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From A-Frame to Skidding to Carving

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Although I'm not remotely a "good skier".... I figured I might add a post here to encourage other beginners and intermediates who roam this board to improve their skiing.

Executive Summary:

To move from doing a-frame / snowplow to doing skidded parallel turns, I worked on hockey stops to get comfortable with skiing parallel. To get my uphill / inside ski to edge, I concentrated on making sure they were exactly parallel by imagining that I needed to get my inside ski to diverge from my other ski (versus converging when in a snowplow).

Used advice from SoftSnowGuy (thanks Ken!) to link turns. Used PMTS book and video to control edges better. I use whatever works and this is what worked. Debated over taking a lesson or buying PMTS book w/ video. Lesson probably would've helped.. but wouldn't be as enlightening as figuring it out myself.

No arguments about PSIA vs. PMTS vs. Whatever in this thread please!

Story:

As I've mentioned before, I started this season a-framing / wedging my way around the slopes... and because it was early season at the time, I figured out that I needed to go parallel, otherwise I'd look stupid and never improve my skiing. So I started learning how to do the hockey stop on a flat slope... basically, I skated a bit, picked up some speed, and did hockey stops on both sides. This started to encourage me to make skidded parallel turns instead of snowplowing.

I thought I was getting pretty good... as skidding allows you to handle anything from good conditioned east coast black diamonds and below... but then I read about all this carving stuff. I figured I should learn how to carve, but I could never get my uphill / inside ski to edge. Had a few suggestions on this board telling me to roll my ankle over... but it just wouldn't go.

So last week, I msged SoftSnowGuy... and asked him for some advice. He'd be better at explaining what the whole thing is.. but basically he told me that I should try to transition into the new turn earlier to give my skis more time to change edges. At the same time, I also bought a copy of Harald Harb's book.. and his video explaining the PMTS method. I couldn't do the phantom move... and I still can't do the phantom move... but I was able to take away some of the exercises he suggested in the video to help do better turns. I found out while skiing that apparently my uphill ski wasn't exactly parallel... it was slightly converging... and because of that, I could never edge my uphill ski. I changed over to a closer stance and tried to make the skis diverge... and apparently my perception of diverge is actually my parallel... and my perception of parallel is actually my skiing in a slight wedge.

Yeah, it's pretty cool to be actually carving turns and having them link together now. It's a pretty interesting feeling and I finally found out why people called the inside ski the steering ski. Apparently it really does steer when you're carving properly (in one direction only). Moved my record up to 8 hours of skiing for the day... took a 30 minute break only. If I didn't have to go to the bathroom so badly, I would've stayed out for the night as well. Didn't get tired after I stopped skidding turns.

Anyway, I hope this post is helpful for anyone who doesn't carve and wants to learn how to. I still don't carve on steeper than blue square hills.. but I'm working on it. After all, I've only been carving for a day.
post #2 of 17
Carving is a pretty fun tool to have in your skiing skill set. Once you learn to do it, you can spend countless hours perfecting it. It really opens up a whole new world of skiing. It is also (in my most humble opinion) what separates an intermediate skier from an advanced intermediate/advanced skier... and then of course the "expert" skier. Good luck. For what it is worth there are many routes to arrive at what you did though. The method you used is not the only way, but none-the-less effective to it's own extent.
Later
GREG
post #3 of 17
This reeks of viral marketing. I hope I'm wrong.
post #4 of 17
While a hockey stop CAN seem like a parallel maneuver, it's a relatively violent movement that often upsets the balance of most inexperienced skiers. Only those with good athleticism usually succeed in making a hockey stop smoothly and in a controlled manner. A more universally successful approach to skidded turns is to develop some inside ski steering skills and add a little speed. Once a feeling for turning on corresponding edges gets developed, turning a skid into a carve becomes a skills refinement.
post #5 of 17
Johnpole,

Congrats on the progress. Just wanted to suggest that you focus on the "traverse to phantom" drills while keeping you skis as close together as possible. These made all the difference for me. I still try make myself do 5 or 10 of these every day as I'm warming up. It is very difficult to know what it is actually going on with your skiing without video or someone to pick you apart. If you keep your boots pressed together you can't help but be parallel. You will need to do some counterbalance (tip your body uphill at waist) to maintain balance.

You might to also post over at the PMTS forum.

http://www.realskiers.com/pmtsforum/

Don
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougH
This reeks of viral marketing. I hope I'm wrong.
Yep, you're wrong. Try it. Have your local library get one of the books, maybe through an interlibrary loan, and give the techniques an honest try. Then post your feelings.


Ken
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy
Have your local library get one of the books, maybe through an interlibrary loan, and give the techniques an honest try.
Why not just buy them? I bought #2. It was cheap, with the DVD...
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
Why not just buy them? I bought #2. It was cheap, with the DVD...
I agree with you, but I don't want to be accused of trying to sell books or DVDs.


