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carving on steeper runs / short radius turns

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Is it possible to carve on steeper black runs and control speed? I've done some of the FIS slopes that the downhill skiers use and you see them carving massive downhill turns. Of course, they are experts but when I try carving on red and black runs I start to go too fast. A blue run is about all I can get a true carved turn on with 2 track marks behind me but I take up most of the slope from left to right.

I sometimes see people doing what look like really short radius turns but am not sure how that would be possible as a true carve even on the thinner skis is about 15-20m radius isn't it?

post #2 of 25

a carved turn, by it's nature, will accelerate you thru the turn. tighter radius means slower speeds

you can modify the carved turn to also include some slip, which scrubs some speed

or, I usually prefer, given the terrain

complete/extend the carve/turn further across or even so slightly back up the fallline before starting the next turn.

this is speed control.

how much of this you use depends on the speed you want to maintain, the pitch/slope, how well the ski can be bent into the proper arc, how quick you are to react and find the proper pressure and balance.

 

My first run of every ski day always revolves completely around awakening my motor memory and getting the feel of balance, the ski, the boots, the conditions. Besides the feel for balance, edging, body/parts position and separation, I have a routine for working thru varying carve radii from medium to very tight, almost dead slow speeds and also controlled slipping thru turns. If I'm not happy with the outcome, I do it again on the next run. Rarely have to go 3 runs before I feel ready to tackle the areas I really want to ski...

I don;t get to work without first checkin that I have all the tools along...

post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by moreoutdoor View Post

...... or even so slightly back up the fallline before starting the next turn.

 

This is just so DANG much fun.

 

But it startles other skiers.

 

Keep your peepers peeled!

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Here's a good vid I found: http://www.mynetimages.com/e74b1a89_md.gif http://www.epicski.com/a/short-radius-turns-by-bob-barnes It seems like an initial skid turn followed by carving the skis but a really tight carve...
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonFreeman View Post

Here's a good vid I found: http://www.mynetimages.com/e74b1a89_md.gif http://www.epicski.com/a/short-radius-turns-by-bob-barnes It seems like an initial skid turn followed by carving the skis but a really tight carve...

yeah great, Bob has it down. He doesn't mention how important his excellent separation is to doing this well, but it is.  Great explanation and the harder/firmer the surface the greater the value of this!

worth bookmarking

post #6 of 25

The short answer is no. It of course depends on what you mean by steep and what you mean by fast, but at some point carving on a steep slope will be too fast for most people and they'll have to scrub speed, preferably by pivoting the the first part of the turn to minimize the time spent in the fall line (the ultimate example being the jump or pedal turn) rather than by skidding at the end. Depends too on how much room you have--you may be able to carve around far enough to slow down in a wide open bowl while you would have to use check turns (that's what they were called when I learned them, don't know what the current term is) in a narrow chute of the same pitch.

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonFreeman View Post

Here's a good vid I found: http://www.mynetimages.com/e74b1a89_md.gif http://www.epicski.com/a/short-radius-turns-by-bob-barnes It seems like an initial skid turn followed by carving the skis but a really tight carve...

To me it looks like the opposite. he starts out carving and then skids a bit to pop himself into the next turn. at the furthest lateral portion of the turn he has great angulation with skis up on edge. i always thought this was the best way to ski steeps if you have enough room. tipem up on edge and as they begin to come around incorporate a skid to scrub speed. Headed to Alta this eve so Ill be practicine this technique alot. thoughts?

post #8 of 25

Well much depends on what is considered steep and the nature of the terrain.  My ski area has considerable steep winch cat groomed slopes and I regularly practice making short swing turns even tighter than in the above Burns link though if on loose packed powder ungroomed snow will ski more like in the video.     To make really short turns keeping edges on the snow that is not short swing jump turning, I cheat the shovel beginning of the turn radius by aggressively moving sooner into the under the boot turn phase which will be more across the fall line while not having my head move much out of the fall line.  Difficult to describe and something mogul skiers need to have in their bag of tricks to crank quick turns at will.   Someday will post a video on this board.  

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by agreen View Post

To me it looks like the opposite. he starts out carving and then skids a bit to pop himself into the next turn. at the furthest lateral portion of the turn he has great angulation with skis up on edge. i always thought this was the best way to ski steeps if you have enough room. tipem up on edge and as they begin to come around incorporate a skid to scrub speed. Headed to Alta this eve so Ill be practicine this technique alot. thoughts?

