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How To Get the Most Out of a Lesson

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I took a lesson last week at Windham and when asked what level I was at, I said "intermediate."  Mostlty because I was recently humbled by skiing at Killington during and after a big snowstorm.  The instructor (who was a great guy btw) asked me what I had in mind and I told him that I was recently at Windham and Killington after big storms and had some trouble skiing in powdery uneven terrain.  I also have been trying to become a confident mogul skier.  I can ski blue mogul runs pretty well when the moguls aren't too big but still really struggle on big, tightly spaced moguls.  I also tried some tree skiing and struggled a lot with that too.  I mentioned to him that I wanted to get better at moguls, tree skiing, learning how to scrub speed in tight areas and generally be more nimble in tight spaces.  I think I carve pretty well on groomed runs and can ski pretty well on ungroomed as long as it's not too bad.

 

He said that we can work on that stuff and that there wasn't many bumps that day but we could see what we could find.  We wound up working on the exercice where you lift your inside leg as you go throgh the turn which I'm sure is beneficial and will help.  We did it on a blue run a few times and then we went to a double black (it's not that difficult for a double black) and made some turns on there.  He told me I made some great wide radius and short radius turns and told me that I could scrub speed by turning into the hill at the end of each turn (I already knew this and have used the tactic a lot). 

 

The instructor was great and I'm sure this drill will polish my turns on both even and uneven terrain but I can't help but think that I didn't come away with some of the techniques I was hoping to learn.  After the lesson, I even skied a few runs with him, his wife (who also instructs), and the bootfitter and went on a trail (Upper Wheelchair) that had moguls on one side of the trail.  I would have really liked to play in there with the instructor.  I just read the following thread and post #2 really caught my attention:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/119074/how-to-get-into-tree-skiing

 

I would like to take another lesson before the season is over.  Unfortunately, it will be at Mountains that don't have tree skiing (Hunter and/or Windham) but I would like to learn techniques that would help me make tight turns with the lower body while keeping the upper body still.  I can do these on grromed runs, even on some blacks that aren't overly difficult.  I just can't seem to do it when I'm actually IN a tight space.  Also want to learn how to scrub speed in narrow places.

 

I'm not sure I'm an intermediate as I may be a bit more advanced but I also don't want to overrate myself.  Also, what are some of the technical terms for the techniques that I described I want to learn?  I can so side slips but can"t hold a narrow corridor for too long.  Essentially what I'm asking is what should I tell the instructor when I step up to the lesson desk?

 

I skied Whiteface this weekend and it was spring-like conditions and actuallly skied the uneven slushy snow pretty well, though I still struggled in more difficult moguls. 

post #2 of 20

Someone once said that one should expect to take the same number of lessons at a level as the number of the level (e.g. one first time lesson, 2 level two lessons ... 9 level 9 lessons). It's a horrible "rule", but it is great for setting expectations. The more advanced we get, the harder it is to make improvements. In your case, before we get to mogul and tree skiing, we need to get short radius turns nailed. And it sounds like before we get short radius turns nailed, we need to work on some mechanics in the larger radius turns. Otherwise we will "cheat" when trying to make quick short radius turns by pushing our heels out. We can get away with that on groomed runs, but moguls and trees tend to punish cheaters.

 

Lifting the inside ski does two things for us: helps us to balance against the outside ski and helps us to let our upper bodies flow to the inside of the new turn (as opposed to kicking our heels out to get the feet out from under the body). These are two things we need to do well in order to make efficient short radius turns. If you feel comfortable with this exercise and you have started to engage the downhill edge of the new inside ski at the top part of round parallel turns, it's time to test yourself by making short radius turns on groomed trails. What is narrowest corridor you can make turns in? Try a funnel drill where you start making medium radius turns and gradually making smaller and smaller turns until they get sloppy. How slow can you go in a narrow corridor at a steady speed? How fast can you go in a corridor while still making round turns? Can you speed up or slow down while staying within a corridor? How many turns can you get in a specific distance? The results of these tests will tell you whether you are ready for trees and bumps or whether your next lesson should be about short radius turns.

