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Slow line fast? - Page 3

post #61 of 78

whtmt

After reading much of what a number of the Bears have written on this subject, I will confess that I have had a similar difficulty explaining the concept to a number of skiers and coaches alike. However, I solved the problem quite easily on the hill.

I just said, "Follow Me". Guess what? After following me for a couple of hundred yards they said "Wow, that was fun and easy." "Now I understand." So there it is. We're skiers not english teachers!!!

whtmt & Mackenzie 911


PS: Thanks Bob Barnes for making it so simple. Just keep moving.
post #62 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by whtmt
...Guess what? After following me for a couple of hundred yards they said "Wow, that was fun and easy." "Now I understand." ...
I've done the same thing and even received amazed comments like "That seems way too easy - it felt like cheating, not skiing".

The problem that I've run into with a pure "follow me" approach is that unless you conclude the segment by:

a) reviewing and summarizing exactly WHY skiing "like that" seemed so easy,

b) discussing exactly how you used terrain and turn shape to your advantage,

c) reinforce that it's not just OK, but actually desirable to ski "like that", and,

d) discuss safety concerns they may have about not sticking to a narrow corrider,

you'll often see the student a couple of hours later when they skiing on their own, doing exactly the same thing that they were doing b4 class - heel pushing turns straight down the fall line. Unless the experience is eventually put in a nice cognitive wrapper for the student, it just doesn't seem to stick (in my experience).

Tom / PM
post #63 of 78

whtmt

Physicsman:

Thanks & I couldn't agree more. However, I did leave out that I always sum up the movements of the How, What, WhY, & When of the reason behind the movements and skiing direction we just followed. It's never easy being an English teached. The closest I ever get is that I'm married to one !!!!!!!!!!!!

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #64 of 78
I shudda known you wouldn't leave that part out ... just wanted to make sure somebody said it.

Tom / PM
post #65 of 78

whtmt

Physicsman: Thanks Bud. **** Bye & Happy Trails.

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #66 of 78

Bowling / Pool Analogy

When you bowl (not at pins - think green grass) or play pool/snooker, the speed of the surface is measured by how long it takes to get a ball, puck, whatever to get to a particular point.

On a really smooth surface you run a ball really slowly and it will get there so it takes longer.

Now think of this in skiing terms (not just carving) imagine a long horizontal staircase of bumps (no overall gradient) if you have some speed and jump off the bumps you slow down because you downweight on the incline and unweight on the down hill - a braking effect. To be able to sustain speed (or even accelerate on a "horizontal staircase" you need to actively over absorb the bumps so weight is on for the decline and off for the the incline. Given the right staircase you can actually progress along by overabsorbing the bumps indefinitely - this is sking the slow line fast.

The description is like an equivalent to a vertical form of skating steps (which are inherently horizontal or lateral). By weighting on the extension rather than the recovery you maintain speed as apposed to braking. Carving is a particular idealised version of this (unsing extension and recovery to sustainspeed.

Finally the ultimate form of skiing the slow line fast must be coming out of the gates (from a standing start) - yes gravity accelerates you, but you skate into the fall line to ski this (temporarily ) slow line fast.

Its all about maintaining potential energy ( sidestepping up around a gate also does this) - instead of spilling or scrubbing speed whether by skidding, jumping or braking in the turn, you ski whatever line you ski to maximise speed. - And you can practise this on every terrain (including uphill sections) skateboarders routinely jump up a kerbstone to avoid very rapid deccelleration - Same prinicpal

Pick a line and get the most speed you can out of it - The slower the line the more necessary to ski it fast (else you will stop!)
post #67 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonni
Nolo, I think I know what you're saying, but I find it hard, even in the most widest of runs out here, to do the uphill thing. There's not a lot of room to begin with, and then there's the people who want you to "maintain your line" and NOT use the whole hill, and speed tends to build quickly on a black 40 foot wide run with boarders bombing straight down it on all sides of you......
I have been playing with this in my own skiing, as well. I have found that, at the transition point of slope angle where my "pure" carved turns take me too far across the hill to be safe given the presence of other skiers/riders, I am not really sure what to do in order to be safe and maintain the commitment to "SASELAFAYCWYC". If I continue to carve, I am endangering myself and those who are skiing a "faster" line "slower". If I use friction to scrub speed, have I abandoned my commitment?

