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Carving vs. perception of carving in gear choices - Page 2  

post #31 of 47
Thread Starter 

Yikes, hornets nest! 

 

Let me attempt to clarify what Beyond had noted above:  

 

I was attempting to imply what Josh also said: although plenty of skis are capable of skiing railroad tracks (such as the Cochise Josh mentioned, or any number of similar stiffish skis), they may be too stiff to bend on firm snow for all but the biggest, strongest guys, and therefore not good carvers.  Solid groomer skis with good edgehold, yes, but not carvers.  That was my distinction.  I have bent up and gotten energy from 100+ skis, but they have all been softer skis, not planks.  It takes some serious edge angle and commitment early on firm snow to say you are going to lay over a really wide ski on cement and trust it at an edge angle of 10 degrees from perpendicular.  You have to know it is going to hold, and you have to be able to bend the sucker and manage pressure and energy. 

 

yes, park and ride is carving, but you can only accomplish that on low angle terrain. At higher speeds, a good skier needs pressure management.  It is a good place to start, though. I am not against any type of skiing: what frustrates me as a retailer (having to guide customers toward a ski, with tons of low-grade reviews floating out there in the ether) is that so many skis these days get a "it carves great" review, almost uniformly, yet I am confident that, as Beyond noted, they are skidding the last part of the turn, and can't define what actually is a carved turn, and what is a skid finish to check speed in lieu of pressure management and using the fall line for speed control.  I see carving as a pretty high-level skill, and the ability to arc and ski dynamically, say a random115mm ski underfoot, with lots of tip and tail rocker and no metal, on firm snow, as an elite skill.  Top .1% of all skiers kind of skill.  

 

Most people that I refer to as considering a ski to be a good "carver" aren't even capable of doing a park and ride. It is more like a park and skid.  The industry often markets these wider skis as being "great carvers", knowing full well that most people buy them because they skid and turn easier than a narrower, hookier ski, which may actually want to carve and will talk balk if you try to push it around.  All is well and good, until a high-level skier comes along, looking specifically for an all-mountain ski that is versatile, yet fun, energetic, and dynamic on groomers, and then purchases the aforementioned ski based on it's purported "carving" ability, and the ski ends up here on the buy/sell forum.  Sure, some people are happy with skis that don't punish heel-pushing and bad habits, and others would like something a little stronger.  Based on my interactions with customers, there is a lot of annoyance and confusion out there as to what many ski designs are truly capable of, rather than what some (manufacturers and overly enthusiastic reviewers) claim they are capable of. Also, what the skis are truly good at, vs. what they can barely accomplish, at a minimal level.  Nobody expects that a GS race ski will somehow magically transform the powder skiing ability of a struggling skier; those claims are never made, and would be laughed away if they were.  Yet seemingly all wide deeper snow skis are constantly noted as being great carvers (claims which are taken seriously) to the detriment of those actually looking for versatile all-mountain carvers. 

 

It seems that there is a dis-connect in terms of how the industry defines a standard for carving these days. 

post #32 of 47

Nice troll. ;)

 

The difference between dynamic skiing and non-dynamic skiing is a distinction all right, but it's got nothing to do with carving.   If you want to distinguish between "park and ride" carvers and dynamic skiers (whether carving or not), go ahead, but imho you should not redefine a word to do so.

 

I have seen people carving on wide skis, but I have also seen people who didn't realize they were not carving, mostly people who had been lucky enough to ski a lot of soft snow.  Their carving would not be good enough to pass L3, despite having excelent short radius turns (that were not carved).   Telling these people their carving was not carving only upset them and triggered denial and offensive reactions.   The non-carving of these good skiers needs to be distinguished from carving.  Perhaps that is the reason for this thread.

 

I can carve a turn on hardpack on an old Rosignal Bandit (B1), but I can carve with much higher g-force turn with my Fischer WC SCs.  Maybe this is what the OP is getting at. (EDIT: looks like it was)

 

If you are "carving" your ski's tail edge goes through the same space yout skis tip edge goes through.

 

 

 

A lot of people call "carving" using the skis sidecut and pressureing the fore-body of the ski to aggressively bend the ski whithout necessarily carving, yet they call it carving (eg. some of the bump threads), so we had to come with a new term just to be clear, pure-carving.  In the following discussion, carving = pure carving.  In carving , every part of the edge of the ski is traveling in a direction parallel to that part of the (curved) edge.  The motion of the snow relative to the ski at every point of the edge is tangential to the edge at that point.

 

Most people skiing on the hill to my view are not carving.  They are also not skiing dynamically either for that matter.  Some people are carving and leaving rail-road-track-like tracks (except they diverge at the apex, unlike railroad tracks), some people are skiing dynamically, and very very few are carving dynamically.