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

Someone once said that one should expect to take the same number of lessons at a level as the number of the level (e.g. one first time lesson, 2 level two lessons ... 9 level 9 lessons). It's a horrible "rule", but it is great for setting expectations. The more advanced we get, the harder it is to make improvements. In your case, before we get to mogul and tree skiing, we need to get short radius turns nailed. And it sounds like before we get short radius turns nailed, we need to work on some mechanics in the larger radius turns. Otherwise we will "cheat" when trying to make quick short radius turns by pushing our heels out. We can get away with that on groomed runs, but moguls and trees tend to punish cheaters.

 

Lifting the inside ski does two things for us: helps us to balance against the outside ski and helps us to let our upper bodies flow to the inside of the new turn (as opposed to kicking our heels out to get the feet out from under the body). These are two things we need to do well in order to make efficient short radius turns. If you feel comfortable with this exercise and you have started to engage the downhill edge of the new inside ski at the top part of round parallel turns, it's time to test yourself by making short radius turns on groomed trails. What is narrowest corridor you can make turns in? Try a funnel drill where you start making medium radius turns and gradually making smaller and smaller turns until they get sloppy. How slow can you go in a narrow corridor at a steady speed? How fast can you go in a corridor while still making round turns? Can you speed up or slow down while staying within a corridor? How many turns can you get in a specific distance? The results of these tests will tell you whether you are ready for trees and bumps or whether your next lesson should be about short radius turns.

Thanks TheRusty!  I knew that drill would be good for anyone looking to improve.  I don't think I kick my heels out to make short range turns but when I do connect a lot of short range turns together I do tire pretty quickly.  I have to think that's because I'm doing something inefficiently. 

 

To answer your question, I can usually link a lot of short range turns together on a blue and even some of the easier black trails I've been on.  However, sometimes I feel as though despite making a bunch of turns, I'm not really scrubbing any speed.

 

I have a short vid of me skiing at Whiteface this past wknd that I will try and put up.  It was taken from an iPhone but I'm having trouble attaching it.

post #4 of 20

When I'm in "evil" teaching mode, one of my drills is a follow me drill where I do short radius turns and gradually slow down until the follower has to either bail or run me over. An observer should be able to readily see the differences that cause the follower to fail this task. The follower should readily realize that there is something "doable" that they are not doing. Unfortunately, realizing what the movements are is a lot easier than actually doing them. That takes work.

 

MA without video is like trying to spit up and forward while riding in a chairlift.

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

I just took a half-day lesson with a Level 3 PSIA instructor and it was the best money I spent this season.  Kind of regret blowing money on a couple of trips and wish I took the lesson earlier.

 

We did the funnel drill, we worked on short radius turns which I can do fairly well but still can't really link that many together to scrub speed on a black run.  He gave me a bunch of drills and tactics for moguls.  I still can't really ski them expertly but I'm certainly not as afraid of them anymore.

 

We did falling leaves, he showed me the importance of keeping my feet back, especially in bumps.  The real eye opener was carving.  I thought I was at least a decent carver on groomers.  Turns out I was smearing everything.  I had a misconception of what it meant to set an edge which is weird cause I've played ice hockey my whole life.  I just discovered the joy of rolling the ankles and allowing the sidecut of the ski to work while you just go along for the ride.  I can't wait to make a lot more turns like that.  It's a shame the season is coming to an end plus I'm limping to the finish line with a lot of knee and leg pain.  The mountains are not close to me and even one day of skiing can take a lot out of me (only thing that allows me to do it is that I keep myself in shape).

 

Finally, I see the importance of lifting the inside leg drill.  When I finally started carving, I noticed there is sometimes a tendency for the outside leg to want to vector off in another direction during transition.  Turning just on the outside leg ingrains the feeling of having the outside leg come around at the end of the turn.

post #6 of 20

Hespeler, sounds like you are enjoying the learning experience!

However, I would be very cautious about the use of lifting the inside ski.  It is a bad habit to get into that is very difficult to eliminate later on.  It is also not what you want to be doing in the places you have said you would like to ski better in.  Bumps and trees, because of the softer and/or more inconsistent snow, favor a more two footed approach and tend to punish any active weight shift between skis technique.  Ditto crud and powder.  Think of weight shift between the skis as something that happens as a result of the turn forces versus an active weight shift in order to make the turn happen.  Better yet, don't even think about weight shift and certainly not an active one!  Better to think about an active inside leg and turning the feet/legs more than the hips.

 

Cheers and good skiing!

