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# "Oversteering:" is this a term or a movement pattern that instructors use today? - Page 2

Seems to me that if there is something as basic as there having to be a difference in the direction the ski tip is pointing and the direction of travel of the body for a ski turn of any type to happen it makes sense to call it the same thing across all turn types. Introducing superfluous terms just makes things less clear. All turns require a steering angle, how you achieve that steering angle is a big part of what type of turn you make.

fom

Wish I had the book with me, but it's miles away in another state right now.

Snow would be better still, but that's months away now too.

Zero degree steering angle, according to LeMaster, is a carved turn, arc-to-arc.

Because there is no difference between the direction the ski is pointing and the direction of the turn.

However, he does discuss the difference in "steering angle" between the shovel and tail of a shaped ski,

so there's some self-contradiction in there.  IF I recall accurately.

Well, a ski that is pressured into a curve will have a different direction it is pointing at every point along the ski, the tangent direction, and if it is in an arc-2-arc turn the direction of travel of the ski at that tangent point will the same as the tangent direction giving us zero steering angle.

Sticking with tangent direction to define the direction ski is pointing, the ski will have a different direction it is pointing in for every point along the ski, and if not in an arc-2-arc turn the difference between the direction the ski is pointing and the direction of travel could be vary for different parts of the ski.   (e.g. zero steering angle under foot, but tips scraping along with a steering angle).  Also, if we are interested in the effect of the steering angle in terms of turning forces applied, then we have a different steering angle for different parts of a curved ski when we compare tangent direction to direction of travel of COM.

Best to clearly define all variables.

LF, Lemaster talks about the ski having a built in steering angle, because of sidecut, that acts to cause the ski to turn itself.  Page 23, The Skier's Edge.  Obviously, that steering angle changes as the ski tips higher on edge and bends more, and the ski turns itself more sharply.   All happening with no skid involved.

I'm in Texas right now where it's very hot and nobody has heard of Ron Lemaster nor do they have a copy of his book that I can borrow. What I will say, which may or may not agree or disagree with Ron Lemaster, is that there can absolutely be steering angle on an arcing ski. That is actually what makes it arc.

No steering angle = no turn

In my opinion the edge of the tail of the ski generally will be in closest alignment with the tangent direction of momentum, everything forward from there is bent into a little or a lot more steering angle then that. Skidded or not. A skidding ski, the tail is also in significant steering angle, call it skid angle if you wish, but I personally think that even with arc'd turns most of the ski has some steering angle. It might be that the very last end of the tail of the ski is lined up with the momentum tangent ( no skid angle ) while in the skidded turns the tail also is lined up inside of that momentum line.

We're speaking somewhat theoretically though because the steering angle manipulation is not the right way to create and manipulate skidding. The fact the tail skids is mostly a factor of edge angle regardless of the steering angle. The steering angle or skid angle if you want to call it that, has more of a determining influence over how the ski will turn or slow down, which is also influenced by the edge engagement.

I do not know if I agree with Ron lemaster completely about more steering angle creating more turning as much as he suggests and have no idea how he came up with the number 50. What I will say is that as soon as you have ANY steering angle you are slowing yourself down and turning yourself. More steering angle has the potential to slow you down more then less steering angle, PROVIDED, you can also maintain that large steering angle while also maintaining sufficient edge angle engagement which is harder then it sounds.

But larger steering angle does not necessarily turn you more. From a practical perspective, it doesn't take that much steering angle to turn into chatter really quick with sufficient edge angle. Insufficient edge angle just turns into something skiddy and ineffective, no matter how much steering/skid angle you put on it. So practically speaking, there is a limit to how much more turning power you can get out of steering angle.

Also a ski which has a large steering angle and somehow has just enough edge angle to be somewhat effective without chattering in the same way a stivot is, the ski will begin moving in the direction it is pointing, thus reducing the steering angle again, so it can't really be sustained very long. Like in stivots, the skis are twisted into skid angle and then when they are engaged they self align their direction of travel back out of that to much less steering angle.

