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I need to learn to carve at the top of my turns, any suggestions?

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone,

I am a club college racer (started racing when i came to college) ussa pts 175gs 190sl, and am going into my fourth year of racing, the middle and end of my turn are very good but i have a hard time carvingenough in the top of my turn, especially in gates. I do around 75% of the turning in the second half of the turn. Any advice, (my "coach" still skis like he has 205 sl skis on) much appreciated, i want to do some drills this weekend. Oh, this might be helpful, when i try to turn more on the top of the turn it feels like im about to fall to the inside, not flat over on my shoulder, but to the front inside. Thanks
post #2 of 53
You could be doing this for a number of reasons. My guess is that you're either not setting up the turn, or not giving the skis enough time to turn, and then redirecting the skis by use of rotary to the direction you want to go. This could be from getting "late" in the course, and not only carving the latter part of the turn, but actually carving that 75% of the turn below the gate, instead of carving the majority of the turn above the gate.

There are a few things that will help you. The first is to learn to get on the little toe edge of your old inside ski as you move into the transition. Form that point allow the ski to move from being on the little toe edge to the inside edge (big toe edge) as you start your new turn. Make sure to extend this leg as you move toward the new turn. It will make you have a VERY smooth transition in which both skis stay in contact with the snow. This will become the turning leg/ski. In this instance do not rush the turn. Let the ski hook up into the turn and start the carve. Once the carve has started you will begin to angulate just as you would with any other turn, but make sure that you do not let your inside shoulder drop, as this will cause your outside ski to lose contact with the snow and you will end up not carving the turn cleanly.

Another tip - which isn't technique related, is to give yourself plenty of time. When practicing, until you feel comfortable carving the course well, don't try to take the tight line in the course. Set up your turn at the highest possible point in the track. I always look to where the highest line was for the turn and set up right on that line, because you know you're not going to be late then. Once you get the feel for the practice course you can start to dial it in and tighten your line toward something that is more like a race line. Even in races though, for headwalls I often set up very early, so I can let the skis run at the bottom and I have room to get a little "late" and squeeze some speed out of the course.

Later

GREG
post #3 of 53

Initiation Threads, Releases and, of course WS

Quote:
Originally Posted by neufox47
Hey everyone,

I am a club college racer (started racing when i came to college) ussa pts 175gs 190sl, and am going into my fourth year of racing, the middle and end of my turn are very good but i have a hard time carvingenough in the top of my turn, especially in gates. I do around 75% of the turning in the second half of the turn. Any advice, (my "coach" still skis like he has 205 sl skis on) much appreciated, i want to do some drills this weekend. Oh, this might be helpful, when i try to turn more on the top of the turn it feels like im about to fall to the inside, not flat over on my shoulder, but to the front inside. Thanks
Read this (if you've got a month, that is), but the answer is in there.

Waist Steeing

Some other quick links

Video

Basic theory

Also, check out your equipment setup, your description sounds like you may be over initiating or that your shovels are hyper loading and this could be caused by a host of equipment issues such as Ramp, Binding placement, boot flex (too stiff or too soft).

If your equipment is right on, how you make your release (such as Rick's ILE *Probably where to start reading) and move your CM through the transition is probaby the area to focus on.

Other good threads

Turn Transistion

Release Timing

If you are well balanced on fore/aft and lateral planes you should be able to engage your skis very early and have them fully loaded well before entering the fall line (Rhalves says he feels as if he leaves his feet behind through the X-over or skiing from behind). A wide stance and good understanding of X-over (through or under) moves will be very helpful - all covered in the WS thread. Because the thread is so large you may want to use the search feature for the thread and look for X-over, Transitions, Inititation, ILE, CoG/CoM

Actually, search this section for any threads started by "Rick". Tons of stuff specific to your issue.

Good Luck!
post #4 of 53
47, Greg provided you with some great advice.

For drills to work on I'd suggest placing heavy focus on those that enhance lateral balance. Sounds like this may be an area that needs improving.

Try these:
On easy to moderate terrain do some two footed rail turns in which you focus on a smooth, progressive roll onto the new edges during the transition. Develop a very sensitive feel of the transition roll. Feel the skis slowly lose edge angle, go flat, and then gradually gain edge angle on the other side. You should know exactly where you are in the cycle at any point in time.