 

"You can't see my tracks, but I'm still carving; it's just because the light is flat and the snow is loose." is a valid argument.  "You can't see my tracks, but I"m still carving; it's because I am a better skier than you and have the papers (and/or testimonials) to prove it." isn't.

 

A ski can carve a turn that is smaller than it's sidecut radius.  I have no doubt that the turn shown in the picture above could be carved with the skis shown.

 

The radius of the turn a ski will carve when tipped on edge on a hard surface is approximately given by r= R* cos(a), where r is the radius of the turn, R is the ski's sidecut radius and a is the tipping angle.   A ski cannot carve  a turn that is greater than it's sidecut radius on a hard surface; the turn radius, r, dialed up by tipping the ski cannot be made larger that it's sidecut radius (r=R occurs at zero tipping angle) , and the ski must be tipped on edge to turn.  The harder the turn, as in the higher the g-forces the more the skis must be tipped in order to hold the turn.  Carving all the way down a typical black run, unless your are turning uphill to kill speed, very quickly brings you to a speed at which the radius that can be held exceeds, not only the radius at the required tipping angle (r), but exceeds the speed at which you could make a any sort of turn at the ski's sidecut radius R, unless you are on DH racing skis (or old-school SG racing skis) with a very large radius.   A SL ski will not be carving at 45 mph, not even close.  If you think it is, go find a DH ski and make the same turn; you should be able to feel the difference.  Most people who ski fast on modern skis aren't carving their turns when they are skiing fast.  They may think they are, but they are not.

 

A ski that is carving underfoot, but not carving at the tip (or tail) is not carving.   If you are skiing arc-2-arc, then your turn radius varies from infinity at the transition to however tight you make it at the apex, and back to infinity at the next transition and so on.   As you approach the transition, with a rockered ski, the turn radius is greater than the curve of tghe ski and you are not carving.   It's the s ame storey for initiating the turn from the transition.  If you have a traditional cambered ski then the give in the snow and the give in the ski is enough that it really doesn't matter.

 

(EDIT: Didn't see post above while composing)


Edited by Ghost - 12/30/13 at 12:49am
post #33 of 47

Seems to me that the top 0.1% of skiers should be able to figure out what to buy without relying on consumer reviews, then....   I mean, if you're that elite, you know who to listen to already.

post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

Seems to me that the top 0.1% of skiers should be able to figure out what to buy without relying on consumer reviews, then....   I mean, if you're that elite, you know who to listen to already.

 

If you're that elite, somebody is giving you skis that you probably designed in the first place...

post #35 of 47

I really don't have much to add in the carving discussion but I have been thinking about a similar topic which is somewhat related.  I have been skiing sense the 1980's and grew up idolizing guys like Scott Smith and Glen Plake from the old Warren Miller films.  

 

Back in the day before shaped skies and rocker it was considered "advanced" technique to continually link turns to control speed and to "jump turn" in the steeper stuff.  It is a great feeling to let the ski pop you into the next turn, almost feels effortless.  After a few years off, I noticed techniques and skis have changed quit a bit.  I still find myself making those tight type of turns while watching a new breed of skier "carving" or engaging the edges across the fall line continually.  What I mean by this is the seem to be riding the edges across the fall line to control their speed not traveling down the fall line using the linked turns to do so.  I am in the hunt for a more "modern" ski to learn this technique.  Like I said, these are just my observations and opinions.

post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACLakey View Post
 

I really don't have much to add in the carving discussion but I have been thinking about a similar topic which is somewhat related.  I have been skiing sense the 1980's and grew up idolizing guys like Scott Smith and Glen Plake from the old Warren Miller films.  

 

Back in the day before shaped skies and rocker it was considered "advanced" technique to continually link turns to control speed and to "jump turn" in the steeper stuff.  It is a great feeling to let the ski pop you into the next turn, almost feels effortless.  After a few years off, I noticed techniques and skis have changed quit a bit.  I still find myself making those tight type of turns while watching a new breed of skier "carving" or engaging the edges across the fall line continually.  What I mean by this is the seem to be riding the edges across the fall line to control their speed not traveling down the fall line using the linked turns to do so.  I am in the hunt for a more "modern" ski to learn this technique.  Like I said, these are just my observations and opinions.

AC, consider starting a thread in the ski instruction and coaching forum about this issue.  That way you'll get targeted advice about shifting from old school skiing to present day skiing.  You can ask the question in a way that will combine information on technique with what type of skis to buy.

post #37 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

Seems to me that the top 0.1% of skiers should be able to figure out what to buy without relying on consumer reviews, then....   I mean, if you're that elite, you know who to listen to already.

