Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
Hmm--I don't think calling it the "traverse line" is going to solve the problem either, except perhaps in this one discussion, because I don't think it's a very widely used term. It may also imply something unintended--that there is actually a traverse between turns.
Another related point worth considering is that, since skis release before they become fully flat on the snow, it can be misleading to think of release and reengagement, at least of the same ski, occuring at the same moment. In an "edge change," a ski's edge angle decreases until it releases, continues rolling through the point at which it is "flat," and then finally reengages on its new edge.
It's also critically important to recognize that, while you cannot complete a turn without at least one edge engaged (because you must resist the pull of gravity past the "fall line point"), you can, and often must, BEGIN a turn without edges engaged (because gravity pulls you into the turn--a bowling ball will "initiate" a turn if we roll it across the hill, because it cannot engage its "edges"). Again, this point becomes increasingly important the steeper it gets, and it explains the folly of necessarily trying to engage the edges and "carve" from the beginning of every turn--especially on steeps.
The time spent between "going here" and "going there" is spent in "transition".
Bob's comments about edging here support that too, since there is no switch that immediately takes you from "on outside" to "on inside" edge. When you are linking turns, once you lower the edge angle in one turn to below the critical angle, you will skid. You will continue to do so until you can re-engage at least one ski in the new turn again at the critical angle. (Ron's use of critical angle is that the ski does not skid.)
But edge engagement is a continuous process. If I am fully hooked up in one turn, and begin to roll off the edge, the ski will begin to skid. The skid will start slowly at first, and increase. What of the turning forces? The ski will still be deflecting the path of the skier. A lot at first, and less as the ski approaches flat. At flat, no turn is being maintained at all by the ski; it is only the skiers inertia that maintains the direction of travel.
This is the point that Ron LeMasters calls "neutral"; the point where your body crosses over the skis and the skis are flat to the snow. Since the skiis are flat to the snow, they are no longer deflecting your path. In a drawing, I'd imagine that would look just like Bob's frame 18, and equally weighted skiis would be just one option.
Must the critical edge angle be reached in the defintion of transition? ie, an angle where the skis do not skid? I suggest that if linked turns are being skidded they would still have a transition phase. Which means they must have been completed: once the skier has stopped "going there", their turn is complete.