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How or why did these old methods of turns...

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
This is more of a history question for those interested. I like to know if anyone could comment on these names of ski turns I read in a book that dates back to 1986. "super parallel turns" "avalement" "jet turn" "banked parallel turn" "the wedel". Some of them technology eliminated; I'm sure of this. Or they simply did not serve a purpose, However did others evolve into the current teaching format?
post #2 of 24
I am no expert on the subject, but I’m certainly old enough to remember some of those terms. I can assure you that they pre-date 1986 by many years. “Wedel” refers to the technique of very quickly linked turns in the fall line. Upper body still, and the lower body going like hell. (Very sexy in stretch pants.) I think the word is German, but I know that the W is pronounced like a V. In the 60s it was the goal of all good skiers. Check out old Stein Erikson video for an example.

I believe “avalement” is the original ski turn technique, which is a reverse shoulder turn. Lots of upper body movement trying to get incredibly long skis to turn. You had lots of time to flail waiting for your skis to come around. Check out documentaries of the 10th Mountain Division, or better yet a great movie called “Margie of the Wasatch.” It’s got great footage of guys ripping Alta on 8 ft. boards before there were lifts. Lots of avalement going on.

“Jet turns” are a technique of initiating the turn on the tip and then rocking back to the tails. I believe it was originate by J.C. Killy who used it to win Olympic gold medals sweeping all the disciplines. (That was before they had Super G.) There was a product called the “jet stick” that buckled around your boot and stuck up the back about 9”. It had some flex so you could lean way back and get the front half of your ski off the ground. (I actually had a pair.) If you find them a garage sale they are probably collectors’ items by now.

Don’t know about the banked and super parallel turns. You probably need to hear from an old instructor about those. That’s my recollection, which is a bit foggy, so I hope you hear from some other geezers about their definitions. It’s all ski’n.
post #3 of 24
Well, I'm no expert, but I'll give it a limited try. Maybe it will get someone to tell it like it really is.

Wedel turns were short-swing turns on old style equipment (wood skis and lace up, leather boots). Somebody that could do that was highly skilled. They would hop from one foot to the other.

Jet turns came about when the backs of boots finally were raised in the late 60's and early 70's. Some of us kids figured you could lean back and "jet" out of a turn on the tails of the skis. Mostly we ended up on our butts or out of control "jetting" down the hill. There were some people who could do this well. It was a fad that died fast.

The rest of the stuff you mention I will leave to others.
post #4 of 24
Wedeln - more or less right, I think, except for the spelling. It was the original technique for linked short-swing turns. To be more specific, it favored sliding the tails in a "wagging" motion, and a fairly hard check in a "reverse comma" position. Less specifically, in my youth the term was, so far as I remember, in widespread use in a more general sense to refer to short-swing turns in the fall-line, however executed. It was really a sort of general term of approbation. If you wanted to describe how good a skier someone was, it was a matter of placing them along the progression that went something like: stem turn - stem christie - parallel - wedeln. Saying someone could wedeln was approximately the same as saying he was an expert.

Jet turns - seems more or less right. Most generally, it referred to a turn in which you exited with your weight significantly back of center. Some people used it more specifically to refer to something that Killy either did or didn't do, depending on who you talked to. Keep in mind that -- it seems to me -- most analysis then was done by looking at single still photos, so it may not have been all that accurate. The mental image in my mind: picture Killy coming out of a turn, the whole ski (or most of it) off the snow, with the tip above the tail, his thighs nearly parallel to the snow. Whether any top-level racer was ever in a position like this for long, or in anything other than an unweighted state is open to discussion. Another iconic image: the woman with her shirt open in the "Keep Those Tips Up" Lange poster. As for how it was practiced by the hoi polloi, my memory is similar to pheft's. Some serious hot-doggers actually were fairly successful at turning on their tails. For everyone I knew, it was invitation to do something awkward and ill-advised that left them lying on the ground with alarming frequency.

Avalement - Something else entirely. It means "swallowing" in French (or so I have been led to believe). It was widely discussed in "How to Ski the New French Way," as the secret to life, the universe and everything. Basically, so far as I can tell, it refers to some amalgam of absorption and down-unweighting, though -- as with most terms -- it depends on who's talking.

Super Parallel Turn - Never heard that one before. Sounds like a marketing term someone invented to sell books with a "New!" ski technique.