I guess I'll have to try both.
He says this in his post
Quote:
Most importantly, it is virtually impossible to carve the top half of a turn on very steep terrain, unless you're carrying an enormous amount of speed (the avoidance of which is the point here!).
[\quote]
So, sounds like you have to skid and rhen engage the edge - that's why all the powder sprays on the turn initiation, no?
post #10 of 25

Ill try it too. ive always heard you can turn a carved turn into a skid but cant turn a skidded turn into a carve. how would you generate edge angle once your skis are flat on the snow turned sideways and you are over your skis? not arguing here, just askin :)

post #11 of 25
You heard wrong! You can do both.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=Wop_Zc0x1Sc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DWop_Zc0x1Sc

Skis do not need to be flat on the snow to slip. Critical edge angle needs to be 90deg or less for the ski to hold, greater and you slip - as shown in the video. Try side slipping, you can side slip all day and never have your skis flat on the snow:)

Have fun!
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post

You heard wrong! You can do both.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=Wop_Zc0x1Sc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DWop_Zc0x1Sc

Skis do not need to be flat on the snow to slip. Critical edge angle needs to be 90deg or less for the ski to hold, greater and you slip - as shown in the video. Try side slipping, you can side slip all day and never have your skis flat on the snow:)

Have fun!

great to know. thanks. i couldnt open the video though.

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post

You heard wrong! You can do both.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=Wop_Zc0x1Sc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DWop_Zc0x1Sc

Skis do not need to be flat on the snow to slip. Critical edge angle needs to be 90deg or less for the ski to hold, greater and you slip - as shown in the video. Try side slipping, you can side slip all day and never have your skis flat on the snow:)

Have fun!

isn't there an exercise instructors do where you slip down the fall line then angle your ankles to engage the edge and stop? Isn't that similar?
post #14 of 25

It's certainly possible to turn a skidded turn into a carved turn, but it takes balance, strength, and a lot of skill.  I think the ultimate example of transforming a skidded turn into a carved turn is the technique known on the World Cup as the "stivot" turn, or steered pivot turn.

 

Racers (some of them, anyway) do it when the upcoming gate requires too tight a radius at too much speed for them to complete a "pure" carved turn.

 

Ted Ligety does it better than anybody right now.  Here's a great video that shows the difference between carved turns and stivot turns.  The stivots start at around 1:55.

 

 

One caveat...

 

Don't try this at World Cup speeds on an iced surface unless you're as strong and as capable as Ligety.  You could break your femurs!

post #15 of 25

There's much in that that is perfect for just skiing terrain.

 

You'll laugh, but checkin' out that "reverse shoulder" upper body to initiate.

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonFreeman View Post

 

I sometimes see people doing what look like really short radius turns but am not sure how that would be possible as a true carve even on the thinner skis is about 15-20m radius isn't it?

 

The "radius" of the ski is only a measure of the sidecut.  When the ski is bent during a turn, the actual turn radius can be much tighter.  Even in the old straight ski days, a good skier could carve shorter radius turns.  It "just" took speed and skill. 

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

There's much in that that is perfect for just skiing terrain.

 

You'll laugh, but checkin' out that "reverse shoulder" upper body to initiate.

Yes.  For example, that "stivoting to a carve" is very useful (after sufficient braking) for making that sharp turn at the end of the lift coral and keeping just enough momentum to make it to the chair at the other end of the lift corral when there is no line up.

post #18 of 25

Carving is more for speed than speed control.  If the slope is wide enough and you can point the skis back uphill at the end of the turn, it's possible and I'll do this just to see if I can sometimes.  But, it's not really dynamic carving and you lose much of the thrill.

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

There's much in that that is perfect for just skiing terrain.

 

You'll laugh, but checkin' out that "reverse shoulder" upper body to initiate.

It's early counter to support edging at acquisition of new edges. Drive the inside hip forward and into the turn to not have earlier counter linger to affect rotational influences.

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post

It's early counter to support edging at acquisition of new edges. Drive the inside hip forward and into the turn to not have earlier counter linger to affect rotational influences.


It's reverse shoulder, circa 1962, you guys in PSIA just re-named it.   wink.gif

 

I'll get my skis into that kind of drift while lining up the next turn and punch the edges when I'm there. so fun in mixed terrain. it's a really powerful upper body position. 

