Originally Posted by ssh
jh, this maps to my understanding, but I've always had a question... There are times when I progressively arrive at an edge angle, kinda like it there, hold it for a bit, and then progressively ramp down and over to the new edge. The entire turn isn't "park and ride", but some section of it is. I understand that this is less than optimal according to the experts, but I'm unclear why that is. Anyone care to enlighten me? What is it about a continuously progressive change of edge angle that makes it more effective or efficient than arriving at the right angle and holding it until you're ready to move to the next transition?
I have my own thoughts, but would like to hear what others think (or know!). Thanks...
Well, lessee, there are probably a number of responses possible. The quality of my response, I'm afraid, will not be up to the standard set by BB and any number of others in this forum, but I'll give it a whirl.
We could consider an abstract mathematical response, and point out that a continuous function with a couple of continuous derivatives is generally a more accurate representation of a model than some finite difference approximation. That won't make much sense to very many people, however!
We could try to prove that the continuously progressive change of edge angle will result in a shorter line and thus be faster or more efficient, but, in fact, it's probably not true. Besides, there are many variables which will determine the length of the line, not the least of which is the skier's intent.
Indeed, I suspect that intent is perhaps the main reason to ski a true arc-to-arc and continuously increase or decrease edge angle. We want to go where we want to go, and we want to look dynamic, rather than stuck, while we're doing it. Progressively increasing or decreasing edge angle gives us considerable directional control, even on a ski that is executing a pure arc. Moving to a constant edge angle gives up some directional control, leaving the skier riding whatever arc results from the edge angle and forces in that part of the turn. With changing edge angle, the skier controls the shape of the arc and manages the forces
Besides, park-and-ride just looks a little funky. It's a variation of move-stop-move-stop. I should know. I'm among the guilty.