or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Speed control from the top of the arc?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

# Speed control from the top of the arc?

I was reading Nolo's apex-to-apex thread, and I came across this quote:

Quote:
 In a clinic with Nick, he told us that the more we can get speed control from the top of the arc, the less we have to interrupt flow by braking in the bottom of the arc
I've never thought of the top-half of the turn (i.e., until you've turned out of the fall-line) as being "speed control". I've always thought of the initial phase of the turn as being acceleration -- gravity is going to take over and you're going to accelerate to some degree. As Bob Barnes once said (more or less, not an exact quote here) "I start a turn because I'm going too slowly; I want to speed up. I have to want to go downhill".

What I've been largely concerned with in the top-half is to make sure that I don't overly edge / rotate the skis right from the start so that when the decelleration forces start building in the second half of the turn the skis still track, and I still have movement options available (i.e., I haven't used up my entire range of motion).

I don't really think of the bottom half of the turn as "braking" -- aka, skidding / pleasepleaseplease slow down, but it is where the slow-down occurs (at least for me). Again, I (try to) ski with a Barnes-ism in mind: "turning controls direction, direction controls speed".

I'm might be reading way too much into what Nolo said above, but I can't help but think I'm missing something here. How do you gain speed control from the top of the arc? Is this just a fancy way of saying that turn shape / radius is best set from the very beginning of a turn and that you shouldn't try to change it mid-way through a turn (i.e., transforming a GS screamer into a slalom turn is asking for nothing but trouble)?
That note was taken out of the context of a day-long clinic in which Nick was advocating strength in length at the apex to manage the forces that arise as we arc away. He wanted us to arc into the apex as well as away from it, to replace any tendency to use a pivot-entry with a progressive entry with the tails following the tips. (The positive engagement of the skisâ€™ tips should draw you into the turn versus displacing the tails to start the turn. --PSIA Skiing Concepts 2005) The net result is better speed control through turn shape and better management of forces by being set up properly at the apex.
If you finish a turn with an uphill component, the beginning of the next turn will also have an uphill component. This is why it is possible for the top quarter of the turn to do speed control as well as the last quarter of the turn as opposed to the third quarter of the turn (the portion of the turn after the fall line). When you are laying down railroad track type carved turns, this is often what is happening.
This all assumes you're arc'ing pure carves all the time. I'd suggest that if we skid the skis intentionally, with good edge pressure, before the fall line, you could decelerate or control your speed as desired. Yes, we want to guide the ski timps into the turn, not just push the tails out. But if we are intentionally skidding, the tips can lead into the turn (downhill of the boot), while the tails move slightly uphill of the boot. This would be a balanced skid, where the center of the ski is where the rotation is located.

I like slicing pure arcs a lot too, but in reality, this does not make up a majority of the turns unless you spend all day, every day on wide, intermediate groomers.

This may not be what Nick is referring to, but it illustrates how we can control speed into and through the fall line.
nolo nailed it right on the head IMO.

it makes skiing of any turn type much more effiecient and more "crisp" and much more carved or scarved.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by therusty If you finish a turn with an uphill component, the beginning of the next turn will also have an uphill component. This is why it is possible for the top quarter of the turn to do speed control as well as the last quarter of the turn as opposed to the third quarter of the turn (the portion of the turn after the fall line). When you are laying down railroad track type carved turns, this is often what is happening.
Good observation here Rusty. On trails where I don't want to go fast (because of ice, steepness, etc.) I definitely hang onto the old turn until the skis are pointing uphill and my speed has reached a point where I want to "speed up". I'll have to experiment a bit and see if I hang onto the turn a bit too long because I've forgotten that the new turn isn't immediately going to start increasing speed in these situations.
Kevin,

I'd look at it this way.

when you get the skis on edge and carving from the start of the turn,

you have more control over where they will go for the rest of the turn.

it's a lot easier to feather/butter the turn FROM a carve, than it is to try to enter a carve from a skidding or sliding move.

a turn which starts with an unknown and tries to get some control at the apex is a turn which results in losing ground (vertical) and in losing control over your line and speed.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by JohnH I like slicing pure arcs a lot too, but in reality, this does not make up a majority of the turns unless you spend all day, every day on wide, intermediate groomers.
Why does it have to be a wide intermediate groomer? If it is narrow and they had to winch a groomer to the top, it is ready to be carved.

