Originally Posted by oisin
Racers get good grip on the stuff because their skis are tipped enough to get good edge and their bodies are aligned so as to be able to maintain edgehold.
I think the key to skiing and carving on ice is the same whether you're on "straight" skis or shapes. You have to develop sufficient inclination (the angle your legs make to the snow) to get good edge grip and your center of mass has to be aligned with the forces this creates in order to hold that edge. The more the force created through higher speeds and the shape of the turn, the more the need for inclination and the more your body's mass has to be to the inside of the ski.
Points taken about balancing the forces being key. The nut I'm trying to crack is making slow, smooth, short radius carved turns on a steeper, icy slope. Although there would be some dynamic adjustments during the course of the turn in essence I would think ideally you'd want a pretty similar stance to what you'd have if just standing balanced across the icy slope - legs inclined into the hill to give some edge grip and a platform to stand on, and upper body balanced out over that platform, out from the hill. Just as you say above, Oisin.
The "tricks" seem to me as someone who's getting closer but isn't there yet are a) committing to the required stance, i.e., getting upper body out/away from the hill, and b) perhaps most importantly developing the feel to find that edge and balance and keep it locked in throughout the turn. Like a lot of things it can be described in simple terms, but to actually make it happen, well, that's where time and effort come in. ;-)
This is the accompanying illustration for a piece on skiing ice in the book I mentioned a little earlier in this thread...
Stance width ( and sartorial choices ;-) aside it's remarkable how similar it is to the imagery LeMaster uses in "Ultimate Skiing" to illustrate the same concepts.