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Good drivers make good skiers - Page 2

post #31 of 76
Maybe we should start a new thread..."What/who is an expert driver" ? I'm sure this would elicit some most interesting comments... Probably the same group who considered themselves expert skiers!

To me, its just like the "expert skier" threads... Everyone thinks they're an expert, but the reality is usually quite different... So unless you have driven professionally, either Rally/Nascar/Cart/IRL/F1/etc, then the odds are that you are NOT an expert driver!

Experienced? Adequate? Proficient?.... Maybe these, but not likely an EXPERT!

I'll get off my soapbox now... splat!
post #32 of 76
As a way to teach skiing skills, I think comparison of everyday car driving to skiing is dangerous.
1) Cars have brakes. You use brakes to slow down a car before entry into turns. Skis don't have brakes.
2) On skis, you shape your turns to control speed. For example, you finish your turns better to slow down. In normal driving, the turn shape is pre-determined by the road. As a driver, you only little latitude to shape your turns, and definitely not enough latitude to use shape to control speed.
3) Some like to compare using the front wheels to steer with the front of skis, and skidding the rear wheels to skidding skis. This comparison is a lost translational lesson for learning skiers, because the normal driving mode is already non-skidding turn. How can this comparison be of any value when keeping one's car from skidding is a relatively insignificant issue in everyday driving?
post #33 of 76
josseph, I agree on the technical differences.

however, as to line selection and its ability to influence perceived need or actual need for braking, and as to continual transition on a winding road, I think many parallels may be drawn, fairly and accurately.
post #34 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
arrogance and error are a dangerous combination. not even that backpedaling last sentence saves you.
Like I said previously - I would agree with your original recommendations for the majority of drivers (i.e. Point A to Point B’ers). You’re obviously talking about the “car sliding on snow” scenario and what to do to recover. That’s SAFE driving stuff. Fine and dandy – yep, you’re absolutely right. That’s exactly what I will teach my kids when they learn to drive.

However, the thread does not state, “SAFE drivers make good skiers”. What I teach on the track is … throttle, throttle, throttle.

Backpedaling? Nah, I was just trying to mitigate ignorant arguments from people that don’t understand there are no absolutes in such a dynamic environment. There are always varying degrees of input requirements for any situation that are based on an infinite amount of variables. That’s where the situational awareness that someone else touched on comes into play.
post #35 of 76
do you have any idea how often one encounters perfect warm asphalt at race course-level quality on Montana mountain roads leading to ski hills?
post #36 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodee
However, the thread does not state, “SAFE drivers make good skiers”. What I teach on the track is … throttle, throttle, throttle.
On a frontwheel drive car where the rear end broke away yes, but on a rear wheel drive car there is no situation in which you lost rear tire traction and can get it back by adding more power. Although, you probably aren't talking about getting traction back, but modulating a turn radius via the throttle.

If you got the rear end to lose traction on a modern stock front wheel drive car you need to turn off the handbrake.
post #37 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
do you have any idea how often one encounters perfect warm asphalt at race course-level quality on Montana mountain roads leading to ski hills?
But there is oh so little traffic that you can hang it out just like you're on a track! Kidding, just kidding.

Okay, okay - First let me say that I don’t think that good drivers necessarily make good skiers ... or cyclists, or wind surfers, or knitters for that matter. People tend to think they’re good drivers because, well, they feel like a good driver. They believe themselves to be above average in skills even though they have never done anything to perfect those skills – they were just born great. (Hmm … perhaps yet another analogy to skiing?). They are more “good commuters” than drivers. For these people using the driving/skiing analogy is probably not a good idea.

For those that are driving enthusiasts there are a ton of similarities especially between racing cars and racing gates:
Line & line adjustment
Entry & exit speed / Momentum
Spatial / Situational awareness
Conditioned response versus reflexive response
Speed rush
Elevation changes (rollers)
Pre-race jitters …
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjlon
... a rear wheel drive car there is no situation in which you lost rear tire traction and can get it back by adding more power. Although, you probably aren't talking about getting traction back, but modulating a turn radius via the throttle.?
Yeah. Again, I was trying to illustrate the fact that both "sports" had elements that were counterintuitive (obviously did a poor job).