Personally I think a ski loses turning effectiveness WAY before 50 degrees of steering angle for all those reasons. A stivot is about the only thing that I think can make use of it and it's an impulse moment, not a sustained-through-the-turn mechanism. And even with a stivot, it has to be feathered on. In other words when you first create the semi large skid angle the edge angle is initially kept low. As the ski begins to straighten itself out into less skid or steering angle, then more and more edge angle can be applied. The amount of usable steering angle that can be used in a sustained way through a turn with an effective amount of edge angle to actually turn you is actually nowhere near 45 or 50 degrees except at über slow beginner speeds.

The effective zone where you can use truly effective edge angles that can be sustained for a turn, is in the zone of not actually all that much steering angle. Just a little bit more then arcing in my opinion. Beyond that the ski either chatters or has to be flattened or if you have the perfect mix it straightens itself out. A ski will not entirely straighten itself out. A ski has a self steering effect as well, but that effect only creates a small amount of steering angle. So if you try to manipulate more steering angle, you can do it on fairly flat skis but if you edge them to actually do something significant, then they will either chatter or straighten out a bit but back to the pocket of steering angle range that is just outside of arcing.

Or if the edges stay flat they will washout. Most likely if you focus on steering angle manipulation it will result in washout on a flat ski or chattering on an edged ski. Something like a stivot is what you get when you manipulate steering angle and feather the edges into engagement before they can washout and not so fast they they chatter as the steering angle reduces itself.
Edited by borntoski683 - 8/7/15 at 7:26am
Also LF. Another point about the steering angle. If you put your hand out the window of a moving car and use it like a weather vane as RLM described in one of his books, you will get some feedback. If it's pointing forward it slices through the wind. Twist it just slightly to the side and the turning force to move your hand to the side is quite strong with very little steering angle. Point it even a little more and it starts to push your hand back quite strongly. It does not take much steering angle to slow you down a lot. RLM is correct to point out that at least initially you can increase turning power with each degree of steering angle and it will already start slowing you too. For a few degrees you can feel your hand being pushed to the side by the wind increasingly. It does not take 50 degrees before you feel that side to side pressure decrease or stabilize while pressure backwards continues to increase substantially. I am not so sure that sideways movement of the hand vane is increased all the way up to 50 degrees. But let's assume he worked out the physics math to determine that is the magic angle where turning begins to diminish, and I am skeptical of that, but let's assume for a second it's true. In skiing that would still depend on being able to maintain the edge angle to do so without chatter. So imho that is not practically speaking possible except for über slow speeds.

When you are skidding, you are turning the skis

When you are carving, the skis are turning you.

Most of the time we are somewhere in between.

all steering is oversteering!

Quote:
Originally Posted by razie

all steering is oversteering!

Surely self-steering isn't  oversteering.

Jes, what the heck you doing coming in here trying to make things all simple like?

Nice job, buddy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by razie

all steering is oversteering!

Tastes great!  Less filling!

Steering should be a useable skill in every good skier.

Here, razie, joining in on the fun!

"Pay no attention to the tails of my skis, I am the great and powerful non pivoting/steering ski instructor."

Quote:
Originally Posted by razie

all steering is oversteering!

Razie,

Posting that is a bigger honor code violation than publishing the location of special powder stashes in the trees. What were you thinking? The masses must not be allowed to ski well (for their own good.)

Steering a carving ski, without making the tails skid, can you do that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro

Steering a carving ski, without making the tails skid, can you do that?

I often wonder that, actually. to quote scripture: yes, but it does obviously depend on one's defining of steering... and does it actually steer the things? how do we measure that scientifically?

are you really guiding the skis or just making sure you're not unwinding? are you just coiling and creating counter? is that what's really enhancing the turning effect? if that's the action... where's the reaction? what if it's better to focus on bigger angles before pressure?

there's more to it than it seems... actually in the last great video of the three musketeers, Paul has a chat about it... about active femur rotation becoming an issue at high angles/low positions and focusing on "foot turning" is more important (with emphasis on not taking the ski off edge, of course)... it is a fairly vast subject

p.s. to the original question, I'm too lazy to go find the book and then find the thing, but if we're talking about the kind that shows in the tails and if my initials were RLM, I would likely define oversteering as a too zealous application of the thing in time. Meaning in the relation to the turn I was trying to make.

p.s. reading the actual thread, which is always less fun than just answering it, I see the book was found and it had a definition...