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hespeler View Post

I just took a half-day lesson with a Level 3 PSIA instructor and it was the best money I spent this season.  Kind of regret blowing money on a couple of trips and wish I took the lesson earlier.

 

We did the funnel drill, we worked on short radius turns which I can do fairly well but still can't really link that many together to scrub speed on a black run.  He gave me a bunch of drills and tactics for moguls.  I still can't really ski them expertly but I'm certainly not as afraid of them anymore.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

When I'm in "evil" teaching mode, one of my drills is a follow me drill where I do short radius turns and gradually slow down until the follower has to either bail or run me over.

 

hespeler maybe it's just semantics or an awkward choice of words but to me there is a big difference between scrubbing speed, in the bottom of the turn and controlling speed thoughout the turn. Might help to change your focus from scrubbing to controlling speed? It does sound to me like you are on the right track and having fun on the slopes.

 

Don't forget to smile.

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post

 

 

 

hespeler maybe it's just semantics or an awkward choice of words but to me there is a big difference between scrubbing speed, in the bottom of the turn and controlling speed thoughout the turn. Might help to change your focus from scrubbing to controlling speed? It does sound to me like you are on the right track and having fun on the slopes.

 

Don't forget to smile.

jimmy, it could be because I've never thought about controlling speed throughout the turn.  In my limited experience, I thought that speed control was obtained by smearing the end of the turn.  I didn't realize there are things that can be done throughout the turn to control speed.  Can you be specific as to what some of those things are?

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowhawk View Post

Hespeler, sounds like you are enjoying the learning experience!

However, I would be very cautious about the use of lifting the inside ski.  It is a bad habit to get into that is very difficult to eliminate later on.  It is also not what you want to be doing in the places you have said you would like to ski better in.  Bumps and trees, because of the softer and/or more inconsistent snow, favor a more two footed approach and tend to punish any active weight shift between skis technique.  Ditto crud and powder.  Think of weight shift between the skis as something that happens as a result of the turn forces versus an active weight shift in order to make the turn happen.  Better yet, don't even think about weight shift and certainly not an active one!  Better to think about an active inside leg and turning the feet/legs more than the hips.

 

Cheers and good skiing!

Snohawk, point well taken.  I had a previous instructor do the lift the inside leg drill (I think it's called a javelin turn) to get my upper body in better position.  When I'm actually skiing and not doing the drill, I try very hard to use a two footed approach.

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

 

Lifting the inside ski does two things for us: helps us to balance against the outside ski and helps us to let our upper bodies flow to the inside of the new turn (as opposed to kicking our heels out to get the feet out from under the body). These are two things we need to do well in order to make efficient short radius turns. If you feel comfortable with this exercise and you have started to engage the downhill edge of the new inside ski at the top part of round parallel turns, it's time to test yourself by making short radius turns on groomed trails. What is narrowest corridor you can make turns in? Try a funnel drill where you start making medium radius turns and gradually making smaller and smaller turns until they get sloppy. How slow can you go in a narrow corridor at a steady speed? How fast can you go in a corridor while still making round turns? Can you speed up or slow down while staying within a corridor? How many turns can you get in a specific distance? The results of these tests will tell you whether you are ready for trees and bumps or whether your next lesson should be about short radius turns.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hespeler View Post

jimmy, it could be because I've never thought about controlling speed throughout the turn.  In my limited experience, I thought that speed control was obtained by smearing the end of the turn.  I didn't realize there are things that can be done throughout the turn to control speed.  Can you be specific as to what some of those things are?

 

TheRusty has answered the question before you asked it.

 

Turn shape is round.

 

Balance against the outside ski.

 

Tip skis on edge, then steer.

 

Change edges early.

 

Smile when you ski.

post #11 of 20

Hespeler, sorry, I was taking you literally.  Just lifting the inside ski to start turns versus Javelin turn drills where you are twisting the tip of that inside lifted ski across the other to get those hips more countered.  Taking that into real skiing can certainly improve your short turns (not the lifting but the countering).  I have found that thinking of it as the feet/legs turning more than the hips works better for me.  Skiing into and out of counter.  A fall line pivot slip with hips always facing downhill into little turns and then bigger and bigger turns with the same motion really reinforces skiing into and out of counter and also works wonders on improving ILS (independent leg steering).