My example was (or should have been) that if the rear end starts to come around most novices would slam the brakes – a reflexive response that would make the situation worse. In contrast, a good/fast driver that has spent enough time to condition his or her response would use the throttle … counterintuitive but learned and made into a reflexive action.
post #38 of 76
agreed completely with that post, Woodee. I have been involved in some kind of speed/line/perspective sport ever since I first started riding a bicycle. it takes humility to get to the perspective where you can learn how to be fast. usually it's by being calmer and slower at first, then by being more precise. aggression comes only after most everything else has been impreoved.

driving on curvy mtn roads in Montana is just like driving in the snow. most are gravel/dust combo surfaces with poor traction at speed or hard cornering angles. sorta like driving on ice.
post #39 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodee
[color=black]
For those that are driving enthusiasts there are a ton of similarities especially between racing cars and racing gates:
Line & line adjustment
Entry & exit speed / Momentum
Spatial / Situational awareness
Conditioned response versus reflexive response
Speed rush
Elevation changes (rollers)
Pre-race jitters …
Yeah. Again, I was trying to illustrate the fact that both "sports" had elements that were counterintuitive (obviously did a poor job).
My point is: and how often do you run across one of those folks in your ski school lineup?
post #40 of 76
A skilled skier is more apt to a skilled driver than the reverse. Agree? Why?
post #41 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodee
Nailing the throttle transfers weight to the rear end making the contact patches bigger, which helps the rear tires hook up.

Didn't work in the Barber Dodge. Like in skiing, you have to be a little more subtle than that, especially at the limit.
post #42 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
A skilled skier is more apt to be a skilled driver than the reverse. Agree? Why?
My driver's ed instructor said, "Good skiers make good drivers." I said good drivers make good skiers. But that's just a theory. I'll bet Jeff Gordon would be a dynamite skier. I'll bet any great driver would be able to transfer quite a few tactical skills to skiing and this would give him or her a leg up.

But really, any analogy is going to break down if you analyze it to death--I mean, who cares if we're talking about a car with front wheel drive or rear wheel drive? I'm just musing about the commonalities of using the brakes, pressing on the gas, and coasting from one turn to the next. What I mean by coasting is like riding a bike in rolling hills, or swales on skis, where you try to gain speed going downhill to use going uphill. If you add a coasting, climbing phase to your turns, not only can you save the brakes for emergencies, you can drive forward into the next turn intent on gaining speed--instead of backing off or even throwing 'em sideways intent on dumping speed.
post #43 of 76
Quote:
A skilled skier is more apt to a skilled driver than the reverse. Agree? Why?
My thinking here, Nolo, was that driving is a skill dependant on knowlege with a moderate physical component, and that skiing is a skill that's dependant on a similar level of knowledge but carrys a much larger physical component. As such, I'd see the transition from skiing to driving easier to make than from driving to skiing.

I've seen friends make the transition from ski racing to car racing quite quickly, (HeluvaSkier, you know Joel) but I've never seen the reverse. Hardly a scientifically sound study though.
post #44 of 76
nolo,

great analogy, I believe I heard you discussing this at Epic. I remember a driving coach telling me "In slow, out fast".

Ric has a good point. I believe one must be comfortable with speed, seek speed, learn to control it and use it to ones advantage. The speed that one carrys from one turn into the next (momentum) should be within that skier's comfort zone. Learning this "limit" will help keep the turn offensive rather than defensive.

We should seek to increase our comfort threshold so that our turns can remain offensive even at higher speeds, but it is important to realize our limitations and stay within them while taking "calculated risks" from time to time to expand that comfort zone.

Some people are speed adicts and tend to do well at sensations of speed while others tend to tense up and malfunction. It would be interesting to survey how many good ski racers also like to drive fast, have raced multiple sports (ie: motocycles, autos, bicycles, skates, etc.) I think we would see the majority if not all would have speed in their blood.

