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Need help locking in carve turn

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Friends, I am a very accomplished skier of about 40 years, making the transition to carving technique. I am on a pair of mid fat Elan m666 and Tecnica XT/Dobie liners. I have studied Lito's book religiously and find many of his suggestions helpful. Here is what I can do. I am able to load the uphill ski (or make light the downhill ski) and transition my weight across the ski to initiate the turn. As the turn tightens, I do feel the pressure of the ski flatening under my foot (heel mostly), and I can carry/carve the turn to completion without skiiding the tails. Initiating seems to be to least efficient and engaged part of the turn. I have the sense that as I begin to tip the uphill ski and shift weight to it, I am skidding the tails until enough pressure builds under foot to engage the entire edge. While I realize that the wonderful skiis are not specifically carvers, I am sure that with a bit of tweak I could lock in the turn from the start. Thanks for any suggestions/drills.
post #2 of 20
try railroad track turn and totally forget about steering your skis at all for the exercises . then progressively build up more speed so you can carry more edge angle into the turn.
post #3 of 20
Find a low to medium slope and just ride the edges more or less straight down the hill while remaining balanced. Gradually increase tipping angle until slippage occurs.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Bushwacker, could you detail railroad track turn? Thanks for your imput.
post #5 of 20
Railroad track turn - a turn made solely from edging, pressure, sidecut,and flex of the ski . You pressure the front of the boot slighty to one side while you tip you feet over to the same side. DONT "STEER" at all. You transition by moving gradually into each turn Easiest to learn on mellow terrain.

Once you get good at that and can do that down some fairly steep terrain, you can start re-adding 'steering" to your turn. Although is more of a functional rotary tension than actually steering the ski. the main focus is edging and the pressure that the edging creates.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
I have the sense that as I begin to tip the uphill ski and shift weight to it, I am skidding the tails until enough pressure builds under foot to engage the entire edge.
It sounds like you simply don't have enough speed when beginning the turn.

Bode, for example:



If he didn't have speed, he would clearly fall right over in the position he's in.

Also, the lower the sidecut on your skis, the greater your speed must be to counteract the position of your body. For example, a slalom ski can turn very easily at relatively low speed. However, a GS or Super G ski will require far more speed to allow you to drop your body into the turn.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
I have the sense that as I begin to tip the uphill ski and shift weight to it, I am skidding the tails until enough pressure builds under foot to engage the entire edge. While I realize that the wonderful skiis are not specifically carvers, I am sure that with a bit of tweak I could lock in the turn from the start. Thanks for any suggestions/drills.
What c4rv3 says about Bode falling over is correct, although a bit more of an explanation is probably necessary. The thing to note is that Bode didn't get into that position instanty, and for some reason, not fall over. He progressed into that position. It sounds like you are moving your body too laterally at the beginning of the turn. This is the old-school technique that you need to eliminate when trying to make a purely carved turn. What you need to do, is to move more forward into the new turn, as opposed to just throwing your body down the hill. If you imagine a nice round turn, your body needs to move through that turn, just ahead of your skis. Therefore, it needs to move forward, allowing the edges to hook up. You also might have an issue with counter rotation and up-unweighting, which could be causing the skis to skid as you rise, lighten the skis, and your body unwinds. You'll end up creating Z shaped turns instead of C or S shaped turns.
post #8 of 20
Deliberate1, it is perfectly normal that you are experiancing this kind of problem with skidding at the initiation of your turn. You up-unweighted and skidded your turns for 30+ years so locking your skis into a carve at the very beginning does not come automatically. I was thaught carving back in the 70's and 80's even before shaped skis were invented and the whole trick is to start the turn by bringing your hips into the turn and counterleaning (angulating) towards the outside with your upper body. The straighter your skis are, like ours back in 79, the less you skis turn and the less movement of your upper body in terms of leaning and hip movement is required. Remember, you have to let the turn happen. Some teach carve initiation to be performed by bringing your knees into the turn. This is wrong since in this case your hipps move towards the outside and that is the root to all bad, skidding that is.
post #9 of 20
Anyways, I'd say get a pair of new old stock slalom race skis. Those'll make learning to carve a joke because you literally can drop your entire body weight into the turn without worrying about anything. Other than that, experiment. You'll figure it out and once you feel it once, you'll never go back.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
Here is what I can do. I am able to load the uphill ski (or make light the downhill ski) and transition my weight across the ski to initiate the turn. As the turn tightens, I do feel the pressure.
Here's my suggestion.

sounds like you are not hitting the transition. This is an important part of the turn.

What I use is a skating motion into the transition just like you would use to skate along the flats. Skate to the up hill ski to transition and get on the down hill ski.

