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# How do you teach people to change edges? - Page 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo

Please expand on this, Pierre. I am not following.

I think you get the gist of what I am saying -- the old turn must be released before a new turn can begin. That movement necessarily precedes the movements to engage the new set of edges.

I do get the gist off what you are saying but how many skiers do?  Since the movements are rather simple, I conclude that there must be a lot of misunderstanding surrounding letting go of the old turn.  As you well know, letting go of the old turn efficiently is where most PSIA level III candidates fall short. How and when we release the old turn is the key to upper and lower body separation and being truly in dynamic balance.

In my mind you can release the edges, release the center of mass or both and still turn. I see many advanced skiers whom are releasing the edges without truly releasing the center of mass.  Many believe releasing the edges is synonymous with releasing the center of mass.  These skiers release the edges by relaxing the outside leg or tipping the feet and the center of mass crosses the skis.  If you diagram the path the cm takes and the skis take you can understand the problem.  The second the edges are released (even though still on edge) the skis stop following the old turn and break for the gravity line into the next turn. The result is a traverse between turns. The cm follows a much more curved path. These skiers must hang onto a turn in order to finish a turn as a result of how these skiers are releasing the edge and the center of mass. They cannot release the center of mass without letting go of control of the turn arc.  In order to end confusion I prefer to separate edge release from cm release.

The key to efficient release starts with a bit of geometry.  Always keep the hips square to the direction  the center of mass is actually moving.  This holds true from everything from a traverse to a pivot slip.  if the upper body (hips up) is facing In the direction the center of mass is moving the skier can never be seen as rotating and with be in rock solid balance on the outside ski.  Of course this requires constant movement to maintain this relationship. It's easy to keep track of because it's also where your head is going. Don't confuse where the head is going with turning your neck. The reference points are different between where the head is going and where you eyes are looking. Keep your middle ear happy.

Keeping the hips square allows a skier to easily time the release.  After a skier turns out of the fall line they look for a spot somewhere above the next turn apex.  When the hips are square to that point release the center of mass by relaxing the ankles in dorsiflexion.  Dorsiflexing the ankles releases the center of mass on the gravity line while the skis continue the arc (skier stops shoving the cm around the old turn). Reduce the edge angle all the way to flat keeping the feet under the hips and the hips level by using equal tension between the legs (more 50%-50% feel, short leg/long leg)   .  The skis will finish the arc and your cm takes more of a traverse, opposite of what most advanced skiers do.  As long as the skier does not let go of the new inside foot and transfer pressure to the new outside foot, the edges with go flat together and change edges even without conscious tipping of the feet.

The above paragraph is a way to think and learn and not necessarily a way to ski.  Once managing and releasing the center of mass are clearly understood all forms, the kinetic chain are icing on the cake and make all forms of rotary, edging and pressure possible.  Balance within a 360 degree sphere around the cm, over the platform, not on the platform (upper and lower body separation) but keep the platform under the center of mass (sweet spot in line with the force line using kinetic chain).

nolo, about 7 or 8 years ago you started a thread more or less based on my last sentence. At that point I had my level III but I certainly did not understand your reasoning then.  I do now.

Too much typing with a soft cast on my right hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nolo

Help me out: I can't imagine a skiing maneuver in which the edge release and the edge change would be concurrent (simultaneous).

What exactly are you getting at here? I don't think anyone would argue that edge release and engagement are precisely simultaneous. Obviously there is an instant when the ski becomes flattened before the new edges can become engaged. If the action or movement which begins to release edges is also that movement which causes the skis to become flat and the new edge to engage isn't it fair to say it is one movement and hence simultaneous?

How do we reduce our edge angle to the line of force as we are ending a turn? We move our bodies toward the skis. The same movement that, if continued, causes the new edges to become engaged We teach people to change edges by getting them to move their bodies, if ever so slightly, with respect to the skis. the same movement we encourage to cause turn initiation with a wedge turn. Part of the reason wedges work so well at that level is that the wide base of support lends itself to learning that type of lateral movement within your comfort zone.