Edited by razie - 8/5/15 at 8:54pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick

Here, razie, joining in on the fun!

"Pay no attention to the tails of my skis, I am the great and powerful non pivoting/steering ski instructor."

amazing how easy it is to throw off a thread

of all the ways to steer, and LF has a pretty good list there, I like the ones that create rotation momentums (based on twisting lower or upper)!

I like them the least, that is - I find them the least controllable and desirable... I however do exactly that every time my face looks like

however, while one is learning the "proper" technique of convincing the skis to do what one wants, I find all steering less desirable...

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro

Steering a carving ski, without making the tails skid, can you do that?

Ah yes, Grasshopper.  But can a man also skid the tails of a ski without the rest of the ski skidding too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by razie

amazing how easy it is to throw off a thread

of all the ways to steer, and LF has a pretty good list there, I like the ones that create rotation momentums (based on twisting lower or upper)!

I like them the least, that is - I find them the least controllable and desirable... I however do exactly that every time my face looks like

however, while one is learning the "proper" technique of convincing the skis to do what one wants, I find all steering less desirable...

I agree, razie.  I tend to only use them in urgency situations.

I also don't tend to use oversteering much either, simply because it puts you in a non stacked stance, sub premium balance position that's energy inefficient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick

I also don't tend to use oversteering much either, simply because it puts you in a non stacked stance, sub premium balance position that's energy inefficient.

it is obvious to me now that so many must be running on Duracell...

Quote:
Originally Posted by razie

it is obvious to me now that so many must be running on Duracell...

Jokes aside tactical skids are prevelent even in racing. That may be the tails only, entire ski, or just the tips. Each represents a choice. When each makes sense is truly the only question not answered.

A point I would like to make is that so far,  no one has defined what steering is in regards to skiing.   How can we discuss over-steering without an understanding and agreement of what steering is in the first place?

IMO steering is not a helpful term or concept in ski teaching.  Too many automatically associated the term with steering a car or bike etc and drawing and analogy to those items is misguided.

My impression is that most  view steering as a combination of edging and sliding.  That's ok but when that condition occurs, what is the skiers focus?  Are they focused on heading into a carve or are they focused on heading into a slide?  Gotta be focused somewhere.

For many recreational skiers steering is a no-mans land.  Without intent, the condition of steering quickly turns the focus to that of survival with little concern for turn completion.

Chapter 2 defines the terms quite well. At least for this discussion that was framed around Ron's book and his assertion that "oversteering " involves the tails skidding. He mentions that skis like cars depend on the contact patches for control. Mechanically turning the front wheels changes the direction they face and thus a lateral force is created that turns the whole car. In that way the car analogy works, the skis turn the skier regardless of whether the skier uses a strong active steering action, or follows the path defined by the sidecut and any flexing that would change that edge platform's radius.

So to be congruent with all of that as a framework (LF's choice) the "is it a movement we teach, or simply a term" question centers not on defining terms but on the concept itself. Carved turns where no lateral slipping occurs thus represents one end of this spectrum and sideslips represent the other end of the spectrum. Do we as instructors and coaches teach pure carves, or pure skids? Yes at times we do. Do we teach a combination of the two that would fall somewhere in the middle of that defined spectrum? Again yes at times we do. Is it limited to the tails slipping? If we are working on controlled oversteering the answer has to be yes. Does that mean we don't teach carving where the amount of oversteering is negligible ? No but I would add that the topic here is "oversteering" not carving. Not to mention a thousand carving threads already exist here and turning this thread into another carving thread seems to me a bit redundant as well as tangential to the original questions.

It's why The list LF suggested makes sense, it give the concept a real world relevance. Nice thinking LF!

