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Carving: getting it right? - Page 2

post #31 of 36
I was practicing a couple of things last weekend namely pole planting (trying to get it right - I've heard how good pole planting technique can really help control speed and balance in steeps)
Balance, yes, speed control, I'm not sure. Often poor pole plants are just a symptom of the real problem of not skiing right with the feet. Big arm swings are used to help pull the feet around. Get the foot skiing right, then just use the pole plants for timing and balance. Try skiing without poles. If you're successful, use the poles to enhance your skiing. Hold the grip somewhat firmly in your hand. Don't swing the arm and pole much. Try keeping your elbow somewhat close to your side and reaching downhill by bending your body...angulation. Keep the pole tip close to the snow and don't allow the arm and pole to get past the fall line.

and speed control carving by sliding the front of the ski (beginning of the carve) while trying to keep the back of the ski and the last part of the carved turn as clean as possible.
You need to get the skis on edge as early as possible, certainly before they reach the fall line. Allowing them to slip-brush-whatever is OK for speed control if the surface is smooth. Make the turn sharper at the beginning and all the way through the turn, finish somewhat uphill, and gently modulate the edging angle to hold the carve through the various parts of the turn--with your ankles strongly tip the uphill ski and somewhat strongly tip the downhill ski (the muscles used to "invert" the foot (tip outward) are weaker vs. the muscles used to evert (tip inward), so lead with the weaker move). Modulate where your weight is on the ski during the parts of the turn to keep the front & back edges engaged. Too much tip pressure at the bottom of the turn will cause the tail to skid. Of course, getting back on the ski causes the tail of the ski to jet ahead and throw you back and out of control. Angulation and counter are very important for edge angle and edge hold. Look at this pic of Nicole Hosp on a gold medal run--feet horizontally close, vertically separated for angulation; very little tip lead; upper body tipping to the outside of the turn (vs. the outside leg); hip & shoulders turned toward the outside of the turn; inside hand leading. For a pole plant, she'd just move the elbow and wrist, not the shoulder.

post #32 of 36
Bode Miller recommends skidding some in the start of the turn and finishing by carving. I imagine that if you use a bit more rotary movement to get your ski's more aggressively pointed across the fall line that would accomplish this no?

I got to test this out this weekend.
post #33 of 36
Thread Starter 
Just came back from a nice 3-day skiing trip in Levi Finland. I'm beginning to think that when the slopes are really steep and you want to control your speed so that your are not:

1. Out of control
2. A danger to others around you
3. Getting wasted through tired legs

Carving style might not altogether be the way to go. Perhaps I should sometimes try to ski the so called 'old-fashoined' way - weight a little backwards, sliding the tails, keeping the skis close together and parrallel and using a combination of edging, sliding and turning to get down the steeper slopes. Any comments on this?

When the G2 slope was empty - I must admit it was really nice carving on it, but I was going way too fast and managed to turn only train track style since I was too scared to put serious pressure on the ski as I started to pick up the speed :.
post #34 of 36
I was interested in the "emergency slow down" that was being discussed before the thread drifted.

It seems to me the best approach depends on the snow and terrain.

Option zero - dont get going too fast in the first place. We wont count that one. Presumably you didn't get into trouble on purpose.

1. Soft snow or crud - the aforementioned granny turn. Make a big arc - go hard on your edges, and ride it till you are headed up hill. Absorb or blast through whatever surface irregularities get in your way. (Make sure you won't be crossing oncoming traffic with a quick look uphill, first.)

2. Hard snow - sort of a wedeln. Do a series of tail-push short turns. Body goes straight down the hill, tips go in pretty much a straight line, the tails sweep back and forth. As if you are starting a hockey stop then but dont finish it. Its considered a bad short turn these days, but it is very stable (cause the resistance shoves the skis back underneath you) and it slows you down in a hurry. Once you are going slow enough, do more modern turns or a full hockey stop.

2a. Moguls in hard snow. You may be able to do option 2 on some parts of the bump, enough to resume normal turns.

3. Moguls in soft snow, steep or rutted moguls, or other big irregularities. If the moguls are too big to do 1, and the snow is too grabby to try 2 (or the flat spaces arent big enough), there aren't many options left. Keep your edges flat and absorb as much as you can by extending and absorbing. You can proabaly at least keep from accelerating further, even if you don't slow down.

These options are probably in order of preference, too.
Anybody have any other techniques?

(As for speed control in the first place, see the previous posts about turn shape or spreading the braking action through the whole turn.)

By the way, I believe in giving other skiers (esp. beginners or intermediates) a LOT of room - not only enough to be safe, but enough for them to feel safe. So I only go faster than the flow of traffic if there is plenty of room to pass. I urge everyone to think how it is going to feel to the guy being passed.
post #35 of 36

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post #36 of 36
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
By the way, I believe in giving other skiers (esp. beginners or intermediates) a LOT of room - not only enough to be safe, but enough for them to feel safe. So I only go faster than the flow of traffic if there is plenty of room to pass. I urge everyone to think how it is going to feel to the guy being passed.
I know this was an aside, but wanted to thank you for this courteous reminder. The last time out I noticed that my wife spends half her time looking nervously over her shoulder, to see who might be barreling downhill and how close they might be cutting. She's not quite paralyzed, but I am convinced that this contributes to her terminal intermediate status... so much time worrying about what is behind her that she can't focus on what she is doing and what lies ahead? It's hard for her to accept my reassurance that the uphill skier has responsibility for avoiding her... because she's been flattened twice from behind, and avoided a few more whiplash crashes only because she WAS looking out for those passing on the fly (literally).
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