(revised to insert intended quote)

Edited by oisin - 10/24/13 at 1:04pm

Would someone please help me out by explaining "release of center of mass"? Release from what? Are you speaking of a release of muscle tension intended to allow the COM to move toward the skis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman

I agree, and letting go of the old turn begins well before edge change!  Doesn't the release begin when our Cm's path begins to get closer to our feet's path?  Isn't this well before the edges are changed?  Doesn't edge release begin when we begin to reduce the edge angle to the line of force?

These might help illustrate what Bud is saying.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pierre
.....

The key to efficient release starts with a bit of geometry.  Always keep the hips square to the direction  the center of mass is actually moving.  This holds true from everything from a traverse to a pivot slip.  if the upper body (hips up) is facing In the direction the center of mass is moving the skier can never be seen as rotating and with be in rock solid balance on the outside ski.  Of course this requires constant movement to maintain this relationship. It's easy to keep track of because it's also where your head is going. Don't confuse where the head is going with turning your neck. The reference points are different between where the head is going and where you eyes are looking. Keep your middle ear happy.

Keeping the hips square allows a skier to easily time the release.  After a skier turns out of the fall line they look for a spot somewhere above the next turn apex.  When the hips are square to that point release the center of mass by relaxing the ankles in dorsiflexion.  Dorsiflexing the ankles releases the center of mass on the gravity line while the skis continue the arc (skier stops shoving the cm around the old turn). Reduce the edge angle all the way to flat keeping the feet under the hips and the hips level by using equal tension between the legs (more 50%-50% feel, short leg/long leg)   .  The skis will finish the arc and your cm takes more of a traverse, opposite of what most advanced skiers do.  As long as the skier does not let go of the new inside foot and transfer pressure to the new outside foot, the edges with go flat together and change edges even without conscious tipping of the feet.

The above paragraph is a way to think and learn and not necessarily a way to ski.  Once managing and releasing the center of mass are clearly understood all forms, the kinetic chain are icing on the cake and make all forms of rotary, edging and pressure possible.  Balance within a 360 degree sphere around the cm, over the platform, not on the platform (upper and lower body separation) but keep the platform under the center of mass (sweet spot in line with the force line using kinetic chain).

nolo, about 7 or 8 years ago you started a thread more or less based on my last sentence. At that point I had my level III but I certainly did not understand your reasoning then.  I do now.

Too much typing with a soft cast on my right hand.

Pierre, I always pay attention to what you say.  You think out of the box.  So there are three ideas in your post that I've never thought of before, nor have I ever encountered anyone talking about this.  Below I have paraphrased what I think you just wrote.  Am I getting this right?

1.  Keep hips facing the direction the COM is moving in.  Always.  When COM is heading towards a spot just above the next apex, it's time to release.

2.  To release, dorsiflex both ankles, nothing else.  No flexing the new inside leg, no ankle tipping, no slight pressing on the new outside ski, just flex both ankles forward and keep the skis arcing as they have been doing.  This dorsiflexion moves the upper body forward, so that the feet move backwards, to beneath the hips (asssumption:  they were not beneath the hips before).  Don't do anything with the knees.  Don't tip anything down the hill.

3.  In response to the movement of the weight forward, the skis will go flat together and change edges without any conscious effort at anything else.  At this point the skier switches which leg is long and which leg is short, in such a way as to simply keep up with the flow of the COM over the skis and down the hill.

4.  ***additional issue:  You did not explain why the COM might be moving in a direction different from that of the skis.  Do you do anything to make this difference happen?

I'm seriously trying to understand what you've said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre

I do get the gist off what you are saying but how many skiers do?  Since the movements are rather simple, I conclude that there must be a lot of misunderstanding surrounding letting go of the old turn.  As you well know, letting go of the old turn efficiently is where most PSIA level III candidates fall short. How and when we release the old turn is the key to upper and lower body separation and being truly in dynamic balance.

