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Another Word

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

As applied to contemporary recreational skiing what does the word 'release' mean to you?

 

What do you release and why?

 

Would you teach it in a lesson and call it a release?

 

What does a release accomplish?

 

fom

post #2 of 28

First thing that pops to mind is releasing my mass from the turn it's in.  I suppose if I had not skipped all those lessons years ago, it might mean releasing the ski from the path it's tracking.  I'm not an instructor.

post #3 of 28
Release means to me to flatten the skis so I can turn the skis.

I do teach this in a lesson.

A release gets the skis off their uphill edges so that you can change direction.
post #4 of 28

Didn't we already have this thread in the fall? I digress...

 

If one subscribes to the R-T-E philosophy (release-transfer-engage), the release is the opposite of engage... or if you prefer disengage.

 

To answer the follow-up questions... in order:

  1. Release refers to the edge and allows the skier to end the turn they are in
  2. Yes, I would call it a release to a student or athlete and do
  3. Same as #1... ends the turn the skier is in
post #5 of 28

Since skiing is dynamic, my focus is on moving to effectively engage (as Heluva put it) my new edges ASAP! Release happens as a result of my move to form the new turn.  So I don't know the value add of teaching release.

 

Much better to focus on where you are going than where you have been. 

post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by JESINSTR View Post

Since skiing is dynamic, my focus is on moving to effectively engage (as Heluva put it) my new edges ASAP! Release happens as a result of my move to form the new turn.  So I don't know the value add of teaching release.


Much better to focus on where you are going than where you have been. 

I assume you teach the move to form the new turn which allows the release to occur so you effectively are teaching a release.
post #7 of 28
Maybe experience the release is the right thought.
post #8 of 28

To simplify the concepts noted above, at some point you have to stop turning right and begin turning left and vice versa. If your edges are engaged you have to disengage them sometime or another.  Unless you want dead spots or drifting in your turns it makes sense to want to reengage as soon as possible. Jesinstr implied release and reengagement as one move and I would have to agree to a large extent. 

 

 

Helluvaskier wrote: "If one subscribes to the R-T-E philosophy (release-transfer-engage)"...

 

I am not one to embrace this fully. Yes, my goal is to release and engage as quickly and seamlessly as possible. To me "flow" is the name of the game. The R-T-E concept, if read literally, implies transfer before reengaging.  I am of the school of thought that the timeline of transfer varies and can be early or later, depending on the travel of your CoM and dynamic of the turn.

post #9 of 28

We definitely had a similar thread during the off season, but if we didn't rehash the same topics this forum would have died long, long ago. 

 

Release as I define it is the release of your edges. I like to keep terms as close to the ski/snow interface as possible. What you do further up your body to make the edge release its grip on the snow is of secondary importance to the result of lessening your edge angle to lessen its grip on the snow.

 

Also, as I've said before, I view releasing and engaging as a process, not an event. A ski that is fully released is flat to the snow, and will slide directly down the fall line (or follow the skier's inertia) regardless of the direction in which the ski is pointed. A fully engaged ski is one in an edge-locked carve, that will follow the arc of the edge with no deviation. Between those two extremes, there are infinite levels of engagement. If you are going from more engaged to less engaged, you are releasing. If you are going from less engaged to more engaged, you are... well, engaging. 

 

In practical terms, the word release is highly dependent on context. If you are carving, the term is fairly clear, since the edge change movement comes in a fairly short time and space. You are going from one edge to the next, and the release is seen in that brief moment between riding one edge and the next. However, it gets much grayer when you start moving away from a carve. When you are skidding and slarving and steering and smearing turns, you do a great deal more playing with edge angles than in a carve. You may have multiple instances where you are releasing your edges in the process of a single turn to achieve a desired result. My best example is if you are sideslipping. To some, releasing the edge happens when your skis start to slide down the hill. But if i'm sideslipping, I can continue to release my edges to increase my speed. And at the same time, you rarely want to fully release your edges in a sideslip, else your downhill edges are likely to catch and dump you over head first. 

 

So what is release? My definition is "the process by which a skier decreases edge angle in order to decrease the ski's grip on the snow surface."

post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatoldman View Post
 

As applied to contemporary recreational skiing what does the word 'release' mean to you?

