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# Matching from a wedge

Something dear to my heart - the wedge.

Here's the question: At what point in the turn does the skier transitioning from wedge to parallel begin to close the wedge? What is the visual/sensory cue that you can use to say: "OK, now match the skis!".

I have a notion, but at what point in the turn should they begin to do that? Does it vary with the size of the wedge?
Immediately following edge change or whatever is simulating it.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BigE Something dear to my heart - the wedge. Here's the question: At what point in the turn does the skier transitioning from wedge to parallel begin to close the wedge? What is the visual/sensory cue that you can use to say: "OK, now match the skis!". I have a notion, but at what point in the turn should they begin to do that? Does it vary with the size of the wedge?
Try not to think of the transition as closing the wedge as much as steering the inside ski to get in parallel. As far as when the matching is to occur I think it happens via a number of factors, speed and size of turn are some. It should not be a forced move but work within the flow of the turn. I look at the wedge to parallel transition i.e. wedge christies as a stage were the skier is just not active enough with inside leg steering . It can be lazy feet/legs , but it can also be a skier is just not ready because they are going too slow and the wedge is the platform they need for balance. As speed and slope steepness increase the matching can become automatic. Play with the size and shape of the turn and see where the match feels comfortable to happen.
The answere to your Q is simple: as soon as you have shifted the weight from old outside to new outside ski you can start to close down on the wedge to go parallel. This is the traditional path leading to the "stem" turn which leads into the parallel christie and finally parallel skiing.
tdk6, et al,

I was thinking along a slightly different line. Suppose the skier is in a wedge, and is moving straight downhill. They begin to pressure the left ski, and start to turn right.

There are two cases to consider: either the right ski has pointed straight downhill, or it has not.

I suggest that this skier should begin to close the wedge ONLY when the right ski is pointing straight downhill.

Why? Because if you wait until the right ski is pointing down the fall-line, the tail of the right ski can simply be rolled to the new edge and skied up beside the left ski. If you try matching sooner, the danger is that the skier will lift it to get the tail to disengage.

Of course, the goal is earlier and earlier but what I'm on about is the very first matching attempts. Well before they have the coordination to twist and roll to acheive early matching.

I think that waiting until the inside ski is pointing straight downhill will guarantee a round turn, regardless of the size of the wedge -- at least it did for my experiments today. It will also keep the right ski on the snow. It will give them patience to wait for the ski to turn.

I think it also gives the beginner a target moment to coordinate an action. It's very sequential, and the timing is simple get. It introduces the notion in a safe way. The round turns and patience is free....

It also dovetails into the initial steering angle thread.....
BigE,

Quote:
 Try not to think of the transition as closing the wedge as much as steering the inside ski to get in parallel. As far as when the matching is to occur I think it happens via a number of factors, speed and size of turn are some. It should not be a forced move but work within the flow of the turn. I look at the wedge to parallel transition i.e. wedge christies as a stage were the skier is just not active enough with inside leg steering . It can be lazy feet/legs , but it can also be a skier is just not ready because they are going too slow and the wedge is the platform they need for balance. As speed and slope steepness increase the matching can become automatic. Play with the size and shape of the turn and see where the match feels comfortable to happen.
Why do we teach flexion/extension in the wedge??? That is what causes the inside ski to flatten so it can be matched or match on it's own. I teach a wedge with inside leg/ankle flexion which causes the outside leg to extend, a spontanious christie happens very early in the new skiers development, sometimes in less than 2 hours from not ever being on skis before.

Being able to flex/extend, turn shape, speed and terrain have a lot to do with when the skis match.

RW
Consider what movement conditions result in a Wedge turn, or a Wedge Christy of any sort? Wedge turns are the result of not doing the right movements well, or at all. This is why a good wedge turn demo is an oxymoron. :

For a turn to remain in a wedge turn the right things have to not happen. The new inside ski is either never released (a full wedge turn on opposing edges) or the new inside ski never changes edges so it can match the outside ski. Or the focus is so dominant on the outside ski to overpower the resistance of the inside such that it has little chance of being actively involved in the turn.

A Wedge Christy is the result of the outside ski turning more than the inside at initiation, and the inside ski trying to catch up before the end of the turn.

