Originally Posted by borntoski683
Disagree about forward motion not being relevant. Its VERY relevant and neccessay to use the inside edges to get the skis to start turning themselves (as opposed to drifting the tips by gravity or twisting the legs).
Well, if you are thinking about something like dragging the inside ski tip on the snow to more-or-less pull its tip into the turn (twisting the skis into a skid), then you're right--that would require some forward motion. But that is certainly not the way the turns illustrated start, and it would be a rather unusual way to start a turn from a slow traverse as well. Seriously--when do you start a turn by dragging the inside/downhill tip? The only time I would suggest that tactic might be to initiate a pivot from a straight run downhill.
Or am I reading you all wrong, BTS?
In any case, forward motion will change the timing of the edging movements (particularly inclination--leaning into the turn for balance) and edge engagement, directly as an effect of the centrifugal forces that result from the turn--and, therefore, in proportion to speed. As TDK6 has suggested, as long as the component of gravity pulling down the hill overpowers whatever centrifugal force may be pulling the skier "out" of the turn and up the hill (at the top of the turn), carving the turn really won't be possible--and certainly won't be necessary (because even a bowling ball will turn down the hill--no "carving" needed). Why would you need edge engagement, when there is nothing pulling you out of the turn--no lateral forces to resist? (Yes, if you tighten the turn enough, or just hit the brakes with a hockey stop, it will create sufficient inertial/centrifugal forces to require edge engagement.)
So it is not a question of static vs. forward in a traverse. It is a question of how fast, relative to the turn radius. A low speed traverse will work virtually the same way as the static edge release/steer the tips down the hill drill shown in my little animation. With a little speed and, therefore, turn shape, you will find yourself on the new inside edges at some point before the fall line--the faster, the earlier. With a lot of speed, and on a shallow hill, you may feel that you've engaged the new edges almost immediately after releasing the old edges. But the same fundamentals apply--first an edge release, allowing the tips to turn down the hill into the new turn, then at some point the skis will be flat on the snow, and finally they will roll to their new edges. In a straight down sideslip or pivot slip, the "flat" point will be the fall line. In a turn, it will be somewhere after the edge release and before the fall line. The principle is the same--only the forces involved vary.
For those who have not seen it before, this simple diagram may help:
Forces in a ski turn (from the skier's accelerated frame of reference). Left diagram illustrates a turn starting at a low speed (minimal centrifugal force--red vectors) on a very steep slope (long white vectors, indicating the component of gravity pulling parallel to the slope, pulling down the hill). Right diagram illustrates the opposite--high speed turns on a gentle hill, with consequently larger red "centrifugal force vectors" and much smaller white gravity vectors. Blue vectors illustrate the resultant (sum) of the red and white vectors, and therefore the total force the skier experiences at any given point. As long as the blue vectors point into the turn, it would be difficult, at best, to get enough pressure on the skis to bend them and carve that segment of the turn.
Imagine trying to engage your downhill edges and carve the top of a turn in, say, Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands or the Big Couloir at Big Sky (both 45-ish degrees). Unless you are going very, very fast, it could not be done. That is what the left diagram illustrates, and typical real turns in such situations work very much like the "static" sideslip drill in my little animation--edge release, guide the skis down the hill, and finally engage and shape roughly the bottom half of the turn.
The right diagram, on the other hand, suggests more what you may be visualizing, BTS--a turn where very early edge engagement and carving is possible, even without much speed. But it is a matter of degree, a spectrum based on pitch and speed, not a black-and-white difference between moving forward in a traverse vs. not moving forward in a sideslip. For all practical purposes, a sideslip-release and a slow traverse-release on the same pitch will work and feel virtually the same. KevinF--your observations are completely accurate!