- 3 degree side bevel angle or higher
- sharp tune
- full camber
- stiff flex
- and/or else?
BALANCING over the outside ski. A sharp ski with good torsional stiffness helps. YM
Turn entry is the key to edge grip on ice. You need:
--effective release and patience at the top of the turn so you get edge engagement before skis reach the fall line.
--no pivoting at the top of the turn, unless you are a world cup superstar in which case you can do whatever you want.
--If the edges are not gripping after the fall line, it's too late. No jamming or "pressing" on the edges down there should be necessary.
It's ice. Be nice to ice.
There have been quite a few threads on ice. I'd suggest doing a search. Or we can do it all again - not like we have anything better to do! IMHO good skiing on ice is just like skiing on any other surface. Patience is a virtue, stand on your outside ski, change edges together and allow the skis to work. What makes it hard for you I could not say, but video is always a plus!
Depending on pitch, speed of travel, what you define as "ice", inappropriateness of gear/tune, and what you consider "effective": absolutely maybe ;)
You can't cut ice with a spaghetti noodle.
Ice is a very good determining factor if you are wondering how much you may be letting yourself get away with when on soft snow. Enhancing the movements that allow for better edge hold on hard ice will provide you with a mapping tool for personally developed movements that will enhance your performance on soft snow.
Things to explore on ice:
1. Early weight transfer
2. Early tipping
3. Patiently developing of turning forces
4. Lengthening out the arc of the turn and, conversely, shortening/quickening transition
5. Soft on/soft off the ski, soft touch over all
That is a very good point. To clarify the thinking, it is the early start of the turn that actually allows the space for gradually development of turning forces. If you start the turn late, ie: late weight transfer, then there is less space to apply the pressure gradually and the resultant abrupt turning forces can cause slippage on ice.
A surface like that allows you to feel a lot more of the energy transfer through your equipment and heightens the awareness of what is actually happening under your feet.. It is not only that it helps you keep things in check, it is simply an awesome feeling to hang all of your inertia on a rail only a millimeter or two deep. Sort of like dancing with the devil and getting away with it (hopefully). Hero snow is not hero snow if that is all you ski on.
To be honest, I truly miss the days of skiing boilerplate. I didn't get to ski ice one day this year.
Sharp accute edges and good technique are needed. Race skis work better too. That being said, so do reasonable expectations, especially in variable conditions.
If your are skiing along in a pure carve with your skis digging into some chalky snow and you hit a patch of scraped off "ice", you had better not be at maximum grip and turn force, and you should be angulated enough with enough in reserve to ride out the slip.
Take a look around the gate posts after your local race team is done with a practice. Chances are, especially if it is a steep slalom, you will see scraped smooth snow, not grooved up snow. You have to be able to "carve" on ice, not just pure carve.
The ski has to move along its longitudinal axis to maintain grip SLICING thru the ice. As soon as you take the ski out of its natural path moving forward you WILL lose grip and edgehold until the ski begins moving through it's own path again.
And at base flat between left and right turns, the turn radius is infinite, but the sidecut radius is not, so you have to re-establish slicing with every transition, if slicing is what you want to do. Ask the ski to turn too much too soon and you may find yourself scraping instead of slicing.