groomed piste for a run or two. It is a good learning tool, but you'll undoubtedly take a few falls in the process, but that's all part of the fun.  Enjoy!

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