In my mind you can release the edges, release the center of mass or both and still turn. How turn without releasing edges? .........I see many advanced skiers whom are releasing the edges without truly releasing the center of mass. What is "releasing the center of mass" and how do you do it? .......Many believe releasing the edges is synonymous with releasing the center of mass.  These skiers release the edges by relaxing the outside leg or tipping the feet and the center of mass crosses the skis.  Doesn't the center of mass crossing the skis "release" it?.............If you diagram the path the cm takes and the skis take you can understand the problem.  The second the edges are released (even though still on edge) the skis stop following the old turn and break for the gravity line into the next turn. The result is a traverse between turns. "Really? How is the skis turning toward the fall line creating a traverse? The skis will not turn down the hill toward the fall line when they are flattened unless your weight distribution is forward........The cm follows a much more curved path. These skiers must hang onto a turn in order to finish a turn as a result of how these skiers are releasing the edge and the center of mass. They cannot release the center of mass without letting go of control of the turn arc.  Again, begs the question of what you mean by "releasing the center of mass"...........In order to end confusion I prefer to separate edge release from cm release. Why not separate from both of them and simply think about moving your body over your skis?

The key to efficient release starts with a bit of geometry.  Always keep the hips square to the direction  the center of mass is actually moving.  This holds true from everything from a traverse to a pivot slip.  if the upper body (hips up) is facing In the direction the center of mass is moving the skier can never be seen as rotating and with be in rock solid balance on the outside ski.  What about counter?........What of leg rotation? Have you watched a World Cup racer ski? If your upper body is always square to the direction of movement as the skis turn aren't you then rotating?.......Of course this requires constant movement to maintain this relationship. It's easy to keep track of because it's also where your head is going. Don't confuse where the head is going with turning your neck. The reference points are different between where the head is going and where you eyes are looking. Keep your middle ear happy.

........

The bolded remarks are mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin

What exactly are you getting at here? I don't think anyone would argue that edge release and engagement are precisely simultaneous. Obviously there is an instant when the ski becomes flattened before the new edges can become engaged. If the action or movement which begins to release edges is also that movement which causes the skis to become flat and the new edge to engage isn't it fair to say it is one movement and hence simultaneous?

How do we reduce our edge angle to the line of force as we are ending a turn? We move our bodies toward the skis. The same movement that, if continued, causes the new edges to become engaged We teach people to change edges by getting them to move their bodies, if ever so slightly, with respect to the skis. the same movement we encourage to cause turn initiation with a wedge turn. Part of the reason wedges work so well at that level is that the wide base of support lends itself to learning that type of lateral movement within your comfort zone.

(revised to insert intended quote)

I would argue this point (in bolded text above) all day long!

Oisin, it may seem like semantics to you but visualize where the highest edge angle is along the path of a turn.  If we are making better turns it is somewhere closer to the fall line than the end of the turn. Now visualize the path our Cm takes vs. the skis (I am sure you have seen the diagrams).  Then let me ask you where does that highest edge angle point in the turn begin to decrease and what causes it to begin to decrease?  Then visualize when the earliest engagement of the new edge occurs along that ski path.  My point is the "release" begins well before the "change" of edges.  Yes it is, or should be, one fluid nonstop movement.  When I begin to move toward the new turn apex with my Cm my edges begin to let go of their grip on the snow.  This could be the simultaneous occurrence you are thinking about?  We could certainly argue semantics here on whether the edge release starts the movement of Cm or the movement of the Cm precedes the edge release, but edge release and edge change, not so much.

Edited by bud heishman - 10/24/13 at 5:09pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin

Would someone please help me out by explaining "release of center of mass"? Release from what? Are you speaking of a release of muscle tension intended to allow the COM to move toward the skis?

See Chris Geib/Bob Barnes' "Medicine Ball" clip

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo

Just curious, what's your go-to progression to take a skier from wedge christy to basic parallel turns and beyond? It seems to me that this is the crux of a skier's development curve -- that is, whether the person continues or stagnates in their skiing progress occurs at this juncture. How do you address it?

Getting back to the original question... What is different mechanically between a wedge or stem turn entry and a parallel turn entry?

It depends on how we arrive in that wedge from a christie finish.  This as nolo suggest is the crux of understanding offensive GO movements and defensive "Don't go there" movements, which is what separates good skiing from defensive skiing.  It all boils down to how we transition between turns.  If we began with the first beginner turns being GO turns, the progression through wedge christies to parallel is a breeze.  Conversely, if the student learned to turn with active weight shifts, braking wedges, and vertical flexion extension, they must do many things differently to make a parallel turn transition.

