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Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing, Abridged—An EpicSki Multimedia Glossary

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello all—this thread serves both to announce, and to provide a primary area for discussion of, the multimedia EpicSki Glossary of skiing terms and concepts "article" that I am in the process of developing, with your help. Originally written nearly fifteen years ago, it is loosely based on my book, The Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing, Third
and includes images, animations, and links to video clips on my TCEOS Channel at Vimeo.com. Far from complete, it has just started, and it will remain a work-in-progress for a long time to come.

While I have tried to provide concise definitions of many terms and brief explanations of many skiing and teaching concepts, as with the original Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing, I would much prefer that this "article" stimulate further discussion, rather than end it. I do not claim that my explanations are the definitive last word, by any means. Indeed, I know that there are valid alternative perspectives and that there will be disagreement, as well as a need for further discussion.

So here is the "official" thread for discussion of the Glossary project. Please feel free to ask questions here, to suggest terms to add to the Glossary, to ask for clarification, or to argue your alternative viewpoint. Many concepts will justify deeper exploration in new threads as well, but please begin the discussion here.

I look forward to the discussion!

Best regards,

Here's the link again:

The Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing, Abridged—Multimedia Glossary Project
post #2 of 13

I hope you are planning to add Foot Squirt™. Also, what happened to "The White Room"!?!? biggrin.gif

post #3 of 13
Lane changes....
post #4 of 13

   Bob...I think adding definitions of acronyms would be useful also. E.g. BoS, Com, IlS, etc...



post #5 of 13
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

   Bob...I think adding definitions of acronyms would be useful also. E.g. BoS, Com, IlS, etc...




post #6 of 13

Great job, as usual! The video on absorption mentioned being neutral in the (boot) cuffs and had me thinking about cuff pressure. Specifically, I am wondering how to reconcile your comment against Mike Rogan's comment in the latest Sean Warman DVD where he talks about keeping pressure on the cuffs. I do understand the concept that cuff pressure is really a dynamic thing, but as a person struggling with the subtleties of ski technique, I feel that I have the need to have these terms defined further. For example, when I hear "keep pressure on the cuff", I tend to think about crushing the cuff; when I hear "neutral in the cuff", I tend to think about being a little vague... As a student who tends to exaggerate the instruction that I am given, I struggle for the proper balance, so to speak.

Perhaps this is beyond the scope of an encyclopedia, but I would be interested in the physical cues one feels with the proper applications of different cuff pressure.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies and suggestions, everyone.

BBinder--regarding fore-aft balance, neutral, and pressure on boot cuffs--good question (did CGeib put you up to this?)--and yes, probably beyond the scope of a "glossary," at least, although perhaps not for the full Encyclopedia (next edition).

But I'll say this--I believe that Mike Rogan does tend to prefer more pressure on his boot tongues than I tend to prefer. He also tends to keep his feet and skis closer underneath his body than I tend to--I enjoy letting my skis run out away from my body to produce high edge angles in the top part of the turn, when I can--and he may well have a different "purpose" and outcome in mind for these preferences. I think he often tends to prefer that his skis and technique produce a bit more "speed control" (braking effect), especially in the upper part of the turn, than I do. There are many sensations and outcomes that result from strong forward pressure that I, personally, do not tend to prefer (moves the pivot point forward, causes tips to bite but tails to skid, slows your skis down, etc.)--but your mileage may vary!

But it's largely personal preference. Certainly, both Mike and I make these choices deliberately (not necessarily consciously), rather than from lack of choice, in order to achieve the ski performance we seek at the moment. Certainly, there are also times when I pressure my boot tongues strongly (and purposefully), and times when Mike stands more neutral in his--again, deliberately.

As always, the key is not to learn "what is right" (dogma), but to master cause and effect, both unconsciously, as an athlete, and consciously, as an instructor or someone who seeks to understand or explain.

Today's skis are very sensitive to fore-aft pressure changes, and every change has an effect. The only problem is when the effect you seek does not match the movement you believe you need to make to cause it.

So what does this mean for you? It means...go skiing! Go out and explore the effects of various fore-aft pressure locations and fore-aft movements, in various parts of turns, in diverse turn types (the carving-turning-slipping-braking spectrum), in different conditions, speeds, turn sizes, slope pitches, and so on. Have someone shoot some video, so you can see as well as feel the effects. One of the main reasons I advocate a neutral cuff stance is that it keeps all your options open. From "neutral," it is easy to pressure forward or back as needed or desired. Explorations of topics like this are great foundations for advanced lessons.

Ultimately, train your body, not your conscious mind, to make the instantaneous movement decisions that will allow you to match technique with intent--power with purpose, cause with effect.

Have fun with it--and continue to question everything! Happy New Year!

Best regards,
post #8 of 13
I want to thank Bob for doing this. It's my favorite skiing book.
post #9 of 13

I agree GrizVet, it is one of my favorites as well with Ron LeMasters being the other.


Bob, is this the inception of an online fourth edition?  Or is it a briefer version? 

I already miss the illuminating additional, more in depth, discussions of the Third Edition.

Pulling together the many online animations you have created to explain various concepts would by itself be very powerful.  For example, how does independent leg steering really work!


I agree with Zenture, include the acronyms but perhaps more importantly, the terms they represent. 

Base of Support

Balance Axis

Center of Mass - a quick definition but what does it really mean for me and my body and skiing movements.  The absorbsion animation does a pretty good job of showing this BTW.

Rotary mechanisms is ripe for further explanantions (like in the Encyclopedia) but more animations as well.  Perhaps some real skier videos as well.  Maybe even Bob on the bar stools?


Perhaps that is the difference between a dictionary of terms and an Encyclopedia of Skiing?


Needless to say but - thank you Bob, it will be an exciting effort!  beercheer.gif

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the suggestions, guys--keep 'em coming. No, I do not intend for this project to replace the Encyclopedia, and I continue to work on a new version of that, with much more detail and discussion of many of the concepts. For this glossary, my thought is that it will be a simpler, more concise, dictionary-like format, although I do want to develop more video and animation clips to help clarify more of the concepts.

The glossary that this project began with was something I originally developed after the Third Edition of The Encyclopedia came out. I intended it as part of a small, pocket-sized handbook, mostly meant for instructors as a quick reference. As such, the glossary left out a great many common ski terms that I figured they probably already knew well. Also, other sections of the handbook included lists of exercises and drills and basic progressions for various common conditions and teaching scenarios--so none of these things appeared in the original glossary, and most do not appear yet in this project. I'm workin' on it.

I'm not a big fan of acronyms, and would prefer that whenever anyone uses one, they first define it. But I know that that is not always the case, so I guess a list of common acronyms that come up regularly here at EpicSki would be helpful. Of course, JC-Ski has already created an EpicSki Article that defines many of them. Perhaps I'll just plagiarize a few terms from that list....

Lots of great ideas. Thanks again!

Best regards,
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Several new terms added or updated with video and illustrations today, including Avalement, Kick Turn, Powder, Spiess, and Zipper Line.... Check 'em out!

Best regards,
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Although this thread has not been active for over a year, there have been numerous additions and edits to the Encyclopedia Glossary in the Articles section of EpicSki. Please check them out!


Best regards,

post #13 of 13

@Trekchick can probably put this on a featured article to get some traffic.

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