The solution for both is to teach the initiating movement to be by rolling/tipping the foot of the new inside ski toward the little toe edge to release the edge of the old outside ski to start the new turn. How early the matching takes place is dependent upon how actively the skier continues with the rolling/tipping movement to get the big toe edge off the snow. If this movement is actively leading (not playing catch-up to the outside ski) a spontaneous Christy should be the minimum result, with great opportunity for a parallel turn. The match should not come by focusing on a lateral movement of the inside leg, but from the continued foot rolling/tipping movement recruiting a rotation of the inside thigh in the direction of the turn. If a strong stance on (not a step to) the outside ski has been taught the inside ski lightens and quickly matches as turn dynamics move more pressure to the outside ski. This should be caused by the foot movement, not forced with leg movements.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BigE tdk6, et al, I was thinking along a slightly different line. Suppose the skier is in a wedge, and is moving straight downhill......
You are right!!! I must take back my previous statement. Now when I think of it I usually tell my students to go parallel way past the fall line. Going parallel speeds things up and to maintain steady speed and make it all fluent wedging brakes the speed going through the fall line and parallel maintains the speed going cross. If beginner students try to shift into parallel too soon all sorts of strange things happen. Usually they need to momentarily shift all their weight to the outside ski so that they can pick the other one up and place it parallel to the outside ski.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BigE Here's the question: At what point in the turn does the skier transitioning from wedge to parallel begin to close the wedge? What is the visual/sensory cue that you can use to say: "OK, now match the skis!".
You can't quantify this. You can't "teach" to hold a wedge just so far and then begin to match. It all depends upon the athleticism of the student, the terrain and the conditions. If you teach initiation like Arc suggests from releasing the edge of the new inside ski, if the conditions are good and the terrain comfortable, and if the student is sufficiently athletic and goes with the flow, matching can occur well before the fall line after the first few tries. I never mention matching as a goal. After it starts to happen, I point out that it's happening. If all the ifs I listed here occur, I also point out the student doesn't really have to form a wedge at all. Equally weighted skis flat on the snow will begin to seek the fall line just like wedged ones will. This is a great patience experience for students.

If you don't teach wedge turns through new inside ski initiation, if you have to use pressuring/edging the new outside ski and especially if you have to teach tipping the upper body to the outside to assist with the pressuring/edging, then you'll have to have the students struggle with inside foot steering after the fall line for initial matching and do a lot of that before you can get matching earlier and earlier. They'll have to become quite comfortable with balancing while standing against the outside ski before they can relax the inside leg enough to match on the snow.
when asked when it "should" occur i have heard talented trainers speak along the same lines as kneale. the steeper it is the sooner it is.

two other thoughts.

don't mention or teach a wedge

IF and it is a big IF a student is taught a good release then one may never see a wedge. get a student on the right pitch and simply ask them to point the tips up hill to slow down and downhill to speed up. if they are well balanced and on the right size ski they may exhibit great inside leg tipping/turning at the outset.

in either case one can make the "match" much easier if it is stressed at some point after the skis pass the fall line.

i typically focus on a release (tipping).....wait until the skis are pointed down the hill and then suggest to the student they turn the inside foot.

it usually sounds something like this in a right turn;

"roll the right foot over towards the right little toe....wait, wait, be patient, stay balanced, NOW TURN THE RIGHT FOOT."
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson You can't quantify this. You can't "teach" to hold a wedge just so far and then begin to match. It all depends upon the athleticism of the student, the terrain and the conditions. If you teach initiation like Arc suggests from releasing the edge of the new inside ski, if the conditions are good and the terrain comfortable, and if the student is sufficiently athletic and goes with the flow, matching can occur well before the fall line after the first few tries. I never mention matching as a goal. After it starts to happen, I point out that it's happening. If all the ifs I listed here occur, I also point out the student doesn't really have to form a wedge at all. Equally weighted skis flat on the snow will begin to seek the fall line just like wedged ones will. This is a great patience experience for students. If you don't teach wedge turns through new inside ski initiation, if you have to use pressuring/edging the new outside ski and especially if you have to teach tipping the upper body to the outside to assist with the pressuring/edging, then you'll have to have the students struggle with inside foot steering after the fall line for initial matching and do a lot of that before you can get matching earlier and earlier. They'll have to become quite comfortable with balancing while standing against the outside ski before they can relax the inside leg enough to match on the snow.
Kneale, Arc is suggesting not to teach a wedge at all.... and yes, they will have to be quite comfortable with balancing while standing against the outside ski.

That is exactly what I want to see happen -- full commitment of the weight to the outside ski early in their learning. There was a poster here that suggested that he teaches two things only and gets remarkable results: balance and commitment to the outside ski.

Why not start right there?

I'll experiment with Arc's move. I'll bet in starting from a wedge pointing straight downhill and trying to lighten and tip the inside ski (while leaving it fully on snow), that the inside ski will point straight down the fall-line just before it rolls onto the new edge. Unless it gets lifted or flattened and yanked into position.