 

Releasing is ending the old turn and flowing across into the next turn

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatoldman View Post
 

What do you release and why?

 

The edges of course have to be released to end the turn, this has been stated several times, and in a generic sense of the word, that is exactly what we're doing, releasing the edges.  But are we not also releasing the CoM from the inside of the old turn, freeing it to crossover?  Are we not also releasing pressure from the outside ski?  What happens if we only release the edges in isolation?  The CoM would not crossover, the skis skid away and we would fall down inside.  Releasing is more then just the edges.  

 

And a question for all, is which thing causes which other thing to happen?  Does releasing your edges cause your CoM to be released, or does releasing your CoM cause your edges to be released?  How and when is pressure released?  Its all related, and there is more than one thing going on to make it all happen.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatoldman View Post
 

Would you teach it in a lesson and call it a release?

 

Depends on the group or student.  I view that is a fairly complicated topic if not careful.  I think its ok to use the word, in a way such as "releasing activity", referring to several movements that occur in order to facilitate releasing from a turn.  I do not like to think of "release" as a singular thing, because its not a singular thing or singular movement.  Its several coordinated things which contribute to an overall release from a turn.  You can use the word to refer to releasing the edges, but you can also use the word to refer to releasing pressure or releasing the CoM to crossover.  It should not be construed as a label for a singular movement.  But "releasing" from a turn is an important concept for students to intuit, so its good to instill this idea, but just don't try to tie it down too much to a single movement to work on.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatoldman View Post
 

What does a release accomplish?

 

releasing from the old turn enables you to flow into the next turn without having to make gross pushing, stemming and twisting movements to get there.  It facilities an edge change where the CoM flows across and down the hill.

post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
 

  But are we not also releasing the CoM from the inside of the old turn, freeing it to crossover?  

If you are skiing smoothly the CoM TRANSITIONS, just as pressure transitions. The position of the CoM continuously tracks and adjusts relative to the skis and turn shape is never static as "releasing the CoM" suggests.

post #12 of 28
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
....

And a question for all, is which thing causes which other thing to happen?  Does releasing your edges cause your CoM to be released, or does releasing your CoM cause your edges to be released?

 

....You can use the word to refer to releasing the edges, but you can also use the word to refer to releasing pressure or releasing the CoM to crossover.  It should not be construed as a label for a singular movement.  But "releasing" from a turn is an important concept for students to intuit, so its good to instill this idea, but just don't try to tie it down too much to a single movement to work on

 

.....

 

The above statements bear repeating.  

 

In my own turns, I like to separate them, releasing the CoM first while delaying the (full) release of the edges.  Feeling the difference between the two is useful.

Then I put them back together, paying attention to both and how they relate to each other, and how the timing difference affects the turns.

post #13 of 28
I'm with BTS on this.
A time I teach releasing the CoM, and will use the word, is when skiers are holding their CoM inside the current turn well beyond the end of the shaping phase, the often seen park and ride turn. They need to learn to release their CoM so it can flow to the inside of the next turn instead of flipping like a switch from one to the next.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
 

 

Releasing is ending the old turn and flowing across into the next turn

 

And a question for all, is which thing causes which other thing to happen?  Does releasing your edges cause your CoM to be released, or does releasing your CoM cause your edges to be released?  How and when is pressure released?  Its all related, and there is more than one thing going on to make it all happen.

 

 

 

BTS My Vote:  CoM causes edges to be released.

 

When you are shaping your skis in a carved turn, your CoM is aligned with the angle of the edge in such a way as to generate the pressure needed to embed the edge, building and perpetuating the centripetal force caused by the continuation of the arc. 

 

The CoM is "released" from the mode of centripetal balance to a mode of gravitational balance when you disrupt this alignment.  

 

If the disruption is caused by a move of the CoM to form a new turn this is a good thing.... if not, it can be problematic

 

If you just release your edges you are returning your CoM to an inertial path and gravitational balance which says nothing about creating a new turn.

