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Up hill ski questions/help needed

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I am having a hard time understanding how to properly use an up hill ski...when I carve I tend to almost completely unweight my uphill ski using it only as a balancing mechanism....the first couple runs of the season I was not doing this and my uphill ski would "run" out in front of me and I would fall.....what causes this and what is the proper use of the uphill ski? When I am carving smaller-straighter turns I do not unload the "uphill" ski as much since it is still facing down hill.

One other question....sometimes when i am skiing steep runs I tend to lead heavily with my tips as this feel correct to me...I almost un-weight my heels and do a half jump turn...how wrong is this?


I guess while I am at it I will ask two more questions....you don't have to answer them all if you don't feel like it...we can do one at a time.....what causes "tail swosh" I am on twin tips by the way...not NOT mounted true center but still forward of historical mounting spots.

What is the best way to relearn how to lock you ancles together and keep your skis parallel? At the end of last season I looked so good....now I need to relearn...me skis at to far apart and they are not staying parellel....banging all around tails and tips getting crossed...Weak legs/ankles?

Any help would be very appreciated....thanks

Nathan
post #2 of 23
I feel like I was baited on this one, but here goes. You asked some great questions, by the way. A lot of what you just posted centers around some misconceptions about carving turns. Your first question is my favorite. I just posted two of these in anoher thread but check out the following threads:

Who is Carving: Perception vs. Reality
Carving On Ice: Technique or Gear or What?
I need to learn to carve at the top of my turns, any suggestions?
Please, Help Me Stop Tipping!
"NEW School" v "OLD School"???

All of them had a lot of great information about carving in them.

Now, onto your question(s). While "unweighting" is not a term that is commonly used in modern skiing, you are correct in noting that the inside ski is not to be pressured, and is not the ski that carries the most weight through the turn. I went over this very thoroughly in the above threads. The inside ski is for balance, and to create a smooth transition between turns.

What you are describing when you "let you ski run out in front" is significant tip lead. Ideally you should have minimal or no tip lead in the turn (I usually ski with a maximum of 2 inches tip lead and usually much less). What tip lead will do to your skiing is extend your inside ski so far forward that you have no choice but to weight it. Combined with inefficient carving technique, this is detrimental to completing the turn. This also puts you in the backseat, the worst place to be other than the ground (or a bump run) during a carved turn.

When you talk about letting your skis point down the fall line and not deviate from it while making long sweeping turns; you probably do not have to change the weight distribution between your inside and outside skis significantly from turn to turn. The reason that you need significant change in weight distribution during carved turns that cross the fall line significantly is that you need to propell yourself across the hill, and not always down the fall line. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart or so (whatever feels natural) and jump back and forth from one to the other. Do it to actually mimic a carving feel so that to jump to your left you push off your right foot and catch yourself with your left. Try to get about 6+ feet between where your left and right feet are landing. Now do this and only displace yourself about 2 feet each time. Moral of the story? To only displace your CM 2 feet it takes much less work than it would to displace your CM 6 feet or more. You will find yourself pushing off very hard to try to get more lateral distance - which is exactly what happens in carves where you are crossing the hill more than you are descending.

A tail swoosh, I guess, would be what I commonly refer to as a windsheild wiper turn. Your tails with kick out sideways, and you will look like your skis are windsheild wipers. This is commonly how a lot of untrained skiers make their turns. This can be caused by being in the backseat, or from over-weigthing your tips like you described when you are on steep terrain. This is not a "bad thing to do" (weighitng your tips excessively) but can be considered a bail-out move - although it is hugely useful on steep terrain and is much better than moving in the other direction (backseat).

Your last question leaves me a bit bothered... Your post was about getting your inside/uphill ski being used properly, and now you are talking about locking your ankles together? Make sure you check out the Carving: Perception Vs Reality thread for some insight into this issue - and why I am bothered by it. Skiing with your ankles together is posibly the worst thing you could ever do for your skiing. It denotes back seat skiing, uphill ski weighting, and generally being out of control. You should be focusing on keping a comfortably widish stance, and maintaining parallel shins. If I were you I would seek instruction from a good instructor to get set on the right track for your skiing, as there is probably more work that needs to be done than can be accomplished through an internet forum. even this is an enormous post (including all the links) and it is just scratching the surface.