So.....if a student is making wedge christies with a stem, bi-stem, down-stem, or up-stem opening to initiate a wedge christie we must do some remedial teaching to learn how to release the old turn correctly rather than start the new turn before we "let go" of the old turn.  This "GO" turn intent and mechanics is the overwhelming theme coming from the more experienced coaches/instructors here on Epicski but the point still seems to be misunderstood by so many.  So we continually try to come at it from different angles to create an epiphany for one more skier.

Understanding the contrast in mechanics, as nolo suggests, determines whether the skier progresses or stagnates! and I see many skiers stagnate or plateau because of this exact issue!

Every turn we teach should begin with the intent and mechanics of a parallel turn initiation.  A wedge may happen just because one ski turns faster than the other and that's OK but wedges are training wheels not an expert technique to perfect before progressing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman

I would argue this point (in bolded text above) all day long!

Oisin, it may seem like semantics to you but visualize where the highest edge angle is along the path of a turn.  If we are making better turns it is somewhere closer to the fall line than the end of the turn. Now visualize the path our Cm takes vs. the skis (I am sure you have seen the diagrams).  Then let me ask you where does that highest edge angle point in the turn begin to decrease and what causes it to begin to decrease?  Then visualize when the earliest engagement of the new edge occurs along that ski path.  My point is the "release" begins well before the "change" of edges.  Yes it is, or should be, one fluid nonstop movement.  When I begin to move toward the new turn apex with my Cm my edges begin to let go of their grip on the snow.  This could be the simultaneous occurrence you are thinking about?  We could certainly argue semantics here on whether the edge release starts the movement of Cm or the movement of the Cm precedes the edge release, but edge release and edge change, not so much.

I have absolutely no argument with this. Movement of the COM causes change of edge angle. If the movement continues, edge releases and edge change occurs. It is a sequence of events. I only tend to think of these as simultaneous inasmuch as, in the context of the turn, it is normally one movement. However, if we are splitting hairs as we seem to be here I readily concede these things do not occur at precisely the same instant. How could they? Why are we even discussing this? I thought the question was "How do you teach people to change edges?", and by inference, what movements are involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet

Pierre, I always pay attention to what you say.  You think out of the box.  So there are three ideas in your post that I've never thought of before, nor have I ever encountered anyone talking about this.  Below I have paraphrased what I think you just wrote.  Am I getting this right?

1.  Keep hips facing the direction the COM is moving in.  Always.  When COM is heading towards a spot just above the next apex, it's time to release. Yes, the timing may be slightly different depending on the turn.  I teach this from never ever through basic parallel.

2.  To release, dorsiflex both ankles, nothing else.  No flexing the new inside leg, no ankle tipping, no slight pressing on the new outside ski, just flex both ankles forward and keep the skis arcing as they have been doing.  This dorsiflexion moves the upper body forward, so that the feet move backwards, to beneath the hips (asssumption:  they were not beneath the hips before).  Don't do anything with the knees.  Don't tip anything down the hill. Not exactly. In trying to keep it simple I missed the mark.  When you are resisting forces around the apex of the turn you are using muscle tension to resist deceleration. Relaxing and dosiflexing the ankle joint starts a chain reaction of releasing that tension in the legs and core. The cm doesn't really move forward, all you're doing is giving In and starting to let the cm take the tangent line towards the inside of the new turn.  Since your skis must travel a slightly longer path your cm catches up when you hit neutral.

3.  In response to the movement of the weight forward, the skis will go flat together and change edges without any conscious effort at anything else.  At this point the skier switches which leg is long and which leg is short, in such a way as to simply keep up with the flow of the COM over the skis and down the hill. If you keep your hips square to the direction the cm is moving then nothing is messing with your middle ear/visual cues and its easy to sense level hips.  Simple keep tension in the legs relatively even and the long leg/short leg pretty much takes care of itself.  In fact if you try to think about it to much you probably can't do it.