At first keep your maximum edge angles small, your turn radius large, and make your transitions on a moderate angle to the falline. When you feel the clean, progressive roll happening you can sharpen the turns a bit, continue rolling up to somewhat larger edge angles, and increase your angle to the falline at the transition. Do these while still feeling the smooth roll and clean carve initiation.

Once through that progression, do it all over again, exactly the same, except as one footed rail turns. Start with outside foot rails. Always have your inside ski lifted during the turn. Put it down onto its outside edge at the transition, transfer total weight to it, lift the new inside ski, then execute your roll as I described above, with the same sensory awareness. Remember, low edge angle turns with soft angles to the falline at transition, then increase as you become proficient.

Next, do some inside foot rails, same progression as above. Learning to do this will expand your comfort zone, and allow you to execute a clean initiation and arc the top of the turn even in those instances when you find yourself on your inside foot coming out of the transition.

After doing these lifting progressions, do them over again, but this time keeping both skis on the snow. Everything the same; same weight transfers in the transitions, same balancing on one foot, but minus the lifting.

Once you get feeling pretty cocky with all these, take this entire lateral balance progression series onto tougher terrain.

That should be enough to keep you busy for awhile.
post #5 of 53
Thanks, Gary. I was composing as you were posting.
post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Thanks, Gary. I was composing as you were posting.
Warren says Hello!
post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
47, Greg provided you with some great advice.

For drills to work on I'd suggest placing heavy focus on those that enhance lateral balance. Sounds like this may be an area that needs improving.

Try these:
On easy to moderate terrain do some two footed rail turns in which you focus on a smooth, progressive roll onto the new edges during the transition. Develop a very sensitive feel of the transition roll. Feel the skis slowly lose edge angle, go flat, and then gradually gain edge angle on the other side. You should know exactly where you are in the cycle at any point in time.

At first keep your maximum edge angles small, your turn radius large, and make your transitions on a moderate angle to the falline. When you feel the clean, progressive roll happening you can sharpen the turns a bit, continue rolling up to somewhat larger edge angles, and increase your angle to the falline at the transition. Do these while still feeling the smooth roll and clean carve initiation.

Once through that progression, do it all over again, exactly the same, except as one footed rail turns. Start with outside foot rails. Always have your inside ski lifted during the turn. Put it down onto its outside edge at the transition, transfer total weight to it, lift the new inside ski, then execute your roll as I described above, with the same sensory awareness. Remember, low edge angle turns with soft angles to the falline at transition, then increase as you become proficient.

Next, do some inside foot rails, same progression as above. Learning to do this will expand your comfort zone, and allow you to execute a clean initiation and arc the top of the turn even in those instances when you find yourself on your inside foot coming out of the transition.

After doing these lifting progressions, do them over again, but this time keeping both skis on the snow. Everything the same; same weight transfers in the transitions, same balancing on one foot, but minus the lifting.

Once you get feeling pretty cocky with all these, take this entire lateral balance progression series onto tougher terrain.

That should be enough to keep you busy for awhile.
Another bit.....

Open stupid Windoze office thing....
get into outline mode & type some basic areas of skiing
put all the gems into subsections with suitable headings
rearrange when needed.....

edit a LOT....

It would be a start.... damn - I'd just by the notes & organise them myself even!!
post #8 of 53
Alright already, I'll get to work on it! Jeesh!

Going to dedicate it to you, Disski. My source of motivation.
post #9 of 53
47,
excellent advice above by Gary, Rick, and HS. Lateral balance---
Do you know the White Pass turn?? If so, practice it. If not, keep your weight on your old outside ski during the edge to edge transition. As you extend your new outside leg as you are engaging your new edges, then start to flex your new inside leg and ankle. In other words, don't rush to change your ski to ski weight distribution. Start your edge change and then progressivly do your weight shift going through 50 - 50 in the process. This will allow you to stay laterally balanced through the transition.

RW
post #10 of 53
Tho not a race specific exercise, I'll add one to the mix. Ski medium radius mild speed turns, and as you move into transition between turns, flatten both skis and ride them flat for a couple of seconds. You will be in a forward sideslip, stacked and riding flat skis. You can't pull this off and feel balanced if you don't release the old turn with both feet, and aren't standing centered over your skis. After that two seconds, tip everything on into the next turn. The benefits for me are a stacked centered posture with everything moving and flowing together. Nothing lagging, and nothing getting ahead. There is a alot to be learned by this slowing down of the transition. After a run of these, slowly reduce the time spent in transition as you dial up the speed. The result should be nice smooth integrated transitions, with earlier edge engagement as an outcome. A simple exercise, but easier described than done. slowing things down always exspoes my glitches. Later, RicB.
post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Alright already, I'll get to work on it! Jeesh!

