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# KISS my angulation - Page 4

To say a ski turn shape is round is a convention. Obviously, few of us complete the circle, and if we did the shape would be closer to an elipse than a circle. Who cares? We're really talking about the skis describing segments of circular-ovoid shapes, or arcs. Racers and rec skiers have different objectives and so complete more or less of an arc in their turns, but I think we can agree that a really fine racer can adjust his or her arc to yield a particular line, whereas a less skilled rec skier is lucky to hold an arc for any segment of a turn and working on optimizing that ability will lead to greater skill as a skier.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BigE If I were to offer conflicting definitions to my students, they'd at best walk away only confused, at worst they'd be confused, think I'm being evasive to hide my incompetence. I've had experience with teachers like that, and heard comments afterwards like this: Student A: "He contradicted himself! Which statement is right?" Student B: "I don't think even he knows."
Big E,

In weems defense, I could see where both types of turns could be called "round", esp, when compared to angular "Z" shaped turns. In a "C" shaped turn, leg steering continues at a constant rate throughout the turn (assuming constant slope pitch and a few other things...). On a "Comma" shaped turn, leg steering is decreased after the apex of the turn. As a result, the end of the turn is "open", but the OVERALL shape of the turn is round. Even "S" shaped turns are "round" as they also are shaped by steering the legs at a constant rate, just not as far our of the fall line as a "C" shaped turn. (imagine cutting a tangent through a circle. Linked, that's an "S" shape.) All of these turn shapes contrast to the "Z" shaped turn, which is shaped primarily by PUSHING the skis and not steering them as in the other three turn shapes.

Clear as mud?

L
Quote:
 Originally Posted by nolo To say a ski turn shape is round is a convention. Obviously, few of us complete the circle, and if we did the shape would be closer to an elipse than a circle. Who cares?
My 5 year old kid cares.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Lonnie Big E, In weems defense, I could see where both types of turns could be called "round", esp, when compared to angular "Z" shaped turns. In a "C" shaped turn, leg steering continues at a constant rate throughout the turn (assuming constant slope pitch and a few other things...). On a "Comma" shaped turn, leg steering is decreased after the apex of the turn. As a result, the end of the turn is "open", but the OVERALL shape of the turn is round. Even "S" shaped turns are "round" as they also are shaped by steering the legs at a constant rate, just not as far our of the fall line as a "C" shaped turn. (imagine cutting a tangent through a circle. Linked, that's an "S" shape.) All of these turn shapes contrast to the "Z" shaped turn, which is shaped primarily by PUSHING the skis and not steering them as in the other three turn shapes. Clear as mud? L
Calling all these turns round does not help and inexperienced skier, especially a child understand what they are to do.

Here is a related example. It's related because teaching is involved:

I believe that confusion is the primary cause of math anxiety. It's been my experience that children are turned off math because their teachers cannot explain things neatly, concisely and consistently. I choose math, because most teachers are horrible at it, and therefore, simply can't teach it right.

Children get turned off many things for the same reason. Adults do too.

Without a consistent set of definitions that actually mean something, you can't teach anything. If round = C = S = J = Comma. When you tell a student (child or adult) to "make round turns" what should they think?

Proposing that "all turns are round" is simply a bogus attempt at covering up an obvious error. This "solution" is far worse than just saying "oops".
One reason we call them circles is to communicate with 5 year olds, BigE. What shape is the Earth? Not truly a circle, but close enough for an elementary geometry or art class.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BigE The straw man was built when it was implied that Brian Stemmle, being a commentator, was in some way equivalent to other commentators. The other commentators were shown to be buffoons, thereby discrediting Stemmle. The other commentators are the straw man. FWIW: Stemmle was very good, in that he actually compared the 'round turns' to those of the skiers that finished on the podium. His comparisons were bang on. This was in a race this year. "Holding polarity" sounds a lot like "fence sitting" to me. If I were to offer conflicting definitions to my students, they'd at best walk away only confused, at worst they'd be confused, think I'm being evasive to hide my incompetence. I've had experience with teachers like that, and heard comments afterwards like this: Student A: "He contradicted himself! Which statement is right?" Student B: "I don't think even he knows." That can't be a good thing.
Gotcha. I concede the point and apologize for impugning Stemmle's commentary. It was conjecture without evidence.

