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Gravity, Grace, and Skidding?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
This may be better suited for either the Gear or Technique sections but here goes:

I am a short (5'9") heavy (240lbs) dense person. I spend most of my time in the glades and tighter trees. I have always been more comfortable on shorter skis, and have welcomed the short/fat ski revolution. After spending a season skiing with my 15 year old daughter (100lbs) and my wife (120lbs) I have come to the realization that at a certain weight, gravity overcomes gracefullness.

I always enjoy watchng those people who make skiing look so easy. The short, sharp turns, as well as the long, graceful ones. I especially enjoy watching a mogul-master or an expert in the trees. The one thing I see in common with most of the persons I view as smooth is that they are generally about 100lbs lighter than me.

On a recent trip to Breck my daughter and I were skiing "The Burn" which is a short, steep tree run. I could ski it, but would have to stop often in order to pick and/or stay on my line. My daughter on the other hand, skidded over the moguls and around the trees like a waterbug. She would slow down as necesary while turning and have ample time to pick her line. She never had any problems with picking up too much speed.

This got me to thinking. When my skis are pointed downhill for a fraction of a second, gravity is pulling on me much stronger than with a lighter person. I can carve very well. However, instead of maintaining a gracefull line, like a lighter person, each turn is like the Starship Enterprise sling-shoting around the sun. If I am on a moderatly steep slope, I eventually have to use the skidding technique in order to slow down.

As a result, I have gravitated to shorter, fatter skis. I can toss them around easier and control my speed in the glades easier with them. Everything I read in this forum tells me to go longer and I sometimes feel like I am going against the grain staying on shorties. I currently ski 163cm Volkl Vertigos for harder snow and 160 Teneighty's for softer stuff.

Am I the only one that has this issue and has addressed it with shorter skis?

I have not tried the Metron's and was planning on demoing them next season. Would anyone recommend them? B5 or M:EX. How do they work in the trees?

Do I just need to live with the fact that skidding works better than carving for a person in my situation?

I am open to any comments or suggestions. Thanks Bears
post #2 of 40
Gravity works at a constant rate. 32 ft per second per second.

Acceleration is linear with mass, but follows the square of velocity A= mv^2
this holds for negative accelerations also. Slowing down is a negative. ;-)

You and your daughter are "acted on" proportionally to your selves equally.

That said, I "vow" to drop 15 lbs for next season. It will help.

CalG
post #3 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt7180
...

Do I just need to live with the fact that skidding works better than carving for a person in my situation?

I am open to any comments or suggestions. Thanks Bears
Hi, Matt.

I don't know that you need to add the qualifier "for a person in my situation" to the question.

Personally, I think skidding works much better (safer) than carving in the skiing-the-trees scenario you're describing. It sounds like that's exactly what your daughter is doing to control speed and choose the line.

Is there some reason that you believe that you *have* to carve turns in the trees? Feathering, skarving, skidding, braking, whatever, they're all ways of keeping your speed at a prudent level for the conditions. Where I ski, anyway, if you watch really good skiers making their way through fairly tight trees, you might see two carved turns out of ten.

Just my opinion, of course, but I think there's way, way, way too much emphasis around here on this mythical every-turn-must-be-a-carved-turn-for-it-to-be-good-skiing idea. I love to ski trees and have done it for decades. I guess I must be in the minority, but I don't worry one iota about whether the turn I make in trees is carved or skidded. I make the turn that works best for fun and safety in each situation.
post #4 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt7180
This may be better suited for either the Gear or Technique sections but here goes:

I am a short (5'9") heavy (240lbs) dense person. I spend most of my time in the glades and tighter trees. I have always been more comfortable on shorter skis, and have welcomed the short/fat ski revolution. After spending a season skiing with my 15 year old daughter (100lbs) and my wife (120lbs) I have come to the realization that at a certain weight, gravity overcomes gracefullness.

I always enjoy watchng those people who make skiing look so easy. The short, sharp turns, as well as the long, graceful ones. I especially enjoy watching a mogul-master or an expert in the trees. The one thing I see in common with most of the persons I view as smooth is that they are generally about 100lbs lighter than me.

On a recent trip to Breck my daughter and I were skiing "The Burn" which is a short, steep tree run. I could ski it, but would have to stop often in order to pick and/or stay on my line. My daughter on the other hand, skidded over the moguls and around the trees like a waterbug. She would slow down as necesary while turning and have ample time to pick her line. She never had any problems with picking up too much speed.