Going to dedicate it to you, Disski. My source of motivation.

Yaaaay!!!!


Told you I was a stubborn little bitch!
post #12 of 53
Ghost said most of what needs to be said. Here is one more idea to add to that though.
Way too many people mistake more movement for more agressiveness. In some instances it takes less movement and more touch. Matching the maneuver to the terrain and adding nothing more. That is usually the missing link. During the first part of the turn maintaining contact and some pressure and edge verses overdoing it and messing up the rest of the turn.
While it is just a guess on my part, I would like to ask you if you find yourself cutting your line short? Diving directly at the gate instead of taking a rounder line. Try running some stubbies to find your best possible line. As you initiate at the top stubby you will realize how much time you have to finish the turn and still make the gate.
post #13 of 53
fox47,
jsp is saying what I am saying in another way.
Ask your self this----
When you start your turn transition, do you add to your new outside ski, or do you take away from your old outside ski????
If you add to your new outside ski, reread the posts above.
If you take away from your old outside ski, you are on the right track.

RW
post #14 of 53
Exactly Ron,
There is only one turn that will exactly match the terrain and the gate set. If you have the skill to perform that turn, you will be fast through that gate. If you lack the skill to perform that turn, you need to back off a bit and take a less aggressive line. Finding that balance point takes a lot of honest self analysis. Even then there are so many other variables that you need to manage while dodging the gates. Go outside the gates to develop the skill. Then apply it to a race course.
post #15 of 53
Total agreement with jsp.
Free skiing is for technique. Gates are for tactics.

RW
post #16 of 53
I do not believe we still teach the Whitepass turn... Something I will ask our legends about... I have been teaching at whitepass for 6 seasons this year and its becomming more and more referenced with each passing year but never talked or taught on the hill. Maybe its old school ? Maybe I know it but we stopped calling it by our hill's name? I don't know either way.

For another Drill, I would recommend in your freeskiing to find an appropriately wide enough terrain to do what I call an Arcing Garland.

Arcing Garlands:

+ Come up to speed in a traverse on uphill ski edges. (the traverse simulates a time stasis turn transition)
+ Roll onto your downhill edges while simultaneously extending your core and CM forward and laterally downhill into your new direction.
......- Use ski inclination rather than a pivot to initiate the turn into the falline.
......- This is the part that require some patience, but too much will induce a yard sale.
+ Reverse the turn when reaching the falline by rolling back onto the original uphill edges and extending your CM forward and laterally to your new traverse.
+ Repeat.
post #17 of 53
Dog, I like your posts.
post #18 of 53

Here's an image to put in your mind

Picture that your ski boots are filled with water. You want to try to tip the water downhill before entering the turn, and in the direction of the turn. This tipping of the foot/boot will get your new edge engaged very early. Tip the foot by first tipping your foot inside the boot, then the shins, knees, etc. The tipping has to start at the foot and move upward (almost simultaneously, but it definately starts at the foot).

Then, have someone ski behind you and watch your tracks. I'll guess that your tracks look like this: good edge, then a flat ski for a while, then the new edge (or even some skid marks). Have that person tell you how close you can get from going from one clean edge to the next. You can get a good idea of what this looks like by watching a good snowboarder. Because the board is so wide it's easy to see the clean edge change.

Bob
post #19 of 53
Dog,
The Mahre brothers made that exercise famous and it is in their book No Hill too Fast.
post #20 of 53
NueFox
Here's a way to get the feeling of early edge engagement. Find a sidehill, also called a fall-away, where you can turn with the sidehill in your favor. The sidehill is in your favor when you are turning with it, not against it. In turning against the sidehill, it adds to your edge angle.

When skiing into the new turn with the sidehill in your favor, make anykind of transition you desire. But look for the feeling of early edge engagement. Keep playing with this turn until it feels really good and natural and you know you are experiencing early edge engagement. Use any of the aforementioned transition types including even up and over. Even if you use up and over you will notice that your edges engage earlier than you normally feel. This is because the slope is rising. It makes it easier to engage and get the feeling.