 

TheRusty and Jimmy have laid out the path of controlling speed throughout the turn.  BTW Rusty, I love your slowing down until they run into you drill as an eye opener for must be doing something different.  Shown on video really tells the tale and perhaps provides insights as to the differences.

 

There is another key piece, controlling speed via the line you take versus skidding. It is making round turns and finishing your turns that controls your speed.  It sounds like you have been introduced to the joys of carving.  They are addicting aren't they?  How do you control your speed when carving?  The neat thing about carving is that the skis automatically make nice round turns.  Unfortunately, making pure carved turns a cat track wide on steep slopes results in sub-sonic speeds.  But that doesn't mean you can't still make round turns.  Some have called these smeared carves.  The result in a round turn with minimal skidding.  Easier said than done.

 

So we have turn shape (round turns) and line (finishing your turns) as ways to control your speed.  Line is pretty easy - you point them across or up the hill more and you slow down.  The problem is that if you are skidding to slow down it is difficult to use finishing your turns to slow down because you have already slowed yourself down too much by skidding.  So round turns with minimal skidding come into play because they allow you to keep moving forward throughout the turn and allow you to use the finishing across/up the hill to slow you down. 

 

Rusty and Jimmy have given the clues for making round turns.  Change edges early, tip them on edge, then steer.  I'll add - be patient!

Here is how turn shape can help control your speed through out the turn.

You are going to the left across the hill and make a right hand turn downhill to go to the right across the hill - a 180 turn OK?

The goal is to get half that turn completed halfway through the turn - by the fall line.  You want to use the top half of the turn to stop going to the left.  This where gravity is helping you move into the turn versus the second half where gravity is trying to pull you out of the turn.  This takes patience and edging early on the inside (of the turn) edges.  Many people start their skid right away to stop themselves from going to the left.  Thankfully (for them) it also slows them down as they go into that dreaded fall line.  Be patient, accept the speed of the fall line because you know if you stay on course, you'll come around and slow down by pointing the skis back across/up the hill.  In the second half of the turn, let the skis go!  The first half of the turn stopped you going left, now it is time to start going to the right.  Let them accelerate you into the direction you want to go - to the right.  If you are going too fast in the fall line, it is because you did not slow down enough by finishing your previous turn.

 

A lengthy post, sorry.  Better yet, search Epic for "slow line fast" and you will find a host of discussions from folks far better at explaining (and doing) this than I.

 

Cheers and have a ball playing in the snow and learning those next increments of expertise!

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowhawk View Post

Hespeler, sorry, I was taking you literally.  Just lifting the inside ski to start turns versus Javelin turn drills where you are twisting the tip of that inside lifted ski across the other to get those hips more countered.  Taking that into real skiing can certainly improve your short turns (not the lifting but the countering).  I have found that thinking of it as the feet/legs turning more than the hips works better for me.  Skiing into and out of counter.  A fall line pivot slip with hips always facing downhill into little turns and then bigger and bigger turns with the same motion really reinforces skiing into and out of counter and also works wonders on improving ILS (independent leg steering).

 

TheRusty and Jimmy have laid out the path of controlling speed throughout the turn.  BTW Rusty, I love your slowing down until they run into you drill as an eye opener for must be doing something different.  Shown on video really tells the tale and perhaps provides insights as to the differences.

 

There is another key piece, controlling speed via the line you take versus skidding. It is making round turns and finishing your turns that controls your speed.  It sounds like you have been introduced to the joys of carving.  They are addicting aren't they?  How do you control your speed when carving?  The neat thing about carving is that the skis automatically make nice round turns.  Unfortunately, making pure carved turns a cat track wide on steep slopes results in sub-sonic speeds.  But that doesn't mean you can't still make round turns.  Some have called these smeared carves.  The result in a round turn with minimal skidding.  Easier said than done.

 

So we have turn shape (round turns) and line (finishing your turns) as ways to control your speed.  Line is pretty easy - you point them across or up the hill more and you slow down.  The problem is that if you are skidding to slow down it is difficult to use finishing your turns to slow down because you have already slowed yourself down too much by skidding.  So round turns with minimal skidding come into play because they allow you to keep moving forward throughout the turn and allow you to use the finishing across/up the hill to slow you down. 

 

Rusty and Jimmy have given the clues for making round turns.  Change edges early, tip them on edge, then steer.  I'll add - be patient!

Here is how turn shape can help control your speed through out the turn.

