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Speed control

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
When I am on a wide, groomed, uncrowded, intermediate run I can carve nicely linked turns, using the mountain and terrain to control my speed. Now put me on a steep run with nice snow only at the edge of the trail, crud on one side, oblivion on the other. I can no longer easily "finish" my turns slightly uphill, there is no terrain to brake on. I usually can't control my speed and wind up bailing with a skidded turn into the crud. Advice?
post #2 of 26
You may want to check out these threads:

Adjustments on steeper terrain:
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=33402

Carving speed control:
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=26995

Hope that helps a bit...
post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebough
When I am on a wide, groomed, uncrowded, intermediate run I can carve nicely linked turns, using the mountain and terrain to control my speed. Now put me on a steep run with nice snow only at the edge of the trail, crud on one side, oblivion on the other. I can no longer easily "finish" my turns slightly uphill, there is no terrain to brake on. I usually can't control my speed and wind up bailing with a skidded turn into the crud. Advice?
Shorten the radius of the turn and finish it by steering more with the feet. Counter will be needed so that you maintain flowing turns in the fall-line. Do not hesitate to turn.------Wigs
post #4 of 26
Oh my GOD, a skid? How awful!:

If you are trying to ski a steeper trail, and only use 10' of the side of it, you are not going to be able to complete a carve to the point of facing across the hill to control your speed. You'd need skis with a 2 meter turn radius. If you want to stay in the good snow, you're either going to have to skid to control your speed or let em go mach schnell by not finishing the turns.
post #5 of 26
You need more time on snow and especially on the steeps, need to dramatically up the speed meter on the intermediate runs (don't know how fast you ski but have a pretty good idea) so you can be more comfortable and confident skiing the steep tough terrain at a greater speed making less tight "skidded turns". It's not magic it just takes practice and confidence to ski the steeps cleanly and at reasonable speed. A lot of the technical advise you get here is good but there is no substitute for pushing yourself to gain confidence which is KEY.
post #6 of 26
Interestingly, I found that after all the horror stories I read on internet ski forums about hitting people, I tend to skid more and carve less on busy medium and hard slopes - just can't take the risk that, if someone DOES suddenly pop up in front of me, I won't be able to avoid them, even if I'm in control up to that moment, due to a patch of ice or something that I just happen to hit at the same time.

As a result I look better offpiste than onpiste!
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Oh my GOD, a skid? How awful!:
Skid? Or drift? In my nomenclature, I differentiate the two. On steeper terrain, a dramatic and aggressive twisted scraping of the snow is one way to quickly scrub speed. But, controlled drifts at the bottom of the turns is a more effective and consistent way of doing so. I think of the latter as a very positive move, and the former as good defensive response to a challenge.

Thoughts?
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedric
Interestingly, I found that after all the horror stories I read on internet ski forums about hitting people, I tend to skid more and carve less on busy medium and hard slopes - just can't take the risk that, if someone DOES suddenly pop up in front of me, I won't be able to avoid them, even if I'm in control up to that moment, due to a patch of ice or something that I just happen to hit at the same time.

As a result I look better offpiste than onpiste!
Hmmmm... Have you ever hit someone? Ever almost his someone? I wouldn't be so concerned about this, actually, if I were you.

Also, interestingly, I find I'm in more control when carving, and can actually quickly change directions much more effectively than when skidding. Remember that when skidding, you're really not in much control; you're not setting your line as you do when carving.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Skid? Or drift? In my nomenclature, I differentiate the two. On steeper terrain, a dramatic and aggressive twisted scraping of the snow is one way to quickly scrub speed. But, controlled drifts at the bottom of the turns is a more effective and consistent way of doing so. I think of the latter as a very positive move, and the former as good defensive response to a challenge.

Thoughts?
I've never differentiated the two. To me, a drift is a fairly new term, more linked to wheeled vehicles than skiing. when I think of doing a two wheeled drift on a mountain bike or seeing cars doing drifting (never actually done it and wouldn't want to, since I own a pickup and a minivan), I think of it as something that happens throughout the turn, not just at the end, and is controlled through the turn. The image of a 2 wheel drift on a mountain bike would be very similar to a controlled skidded turn on skis. Maybe something people call a scarved turn. I call it a skidded turn. Sprint cars on a dirt track - that's a skidded turn.

The skid as you described above (aggressive, twisted scraping), is more of a pivot to a hockey stop (or almost stop) or a pivot slip with higher edge angles. This is something you use only in emergency situations or to come to a stop. Skidding, by PSIA definition, means moving forward and sideways at the same time. A skidded turn is a controlled turn.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
I've never differentiated the two. To me, a drift is a fairly new term, more linked to wheeled vehicles than skiing. when I think of doing a two wheeled drift on a mountain bike or seeing cars doing drifting (never actually done it and wouldn't want to, since I own a pickup and a minivan), I think of it as something that happens throughout the turn, not just at the end, and is controlled through the turn. The image of a 2 wheel drift on a mountain bike would be very similar to a controlled skidded turn on skis. Maybe something people call a scarved turn. I call it a skidded turn. Sprint cars on a dirt track - that's a skidded turn.