This got me to thinking. When my skis are pointed downhill for a fraction of a second, gravity is pulling on me much stronger than with a lighter person. I can carve very well. However, instead of maintaining a gracefull line, like a lighter person, each turn is like the Starship Enterprise sling-shoting around the sun. If I am on a moderatly steep slope, I eventually have to use the skidding technique in order to slow down.

As a result, I have gravitated to shorter, fatter skis. I can toss them around easier and control my speed in the glades easier with them. Everything I read in this forum tells me to go longer and I sometimes feel like I am going against the grain staying on shorties. I currently ski 163cm Volkl Vertigos for harder snow and 160 Teneighty's for softer stuff.

Am I the only one that has this issue and has addressed it with shorter skis?

I have not tried the Metron's and was planning on demoing them next season. Would anyone recommend them? B5 or M:EX. How do they work in the trees?

Do I just need to live with the fact that skidding works better than carving for a person in my situation?

I am open to any comments or suggestions. Thanks Bears
So, you're saying a ton of bricks is heavier than a ton of feathers?
post #5 of 40
You need to generate more force at the skis, to balance the greater gravity force acting on you. You need to learn the skills to use stiffer longer skis.
post #6 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
You need to generate more force at the skis, to balance the greater gravity force acting on you. You need to learn the skills to use stiffer longer skis.

That is part of the problem. I have become so accustomed to short skis that I am extremely uncomfortable on longer ones. Last month I broke out the 185 cm Crossmax 09's. They were fine for smoothing out the effects of the crud, but overall I felt uncomfortable and it was not enjoyable.

The reason I thought about demoing the Metrons is that they are supposed to ski short and the stiffer/longer Metrons will be close to the length I am used to.

Another thing to add is that I am getting older and speed is not something I am striving for. I guess that is part of the reason I switched to the shorties. Speed is relative.
post #7 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchool
So, you're saying a ton of bricks is heavier than a ton of feathers?

That is not at all what I am saying. What I am saying is that when I ski with my brother who is 5'10" and 165lbs, all things being equal, I go faster than him down the hill.

We tested this a few weeks ago. We were on a groomed blue run making the exact same turns. We would actually shout "turn" in order to stay in sequence. Every 500 yards I would have to turn into a severe skid, almost a stop, and then creep along and wait for him to catch up. We were on the same skis with the same wax.
post #8 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy

That said, I "vow" to drop 15 lbs for next season. It will help.

CalG

I am working on that.
post #9 of 40
Longer skis are definitely harder to manage, especially if you are skidding them in rough terrain. (Doesn't matter so much if your carving) You might want to gradually work up the length. "Longer" is only part of it. Stiffer longitudinally and torsionally plays a big part too. Width also plays a role, so Metrons would help (but not nines, get the stiffer ones). So would Crosmax 10s instead of nines. You need a stiffer ski, even if you are not an "expert". a=F/M. If you have more mass you NEED more force. A forgiving ski won't help you.
post #10 of 40
John Clendenin teaches bump skiing, tree skiing and all mountian skiing and NEVER - EVER mentions carving. Bob Peters, as usual, is right on. Carving is carving and it's fun and is a skill that all "good" skiers should have but it's not the only way to get down the hill.
post #11 of 40
It sounds to me like you are not "OVER" your skis.

In order to ski bumps in control whether carving or skidding, your head,shoulders particularly hands and pole plants must be down the hill. (this helps pull you down the hill.

I know this sounds exactly like the the oppositeof what many skier "Naturally" want to do which is get defensive and hold back.

You want your CM and everything above the feet going down the hill before your feet.

I have commented on this before,; you want your skis chasing you down the hill, not you chasing your skis.

if you are skiing the troughs and trying to stay in the trough line, lead with your head (great tip for slalom racing also) and reach down the hill so that your head, upper body and pole plants get through the trough before your boots.

You must overcome the fear of reaching down the hill and letting your body go down the hill.

Your hands must always stay in your peripheral vision and you cannot drop either shoulder at any time.

I weighed 217lbs. (now 187 lbs.) and for a number of years after that. I was a bump fiend. I always looked for the biggest bumps i could find and try to ski them smoothly just slightly faster then i was comfortable. people thought i was smooth, smooth , smooth and could not figure out how i did it.

It is all about technique. And the bumps will punish you harshly if you are not right on your game. And i am not talking about that swivel pivot stuff they do in freestyle. i am talking about carving the troughs and staying on on your line.