I know this analogy is not driving related but may share the same sensations of accelleration and decelleration. I use this analogy sometimes when trying to explain what skiers like about skiing. "Ever notice how when you throw a child into the air and they gasp!.....then catch them and they giggle uncontrollably? Then they beg you to do it again and again! I believe deep down we love and seek this primal sensation of weightlessness and accelleration. While skiing, each and every turn you experience accelleration when you turn into the fall line (the gasp, inhale, wieghtlessness) then you finish the turn to decellerate (the ahhhh!, exhale, heavyness)

Once one gains confidence that they can decellerate at will, they can flirt with more and more speed confidently. When the snow is soft and I can get good edge grip...my speed limit is quite high, However; if it is very icy and edge grip is sketchy, my speed limit decreases in order to maintain offensive turns.
post #45 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzard
In a car the back wheels follow he front wheels - just like the tails following the tips. If the back wheels don't follow the front wheels you are in a skid, same for skis.
One is a dynamic FORWARD movement; the other is a defensive SIDEWAYS movement.
I have long used the analogy of steering and following the tips versus skidding the tails being like the difference between front wheel drive and rear wheel drive in the snow. Problem is 20 years ago most folks had driven a rear wheel drive vehicle. Nowadays it is hard to find someone who has, and even harder to find someone who knows what a clutch is!

Also I would like to know if skiers make better winter drivers than non-skiers because they understand "controlled skidding" or is it just because they have more experience driving through the snow to get to the mountians?
post #46 of 76
I was racing karts back in the '70s, and doing really well at it, when I started skiing. I progressed quickly and I could make some analogies. OTOH, I was also playing rec hockey and skating a lot, so I new about edging & such.

BTW, racing in rain is similar to skiing down a icy slope. You have to avoid the dry line because there is no grip there, just like avoiding the ice patches in terain selection. Skidding in a race car is like skidding turns on skis, it's not fast and it's not pretty. FWIW, in this part of the world, ice is blue and you can ice skate on it.

Lastly, if the rear steps out on my 1/2 ton 2wd posi, the last I want to do is romp on the go pedal. Great way to back into something. Better to feather the throttle and stay in control. OTOH, back when I had a GTI, romping the gas when you lost the rear only meant that you would lose both ends of the car. Gotta keep traction at one end to keep control of the car. Understeer is when you see what you are going to hit. Oversteer is when you get to see where you've been.
post #47 of 76
Asians.
post #48 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul jones
It's true from a techical stand point. Skiers read the road, anticipate problems and adjust to icy conditions well. But, they seem to drive too fast. The road from my house to Rutland is like the Killington 500. I have actually been passed on my way to skiing in Vermont. Now that's an unlikely event. Anyone who drives faster than me drives too fast!
What road do you take?

149/4?

I live just off the section of 149 off of Exit 20. Talk about a dangerous road. Its a state road with a 55mph speedlimit, but I rarely get stuck behind anyone at 70 on friday nights going east and sundays going west...

Skiers definitely all drive too fast. We are used to an environ in which we have much less ultimate control than we do in a car on a dry road, and our environ also rarely has speed cops. Resultingly, it doesn't seem wrong to drive around at 7/10ths of the limit, instead of the 2/10ths or so that the law mandates.
post #49 of 76
I was noticing on my way home from the ski bump (I can't bring myself to call it a hill yet), that I was still skiing. I would turn the weel (put the skis on edge and dig in the front tips), let the suspension soak up the slop (tips begin to bend), and as the springs reach their balance point ( the skis are bent and transmitting force to the snow) the g-forces drive the car around the corner. Balancing the slop in a mushy suspension is a lot like balancing flex in a ski.

Funny how it seem to take more skill to skid turns (as in a 4-wheel drift around a sweeper at speed), than to "arc" it, but it seems to be the more skillful skier who carves a corner instead of skidding it.

PS.
Onyxjl, with a rear-wheel drive if you loose rear-wheel traction because of trailing throttle oversteer, a LITTLE more gas will help things.

PPS. The love of the dynamic sensations of control is a big part of both spirrited driving and skiing. I love the sensation going from trailing throttle oversteer to power oversteering at an apex.
post #50 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
PS.
Onyxjl, with a rear-wheel drive if you loose rear-wheel traction because of trailing throttle oversteer, a LITTLE more gas will help things.

PPS. The love of the dynamic sensations of control is a big part of both spirrited driving and skiing. I love the sensation going from trailing throttle oversteer to power oversteering at an apex.
So true. Can't wait to get back to autocrossing.
post #51 of 76
nolo, I understood and appreciated your analogy....
slow down by drawing out your line until you have slowed to your comfort level and then start a new one. Using the line to slow you and not skidding... a "go" turn.

Like making jig saw puzzle turn shapes down the slope. ski the most efficient turn possible so that your tracks resemble jig saw puzzle pieces with the tracks actually start going back uphill vs. normal "S"s. the slow line fast, and so on...