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JESINSTR View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
 

 

Releasing is ending the old turn and flowing across into the next turn

 

And a question for all, is which thing causes which other thing to happen?  Does releasing your edges cause your CoM to be released, or does releasing your CoM cause your edges to be released?  How and when is pressure released?  Its all related, and there is more than one thing going on to make it all happen.

 

 

 

BTS My Vote:  CoM causes edges to be released.

 

When you are shaping your skis in a carved turn, your CoM is aligned with the angle of the edge in such a way as to generate the pressure needed to embed the edge, building and perpetuating the centripetal force caused by the continuation of the arc. 

 

The CoM is "released" from the mode of centripetal balance to a mode of gravitational balance when you disrupt this alignment.  

 

If the disruption is caused by a move of the CoM to form a new turn this is a good thing.... if not, it can be problematic

 

If you just release your edges you are returning your CoM to an inertial path and gravitational balance which says nothing about creating a new turn.

 

If the inertial path moves the body across the path taken by the skis won't a new arc be created?

post #16 of 28

As with all words, "release" has a lot of definitions:

  • The release is the moment in time where my edges "let go" of the snow.  If I were to stop moving at the instant of edge release, I'd start side-slipping (albeit not straight down the fall line as the momentum of the old turn would have something to say still...).  Side-slipping in between turns is a drill I remember doing many, many times to ensure the "old" turn is over before the new turn is started.
  • The release can be the whole chain of thought and movement required to actually achieve an edge release (as I defined it above).  i.e., achieving the release of the old turn is a drawn-out process, not just a binary switch from "old" to "new". Is that worth teaching?  I think it would be hard to argue against that; I see many skiers who make a sudden movement and then are static throughout the turn instead of constantly moving for the next "release".

 

My $0.02.

post #17 of 28

It's nice to have a demo to put things in context - it means whatever it needs to mean at the time. With regards to R-T -E, I'd say that most of the time all three are the same thing, but it's good to be able to separate them if you chose to do so.

post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatoldman View Post
 

 

If the inertial path moves the body across the path taken by the skis won't a new arc be created?

FOM   Yes it would but isn't an arc better created by actively directing the CoM to align with the soon to be new outside ski vs letting it succumb (release) to gravity and waiting for the alignment to happen?  This is an excellent topic for further discussion. 

post #19 of 28

  It's both? but in my view skiing starts with the ski/snow interaction (read: kinetic chain) and it's the upper's job to compliment the lower...and vice-versa :cool

 

  

 

  zenny

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post

 

And a question for all, is which thing causes which other thing to happen?  Does releasing your edges cause your CoM to be released, or does releasing your CoM cause your edges to be released?  How and when is pressure released?  Its all related, and there is more than one thing going on to make it all happen.

 

I'm going to say that in most cases, releasing your edges is what allows your CoM to release. However, one can release your edges without releasing your CoM. Think about sideslips or garland turns. You are releasing the edges, but never releasing the CoM from the uphill side of your BoS. On the other hand, have you ever tried to move your CoM over your skis to the new turn without reducing your edge angle? Give it a try, you'll probably get some pretty odd looks out there on the hill. Just before you fall over. 

post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

I'm going to say that in most cases, releasing your edges is what allows your CoM to release. However, one can release your edges without releasing your CoM. T

In some ways it is a two-way street. Actively releasing the old outside ski, which then becomes the new inside ski can help draw the CoM to continue to track properly. But you cannot release the edges unless the CoM is in position. Hence the concept of "tracking" where the CoM continuously moves and "tracks" it's proper (and varying) position throughout each turn. 

 

Quote:
 Think about sideslips or garland turns. You are releasing the edges, but never releasing the CoM from the uphill side of your BoS. 

Exactly. The CoM must already be in position to release the edges. As you say, if you are uphill of your BoS then your feet are locked up and cannot release until your correct the position of your CoM.

 

I recently had a "light bulb" go off when it comes to good skiers vs great skiers... It appears to me that the good skier controls his center of mass in such a way that at some point it ONLY PASSES THROUGH the proper position TEMPORARILY allowing the feet to function properly in a limited time window.  This "passing thru" allows some release and reengagement in that window of opportunity, but limits the amount of facility he has in making turns and adjustments within those turns. This is readily evident in conditions such as bumps.  The true expert skier controls and TRACKS his CoM CONTINOUSLY and allows foot/leg function and adjustments at any part of the turn, regardless of conditions or adaptations that need to be made within any turn.