4.  ***additional issue:  You did not explain why the COM might be moving in a direction different from that of the skis.  Do you do anything to make this difference happen?  The cm traveling in a different direction  from the skis is how we get the skis to reach out to the side.  Your skis are on edge and have momentum so they will continue the arc. Releasing the cm lets the upper body break off from the turn and take a straighter line towards the new turn.  The path of the cm and the skis cross when the skis go flat. Counter is natural and happens automatically following these simple concepts. As soon as they go flat your skis continue but on the new edges and your cm continues on the gravity line as well.  You end up defaulting onto the earliest possible edge. There is very little pressure on the new edges until the skis arc back towards the path the cm is taking and that happens before the fall line.  You essentially use the momentum of the cm to pressure the skis when that happens rather than an active extension in the old turn to shove the cm across. An active extension tends to shove the cm towards a point at or after the fall line and you end up with a late edge and very heavy pressure to redirect the cm at the point you should already be releasing again.

Releasing the cm is easy to start and you can even get student to do this in steep terrain or in a wedge turn or getting a never ever to turn from a traverse.  All that is required is taking a deep breath through your nose. The kind of breath that lets the chest and the chin rise. You will automatically release core muscles and relax the ankles.  You can verify this just by getting in the athletic position and taking a breath like I described.  Taking a breath is a learning tool only and will make anybody light headed.  Tuning into what the body is doing and mimicking those movements is how you move beyond the tool. Nolo's question was how do you teach wedge christe to parallel. Above is my answer. You will not likely read this anywhere else.  I sneezed in a snowplow demo and made a perfect wedge turn instead of an edge lock. The rest is history.  I make my living as an inventor and most of my breakthrough are by accident, not by brilliance.

I'm seriously trying to understand what you've said.

LF, we often talk about ILS, extend that idea to include upper and lower body separation. At least in theory.
ROM in the hips may limit the ability to actually keep the pelvis square to the CoM's direction of travel but the intent to do that allows the hips to stay over the feet. Allowing the pelvis to swing with the feet while the shoulders stay facing where you want the torso to go is more common but it severely effects our ability to maintain balance near the balance axis.
The Whistler videos thread clearly shows this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro

LF, we often talk about ILS, extend that idea to include upper and lower body separation. At least in theory.
ROM in the hips may limit the ability to actually keep the pelvis square to the CoM's direction of travel but the intent to do that allows the hips to stay over the feet. Allowing the pelvis to swing with the feet while the shoulders stay facing where you want the torso to go is more common but it severely effects our ability to maintain balance near the balance axis.
The Whistler videos thread clearly shows this.

I could not have said it better. Your whole post.

"I sneezed in a snowplow demo and made a perfect wedge turn instead of an edge lock. The rest is history."

Funny!

I guess the brilliant part was noticing and connecting. I.e., paying attention.
Quote:
My point is the "release" begins well before the "change" of edges.  Yes it is, or should be, one fluid nonstop movement.

Thanks for stating my point as well, Bud. One fluid nonstop movement is a lovely description of it happening well.

From whence the quote, qcanoe?

That quote was from Pierre.  Post #101 in this thread, toward the end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman

My point is the "release" begins well before the "change" of edges. Yes it is, or should be, one fluid nonstop movement..

LF don't give me credit.

I agree 100% with the quote and the quote is consistent throughout  my thoughts from wedge turns through dynamic parallel but, is that teaching consistent within the minds of lower level instructors?  I say not in most cases.

We as trainers start out new instructors with wedge turns and get them to release the inside edge of the new inside ski.  When the tips seek the new turn, the inside edge of the new inside ski begins to smear or brush the snow.  We also work with new instructors by getting them to release and edge in side slipping.  My point is, it's very easy for new instructors to confuse edge release with letting a ski slip or skid instead of edge release meaning a reduction in edge angle, as in, one smooth continuous movement resulting in edge change.   Many instructors continue to assume edge release always means "slip" right into a level III exam and perpetuate that belief when training new instructors..  If we roll out from a J turn into a traverse, did we release the edges? I say it is confusing...