One additional help is to look down the bump field from the top and plan at least your 1st 3 turns. When I first started skiing bumps way back when, i couldn't see the "Path" trough them. the more you work on it, it becomes like invisible ink that suddenly appears. The line becomes clear as bell!!!

BUT! Your 1st 3 turns are key. Also you must always and consistently look at least 3 bumps ahead! You can't believe how important this is.

And lastly, skidding is fine. there is defiently a place for it. The problem is most people skid in the wrong part of the turn.

If you skid the end of your turn most skiers just throw em sideways to try to control their speed. this is not an effective, smooth, or gracefull way to control your speed and puts the hill in charge of you not you in charge of the hill in other words it is defensive skiing.

On the other hand what if you intentionally skidded the top of the turn and carved the bottom. you would have actively and intentioaly scrubbed off speed to allow you to carve very controlled acroos the hill and the end of your turn. it would be an offensive move not a defensive move.

It takes some practiwce and is called redirection! racers use it all the time. in fact I will post a photo of it.

i have working on this skill a lot and it is avery handy tool to have in your bag of tricks

At the top of the turn basically you relax & slightly flatten your skis and drift sideways like a sideslip, but across the hill wth your skis partially facing down the hill , when you reach the fall line or the point that you want your drift to come to an end you simply roll both your edges back into the hill and come across on a nice clean carve since you have scrubbed off your excess speed this is much easier to do.

It is particulrly effective where the pitch is too steep to carve every turn entirely because you can't (due to strength or technique limitations) or you would get going to fast and get out of controll at some point if you carved each turn.

Hopefully this helps some and is a useful tool you can ask someone about or put it to work yourself from the photo & expalnation

Here is Bode employing the technique. http://www.ronlemaster.com/images/20...e-pc-gs-1.html

there was a GS earlier this year that he won nly because he skidded the top of every other turn intentionally. His competitiors tried to carve every turn and ending up scrubbing speed below the gate and getting too low on the line or just going too fast to make the next gate and DNF'd.




Good luck and go tear it up!
post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt7180
This may be better suited for either the Gear or Technique sections but here goes:
You are correct. This really fits the technique section better. I'm moving it. This is an awesome discussion. Hope all follow over there.
Thanks for understanding,
Trekchick
post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
...

And lastly, skidding is fine. there is defiently a place for it. The problem is most people skid in the wrong part of the turn.

If you skid the end of your turn most skiers just throw em sideways to try to control their speed. this is not an effective, smooth, or gracefull way to control your speed and puts the hill in charge of you not you in charge of the hill in other words it is defensive skiing.

On the other hand what if you intentionally skidded the top of the turn and carved the bottom. you would have actively and intentioaly scrubbed off speed to allow you to carve very controlled acroos the hill and the end of your turn. it would be an offensive move not a defensive move.

It takes some practiwce and is called redirection! racers use it all the time. in fact I will post a photo of it.

i have working on this skill a lot and it is avery handy tool to have in your bag of tricks

At the top of the turn basically you relax & slightly flatten your skis and drift sideways like a sideslip, but across the hill wth your skis partially facing down the hill , when you reach the fall line or the point that you want your drift to come to an end you simply roll both your edges back into the hill and come across on a nice clean carve since you have scrubbed off your excess speed this is much easier to do.

It is particulrly effective where the pitch is too steep to carve every turn entirely because you can't (due to strength or technique limitations) or you would get going to fast and get out of controll at some point if you carved each turn.

...
Excellent, A-man!

We're in complete agreement on something.

matt, it's entirely possible to sideslip ACROSS the hill (with your tips essentially pointed downhill) if you work at the skill. I would bet your daughter is doing some of this even if neither of you knew what it was called.

By it's very nature, it will slow you down versus a "carved" turn and it will also allow you to adjust your line to fit that hole that's coming up in the trees. You can even add a braking action to that sideslip/redirection if you need to. It's kind of a tricky move because your sideslip might be going almost at right angles to the direction of your center of mass but it CAN be done and it's a really useful trick to have when you get into steep, tight quarters (including trees).

Fun topic.
post #14 of 40
When I can not carve for any number of reasons then I will skid the top part of the turn and carve the bottom part. As I gain rythum and make adjustments I try to start my carve earlier with each turn. I enjoy carving off-piste or railing small bump feilds. Focus amd line choice are critical. Good call A-man.
post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
Excellent, A-man!