On holding polarity, there are dilemmas where there is an either/or solution--a decision to be made. There are also dilemmas where people think that there are either/or solutions, but they are rather both/and responses. This is not just compromise or grey area. It's full attention to the benefits of both positions: maintaining their tension and realizing that the are interdependent. Examples are carving<-->skidding, process<-->results, clarity<-->flexibility, stability<-->change, team<-->individual, racing<-->free skiing, tactics<-->technique.

I constantly offer the conflicts to my students--explaining rules, and exceptions, beliefs and conflicting beliefs. And I gladly admit when I don't know the answer, and feel comfortable offering forth several options so the student can decide what works for her.

It can be a very good thing, because it produces independent thinking and the ability to self coach successfully when the coach isn't there to hold your hand.
BigE,
I think it's just nit picking on your part. They are round (At least "C" and "S"'s), you just don't like the definition.

I get this question alot. "What do you mean by round?" (I ask folks to do "round" turns on our warm up run). My response is. "I want the top of the have the same general shape as the bottom of the turn...." Try that with your kid and see it they get it.

See the attached diagram. All these turns are arcs off the same circle. They are all round turns. Some are just more finished than others....

http://home.comcast.net/~shullln/round.GIF

When dealing with kids, I talk mostly about "the go zone" (the fall line) and the "slow zone" (across the hill) and when to be in each. It leaves little room for confusion.
Big E, can we call them all curves? Can you see the similarities in the S J C? Is curve the word to desribe that? Or can round describe the part of each letter that is similar to the other? I'm not being facetious here. I understand your quest for precision. But there is similarity here. What would you call it? I'm not married to the word "round".
I thought this was a KISS thread on angulation. If y'all want to get techy, start a new thread. Let's Please get back to the original intent of the thread.

for those who don't know, KISS means Keep It Simple, Stupid.
OK, back to KISS then.

If you relate turn shape to steering the skis into and out of the fall line, then the actual turn shape becomes irrelevant. When working with beginner and intermediate skiers, I want them to turn there feet out of the fall line to decrease speed, and into the fall line to increase speed (it's as simple as that). As we progress through the lesson, so long as this steering is done at such a rate that the skis don't loose edge grip, I could pretty much care less what the "shape" of the turn is. I do a fair amount of "ski a constant speed" drill on terrain of varying steepness, where turning the feet into and out of the fall line is the variable we are allowed to change.

L
Quote:
 Originally Posted by lennyblake I thought this was a KISS thread on angulation. If y'all want to get techy, start a new thread. Let's Please get back to the original intent of the thread. for those who don't know, KISS means Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Yeah, let's move the round turn discussion to another thread. Anyone wanna start that? I've gotta get off line and do some real work!
Quote:
 Originally Posted by weems On holding polarity, there are dilemmas where there is an either/or solution--a decision to be made. There are also dilemmas where people think that there are either/or solutions, but they are rather both/and responses. This is not just compromise or grey area. It's full attention to the benefits of both positions: maintaining their tension and realizing that the are interdependent. Examples are carving<-->skidding, process<-->results, clarity<-->flexibility, stability<-->change, team<-->individual, racing<-->free skiing, tactics<-->technique.
This definition is ok. If I understand it, "holding polarity" is another term for "delayed commitment". You "hold polarity" or "delay commitment" to an action until the circumstances reveal themselves to you which decision to make.

But I do not think it applies when we are talking about defining terms. Especially not terms like "round", which cannot mean all arcs. It can ONLY mean a specific type of arc.

To replace the term round with curved, makes it strange to say that rec skiers learned from WC skiers that curved turns are good. It's just not such a significant observation that rec skiers need to observe it in WC skiing before they realized it was a good thing.

Angulation, counter, carving are all another matter, since they are not very natural and therefore do require tutelage. We can look to the WC skiers for such things.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Lonnie BigE, I think it's just nit picking on your part. They are round (At least "C" and "S"'s), you just don't like the definition. I get this question alot. "What do you mean by round?" (I ask folks to do "round" turns on our warm up run). My response is. "I want the top of the have the same general shape as the bottom of the turn...." Try that with your kid and see it they get it. See the attached diagram. All these turns are arcs off the same circle. They are all round turns. Some are just more finished than others....http://home.comcast.net/~shullln/round.GIF When dealing with kids, I talk mostly about "the go zone" (the fall line) and the "slow zone" (across the hill) and when to be in each. It leaves little room for confusion.
IMO, they are not all round. Only the full turn is round. The rest are arcs, say 1/2 turns or 1/4 turns.