Unless there are bumps or too many meat gates, I would rather carve all day.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by philsthrills Why does it have to be a wide intermediate groomer? If it is narrow and they had to winch a groomer to the top, it is ready to be carved. Unless there are bumps or too many meat gates, I would rather carve all day.
Just for the ability to control speed through finishing the turns. If it's not wide enough, you'll carry some serious speed. Around here, you'll kill someone (is that what you meant by "meat gates"?)
Quote:
 Originally Posted by JohnH Just for the ability to control speed through finishing the turns. If it's not wide enough, you'll carry some serious speed. Around here, you'll kill someone (is that what you meant by "meat gates"?)
Assuming you are on equipment with the right sidecut for the job, it can be done.

That brings us back to the original thought in this thread - earlier initiation. If you are constantly redirecting your momentum throughout as much of the 180 degrees of each turn as possible, you will better control your speed. Take euro carving for example - it is possible to "lay one out" downhill on your downhill edge - this keeps redirecting your momentum and slows you down a lot. I cannot get near the same body positioning on skis, but I can make the same turn shape, which controls my speed.

If you miss the high edge and/or pressure in the first part of the turn, you end up heading down the fall line more and longer thus building more speed.

You get to SRT, right? Look me up sometime when you are there.

on the meat gates
Here's a follow up idea. When is it easiest to manage you speed? Before you accelerate. When would that be? In the first half of the turn. A working ski (carving or skidding) simply does not accelerate as quickly. Proactive speed control verses reactive speed control. Does this mean high edge angles or more constant pressure? Pressure, of course. Save the high edge angles for the middle of the turn. BTW switching between skidding and carving is very easy. If you are balanced on the skis.
Hopefully, the connection to the pivot I mentioned in the thread regarding "initial steering angle" is apparent. As a less experienced skier is trying to control their speed always, the top of the arc presents the opportunity to pivot the skis and slide a bit, while the self steering effect of the shovels begins to add to their turning effort. As they progress, the trick is to work on minimizing that initial pivot, by keeping the feet turning throughout the turn, not just pivot and ride....

Setting the initial steering angle provides the less experienced skier with a speed control safety net. As they improve, they realize that this speed control can be more effective if it is being spread throughout the turn by continuously turning their feet.

For the most experienced skiers, it provides a greater control of line. IMO, the Rocca video elsewhere as a super example of an initial steering angle getting set (among other things), prior to the onset of a full on carve.
Excellent follow-up, JASP.

I was worrying about this subject the other day. You know how critics say that the bad thing about traditional ski instruction is it teachers beginners the wedge turn, and they will have to unlearn it to advance in the sport. (I am stating a position, not advocating one.) Well, I am now worried that traditional ski instruction is teaching something that must be unlearned for a skier to advance, and that is the notion that the turn finishes when you cross the fall line, i.e. in a traverse. We also teach people to initiate turns from this position across the hill. So naturally, people come to think of the traverse (aka traveling across the hill) as home base, that parking spot at the end of every turn. The idea that the turn might be described as 2/3 transition and 1/3 control was a bit of an epiphany for me, JASP. It makes a ton of sense to me.

I've learned a lot this year, and it's only January.
Nolo, this is really shifting my thinking, as well. I realized this evening that I'm not applying it on-snow in more difficult terrain, and it's time for me to do that. It seems to me that this is the impetus for "shopping" in bumps, etc. and in fact I used the fall-line to fall-line model to help one of my guests with that thinking this week.

It is very transformational, in my opinion...
Nolo,
Thanks for the kind words. I agree that a traverse is perceived as a safe haven. Probably because we use it when we are stopped. I feel it can be a step towards something more, just like the wedge. Do we need to unlearn those movements later? Maybe. Not the most direct teaching route but sometimes necessary.
Steve,
Transcending old movement patterns is a challenge and actually doing so takes so much mental energy. How did you approach the idea? Please share.
I want to add one component to what nolo and JASP said. There is a physical element working here as well. Speed is nothing more than distance traveled divided by time. If the top of the turn is on a progressive edge it takes longer to turn the skis into the fall line (time) for the same distance traveled (distance) the result is slower overall speed even though the skis are accelerating into the fall line. This is purely physical and has nothing to do with the skier.
slower line.....

all comes back to slow line fast huh?

