Originally Posted by JoeB
Generally, if you have room to make the turn, you don't need to steer to start your turn.
Hey, BK, my point exactly. The thing that threw me from a PSIA standpoint is that I have never seen this officially acknowledged--that sole reliance on sidecut throughout the entire turn is only possible under certain terrain circumstances: i.e., if the trail is wide enough to accommodate the ski's radius.
The problem IMO, is that this tends to leave aspiring PSIA learners thinking that skidding at the top of the turn is forbidden. But if you watch racers (I agree with UC that this comparison must be made with care) as well as all very good skiers, this initial rotation is almost always present. This, as I see it, is validated by the little swoosh at the top of the turn in photos of someone cutting up new powder, or even fresh groom--RR tracks followed by a small swoosh, followed by RR tracks.
All the manuals I have say that rotary is used to shape the turn. We do drills that require skidding all the time. I wouldn't say any effective movement is "forbidden."
That said, what you see WC racers doing and the skidding you see typical advanced skiers doing are 2 different things. Racers will release their edges smoothly, and redirect their skis down the fall line without engaging the edges until they are on the line they want. They don't even dump too much speed because a flat ski is fast, even sliding sideways. Recreatonal skiers commonly stem their uphill ski (push it uphill) before they release the edge of the downhill ski. This creates pressure and some edge engagement on the uphill (new outside) ski. It feels secure, but it's slow and tiring. They also commonly steer too much, then try to engage they edges too strongly and too late in the turn. We teach a patient turn entry, without any stemming, that gets to the new edges early with no steering. Sliding or carving the top of the turn becomes a choice that you make based on your intent.
If you see skidding at the turn transitioin, it's not RR tracks.