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Parallel Turning Gone Wrong!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello

 

I just wondered if anyone could help me out with an issue I had recently this season. It was my first time back on the slopes for a while and a little out of practise. I wanted to get some turning practise in.

 

I went skiing with a friend and the nursery slope was really too flat for this and the blue runs were too narrow. So I went on a wide but probably a bit too steep red run with a friend who is a better skier than me. I was skiing fine a few times and then my friend was giving advice - not sure if it was correct.

 

Well something happened to me a few times during my turning and this has never happened before! I ended up turning round so much I started to go backwards. Also a couple of times I ended up in a backwards snow plough shape. I fell over a few times and just got on with it and had a few good runs. Could someone explain why this would happen so I can avoid it and also know whether perhaps my friends advice was partly at fault? I also intend to take some more lessons when I can.

 

Much appreciated!

post #2 of 12

Hi Mortimer12, Welcome to Epic.

 

There are a number of different possible reasons this happened to you but would lay odds i=you were rotating with your body.  This is just a best guess without seeing what you are physically doing.

 

Your body and weight will follow where your hands go.  If your outside hand is leading you through a turn you can easily find yourself facing uphill at the end of a turn  That sound familiar?  Lots of things happen that are not the best for the outcome you desire, you don't even want to hear about these right now.  If you were to keep your hands (and body) going where your skis are going, or even more down the hill towards the bottom of the hill you will feel a lot more in control.

 

Have fun, ski lots.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello 

 

Thanks so much for the reply. It seemed to happen after my friend kept saying to me I wasn't finishing my turns and digging in enough. I started turning longer across the slope and stopping at the end of each turn.

 

I prefer to go directly from one slightly smaller turn to another and eventually get into the swing of it.

 

He said I would build up speed too much.

 

I ended up backwards and my uphill ski went in the opposite direction so I had one ski across the slope and the other wedged the other way.

My friend told me you're not putting enough weight on your downhill ski! 

 

After this I put advice out of my head and got my act together for a while but I'm not quite sure what the difference was when I did it right! All I can think is that I wasn't turning for as long and perhaps transferring my weight back earlier.


Edited by mortimer12 - 1/19/13 at 1:49pm
post #4 of 12

Plain and simple, don't listen to your friend. He doesn't actually know what he's talking about. The reason you're finding yourself turned around is because you aren't releasing your edges. A shaped ski will continue to turn as long as the edges are engaged. When he says "put more weight on your downhill ski", he's actually making the situation worse. I don't even know what he's trying to say about 'digging in'.

 

The one part of the advice that is correct is about finishing your turn. You should be using turn shape as your primary method to control speed. That means that when you're maintaining a certain speed, your turn should finish with your skis pointed across the hill. An incomplete turn ends with the skis still pointed at least somewhat downhill. However, that just means continuing your turning motion until your skis are perpendicular to the fall line. Once you are at the fall line, you should be moving your body downhill, which will release the edges of the old turn, and start to bring your skis onto their new edges.

 

Stranger does make a very valid point that one of the reasons you may find yourself turned around could be because you are initiating your turns with your upper body. That can easily cause your edges to become locked up and spin you around. Turns should always work from the feet up. Your feet are the first part of your body to start a new turn, and the last part to finish the old turn. As you work your way up your body, each set of joints should turn slightly less than the set below it, until you reach your shoulders, which should be turning very little at all. So if your feet turn 180 degrees in a well rounded turns, your knees will turn maybe 140, your hips 100, your trunk maybe 50, and your shoulders maybe 20 degrees. (these are very rough estimates, just to illustrate the point.)

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for more great advice! I felt I had an idea about what I was supposed to do but just needed to practise. Just to make sure I am going to have another lesson then practise more after that. 

 

I did have an issue with turning my hips when I first started learning to turn but as I am really conscious of it I made a real effort to get out of this habit.

 

The slope was a little steeper than I would have liked to practise and a little icy which wasn't ideal. Although when I just tried to do what had worked for me before without listening it worked better for me. 

 

Although you are spot on and I see why now I have a bit of an issue with speed.

 

So you are saying that you continue the turn (but not enough to turn around:)) ) until you reach a comfortable speed before releasing the edges for your next turn?