Later

GREG
post #3 of 23

Hooo boy! ..

Greg:

Allow me to answer the last question.

1. Go out in the garage. Look at your skis and if they are kinda' curvy and wider at the tip, skinny in the middle and wide at the tail ....

2. Toss em' in the can.

3. Remove car keys from pocket and cruise yard sales.

4. When you find a yard sale that has long skinny and straight skis ...

5. Give the man the $5 for the straight skis.

If you are successful in your search .... repost and Ott and some of the other old guys will give you pointers on pole plant and timing techniques for wedeln and all of that other good stuff.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well thank you for the replies...I read back through my post and realized how horrible my spelling as well as punctuation was. Ad in some typos and it actually sounds like english is my second language! I guess I did not learn-ed as much as I thought in college

I think I will try and read some of the other thread when I should be working...man...accounting is boring on a nice cold saturday! This is what I get for taking off Friday to go skiing!!

When I am skiing fast I ski with me feet further apart and do more "GS" style turns where I use a leading/trailing ski technique to turn. I don't know why, but it always looks so graceful when you have your feet nice and close when you are carving down some greens and blues...I guess this is not right?

About the tail swoosh/swosh...I learned to ski by doing skidding turns...I played hockey so it came naturally and I do not ever remember doing the whole wedge thing...becuase I learned later in like I guess...anyhow...the tail swosh returns after I get tired....at the beginning of a season it is there the whole time...by mid season it is at the end of the day...by late season it is at the end of the 3rd day of skiing....I am wondering if I am excerting to much energy when I carve and not letting the ski do all the work.

I struggle with carving on steeper runs becuase I cannot get into a rythm...when I carve I gain speed...on runs that are not steep I only have to through in the tail swosh every once in a while to slow down...problem is I get facing to far across the hill....is there a better speed check that I could be using???

I spent a day skiing with an instructor when the slopes were empty last year and he said my skiing looked fine...but I am not sure how much he knows as he was always behind me!!
post #5 of 23
Simple and short.

It looks very graceful .....

Fact is .... tis' a lot more WORK!

Lot of wasted energy and motion to go the same distance at a slower pace.

I enjoy an occasional drive in an old MG.

I enjoy driving my Vette.

If I had to pick one ..... ?????????
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well put...my dad had a black midget when he was in highschool (the car made by MG geeze!!)...

anyhow...when I ski bumps I have a lower more flexed stance where my sholders are farther in front of me...keeping me fron getting back seat....when I am skiing poder I am of course father back...when I ski groomers and steeps I tend to be neutral with a straight spine...is this right???....there are so many ways to get down a hill based on snow conditions that it seems like I used 5 or 6 different types of turns durring a day of skiing...

I read the thread on when you think you are carving...to me...when I get that nice rebound in the transition from one turn to the other where the ski pops you out of your turn and into the next...this is when I THINK I am carving....does your ski unload when you ski your tails? I don't know why but when that "POP" is present I feel like I am skiing with the gods...
post #7 of 23
Comprex has called my bluff. Somehow he knows what lurks in my soul's dark and hidden places.

I confess ........ but I'd be torn between a

.

.

Messerschmit or an Isetta!
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
Ideally you should have minimal or no tip lead in the turn (I usually ski with a maximum of 2 inches tip lead and usually much less). What tip lead will do to your skiing is extend your inside ski so far forward that you have no choice but to weight it. Combined with inefficient carving technique, this is detrimental to completing the turn. This also puts you in the backseat, the worst place to be other than the ground (or a bump run) during a carved turn.


GREG
Greg, if you have access to comcast "ON DEMAND" check out BODE & PHIL MCNICHOL in the Carving" segment. it is under Sports & fitness, Sportskool, Skiing.