As an example, yesterday while guiding a group at Copper, we skied a couple of runs on groomed black terrain under the Alpine and Super Bee lifts. The group was all capable of "getting down" these runs, and they enjoyed them, but they were quite defensive in their turns. During one of the pauses, I mentioned to a couple of them that they could "butter" their turns instead of simply braking and bracing against their edges. I demonstrated a couple of turns that I would call "skarved": nice round turns with gentle rotation and natural skidding in a direction of the intent that came from a softer edge angle. Is this "SASELAFAYCWYC"?

I think that Nolo's encouragement to me to be gentler on my edges comes into this, as well, but I'm working at fitting it together (and would really like to know if I'm moving in the right direction or not!). Would anyone care to enlighten me?

Advthanksance!
post #68 of 78
Ssh - I always think of slow line fast but not carved as the way one of my Canadian instructors taught me to ski on very hard snow..... I wanted to carve - but could not i did not ski well enough.... he insisted i just needed to ski the conditions "patiently"..... because i was scared we could NOT ski fast(or I would tense & mess up the edging) .... so we skied NICE MEDIUM RADIUS turns - with a slight uphill at the finish of turn/start of next turn...
this let me relax & also keep moving .... it also allowed him to teach me that just because my ski was not carving did not mean it was "uncontrolled" ....

The difference between that & what i would have done is I have to take the TIME at the turn start & in the fall line - rather than fret about the "speed" & try to TURN NOW.... so it is "fast across snow" but overall "NOT FAST" down the hill.... & much less defensive in nature - much more determined skiing rather than "help no I don't wanna do this"
post #69 of 78
Someone asked where did the term "ski the slow line fast" come from.

I first heard it used about 35 years ago by Phil Holecek who coached the College of Idaho and the College of the Siskiyous Ski teams and I think he probably learned it from an earlier coach. It was and is still used in refererence to learning to run gates. The idea is that as you are learning and practicing it is better to ski a wider slower line which you can ski technically as correct as you are able, and then gradually make the line faster as your skill, strength, reflexise and knowledge improve.
post #70 of 78

Slow Line Fast as practice technique

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirtland
Someone asked where did the term "ski the slow line fast" come from.

I first heard it used about 35 years ago by Phil Holecek who coached the College of Idaho and the College of the Siskiyous Ski teams and I think he probably learned it from an earlier coach. It was and is still used in refererence to learning to run gates. The idea is that as you are learning and practicing it is better to ski a wider slower line which you can ski technically as correct as you are able, and then gradually make the line faster as your skill, strength, reflexise and knowledge improve.
The above post brings up a question I have about "the slow line fast." Once I feel comfortable skiing a slow line fast on a particular slope, am I better off trying a faster line on the same slope, or a slow (enough) line on a more difficult slope? Or both? Or either? Or am I splitting hairs?
post #71 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor
The above post brings up a question I have about "the slow line fast." Once I feel comfortable skiing a slow line fast on a particular slope, am I better off trying a faster line on the same slope, or a slow (enough) line on a more difficult slope? Or both? Or either? Or am I splitting hairs?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No

Valuable question Sailor. Once one becomes competent and comfortable at skiing the fast line fast, the slow line never again seems fast.

Speed is like a drug. The more you take, the more your tolerance for it grows, and the bigger hit you need to get the same buzz small doses used to deliver.

Hmmmm, the Johnathan Livingston school of skiing?
post #72 of 78
Bob,

Your comment about how everyone has their own interpretation of this concept really hit home for me after reading the posts here and comparing it to my perception of "skiing the slow line fast".

This concept was first introduced to me in December 2003, at the first ETU, by Stu Campbell. I am paraphrasing him...