When you are happy with that, find a place where the sidehill is less and repeat. Get happy with that move on to straight fall-line. You may want to find an opposite sidehill to practice the opposite turn if possible. This exercise I describe is really all about feel and not so much about one technique or another. Once you get that feeling, and then execute it on a straight fall line, you will notice that the feeling is similar.

And remember what Ron White said: "If you take away from your old outside ski, you are on the right track."

When you get to the straight on fall line think about that; it will help you get to the outside edge quicker. And you will know the feeling you are looking for.


turnalot
post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sir turnalot
NueFox
Here's a way to get the feeling of early edge engagement. Find a sidehill, also called a fall-away, where you can turn with the sidehill in your favor. The sidehill is in your favor when you are turning with it, not against it. In turning against the sidehill, it adds to your edge angle.

When skiing into the new turn with the sidehill in your favor, make anykind of transition you desire. But look for the feeling of early edge engagement. Keep playing with this turn until it feels really good and natural and you know you are experiencing early edge engagement. Use any of the aforementioned transition types including even up and over. Even if you use up and over you will notice that your edges engage earlier than you normally feel. This is because the slope is rising. It makes it easier to engage and get the feeling.

When you are happy with that, find a place where the sidehill is less and repeat. Get happy with that move on to straight fall-line. You may want to find an opposite sidehill to practice the opposite turn if possible. This exercise I describe is really all about feel and not so much about one technique or another. Once you get that feeling, and then execute it on a straight fall line, you will notice that the feeling is similar.

And remember what Ron White said: "If you take away from your old outside ski, you are on the right track."

When you get to the straight on fall line think about that; it will help you get to the outside edge quicker. And you will know the feeling you are looking for.


turnalot

:
post #22 of 53
Neufox,

In a lot of cases, this is a simple issue that is caused by wanting to get the skis pointed down the fall line too fast. WV's exercise is a good one. Make sure that your skis travel a couple of ski lengths across the hill on a flat ski, tipped onto the downhill edges, but not turning for a split second. I find it easiest to think about letting the skis aim at and move toward the trees (side of the hill) for a second while the edges engage and the skis start to turn down the fall line without rotary input. Just the sidecut creating the initial turn toward the fall line. It basically comes down to being patient and not letting the femur rotation overpower the amount of egde you've got engaged early in the turn.

Since gravity is pulling you down the hill, and your CM is now downhill of your feet, it's very easy to want to rotate your legs to maintain your balance and end up skidding the top of the turn.

For upper level skiers who have spent time working on crossover (or pick your term of choice), a lot of this impatience to get the skis pointed down the hill comes from moving the CM laterally too much (too much down the hill and not forward enough). If you move your CM too laterally, and didn't rotate the skis to keep them under you, you'd fall head-first down the hill. If you move forward more (think toward 10:00 to 11:00 on the imaginary clock, versus 9:00 going into a left turn), it may help slow down the turn entry enough to keep the edges engaged at the top of the turn.
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
:
What is it you don't understand?
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sir turnalot
What is it you don't understand?
All of it.... sorry it sort of reads like Franglais to me (garbled half french half english).... feels like I only understand about half the words
post #25 of 53
Ok - I guess I do not get how I EVER turn with a hill not in my favour.....

I have always been told to ski with the hill - not fight it....

Just as in surfing I ma told not to fight the water - water always wins!
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
Ok - I guess I do not get how I EVER turn with a hill not in my favour.....

I have always been told to ski with the hill - not fight it....

Just as in surfing I ma told not to fight the water - water always wins!

On the sidehill it is easier to turn, without excessive skidding, in one direction that it is the other and it is easy to keep contact and engage in the opposite direction of that. But that is confusing, so forget it.

turnalot
post #27 of 53
Side-hill?: which side left or right? then agin side of what? chair? huh?

Fall-away.... OK - that is where trail drops sharply yes?

So part way through first line I am totally confused
post #28 of 53
Now I have to turn with side hill - not against it.....:

and something about adding to edge angle.... (in transition? part-way through turn or as edge angles are decreasing towards next transition?):
post #29 of 53
disski,
Enough already, if I'm not getting through to you then perhaps I'm not making sense to anyone. So forget it. Really. But do you not know what a sidehill is?
post #30 of 53
Have no idea from that description
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