 

Another way to look at it is flow, or lack thereof. IMO flow is the name of the game. What you do in a turn does one of two things: It enables flow, or it inhibits it. 

post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
 

In some ways it is a two-way street. Actively releasing the old outside ski, which then becomes the new inside ski can help draw the CoM to continue to track properly. But you cannot release the edges unless the CoM is in position. Hence the concept of "tracking" where the CoM continuously moves and "tracks" it's proper (and varying) position throughout each turn. 

 

I agree its a two way street. It's also a chicken-or-egg type of thing, too. You can't fully release the edge if the CoM isn't over the skis. On the other hand, can you move the CoM over the skis without making a move that results in a flattening of the ski? I'd assert that you can't do so, at least not in a way that is going to lend itself to staying on your feet. 

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

I agree its a two way street. It's also a chicken-or-egg type of thing, too. You can't fully release the edge if the CoM isn't over the skis. On the other hand, can you move the CoM over the skis without making a move that results in a flattening of the ski? I'd assert that you can't do so, at least not in a way that is going to lend itself to staying on your feet. 

We're pretty much saying the same thing in this regard.  The point you're making and I agree with is exactly if the CoM isn't properly positioned over the skis your feet are locked up until the position of the CoM is corrected. And we also agree that you can delay releasing the edges with proper CoM tracking. Essentially what we're both saying is that CoM is the key.  

 

As for the chicken or the egg thing, as you illustrated, The CoM can operate independently of edging but edge control cannot operate independently of CoM.  But I get your point and don't need to split hairs. 

 

And where my opinion differs from some folks here is that pressure transfer, control and distribution and the timing thereof is also a result of proper CoM movement. 

post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
 

We're pretty much saying the same thing in this regard.  The point you're making and I agree with is exactly if the CoM isn't properly positioned over the skis your feet are locked up until the position of the CoM is corrected. And we also agree that you can delay releasing the edges with proper CoM tracking. Essentially what we're both saying is that CoM is the key.  

 

As for the chicken or the egg thing, as you illustrated, The CoM can operate independently of edging but edge control cannot operate independently of CoM.  But I get your point and don't need to split hairs. 

 

And where my opinion differs from some folks here is that pressure transfer, control and distribution and the timing thereof is also a result of proper CoM movement. 

I guess my point of emphasis isn't so much the motions, but the cause and effect chain that goes into the motions. CoM tracking is critical to good skiing. But how does managing your CoM's track occur? In sound skiing, it comes from actions you take with your feet. The motion that starts the transition of your CoM is typically the same motion that flattens your skis and starts your edge release. So I always look to portray it as a foot action leading to a CoM motion, rather than the other way around. It goes back to preaching actions that start from your feet and work their way up the kinetic chain. CoM is fairly high up the chain, while your edges are at the absolute bottom. And when you get down to brass tacks physics, your CoM has inertia, in and of itself has no way to modify the direction of that inertia. Your CoM needs the levers of your skis and your legs to act against the surface of the snow in some way in order to change its direction. 

 

I'm absolutely splitting hairs, and not even in any way trying to contradict anything. Just exploring the technical details. Your CoM needs to be moving and tracking properly in order to execute an edge release. But how do you get your CoM to track properly? By using your skis to act upon it. Really it comes down to approach, it seems. Big picture approach says to track your CoM to get the desired result. Technical detail approach says break down your CoM tracking, and find it starts at your edges. 

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

I guess my point of emphasis isn't so much the motions, but the cause and effect chain that goes into the motions. CoM tracking is critical to good skiing. But how does managing your CoM's track occur? In sound skiing, it comes from actions you take with your feet. The motion that starts the transition of your CoM is typically the same motion that flattens your skis and starts your edge release. So I always look to portray it as a foot action leading to a CoM motion, rather than the other way around. It goes back to preaching actions that start from your feet and work their way up the kinetic chain. CoM is fairly high up the chain, while your edges are at the absolute bottom.

