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Chattering

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

What do you actually consider chatter? I read lots of talk about a ski chattering and to me there are different definitions of chatter, for ex.

 

 

People say a ski chatters at speed.....to me this means tip flap.

 

Chatter to me means......a ski gripping and releasing at a rapid rate when the edge is engaged.

 

What's your definition of chatter?

 

I think the way a person interprets chatter can skew the reviews of a ski.

 

Thoughts?

post #2 of 22

^^^ That's not a bad description.  Rapid oscillations in the direction that is 90 degrees from the plane of the ski is how I would put it.  Usually it is the tip that oscillates.   Most often it is because the of the grip-release action of the edge while trying to turn, but it can also occur simply because the damping is insufficient for the speed (think shussing at DH speeds on old straight sl skis or speeding in a car that needs some wheel balancing).

 

It is not the same as the "hunting for turns" instability of modern shaped skis when shussing (straight-lining for you young'uns).

post #3 of 22

Well put.

 

The cause of chattering can also be several things such as: tuning, poor technique, insufficient ski for the skiers ability/intentions to mention a few in addition to what Ghost has already mentioned.

 

So depending on what is being described around the chattering you can start determining the potential cause, what can muddle the issue it can be one or all at the same time, so determining the solution can be challenging.

 

Example:  My nephews beginner ski chattered and most thought it was technique until you saw when the chattering happened (had to chase him done the hills a few times to spot it), proper turn initiation, forward loading ski and they started chattering.  The fault was the ski was trying to compensate for beginner (and not a intermediate or advance) skiers over input by releasing the grip (unfortunately it was intentional).  Solution, higher end ski (Jr Race actually because of a deal), problem solved.  The only chatter that happens now is when he doesn't get forward enough to set and hold the edge (again higher performance ski does not give you the lea way to give sloppy input).  This chatter in particular looks very similar, but a better skier (instructor) should be able to identify the difference to help determine the cause.

 

Hopefully this helps clear some of it up for you.

post #4 of 22

Tip flap is not chatter. 

 

You're second definition nails it!

 

I have to disagree with Ghost it is almost always underfoot in the tail. Never in the tips!

post #5 of 22

Chattering is what happens when you stop turning and start sliding sideways on your edges. IME actively turning the ski to reinitiate a turn will stop the chatter.

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post
 

Well put.

 

The cause of chattering can also be several things such as: tuning, poor technique, insufficient ski for the skiers ability/intentions to mention a few in addition to what Ghost has already mentioned.

 

So depending on what is being described around the chattering you can start determining the potential cause, what can muddle the issue it can be one or all at the same time, so determining the solution can be challenging.

 

Example:  My nephews beginner ski chattered and most thought it was technique until you saw when the chattering happened (had to chase him done the hills a few times to spot it), proper turn initiation, forward loading ski and they started chattering.  The fault was the ski was trying to compensate for beginner (and not a intermediate or advance) skiers over input by releasing the grip (unfortunately it was intentional).  Solution, higher end ski (Jr Race actually because of a deal), problem solved.  The only chatter that happens now is when he doesn't get forward enough to set and hold the edge (again higher performance ski does not give you the lea way to give sloppy input).  This chatter in particular looks very similar, but a better skier (instructor) should be able to identify the difference to help determine the cause.

 

Hopefully this helps clear some of it up for you.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
 

Tip flap is not chatter. 

 

You're second definition nails it!

 

I have to disagree with Ghost it is almost always underfoot in the tail. Never in the tips!


I stand corrected, the correct definition of chattering does not include tip flap.  However many folks don't know the correct definition and when their entire ski is vibrating like a paint shaker on crack, because they were crazy enough to ski a SL ski at DH speeds on a hard icy slope, they might still call that chattering (BTW very hard to get much edge engagement or turning effect in those conditions).

 

Oldschoolskier makes a very good point.  With a solid race ski on an icy course or run with similar conditions similar, chatter under foot and towards the tail is the more common result when more is asked of the ski than can be given; with lesser skis tip chatter (not tip flap) is more common.  Also tip chatter is more common with lesser skilled pilots.

post #7 of 22
Sorry if this sounds silly, but is chatter different than the scraping you get from sideslipping on a hard surface? It's just that I haven't generated anything I'd call chatter, but I'm sure I've done everything wrong that's possible to do on skis! Won't someone post video?
post #8 of 22

Bears are experts at chatter.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post

Sorry if this sounds silly, but is chatter different than the scraping you get from sideslipping on a hard surface? It's just that I haven't generated anything I'd call chatter, but I'm sure I've done everything wrong that's possible to do on skis! Won't someone post video?


