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Powder Turning Terminology?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I'm really sorry if this is an old topic or just a really dumb question, but I've asked a number of people who don't seem to know.If there's another thread or resource please give me the link. 

 

On groomers you turn by "carving" or "skidding." What is the technical term for turning in powder?  Some people have said, "bouncing" and some have said "floating." Is there another name for it? I can do it, I just don't know what to call it. 

 

Thanks. 

post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by athe0007 View Post
 

I'm really sorry if this is an old topic or just a really dumb question, but I've asked a number of people who don't seem to know.If there's another thread or resource please give me the link. 

 

On groomers you turn by "carving" or "skidding." What is the technical term for turning in powder?  Some people have said, "bouncing" and some have said "floating." Is there another name for it? I can do it, I just don't know what to call it. 

 

Thanks. 

It's called "grinning."

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

It's called "grinning."

Okay, now seriously ... I don't think people still call it unweighting, which is really what it is. Anyone? 

post #4 of 25

Skiing deep powder is pretty much a hydrodynamic exercise.

In windsurfing we call it "getting on plane" then "carving" turns.

That doesn't help much.

But it points towards planeing hull technology as a source of nomenclature.

With flat bottom race boats you either carve, skid or bounce your way through a turn,

Hmmmmm?

post #5 of 25
I emphasize equal weighting on relatively closely held skis and talk about a mental image of a bobsled going up on the walls of its track--I want to bank my skis like that--when I'm teaching powder lessons. I don't have a "term" to assign to this.
post #6 of 25

A powder turn is steered. Neither carved nor skidded. It is performed from a centered stance, and comes from pointing your skis where you want to go. Its not a carve because there's less angulation and tipping. It's not a skid because you're not throwing them sideways. Its a gentle guiding of the skis in the direction you want to go. And its awesome.

post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

A powder turn is steered. Neither carved nor skidded. It is performed from a centered stance, and comes from pointing your skis where you want to go. Its not a carve because there's less angulation and tipping. It's not a skid because you're not throwing them sideways. Its a gentle guiding of the skis in the direction you want to go. And its awesome.

I think that's what makes it unique: there is no edging to speak of (you may still be edging in a skid and maybe a little when you're steering on pack). I think the force across the base at any one point laterally in power would be about the same. Turning force comes from the friction across the ski, not the platform set up by an edge. No?

post #8 of 25

It's different with 100mm+ skis vs 70+, yes?

There's Buttering and Smearing...

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

It's different with 100mm+ skis vs 70+, yes?

There's Buttering and Smearing...


 Quite different. If you're working with a ski in the 70's, you're going to be fighting the snow a lot more than something 100 plus with rocker. I had a race on a 10 inch pow day earlier this season. I had to do 2 runs on my 74 underfoot carvers, all my other runs that day were on 117 underfoot rockered skis. The difference was mind boggling. The floating, effortless turns on the 117's became sluggish and bottomed out on the 74's.

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by athe0007 View Post

 

On groomers you turn by "carving" or "skidding." What is the technical term for turning in powder?  Some people have said, "bouncing" and some have said "floating." Is there another name for it? I can do it, I just don't know what to call it.

 

Snogasm.  ;)

 

To me turning in "powder" is a continuum, from a focus on edging/angulating to steering/banking, as there are a lot of different kinds of  soft snow. One of my favorite ski books** summarizes it well...

 

 

I'm a powder newbie compared to a lot (if not most) folks here, but that's the way I sees it.

 

"" Mark Elling's The All-Mountain Skier
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

It's different with 100mm+ skis vs 70+, yes?

There's Buttering and Smearing...

What about "slarving?"