Banked Parallel Turn - Doesn't have any specific meaning to me, other than the obvious.
post #5 of 24
I've got another one for you. How about the "slow-dog noodle" invented by Wayne Wong. I acually saw a guy do it all the way down High Rustler at Alta a few years back. It was akin to an acid flashback.
post #6 of 24

whtmt

Hi Ritski: I'll give you what I remember. Wedel in the 60s was a quick short swing turn, which moved like a windshield wiper with the tip of the ski as the attachment point, "Avalement" is French for absorption. Honore Bonet' the famous French Coach of the sixties was the person who developed Jean Claude Killy into the great skier he was using both the technique of Avalement combined with the energy storing capacity to the ski's tail, which then 'Jetted' the skis ahead at the end of each turn. I believe a parallel banked turn, is just that. Riding both skis through the arc of the turn with the entire body "banked" or inclined to inside of the turn using little or no angulation. I'm not familiar with the " super parallel" turn. I defer to Ott or Bob B. for those. Good history question.

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #7 of 24
Here is Ott doing a classic wedel on shaped skis a couple of years ago. I was lucky enough to ski with him and Bob that day

http://ourworld.cs.com/BBRNZ/Ott+Wedeln+small.gif

I don't speak german, however, wedel does loosely translate into "wagging" as in wagging the tail.

Jet turns created "jetstix". Every kid had a pair from 68-72.

Avalement was a term coined by George Joubert and it means to swallow or active retraction. Reploiment is passive retraction.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritski
This is more of a history question for those interested. I like to know if anyone could comment on these names of ski turns I read in a book that dates back to 1986. "super parallel turns" "avalement" "jet turn" "banked parallel turn" "the wedel". Some of them technology eliminated; I'm sure of this. Or they simply did not serve a purpose, However did others evolve into the current teaching format?
sjjohnston answered your questions well. Avalement is not really a turn as much as a flexion movement to "swallow" terrain like moguls and then pivoting on the top and steering in the direction of the new turn. Jorges Jobert of France wrote some books on ski technique and explained it in detail in the 60s and 70s.

A banked parallel turn might just refer to a long radius turn that is initiated by inclining the body in the direction of the turn to make a pole plant. Unlike fall line short radius turns where the upper body stays in the fall line and the lower body crosses over, the upper body inclines and rotates in the direction of the turn. A pole plant or touch ends the movement that differentiates it from the over rotation that many intermediates make to initiate turns. It is a subtle move and still appropriate to some skiing situations. Sometimes it can be as subtle as looking in the direction of the turn and making a pole plant.

It might also refer to the "bicycle turn" which is what I just described. It is for longer radius, higher speeds and you work your body against centrifugal force. Just can't lean or rotate too far or you will overturn or fall.

It is easier to demonstrate than describe in words.
post #9 of 24
A "bicycle turn" is a steeps turn. Think about it.
post #10 of 24
Speaking of old turning methods....I made a gerat find a couple weeks ago. I found a Sears and Roebuck "Learn to Ski" booklet. There is a 25 cent price on it, but I heard that they also gave it away with the skis they sold. I finally got a chance to scan and upload it. Here is a link to it:http://teachski.com/books/searsskibook/how_to_ski.htm
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe
A "bicycle turn" is a steeps turn. Think about it.
A bicycle turn has to do with inward lean against centrifugal force whatever the steepness.
post #12 of 24
Concerning 'wedeln' and 'jetting' the comments are pretty on the mark.

Jetting came up with the introduction of the high plastic ski boots, some of the shells even went up to right under the knee (causing severe knee injuries in some cases during unlucky falls). Whether Killy was the inventor or not, this technique was heavily promoted namely by Austrian ski, boot and suit manufacturers to boost their product sales. I still remember the priceless poster shots of some pros in their tight slippy and streamline overalls jetting so extremely that they were almost laying with their backs on the ski tails - so sexy and appealing . The technique I was taught back then pretty much worked like this:
You initiate the turn by bending your knees while keeping the upper body upright or slightly leant back and simultaneously turning the skis while tilting the knees somewhat to the inside - thus bringing the body's gravity center over the rear binder or even beyond and relieving the tips. While turning you stretched your legs again and used that momentum to initiate the next turn. Sounds complicated I know but have no idea how to explain that better. This method was instructed for everything - bumps, flats, moguls, steeps and off-piste - also due to the fact that the pioneer plastic boots back then hardly allowed any forward bending on the lower legs which was a major difference compared to todays modern ones. I guess my upper legs must have been twice as strong than today to keep that up all day long (well, the extra love handles didn't exist too ).
This era however lasted only 3-4 years at a max and vanished with the improvements and flexibility mainly on the boots.

Hope that explains a bit.
post #13 of 24
"Jetting" is what happens when you release the edges of a decambered ski.

In the original French jet turn, the edge release occurred at the end of a down motion and the intent was to jet INTO the next turn by cranking the bent knees into the intended direction. Jet sticks and all the folderol about "out and around" were misapplications of the French approach.