Yes, very different from scraping.  Scraping is like shaving,  chattering is like cutting yourself shaving.  It's like when you are planing and you are a little too eager with the plane and it gets stuck.  It's like kick-back on a chain saw.  It's like sudden grip, hammering, then releasing.  If under heel it feels like a hammer drill.

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

Chattering is what happens when you stop turning and start sliding sideways on your edges. IME actively turning the ski to reinitiate a turn will stop the chatter.

What I'm finding with a lot of skis is that on very steep, firm and groomed terrain the ski intiates, engages, and at that moment I need it to hold I get chatter (ie. release and grip release and grip). I've found the only way to fix the problem is to do a hop or somehow get the edge to release and rengage.

post #11 of 22
Next time it happens try pressing with your big toe. That works for me.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post


Yes, very different from scraping.  Scraping is like shaving,  chattering is like cutting yourself shaving.  It's like when you are planing and you are a little too eager with the plane and it gets stuck.  It's like kick-back on a chain saw.  It's like sudden grip, hammering, then releasing.  If under heel it feels like a hammer drill.
OK, I got it; I know the feeling all too well from planing something that maybe oughtn't be planed. I think Willi Wiltz called it chundering in one of his videos, but I looked it up, and the InterTubz says "chunder" means vomit. confused.gif
post #13 of 22

Riding up Summit chair at alpine meadows you cross D8 chute which gets pretty firm after it's been groomed (Si mag called it 45 degrees which is of course ridiculous). As you look down you see chatter marks all up and down and across the chute--look like groomer tread marks but longer. They pretty much go straight down the fall line--no turning involved. In addition to what I mentioned above I find it helpful to increase the uphill ski tip lead, which allows the pelvis to face downhill, which in turn allows you to angulate more, which in turn increases edge angle, which keeps the edge from releasing. Important to have your nose and knees out over your feet when you do that. 

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Next time it happens try pressing with your big toe. That works for me.

Well that will just cause more follow through in the arc, which will just load up and accelerate me more through the turn when I need to be blowing speed on the steep stuff.

 

I think it's related to ski construction, width, flex, radius, speed.

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

^^^ That's not a bad description.  Rapid oscillations in the direction that is 90 degrees from the plane of the ski is how I would put it.  Usually it is the tip that oscillates.   Most often it is because the of the grip-release action of the edge while trying to turn, but it can also occur simply because the damping is insufficient for the speed (think shussing at DH speeds on old straight sl skis or speeding in a car that needs some wheel balancing).

As resolved earlier, yep, rapid oscillations - or on/off feelings - of front edge engagement. And nope, nothing to do with up and down/longitudinal movements. I call these "nervousness;" YMMV.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

Bears are experts at chatter.

 

Ooh yeaah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Next time it happens try pressing with your big toe. That works for me.

Key concept IMO. One Level III explained it as the ski being asked to engage an edge while simultaneously doing a rotary movement in a neutral to backseat stance. He demonstrated nicely on a firm steeper pitch. It's kinda fun to create once you get the hang of it, and helps your body to figure out edge pressure. 

post #16 of 22
1. Chatter - tip flapping at high speed
2. Edge hold - ski specific ability to hold the edge
2a. User error - rapid grip/release/scrape issue specific to the user, i.e., unsound technique, mismatch, etc.

Above is how I always understood it...It seems like I have read so many ski reviews where reviewer uses the term chatter. Are we saying he/she is describing their experience based on their technical limitation, thus misusing the term?

The term itself is descriptive and has room for multiple interpretation. I bet the dominant use is for tip-flap. Then so be it.
Edited by nochaser - 3/3/14 at 7:35am
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cc1 View Post
 

Well that will just cause more follow through in the arc, which will just load up and accelerate me more through the turn when I need to be blowing speed on the steep stuff.

 

I think it's related to ski construction, width, flex, radius, speed.

Increasing your tip lead  and getting your upper body downhill will allow you to set a solid edge, check your speed, and have a base for the next turn. Sounds like you're trying to control speed by skidding at the end of a turn, which is the wrong place for a skid. Sure--having the right ski will help but the stiffest racing ski will chatter if technique is off, and you should be able to avoid chatter on all but hardest slopes with all but the softest skis.

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

Increasing your tip lead  and getting your upper body downhill will allow you to set a solid edge, check your speed, and have a base for the next turn. Sounds like you're trying to control speed by skidding at the end of a turn, which is the wrong place for a skid. Sure--having the right ski will help but the stiffest racing ski will chatter if technique is off, and you should be able to avoid chatter on all but hardest slopes with all but the softest skis.