I think this confusion alters the perception  instructors have with releasing the old turn and manifests itself as a problem with hanging onto the old turn to long in their own  skiing.  Which comes first, managing the center of mass to facilitate releasing the old outside ski edge or releasing the old outside ski edge to manage the center of mass? Do you start letting go of the old turn with aiming the upper body and an ankle flex or shorten the outside leg/tip the outside foot?

Edited by Pierre - 10/26/13 at 6:58am
Quote:
"I sneezed in a snowplow demo and made a perfect wedge turn instead of an edge lock. The rest is history."

That was the quote I was asking about, Pierre. Like much of what you write, that one was over my head as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre

LF don't give me credit.

I agree 100% with the quote and the quote is consistent throughout  my thoughts from wedge turns through dynamic parallel but, is that teaching consistent within the minds of lower level instructors?  I say not in most cases.

We as trainers start out new instructors with wedge turns and get them to release the inside edge of the new inside ski.  When the tips seek the new turn, the inside edge of the new inside ski begins to smear or brush the snow.  We also work with new instructors by getting them to release and edge in side slipping.  My point is, it's very easy for new instructors to confuse edge release with letting a ski slip or skid instead of edge release meaning a reduction in edge angle, as in, one smooth continuous movement resulting in edge change.   Many instructors continue to assume edge release always means "slip" right into a level III exam and perpetuate that belief when training new instructors..  If we roll out from a J turn into a traverse, did we release the edges? I say it is confusing...

I think this confusion alters the perception  instructors have with releasing the old turn and manifests itself as a problem with hanging onto the old turn to long in their own  skiing.  Which comes first, managing the center of mass to facilitate releasing the old outside ski edge or releasing the old outside ski edge to manage the center of mass? Do you start letting go of the old turn with aiming the upper body and an ankle flex or shorten the outside leg/tip the outside foot?

I can see your point here Pierre!  Consider this, at slower speeds the release will involve some forward side slippage and with more forward momentum this slippage will dissipate as the edge change movement can become faster.  I think one of the primary problems I have with instructors is getting them in a good body position or stance at the point where we want to release the turn so that the transition occurs smoothly.  Many release their edges but not their Cm because they are balanced with their heads too far inside the turn so the edge release does not release the Cm to move over the skis.  I focus on keeping the head over the downhill/outside foot or tell them if your nose is going to drip it would fall on or below the downhill foot.  This insures the hips or Cm is uphill of the feet and head in a kind of stickman "V" so the only thing neccessary to do to release the edges and Cm simultaneously is to move the hips in line with the nose and the toes.  Many times they want to release the edges by moving the head uphill and the hips down hill which releases the edges but blocks the Cm from releasing.  We must insure they are releasing their edges with their ankles and knees while keeping their nose over their toes!   Hope this makes sense.

Quote:
Consider this, at slower speeds the release will involve some forward side slippage and with more forward momentum this slippage will dissipate as the edge change movement can become faster.  I think one of the primary problems I have with instructors is getting them in a good body position or stance at the point where we want to release the turn so that the transition occurs smoothly.

The answer to the quandary in your second sentence is in your first sentence, Bud: forward sideslips are a terrific way to teach moving hips in line with the nose and the toes (like that!).

....
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman

I can see your point here Pierre!  Consider this, at slower speeds the release will involve some forward side slippage and with more forward momentum this slippage will dissipate as the edge change movement can become faster.  I think one of the primary problems I have with instructors is getting them in a good body position or stance at the point where we want to release the turn so that the transition occurs smoothly.  Many release their edges but not their Cm because they are balanced with their heads too far inside the turn so the edge release does not release the Cm to move over the skis.  I focus on keeping the head over the downhill/outside foot or tell them if your nose is going to drip it would fall on or below the downhill foot.  This insures the hips or Cm is uphill of the feet and head in a kind of stickman "V" so the only thing neccessary to do to release the edges and Cm simultaneously is to move the hips in line with the nose and the toes.  Many times they want to release the edges by moving the head uphill and the hips down hill which releases the edges but blocks the Cm from releasing.  We must insure they are releasing their edges with their ankles and knees while keeping their nose over their toes!   Hope this makes sense.

