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"To Carve or Not to Carve" article in PSIA 32 Degrees discussion.

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

Are you guys following this thread over at the PSIA discussion forum on LinkedIn?  See this link.

post #2 of 42

Found the discussion.  

Here is some of what Alain BERTRAND said (the articles author) on LinkedIn:

 

"Carving is a thrill but seldom seen. It works with a little momentum on well groomed bunny slopes. WC racers resort to it for a few hundredths of a second in their turning process that is : taking off a quick check, flying above the ground, landing on a carving edge as they pass the pole (for a few fleeting hundredths of a second), sideslip to get in line with the next turn and possibly check speed, then taking off a quick check again... and so forth. 


"Carving as a fad is innocuous. But teaching it to beginners is leading them to mistake the gas pedal for the brake, hence harmful. As for us, emulating WC racers in our every day skiing is like using "formula 1" driving style to go buy a loaf of bread at the grocery store, hence senseless. In the 1960 recreational skiing could learn from racing. Nowadays we live in a new millenium, and WC racers live on another planet. 

 

"Carving will survive as an extreme exceptional action, but as a FAD its toll is already ringing : articles appear everywhere noticing that under most conditions carving is impractical, new FIS regulations opted for wide waist WC skis, recreational skiers are sliding on rockers or fat boys and, last but not least, beginners are being taught now that carving is for speeding, sideslipping for slowing down, and pivoting on flat skis for turning."


Edited by LiquidFeet - 10/16/12 at 3:45pm
post #3 of 42

Requires Linked-In acct and password

post #4 of 42

I'd love to see this guy ski NASTAR.

post #5 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Requires Linked-In acct and password

after I put in my password, I got a message that said "Thanks for commenting" but still did not see the article you are referencing. What did I comment on and what did I say?

post #6 of 42

There's something wrong with driving with Formula 1 style to get a loaf of breadconfused.gif.  How about Nascar style (minus the paint tradng)?  devil.gif

post #7 of 42

It sounds too me like the author struggles with the concept of skill blending. And what does he mean that only in the 60's could we learn from racers. Check out Ron Lemaster's Ultimate Skiing. Tons of photos of racers, but also lots of photos of free-skiing in all conditions and great writing that connects the two together. Personally I like to ski like I'm driving a Rally car. Sometimes I need to slip a turn sometimes I just need to keep in on the gas, but then I have the ability a feel to make those choices. What we should be teaching our students is the same. Teaching them the skills and help them develop the feel to make those choices.

He may be right, sort of, about how much time a racer spends "carving", but I think you would want to compare it to how much time the spend not carving. At the speed they are traveling a few tenths of carving at a time can mean huge distances between gates. The "stivot" is becoming more prevalent in GS and Super G, but not in SL where it slows the racer too much and not in DH where it's just downright dangerous.

It is also a great move for all of us to try, with the amp level turned down about 7 notches, to see how we stand on the skis and react to changes. Try this as a good drill. On a wide, comfortable, not too steep slope start out with a couple medium radius carved turns to get up momentum. Then as you release the ski let it drift into a sideslip that travels across, not down, the fall line. As you ski tips cross the fall line in the direction of the new turn, aggressively set you edges. Be ready. If your not, you'll know it. Also if your dumping in to get early high edging you'll find it nearly impossible to release into a sideways slip. To spots for "self" immediate feedback.

It's one of my favorite drills and has really helped me to not only changing my skiing, but also get a better understanding of where I actually control my speed within the turn. I'll give you a hint; It's not in the bottom third.

Nate

post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Requires Linked-In acct and password


And you have to have you application to "join the group" accepted, which might take a while....

post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 

I've commented quite a few times in that thread.  Alain is a Level III PSIA instructor.  You can see his original article HERE  (requires login to PSIA site).  His article is a response to a lesson he had where the people were quite happy skidding their way down blue terrain and he ponders "why do I have to teach them to carve".   Now, in that situation that might be a good question.  His article has taken on a life of it's own and is quite heated.  (I am bob hatcher in that thread).

 

He seems to think carving and skidding are binary, that you are either purely carving (i.e. RR track turns), and anything else is a skidded turn.  He advocates skidding as a method for controlling speed rather than turn shape.