We're in complete agreement on something.

matt, it's entirely possible to sideslip ACROSS the hill (with your tips essentially pointed downhill) if you work at the skill. I would bet your daughter is doing some of this even if neither of you knew what it was called.

By it's very nature, it will slow you down versus a "carved" turn and it will also allow you to adjust your line to fit that hole that's coming up in the trees. You can even add a braking action to that sideslip/redirection if you need to. It's kind of a tricky move because your sideslip might be going almost at right angles to the direction of your center of mass but it CAN be done and it's a really useful trick to have when you get into steep, tight quarters (including trees).

Fun topic.
Hallelujah!!!!! It's a miracle!
post #16 of 40
Matt,

Large people can ski gracefully. If the reason why someone is large is because they are not in shape, they will find it more difficult to ski gracefully because they have less muscle strength, less balance and less flexibility.
post #17 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the input.

A-man, I think you are on to something. I do catch myself in the back seat sometimes. Maybe I am still back there even when it feels right to me. The bindings on the 1080's are mounted more towards the center and it really feels comfortable. However, this may let me get in the back seat without realizing it.

Therusty, I am not in perfect shape, but still in pretty good shape for a 40 year old. I am just a big guy. I played linebacker in college at the same playing weight (without the love handles).

What I did not mention before is that I am a self-taught skier. The first time out I was dumped out on the top of Mary Jane and figured out my way down. I have never had a lesson because it did not seem worthwhile.

After following this forum for a couple of years, I see that even the good skiers take lessons. Next year my season pass will either be Loveland or Winter Park. I think it will be time for a lesson or two.
post #18 of 40
Hey Peters, I even used The Bodester as an example, how do you like that???
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Hey Peters, I even used The Bodester as an example, how do you like that???
I had definitely noticed.

Perhaps this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius?
post #20 of 40
Don't get carried away now, just a different subject!

He was a great role model for this one!
post #21 of 40
If you're looking to spend money to improve your skiing, I'd suggest lessons, rather than more skis. Whatever's going wrong, it's going to happen on all skis. Except possibly Snollerblades.
post #22 of 40
What Bob Peters, Atomicman and slider said.
The carving only argument gets justified by the profound statement that "the ski is a tool".
Sure it is.
So is a knife: it slices bread but it's also great for buttering.
post #23 of 40
Wether your carving or not, you still need stiffer skis. You don't see dump trucks equiped with springs and shocks from toyota corolla for a reason.
post #24 of 40
Speaking as a rather taller (6'3") slightly lighter (220lbs) self-taught skier who likes short skis, I suppose I should weigh in.

While you and your daughter experience the same downhill acceleration, gravity applies more force to you than to her to accomplish the same effect. When you are working against gravity, as you are in trying to control your speed when skiing, you need to be able to apply more uphill force to resist the greater downhill force.

That means:

1. You need to be stronger. People whose weight is not muscle may have a problem here. Sounds like you're probably okay.
2. You need to apply more force to your skis to keep their edges engaged and stop them slipping sideways at the bottom of the turn. Keep your weight over your skis, especially when turning out of the fall-line, when many of us have a tendency to lean up-hill.
3. The last thing you need is centrifugal force from your speed and gravity working together at the bottom of the turn. Skid the top part of the turn with your skis on edge to scrub off speed (sideslip sideways, as A-man said), then carve the bottom part, with at most a very slight backwards movement to make a "soft finish".
4. Your skis have to be able to resist the larger gravitational force. There are two ways to make that possible - either the ski needs to be longer to spread the pressure over more surface area, or it needs to be torsionally stiffer so that the edges won't bend away from the snow. I don't know the skis you're using, but I'm 20lbs lighter than you and I can just get away with 162cm Metron B5s, and that's quite a stiff ski. When you carve on ice do your skis chatter? If so, it might indicate not being over your skis, but it might also mean you need longer skis.
post #25 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Kinahan
When you carve on ice do your skis chatter? If so, it might indicate not being over your skis, but it might also mean you need longer skis.
I have not used the 1080's on ice, but the 163cm Volkl Vertigos do pretty good with a minimal amount of chatter. The 185cm Crossmax 09's are more stable through crud, but seem to chatter a bit more.

Next year I am going into the season with a clean slate. I am going to demo everything I can in all sizes. I am also going to get a lesson. I think there is something to staying over my skis. You are not the first respondant to reference this.