It is a good discussion and especially at the lower levels where the absence of momentum and centripetal force, moving the CoM does in fact require some leverage. This is in fact why one of my three basic fundamentals of skiing is the continuous active inside ski. It plays a major roll in helping pull the CoM into position. Anyone who doesn't believe me hasn't yet truly come to fully understand the Whitepass turn. Unlike another skier [who I've been warned not to mention by name], I believe in keeping both skis on the snow as much as possible, the inside ski generating the torque and resistance that helps power the CoM and even the outside ski in rotary movements. At higher levels of skiing there are more things that come into play. Speed, momentum, centripetal force and the uncoiling of the skis as they exit turns. Yes, you still use your feet but in a different way simply due to the dynamics involved. 

 

Upon reflection a lot of the "tracking" of the CoM is as much mental as it is mechanical. A lot of "releasing" the CoM has a lot to do with timing, not only when to release the CoM to "cross over" but at what rate and in which direction it moves. Technically it is complicated because you have to anticipate where the skis will be at a given point in a turn and move the CoM not only forward and laterally but downward to accomodate the drop due to the pitch of the slope (should that apply).

 

 And yes, the feet do come into play, not only in aiding in the movement of the CoM but also in resisting or misdirecting movement of the CoM, And so mechanically, I agree it is all connected. HOWEVER, if we agree that the  the skis edging abilities are variable stipulating a proper CoM, then it would stand to reason that at a certain level of skiing the CoM is less influenced by foot activity than at lower levels. Again... it's all about flow. 

 

I'll be on the hill tomorrow and I'll try to tune into this a bit more. 

 

Again, good discussion. Thanks. 

post #26 of 28

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

I'm going to say that in most cases, releasing your edges is what allows your CoM to release. However, one can release your edges without releasing your CoM. Think about sideslips or garland turns. You are releasing the edges, but never releasing the CoM from the uphill side of your BoS. 

 

Exactly free ski, releasing only your edges first will result in side slipping.  If anything, the CoM could fall down rather the cross over.  releasing the edges does not cause the CoM to crossover, quite the opposite.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

 On the other hand, have you ever tried to move your CoM over your skis to the new turn without reducing your edge angle? Give it a try, you'll probably get some pretty odd looks out there on the hill. Just before you fall over. 

 

Well, first, holding onto the edge angle is actually one way to cause the CoM to start to move across.  Yes its true that once the CoM starts to move cross, the legs will be dragged across along with it, which will cause the ski edges to also release.

 

But I will again ask the question, what causes the crossover?  Does releasing your edges cause the CoM to crossover?  I don't think so.  Releasing your edges makes it harder for the CoM to cross over.   Something else causes the CoM to crossover.

 

Yet the edges need to be released also.  

 

So perhaps releasing the CoM is the first action?

 

What about releasing pressure?  How does that effect the CoM moving across?

 

The point is, we release from a turn by using a lot more then edge releasing.  The word release can be used in several different contexts and as it turns out, there are at least 3 different contexts for the word directly involved in ending a turn, or releasing out of the turn.  We release our CoM, we release pressure from the outside ski and we release our edges, but quite likely the release of the edges is a RESULT of the other two direct releasing actions, or if you are using a bloody extension move to push  yourself into the turn, then its a result of that.  But either way, releasing the edges happens as a result, and if the edges are released ahead of the CoM, it would actually end up in a side slip wash out at the end of the turn....

post #27 of 28

There' s a huge population of the skiing public that cannot do a two footed release.  The result for many is sequential edge changes and beginning many or most turns with a wedge turn.  Even though a move like this may have a place in one's skill pool, to use it habitually will retard one's progress and handicap the skiers performance.  YM

post #28 of 28

Very interesting thread for someone like me. First off, I commend you for clarifying that your inquiry into the term "release" is in reference to skiing. Otherwise, an errant wayward response could fall into the wrong hands. Rest assured, I believe I have the situation covered as followed: To release something, anything for that matter, you must first have it in holding. In order to do that, you must must be able to catch it. If you are going to catch it, you will have to be skiing very fast. I hope this helps!

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