 

Bob

post #10 of 42

Given what you say WVSkier I would say it is a perfectly reasonable question, but not on technique. That is a customer service question. Your guests are happy. They enjoy the way they ski and where it takes them. They have not interest in changing. Then no, I don't think you need to force them to "carve", but they will always be limited to certain terrain no matter where they ski. If they're happy with that you should not push your own agenda upon them. We are guest-centric here in the U.S.

I don't want to get into the what is a carved turn or a skidded turn debate anymore then I want to get into the what is a Republican or a Democrat debate. The lines are too blurred to me to matter. I will say the higher the edge angle gets to more you move towards carving and away from skidding.

But he may also be onto something that skidding can be used more to control speed then turn shape. Let me explain.

Look through the great pictures in Ron Lemaster's Ultimate Skiing especially the ones on GS turns. Now, briefly, taking WC skiers as the creme' the controlled "stivot" turn is becoming a often used tactic. Essentially all the stivot is is a turn where much of the rotary happens high up in the turn and much of the edging and directing of energy happen in the fall line to transition. I'm now teaching that instead of it being a top of the turn/fall line/bottom of the turn/transition that we think more of it as control/fall line/energize/transition and here is where I'm coming from. By teaching tips up the hill turn shape to control speed we are putting a lot of movements into a time when we should be directing energy across the fall line. We develop platforms and stalls in a turns that we have to move from instead of through. You can not only block your turn with a pole plant, you can block it with your skis i.e. linked hockey stops.

I want to teach control and balance high in the turn. Mike Rogan in the most recent SKI put it well. Inclinate to start and edge angle, allow the skis to drift some to avoid an obstacle and then angulate to achieve good dynamics and he was talking about all-mountain skiing, not racing. So maybe we should think a little bit more on how we control speed and where we do it and I think we can have some interesting results.

 

P.S. anybody ever notice how spell check doesn't recognize inclinate and angulate as words. Talk about jargon.

 

Nate

post #11 of 42

no - not following - and frankly - it looks like a lot of bait/semantics. Skidding is easier to do than carving, but not as efficient. Skiers should be able to do both and then choose which blend of skidding and carving from 100-0 through 0-100 they want for conditions du jour. Although I greatly disagree with the implications that controlling speed through turn shape is bad thing and that teaching carving induces skiers to mistake the gas pedal for the brake, I also doubt that Alain's teaching methods and lesson content greatly differs from mine. I think there is more carving going on out on the slopes than Alain gives credit for, but I also believe the rocker trend is countering the carving "fad". No big deal.

post #12 of 42

It's not bait and semantics Rusty and I'm not saying turn shape to control speed is evil, but there is a huge difference between skidding above the fall after transition and skidding after the fall line before transition and I think we do too much of the latter.

post #13 of 42

Not you Nate - Alain! and any associated hubbub that tries to take the comments in post 2 - too literally. I don't disagree with you Nate. The reason I called the original post/comments bait was to avoid exactly this kind of disagreement where none really exists.

post #14 of 42

My Bad.

post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty ....Skidding is easier to do than carving, but not as efficient....

 

Not too many people make this point, and I think it's an important one.  Racing for speed is not the only reason to learn to carve.

 

When I'm tired, I carve my way back to the lodge.  When the snow is sloppy, I carve my way through it.  Skidded turns take too much physical effort, because they involve using friction. Making skidded turns can feel like fighting the snow if you're tired or the snow is iffy.  Knowing how to carve while controlling speed with turn shape is important at 4:00 in the afternoon and the legs are spent, or in the spring when the snow is dense and sloppy.  These are great reasons to teach or learn carving.

post #16 of 42

  Regardless... carving, to me, on a steep, hardpack slope is the ultimate test of skill and balance.... but skidding is also necessary, and fun too!!!  They both need to be taught--wouldn't it be great if each and every skier had both techniques in their personal skiing lexicon? It would raise the general public's skiing I.Q. :))

post #17 of 42

Can someone post a link to the actual discussion?  I get the PSIA web page, but can't seem to find the discussion/article.

post #18 of 42

Just a note on the technique thing.

