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# Turn Transition Discussion

Quote:
 Originally Posted by noloJust out of curiosity, how many transitions are there?
This is the post that sparked my interest from the very long "Inside Ski" thread, and the immense discussion of ILE. The topic is broad, but I am curious how many transition techniques are out there (new and old), and what their definitions/movement patterns are. I am familiar with a lot of new technique transitions, but not a lot of older technique. Most of us probably use enough to fill a thread up in just one day on the snow. Being that the transition is possibly the single most defining part of the turn, it is very relevant to skiing, and the discussion should be and interesting one. So what are they?

Later

GREG
Greg, you read my mind, I was going to initiate this very thread in this very manner.

Maybe we should do this in copy and paste form. New posters copy the current list of transitions and paste it in their post, add a new one of their own to that list, followed by a little explanation of the transition they've added. I'll start

ARC TO ARC INSIDE LEG EXTENSION

Most are familiar with ILE, we've been talking about it quite a bit lately. Arc to arc means that there's no redirection of the skis prior to the initiation of the new carve. It's accomplished with a very subtle extension of the old inside leg that does not result in a loss of pressured contact with the snow, and produces a very gradual roll onto the inside edge.

Who's next?

### How many?

Five hundred and twelve!

(Just kidding)

To get from one turn to the next you will have to change edge.

How can we do that?

A few options in no particular order:

• Extent both legs into the new direction
• Flex both legs into the new direction
• Extend one and flex the other leg into the new direction
• Pick up one ski, put it on the new edge, shift weight, step second ski onto new edge (can be done parallel or not)
• Jump, change edge in air, land on new edges (can be done by flexing the legs in the air, or extending them in the air)

Now take the above options, add converging, parallel or diverging leg moves to it, mix up flexion and extending ….. and we have plenty to work on at the Epic Academy in Snowbird.

Little Bear

### The X-over, under and through

As we have defined, ad nuseum in the waist steering thread, we (the MSRT) look at three basic forms of X-overs/through/under

Oopps, I just said it

X-over

This includes Rick's Excellent ILE discussion. Any extenstion move the causes the CoG to travel up and over to the inside of the new turn falls in the X-over category. For this particular post we will assume in all instances the skier is carving both skis entering the transition.

Another form of X-over is the Bicycle or Pedal turn where ILE is employe simultaneously with the active retraction of the old outside Leg (OOL).

X-Through

A X-Through is basically the same as the X-over except less active. Using the energy release of the skis the upper body becomes the anchor and the CoG passes across the neutral position while staying relatively parallel to the slope.

X-Under

Mostly employed in Slalom a X-under is the active absorbtion of the energy caused by either terrain or the release of the skis while passing under the body (upper body is the anchor) while the CoG stays fairly neutral and closer to the base of support from turn to turn.

Guys, feel free to pick this apart, I just spewed this out without thinking it through to carefully
Perhaps I'm being overly simplistic, but I can only think of one transition technique that contains two parts of the body and the execution is simultaneous. Full commitment of the upper body down the hill while the ankles initiate the transition.

There was a comment (tip) in Ski Racing last season by one of the members of the womens team (Koz??) ... she said something like ... "if I'm above you, I want to see the bottoms of your skis".

That said, I believe this example at the upper end of the spectrum also relates even down to the lower/mid levels, directly linked to the question on the "pedal turn" question of a few days ago.

At the upper end ... it's like that TV chef Emeril adding some hot sauce and "kicking it up a notch"!
6 turn initiation forces:

rotary & rotary pushoff
lateral movement= x over or under
stepping & stemming
borquage= leg rotation w/ upper body seperation
rotation= upper body
couter rotation=opposite motion of upper and lower body
anticipation=stored energy released

most transitions use some part of or a combination of the six forces ie,

Arlburg-rotation w/ some counter rotation thrown in
Ruatt-rotary from the tip of the ski
contempary skiing uses a lateral movement
zipper line bumps use counter rotation
TCS-rotary pushoff

RW
Gary, looks good but the only variable in your three X's is the flexion movements
1) extending (flexion/extension) as edge change occurs
2)flexing/passively absorbing (replement) as edges change.
3)flexing/actively absorbing (avalement) as edge change occurs