You are going to the left across the hill and make a right hand turn downhill to go to the right across the hill - a 180 turn OK?

The goal is to get half that turn completed halfway through the turn - by the fall line.  You want to use the top half of the turn to stop going to the left.  This where gravity is helping you move into the turn versus the second half where gravity is trying to pull you out of the turn.  This takes patience and edging early on the inside (of the turn) edges.  Many people start their skid right away to stop themselves from going to the left.  Thankfully (for them) it also slows them down as they go into that dreaded fall line.  Be patient, accept the speed of the fall line because you know if you stay on course, you'll come around and slow down by pointing the skis back across/up the hill.  In the second half of the turn, let the skis go!  The first half of the turn stopped you going left, now it is time to start going to the right.  Let them accelerate you into the direction you want to go - to the right.  If you are going too fast in the fall line, it is because you did not slow down enough by finishing your previous turn.

 

A lengthy post, sorry.  Better yet, search Epic for "slow line fast" and you will find a host of discussions from folks far better at explaining (and doing) this than I.

 

Cheers and have a ball playing in the snow and learning those next increments of expertise!

Jimmy, thanks for putting it simply.  Makes perfect sense!

 

Snohawk, yeah carving the right way instead of what I've been doing is addicting and I can't wait to do it again.  My instructor showed me his railroad trackes then showed me another turn which if he stayed in the turn, he would have hit the "Slow Down" sign at the ned of the run so he smeared it at the end to tighten the radius and avoid hitting the sign.  This of course erased the railroad tracks at the end but he said that you can blend both depending on how much room and speed you have to work with.  Makes perfect sense.

 

With respect to short turns, I think I am doing them almost correctly (Instructor said I was getting very close).  He said the short radius turn to control speed was exactly how everyone else here is describing it - change edges early, steer, etc.  He also said it is a turn with a little smear at the end (just as you have said).  The confusing part is that smear.  Every time I see a good skier skiing slowly on a steep pitch they throw that smear in there (snow gets kicked up by the tails) but it doesn't seem to disrupt the start of the next turn.  When I'm on a steeper pitch, I can usually make a decent amount of turns but eventually my turn shape widens (not too drastically) and it pulls me out of a really tight line.  I can do this on blue runs and maintain a tight line.  Either I'm doing something wrong or I just meed more practice staying in a tight line with more gravity to contend with.  it is what keeps me out of skiing the burm areas on blacks (when the middle of the trail gets skied off).

 

So when you say "finish the turn" do you mean smear it once you have steered enough across the hill?  Or something altogether different?  Also, the instructor told me that you get much lower when linking short radius truns (I was doing this instinctively to get in a more athlectic posture) and he said it is really getting low and "sitting down" (my words not his, can't remember his terminology) at the end of the turn which scrubs speed.

 

I'll also look up "slow line fast."

 

Thanks again to everyone adding to the discussion. 

post #13 of 20

Finish the turn means getting the skis across the fall line enough to allow the top of the next turn to be round.

 

Imagine a right turn going around a clock face from 12:00 - 3:00 - 6:00 where 12:00 is the starting point up hill and 6:00 is the finishing point downhill and a straight line from 12-6 is the direction water would flow if you spilled a bucket at 12:00. When you start at 12:00 your skis should be perpendicular to the fall line (parallel to the circle of the clock face) with your ski tips pointing uphill of where 3:00 is. If you started at 12:00 with your ski tips pointing directly at 3:00, your turn would cut off the portion of the circle between 12 and 3. That would be "not finishing your turn".

 

Please note that it is possible to make round turns starting and ending at different "times" on the clock. For example you could start your right turn at 2:00 and end it at 4 or 7 instead of 6. The exact starting location and length of the curved shape of the turn is not important. Making the turn shape a curve instead of an angle is. When instructors tell skiers to "finish your turn", we are most often trying to turn a skidded turn (angle shape) into a carved turn ("c" shape). We use 12-6 as the simplest form of a C shaped turn.

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

Finish the turn means getting the skis across the fall line enough to allow the top of the next turn to be round.

 

Imagine a right turn going around a clock face from 12:00 - 3:00 - 6:00 where 12:00 is the starting point up hill and 6:00 is the finishing point downhill and a straight line from 12-6 is the direction water would flow if you spilled a bucket at 12:00. When you start at 12:00 your skis should be perpendicular to the fall line (parallel to the circle of the clock face) with your ski tips pointing uphill of where 3:00 is. If you started at 12:00 with your ski tips pointing directly at 3:00, your turn would cut off the portion of the circle between 12 and 3. That would be "not finishing your turn".

