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