This whole spectrum/range seems to be a good way to look at how the CoM is moving from one turn to another and all three show FLUIDITY. Would you agree in general we tend to use #1 at slower speeds where forces are less and flexion/extension moves which historically were used to lighten the skis during edge change still linger, and #2 used when moderate speeds or forces are encountered, and #3 when forces are excessive and we need to actively absorb to maintain ski/snow contact during transition?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by bud heishman Gary, looks good but the only variable in your three X's is the flexion movements 1) extending (flexion/extension) as edge change occurs 2)flexing/passively absorbing (replement) as edges change. 3)flexing/actively absorbing (avalement) as edge change occurs or something in the middle... This whole spectrum/range seems to be a good way to look at how the CoM is moving from one turn to another and all three show FLUIDITY. Would you agree in general we tend to use #1 at slower speeds where forces are less and flexion/extension moves which historically were used to lighten the skis during edge change still linger, and #2 used when moderate speeds or forces are encountered, and #3 when forces are excessive and we need to actively absorb to maintain ski/snow contact during transition?
Agreed
I’ll probably need my Nomex Bunny Slippers to endure the flack from this one but I’d like it out there before Rick responds to a question I asked of him in another Thread ( don’t wanna lose the Trademark and Patent rights… )

So, How about the ‘Pop-Under' Transition?

This is where we deliberately and sharply over-engage our Inside-Edges very late in a turn using knee angulation, aka: hip rotation with knee flex.

The net effect is to cause our feet & legs (low mass) to accelerate sharply toward the inside of the old turn and to pass rapidly under our upper body (large mass) thus reorienting us into a position ready for the new turn. Effectively, the lighter mass is levered suddenly to rotate around the larger mass. This creates a good deal of lateral rotational momentum - useful in a variety of ways for the next turn.

.ma
michaelA,

Do you own knee braces yet?? You may want to invest in a pair!?
Nope, no knee braces yet. Guess it's a matter of successful technique. When I do the pop transition my knees almost immediately straighten out due to leg extension behind me. Also, I'm not doing this from a severely flexed position.

I imagine the move would be less successful - and more dangerous - if a person tries it with their upper body mass too far behind their feet or from a very flexed position. 'Course, just skiing from the back seat has got to be pretty hard on ones knees too.

.ma
PS: Nobody said a 'transition' had to be perfect to be included...
> ARC TO ARC INSIDE LEG EXTENSION
> PIVOTED INSIDE LEG EXTERNSION

A pivoted ILE differs from the arc to arc ILE in that the rate of extension is much more aggressive. So much so that causes the CM to be tossed down the falline and the skis to lose contact with the snow. Once contact is lost the ski are redirected toward the direction of the new turn, and contact is reestablish with a portion of the direction change that will take place in the new turn already done. Used when carving the entire turn just won't get ya where ya need to be.
Michael, that's a very fun transition to do. Certainly not for the novice turner though. Better include your disclaimer when you talk about it.

Not what I was referring to in my post to Greg though. I think the boot cuff thing I talked about was a bit confusing in the short version.
That boot cuff thing sounds really easy on paper... or html as this is. I found that when I had to dive down the fall line to cut some transition time that I lost a lot of the smoothness that I could get once I had entered the rythm section of the course (just off the headwall and Champagne and Eidelweiss Rick). Once in that 6 or 8 gate section timing was no problem. ILE does work for smooth transitions though. It is something I plan on spending some time on this year... hopefully we wont have moguls and pot holes at our transitions this year (snowed too much last year).
Later
GREG
Hey, Little Bear, good to see you here!

Thanks, Heluva, for starting the thread. I was in a clinic with Mike Porter years ago on this topic. It was a blast trying out all the ways to go from left to right edges. This would be just as great a clinic today.

Gonzo's coach Yoda took me through a similar inventory, including using your head to tip over. (Dizzying not dazzling.)
Re transitions:

This is a great thread and something I've been thinking about a lot since Nolo's post last season about "pedal turns".

The variety of movement patterns associated with the transition that have already been mentioned shows that there is more than one way to skin a cat. It is always good to be reminded of this. At the same time, the purpose of the transition and the tasks it must accomplish remain pretty much constant and straightforward.

* the skis must be released from their old edges and ride flat on the snow, however
briefly

* the center of mass must switch to the other side of the base of support.

* a new initial edge angle needs to be established.

* a new steering angle must be used ( either passively, by using the "built in" one
contained within the side cut of the ski, or actively creating one by pivoting the
skis).

* the body starts to re-align, with the new inside half slightly forward of the
outside half.