The skid as you described above (aggressive, twisted scraping), is more of a pivot to a hockey stop (or almost stop) or a pivot slip with higher edge angles. Skidding, by PSIA definition, means moving forward and sideways at the same time. This is something you use only in emergency situations or to come to a stop. A skidded turn is a controlled turn.
I suspected that it was a semantic issue and not a difference in the actually movements; I'm glad I wasn't as confused as I was concerned I might be!

I'd like to be sure I follow that last paragraph. You aren't saying that skidding as defined by PSIA (moving forward and sideways at the same time) is something we use only in emergency situations, right? The aggressive pivot is, though?

I think some folks that I watch skiing steeper terrain are effectively doing linked hockey slips and thinking that they are "skidding" their turns.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Hmmmm... Have you ever hit someone? Ever almost his someone? I wouldn't be so concerned about this, actually, if I were you.
Haven't hit someone for well more than 10 years, and even then it was a mild hit, due to foggy conditions (still my fault).

No real close calls in the last ten years, either. At least, nothing that I felt was a close call. (I once passed close in front of the tips of a lady who was either stopped or just starting to go, I was in perfect control but someone in her group seemed to be annoyed as they shouted after me. She hadn't fallen and there was no physical contact, so I skied on, but tried giving people an even wider berth after that).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Also, interestingly, I find I'm in more control when carving, and can actually quickly change directions much more effectively than when skidding. Remember that when skidding, you're really not in much control; you're not setting your line as you do when carving.
That's tricky for me. Perhaps because I don't quite master carving yet as I would want to. When I carve, most of the time I'm moving at high speed along the direction I'm travelling in (though this can mean a low downhill speed component). If someone swerves in my path, I need to change direction QUICKLY. If at that point an edge does not hold (and it happens to me from time to time, at high speed and on icy runs), I'm usually able to recover, but by that time I might hit that person.

On the other hand, if I scrub speed at each turn, the downhill component of the speed may be higher but the directional component of the speed is way lower. If something happens, I can recover before hitting anyone. So, yeah, perhaps less control, but at much lower speed.

Perhaps I'm just too risk averse. Anyway I'm enjoying groomers less and less, all the time enjoying the offpiste more and more.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedric
Anyway I'm enjoying groomers less and less, all the time enjoying the offpiste more and more.
Nothing wrong with that, of course, it's just that I find I'm enjoying groomers more-and-more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedric
That's tricky for me. Perhaps because I don't quite master carving yet as I would want to. When I carve, most of the time I'm moving at high speed along the direction I'm travelling in (though this can mean a low downhill speed component). If someone swerves in my path, I need to change direction QUICKLY. If at that point an edge does not hold (and it happens to me from time to time, at high speed and on icy runs), I'm usually able to recover, but by that time I might hit that person.
This is worth practicing, I think. Might I suggest playing around with rapid edge changes (left-right-left-right) by rapidly tipping from one pair of edges to the other? What I've found is that being able to rapidly change directions like that while carving allows me to change the expected patch of my carved turns and therefore avoid others and play with terrain.

Not something you need to do, of course, but you may find it a fun diversion.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
I suspected that it was a semantic issue and not a difference in the actually movements; I'm glad I wasn't as confused as I was concerned I might be!

I'd like to be sure I follow that last paragraph. You aren't saying that skidding as defined by PSIA (moving forward and sideways at the same time) is something we use only in emergency situations, right? The aggressive pivot is, though?

I think some folks that I watch skiing steeper terrain are effectively doing linked hockey slips and thinking that they are "skidding" their turns.
I edited and rearranged that last paragraph. Sorry for being so confusing. My thoughts and my fingers were moving at different speeds. Yes, pivot slips for speed control are used in an emergency. I guess an emergency situation could be scraping your way into Corbetts, and therefore, necessitating side slipping.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
I think some folks that I watch skiing steeper terrain are effectively doing linked hockey slips and thinking that they are "skidding" their turns.
I think this is one of those things that usually turns into boarder bashing. We get a lot of kids here who do this on their way from the top of the lift to the top of the park. they straight-line it, then throw it sideways to slow down every hundred yards or so. Those are pivot slips, not skidded turns (especially obvious when there is no turning happening).
post #15 of 26
Cool; I've seen it the same way.

I've been using "drift" because some of my guests can differentiate the feel of an "allowed skid" from a "forced skid/pivot slip" in their minds when I use it. I've also called them "schmeared" turns and talked about spreading butter with a spreader.

All in an attempt to differentiate from their historical "skidded" turns, which are those forced ski/pivot slips.
post #16 of 26
>>>I suspected that it was a semantic issue and not a difference in the actually movements; I'm glad I wasn't as confused as I was concerned I might be!<<<

Hmmm, I always considered a skid as unintentional, like losing and edge, skidding out, something I often do at the end of my left turns resulting in an unintentional little stem.

While drifting is something I do with intent and control, sometimes drifting the tips or the tail or the whole ski during a turn. It can be of long or short duration but I can reset the edges at any time to stop or lessen the drift or resume a carve.