And I'm really not picking nits. Definitions need to mean something. Good ones are intuitive.

E.G: I showed weem's ESA skiing to my 5 year old. She said "That's not very good. His turns should be more round."
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BigE IMO, they are not all round.
If those aren't round, then "no" ski turns are round. From you definition of "round" only 1/2 circles (the first one) are round. Look at photos of ski tracks, very very few fit that description. How is that "intutive" or even practical?

EDIT: Are these turns round?
http://www.banffmountainfestivals.ca...rettnacher.jpg
If you want to tell folks to make arcs, say that.

When I tell kids to make round turns they make 1/2 circles. If they make arcs, I say, 'Sorry, I meant FULL turns -- like this." And I then demo a round turn that looks like 1/2 a circle. They get it.

They also get the round is slow and has lots of speed control.

I hope that you are not suggesting the skiers that made those tracks were told to make round turns.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BigE If you want to tell folks to make arcs, say that.
So you rail on a math challenged society and now your saying "arc" is a less confusing term to the general public than "round"? Sorry I'm not buying it.

L
The problem here is that all of these words (arc, turn, round) have multiple and overlapping meanings. Some will mean one thing to one person and something totally different to somebody else. Why be locked into 1 term when dealing with folks? Aren't we after them getting then to understand an idea and not being held to a strict definition? Do you get out and measure you daughter's "round" turns to make sure that all points of the curve are equal distance from the center? Of course not. Why? Because you are after her understanding a concept, a concept that the turn needs to have a "symetrical" shape. If she understand Arc, round, circular, S shaped, C shaped whatever, that's what we're going to use to convey the point.

L
To say that you must be perpendicular to the fall-line at transition to have your turn defined as "round" seems over-zealous.
But in any case I think for coaching purposes, it's pointless to try to define whether a turn is "round" or "not round". Much better to talk about graduations on a scale: "more round" or "less round".
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Lonnie See the attached diagram. All these turns are arcs off the same circle. They are all round turns. Some are just more finished than others....http://home.comcast.net/~shullln/round.GIF
Great diagram! The strange thing is that many of us, if confronted with them on the hill, would call the left-hand turns "long radius" and the right-hand "short radius". Of course, all those turns have the same radius, just different durations.

In reality, most turns on reasonably steep terrain probably are not arcs of a circle. As the skier's centre of mass moves further inside to resist the increasing pull of gravity in the latter stages of the turn, the edge angle increases. So the radius must decrease.
Words like square/rectangle/parallelogram/trapezoid/kite all have multiple meanings, but we don't use one word to describe all those similar shapes. I'm not locked into using any one term.

I have no problem using terms like all arc, round, S, J, Comma, and have the students understand what I'm saying. It's easy to draw any of those paths on he snow with your pole to help clarify and focus on the point at hand. Full turns, half turns, 1/4 turns all work and that's good too.

But, since we don't have a 'chalk board' in this forum, it makes agreement on the precise use of words and meanings critical. That is why I was all over weems when he said we got round turns from watching WC skiers.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Martin Bell To say that you must be perpendicular to the fall-line at transition to have your turn defined as "round" seems over-zealous. But in any case I think for coaching purposes, it's pointless to try to define whether a turn is "round" or "not round". Much better to talk about graduations on a scale: "more round" or "less round".
Provided you have agreement on the term "round".
Yes, perhaps he should have said "rounder turns".
By the way, you mentioned Brian Stemmle earlier - big respect, one of the bravest people I have met. After his crash in 89, Felix Belczyk (who packed up Brian's stuff) told me that his catsuit had bloodstains around the anus area from his internal injuries. He was in intensive care for a week, but returned to Kitz to race there again four years later.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by weems Yeah, let's move the round turn discussion to another thread. Anyone wanna start that? I've gotta get off line and do some real work!
Done. Please take that discussion here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Lonnie BigE, I think it's just nit picking on your part. They are round (At least "C" and "S"'s), you just don't like the definition. I get this question alot. "What do you mean by round?" (I ask folks to do "round" turns on our warm up run). My response is. "I want the top of the have the same general shape as the bottom of the turn...." Try that with your kid and see it they get it. See the attached diagram. All these turns are arcs off the same circle. They are all round turns. Some are just more finished than others....http://home.comcast.net/~shullln/round.GIF When dealing with kids, I talk mostly about "the go zone" (the fall line) and the "slow zone" (across the hill) and when to be in each. It leaves little room for confusion.
IMO, they are not all round. Only the full turn is round. The rest are arcs, say 1/2 turns or 1/4 turns.

