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History of the Snowplow/ Wedge turn - Page 5

post #121 of 136
Thread Starter 
Agreed, inappropriate use of a maneuver limits potential performance. What I get from your post is that we must eliminate a habitual (default) movement when it is not part of the maneuver we are using. Sequential edging (wedge) vs simultaneous edging (parallel); CM flow vs CM blocking; etc. IMO this is correct but should not be labeled as throwing away dead end movements or eliminating "bad" habits. I use the idea of placing the old movement in a box and leaving it the woods for a couple hours while we experiment with other ways to accomplish the same outcome. They are free to go back and get the box at any point. It really works well in most cases because they have that option. I guess I view Addition as more positive than Subtraction.
post #122 of 136
JASP, that's really an awesome approach! Thank you! I expect I'll steal... er... borrow... er... use that with my guests this season.
post #123 of 136
Thread Starter 
I wish I could claim it as an original. I "acquired" it in a clinic but I cannot remember who originated the phrase. I believe the reason it works so well is that we are asking them to set that default move aside instead of taking it away completely.
post #124 of 136
Oh, yeah, there's no doubt that's why. I/we use this in working with marriages all the time, but had never connected it to skiing. It's really great.
post #125 of 136
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
I wish we could get Bob Barnes to check in here although the archives hold plenty of information. Bob tells a wonderful tale about an instructor he met during his first year of teaching in the late sventies at Breck. Bob said he has forgotten the guys name and that this instructor was to say the least....a little cocky. Bob says he didn't have much use for "new instructors".

Bob relates how the guy started talking about offensive intent, inside foot steering, "left tip left to go left", etc.

Everyone thought the guy was nuts!
I haven't gotten through this whole thread yet--been busy--but can answer this one.

There were 2 "cocky guys" in Locker room # 1...one recently admitted he was drunk through most of that time frame and the other is the guy I'm pretty sure Bob was thinking about...His name was Bruce "A"

No certification...and the rest of the description above is pretty close to accurate. His theory was that you should not worry too much about "weighting the ski" but you just needed to "push it forward" (We taught mostly 1's-3's). That is the way he taught it....big tip lead...create massive rotation at the hips and the ski goes around the corner. (you guys can take that up from here if you want).....

Bruce really did not regard any but the "experienced seasoned instructors" as his equal, and I never say him ski anything but an Intermediate run !

Now there was also a "cocky guy" in Locker Rm # 2...a few lockers down from Bob. This guy stumbled onto the concept of "getting off" the inside ski, instead of "pressuring" the outside ski @ 1983. Some of his fellow Instructors saw him doing that one day and said it had totally changed his skiing.....there was also some talk about steering the inside knee toward the turn (hope you are all reading "Phantom Move" into this).
This second guy..........He's still cocky

There were not any "cocky guys" in Locker room #3....so I think I've covered it.
post #126 of 136
Originally Posted by Uncle Louie
This second guy..........He's still cocky
quite a bit beyond cocky, actually. But, at least he hangs around EpicSki...
post #127 of 136
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
How this relates to the snowplow is that IMO the maneuver is not inherently wrong or a dead end that limits a student's ability. Whether it is tactically correct, or if another maneuver is more appropriate depends on the situation and should be decided on a case by case basis.
This is how my instructor got me to stop trying to "slow down" when I felt scared.... He convinced me that my knees ran more risk of being hurt that way & that a BETTER option was to plan my route BETTER so I felt no need to slow down... ie I could ski at MY speed but in the MANNER he preferred...
Every time I made a GOOD choice he would compliment me on the good choice of line or nice tactics.... It worked MUCH better than yelling at me to ski faster! I simply got LESS scared - I felt more in control of what I was doing
post #128 of 136
I'm not sure it is/was the snowplow that is the root of the problem that causes people to cling to a "bad habit". I do think the concept of the "comfort" that the position provides is where people get stuck.

Years ago I started thinking about the relationship of the three major skills of pressure/edge/steering (meaning leg rotation) (P/T/E) and how to blend them for each specific turn. Years back when the gear couldn't "deliver" as it can today we needed far more (leg) rotation to get the ski turning than we do today. The traditional snowplow provided us with this in a static way so all we had to do was increase pressure on one side to go to the other. Edgeing was natural because of the width of the stance.

Today the equipment is so refined that the ski can turn almost by itself if edged minimally with a little pressure on it. Therefore we no longer need the wide stance and braking can be accomplished by turning across the hill.

Some thoughts to ponder.....The more you attempt to use the skis to control your speed the tougher it is to turn. So it's easier to turn in a gliding wedge vs a braking wedge vs snowplow.
From a skills standpoint here edging more makes (leg) rotation tougher.

A never met a move I didn't like ! As Ott said why throw out anything ? We do however need to adjust the percentage of pressure/edge/steering to alter anything in our own skiing.

Flaws in our skiing are a direct result of incorrect relationship of the three skills in any given turn.

