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I think I'm Carving

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I only ski about 6 days a year, so I can't stomch the thought of wasting one 6th of my entire ski season in class, but I still have questions.

When I turn, I plant my pole, shift my weight and (usually) take my weight off the uphill ski. This is actually a new thing for me. I used to press down hard on the downhill instead of taking my weight off of the uphill one. This worked fine for years, but now that I ski primarily on the black runs I find that the extra muscle strain was KILLING my stamina. This new way has done wonders for my endurance. I also link my turns just fine now, and seem to be noticing my wedge dissapearing. My question is (being that I'm self taught, and all my friends snowboard) does this sound like I am actually carving?? Or is my technique all wrong?
post #2 of 26
The best way to tell if you're carving is to look at your tracks. If you're leaving two thin curved lines (like this guy from the North American Ski Training Center): http://www.skinet.com/skinet/videos/...424162,00.html
then you are.
post #3 of 26
Eazyrider, I don't mean for this to be in ANY way insulting to you, but if you ski 6 days a year and are self taught while following snowboarders, you aren't carving. You may have stumbled upon a system to ALLOW your SKIS to carve a turn but YOU aren't carving.

Take a lesson, it's fun and worth it. Many of the skills you will be taught are counter-intuitive. You won't 'figure it out' on your own.
post #4 of 26
You can tell if your Carving by inspecting your tracks. If they look like this then yes you are Carving. I will leave the MA to the pros.

post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
Eazyrider, I don't mean for this to be in ANY way insulting to you, but if you ski 6 days a year and are self taught while following snowboarders, you aren't carving. You may have stumbled upon a system to ALLOW your SKIS to carve a turn but YOU aren't carving.

Take a lesson, it's fun and worth it. Many of the skills you will be taught are counter-intuitive. You won't 'figure it out' on your own.
well said, the tracks don't tell the whole tale.
post #6 of 26
On the other hand, if your tracks look like this, you are not carving, but you may still be having fun. How big is your smile?



You are clearly interested enough to get involved in a lesson. If its a half-day, you will get a professional evaluation, and some things to work on that will greatly help you progress. Half a day is only 1/12 of your ski season
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazyrider View Post
I only ski about 6 days a year, so I can't stomch the thought of wasting one 6th of my entire ski season in class, but I still have questions.
Take a lesson. It may seem like you're going to waste one of those precious days but, in reality, you're going to make the other 5 so much better that you'll understand the return on investment when things really start to click for you. Not only that but that investment carries over for many seasons so you compound your benefit.

And no, you're probably not carving, at least not in a pure sense. You may be getting the ski on edge a little but I would guess that it may initiate into a carve then release into a skidded turn.

By the way, lessons can be fun too. If it makes you feel better, tell your friends that you're getting some coaching. You will be out skiing so it's not like you're stuck in a classroom with a book and Sister Mary Elephant whacking your knuckles while the other kids are outside playing. You'll be going around the mountain, seeing some of the best parts of it, and taking cuts at the front of the liftline : while the other skiers are standing in line, getting ready to ski the same run that everybody else is skiing. You'll probably have a blast and learn some good skills while you're at it.

Lastly, even at his level of play, Tiger Woods still has swing coaching when he could be out playing golf. We all benefit from coaching, even instructors who regularly clinic during the season. Racers are coached, big-mountain skiers are coached, freestylers are coached, jibbers are.....well.....ridiculed mostly but even they get coached. If you've never had a lesson then you have no experience to draw from so you really should give it a shot.
post #8 of 26
You ski mainly on blacks yet you are just beginning to link turns and make a smaller wedge? Do yourself a favor, A) get off the blacks and back on the greens where you will improve faster and B) take some lessons.

Wedging down blacks is only hurting you, not helping.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post


Hmmmm......now these tracks look familiar. lol I guess I'll look into the possibility of a taking a 1/2 day lesson. I think I'll be skiing 4 days in WP this January, and another 3-4 in Tahoe in March. I guess I can give it a try.
post #10 of 26
I just reread the intial post. Take some lessons and get the most enjoyment out of your 6 days. Unfortuante;y, you need to ski more to really start to improve your ability. Taylormatt is correct though, if you want to improve you should be working the greens and blues. If you are just having fun, then dont expect your ability to really improve doing what you are doing. You kind of need to make a decision.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazyrider View Post
When I turn, I plant my pole, shift my weight and (usually) take my weight off the uphill ski. This is actually a new thing for me. I used to press down hard on the downhill instead of taking my weight off of the uphill one...
The advice to take a lesson is spot on. Let me interest you further by making the following observation.

If you are referring to making this weight shift to the downhill ski just after you transition from one set of edges to the other, you got things backwards unless you intend to carve on the "wrong foot". In 99% of turns, the outside foot carries somewhat more weight than the inside foot. Just after transition, your outside foot will be your uphill foot. Thus, it sounds like you either are doing it backwards, or may be describing it backwards / incorrectly.

If you are referring to making this weight shift at the bottom of each turn, just after you turn out of the fall line, your weight is shifting in the right direction for this part of the turn, but it is coming waaaaay too late. If this is what you are doing, you are almost certainly skiing by a series of defensive hockey-stops (ie, skids), rather than carving.

In addition, there are a whole host of reasons that for efficient, advanced skiing, you should simply let the foot-to-foot weight shifts be a result of the centrifugal force of the turn, and not be an action you take to initiate the turn.

Take some lessons and/or hang out here & search the archives and you will pwn all these concepts and moves.