I just spoke the head coach of our program 2 days ago about tip lead.

This is what he said. Minimal Tip lead at the top of the turn is correct, but as your angles increase quite a bit of tip lead with the inside ski is necessary, even desirable to make room for the extreme angles you are creating as the turn progresses. This is exactly what BODE says and shows in his segment on "Carving". Bode even mentions directly pushing his inside ski forward to make room for his outside knee and leg later in the turn.

My son has always critcized my tip lead at the middle and end of my turns. I couldn't really ski any other way with the extreme angles and how far inside my skis I ski. This feels totally balnced, controlled, Ii am parallel and not skidding during this phase of the turn. Come to find out, there is no way to ski with extreme angles and not lead with your inside ski in the middle and end of the turn.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Posted by Atomicman
I just spoke the head coach of our program 2 days ago about tip lead.

This is what he said. Minimal Tip lead at the top of the turn is correct, but as your angles increase quite a bit of tip lead with the inside ski is necessary, even desirable to make room for the extreme angles you are creating as the turn progresses. This is exactly what BODE says and shows in his segment on "Carving". Bode even mentions directly pushing his inside ski forward to make room for his outside knee and leg later in the turn.

My son has always critcized my tip lead at the middle and end of my turns. I couldn't really ski any other way with the extreme angles and how far inside my skis I ski. This feels totally balnced, controlled, Ii am parallel and not skidding during this phase of the turn. Come to find out, there is no way to ski with extreme angles and not lead with your inside ski in the middle and end of the turn.
You're right Atomicman, but isn't the tip lead that you get only about the thickness of your leg anyway? So its going to be at the maximum about 6 inches - more for someone who is bigger? Of course this is in EXTREME angulation situations (which I don't think we have one here). I actually watched it in the DH today that was on NBC. Bode and Darron both let the inside lead in the technical sections and actually let themselves get a little in the back seat because of it. Of course it is the nature of DH because of the need to stay low, so that may have been the reason for what I saw. As long as you know enough to keep the weight off that ski I suppose it isn't harmful, but when you start thrusting your leg forward to start the transition mid-turn it ends up being a detriment (and if you're carving big angles you end up on the snow). What you say makes a lot of sense - especially when you want to keep the pressure on your downhill ski through the bottom of the turn. I'll see if I can find that clip.

Later

GREG
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
You're right Atomicman, but isn't the tip lead that you get only about the thickness of your leg anyway? So its going to be at the maximum about 6 inches - more for someone who is bigger? Of course this is in EXTREME angulation situations (which I don't think we have one here). I actually watched it in the DH today that was on NBC. Bode and Darron both let the inside lead in the technical sections and actually let themselves get a little in the back seat because of it. Of course it is the nature of DH because of the need to stay low, so that may have been the reason for what I saw. As long as you know enough to keep the weight off that ski I suppose it isn't harmful, but when you start thrusting your leg forward to start the transition mid-turn it ends up being a detriment (and if you're carving big angles you end up on the snow). What you say makes a lot of sense - especially when you want to keep the pressure on your downhill ski through the bottom of the turn. I'll see if I can find that clip.

Later

GREG
I know it didn't really apply to his question, just checking to see if i am thinking about this right and yes it is maybe 6 inchces.

Thanks for the quick response!
post #11 of 23

gretch!

Nathan,

I am thinking,

I bet you got some nice guitars....:

Never owned one, I am a Fender and a bit of a Gibson guy...

but I sure would like a falcon or a 6120....

Guitar dude out...

back to racer dudes....



check out www.amsao.it for some good images re high level modern skiing...click on video left hand side....enjoy(argento and oro= intermediate and advanced) these are demos...not bad for free
post #12 of 23
While I defer to Greg and atomicman on race technique, I've always considered tip lead as something that is a product of the rest of your skiing, and not something to actively change - that is, if you have a big tip lead as a result of something else, that's generally okay, but you should just let it be a result, not something you strive to manufacture. Not sure if that makes any sense?
post #13 of 23
Gretch,

From what I read here, what you describe as your "problems", are really just symptoms of a core issue (this is typical by the way, often we feel there is many things we need to fix, when really we are only chasing symptoms and not fixing the root cause.)