 

I don't think the discussion was pointed at that level of skier.  That type of skier is so good, they could make any ski work.   More like the top 5%, I am thinking; good skiers who are capable of getting a lot out of a ski but still need the right ski; not guys that can turn a Prius into a Ferrari. 

post #38 of 47

Yeah, I misunderstood the 0.1% reference ... but according to your first post  "Or, is this simply a definition of what is "carving" as it varies between a dynamic skier (who can bend a ski arc to arc and carry energy) and a static skier (99%+ of all skiers on the hill),"  it is 1% or less. So that does contain 0.1% and not 5%. ;) 

 

I guess I'm still not sure I see this as much of a real-world problem, though ... the vast majority of aren'tcarvers will choose from the vast majority of don'tcarve skis, and the vast majority will be happy. I still think even the top 5% of skiers can figure this out.

post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by markoj   "but you don't get to L3 without the ability to rail dynamically and ski tip to tail at the time and place of your choosing."

This is PSIA we're talking about, right?

post #40 of 47

Why do we worry so much about how other people ski?

post #41 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

AC, consider starting a thread in the ski instruction and coaching forum about this issue.  That way you'll get targeted advice about shifting from old school skiing to present day skiing.  You can ask the question in a way that will combine information on technique with what type of skis to buy.

Thanks but I am not looking for advice in this thread, merely pointing out observations of what was once considered "good or advanced" technique now is not with the advancement of technology.

post #42 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

Why do we worry so much about how other people ski?


Because sometimes they run into us, or hurt themselves or others?  Other than that, I dunno.

 

Actually, dawgcatching's original post laid out a pretty good reason for him (and other people selling skis) to care:  so they can sell you the right pair.

post #43 of 47
Quote:

Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

 

I have bent up and gotten energy from 100+ skis, but they have all been softer skis, not planks.

 

Yeah, in general, a lot of wider skis can be too stiff, and the cambered section too short, to store energy in. It takes a TON of energy to bend the forebody of my Billygoats into a smaller radius (though slarving it around is really easy).

 

yes, park and ride is carving, but you can only accomplish that on low angle terrain. At higher speeds, a good skier needs pressure management.

 

I disagree. I can easily park and ride a carve at pretty high speeds on steeper terrain. You do go pretty damn fast though and you're likely to get your ticket pulled in the early season.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

 

A lot of people call "carving" using the skis sidecut and pressureing the fore-body of the ski to aggressively bend the ski whithout necessarily carving, yet they call it carving (eg. some of the bump threads), so we had to come with a new term just to be clear, pure-carving.  In the following discussion, carving = pure carving.  In carving , every part of the edge of the ski is traveling in a direction parallel to that part of the (curved) edge.  The motion of the snow relative to the ski at every point of the edge is tangential to the edge at that point.

 

I always wondered what people meant when they said they were carving the bumps. It never made sense to me either.

 

The radius of the turn a ski will carve when tipped on edge on a hard surface is approximately given by r= R* cos(a), where r is the radius of the turn, R is the ski's sidecut radius and a is the tipping angle.   A ski cannot carve  a turn that is greater than it's sidecut radius on a hard surface; the turn radius, r, dialed up by tipping the ski cannot be made larger that it's sidecut radius (r=R occurs at zero tipping angle) , and the ski must be tipped on edge to turn.  The harder the turn, as in the higher the g-forces the more the skis must be tipped in order to hold the turn.  Carving all the way down a typical black run, unless your are turning uphill to kill speed, very quickly brings you to a speed at which the radius that can be held exceeds, not only the radius at the required tipping angle (r), but exceeds the speed at which you could make a any sort of turn at the ski's sidecut radius R, unless you are on DH racing skis (or old-school SG racing skis) with a very large radius.   A SL ski will not be carving at 45 mph, not even close.  If you think it is, go find a DH ski and make the same turn; you should be able to feel the difference.  Most people who ski fast on modern skis aren't carving their turns when they are skiing fast.  They may think they are, but they are not.

 

Great explanation. This is exactly why I'm annoyed with 16-20m turn radii that proliferate skis these days. I can't get a dynamic large radius turn out of them. And, at higher speeds, the ski becomes dynamic, even in a park and ride carve, and the radii gets even smaller!

post #44 of 47

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
 

Yikes, hornets nest! 

 

Let me attempt to clarify what Beyond had noted above:  

 

I was attempting to imply what Josh also said: although plenty of skis are capable of skiing railroad tracks (such as the Cochise Josh mentioned, or any number of similar stiffish skis), they may be too stiff to bend on firm snow for all but the biggest, strongest guys, and therefore not good carvers.  Solid groomer skis with good edgehold, yes, but not carvers.  That was my distinction.  I have bent up and gotten energy from 100+ skis, but they have all been softer skis, not planks.  It takes some serious edge angle and commitment early on firm snow to say you are going to lay over a really wide ski on cement and trust it at an edge angle of 10 degrees from perpendicular.  You have to know it is going to hold, and you have to be able to bend the sucker and manage pressure and energy. 