 

 

At high speeds the tightest turn you can make is carved 
At slow speeds the tightest turn you can make is non-carved
 
This means that if you are going fast you can skid to dump speed, but not to tighten the turn without first dumping speed. If you are going slow you can skid to tighten the shape.
If you start to go too fast it can be near impossible to hold the carve.
You can actually tighten the turn by skidding even if you go fast, but it involves dumping the speed first. This is exacly what the stivot and even more so the super-stivot is all about.
 
"Skid with finesse to be fast"- RLM
post #19 of 42

If you could control speed in a carved turn with shape alone there would be no need to stivot.

Those WC GS courses are steep and nobody can carve through them without dumping speed somewhere.

I like the term drifting.

For me this is a carved turn with a slight slip angle to create friction and control speed.

It is a carved turn without enough edge angle to achieve lock.

A stivot turn is a turn with extreme drift that is turned into a carved turn by increasing edge angle and reducing slip angle.

I hate 'em...they look like a hockey stop followed by some wild carving....

It works and Ligety does it best.

Not so different from the old J turns in pre sidecut days.

Not surprising on 35m skis......back to the future.

post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post

 

I hate 'em...they look like a hockey stop followed by some wild carving....

 

That would be "super-stivot" I believe.

 

post #21 of 42

The really interesting part of that sequence is between frames 7 and 8 where the skis are redirected down the fall line so the slip angle is reduced enough to get edge lock.

How does he do that?

His upper body position doesn't change much...it is not a rotation move made with upper body momentum.

Looks like he engages the back of his skis in the hocky stop portion causing the tips to rotate downhill.

Then he moves forward to engage the whole ski when they are pointed in the right direction.

I'd appreciate some input on this move from the technically inclined...........................

post #22 of 42

comparing frames 7 to 8:

 

Upper arms don't change.

Toro doesn't change.

But hips get closer to the snow, so legs must flex.

Skis are redirected so that they are pointing more downhill, less across the fall line.

The feet must be redirected for the skis to be redirected.

Pulling his feet back slightly (between frame 7 and 8) and pointing them more downhill at the same time might accomplish that redirection.

Pulling the feet back slightly would also put his CoM in the best position to keep the skis from shooting out ahead in front of him as they lock into a carve and take off.

 

Just thinking.....

Hope to get some clarification from those who actually know.

post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post

The really interesting part of that sequence is between frames 7 and 8 where the skis are redirected down the fall line so the slip angle is reduced enough to get edge lock.

How does he do that?

His upper body position doesn't change much...it is not a rotation move made with upper body momentum.

Looks like he engages the back of his skis in the hocky stop portion causing the tips to rotate downhill.

Then he moves forward to engage the whole ski when they are pointed in the right direction.

I'd appreciate some input on this move from the technically inclined...........................

I'd say that is a pretty accurate description, combined with a bit of pullback from the hip. Considering it is 0.1 seconds between shots it's pretty amazing.

post #24 of 42
Thread Starter 

I see significant movement of his upper body forward.  If you look at the difference between frames 5 (where he looks like he's in the back seat a bit) and 10 where he is significantly bent over at the waist, I'd say that much of the engagement of the skis is due to this forward movement of the torso.

post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by WVSkier View Post

I see significant movement of his upper body forward.  If you look at the difference between frames 5 (where he looks like he's in the back seat a bit) and 10 where he is significantly bent over at the waist, I'd say that much of the engagement of the skis is due to this forward movement of the torso.

 

From 7 to 8 the big monster change is in the direction the skis are pointing.  

The torso does not change.  It doesn't lean more forward, or rotate; the arms look the same in both frames.

 

From 8 to 9, his skis stop sliding and start carving.  There are two big visible changes other than that between these two frames

One is counter.... 

His shoulders and hip are now pointing outside the turn more than before (notice his right elbow has moved out of sight because of this shift). 

The other is the forward curve of his spine....

His knee has come up, and the forward bend in his spine has increased, moving his head and shoulders forward of his belly button.

These cause the outside ski to tilt higher on edge and his hip to drop even closer to the snow. 

 

In the last frame he has squeezed his shoulders together and hunched forward with his spine even more to sneak by the gate.

post #26 of 42
Thread Starter 

Which is it?  Is it "The torso does not change.  It doesn't lean more forward, or rotate; the arms look the same in both frames."