If that is so, then why not teach it directly?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Rusty Guy when asked when it "should" occur i have heard talented trainers speak along the same lines as kneale. the steeper it is the sooner it is.
Or the greater the size of the wedge.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tdk6 If beginner students try to shift into parallel too soon all sorts of strange things happen. Usually they need to momentarily shift all their weight to the outside ski so that they can pick the other one up and place it parallel to the outside ski.
that's because the tail of the ski hooks up on the hill when they try to match it. eg. Suppose 12 o'clock is straight uphill. if the tails of the skis are at 2 and 10 o'clock, and the skier is turning right, the skier's right ski needs to get to 12 o'clock before it can be matched -- otherwise, it'll get lifted into place or the ski will be flattened and pulled over. It can only be skied into place if both tails are on the same side of 12 o'clock.

yes/no?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BigE Kneale, Arc is suggesting not to teach a wedge at all....
Then why does he repeatedly mention subsequent matching after initiation? He's saying that IF you teach a wedge turn, start the turn by releasing the new inside ski's edge through tipping the foot toward the turn. Same approach if you don't form the wedge. Either way, the release action puts more weight on the new outside foot without having to move it there to initiate. It's more in keeping with modern two-footed turn initiation.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ron White BigE, I really like Snowblower's answer-- Why do we teach flexion/extension in the wedge??? That is what causes the inside ski to flatten so it can be matched or match on it's own. I teach a wedge with inside leg/ankle flexion which causes the outside leg to extend, a spontanious christie happens very early in the new skiers development, sometimes in less than 2 hours from not ever being on skis before. Being able to flex/extend, turn shape, speed and terrain have a lot to do with when the skis match. RW
Ron, do we teach flexion/extension to release or do we teach tipping movements? If you tell an examiner in RM that f/e is a release move you will be opening a can of worms you may not recover from. Or to paraphrase a thought our own BB continually covers in MA training because it so frequently comes up in exams (right after "I'd first fix their stance") "if you extend to release then it must be OK to extend at the top of a bump". Extension will probably flatten the skis but may not bring the student in touch with the foot level movements of tipping to release.

The biggest detriment to matching I see is bracing against the new inside ski rather than flattening it so you can steer it to a match. There can be an infinite number of reason why the student won't release that ski and it is the instructors job to understand "why" and address it with appropriate remedies.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Arcmeister Consider what movement conditions result in a Wedge turn, or a Wedge Christy of any sort? Wedge turns are the result of not doing the right movements well, or at all. This is why a good wedge turn demo is an oxymoron. :
That is a matter of opinion. There is nothing wrong with a wedge turn.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by arcmeister For a turn to remain in a wedge turn the right things have to not happen. The new inside ski is either never released (a full wedge turn on opposing edges) or the new inside ski never changes edges so it can match the outside ski. Or the focus is so dominant on the outside ski to overpower the resistance of the inside such that it has little chance of being actively involved in the turn.
What if the inside ski is rolled flat?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by arcmeister A Wedge Christy is the result of the outside ski turning more than the inside at initiation, and the inside ski trying to catch up before the end of the turn.
Why not the result of the setting of an initial steering angle with the outside ski and matching later?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by arcmeister The solution for both is to teach the initiating movement to be by rolling/tipping the foot of the new inside ski toward the little toe edge to release the edge of the old outside ski to start the new turn.
But there is no new turn. The skier is moving straight downhill in a wedge....regardless of what movements you make, the new edge won't engage until after the inside ski is pointing straight down the fall line.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson Then why does he repeatedly mention subsequent matching after initiation? He's saying that IF you teach a wedge turn, start the turn by releasing the new inside ski's edge through tipping the foot toward the turn. Same approach if you don't form the wedge. Either way, the release action puts more weight on the new outside foot without having to move it there to initiate. It's more in keeping with modern two-footed turn initiation.
He's just saying avoid the stem or wedge, and here's a trick to minimize it -- his "solution to both".
I don't teach a wedge or parallel. I use a wedge stance to teach movenents basic to skiing. When the student begins to master these movements the wedge stance is replaced by a more efficent parallel stance. This can happen in as little as an hour or it can take all day.

yd
Quote:
 Originally Posted by ydnar I don't teach a wedge or parallel. I use a wedge stance to teach movenents basic to skiing. When the student begins to master these movements the wedge stance is replaced by a more efficent parallel stance. This can happen in as little as an hour or it can take all day. yd
I like this thought. I also think the "switch" should occur automatically in most cases.
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