Well, the femurs can rotate in the hip socket during a cleanly carved turn that isn't park and ride. Is that steering? I personally don't think so, but some people will look for upper/lower separation that can and should occur, even during pure arcing.........as a sign of "steering". Is that "leg steering"? Perhaps, but if its not effecting the actual turn shape of the skis on the snow, then why use the word "steering" at all to refer to what the legs are doing in the hip socket?
I don't like the term "steering" at all because it has so many different meanings floating around and the word on its own does not instruct you what to do with your body parts or anything. And as a description about outcomes its also not very clear what is intended by the person using the word. Then again, neither does the word "carving".
So we have "carving" and "steering", both words with loosy goosy definitions that depends on who you are talking to. Many people consider carving to be the same as "arcing", which is leaving pencil thin lines in the snow with no appreciable skidding. It is a perception about outcome, rather than a description about movement patterns. That is definitely not my definition, but that seems to be a very common perception of what it means to carve. So then what does it mean to be "steering"? Is that an outcome as well? Are the two terms mutually exclusive?
If its a mutually exclusive outcome, then what is the difference between steering and carving? Of course, since there are slightly different definitions of what it means to be carving as an outcome, then there is a grey area where some people would say the outcome is carving or brushed carving and others might call that steering simply because the edges are not arcing purely. The people that believe that carving is the same as arcing will say anything not arc'd is steering, regardless of the body movements used to achieve it or the outcome turn shape. I call that skidding. "steering" then, what is that as an outcome?
If its not an outcome, then what specific body movement actions is the word implying? I expect to hear 10 different explanations to that question.
We could say that word means to simply "pilot" the skis on a path that is smaller or larger radius then what would happen in a park and ride pure arc sidecut ride. Notice I used the word "pilot" instead of "steer". The word "steer" has implications about twisting a steering wheel to adjust turning. But in skiing we use a variety of means to adjust the turn radius. We don't have an actual steering wheel that we can twist. Some people believe they can twist their legs to steer more. Others feel they can tip the skis more to make the turn tighter. Some feel they can adjust fore-aft balance to bend the front of the ski and turn tighter, etc. Do all of those combined movement patterns fall under the umbrella of "steering"? Perhaps. That is about as close as I will get to it. Those things can happen on arcing or skidding skis, so whether the skis are arcing or not is irrelevant. Whether the legs are twisting or not is also irrelevant, our legs are always twisting if we are maintaing good upper/lower seperation.
Its a term to simply say we are making piloting adjustments that will cause the turn size to shrink beyond what happens in a purely park and ride arc. But its not a very clear term because the term on its own does not tell you how to do it and what I don't like about the word is that the most common intuitive understanding is to twist the legs like a steering wheel, which some of us consider the least effective means to actually effect turn size change. Unfortunately we don't possess a steering wheel, we have two skis on the bottom of our feet with sidecuts and edges and we can use all the 3 skills of edging, rotary and pressure control to effect the way they interact with the snow, which can cause them to arc or skid, and in both arcing and skidding we can influence the turn shape through these methods.......
Edited by borntoski683 - 11/24/14 at 12:00pm