 

Please note that it is possible to make round turns starting and ending at different "times" on the clock. For example you could start your right turn at 2:00 and end it at 4 or 7 instead of 6. The exact starting location and length of the curved shape of the turn is not important. Making the turn shape a curve instead of an angle is. When instructors tell skiers to "finish your turn", we are most often trying to turn a skidded turn (angle shape) into a carved turn ("c" shape). We use 12-6 as the simplest form of a C shaped turn.


Ok, so this short radius turn I'm after to control speed is a tightly carved "c" shape followed by a little skid at the end to slow things down?

post #15 of 20

Not exactly. The speed, at least to me, seems fairly constant throughout the turn. When I come across the fall line at the bottom of the turn, I like to steer my skis a bit beyond 6:00. It feels like you are almost steering them a bit uphill, back under your body before changing edges.

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hespeler View Post


Ok, so this short radius turn I'm after to control speed is a tightly carved "c" shape followed by a little skid at the end to slow things down?

2 (mostly) unrelated topics. Finishing your turns helps you start the next turn more efficiently. Bleeding off excess speed can be done by turn shape or skidding. For turn shape you can extend the length of your turn (e.g. going to 7 o'clock instead of 6 o'clock). For skidding you can reduce the edge angle at any point in the turn. Skidding only at the end of the turn leads to the dark side, it does.

post #17 of 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

2 (mostly) unrelated topics. Finishing your turns helps you start the next turn more efficiently. Bleeding off excess speed can be done by turn shape or skidding. For turn shape you can extend the length of your turn (e.g. going to 7 o'clock instead of 6 o'clock). For skidding you can reduce the edge angle at any point in the turn. Skidding only at the end of the turn leads to the dark side, it does.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post

Not exactly. The speed, at least to me, seems fairly constant throughout the turn. When I come across the fall line at the bottom of the turn, I like to steer my skis a bit beyond 6:00. It feels like you are almost steering them a bit uphill, back under your body before changing edges.

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I am humbled by these excellent reply's.  Helps me to learn how to better describe some of these things, thanks. smile.gif

 

Jimmy, I agree with the steering bit.  It almost feels like I am steering them away from me across/up the hill.  A bit un-nerving when you first start doing it.  Like - I hope like hell they come back!

 

This smearing at the end of the turn keeps coming up.  I am wondering if it due to the CoM not crossing over and you have to do something to get it to go at the transition?  Almost a check or down stem to stop the skis and let the CoM cross over?  Some folks tend to think of individual turns that start and end at Rusty's 12 and 6.  This creates a sequential series of individual turns.  They finished the old turn at 6 and are now ready to begin the new one.  The alternative is continuous linked turns.  Using the forces of the old turn to start the new one.  The difference tends to be where each of these turns start.  In linked turns, the next turn starts at about 4:30 instead of 6.  At 4:30 you are beginning to let go of the old turn and prepare for the new one.  Release your CoM and your edges for the next turn.  At 4:30 you are directing your CoM across the hill to where it will be in the middle of the next turn.  By 6, you shouldn't have to do anything unless you didn't get it right back at 4;30 or your intent changed and you have to adjust.  Just let the body stay on its path down the hill and the skis on their path more across the hill.  (Hence Jimmy's comment.) 

 

Not sure if that is what you are experiencing or not hespeler.

 

Another way perhaps to think about what finishing turns means.  An example:  turning 90 degrees each turn versus turning 180 degrees.  A 90 degree turn means you are going down the slope at a 45 degree angle, make at 1/4 of a circle turn, 90 degrees, and you are now headed down the slope at 45 degrees going the other way.  Needless to say, if you do these on a steep slope you will get going faster and faster until you cannot hold the line anymore.  This may also be what you are experiencing.  A 180 degree turn means you are going across the slope perpendicular to the fall line, turn a full half circle, 180 degrees, and are now headed back across the hill the other way perpendicular to the fall line.  In order to do the 180 degree turn you had to stay turning twice as long as the 90 degree one, you had to stay turning longer, you had to finish your turn more.  These more complete, finished turns bring you back across the hill and if you are really booking it, you can turn a bit more and point the skis up hill a bit to slow you down even more as Jimmy says.  Now you are using the line you take to control your speed.  How long you stay in the turn now controls your speed, not how much skidding you have to do.  When you are in a railed out carve, this is the ONLY way you can control your speed.  OK, you could open up your jacket or deploy the drag chute but really...

