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"Stuck in Turns"

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
As I'm working on getting my form back (only 2 days so far ), I'm really having trouble - and have always had some trouble - with carved short turns. Not those quick little turns in bumps or soft snow, but short carved/scarved turns leaving a clean set of tracks.

Basically, after entering the first turn in a clean carve, my mind tells my body to switch directions and nothing happens. If I try to rush things I wind up smearing the new outside ski wide or otherwise break the carve. Medium and long radius carved turns are just fine.

Any ideas? I develop a carving fetish anytime limited terrain is open so I'd really like to improve this area.

FWIW, I'm on Fischer WC SC's 160's 12m so it's not the skis.
post #2 of 12
The simplest bit I could offer is to let the skis do the work because it sounds like you are forcing the turns. That ski definitely will make small turns by default and it doesnt take much to get a good slalom ski like that one to make small turns either. To go from one turn to another just roll onto the opposite edges and keep your body pointing down the fall line. Make all your moves from the waist down.
post #3 of 12
My hunch is that you have an equipment problem in the sence that they are stiff and have a wide turn radius. I havent skied with the Fischers but racing skis in general require lots of speed and patiens at the top of the turn. Thats what it sounds like to me anyway.

For proper technique ramshackle's post is dead on.
post #4 of 12
The WC SC definitely likes a bit of speed to make it work. Without speed the ski doesn't work as well. For slow speeds you need more outside ski dominance. Try skiing one ski at a time, the outside one.
post #5 of 12
This happens to my wife on occassion and it is because a) she's on her uphill ski too much (see Ghost's post) or b) she's backseat and dragging her arms....usually it's a and b....and usually it's the result of being tentative or "off" that day.

Could also mean you have a short leg/long leg thing like me...do you turn a lot better one side? I always turn great to the left but then sometimes transitioning to the right (left leg downhill) is tough, especially if I'm tired and I'm doing the things I mentioned my wife does.
post #6 of 12

how short is short?

If you're talking short, shallow railroad track type turns, that's down by tipping the ankles/rolling the feet. You've got to be very aggressive with pressing and lifting big toes and little toes.

But at some point, a short radius turn can't be "carved" because it's too short. That said, you can get a "scarved" short radius turn that's pretty snappy. There are 3 critical elements: retraction, cross under and bending the ski. Your initiation move from the fall line of the previous turn has to be retracting the legs underneath the body. The legs and the skis have to cross under the body. Finally, as you extend the legs out, you have to engage the tips of the ski so that the ski loads up a bend as you extend it out away from the body. That's where you get the feeling of carving from in a short radius turn that is shorter than the skis sidecut. When the skis rebound out of the turn, you've got to suck the legs up to retrieve that energy before restoring back into the skis on the next turn. This type of short radius turn will not work unless you get all of the pieces working together with the right timing. It all happens so fast that if you try to force things, you break the timing. On the rare occasions I get this to work, all I'm thinking about is getting my feet way out from underneath my upper body, then sucking them up underneath me, then pushing them way out again to the other side.
post #7 of 12
Another big piece of this is making sure you unflex your hips aggresively, but down the hill. For really short, snappy carved turns on skis like you have with a tiny 12m radius (though I've seen the Atomic SL9's at 10.5 m!), your body will need to face downhill as you travel in a generally straight line with the skis moving underneath you as Rusty describes. This is a really cool feeling when it happens.

The skis will do the work, but you have to move your body appropriately to get the desired results. Your legs will lengthen and contract as the skis move away from your body and back underneath to the other side, but you have to make sure you "open" up your hips, or unbend them, or in a sense, straighten up. We talk endlessly about not moving "up" anymore, but forward diagonally. The duration of these turns is such that more up movement occurs, but we are still absolutely focused on guiding our body down the hill versus up into the sky. Center of mass moves in the direction we are going, etc., just like is preached, but with the time existing in such a short turn, a little more up does occur.

Play with it some and see.
post #8 of 12
There's a lot of good advise here, but it sounds to me that you may be back on your skis. Try and get off the tails and forward more. If you are on the tails, the only thing that you can do is push the tails out forcibly. Get forward and feel your shins on the front of the boot. Tip the ankles engaging the tips and then allowing the ski to carve through the turn. Then read Schanfm reply again.--------Wigs
post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by goldsbar View Post
FWIW, I'm on Fischer WC SC's 160's 12m so it's not the skis.
You're right, it's not.

I'm with wigs, but will add one point to getting yourself centered over your skis, and that's skiing with a strong inside half. Combine a stong inside half with a well centered stance, and you'll be amazed at how effortlessly you will release from turn to turn.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replys. The leg flexing up down movements (or with your hips) really interests me. I used to do this and did find it easier to get that "snap" type of feel on short turns. Then an instructor told me I was making inefficient movements by bobbing up and down to much and advised that I focus on keeping my upper body more level. I've been working on this but it seems contra to some of the advice here and what I've read in HH's second book about pulling the knees to your chest. So now I'm just really confused!
post #11 of 12

- you're correct, don't rush your turns. That is a recipe for destroying your carves

- There are at least two ways i can think of right now to rush your carves. one is to pop extend at the transition(ie, bop up as you put it before). up unweight, etc..whatever you want to call it...a push off of your old inside ski as it changes over to become new outside ski. The other way to rush the turn is to use leg rotation to pivot the skis in a rush to get them pointed back across the fall line in the opposite direction. The first way I mentioned usually happens when you don't capture the energy from your previous turn efficiently. The second thing I mentioned happens because of fear, impatience or a little of both.

- To capture the energy from your previous turn, you need to load up the pressure out at the falline by stacking up your body, holding your outside leg extended and HIPS FORWARD. Don't bleed off the pressure out there. Embrace it. By keeping your hips forward you will bend the ski more and get a tighter arc. As you feel the pressure really start to build and start to send you back the other direction you do an aggressive "release" of your outside leg. By release i mean aggressively flexing it and relaxing the muscles in it. All of that stored energy is going to catapult you across into the next turn. You don't need or want an extending push off move there. All you really need to do is release to open the gate that allows all that inertia and gravity to huck you into the next turn. As you enter the next turn, extend your new outside leg just enough to keep it contacting the snow..but not so much that it becomes any kind of pushoff. Keep your hips forward. I'll say it again, keep your hips forward.

- Keeping your upper body more or less facing down the hill is helpful, but be careful not to let this become a lot of anticipation windup that will turn into excessive leg rotation. In my view for this type of turn you simply don't have time to square up your upper body to your skis so you don't. And a tiny bit of initial pivoting at the very start of the turn might be necessary....certainly on a race course. Anticipation helps you do that. However, just free skiing short radius turns, not necessary. And definitely you want to be careful to not pivot so much that you can't get a clean carve started before the fall line. Once you engage your edges, the sooner the better, pivoting is over. If you try to pivot after that you will probably lose your tails. To get the skis to carve like they are capable, stand on the outside ski, extend that leg, stack up the skeleton and HIPS FORWARD, then get ready to release and catapult into the next turn.

- Aggressively tip your inside ski once you start engaging those edges. Keep aggresively tipping it. This, in combination with the stuff mentioned above will also help you develop a tighter radius.
post #12 of 12

The information you need is above. An outline for slalom turns is:

A strong inside half
Stable and level upper body
Active inside ski
Centered stance
Diagional movement with the skis
Patience through the transition
Patience through the transition
Patience through the transition

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