 

or, is it:

 

"and the forward bend in his spine has increased, moving his head and shoulders forward of his belly button."

 

Your last point makes my point,  you say "In the last frame he has squeezed his shoulders together and hunched forward with his spine even more to sneak by the gate."  And, from frame 5 where he is almost standing up, to get to the position you reference, he has to be moving his torso forward relative to his hips.

post #27 of 42

In the sequence, look at frames 3,4, and 5.  In 3, his outside hand is high and and back. In 4, the outside hand is behind his body and the inside is at his hip, and at this pint, his lower legs are straight out  of the boots, putting his weight on tails.  In 5, he has to throw the skis sideways in order to break so he doesn't ski past the gate and the breaking allows him to get his body back over the skis and the hands back in front.

post #28 of 42

my .02 ....

 

Couple observations - this is not a "perfectly executed" gs turn.  Yes the athlete does get thrown back by the top gate that shoots him over a lip down a gnarly pitch into a tight left hander.  The racer makes a quick correction (skid) to get his fore and aft balance back before getting hard on his edges and "saving" the turn.  Sure he has lost a bit of time, but he stands up.

 

Did the racer do this consciously?  No.  He made a split second correction based on experience, trained balance, and muscle memory.  If he watched this sequence, I am pretty sure he and his coach would have commented on getting THROWN back.  Nice correction, but not ideal.  Could he have set up the first turn higher before diving into it?  A millisecond late on the top gate? 

Did the combination before this straighten out and pile on the speed before dropping him into the turn pictured?

 

I am curious as to whether or not this turn/pitch caught his competitors sleeping as well.  Note the officials / coaches in the top left.  Are they on the radio telling their athletes to set  up high for the right hander just before the pitch?

 

GS can be like that - a rythmical drag race that rewards perfection, or a survival test with twists and turns that reward athleticism.  Or a combo thereof?  :)  I know course setters who like to get your rythym going then throw something tricky atcha! The trick is to make it hard without everyone crashing in the same spot.

 

Finally, the sequence here lasts probaby 1 seconds. ?  The "skid" maybe .1 (that is generous.)  This all happens in a blink.  Nice athletic correction at 40 mph. 

 

In general, for GS, I like to tell the kids ABC.  Always Be Carvin.  Get off one edge and onto the other one.

 

Finally finally - carving is gas AND brake.  If you go to the left side of the trail, set a downhill (and ideally uphill too) edge and STAND on it (them) without letting up, you will eventually head back up the hill and stop.  It takes GUTS for beginners, but once they get it, pitch no longer scares them.  I like to say:  "To fast or too slow - Reverse your turn "  Step on the marhmallow until you stop - DONT CHICKEN OUT :) 

post #29 of 42

Pat...you been watchin World Cup GS for the last couple of years?

They all do stivot turns in the steeps.

This stuff works for world class athletes whe can squat the weight of a Volkswagen.

I know our local coaches are using stivot turns as a drill to control speed but I don't think they suggest that kids try this at home.

Ligety has this move down better than others and I think that is why he is #1.

The 35 m skis are going to be very interesting to watch.

They are faster......

post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by WVSkier View Post

Which is it?  Is it "The torso does not change.  It doesn't lean more forward, or rotate; the arms look the same in both frames."

 

or, is it:

 

"and the forward bend in his spine has increased, moving his head and shoulders forward of his belly button."

 

Your last point makes my point,  you say "In the last frame he has squeezed his shoulders together and hunched forward with his spine even more to sneak by the gate."  And, from frame 5 where he is almost standing up, to get to the position you reference, he has to be moving his torso forward relative to his hips.

From frame 7 to 8, the torso does not change.  From frame 8 to 9, the forward bend in his spine has increased.

 

These don't happen at the same time.  One happens before the other.  The sequence matters.  The skis engage before the spine bends forward.  That's all I'm saying.

The bending forward of the spine and movement of the hands forward targets extra pressure on the shovel of that outside ski, and it bends to tighten the radius as he passes by the gate.  The skis are already carving at that point.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › "To Carve or Not to Carve" article in PSIA 32 Degrees discussion.