.....Ott
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
I think this is one of those things that usually turns into boarder bashing. We get a lot of kids here who do this on their way from the top of the lift to the top of the park. they straight-line it, then throw it sideways to slow down every hundred yards or so. Those are pivot slips, not skidded turns (especially obvious when there is no turning happening).
I've seen it happening more with skiers lately, too. Including that youngster who was hacking his way down North Peak on Saturday. : He thought he was turning (and "skiing"), but was really just linking uncontrolled hockey slips. Ugh.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Oh my GOD, a skid? How awful!:

If you are trying to ski a steeper trail, and only use 10' of the side of it, you are not going to be able to complete a carve to the point of facing across the hill to control your speed. You'd need skis with a 2 meter turn radius. If you want to stay in the good snow, you're either going to have to skid to control your speed or let em go mach schnell by not finishing the turns.
Or a pair of 13-m skis cranked over at 80 degrees. There's the ticket; get a pair of short radius skis.

I recently took my 80-m radius skis out for a couple of blasts on some moderately steep, very icy hills. It was fun for a while, but I couldn't see sh*t, so I convinced myself to slow down (aided by a couple of close calls). The easiest way I could go slow with these skis was with a considerable sideways component. It is extremely difficult to go sideways on a gnarly icy steep hill. It requires an extremely dynamic redistribution of weight, edging, pivoting, absorbing, etc; a bump will hit your tips, while your tails are still on glare ice or vise versa.

Later I was on the same hills with my 13-m radius skis. It was relatively easy to go slow when I wanted to, just by making 6 or 7-m radius turns.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ott Gangl
Hmmm, I always considered a skid as unintentional, like losing and edge, skidding out, something I often do at the end of my left turns resulting in an unintentional little stem.

While drifting is something I do with intent and control, sometimes drifting the tips or the tail or the whole ski during a turn. It can be of long or short duration but I can reset the edges at any time to stop or lessen the drift or resume a carve.

.....Ott
Really? I learned what a "skid" was when I learned slipping, sliding and skidding back in the early 80s when learning PSIA stuff for the first time (mandatory definitions on every exam). I never considered skidding as unintentional. On old skis it was mandatory if you wanted to make actual turns across the hill. Drifting was not part of the vocabulary.

Drifting is a term that I've only started hearing in the past couple of years, starting with this new sport of drifting cars. I never heard it used in skiing until this year.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Or a pair of 13-m skis cranked over at 80 degrees. There's the ticket; get a pair of short radius skis.
I have a pair of 150s with an 11m radius, and I've booted out on them many times (blew my ACL botting out on them once). You still can't do pure carves completely across the hill and back again in 10 feet of slope width.
post #21 of 26
So what do you call an unintentional loss of edges that sends you sideways?

....Ott
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ott Gangl
Hmmm, I always considered a skid as unintentional, like losing and edge, skidding out, something I often do at the end of my left turns resulting in an unintentional little stem.

While drifting is something I do with intent and control, sometimes drifting the tips or the tail or the whole ski during a turn. It can be of long or short duration but I can reset the edges at any time to stop or lessen the drift or resume a carve.
FWIW, this maps to the way that I think about it, too, but is a better explanation than mine. Thanks, Ott!
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ott Gangl
So what do you call an unintentional loss of edges that sends you sideways?
Funny, isn't it, how it often comes back to intent and results?
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
I have a pair of 150s with an 11m radius, and I've booted out on them many times (blew my ACL botting out on them once). You still can't do pure carves completely across the hill and back again in 10 feet of slope width.
True. You can't, but you will be going a lot slower with the 11m radius skis than you would with a 21 m radius ski.

BTW a always thought of a drift as a controlled skid. It seems a lot of people use "skid" as a synonym for having the tails slide out with heel-push, similar to a power slide in a rear-wheel drive car, and slip for having the tips slide, like front wheel under-steer in a car, and drift for having both go sideways, like a four-wheel drift in a car. I wonder if you over-leveraging the front and lifting the tails of your skis is called trailing throttle over-steer.

EDIT: Just to be sure, I'm not suggesting that buying equipment is an alternative to learning skills.
post #25 of 26
Ghost, a skid to me is when a ski hits an icy patch and slides out from under you and you weight is thrown on the uphill/inside ski. In a drift the body stays in balance over both skis and slides with correct weight distribution, just with reduced edge angles. Unlike the first scenario, which is uncontrolled, the drift can be controlled as to speed, tip or tail or all and can be undone at will.

Watch skiers or even racers when they finish a run and turn to look up the hill, they make a nice tail drifting turn to come to a stop.

....Ott
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ott Gangl
Ghost, a skid to me is when a ski hits an icy patch and slides out from under you and you weight is thrown on the uphill/inside ski. In a drift the body stays in balance over both skis and slides with correct weight distribution, just with reduced edge angles. Unlike the first scenario, which is uncontrolled, the drift can be controlled as to speed, tip or tail or all and can be undone at will.

Watch skiers or even racers when they finish a run and turn to look up the hill, they make a nice tail drifting turn to come to a stop.

....Ott
I understand; to you a "controlled skid" is an oxymoron.
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