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post


It's reverse shoulder, circa 1962, you guys in PSIA just re-named it.   wink.gif

 

I'll get my skis into that kind of drift while lining up the next turn and punch the edges when I'm there. so fun in mixed terrain. it's a really powerful upper body position. 

In the 60's we wound the spring and unleashed the rotary . Full on counter -rotation  Counter of the kind I mentioned does the opposite. The appearance looks a bit counter-rotational but used properly sticks the outside foot nicely onto the surface.

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post

In the 60's we wound the spring and unleashed the rotary . Full on counter -rotation  Counter of the kind I mentioned does the opposite. The appearance looks a bit counter-rotational but used properly sticks the outside foot nicely onto the surface.


Lost me, but I probably shouldn't get too analytical anyhow. I ski by instinct by now.

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post

In the 60's we wound the spring and unleashed the rotary . Full on counter -rotation  Counter of the kind I mentioned does the opposite. The appearance looks a bit counter-rotational but used properly sticks the outside foot nicely onto the surface.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post


Lost me, but I probably shouldn't get too analytical anyhow. I ski by instinct by now.

 

think he's talkin about the early 60's 'counter rotation initiating hip muscle rotation into the next turn... actually if anyone ever skied that old crappage the counter-rotation was a result of the needed heel-push technique to make sharp, tight radius turns on those 215s... With old lace or even the early gen leather buckle or plastic/leather lam boots there was no way to get enough forward pressure on the long ski front to get a tight radius turn, so you did a heel push to help it all along... equal and opposite became the resulting counter of the shoulders...

Sure, on long radius turns you could lean forward a bit and drop the knees to get some natural arc into the ski, but to do short, tight turns you always needed some heelpush.

Then after up-unweighting the bene/result of the counter was the resulting rotation help by the hips unwinding. Wasn't until we got a solid higher cuff boot that one could apply some real forward/tip/forebody pressure to that long ski. When I was first shown how to pressure the front of the ski I still was using a pr of Plastic Lam Nordica Astrals - good boots but already old school in '66; and all I succeeded in doing was tear off the top straps from both boots in about 2 days of 'trying', with no real success.

Moving next to a pr of Lange Black Liners proved to be the difference needed in changing that counter to a more 'modern' squared stance...

 

The old short swing wedeln was, and is, just that intermediary between the heelpush counter and a real, honest banked edge carved turn. From what I can see, there's still a lot of heelpush in a large precent of today's skiers

post #24 of 25

You can make normal carve turns even on steep hills. You can't really compare that video of Ligety from Alta Badia with "normal" skiing. I have been carving down Gran Risa (course when Ligety is skiing on above video) without any skidding (still with >27m skis not current >35m), but it's one thing to go down without gates and you turn wherever you want, and completely different thing, going between gates.

Main point is in controling speed and you can control speed even without skidding, you just need to go wider and don't go straight down the fall line. Carving doesn't really accelerate, but it gives you feeling like you would accelerate, since there's more forces working on your body then when going straight. In real life (practice and theory) skis are fastest when set flat on base and let run down the fall line straight. As soon as you put them on edge, you decelerate... even if you do perfect carve turn. So if you turn (even with perfect carve turn) you are losing speed. Now it just depends how much you lose it, pointing skis down the fall line and skiing some 5 m wide "trail" down the fall line with GS skis means you don't decelerate much, widening this "trail" (sorry no idea what's right word for this in English) to 15 or 20m means you are slowing down a lot.

So basically all you need to learn is to ski less straight fall line, and you can then easily carve also steep courses.

post #25 of 25

Thanks guys. That is some great historical methodology analysis. Love that stuff. I recall lessons in Austria in 1961 - 64. There were quite a few steps to each stem christie for example; had you talking to yourself. haha

 

For me, steep carving is about another old concept: the coma position. (what do you call it today?) I have to seriously arc my laterals (feel a pinch between floating ribs and pelvic crown) and angulate the upper body square to the fall line. This is an awesome strong position but after some hours it is extremely tiring and becomes temping to just lean into the turns. Which doesn't work of course. My problem, as always these days, is that I have surgery in the summer and get way out of condition, especially in the abdomen. It sure shows me where the muscles that make the turn are, ouch.

 

Yeah, most skiers that learned in the 60's or 70's or 50'seek.gif ski with heel push.

Get out the Red Sleds and I need to pull out the old toolbox: step turns, heel thrust, check turns, platform jump turns, airplane turns, reverse shoulder, coma. ha.

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