Along those lines a real world example of oversteering is the often vilified windshield wiper turn. Short swing is another. Rotary push offs are a third. Heel thrust are a fourth. Most of these movements and maneuvers get portrayed as bad skiing and that might be where we need to drop the subjective opinions for a moment. Yes modern skiing promotes a different set of maneuvers but look back a few decades and you would see legitimate schools incorporating a lot more oversteering into their programs. Nor has it disappeared in most ski schools. We went that route and produced a generation of skiers who couldn't feather an edge to save their lives. A sad result was they lacked the ability to change their turns and thus kept running into things and each other as they parked and rode their way down the slopes.

So to give a modern (and interestingly enough ancient) example of oversteering in use today. A gliding wedge and wedge Christie use oversteering. A basic parallel turn is skidded as well so it would still use some oversteering but how we develop the tip pressure is far different from yesteryear where levering was considered the only way to create tip pressure. This comes down to our frame of reference though. Like LeMaster's balance axis and three planes diagrams the inclined skier experiences these three planes relative to their body but the skis experience them relative to themselves and their contact point with the snow. If the ski is tipped up onto an edge the edge platform is still beneath the ski but when tipped up far enough what we would have labeled rotary movements like leg steering actually works to shift fore aft pressure along the engaged edge.  Mostly because we still need to impart force down onto and into the snow and if the snow is located more off to the side than straight underfoot that downward force vector is one component of the resultant force vector that we can manipulate with our steering. This additional option allows us to choose between shifting the CoM forward / pulling the feet back (classic fore / aft levering) and actively steering the engaged ski.

JASP

Edited by justanotherskipro - 8/6/15 at 9:43am
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet

So now we have this list:

How to make tails turn faster than tips (which is how skidded turns are motorized) (both good and bad ways included)

--Oversteer #1:  load the front of the skis while they are slightly edged (skidded turns) and allow the tails to slip farther than the shovels (no muscular rotation) (LeMaster's first type of oversteering)

--Oversteer #2:  load the tails of the skis while they are pretty flat and allow those weighted tails to slip farther than the shovels (no muscular rotation) (LeMaster's second type of oversteering)

Anything else?

IMO #1 and #2 has little to do with the amount of edge angle. The difference is in the momentum and relative position of the BoS center and CoM.

For example, if I am initiating a side slip while statically fore I will likely make the tips slip first. If I do the same while adding a bit of dynamic forward momentum, I can make the tails slip first.

The difference can be made very subtle. This was discussed at length in a thread last year I believe.

You also have to take the independent action of the two skis into account. For example, if I am more fore on the inside ski and tip it more the tails will slide first (O-frame).

If I crush the cuff with the outside leg and tip it more than the inside the tails will also slide first (A-frame)

I think a lot of these subtle moves are subconsious and learned by trial and error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JESINSTR

A point I would like to make is that so far,  no one has defined what steering is in regards to skiing.   How can we discuss over-steering without an understanding and agreement of what steering is in the first place?

IMO steering is not a helpful term or concept in ski teaching.  Too many automatically associated the term with steering a car or bike etc and drawing and analogy to those items is misguided.

My impression is that most  view steering as a combination of edging and sliding.  That's ok but when that condition occurs, what is the skiers focus?  Are they focused on heading into a carve or are they focused on heading into a slide?  Gotta be focused somewhere.

For many recreational skiers steering is a no-mans land.  Without intent, the condition of steering quickly turns the focus to that of survival with little concern for turn completion.

Absolutely, Jes.  The person has to understand what they're trying to do, and why.

Within my system of teaching, steering refers to a variety of combinations of skid angle, edge angle, and rotary force used to manually turn the skis.  There is always a focus, and a knowing of which combination is the goal, what type of turn that each particular combination will produce, and what purpose each combination can serve.

BTW, Jes, do you have an alternative term you use to refer to non carved turns?

"I get pushed out of shape and she's hard to steer"

"But I get rubber in all for gears."

Talk about oversteer. And a type of skid too.

Edited by fatoldman - 8/6/15 at 12:03pm
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