 

At the bottom of the slopes it was a little uneven and some parts were narrow. What would the solution be here to slow down? Just snow plough until I can perfect tighter turns?

post #6 of 12

Your friend sounds like he knows how to ski pretty well, but since he's not an instructor he doesn't know how to teach skiing.  Skiing and teaching skiing are different skills.  Telling you to do this and do that on a slope that's a little icy and a little steep and which you feel is not ideal is a bad idea.  You will find that working with an instructor who can dose out information in the best order for you on the best learning terrain will help amazingly.

 

First, you need to know how to maintain a slow pace without using the wedge/snow plow.  

You also need to know how to stop or slow down using turn shape.

Then, you need to know how to do a long series of linked short turns that don't speed up on you so you can get down those narrow trails.

You need to know how to vary your turn shape and radius so you can speed up or slow down at will.

You need to know how to make an emergency stop in case someone falls in front of you and you have to stop or veer off in another direction.

 

Take a lesson!  A group lesson on a weekday will often end up being a one or two person lesson.  That should help you avoid swirling around all the way when you try to turn more forcefully, and it will also help you negotiate those narrow trails.  Best of luck, and enjoy this wonderful sport. 

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello Thank you that's absolutely right! I really wanted to practise on a flatter run but I felt under pressure to keep up with the person I was skiing with. I thought he had been an instructor but later found out that wasn't the case.

 

I am going to take some lessons so I'm doing the right things and then can practise what I have learnt.

post #8 of 12

One thing I don't see mentioned is the possibility of too much pressure on the tips of the skis.  Since I wasn't there, I don't know if this is valid or not, but too much pressure on the tips can cause the tails to wash out and rotate downhill.  It's ironic because a similar thing can happen when the weight is too far back, too.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
So you are saying that you continue the turn (but not enough to turn around:)) ) until you reach a comfortable speed before releasing the edges for your next turn?

 

Pretty much, yes.  If you're facing uphill and stop you went too far.  smile.gif

 

Now, if you find that it's HARD to stop turning and release your edges, you may be doing something like leaning back too much or over-rotating your upper body.  Or maybe your canting/alignment is messed up.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

I see that all makes sense and is very helpful! I went skiing today at the local dry ski slope. There has been a lot of snow and ice lately.

 

The slope was like skiing on an ice rink so it threw me off quite a bit. I think my problems start when I am afraid of building up speed especially into the turn. 

 

When I have the confidence to just turn and let it happen things seem a lot better. 

 

I'm going to continue to practise so I gradually get back to where I was last season at least and hopefully progress from there.

post #11 of 12

If you are afraid you could be turning away from that which you fear causing your body to turn up hill away from that which you fear. The easiest way to fix that is try to find a slope that you feel comfortable with or better yet confident on. I find I ski my best when I ski with confidence & not frozen in fear or unable to face that which I fear. Over the years I have gone from feeling confident on green runs to black.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mortimer12 View Post

Hello

 

I just wondered if anyone could help me out with an issue I had recently this season. It was my first time back on the slopes for a while and a little out of practise. I wanted to get some turning practise in.

 

I went skiing with a friend and the nursery slope was really too flat for this and the blue runs were too narrow. So I went on a wide but probably a bit too steep red run with a friend who is a better skier than me. I was skiing fine a few times and then my friend was giving advice - not sure if it was correct.

 

Well something happened to me a few times during my turning and this has never happened before! I ended up turning round so much I started to go backwards. Also a couple of times I ended up in a backwards snow plough shape. I fell over a few times and just got on with it and had a few good runs. Could someone explain why this would happen so I can avoid it and also know whether perhaps my friends advice was partly at fault? I also intend to take some more lessons when I can.

 

Much appreciated!

You are turning with your bum as a swing wt., which get your skis slide out at the end of the turn.  Get your wt forward and turn with your ski and not pulling your ski around by swinging your body.

 

A good exercise is to place your hands forward over your tips and angle your hands to the same way your edge your skis.  If you start to slide push your hands forward over your tips!, which sets the wt forward and actual pulls the bum back to the right position.

 

Hopefully this makes sense.

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