Originally Posted by RicB
Isn't this exactly what we are doing to keep the inside ski tracking parallel? It doesn't have enough normaly achieved pressure and edge angle to behave in the same way as the outside, so what happens. How do we tighten up the turn to keep it moveing in parallel with the outside ski. I don't think we usually get more edge angle on it, and we can keep more forward pressure on it through a couple of ways, but I am still left with another element being utilized, and for me that may just be torque in the plane of the ski. Isn't that what guiding the ski/snow interaction without breaking the edge hold loose really is? Our legs "are" perpendicular to the ski bases for the most part. What do you see happening SI. Thank you also for the conversation SI. later, RicB.
OK, here is my interpretation (which I have up until now tried to mostly avoid as I have wanted more to listen and learn). This mostly relates to hard pack skiing which I will readily admit is not my best suit nor my preferred environment:
First, as Physics Man has talked about, I think about holding vs. breaking edge hold as more of a continuum as opposed to a yes/no issue. Thus, I don't differentiate between guiding and steering as you do.
When I want to tighten a turn I preferentially focus on increased tipping of the inside foot as the initiator. While this involves obvious flexion, hip rotation and perhaps (??) some pivoting torque (which is what I think of steering/guiding as) these are byproducts of creating increased edge angle. In this case it is an interesting but not critical issue as to whether there is any net pivoting force applied to the ski as I pretty exclusively focus on tipping to produce increased edge angle. Even with an exclusive tipping focus, I recognize and concur with the use of "functional tension" you have described to try and maintain the parallel relationship of the skis. Increased forward pressure (especially that generated at turn initiation by "diving" more into the turn) is something that I play with a little but I am not sure about (nor adept at) in terms of it's use to selectively increase the bend at the shovel.
When I am unable to produce further edge angle via tipping (due to anatomic limitations or less than optimal balance and position) or just am "lazy" and don't want to angulate that much, I utilize more active pivoting in combination with tipping to steer the skis. (I believe that Rick, aka Fastman, defined steering as applying a pivoting torque with the skis tipped, which is how I think of it). However, when this occurs I have a feeling of decreased efficiency and effectiveness in my skiing. Hence my focus on reducing the steering in my skiing. In softer snow and challenging terrain, where I may have a more upright stance with less angulation, I use steering considerably more, especially to maneuver through cruxes and obstacles.
In observing the skiing of others I find that steering is much more obvious at lower edge angles. As angulation, tipping, and edge angle increase I find the identification of steering to be somewhat less clear. The somewhat infamous demonstration segment by Weems from a previous ESA, that was so heavily criticized by some, is an obvious example (to my eyes) of what I consider to be steering to tighten a turn at lower edge angles. On the other hand, I have seen the same instances of a professional racer's skiing evaluated here on Epic both as an example of no steering and obvious steering. It is this kind of range of interpretation that has in part motivated me to ask the questions I have. The other part of my motivation has been to understand whether I may just be interpreting my skiing inputs differently than others or missing out on some important skill.
Your description of functional tension has cleared up some of my questions and allowed me to better relate your ideas about "guiding" to my skiing. In terms of more active steering, I think I find myself better agreeing or relating to BigE's comments in terms of its efficacy or lack thereof. I hope that it is clear from my comments that I don't think steering a no-no but do think that it can be less effective that simply increased tipping in many situations.