Ken
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
Why not just buy them? I bought #2. It was cheap, with the DVD...
Hey, what's #2 like? I haven't gotten a chance to hit the slopes to try the other stuff from #1, but I'm just curious.
post #10 of 17
Mostly the post recommending the books do reek of viral marketing... but for someone who is genuinely interested in learning the system should look into at elast book 2. They are so cheap that you can't hardly pass up the offer ($16 something for mine with the DVD). I hate that most PMTS people won't talk to you unlss you have read the book.. which I think is a poor approach for them to take, but that is my opinion. I have read key chapters of the book so far (yes I am skipping around) and I will most likely post some idea when I am done... I liked the DVD because it showed the skiing - although dated - it was easier to visualize. Some things are refreshing, some things are old news, others plain BS, but the exercises are useful - especially for the skier who can't already carve a turn... although as I said above, this isn't the only approach, and should not be considered as such.
Later
GREG
post #11 of 17
I didn't read #1. Only 2. I don't feel like I missed anything. What I really wanted was book 3... but apparently I will have to wait (although after getting kicked off the site I may not be "allowed" to order it). If you are an accomplished skier, I would say you can jump to book 2. I already had a decent handle on what PMTS was before opening the book or watchin he DVD though. The never ever person to technical ski instruction reading should probably start with 1. I had my gf (low level skier) trying the drills on her to see if they worked for a non educated skier. I do have gripes about the book and DVD but I will share those later.

The most useful sections I found were the carving section and those leading up to it. If you "get" that section the rest of the book is an easy read. Most of the same movements are applied to the other terrain, but in those areas, I think that there are things that could have been done differently, (and possibly sold more books - thats the whole point right?) but I am not sure if the skiing world would be ready. Eventually if I feel like I need more I will order the instructors manual (might not be allowed to get that either since it requires contacting Harald personally).

I did do some PMTS carves the other night with mixed results... but more on that in another thread much, much later.

Later

GREG
post #12 of 17
What you're missing is a bunch of beginner's lessons (but no wedge) and a couple of nice turns by Von Gruenigen, Grandi and some not that nice by Aamodt and Sikora (EDIT: on a dvd, of course). Phantom move too, but that is repeated in book 2.

I don't think you have to contact HH to order the manual. Faxing the order should be enough. As for HH attitude, I don't feel like defending him, but saying that someone's book (or part of it) is BS is not exactly the nicest way to express your disagreement.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson
While a hockey stop CAN seem like a parallel maneuver, it's a relatively violent movement that often upsets the balance of most inexperienced skiers. Only those with good athleticism usually succeed in making a hockey stop smoothly and in a controlled manner. A more universally successful approach to skidded turns is to develop some inside ski steering skills and add a little speed. Once a feeling for turning on corresponding edges gets developed, turning a skid into a carve becomes a skills refinement.
Great post.

Learn to carve like this, and you'll learn many more ways to turn.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonpole
To move from doing a-frame / snowplow to doing skidded parallel turns,
Just an FYI, an "A-frame" and a "Snowplow" or "Wedge" are not the same thing. An "A-frame" is an alignment issue where the lower legs are not at the same angle relative to one another. In this alignment, one knee is tipped in and is either close to or touching the other knee. As a result, the skis are (generally) on the same edges, abiet at different edge angles.

EDIT: Here's a pick of me in a classic "A-frame", Notice how my shins make a nice upsidedown "V". The skis are parallel.
https://home.comcast.net/%7Eshullln/skier1.JPG

A snowplow/wedge is a alignment of the skis were they are rotated towards one another and are on opposing edges.

To be honest, your progress is pretty typical of any new skier and not really anything special (sorry!). I skied friday with a lady that I taught to ski a few weeks back and she's making nice (s)carved turns down steep blues. It was her 8th day on skis.

L
post #15 of 17
skidded turns have their place as do carved turns ... blending the two skills is an excellent tool for your bag of tricks.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by desafinado
As for HH attitude, I don't feel like defending him, but saying that someone's book (or part of it) is BS is not exactly the nicest way to express your disagreement.
I have no need to be "nice" to Harald Harb. If I have an opinion about his book I am not going to sugarcoat it to further empower him into his self appointed authority position within skiing... Harald doesn't care about anyone else's opinions, so why should I lose sleep worrying about what he thinks about what I have to say about his book?

Later

GREG
post #17 of 17
Quote:
apparently I will have to wait (although after getting kicked off the site I may not be "allowed" to order it). ...I will order the instructors manual (might not be allowed to get that either since it requires contacting Harald personally).
Not so at all. The #1, #2, and near-future #3 books and DVDs are sold through any bookseller. The Instructor manual might not be in wide distribution, but you can order it by phone, fax, or mail to Harb Ski Systems,
http://www.harbskisystems.com/publications.htm
http://www.harbskisystems.com/orderform.htm
It is possible but unlikely that Harald will pick up the phone when you call, and I've found him to be friendly and businesslike. Most likely you'll get Chris Brown, the shop manager, on the phone if you call. Chris is very friendly, and is a superb bootfitter as well as ski coach and shop manager. Harald does care about the opinions of highly qualified people...his "Instructor Manual" has three co-authors including a bio-mechanist and an adult education specialist. When I (nobody special at all) asked Harald why he insists on flexible custom footbeds rather that the common rigid footbeds, he gave me a detailed, quite complete, not-too-technical explaination. He's right...I switched from very well made rigid footbeds (made by a former WC boot rep) to flexible footbeds made by a Harb trained boot fitter and I immediately skied better and had no sore or tired feet like before. I now ski the best I can in the PMTS style as shown to me by Harald and Rich Messer, and I ski better than ever.


Ken
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