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Tool or Machine?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Perhaps a different way to look at ski technique: Seems to me skis can be used as a tool or a machine. While I certainly use my skis as tools (perhaps more frequently than I would prefer), it is when I use them as a turning machine that I get the greatest efficiency and satisfaction from my skiing.
post #2 of 18
Try thinking of your skis as an extension of yourself, then you will be the carving machine.
post #3 of 18
Yes - that works best for me..... in winter I just have very long feet with sharp edges... they are even not that different in shape from my summer ones....
post #4 of 18
machine, YES, YES, YES!

excellent si, and I hope more people read and ponder this very simple thought of yours.

I had the same senses today, my first day out this year. First two runs I felt like a slug, a hack, and a man possessed. Then I remembered what Yoda always reminds me -- talk to the skis, ask what THEY want. so I started listening and went back to using my machine, not hamfisting my tools like a bludgeoning hack!
post #5 of 18
nnunun nnunun........ Be the Ski...
::
post #6 of 18

Smooth Johnson-Master of the Carve
post #7 of 18
What's the difference between a tool and a machine? I don't get it.
post #8 of 18
Feel the edge(s).
post #9 of 18
If the skis + me = a skiing machine, I think I get it...
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
What's the difference between a tool and a machine? I don't get it.
Nolo, have you no frailty of ego?
post #11 of 18
I'd like to hear what people think the difference between a tool and an instrument is.

One definition of tool is a machine for shaping metal, but most definitions are instrumental. One definition of machine is "an instrument transmitting or modifying force or action." The first definition is a "combination of mechanical parts that transmit forces, motion, and energy one to another to some desired end..."

Obviously Si saw a big distinction that I am not appreciating, unless I put myself into the equation.
post #12 of 18
My speculation is the distinction Si is referring to is the difference between making movements that force the ski to turn by overpowering it, or making movements that allow the ski to turn by virtue of its own innate mechanics and just going along for the ride.

The terminology used to make that distinction, well, I'm a little fuzzy with it myself,
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
the difference between making movements that force the ski to turn by overpowering it, or making movements that allow the ski to turn by virtue of its own innate mechanics and just going along for the ride.
I found out this important difference last week during my "re-learn to ski" trip. The second day out I was working so hard that my knees were screaming at me by the end of a few hours. I was trying to MAKE the ski turn, and as a result I could barely walk back to the condo for the pain. (Tool)

In contrast, the third day I figured out how to LET the ski do it - and life was so much better!! -- cue Hallelujah Chorus (Instrument/Machinery)

I think of "tool" as a brute/blunt force object, but "instrument" or "finely tuned machinery" connotes more delicacy and precision to me.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
My speculation is the distinction Si is referring to is the difference between making movements that force the ski to turn by overpowering it, or making movements that allow the ski to turn by virtue of its own innate mechanics and just going along for the ride.

The terminology used to make that distinction, well, I'm a little fuzzy with it myself,
Didn't mean this to get into semantics. Rick has it pretty well except that "overpowering" might be a little too heavy. To me the analogy was that a tool doesn't do much of anything on it's own it has to have force applied in a relatively exact manner in order to do it's job. A machine, on the other hand, just needs to be turned on or worked with simple input and it does it's job.

My hope was eventally to be able to take this further. For those who can appreciate the difference I am trying to get at I wanted to follow up (perhaps done best in a separate thread) by asking what are the physics and mechanics of a ski as a turning machine and as a simpler tool. As a part of this I would also think it would also be important to talk about the limitations of a ski as a simple tool and a sophisticated turning machine. The better we understand these the better we should be able to define a better prioritization of the inputs for operating this machine/tool. Then again, maybe this is just a worthless idea.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si
As a part of this I would also think it would also be important to talk about the limitations of a ski as a simple tool and a sophisticated turning machine. The better we understand these the better we should be able to define a better prioritization of the inputs for operating this machine/tool. Then again, maybe this is just a worthless idea.
Skis limitations would be the same as most tools I would think - the biggest limitation of most tools & machines is the nut on the other end.....

Applies to hammers & to computers (GIGO)
post #16 of 18
Would that imply that the problem with my skiing is the interface that lies between the boots and the poles?:
post #17 of 18
I know it sure is the problem with mine
post #18 of 18
I saw a guy today who was obviously a very accomplished skier, but was using his skis like a blunt instrument. He banged and jumped around going very fast, in control, but looking like he used up way more energy than needed. He got screams from the audience on the chair, so I imagine he'll keep doing it.

I idolize the skiers who play their skis like a fine musical instrument. When I'm making music at my best I forget that there is an instrument and it's just me and the music. I seek to ski like that too. Maybe that's another way of describing the difference.
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