Now without actually seeing you ski, I cant say for sure, but I am willing to bet your primary issue is related to the way you intiate turns. Tail "swoosh", crossing tips, etc, are all typical of poor turn intiation.

Here is what I suggest:

The Problem: From what you describe it appears you intiate turns by applying pressure to your ski tips by flexing your ankles, in effect "coming down" on the ski. This works, but has two consequences, first it puts your weight really far forward, which makes it virtually impossible to get centered again, especially in short turns (cause tail "swoosh) also if you do it agressivley with a little shoulder thrown in, you will cross your tips, and on steeps, it gives you that hop hop feel.

The Fix: Instead of intiating your turns by flexing your ankles to apply pressure to your ski tips, try pressing down on the balls of your feet. Try it in your living room at home, and you will notice that it actually straightens your ankle! The exact opposite of what you were/may doing before. Both methods will work for turn intiation, but the second method is much much more efficient and will set you up for more success, performance and control in the later parts of the turn.

Oh one last point....YES you do this in ALL types of turns, long/short/medium in ALL snow types, ice, powder, crud, groomed, corn etc etc.

Cheers,
post #14 of 23
Gretch,
There is nothing "wrong " with yout technique, but as you must know, it is ineffective in the situations you are describing. It is like using the latest computer only as a typewriter. Try taking another lesson and tell the supervisor at the lesson meeting area that you would like a PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) Level 2 or Level 3 instructor. That instructor should be able to put you on the right track of getting a balanced and stable position on your skis, and put toghether a plan for you work through the issues you mentioned. Twin tip skis are really for park and pipe skiing and most have limited "carving" capibilities, so your equipment and your idea of what good skiing is supposed to be may be a part of your technique issues.
Good luck,

RW
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks for the help guys...I am not 100% sold on the whole twin tips are only for the park thing....alot of twin tips have side cuts just like other carving it skis....it just so happens that the rear tip is turned up so there is this perception that they are only for punk kids riding in the park.
post #16 of 23
gretch,
I am very aware of twin tips, but they are not like any other carving ski only with the tails turned up. They are truly a specialty ski and they can "carve", but in a very limited capasitity compared to a true carving ski, such as a world cup slalom ski.
Twin tips with a more limited side cut, takes patience and finesse to allow them to "hook up" in a carving situation and if you try to force them, the results are often like you are describing in your initial post.

RW
post #17 of 23
Nate the stuff you skied today, even good "carving" skis were having issues. Foils flat out would suck, and did suck. I wish I had Sl-11 today with 5 degrees of side bevel it was just a tad icey lol.
post #18 of 23
BPA,
Not where I was skiing---Great snow (in the east too).

RW
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
I guess I understand what you are getting at...the more you know right....I skied on a pair of Atomic Supercrosses last year while my skis were being worked on...they skied really well...until one poped of in the middle of a turn...which I thought was a carve...and cut me right above my boot...on my right leg...nice scare...New Years day....the skis were sharp....16 stiches....8 internal on the muscel...but hey shit happens...right.....

Bushwakerin...you have discovered my true identity.....you are the first person I have ever known in person and on a message board!!! The snow...cough..ice today was well not a nice as the 3 inches of dry powder that were on my car in Saxonburg this mourning before I left for the hill...oh well...I got some quality time in with Bushwakerin today....it was much better than being on the shitty snow and watching the Steelers get toasted!!!
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by gretch6364
Hello,

I am having a hard time understanding how to properly use an up hill ski...when I carve I tend to almost completely unweight my uphill ski using it only as a balancing mechanism....the first couple runs of the season I was not doing this and my uphill ski would "run" out in front of me and I would fall.....what causes this and what is the proper use of the uphill ski? When I am carving smaller-straighter turns I do not unload the "uphill" ski as much since it is still facing down hill.