I don't agree with this whole "negative move" theory. There clearly are better and worse ways to accomplish a given turn, but if both work.....where's the negative.

Adjust the percentage of P/T/E for a given turn and this "negative move" can become a positive move.

I'm sure I use snowplow, braking and gliding wedge every day I'm out on the hill

Avoid with a passion teaching the snowplow or braking wedge till a student has a firm grasp on their turns (wedge christie perhaps) the jump right in and teach a snowplow. You may have someone who in the future may need a sudden stop in a narrow maze or a future patroller in the group. You shouldn't short change them !

Think of the relationship of P/T/E for any given turn and change the percentage of each that you use in that turn and the turn itself will change.....hopefully for the better
post #129 of 136
Thanks for the thoughts, Uncle Louie. One of my challenges, I think, is to tear the three apart so that I can think about the relationship and percentage of each that I use! I know that I relied on a hard "check" for a lotta years, and I'm trying to dump that (old habits, ya know...). That's a combination of edging and pressure, followed by a lot of rotation (if I understand these as I hope I do).

Hmmm... Lots to think about for me...
post #130 of 136
Thread Starter 
The three are so inter-related that quantifying them is very difficult. Especially if you are trying to define the mix for every maneuver you use. Variable snow and terrain will further complicate the study. However, it would be intersting to see the results on paper.
post #131 of 136
JASP, there's a little bit of information behind the conversation. Uncle Louie skied with me this past spring and noticed a "yip" at the beginning of my transition. He and Ric (VSP) Reiter gave me some ideas about ways to work that out of my skiing. As I just wrote UL in a PM, I think that I am not extending enough in the belly of the turn and not allowing my feet to come back under me (I'm not clear whether this is an active retraction or an "allowing"--thoughts welcome). Instead, I do a little "yip" there that breaks the flow of the turn. I think it's just about the point in the turn where I would formerly have done my check.

Anyway, my non-analytic skiing doesn't do any of this, but as I am now doing my analysis and visualization (what else is there to do? It's summer around here!), I'd really like to understand what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, the results, and how to change it.

For now, I'm considering theoretically perfect groomed blue. After all, I'm an applied physicist!
post #132 of 136
Thread Starter 
I know that this is unsolicited, so if it is out of bounds just throw it away. A pop is usually a mental transition from a checking release (unweighted) to a rolling release (weighted). An up movement of the CM vs a diagonal projection of the CM towards the middle of the new turn. Once you trust the new movement enough, the pop disappears. An easy way to eliminate it is doing RRX turns and progressively (slowly) work them further across the hill until they are medium radius carved turns.
post #133 of 136
JASP, you know, I hadn't thought about using the RRX-to-carve to help with this, but you're right, I think it can.

Also, it will help me get "longer" in the belly (which I really need to do). I'm still trying to understand the effort/allow spectrum for the flexion that comes after a full extension in the belly. How much "just happens" if I allow it and how much do I need to actively do? This answer may need to wait for snow... But, I'm going to try to visualize it, anyway...
post #134 of 136
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
A pop is usually a mental transition from a checking release (unweighted) to a rolling release (weighted). An up movement of the CM vs a diagonal projection of the CM towards the middle of the new turn. Once you trust the new movement enough, the pop disappears. An easy way to eliminate it is doing RRX turns and progressively (slowly) work them further across the hill until they are medium radius carved turns.
I don't want to hijack here and was trying to stay within the contex of the thread when I wrote my post, however, this is a very good discription of ssh's move...Nice call j-skipro.

I did a few drills with Steve that did almost the same thing as your suggestion above...Two were touching the fingers to the sides of the thigh....It makes it uncomfortable to "pop" and the second was a few runs starting with small(er) radius RRX and gradually increasing size on subsequent runs to enlarge the radius and run each further across the fall line. There was a noticeable change (too bad it was the end of April )
post #135 of 136
When are you coming back out? We should be sliding by October...

I got nothin' better to do in terms of skiing than think about it and type here. Ain't that obvious?!
post #136 of 136
Thread Starter 
The reason the rrx turn works is that it is the same movement pattern. The degree of difficulty is different because with the skis slightly out of the fall line it is easier to accomplish. Mostly due to the non-threatening nature of the maneuver. However, once the skis start moving across the hill more (beyond sixty degrees from the fall line) the move still works well, if you have the faith to use it. Most skiers try to cheat a little and that is when the pop shows up.
To bring it back to the snowplow and wedge topic, this progressive approach using a movement and linking it to another more advanced form of the same movement is what wedging is all about. A means to an end, a step in a progression. I have been reading my new old book (1958) and they talk about wedging in that context. According to the authors, even a braking wedge was designed to "stroke the surface of the snow without building up a bunch of snow beneath the skis". If the snow is piling up beneath the ski, they say it was overedged. Which brings up the question of how a braking wedge evolved into just an emergency stop?

Sorry, I am still excited about reading all of the old stuff I found recently.
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