I believe that overall, when carving on groomers, I do a good job of staying over my skis. I concentrate of driving them rather than steering them. However, this does not seem to be translating to the steeps, bumps, and glades. That is where I am going to focus the lessons on next season.
post #26 of 40
I just had to pop in a quick physics note. Everyone on this thread seems to be in agreement that Galileo was dead wrong with his Leaning Tower of Piza experiment. Gravity is not pulling you down the hill faster than your daughter or brother. If you were all dropped from the top of the mountain in a free fall you would all hit the ground at the same time (discounting friction from the air). You would generate more force when you hit than the smaller people, but at the same velocity and acceleration. Gravitational acceleration, and hence, velocity, is the same for all objects in a frictionless free fall, regardless of mass. Galileo proved this a few hundred years ago.

Any speed difference you see is due to your additional weight overcoming the force of friction being applied from underneath by the snow and the slope of the mountain. The advice to generate more force against the mountain/snow to slow down is correct, but it's to generate more friction, not to counteract the force of gravity.
post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhawg
Gravity is not pulling you down the hill faster than your daughter or brother. If you were all dropped from the top of the mountain in a free fall you would all hit the ground at the same time (discounting friction from the air).
It is certainly true that a heavier body accelerates due to gravity at the same rate as a lighter one. HOWEVER the heavier body has more intertia, and in order to accelerate at the same rate, it must experience more FORCE (force = mass x acceleration, so if accelertion is constant and mass increases, force must also increase). A heavier persons skis and body must therefore generate and tolerate larger forces to counteract the same acceleration. That's one of the reasons we need longer skis (and stronger legs).

It is also true that a heavier person has more momentum when moving, and that's anothe reason.
post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Kinahan
It is certainly true that a heavier body accelerates due to gravity at the same rate as a lighter one. HOWEVER the heavier body has more intertia, and in order to accelerate at the same rate, it must experience more FORCE (force = mass x acceleration, so if accelertion is constant and mass increases, force must also increase). A heavier persons skis and body must therefore generate and tolerate larger forces to counteract the same acceleration. That's one of the reasons we need longer skis (and stronger legs).

It is also true that a heavier person has more momentum when moving, and that's anothe reason.
And to make the same turn at the same velocity with the same acceleration (v^2/R) you need more force since F=ma. Twice the mass requires twice the force to make the same turn at the same speed.
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Kinahan
HOWEVER the heavier body has more intertia, and in order to accelerate at the same rate, it must experience more FORCE (force = mass x acceleration, so if accelertion is constant and mass increases, force must also increase). A heavier persons skis and body must therefore generate and tolerate larger forces to counteract the same acceleration. That's one of the reasons we need longer skis (and stronger legs).
I agree. From my original post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhawg
You would generate more force when you hit than the smaller people, but at the same velocity and acceleration.
Anyway, I apologize for bringing up irrelevant semantics. Bottom line: we all know and agree that in a real-world situation a heavier person is going to move down that hill faster than a light person. Regardless of exactly why, the question to be discussed is how to slow him down and everything offered here has been constructive to that point.
post #30 of 40

Chiming in...and not self-taught

For whatever it's worth, I'm not self-taught.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt7180
I always enjoy watchng those people who make skiing look so easy.
Don't we all...

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt7180
The short, sharp turns, as well as the long, graceful ones. I especially enjoy watching a mogul-master or an expert in the trees. The one thing I see in common with most of the persons I view as smooth is that they are generally about 100lbs lighter than me.
A lot of the great skiers have been on the small side. But not all of them. Some male racers, in particular, are fairly massive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt7180
When my skis are pointed downhill for a fraction of a second, gravity is pulling on me much stronger than with a lighter person.
True, but as has been pointed out elsewhere, it doesn't make you accelerate any faster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt7180
I can carve very well. However, instead of maintaining a gracefull line, like a lighter person, each turn is like the Starship Enterprise sling-shoting around the sun. If I am on a moderatly steep slope, I eventually have to use the skidding technique in order to slow down.
Is it possible you're so determined to carve that you don't skid or pivot when it's appropriate? Note that in a pure carve, the only speed control comes from the choice of line.

Carving is not, in itself, the be-all and end-all of expert skiing. Edge control does not mean "always on edge at a high angle." Edge control means you can choose a highly angled ski or a flat ski whenever you want or need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
And lastly, skidding is fine. there is defiently a place for it. The problem is most people skid in the wrong part of the turn.

If you skid the end of your turn most skiers just throw em sideways to try to control their speed. this is not an effective, smooth, or gracefull way to control your speed and puts the hill in charge of you not you in charge of the hill in other words it is defensive skiing.