Being countered at the end of the old turn, then lowering the new inside hip down toward the boot below it removes the possibility that this in red will occur.  Moving into counter as the ski come around removes the possibility of banking with the head too far inside the turn.  It also eliminates upper body rotation.  Lots of practice on easy blues will embed the movements.  Moving to steeper stuff to work on adjusting angulation will direct the forces to the outside ski.

I love the snot drip visual; that will surely get people's attention.  With all this in place, skiers will be on a strong path to advanced skiing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo

The answer to the quandary in your second sentence is in your first sentence, Bud: forward sideslips are a terrific way to teach moving hips in line with the nose and the toes (like that!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman

Consider this, at slower speeds the release will involve some forward side slippage and with more forward momentum this slippage will dissipate as the edge change movement can become faster.  I think one of the primary problems I have with instructors is getting them in a good body position or stance at the point where we want to release the turn so that the transition occurs smoothly.

Forward side slips is an excellent way of working with the kinetic chain for fine edge movements but for bringing the hips in line with the nose it involves weight transfers or upper body movements.  While it certainly involves a clear picture of what the body needs to do it does not involve the most efficient movement blends.  The problem is that the upper and lower body should already be moving in relation to one another and have there own momentums.  There is always a danger of confusion when using static or partially static demos to simulate dynamic movements that should happen somewhere else in the turn.

I try to use more of a montage of static demos to simulate dynamic movement,  I will start by showing a slight ankle flex, move a bit ahead and show the next as starting the hips moving towards the nose and the edge angle decreasing. Move ahead a bit more and show the next frame and so on until I demo the neutral position.

Showing the movement from a forward side slip leads to those movements at turn transitions and from traverses.  The human mind will store stuff by association and result in unintended consequences. I refuse to do things for illustration purposes that are likely to screw up my own skiing because my mind  stores movements by association.

I believe those unintended consequences manifest themselves in Bud's first sentence. At slow speeds the release does not have to involve some forward side slippage and was painfully proven to me in a demo by Mike Rogan.  The problem is the forward side slip used to exaggerate a movement  for another demo ends up messing with your own skiing.  Those slight weight transfers and upper body movements carry right over into slow release and edge change transitions by those mind associations.

I am not saying in any way that you are wrong. Your points and approach certainly are legitimate teaching. The point I really want to make is be careful.  If exaggeration and isolation screws up your skiing it screws up your students skiing too. When I have worked with the D Team I have noticed they are reluctant to demo dynamic movement using a more static approach and when they do, they are careful to focus on how their demo really relates.  If they blow a demo, they usually admit it and take a different approach.

How I teach has become very important to me and my overall skiing. Lord knows I don't want to rain on my own parade. I took a lot of goofy paths and approaches after getting my level III.  In the end I am far more effective at teaching and skiing but I paid for it and my students did too (mostly other instructors)

You can teach them to flatten the downhill ski at the same time as they change their weight to the uphill ski.  Simultaneously.   That is the key move.

There is no need to even use the word "release" and no need to do sideslips in order to prepare for this.

Wedge turns actually provide a nice slow and steady laboratory for them to explore this idea.

I agree with Pierre that there is a lot of confusion amongst ski instructors about some terms and concepts, and yes that does muddle things up for students, and for developing instructors as well.

The forward sideslip progression to parallel is a classic. Are you saying it is passé?

I disagree that breaking down a suite of movements in the teaching process is going to hold a student back from performing the suite of movements. Certainly that's not the intent. Generally we break things down into digestible chunks depending on the student. The Stepping Stones concept is precisely this. The forward sideslip exercise enables a student to experience what happens when you flatten the skis, how gravity pulls the tips into the fall line and aids the initiation of the next turn. To me this is a most important concept to get across to a student. Let go of the old turn, be patient, and gravity will pull you into position for the next turn!

I suppose Patience Turns are passé too.

I didn't say anything was passé.  Nolo you're putting a lot of words into my mouth there.

I'm just saying its not necessary to talk to them about words like "release" that are not even agreed upon or well understood by numerous ski instructors with decades of experience.  Nor do I think its necessary to do forward sideslips with never evers on their first day.   That is not an easy thing to do when they haven't even slid their first turns yet, but a lot of this depends a lot on the terrain you have available for never evers.