I spent a week at argentiere mostly skiing with inetrmediate skiers ( helping to convert a boarder).....

Not that long ago I would have been wanting them all to learn to edge... instead we just skied better LINES... amazing the difference it makes when they start to get the idea of uphill= slow down = look for the small uphilly bits rather than TRYING to ski slow...

One in particular was fun - she was a climber & not really feared of height but feared of slippery feet on icy stuff.... Only 3 days skiing & +1 had her skiing blue runs with him .... but every steep pitch she fell apart.... within a couple of hours she was closing up the snowplow a lot... trip times down roads improved dramatically & even better SHE felt safer & more in control on the steeper parts.... another intermediate commented on how she would simply chose her line & SKI it rather than fiddle around with the "maybe turn here.. or here... or maybe there... damn no room to turn" stuff that you would expect from a new skier on that terrain
To me it would seem the same as driving a car. When is it the easiest to manage your speed....... before the curve,in the curve or at the end of the curve. I'm going with before.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by slider To me it would seem the same as driving a car. When is it the easiest to manage your speed....... before the curve,in the curve or at the end of the curve. I'm going with before.
my reference point is driving and bike riding. I'd prefer to be hooked up throughout the turn. if I'm going to get loose, I want it to be for MY reasons when I want the looseness, usually at the end of the turn, usually granted when there's room and a desire to just lay off the brakes as a pre-planned thing.

but if your method of turning on snow has had a slide component for a long time, or a more abrupt turn initiation,

it's harder to get that hooked-up-from-the-start status, or at least it was for me!
Quote:
 Originally Posted by nolo Excellent follow-up, JASP. I was worrying about this subject the other day. You know how critics say that the bad thing about traditional ski instruction is it teachers beginners the wedge turn, and they will have to unlearn it to advance in the sport. (I am stating a position, not advocating one.) Well, I am now worried that traditional ski instruction is teaching something that must be unlearned for a skier to advance, and that is the notion that the turn finishes when you cross the fall line, i.e. in a traverse. We also teach people to initiate turns from this position across the hill. So naturally, people come to think of the traverse (aka traveling across the hill) as home base, that parking spot at the end of every turn. The idea that the turn might be described as 2/3 transition and 1/3 control was a bit of an epiphany for me, JASP. It makes a ton of sense to me. I've learned a lot this year, and it's only January.
Nolo, I'm having a hard time thinking of A turn being from fall line to fall line, because it consists of both a left turn and a right turn. I have no issue with thinking of turns or turning from fall line to fall line, but it's not A turn, because it consists of parts of 2 turns.

I still think that A turn finishes when I am on flat skis and no longer turning in that direction. However, if I'm facing down the fall line, I'm in the middle of a left or right turn. That doesn't mean that I can't think of turning from fall line to fall line. But doing that consists of two halves of two turns.

It might just be a visualization or symantic thing, and my brain doesn't function the way other's do.

Maybe another option is to stop thinking about turning in the singular at all. Think about runs or sections of runs. Since we are constantly flowing from turn to turn down the hill, there is no stop to the flow until we stop turning. I like to think of this because I visualize a smooth flow from turn to turn to turn. It's like looking 2-3 gates ahead - if I don't flow well now, I won't have a good chance of flowing well in (into) the future. I rarely (can't remember ever) thinking "that was a great turn". I judge things in bigger blocks than that (great runs or sections)