On the other hand what if you intentionally skidded the top of the turn and carved the bottom. you would have actively and intentioaly scrubbed off speed to allow you to carve very controlled acroos the hill and the end of your turn. it would be an offensive move not a defensive move.

It takes some practiwce and is called redirection! racers use it all the time. in fact I will post a photo of it.

i have working on this skill a lot and it is avery handy tool to have in your bag of tricks

At the top of the turn basically you relax & slightly flatten your skis and drift sideways like a sideslip, but across the hill wth your skis partially facing down the hill , when you reach the fall line or the point that you want your drift to come to an end you simply roll both your edges back into the hill and come across on a nice clean carve since you have scrubbed off your excess speed this is much easier to do.

It is particulrly effective where the pitch is too steep to carve every turn entirely because you can't (due to strength or technique limitations) or you would get going to fast and get out of controll at some point if you carved each turn.
Very good! Listen to the man! Except, in some cases, I wouldn't bother to carve the bottom, either.

Note the part about relax & flatten your skis and drift sideways like a sideslip, but across the hill with your skis facing (and moving) down the hill. Bumps and mounds of various kinds make this easier, since each bump will have available "local" fall lines that are in different directions than the main fall line down the hill. This makes it easier to skid sideways (relative to the main fall line) off the bump because the bump slopes toward the sides, as well as straight down. (Clear as mud??) Your skis may also be moving generally down the hill, but now you're generating friction right from the beginning of the turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt7180
What I am saying is that when I ski with my brother who is 5'10" and 165lbs, all things being equal, I go faster than him down the hill.
All other things are not equal. See below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt7180
We tested this a few weeks ago. We were on a groomed blue run making the exact same turns. We would actually shout "turn" in order to stay in sequence. Every 500 yards I would have to turn into a severe skid, almost a stop, and then creep along and wait for him to catch up. We were on the same skis with the same wax.
The problem is, it's unlikely you were making exactly the same turns. If your hypothesis was correct, the heaviest racers would always win ski races. Your brother skids a little more, or finishes his turns a little more, or any number of things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Kinahan
You need to apply more force to your skis to keep their edges engaged and stop them slipping sideways at the bottom of the turn.
I wouldn't worry about this. Many people try to exert great force with as much edge as they can manage at the end of the turn, with the result that their skis hook up and they sail across the hill without actually slowing down much or regaining control. The effort of "hanging on" all the time makes you tired pretty quickly, too.

So, in line with what was said above, relax. Flatten 'em. Let 'em smear. Make a little friction. Allow them to slip sideways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Kinahan
Keep your weight over your skis, especially when turning out of the fall-line, when many of us have a tendency to lean up-hill.
Good advice here. This is where you have an advantage. See below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Kinahan
The last thing you need is centrifugal force from your speed and gravity working together at the bottom of the turn. Skid the top part of the turn with your skis on edge to scrub off speed (sideslip sideways, as A-man said), then carve the bottom part, with at most a very slight backwards movement to make a "soft finish".
I wouldn't even worry about carving the bottom part. Maybe at some point you'll want to, but for now, I'd just let them skid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Kinahan
Your skis have to be able to resist the larger gravitational force. There are two ways to make that possible - either the ski needs to be longer to spread the pressure over more surface area, or it needs to be torsionally stiffer so that the edges won't bend away from the snow.
The idea of "resisting" will get you into trouble. Fergettaboutit! You'll end up leaning up the hill, trying to create a lot of edge at the end of the turn, fighting it all the way.

This is where you have an advantage. Use your weight and stand over the skis. Let them get flatter. Let them skid. Give in to the mountain at the end of the turn. An exaggerated retraction may help. Pull your feet back a little, which will put you over them at a time when you might be behind them, and give you more edge control (not the same as high edge angle). Allow your body weight to move down the hill, instead of resisting it, but skid throughout the turn, and finish each turn so that you have more speed control. Keep turning until you're going up the hill, if necessary, so that you keep the speed comfortable. And if the skis skid as you turn up the hill, so be it. You'll learn to slow it down without fighting it all the time.

Drill: Learn to pivot-slip on groomed runs. Rotate your skis 180 degrees from left side-slip to right side-slip and back without moving out of a corridor about 2 ski-lengths wide and without stopping. Very good for balance, foot steering and subtle edge control.

And when you're in balance and allowing the skis to schmear a bit, you might find that you don't have to "toss them around" so much.


Go play!
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