"life on the edge, some live on it, some look over it, and some shy away from it."
post #52 of 76
jigsaw puzzles shapes is my trademark bud.... I want credit please...
post #53 of 76
Wait, y'all are actually advocating making turns so round as to lead uphill?

No wonder you get run into all the time. That just isn't a smart thing to do if there are people on the hill.
post #54 of 76
skiingman - in a group class when the instructor skis that line I give the whole class a few turns head start.... & catch them all before the instructor stops....

They ski a straighter line with harder edge sets... I ski his line & go faster.....

Also my speed & turn is more predictable than the "oops" turns of the others...

& that is a class supposedly for advanced skiers only :
post #55 of 76
Funnily enough very few of them get the idea of how to follow that line.... they all say they do not have the speed to follow up the hill....
post #56 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
skiingman - in a group class when the instructor skis that line I give the whole class a few turns head start.... & catch them all before the instructor stops....

They ski a straighter line with harder edge sets... I ski his line & go faster.....

Also my speed & turn is more predictable than the "oops" turns of the others...

& that is a class supposedly for advanced skiers only :
I'm so hopelessly confused. I guess the notion of purposefully turning your line uphill bugs me because it is so atypical...

Is the point of this exercise speed control? Or the ability to smoothly initiate a turn from a dynamically not very powerful situation?

I must admit that I haven't regularly made such turns since 1997 or so, although when I did then it was as a method of speed control when I was still starry eyed and convinced that the only good turn was the one with a perfectly clean edge engagement 100 percent of the time. Now I mostly use pivot edging during the top half of my turn to achieve the same result on steeper terrain.

I recall my coach at the time telling me that the key to controlling speed was to use the hill to your advantage, and that the more time your skis spent going across the hill, the slower you would travel down the hill. It was easier back then, because most people still hadn't signed on to new technique and it was easy for a couple of us to take up the whole width of runs making GS turns. Now it seems that most people are doing just that, skiing across a large portion of the width of whatever it is they are skiing on.
post #57 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
Funnily enough very few of them get the idea of how to follow that line.... they all say they do not have the speed to follow up the hill....
Ah, so they aren't able to cleanly engage their edge, bend their skis, and let edges work for them instead of against them.

With such a wide range of ski equipment out there these days, it must be hard to teach a group of students. Certainly I can't follow such a line very well on my GS skis, though it'd be a fun exercise on my old (now illicit) SL skis.

In trying to get my girlfriend to ski well on longer, fatter, straighter skis, I ran into this problem. She is so used to modern SL skis that longer clean turns frighten her because of the speed generated on any real pitch.
post #58 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
Ah, so they aren't able to cleanly engage their edge, bend their skis, and let edges work for them instead of against them.
.
:thumbsup: Amazingly all would swear they can carve & do so regularly...

It is quite interesting how many people when told to stay in an instructors tracks (pretty simple instruction yeah?) take it to mean "sort of go in this direction" rather than "stay IN my TRACKS" they think if they go in a similar direction they are skiing the same....

My guys spend a lot of time trying to make me ski first (much harder for me) but when I get told to stay in tracks or "follow" I do as told - lesson learnt on that one.... they choose a place because it has something to teach....
post #59 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
Wait, y'all are actually advocating making turns so round as to lead uphill?
more like finishing the turns before letting the ski run out halfway through the process. Cs instead of Zs.
post #60 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
more like finishing the turns before letting the ski run out halfway through the process. Cs instead of Zs.

Actually gonz my guys regularly take the turn back up the hill a bit....

that is how I got the picture of a jigsaw puzzle piece.... because I tend to ski from their tracks... so the "picture" I saw reminded me of childhood puzzle pieces....

They want you to be able to carry the speed through... also the extra speed we need to get down the hill is a way to desensitize me a little to the idea of speed.... I know they will be blowing it off again - so i will tend to hang in a bit past my tolerance .... it works well....

However I know they do it with groups too & most of them do not have the speed fear thing happening - they are simply teaching them to use the skis & terrain....

Oh & when I say "uphill" I mean it - one method to desensitize me to drop offs is to ski me UP them from the bottom... we will ski almost to the top in that turn....

Normal turns it is just a little bit uphill or these days often not at all....
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