 

McConkey: "Slide instead of carve! Yes, believe it or not this is something that you should be trying to do in the powder. Sliding will be the most difficult of Spatula techniques to learn but you should be able to get the idea in time. Even if you never attempt to learn slides you will still be able to blow doors on everyone else without the Spatulas. Who knows, you might just naturally start doing them anyway. The more dense and compacted the snow is the easier it will be to perform slides. Sliding will greatly improve your maneuverability and control. Begin your powder turn and then instead of hitting your edges hard to carve a turn, stand up on two feet and let your skis slide or skid diagonally across the fall line. It will be harder to perform a slide directly down the fall line. Start off doing them diagonally."


Edited by athe0007 - 2/12/14 at 11:18am
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

So I guess there's no PSIA term for turning technique in power?

 

I have a book, "Ultimate Skiing" that does a great job of explaining the physics of craving, but when he gets to power the author just kinda gives up. Is there a discussion group here that enjoys discussing how this stuff happens? Here's a question I've been trying to find an answer for: When you read about ice skating about the first thing they mention is that the blade glides on a thin film of water created by the pressure on the ice. Is this true for ski edges? Is the edge actually creating a small groove in the ice which creates a platform to carve with?

post #13 of 25

Yes...

post #14 of 25

Am I the only one who thinks you can carve powder? Obviously not 5% blower but on supportive fresh snow you can move the skis through an arc defined my the decambered shape of the base transitioning from one turn to the other through movement similar to what you would make on a groomed run. At least it feels kind of like carving. 

post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
 

Am I the only one who thinks you can carve powder? Obviously not 5% blower but on supportive fresh snow you can move the skis through an arc defined my the decambered shape of the base transitioning from one turn to the other through movement similar to what you would make on a groomed run. At least it feels kind of like carving. 

 

This is why I try to figure out what's happening in terms of the physics. The difference I think is that when carving on pack you're "carving" a platform in the snow that pushes back on the edge (and part of the base). In powder I think the snow presses across the entire base and the edge has little effect. I would agree that there is some deformation of the ski, but little compared to carving on pack. Of course, I'm just guessing. What do you think? 

post #16 of 25

post #17 of 25

Just as on packed snow powder turns can be carved--the turn following the arc of the flexed ski(s), or skidded--except in powder the fashionable term is "slarving". Also as on packed snow unweighting can either be an upward extension, or a retraction--although in powder active retraction is not required but rather as speed builds the legs relax to allow the skis to plane up, after which the legs are extended while turning the skis in the direction of the new turn. I think the differences between firm and powder snow have been overemphasized, and there's a lot more similarity than difference in technique, aside from the importance of weighting both skis in powder.  The biggest obstacle beginning powder skiers face is mental (and the fact that it's a lot harder to get up if you fall.)

post #18 of 25

not sure all powder turns are not carved. I think there is quite bit of different turn shapes you can do on powder skis, and quite honestly IMO you can carve but not arc parts of powder turn with enough platform. 

 

the thing is powder skiing is ultimately just skiing anything you can do in powder can be done on hard pack maybe just not as easily. 

 

JASP on fat skis at speed I pretty much stand on my outside and arc the damn thing. 

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

 

 

Lovely picture, nice arcs and all, but 2" isn't powder. :)

post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

 

 

Lovely picture, nice arcs and all, but 2" isn't powder. :)

 

Yeah, I was skiing in eight inches of powder the other day and it was so cold here (on the North Shore of Lake Superior) and the powder so light that my bases and edges were actually carving on the pack underneath. No float.  :-) 

post #21 of 25

Blower pow

post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer View Post
 

Yes...

 

So, since a ski edge melts ice by pressure does this imply that it creates a small platform that ski rides on through the turn and that's the difference from skidding on ice? That would also imply that sharpness, angle and speed (centrifugal force) would be really important. So, most people probably don't try to crave at speed on ice. Most often I just skid in control. :)

post #23 of 25

Banking!

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacobillie View Post
 

Banking!

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

Banking!

 

Was thinking about this as I was skiing pow today and I agree that "banking" captures it pretty well, even at low speeds and not much depth. The main thing is that edges are irrelevant. It's all about your bases. 

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