Good luck,

YOT
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazyrider View Post
I think I'll be skiing 4 days in WP this January, and another 3-4 in Tahoe in March. I guess I can give it a try.
Well, if you're going to be in Tahoe in March (around the 18th-22nd), you could come along to the ESA West... ESA.epicski.com
post #13 of 26
the others are on to it. get a private lesson, it will pay off and most certainly not be a waste of your time. preperation is never wasted time, Abe Lincoln once said "If I have 5 hours to cut down a tree, I'll spend the first 4 sharpening my axe".



-nerd
post #14 of 26
We ought to be careful not to raise expectations beyond reality. Cirquerider was right, a 1/2 day lesson will provide an objective evaluation and give some things to work on. period. it isn't going to magically alter the remaining days nor is it going to instantly turn him into sir carvesalot. We don't want him PO'd that the lesson didn't do what it was cracked up to do. another poster also had it right in that it's a decision. do you want to go play or are you at a point where you are willing to work at the skiing in order to progress? If it's the latter, take the lesson, go back to the blues and work on it. if it's the former, that's A-OK - go play on the blacks, just stay clear of other skiers, especially me! (kidding - sort of)
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
another poster also had it right in that it's a decision. do you want to go play or are you at a point where you are willing to work at the skiing in order to progress? If it's the latter, take the lesson, go back to the blues and work on it. if it's the former, that's A-OK - go play on the blacks, just stay clear of other skiers, especially me! (kidding - sort of)
That was me and I was going to say what you ended up saying "go play on the blacks, just say clear of.......me!"
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazyrider View Post
Hmmmm......now these tracks look familiar. lol I guess I'll look into the possibility of a taking a 1/2 day lesson. I think I'll be skiing 4 days in WP this January, and another 3-4 in Tahoe in March. I guess I can give it a try.
Should you decide to take a lesson when you go to Winter Park, I highly recommend Rusty Guy. You can book him through the Winter Park Ski & Ride School lesson desk at 970-726-1554. (Mods, it is alright to recommend someone else for lessons, isn't it?)
post #17 of 26
If you are the type of person that likes to learn from books/videos/online instruction...

There are some free online lessons here:

ONLINE LESSONS

I found these two books to be very helpful when I got back into skiing after 20 years.

Expert Skier I

Expert Skier II
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
If you are the type of person that likes to learn from books/videos/online instruction...

There are some free online lessons here:

ONLINE LESSONS

I found these two books to be very helpful when I got back into skiing after 20 years.

Expert Skier I

Expert Skier II
Now, here is a guy that *really* knows what he is talking about. And, I sincerely second his suggestion.
post #19 of 26
Eazyrider, I actually feel you shouldn't be "obligated" to take lessons. Not knowing you personally, it's quite possible that you are one of those people who has outstanding body awareness and picks up new movements easily. You may be able to get to a pretty high level just by studying others, and perhaps having your buddies video you from time to time. (Only 6 days per year will make it tough, though.)

By all means watch that Harald Harb website. I don't know Harald and have never seen him ski in person, but it strikes me, from looking at that site, that his stance (for carving) is definitely towards the narrower end of the possible range, although stance width is quite a personal issue and there is a wide range of possibilities. The wider end of that range would be someone like this guy: http://193.85.149.106//1106504437_pranger.jpg It's important that you find a stance width that you personally are comfortable with.

If you specifically want to learn to carve, the best skiers to watch are those whose pay-packets are actually dependent upon how efficiently they carve their turns: ski-racers. There are some excellent examples for you to study here: http://www.ronlemaster.com/
post #20 of 26
It's quite simple. If your ski is on edge and your ski's tail is travelling over the same snowflake as your ski's tip, you are carving.

I took my first lesson after many years of self-teaching. It was well worth the money and time spent. Go for a private lesson and jump the lift line for an hour and a half.
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazyrider View Post
I only ski about 6 days a year, so I can't stomch the thought of wasting one 6th of my entire ski season in class, but I still have questions.
How much time could you stomach for a lesson?
post #22 of 26
Skiing is a vast territory, best explored from the safety, comfort and stability of a good base camp.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
We ought to be careful not to raise expectations beyond reality. Cirquerider was right, a 1/2 day lesson will provide an objective evaluation and give some things to work on. period. it isn't going to magically alter the remaining days nor is it going to instantly turn him into sir carvesalot. We don't want him PO'd that the lesson didn't do what it was cracked up to do.
This is such good advice. I know I wilt when I get a 1 or 2 hour private who happily announces that they've been skiing for years, never had a lesson, and want to fix up ALL their faults.

I had a 1 hour at 3pm last year, who wanted to learn to ski bumps. He'd been trying but couldn't get it, so apparently there was a secret trick so he'd shelled out for an hour to learn the trick.
post #24 of 26
Please pardon this moderator interruption.

A part of this thread has been moved to a new thread to separate a discussion debating teaching systems, from a sincere question posed by a new member with a valid question. We value everyone's input and have preserved every post.

Please try to understand the tactic in this moderation was to encourage new members to post questions and receive coherent, meaningful answers. The decision of which posts were moved, was made based on who the comment or post was directed to. If the post addressed Easyrider or his question, it stayed in this thread. Otherwise it is in the new thread Advising New Posters on Carving. I am not an instructor, and did not base my decision of which posts to move on any system or representation. I hope you will understand our objective in dividing the thread.

Please carry on.
post #25 of 26

I would say nope

I would say you are not carving (at least a pure carve as many posters like and the first picture in the thread shows)

Why do I say this --- Doing linked pure carved turns down a black diamond will pick up a lot of speed. Maybe even speeds approaching Olympic giant salom skiers.

There is no breaking in the pure carve.

I do not see you doing this with only 6 ski days per year.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by skugrud View Post
There is no breaking in the pure carve.
Sure there is but it's in the form of using gravity.. Carving a turn across and up the hill would result in some "braking" but that's a whole different discussion.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.
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