You're kinda spinning the thread back into the sentiment behind the old "wonderfulness of medium" thread that we had some time ago.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/98962/kastle-fx-94-and-the-wonderfulness-of-medium

In that thread the starting assumption was that some skiers would recognize the value of being able to flex the ski and the value of having a ski for which one can manage pressure and energy.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
 

yes, park and ride is carving, but you can only accomplish that on low angle terrain. At higher speeds, a good skier needs pressure management.  It is a good place to start, though. I am not against any type of skiing: what frustrates me as a retailer (having to guide customers toward a ski, with tons of low-grade reviews floating out there in the ether) is that so many skis these days get a "it carves great" review, almost uniformly, yet I am confident that, as Beyond noted, they are skidding the last part of the turn, and can't define what actually is a carved turn, and what is a skid finish to check speed in lieu of pressure management and using the fall line for speed control.  I see carving as a pretty high-level skill, and the ability to arc and ski dynamically, say a random115mm ski underfoot, with lots of tip and tail rocker and no metal, on firm snow, as an elite skill.  Top .1% of all skiers kind of skill. 

 

What both you and Josh are having trouble doing is selling the desirability of having that sort of skill.    If someone of the same level of skill as you ascribe to the hypothetical majority  reads  either your post or Josh's posts,   chances are they will turn off or tune out.    They've spent time and effort learning what they call 'carving', they have put it into practice, and you're shifting the goalposts towards something mystical and reserved for elites.   

 

The only way a sermon of 

"I'm incredibly accredited and let me tell you that you don't really know what you're doing and there is this other thing out there that you've never felt and you may not be able to see me do it but other incredibly accredited people will tell you its there" 

will get listened to is if its preached to the choir.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

 Nobody expects that a GS race ski will somehow magically transform the powder skiing ability of a struggling skier; those claims are never made, and would be laughed away if they were.  Yet seemingly all wide deeper snow skis are constantly noted as being great carvers (claims which are taken seriously) to the detriment of those actually looking for versatile all-mountain carvers. 

 

It seems that there is a dis-connect in terms of how the industry defines a standard for carving these days. 

 

That's a symptom, not a cause.    It's a symptom of the disconnect between classes of skiers.     The industry is merely trying to find terms that relate to sensations their customers have already felt.       

If the elites were any good at democratizing the sensation of pressure and energy management, we wouldn't be having this thread.     They are not remotely good at it.    They can only, occasionally,  create more elites.

post #45 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

Yeah, I misunderstood the 0.1% reference ... but according to your first post  "Or, is this simply a definition of what is "carving" as it varies between a dynamic skier (who can bend a ski arc to arc and carry energy) and a static skier (99%+ of all skiers on the hill),"  it is 1% or less. So that does contain 0.1% and not 5%. ;) 

 

I guess I'm still not sure I see this as much of a real-world problem, though ... the vast majority of aren'tcarvers will choose from the vast majority of don'tcarve skis, and the vast majority will be happy. I still think even the top 5% of skiers can figure this out.

 

Where I was going on this: maybe 1% of people are actually dynamic skiers (you know it when you see it) and the other 4% want to get there, or can see themselves at that level in the near future, provided they have the right gear and the right direction.  I dunno; maybe it is the top 10% slice of the population, but I doubt it. Maybe more like 40% of people posting here, but the fact that someone would take the time to post on a gear review forum, and the time just to sign up, assigns them a higher level of passion than the average ski.

post #46 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 


You're kinda spinning the thread back into the sentiment behind the old "wonderfulness of medium" thread that we had some time ago.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/98962/kastle-fx-94-and-the-wonderfulness-of-medium

In that thread the starting assumption was that some skiers would recognize the value of being able to flex the ski and the value of having a ski for which one can manage pressure and energy.

 

 

Interesting thread!  I definitely don't want/need the burliest skis around. I am usually not making 50mph down some crazy steep, rough snow field. Softer skis are definitely easier to get the most out of for non-elite, but good skiers, such as myself. 

 

As for your other comments in that post; it really wasn't what I was headed on that one.  Carving should be a pretty clean cut definition; not really open to interpretation, yet the vagueness and the fact it gets thrown around everywhere makes my job tougher: to get people on the right ski that will help them improve (for those looking to improve).  I wasn't implying anything more, anything less. 

post #47 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

 

As for your other comments in that post; it really wasn't what I was headed on that one.  Carving should be a pretty clean cut definition; not really open to interpretation, yet the vagueness and the fact it gets thrown around everywhere makes my job tougher: to get people on the right ski that will help them improve (for those looking to improve).  I wasn't implying anything more, anything less. 

 

Thanks, that matches well with what I originally understood  of your intent.   

 

I was merely attempting to present the pre-existing context and perspective from the other side of the glass.

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