No, what's happening is I'm getting chatter at slightly after initiation, then I have to release the ski completely, if it goes into a skid it's just grabbing and releasing. Keep in mind this is only on super steep terrain tyring to slice carved turns slightly out of fall line to dump speed. Actually finding the wider under foot, more flexy skis work better in this type of condition, unless I'm on a super short slalom ski. Just too much accleration occurs when completely locked into a carve.

post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cc1 View Post
 

No, what's happening is I'm getting chatter at slightly after initiation, then I have to release the ski completely, if it goes into a skid it's just grabbing and releasing. Keep in mind this is only on super steep terrain tyring to slice carved turns slightly out of fall line to dump speed. Actually finding the wider under foot, more flexy skis work better in this type of condition, unless I'm on a super short slalom ski. Just too much accleration occurs when completely locked into a carve.

The last thing you want to do on super steep terrain is lock into a carve. There are a lot of technical differences (and a lot of similarities too of course) between skiing groomed runs flat enough to allow you to carve and runs that are too steep for carving (how steep that is depends on the skier). To me it sounds like your issue is technique--maybe a steeps lesson? In the meantime, like I said--more edge angle which requires more angulation which requires more tip lead unless you're a contortionist. Too little edge angle and you slide sideways. The right amount and your edges hold--at that point whether you carve out of control or set an edge and control speed depends on your weight distribution. In between edge angle and you chatter. You're dealing with the chatter by releasing your edges and skidding, when you should be increasing your edge angle. If at the same time you get your upper body down hill you will slow down or even stop, if you want to, not accelerate out of control. An exercise that works for me is to ski a steep run very slowly, and in a very narrow path down the fall line. It can be a lot harder to ski a steep, icy run slowly than to go balls out and hope you don't crash.

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

The last thing you want to do on super steep terrain is lock into a carve. There are a lot of technical differences (and a lot of similarities too of course) between skiing groomed runs flat enough to allow you to carve and runs that are too steep for carving (how steep that is depends on the skier). To me it sounds like your issue is technique--maybe a steeps lesson? In the meantime, like I said--more edge angle which requires more angulation which requires more tip lead unless you're a contortionist. Too little edge angle and you slide sideways. The right amount and your edges hold--at that point whether you carve out of control or set an edge and control speed depends on your weight distribution. In between edge angle and you chatter. You're dealing with the chatter by releasing your edges and skidding, when you should be increasing your edge angle. If at the same time you get your upper body down hill you will slow down or even stop, if you want to, not accelerate out of control. An exercise that works for me is to ski a steep run very slowly, and in a very narrow path down the fall line. It can be a lot harder to ski a steep, icy run slowly than to go balls out and hope you don't crash.

 

For the sake of following this conversation, what is "super steep?" I'm quite the new skier and the steepest I've had the opportunity to ski at my local hills was 38 degrees, and I could not imagine skiing that run any other way other than a carve to maintain control. This is true even moreso when that run becomes all crudded up near the end of the day. I alter the shape of my carved turns to control speed.

post #21 of 22

Steep is relative, and although this has been said before, it bears saying again.  True carving is the most efficient way of converting potential energy due to gravity (elevation) into kinetic energy (speed) while turning.  If you are carving efficiently you will be going fast.  If you are carving efficiently on a steep or even what is called a black at many eastern resorts, you will be going very fast (another relative term).  If you don't want to ski fast, you need to do something else.   (BTW I love carving SG or DH turns on steeps, provided there is a good run out and not an a turn that cannot be made at speed at the bottom of the steep.)

post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Steep is relative, and although this has been said before, it bears saying again.  True carving is the most efficient way of converting potential energy due to gravity (elevation) into kinetic energy (speed) while turning.  If you are carving efficiently you will be going fast.  If you are carving efficiently on a steep or even what is called a black at many eastern resorts, you will be going very fast (another relative term).  If you don't want to ski fast, you need to do something else.   (BTW I love carving SG or DH turns on steeps, provided there is a good run out and not an a turn that cannot be made at speed at the bottom of the steep.)

 

Adding to that, from my experience carving "steeps," your "speed" is going to be very fast for sure. The vertical component of your velocity can be managed however with turn shape given the run is sufficiently wide. I guess that's what I meant by controlling speed with turns. Either way that run out is going to be critical at the bottom. I find myself waiting at the top of runs these days waiting for the run and run out to clear out so I can safely carve and have fun.

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