And I'm really not picking nits. Definitions need to mean something. Good ones are intuitive.

E.G: I showed weem's ESA skiing to my 5 year old. She said "That's not very good. His turns should be more round."

Poor Weems, can't even ski well enough to please a 5 year old! While we're getting expert opinions, I guess I'll add that Emily (my 12 year old daughter) really enjoyed skiing with Weems a couple of weeks ago and seemed pretty satisfied with the roundness of his turns:

I've gotta agree with Lonnie that it's down to nit picking. This round thing is beyond comical and into absurd. Half a circle is round, but nothing else is! Well, OK. That's your perception. Why isn't round only the complete 360 degrees of a circle? In any respect, Weems detailed what he meant by the term round. So, we understand what he means and now know what he's talking about when he says "round". Likewise, we now know what BigE means when he says round. It's a discussion, not the establishment of an ANSI standard for round turns!

Angulation vs. inclination! I guess I fail to see all the contention the statement "inclination is a more effective skeletal position than angulation" spawned into. I'm probably guilty of over simplifying the whole discussion, but I don't see where Weems has contended that angulation is bad. My interpretation is: A straighter stacked skeleton is stronger than a bent one, and we need the appropriate angulation to get the job done - not more just because we can.

I have skied with Weems several times and have a lot of respect for him, his skiing and his knowledge of skiing. I think it's great he is willing to share his thoughts, knowledge and experience with us. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with everything he conveys about skiing (and I'm not sure I don't either), however, I think he has been at this a long time and has reason for his perspectives and I would like to understand those reasons and expect I'll likely learn somethings of value as a result. I know I'm not going to gig him over whether my perception of round is "C" or "(" when I as the reader can clearly understand what he means. As a reader I think we have some responsibility to try and understand what a writer is conveying and not force them to conform to our perspective. And there is certainly no call to imply Weems (or anyone) is a self serving neophyte. Cut the guy some slack.

Sorry for the interruption, flame away at me if you like - Weems could use the time off.

Chris

### Octopussy

Wow--holy smokes--good grief--etc! All this fuss over whether arc-shaped turns should be called "round" or not? Let me suggest that the only people who should care in any discussion are the two doing the discussing, and then only to the end that they understand each other's meaning. With all respect, BigE (and don't get me wrong--I have lots!), what shape is your 5-year-old's face? I would assume that your objection to round women is somewhat less than your objection to round turns!

But you guys have sure validated one of my pet peaves--that of instructors insisting that "speed should be controlled by turn shape." Arc, arched, round, elliptical, sinusoidal, ovoid, S-shaped, C-shaped . . . Z-shaped, corner-shaped, . . . . Which of these gives the best speed control? Hmm?

(For what it's worth, the right answer is "octopus-shaped." Yes, I was probably as confused as you when I first heard this one, but after an explanation of what the instructor meant, it made the most sense of all. Use your imagination. I'll save the explanation for later.)

But I will say this: great skiers can ski pretty much any "shape" line they want, any time they want to. It takes skill to do that, and skill means the ability to apply any technique or movement solution needed to accomplish the intended result. Which leads me to my next point, and, I hope, back to the original line of the thread. I agree wholeheartedly with Weems: great skiers learn to angulate whenever they need to, as much as they need to, and only when they need to. And sometimes "banking" is better!

Angulation affects edge angle. At least in carved turns, edge angle affects "turn shape" (ugghh--I mean "radius of the arc" at any given point.) Should you or I--or a World Cup racer--angulate or "bank" (lean without angulating)? While some (carve_lust?--I hope I'm not misinterpreting you here) suggest that one technique is "right" and others are errors, I insist that we can only measure the "rightness" of a movement by its outcome, its effect, compared to the intent of the skier.

So what is the effect of "angulation"? Regardless of where it occurs--ankles, knees (I hear you, RicB), hips, spine, neck, or all of the above--increasing angulation increases the edge angle of the ski on the snow. It is, therefore, the right thing to do whenever you need to increase your edge angle. And the wrong thing otherwise. Are ya' with me?