Did that make any sense?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by JohnH It might just be a visualization or symantic thing, and my brain doesn't function the way other's do. Maybe another option is to stop thinking about turning in the singular at all. Think about runs or sections of runs. Since we are constantly flowing from turn to turn down the hill, there is no stop to the flow until we stop turning. I like to think of this because I visualize a smooth flow from turn to turn to turn. It's like looking 2-3 gates ahead - if I don't flow well now, I won't have a good chance of flowing well in (into) the future. I rarely (can't remember ever) thinking "that was a great turn". I judge things in bigger blocks than that (great runs or sections) Did that make any sense?
Now we're getting somewhere! Yes fall line to fall line is just one turn, Turning out of the fall line (commonly called the last half of a turn), and turning back into the fall line (commonly called the first half). Due to the natural tendency to not remain in the fallline, connectivity (commonly called flow) is increased. More like a series of lane changes instead of lateral U turns (lay the U on it's side).
Anyways the top half of the turn is the chance to enter the fall line riding engaged and pressured skis. Maximum bend may or may not happen then but as you turn across the fall line the slope angle is increasing. Which gives us a choice about edge angle and how far across the hill you want to go in the bottom half.
Camp on the edge and the effective edge angle increases thanks to the slope falling away from you. Producing a traverse. Which, if intended, is a good thing. However, if a series of linked turns is the intent (another tactic), then another movement pattern needs to be used.
Flattening the skis as the slope falls away from you can be used two ways. If the flattening matches the increasing edge angle (caused by the slope falling away from you), then the same effective edge angle is maintained. Again a traverse is the result.
Only by decreasing it more than the slope induced increase can we get progressively back to a zero edge angle at the point the skis are moving across the hill (90 degrees to the fall line). Which is a tactic we all agree is the key to seamlessly flowing between turns (defined the old way).
The "how" has been discussed several times before, so repeating it here is redundant. Besides this thread is supposed to be about speed control as we turn towards the fall line.
JASP
Nolo
Once the turn is initiated, and skis are on edge, should the degree of angulation increase through the turn? or should you have the same degree of angulation throughout the turn?

Ray

### Strength in length

Quote:
 Originally Posted by nolo That note was taken out of the context of a day-long clinic in which Nick was advocating strength in length at the apex to manage the forces that arise as we arc away. He wanted us to arc into the apex as well as away from it, to replace any tendency to use a pivot-entry with a progressive entry with the tails following the tips. (The positive engagement of the skisâ€™ tips should draw you into the turn versus displacing the tails to start the turn. --PSIA Skiing Concepts 2005) The net result is better speed control through turn shape and better management of forces by being set up properly at the apex.
Nolo,

A group of us had the privledge of skiing with Nick today (our third day) in the Rocky Mountain Academy at Vail. The prior two days we were led by Mike Rogan (with Nick's group joining us on day two due to his illness). The two groups stayed together today by choice with both Nick and Mike taking turns leading and providing great feedback and insights.

Both are incredible skiiers and clinicians-guess thats why they are on the D Team.

Your clinic focus mirrors exactly our three day target. An interesting little statement that one of the D-Teams came up with says (in my mind) it all:

Strength in length
vs.
Fold and Flop
Quote:
 Originally Posted by justanotherskipro Flattening the skis as the slope falls away from you can be used two ways. If the flattening matches the increasing edge angle (caused by the slope falling away from you), then the same effective edge angle is maintained. Again a traverse is the result. Only by decreasing it more than the slope induced increase can we get progressively back to a zero edge angle at the point the skis are moving across the hill (90 degrees to the fall line). Which is a tactic we all agree is the key to seamlessly flowing between turns (defined the old way).
Perfect.
Thanks, Big E.
You guys are helping me develop a clearer and easier to understand presentation of the features, advantages, and benefits of the whole fall line to fall line idea. Which dovetails quite nicely with the idea of controlling your speed more when you are turning into the fall line.
rayl, the strongest angles will be developed at the apex of the turn (direct quote from the 2005 Skiing Concepts paper).
Mike, you are one lucky man! I'll bet that was a great clinic. I was so impressed with the clinic Nick gave at Big Sky that I wrote it down.

Don't you love how skiing gets more and more interesting?

Weems has some advice in his book to never start a turn from a traverse. Instead, straight run until you gain enough speed to start turning. That's going to be a rule in my class.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by justanotherskipro Steve, So what was the outcome of that presentation? Did it help your student? Transcending old movement patterns is a challenge and actually doing so takes so much mental energy. How did you approach the idea? Please share.
Only have a minute (early morning tomorrow), but I wanted to respond to this. Yes, it did help her, but we were near the end of our time together. I will get another opportunity to ski with her later this month, and will likely then be able to assess some of the outcome.

Her biggest challenge in bumps is shopping. As a result, she loses all momentum, and each turn is isolated. While she had been working on building a turn rythm, the idea of skiing from fall line to fall line began working into her thinking during her last couple of runs. However, we didn't get back to big bumps (keep in mind that I don't teach lessons, but rather give insight during the course of a guided day on the slopes).
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Return Home
Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Speed control from the top of the arc?