One other question....sometimes when i am skiing steep runs I tend to lead heavily with my tips as this feel correct to me...I almost un-weight my heels and do a half jump turn...how wrong is this?


I guess while I am at it I will ask two more questions....you don't have to answer them all if you don't feel like it...we can do one at a time.....what causes "tail swosh" I am on twin tips by the way...not NOT mounted true center but still forward of historical mounting spots.

What is the best way to relearn how to lock you ancles together and keep your skis parallel? At the end of last season I looked so good....now I need to relearn...me skis at to far apart and they are not staying parellel....banging all around tails and tips getting crossed...Weak legs/ankles?

Any help would be very appreciated....thanks

Nathan
Most twintips have a relatively big turn radius. If you are trying to carve small turns with them, then you have to lean them over pretty far, and they have to be pretty sharp. It's hard to keep sharp edges if your rubbing them on rails and stuff in the park.

With straight skis you have to bend them before they will turn. If you are on softer snow they will already have some decambering in them when running straight, but on hardpack...not so much. To bend them on hardpack, you pretty much have to start by standing on the tips and then engage the front edges with the tips bent and follow through with the rest of the ski. It is important when doing this, to apply pressure to the rest of the ski as it comes into the grooves carved by the front tips. The straight ski technique can be used to force tighter turn radii onto straighter but still modern shaped skis. That's probably why your doing it. Bigger turns will be easier to carve. Just roll the skis over and take the turn shape you get for the amount of lean you have. Concentrate on forcing your weight down where the ski wants to break loose as you go through the turn, especially if your are trying to make a shorter turn on longer-radius skis.

By uphill ski, I will assume you mean the inside ski. The best way to approach the two-footed thing on fairly straight skis is to do it at turns where you need a little help from the other ski and you let it help out as much as needed (high enough speed to overpower one ski). Don't try to get 50-50 right off the bat. With more shaped skis just roll them both onto their edges and see what happens.

Don't worry about keeping your feet together. Go for a comfortable distance apart; aim with your knees, the feet will follow.

Hope this helps.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yes that does help...thank you
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Greg, if you have access to comcast "ON DEMAND" check out BODE & PHIL MCNICHOL in the Carving" segment. it is under Sports & fitness, Sportskool, Skiing.

I just spoke the head coach of our program 2 days ago about tip lead.

This is what he said. Minimal Tip lead at the top of the turn is correct, but as your angles increase quite a bit of tip lead with the inside ski is necessary, even desirable to make room for the extreme angles you are creating as the turn progresses. This is exactly what BODE says and shows in his segment on "Carving". Bode even mentions directly pushing his inside ski forward to make room for his outside knee and leg later in the turn.

My son has always critcized my tip lead at the middle and end of my turns. I couldn't really ski any other way with the extreme angles and how far inside my skis I ski. This feels totally balnced, controlled, Ii am parallel and not skidding during this phase of the turn. Come to find out, there is no way to ski with extreme angles and not lead with your inside ski in the middle and end of the turn.
Great post here by Atomicman. Finally someone who understands what tip lead is and WHY it HAS to be there. This is one of the biggest missconseptions of modern skiing (the other being that you should have your weight on the inside ski) and the funniest thing is that you only need to watch WC skiing for 1 turn and you will see how much inside tip lead there is present. If you dont believe me you must believe your eyes and if you cannot believe those ask Bode himselfe.

You can easily test it yourselfe. Next time you are skiing stop at a fearly steep part of the slope. Take a wide stance (modern ) and sit down into the uphill slope. You will notise that your downhill (outside in modern terms ) leg is going to be almost if not completely straight while your uphill (inside in modern terms ) will be bent at approx 90deg. This position simulates extreme angulation (is this the right english term?) but I find myselfe often touching the snow with my inside fist wich puts me close to sitting down into the pist. Anyway, look at the inside tip lead! It should be about the length of your leg between hips and knee. In my case about 40cm. If you still dont believe your eyes and logical reasoning try to pull your inside ski back to what is believed by some "experts" to be correct and see what happens! Total catastropy is the answere! It is almost impossible and even if you manage to do that your whole body will be twisted with hipps out and god knows what. Never saw anybody ski like that anyway.