* a transfer of most of the body weight to the inside edge of the new downhill
ski.

* all of the above to be done while keeping the COM over the feet in the for-aft
plane and moving in the direction of the next turn.

Well that's a lot of stuff, but I've found that many students problems (and my own) occur because the transition fails to achieve one or more of these tasks.

A few years ago, I was told to initiate my turn by "stepping up onto my uphill ski". It was a very effective way to cause my COM to topple across the skis and switch sides BUT it ignored the requirement to keep the COM going in the direction of the new turn because in stepping "up" I was moving in a way that the COM doesn't really want to go.

My point is that as more creative refinements are made in these transition movements, I always try to evaluate them against how well they address the "tasks" that the transition must accomplish. I have found it helpful, both conceptually, and more importantly, in teaching.

cdnguy
Quote:
 Originally Posted by nolo Gonzo's coach Yoda took me through a similar inventory, including using your head to tip over. (Dizzying not dazzling.)
I've heard him recite a truncated list, just in passing, while discussing his extended theory of the turn. It's always fascinating to get him to ruminate aloud on skiing technique, I could easily forget to unload from the lift!
I'm out of my league in this crowd, but I'll throw an oddball turn transition in -

How about the transition employed in skating turns - getting up over the new inside ski and adding some juice to the turn with a nice diagonal-downhill pushoff using the old inner ski. I sure wouldn't use this sort of turn for high-speed high-G skiing, but they sure are fun to do every now and then - waltzing down the mountain as if it was a tilted skating rink. I know the mere mention of this might start us down the slippery slope towards ski ballet . BTW, since the skating turn puts you on a flat ski for a moment, I've got to warn you that about 100 yards downhill, a little trail called "Flatboard" splits off to the left and heads into the woods. Don't take it - I hear its a dead end.

I'll leave it to you guys to figure out the proper description in terms of big and little toe edges, old-inside new-outside and all that stuff.

YOT
For you instruction/coaching gurus:

How would you describe/name a transition that you use in powder/crud/other cut up snow that involves a normal (shoulder width) stance, slight rotary, and sever bending of both skis? The rebound from the skis releasing each turn propels you into the next, and there is also a lot of extending and flexing of the ankles and knees. Sometimes I incorporate some hop/pivot movements in tight places. It is like a cross between carving and bump skiing - through terrain that resembles neither... What type of transistion does this use?

Later

GREG
helluvaskier,
Don't know that I fit in your catagory but....

I think the transitions you discuss fit into Gary and my descriptions above. Flexion/extension movements can either increase, decrease, or maintain pressure all dependant on timing and intensity of the movements.

Basically an extension movement that causes a lightening of the skis is used when trying to overcome friction or resistance (ie: slower speeds in deep snow). Once enough energy is stored in the skis at the completion of a turn this active extension is not needed and a simple release of the energy will suffice to overcome and resistance to changing edges. Conversely, when the intensity is turned up a bit more this stored energy in excess of what is needed can be absorbed by passively flexing (replement) or actively absorbing (avalement) as you eluded to in carving or bump skiing, and redirected.

Powder just adds the third dimension which challenges our timing of the movements but as you probably know, once an appropriate rythme is found for the pitch and snow density we are in NIRVANA! AHHH! you made me ink....
Quote:
 Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier For you instruction/coaching gurus: How would you describe/name a transition that you use in powder/crud/other cut up snow that involves a normal (shoulder width) stance, slight rotary, and sever bending of both skis? The rebound from the skis releasing each turn propels you into the next, and there is also a lot of extending and flexing of the ankles and knees. Sometimes I incorporate some hop/pivot movements in tight places. It is like a cross between carving and bump skiing - through terrain that resembles neither... What type of transistion does this use? Later GREG
I think this is called a "dolphin" turn, since the skis look like they are porpoising out of and back into the snow.
BigE: Good looks.
Later
GREG
‘Name the Transitions’ invites the obscure in our very artistic and opportunistic recreation.

I’ve not been able to define hard and fast rules that 'must' apply to every turn. Every time I try some dang Sputterneck is able to say, “Yeah? …but what about X…?” and trash my definition. Hop turns are a good example - they quickly decimate my carefully crafted Edge and Pressure rules - especially when done on one ski or from ski-to-other-ski.