If you really want to know what skiing terms mean and refer to, get a copy of Bob Barnes's Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing. He's currently working on the Fourth Edition, and the Third Edition has been sold out for several years, but you can get the Third Edition on CD.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsimeral
A bicycle turn has to do with inward lean against centrifugal force whatever the steepness.
Nope. A bicycle turn is a strong push off the uphill foot on steep(er) terrain, it could be used in moguls as well, it is very much like pedalling a bicycle.

What you have described is what some here would call "Park and ride" Or sort of a static cruising.
post #15 of 24
[quote=skier_j]Nope. A bicycle turn is a strong push off the uphill foot on steep(er) terrain, it could be used in moguls as well, it is very much like pedalling a bicycle.

What you have described is what some here would call "Park and ride" Or sort of a static cruising.[/QUOTE

You are right. However, that is a more modern term and we are only debating labels. In the 60s and before there were several names which I cannot recall anymore that describe the bicycle turm. Bill Briggs described it but I cannot find his "book" from many years ago to see what terms he used. Think it was a "pedal turn." I was only talking in the context of ancient history and the term has been used to describe more than 1 turn.

The turn I described is strictly a lazy mans turn at speed....something that an old man like me likes to do on a sunny day on a groomed slope.
post #16 of 24
[quote=bsimeral]
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j
Nope. A bicycle turn is a strong push off the uphill foot on steep(er) terrain, it could be used in moguls as well, it is very much like pedalling a bicycle.

What you have described is what some here would call "Park and ride" Or sort of a static cruising.[/QUOTE

You are right. However, that is a more modern term and we are only debating labels. In the 60s and before there were several names which I cannot recall anymore that describe the bicycle turm. Bill Briggs described it but I cannot find his "book" from many years ago to see what terms he used. Think it was a "pedal turn." I was only talking in the context of ancient history and the term has been used to describe more than 1 turn.

The turn I described is strictly a lazy mans turn at speed....something that an old man like me likes to do on a sunny day on a groomed slope.
OOPs, I do agree, pedal turn, not bicycle!
post #17 of 24
Yes, you're right! Thanks for the info.
post #18 of 24
It’s been difficult to put together all this information. I’m glad that so many people have such good memories.

Twenty years from now, it won’t be so difficult to pull up information on all the outmoded techniques that we are using today. We will have all the technical descriptions from the EpicSki archives. And there is so much video.
post #19 of 24
It's been far too long for me to remember clearly... and I was only about 10 or 11 at the end of the 60's anyway. However, I don't recall buying my JetStix to emulate Killy (although he was a God to me). I do recall playground discussions about jetting off the back of the skis for speed in slalom like Jean-Claude

However, I remember purchasing my JetStix to do tips-in-the-air Wayne Wong jet turns and bun drops in the bumps. Those plastic straps and buckles on the JetStix just didn't cut it... had to eliminate the straps and rivet the things onto my Lange comps with the "flo" liners. Talk about painful boots!! Got those boots upstairs at Gorsutch and couldn't wait to see Pepi Gramshammer on the hill so I could show him my "racing boots". Wow, does that ever seem like light years ago!
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by medmarkco
It's been far too long for me to remember clearly... and I was only about 10 or 11 at the end of the 60's anyway. However, I don't recall buying my JetStix to emulate Killy (although he was a God to me). I do recall playground discussions about jetting off the back of the skis for speed in slalom like Jean-Claude

However, I remember purchasing my JetStix to do tips-in-the-air Wayne Wong jet turns and bun drops in the bumps. Those plastic straps and buckles on the JetStix just didn't cut it... had to eliminate the straps and rivet the things onto my Lange comps with the "flo" liners. Talk about painful boots!! Got those boots upstairs at Gorsutch and couldn't wait to see Pepi Gramshammer on the hill so I could show him my "racing boots". Wow, does that ever seem like light years ago!
Absolutely to copy Wayne Wong (and John Clendenin and others). Red, white, and blue K2s (top and bottom). And those great sunglasses against his perma-tan...! :

Somehow, this northern Michigan white boy in the taped-up puffy down jacket never quite looked like that!
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Absolutely to copy Wayne Wong (and John Clendenin and others). Red, white, and blue K2s (top and bottom). And those great sunglasses against his perma-tan...! :

Somehow, this northern Michigan white boy in the taped-up puffy down jacket never quite looked like that!
At least it was a "wet look" jacket wasn't it??
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by medmarkco
At least it was a "wet look" jacket wasn't it??
You kiddin' me? I was a local. Wet jeans, light blue puffy quilted down jacket, stocking cap, Cubco bindings, huge smile. Some things never change...!
post #23 of 24
Wet jeans? Does that mean you were one of those blue streakers?
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
You kiddin' me? I was a local. Wet jeans, light blue puffy quilted down jacket, stocking cap, Cubco bindings, huge smile. Some things never change...!
So you missed the thrill of being a human torpedo sliding uncontrollably down the hill at mach 1. Me too, but the wet look stuff looked cool.
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