Ski the slow line fast? This is about skiing the "slowest line" as fast as you can. NO breaking, no speed control, no skidding... all GO, GO, GO.

Based upon what I read here - it almost seems like the confusion that surrounds this concept is not about how to ski fast... it's more "what is the slow line"?

What's the slow line? It's the slowest route down the hill - most opposite the fall line (which is the fast line).

It has become my favorite way to ski. :-) Just feels like I am flying.

kiersten
post #73 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairly
Now think of this in skiing terms (not just carving) imagine a long horizontal staircase of bumps (no overall gradient) if you have some speed and jump off the bumps you slow down because you downweight on the incline and unweight on the down hill - a braking effect. To be able to sustain speed (or even accelerate on a "horizontal staircase" you need to actively over absorb the bumps so weight is on for the decline and off for the the incline. Given the right staircase you can actually progress along by overabsorbing the bumps indefinitely - this is sking the slow line fast.
cool analogy! never thought of it this way!
post #74 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by klkaye
Ski the slow line fast? This is about skiing the "slowest line" as fast as you can. NO breaking, no speed control, no skidding... all GO, GO, GO.

Based upon what I read here - it almost seems like the confusion that surrounds this concept is not about how to ski fast... it's more "what is the slow line"?

What's the slow line? It's the slowest route down the hill - most opposite the fall line (which is the fast line).
I agree, and believe this is how most of us interpret it, but some of the other interpretations are interesting for sure.
post #75 of 78
I think about it slightly differently. I think about taking as long as I can to get down the hill while skiing as fast as possible. Another way to say it, is that my vertical descent down the hill is slow, but my speed is fast. But it's all the same.
post #76 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
I think about it slightly differently. I think about taking as long as I can to get down the hill while skiing as fast as possible. Another way to say it, is that my vertical descent down the hill is slow, but my speed is fast. But it's all the same.
Good one, John. I also use exactly the same explanation, but unfortunately (or fortunately) it's so clear to students that it is invariably followed by a puzzled look and a question like, "But why in the world would you want to do that (ie, take a long time to get down the hill)?".

The answers I've developed include:

1) For kids who might be a bit too gung-ho about speed, "You ever watch a ski race? That's the way the racers have to do it. They make the racers go back and forth to separate out the good from the bad racers. Only the best ones can do the tight turns right." (I've had amazing success converting high speed power-wedgers with this line.)

2) For advanced students that want to do better in crud or choppy snow, I talk about how the skis work better when pointed in the same direction that you are traveling.

3) For timid adults, I point out the nearest novice boarder that's heading straight down the hill in an endless heel-side sideslip and talk about his complete lack of control of direction, and how having carving as one of your techniques allows you superb control of your path.

etc.

How do you guys & gals answer the, "But why ..." question?

Tom / PM
post #77 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhysicsMan
How do you guys & gals answer the, "But why ..." question?
I'd rather spend more time skiing on the snow than waiting in line or riding a lift.

or

Don't you wish the trails here were twice as long? Here's a way to make them longer.
post #78 of 78

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vail snopro
First- lets define what is a "slow line", and what is "fast".

I have my own way of looking at these two concepts.

First- I believe there are 2 types of speed. There is A to B speed (top of slope to the bottom). Then there is the speed in which you are moving across the snow. These 2 speeds may be the same in some cases, but in the context of "skiing the slow line fast", they are not.

Obviously, to ski in a direct line down the fall line would be skiing the "fast line" "fast". Most recreational skiers attempt to ski the "fast line" "slowly", or defensively, by making defensive turns/skidding.

Therefore, the "slow line" would be anything which varies away from that "fast line". The more turn shape that occurs, the "slower" the "line".

To ski that "slow line" using more of a carving/ offensive type of technique, would mean that your speed across the snow would be greater. This would imply that the "fastest" speed while on the "slow line" would be using the most efficient technique. This would also imply that there is little, if any, braking going on during these turns.

I hope this description provides a clearer image or thought to defining the concept of "skiing the slow line fast".
Okay, now I get it! Thanks for breaking it down.
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