For level 2+ skiers, side slips and forward side slips are great!

If you have some good rollers sometimes you can do those kinds of things like J turns without having to do the bull turn stuff, for example.

The key move for edge change is what I described in my last post.   Find a way to get them to do that.  You can do it with wedge turns.  You can do it with Bud's J turn approach.  You can try HH's progression if you dare.  There are lots of variations...but ultimately that is the key move and it can be taught on the first day, but possibly not the first run.  When do you make the first run?  At your hill can you  make a run before they can link turns?  Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

IMHO, for never evers its really important to get them making linked turns of some kind off a chairlift within a few hours.   In addition to try to teach them how to become ripping skiers someday, we are also introducing them to a new pastime and it has to be fun.  And it has to be safe!

The terrain that is available plays a big part in what kind of sliding experiments you can give them.  But I am a strong believer in giving them baby steps so that they can start to experience what its like to be a skier that can ride the lift and make a run, making some kind of linked turn...by lunch time on the first day.

Just seeking clarity, BTS. I would never ask a never-ever to do a forward sideslip either.

My hope as a teacher is to help students be "goers" with a clear path to progress (sans blockages).

yes agree about GO attitude.  I think my comment about forward sideslips was motivated by discussion I saw about what it means to release and does releasing mean the skis are going to side slip, etc.. and I feel that was getting off target.

So there are two skills we're talking about here...

One is to get them to finish turns on the same edges.  That's where side slips, forward side slips and many garlands will help them to experience that to break them out of wedge.  Note the emphasis on turn finishes.  Take the garland entries closer and closer to the fall line.

The other is how to start turns on the same edges.  That is a matter of flattening the downhill ski while standing on the other one.  Flattening that ski is much easier if they GO with their CoM that direction too I might add.   That is the key move for high end skiing.  forward side slips are not the right drill for that IMHO.  Yes they are flattening the ski, like you would on sideslips, but they are trying to get an edge change, which we don't do in side slips.  Patience turns I agree are great here.  Rolling all the way across to the other edges is really a new animal compared to side slips or forward sideslips.  starting with garlands and making the top of each turn be in the fall line and then slightly before the fall line, etc.

This is a challenging barrier to cross if the skier has already become a confident wedger.   But activation of the inside foot is the key.

However if they are just at the stage where they can make some linked wedge turns but not too confidentially yet, that is the prime moment to show them how to make it easier by flattening the downhill ski while they continue to stand on the outside one as they have been doing all morning.  Teach them to open the gate in the direction they want to go.  Drop the gate.  Activate the inside foot.

Flat work where the student must learn to move towards some point instills an offensive intent. It may not occur and become ingrained in a few hours though. That is why I hesitate to offer a timeline where linked turns on lift served slopes BTS. Another problem is how easy it is for a newer coach to over terrain their classes because they want to meet this arbitrary goal. That doesn't mean average progress is far from what you suggest but newbie coaches tend to not fully appreciate how skill development works. It is why you see scripted progressions in the first place. They will grow and learn to gage skill development and how skill ownership preceeds moving to harder terrain.

Edge releases during the flatwork phase do not include as much slope angle and releases where the core moves towards that next turn just are not as scary. Ironically, experts wanting to perfect their release moves also use very flat terrain because it allows them to concentrate on un-tipping the skis while simultaneously allowing the core to move towards that new turn.

it depends so much on the terrain.  At PCMR, for example, there is virtually nothing to use that is truly flat and gentle that isn't also a dangerous run out funnel with tons of fast traffic on it.  You have a very small and narrow area to prepare them for a lift ride..perhaps a few laps on a very short (and also narrow), carpet ride area...then off to the easiest chair which is safe from fast traffic, etc..and is technically a green run, but not flat at all unless you want to take them to the funneled run out with all the fast traffic, and you have to take a non-flat cat track to get to it too.

Totally agree with you about using the flattest terrain possible, though some things are advantaged by slightly steeper green...the garland progression for example.   But I am also a strong proponent of baby steps.  But I just also think you gotta get em skiing.

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