 

 

 

Cheers!

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowhawk View Post

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I am humbled by these excellent reply's.  Helps me to learn how to better describe some of these things, thanks. smile.gif

 

Jimmy, I agree with the steering bit.  It almost feels like I am steering them away from me across/up the hill.  A bit un-nerving when you first start doing it.  Like - I hope like hell they come back!

 

This smearing at the end of the turn keeps coming up.  I am wondering if it due to the CoM not crossing over and you have to do something to get it to go at the transition?  Almost a check or down stem to stop the skis and let the CoM cross over?  Some folks tend to think of individual turns that start and end at Rusty's 12 and 6.  This creates a sequential series of individual turns.  They finished the old turn at 6 and are now ready to begin the new one.  The alternative is continuous linked turns.  Using the forces of the old turn to start the new one.  The difference tends to be where each of these turns start.  In linked turns, the next turn starts at about 4:30 instead of 6.  At 4:30 you are beginning to let go of the old turn and prepare for the new one.  Release your CoM and your edges for the next turn.  At 4:30 you are directing your CoM across the hill to where it will be in the middle of the next turn.  By 6, you shouldn't have to do anything unless you didn't get it right back at 4;30 or your intent changed and you have to adjust.  Just let the body stay on its path down the hill and the skis on their path more across the hill.  (Hence Jimmy's comment.) 

 

Not sure if that is what you are experiencing or not hespeler.

 

Another way perhaps to think about what finishing turns means.  An example:  turning 90 degrees each turn versus turning 180 degrees.  A 90 degree turn means you are going down the slope at a 45 degree angle, make at 1/4 of a circle turn, 90 degrees, and you are now headed down the slope at 45 degrees going the other way.  Needless to say, if you do these on a steep slope you will get going faster and faster until you cannot hold the line anymore.  This may also be what you are experiencing.  A 180 degree turn means you are going across the slope perpendicular to the fall line, turn a full half circle, 180 degrees, and are now headed back across the hill the other way perpendicular to the fall line.  In order to do the 180 degree turn you had to stay turning twice as long as the 90 degree one, you had to stay turning longer, you had to finish your turn more.  These more complete, finished turns bring you back across the hill and if you are really booking it, you can turn a bit more and point the skis up hill a bit to slow you down even more as Jimmy says.  Now you are using the line you take to control your speed.  How long you stay in the turn now controls your speed, not how much skidding you have to do.  When you are in a railed out carve, this is the ONLY way you can control your speed.  OK, you could open up your jacket or deploy the drag chute but really...

 

 

 

Cheers!

Yeah I think perhaps never seeing myself on video making short turns is part of the problem - this is something I need to do.  When I look at expert skiers making tons of turns and really controlling their speed, in real time it looks as though they are making your 90 degree turns but whenever I try that I get going at a good clip and it pulls me out of a tight corridor.  But perhaps they are making the 180 degree turn and it still looks as though they are making tons of turns.  I just never feel as though I'm making as many turns but I just might be.  Can't say until I see myself on video.

 

When I followed my instructor down a black I tried to copy his exact rythym (I also mispell that word) and I was able to hang for most of the run but got pulled out at the end.

post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 

I am really starting to get what everyone is saying on this thread.  I've watched a lot of video of short radius turns and I can now see that they are rounded "C" shaped turns and it is the finishing of the turn that aids in speed control.

 

Can't wait to try it out next time I'm on the snow.

post #20 of 20


There are many excellent comments in the posts above. I would just like to add a short instruction I give to those who ask me how to control speed and finish their turns. I like to say that finishing the turn means staying in the turn you are in until you are satisfied that you are going slowly enough to start the next turn without getting nervous about speed. Otherwise, as noted above, if a little bit of speed is picked up on each turn, you will soon be going Mach 1 and having to bail. This applies equally well to groomers, bumps, and trees, but is best practiced on a steep groomer. BTW, mixing carving and smearing  to make an ideal turn eventually becomes second nature.

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