I am an old schooler like you and have had the same problem. This is what my "coach" had me work on and it really helped. It made my transition more precise and the early part of the turn more fun.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Friends, many thanks for the suggestions. Much of it makes sense. I have been analyzing the weakness in my turns when going too slow. I find that I am hooking up much better with speed. The unweighting observation is true as well. Paul, I was particularly interested in the drill you suggested: "Skate to the up hill ski to transition and get on the down hill ski." I am a strong skater on the flats and will try to incorporate this into the turn. A question regarding your terminology. As you skate to the uphill ski in anticipation of the turn, it becomes the downhill ski as the turns happens. In other words, I have assumed that you are referring to the same ski, only in different stages of the turn. John H, could you please explian a bit more about moving forward into the turn, with your body just ahead of the skiis. Is this a rotation motion of some kind? My sense is that when I do get it right, there is no twisting at the waist and that my body is remaining centered over the skiis. Thanks again.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
Paul, I was particularly interested in the drill you suggested: "Skate to the up hill ski to transition and get on the down hill ski." I am a strong skater on the flats and will try to incorporate this into the turn. A question regarding your terminology. As you skate to the uphill ski in anticipation of the turn, it becomes the downhill ski as the turns happens. In other words, I have assumed that you are referring to the same ski, only in different stages of the turn.
The transition is when you move to the up hill ski to turn. So you push off on the downhill ski, transfer weight to the up hill ski as it now will be your down hill ski. The idea of the skate is to define the turn, to be more precise as to when it all happens.

This drill helped me alot. I have found it easy to stand on a carving ski and ride it fast. Getting on the turn early is not as easy.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Paul, thanks for your reply. It makes more sense to me now. Your technique is a different approach and one that I get. Up to this point I have been using Lito Flores' concept that making the downhill ski light will make the uphill (new downhill ski) heavy. I think at this point in my progress, I may need more of an active assist, as the technique you suggest. Actually, I have used it sort of without identifying it. This past weeked, I was skiing a very small local area and would find myself skating between turns to build speed. I will try this again, and stand on the uphill ski after pushing off the downhill one. Much obliged.
post #14 of 20
d1,

Your observation of Paul's move is correct. we definitely discourage moving up the hill. You want to be flowing into the turn, and down the hill. that said, a skating move is still a valid move, but you need to skate off the uphill (outside of the new turn) ski. Lift the downhill foot (this is an exercise, and not the way you would ski normally!) and skate down the hill into the new turn by edging and pushing off the uphill/outside ski. Gently set the inside ski down and finish the turn smoothly.

Actually this can also be a good exercise to feel the direction of movement that I was referring to. But you need to make sure that you skate in a forward direction, as you would if you were just trying to skate in a straight line. The forward, and slightly inside the new turn, direction is the direction you want to move when you enter a turn. That said, most people, when trying this exercise, move down the hill too far, and are forced to skid to maintain balance, so it may not be an appropriate exercise for you.

If you move too much laterally (sideways, down the hill), to maintain your balance and not fall head first down the hill, you have to turn the skis too quickly to be able to carve the top of the turn. This is why the top of the turn would be skidded, then you hook up after the fall line. When the skis carve a turn, they don't turn nearly as quickly as they do in a skidded turn. Even a short carved turn is a lot more like an old school GS or super G turn, where it takes longer for the skis to come around. therefore, your mass needs to move in the path of the longer turn, which is more forward, rather than laterally/sideways, as it would in an old school short swing (lots of skidding) turn.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your generous advise and sensible explanation. I have some homework to do this weekend.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
JohnH, thanks for your generous advise and sensible explanation. I have some homework to do this weekend.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
d1,

that said, a skating move is still a valid move, but you need to skate off the uphill (outside of the new turn) ski. Lift the downhill foot (this is an exercise, and not the way you would ski normally!) and skate down the hill into the new turn by edging and pushing off the uphill/outside ski. Gently set the inside ski down and finish the turn smoothly.

skate in a forward direction, as you would if you were just trying to skate in a straight line.
Re-stated: coming across the hill with weight on the downhill ski (the right foot) push, as in skate, with that (right) ski onto the uphill ski - moving into the turn with the left ski, which will now be your downhill ski. Get on the down hill ski!

This helped me put decisive timing into turn initiation which made the rest of the turn, better.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Deliberate1, it is perfectly normal that you are experiancing this kind of problem with skidding at the initiation of your turn. You up-unweighted and skidded your turns for 30+ years so locking your skis into a carve at the very beginning does not come automatically. I was thaught carving back in the 70's and 80's even before shaped skis were invented and the whole trick is to start the turn by bringing your hips into the turn and counterleaning (angulating) towards the outside with your upper body. The straighter your skis are, like ours back in 79, the less you skis turn and the less movement of your upper body in terms of leaning and hip movement is required. Remember, you have to let the turn happen. Some teach carve initiation to be performed by bringing your knees into the turn. This is wrong since in this case your hipps move towards the outside and that is the root to all bad, skidding that is.
:
post #19 of 20
While many of the tips/drills above are useful, I have on additional suggestion that I have found useful: visualize what you are doing to your skis to make them skid. A no/minimal skid transition to the new edge in carved turns will require (1) you don't attempt to rotate the skis during the transition and (2) you don't pressure the new edges too strongly until you've tipped/angled the ski sufficiently to handle the pressure and carve. Right now I'm quite sure you're doing one of these two things (if not both).

Both of these things mean that you will have to forgo any speed scrubbing during turn initiation, often the body's instinctive reaction to a balance change. Again, many of the tips/drills above are useful for this, but I've found it helps to visualize what the ultimate goal is.
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
(2) you don't pressure the new edges too strongly until you've tipped/angled the ski sufficiently to handle the pressure and carve.
Chvynva916, that is food for thought. Perhaps my tip/pressure coordination is off. It would make sense that a skid results from the excess of pressure that over powers the amount of tippage. Thanks for the tip.
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