Don't get hung up fighting over choice of words. It's the skiing that matters.
The problem here is that there is a grey area in between side slipping or drifting sideways in a full skid at one extreme vs pure arcing at the other end. In between is a spectrum of different kinds of edge engagement. Creating words to define things causes a problem which is that then people have to try to find a way to lump things under narrow definitions, which can cause subtle distinction to be lost. People have a tendency to need these labels though to connect their right brain with their left brain in some way.
When you really start to think about it, carving is not such a narrow definition. Carving is when the ski tends to be doing something closer to running tip to tail. But the ski can still be skidding a small amount yet much carving action can still be present. The USSA definition of arcing is that there is zero skidding. It's a pure carve. But if the ski is only skidding a small amount and is moving along it's length tip to tail, bent and engaged, they would still label that as carving; as would I. The question then becomes, well if you can still call it carving even if there is some skidding component, then where do you draw the line? At what point does it cease to be carving any more?
The human mind that needs to connect labels to ideas starts to short circuit and so you see so many people saying that you have to draw the line at arcing itself and anything that is not a pure carve(arc) should be removed from the discussiom of carving. But per the USSA and some others including myself, that is ignoring a significant area of practical ski carving which is not pure arcing. So then where do you draw the line in order to satisfy the brain with a sensible label? If there can be a little skidding and it's still carving, then how about a little more skidding? How about a lot of skidding? Logically you will realize that the existence of some skidding cannot be a determining factor of whether to identify some set of turns as being carved or not. Well you can say if there is zero skidding then the turns are arced, carved purely. If there is some skidding, then it's still not determined without more information whether the turns are carved or not, according to USSA and others.
it can become kind of a subjective thing with different opinions about whether a certain set of turns were "carved" or not. The truth is there is a big grey area there. The human mind struggles with grey areas.
The logical conclusion I came to is that ALL ski turns have a carving component to them as long as the skis are being moved laterally AWAY from the direction the bases are facing. In a pure side slip or pure drift, the skis are moving laterally in the direction the bases are facing. Pure skid. No carving. There is the line.
There is a line that distinguishes arcing, and another line that distinguishes pure skidding or lack of carving. In between is a very large grey area where most of us ski most of the time, all of which has a carving component to it. If your skis are moving larerally away from the direction the bases are facing then they are carving.
Nonetheless, as you get closer and closer to the arcing end of the spectrum, carving effectiveness is noticed much more greatly. It becomes much more noticeably "carved". At the other end of the spectrum, when carving action is so tiny as to be obscured by all the skidding, and most of us would not really want to identify the act as a verb of carving, even though technically speaking of they are on the side of the line where there is some carving happening, then technically the skis are in fact carving a bit. Not very effectively, but still carving a bit.
So where do we draw the line then to satisfy the human mind with a label in terms of the resultant ski action on the snow? I don't think we can or should try to lump all colors under either black or white category. However we can certainly talk about carving effectiveness, whether a skier has a lot of carving or very little carving. It's not binary on or off. Its a spectrum.
What we can do is identify if a skier is making a variety of movements which contribute to optimizing carving purity vs making movements which detract from carve purity. For example if a skier pivots their skis with rotary force, then they are removing carving action. So while the skis may still yet have a carving component in terms of resulting reaction on the snow, the skier themself is working against it. So are they "carving"? You tell me. What it really comes down to is whether they are making movements which embrace the idea of getting the ski to come as close as possible to carve purity, with the tail following the tips or close to it. Round turn shapes. Lots of lateral displacement of the skier towards the inside ( as opposed to drifting outside). Could the skier carve more effectively? Should they? Tactics may say otherwise. If they are twisting their skis manually into z shaped turns then generally we can subjectively say they are not carving very much; some might even subjectively say flatly they are not carving, even though technically their skis will still have some carving action if they manage to displace themselves laterally. Certainly the chronic twister is working against carving effectiveness.
Pivot slips and so called short swing turns might be the only true examples of zero carving.
Edited by borntoski683 - 3/18/15 at 8:09am