Somewhere I read that inside ski tip lead should be aobut 6 inches at the most, the thickness of your legg??? I dont really understand this. As I said before, its the distance of your upper leg and that is way more than 6 inches, more like 12. Offcourse theoreticly when your inside knee is pointing straight up under your inside arm pit, inside ski tip lead could be close to nothing. It teoretically gets less after you pass the 90deg angle. However, annother thing is that you should have almost all off your weight on your outside ski which gives you power to press your outside leg knee forward and keep your weight out of the back seat (heared it before ). Since you dont have any or much weight on your inside ski you also cannot flex the inside boot by pressing the knee forward. This leads us to the situation where inside ski lead is incresed even more since the outside ski is pushed back relative to our body and our inside ski. At one point of your turn you are completely square. This is where we finnish and start our turns. Here tip lead is cero. From then on the more we lean into the turn and the more we pressure the outside ski inside tip lead will increse.

Talking about being in the back seat, Bode is well known for having his weight too far back. Makes him slow. Not in speed but in reactions. Even before his SL run yesterday I told my wife he was never going to make it to the finnish because the course was set too tight. How right I was....
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by gretch6364
Hello,

I am having a hard time understanding how to properly use an up hill ski...when I carve I tend to almost completely unweight my uphill ski using it only as a balancing mechanism....the first couple runs of the season I was not doing this and my uphill ski would "run" out in front of me and I would fall.....what causes this and what is the proper use of the uphill ski? When I am carving smaller-straighter turns I do not unload the "uphill" ski as much since it is still facing down hill.
Nathan
The reason why you fell is in my opinion just because you shifted too much weight to your inside ski. Happens all the time to all of us if we push our limits. Just like you said, keep your inside ski in contact with the snow and for balance reasons. Since you fell you were our of balance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gretch6364
Hello,
One other question....sometimes when i am skiing steep runs I tend to lead heavily with my tips as this feel correct to me...I almost un-weight my heels and do a half jump turn...how wrong is this?
Nathan
Look at my previous post.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gretch6364
Hello,
I guess while I am at it I will ask two more questions....you don't have to answer them all if you don't feel like it...we can do one at a time.....what causes "tail swosh" I am on twin tips by the way...not NOT mounted true center but still forward of historical mounting spots.
Nathan
If its your gear its because your edges are not evenly sharp over the whole length of your skis or that your binidings are mounted too far forwards. If its your techinque you probably skid the tails because you rotate with your hipps. Bringing your hipps towards the outside flattens your skis and you loose grip. Its the most common reason. Also if you lean to much forwards it causes tail skidding but usually its the hipps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gretch6364
Hello,
What is the best way to relearn how to lock you ancles together and keep your skis parallel? At the end of last season I looked so good....now I need to relearn...me skis at to far apart and they are not staying parellel....banging all around tails and tips getting crossed...Weak legs/ankles?

Any help would be very appreciated....thanks

Nathan
Beleieve me or not but the wide stance has been invented because its easier. Its also more efficient if you ski really faast. If you look at picktures from lets say the 30s or at cave paintings in northern Europe and Russia from 3000y back you will see that the wide stance was popular then. Its really nothing new, its just that it is much easier than having them tight togeter. Im really thrilled that I finally found someone that is trying to figure it out. I myselfe can ski with my skis locked togeter and also wide apart. If I ski in moguls, traverse in the back country or submerge into powder I tend to have my skis closer togeter, if I carve on hard groomers or run a GS or SL course I have them wide apart. Dont let guys put you down because you want to ski with them tight togeter. Its a great skill that very few masters properly today and I have even invented my own style of carving, with my skis locked together. People tend to laugh at me from the chair lift abowe but who cares. Its a great balance exersise. And its just one more way of all the infinitive forms of skiing. Flame me if you want for not being narrowminded.
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