When do you need more edge angle, then? We've discussed the effects of edge angle here at EpicSki a lot in the past, so here's just a quick summary. At least on hard snow--a race course, for example--higher edge angle contributes to the ski bending into a tighter-radius arc (assuming sufficient pressure accurately applied to bend it into this arc).

[KISS timeout on] Recall that PhysicsMan has revealed the formula, for those interested: carving radius = sidecut radius X cosine of the edge angle on the snow. "Keeping it Simple," this means that a ski tipped 60 degrees to the snow surface "wants" to carve a turn half its sidecut radius. A slalom ski with a 12 meter sidecut, tipped 60 degrees to the snow, then, will bend into a 6 meter radius arc. [KISS timeout off]

So . . . if you're ripping through a turn pulling a couple g's, your inclination alone--with no angulation, aka "banked"--will tip your skis enough to carve a pretty tight turn. Skiing across a steep slope, just standing up straight puts your skis at a high edge angle, of course. Add some inclination (leaning into the turn for balance) at the bottom of the turn, and your edge angle without angulating at all could be higher than you want for your "turn shape" already. Throw in some angulation--keep your shoulders "parallel to the hill," for example--and it's pretty likely that your skis will "try" to carve a turn much tighter than you're trying to make--and probably break away as a result, ironically straightening out your line! In this example, angulation is clearly an error!

Of all people, racers know this, intuitively and physically, if not cognitively. Modern skis are extremely sensitive and reactive to changes of edge angle, which again is the effect of changes in angulation.

Controlling edge angle is a much more refined skill these days than it ever was before. In the "straight" sidecut days, more edge angle was almost always more better, at least later in the turn. With enough edge angle (and pressure), even those old 50-60-meter-radius sidecut skis could be coaxed to bend into a useful arc. So skiers waited until the forces of the turn were sufficient--generally the second half of the turn, roughly--then slammed their shoulders downhill and their knees and hips uphill to create all the edge angle they could. "Banking," at least in the second half of the turn, was almost always an error, except at extraordinarily high speeds. Nowadays, it's not so simple.

To summarize, I think that we must look at angulation, like pretty much every other movement in skiing, as a skill, not as a technique that is inherently right or wrong. Skillful skiers learn to use it, well, skillfully! They angulate when they should or must, as the need arises.

Ultimately, I think Bonni said it the best--and the most simply: what we really need to do is develop and refine the skill of controlling the edge angle of the skis. When I'm skiing, I rarely think about whether I should angulate more or less, or what body parts I should focus my angulation efforts on. I am conscious instead of my edge angles, or at least of the sensations and effects of those angles, and I constantly adjust them as needed. I let my body figure out how to do it, blending and managing the complex interplay of inclination, angulation, balance, and slope angle, amidst constantly varying g-forces, wringing as much performance as I can from my skis to shape my turns precisely as I choose.

I really love the words of one of Keystone's top instructors, Peter Krainz: "my feet tell me what to do" (even more convincing in his thick Austrian accent). Yes, I practice all these things--extreme angulation in every possible joint, pure banking, balance on one ski, the other ski, and both skis, shoulders "parallel to the hill," and so on. And I teach them, too. Not to create any particular exclusive "correct" technique, though, but to develop skill so that my body can answer the call from my feet--so that it can do what they tell them!

In closing, here are a few photographs of some of the world's top skiers, this season. All show considerable banking (leaning in of their shoulders). Before you jump all over me, carv_lust, let me say that I agree with you: just because you can find a picture of a World Cup racer doing something, does NOT make that thing "right." But it does suggest that, at the very least, it is not always wrong!

OK, perhaps this one goes a little too far!

Not racing here, but you get the idea that sometimes banking is plenty!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes, who is dismayed that Keystone is closed and that he has nothing better to do than "ski" on the Internet!
Bob, with all due respect, race coaches know what works and know what does not. They are not fiddling around discussing roundness of turns or leaning. They have experience with all the down sides of coaching wrong movements, and they know what works for individuals based on their bodies and skiing strengths. Only instructors have the luxury to sit back and second guess what racers are doing. Instructors don’t have to go out and prove it on an icy, steep, tight slalom course, so it’s easy to be an authority on what you know nothing about..
CL - why so critical? Please present your views if you like but quit making assumptions about what people on this board know or don't know.
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