If I frame my Rules within specific slope conditions, terrain, underlying turn type (Wedge, WC, etc), turn size, and degree of continuous ski-snow contact - I might be able to pin things down, but then I need to do another reframing for my next ‘Rule’. Annoying, but at least the idea expressed gets more accurate in translation. That’s one of the toughest things for a Ski Instructor: Transition Translation.

In the recent Centrifugal/Centripetal Thread we deduced that ‘Mr. Frame de’Reference’ was certainly a co-conspirator of Miss. Information in the mystical murder of Master Theidea.

My thought(s) on any ski turn analysis always revolve around Environment and Intent as much as exacting mechanical descriptions. Sure makes movement analysis a lot easier too.

HeluvaSkier, PhysicsMan did a thread on ‘Carving Whipped Cream’ a while back on the subject of carving in powder snow. Worth a review, see: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=8529

.ma
Ahh! must be East Coast powder... Out West here we usually don't see our skis till we get in the lift line. Ha Ha
Quote:
 Ahh! must be East Coast powder... Out West here we usually don't see our skis till we get in the lift line. Ha Ha
Powder all the way up to the edges!!--"LEAN BACK DUDE"
That cracked me up! good one Ron!

MichaelA,
Please don't take offense to what I said. I was just imagining, like I do when I read every post, what your turn would feel like. I am generally a light hearted fella just enjoying myself and trying to offer what I can where I can in a short contrite way. I certainly appreciate others ideas and insights into skiing and enjoy the brain stimulation. I am prepared though for anybody to take a shot at what I have to say and hopefully I will learn from their views. I hope that doesn't fit your description of a "Sputterneck" whatever that is? It just hurt my knees.
Bud - Oops, no intent on my part to target anyone’s post nor any particular idea. I actually re-read everything I intend to post looking at the previous posts of others to pre-detect the possibility of unintended offense. Some things just slip by. Your knee-risk comment was an obvious outcome of my not including a disclaimer up front that it’s not something for neophytes. Good point made, seconded by Rick, and no offense was taken nor intended.

My statement on trying to define hard and fast rules was just the revelation that I too have tried (numerous times) to come up with ‘the way’ things have to happen in a turn. I finally gave up on that perspective because it’s so extremely vulnerable to every minor variation anyone can introduce to my envisioned environment and intent. This thread demonstrates the idea. I’ve noticed all of the hard rules I’ve tried to envision have a lack of resilience to perspective changes.

.ma

(PS: Sputterneck was just an old farm boy term envisioning … er .. well, chickens and hatchets... Just seemed to fit well the wildly unpredictable outpouring of discontent when we make all-inclusive rules. It was aimed at the concept of 'Rules' itself - not at anyone pronouncing them. Anyway, I’ll withdraw the term. Polite Civilization isn’t even ready for a close look at restaurant kitchens, let alone the goings-on of rural stump farms.)
I can carve in powder (actually being a racer i can carve on just about anything - whether it is good for me or not is another topic), and yeah I think I do recall reading the thread. It brings a new dimension to powder skiing that until newer fat skis was not possible. It unfortunately requires speed and pitch, which usually stays untouched for about 10 minutes after the gates drop. This past season I had a great run down Peak 8 at Breck... it was snowing and I was actually about the 5th person through the gate, and close to the last. I wish it had been nicer, because the view that day from the other peaks was impressive... I'm sure peak 8 is breath taking.

MA: I did enjoy your post. Skiing, and its descriptions are very dynamic, which is why we have seemed to have stuck to a set group of terms that we all now use abbreviations for, but we try to make them understood by everyone in the sae way. The WS thread was a good example of this, where we had to come together to define terms that everyone felt as if they were interpreting in the same way.

Later

GREG
Cool Mike!

Hey just a continuation of a thought I had on another post about inside ski turn completions...

How many different turn transitions are there?

What defines a GOOD transition to you?

IMO, I believe we can blend any range of flexion/extension or retraction movements appropriate for the turning forces with any blending of weight shifts during the edge change, PROVIDED there is never more than 50% of our weight shifted to the uphill edge of the uphill ski before it is at least flat or engaging the new inside edge! Otherwise there is an interruption of the flow of the CoM across the skis... and if the trajectory of the extension movement is not in sync with all the physics and forces we have not optimized the transition.

Does that float?
I ski on one ski pretty well, and it's fun to do. Skiing is fun, so there with your 50% rule!

I think a versatile skier means one with many ways of skinning the cat.
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