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# Need review of Modern Wedge Christie Mechanics for my Level I Exam - Page 3

Also, flattening the ski in isolation doth not a release make.

If in isolation you flatten the ski, releasing the edge and nothing else, the skis will drift away, the CoM will not crossover and there will be no crossunder either. Releasing the ski causes the turn to widen, the skis to drift away and to lose centripetal forces. Something else has to be executed to create a transition besides merely releasing the edges. The CoM itself has to be released! If you release the BoS in isolation the CoM will become out of balance to the inside which actually would constrain crossover even more.

with exam passing wedge Christies the uphill ski cannot stem up the hill. So the skier has to somehow steer the uphill ski without pushing the tail out; while not steering the downhill ski until later.

The way I perform these is to relax my downhill leg, allowing uphill leg to support my weight. That instantly puts me crossed over slightly. There is no need to move the CoM up the hill nor down the hill. Simply relax the downhill leg a bit and that instantly changes the BoS in such a way that the CoM is now on the downhill side of it slightly. This, combined with tipping the now pressured uphill ski, will cause it to engage and turn down the hill without a heel push. at about the same time you do this relaxation of the downhill leg, you can flatten it. Releasing that ski is still relevant but releasing the ski edge angle alone does not release the CoM. The CoM is released by relaxing the leg, or for many of you but NOT me, the CoM can be pushed across by the uphill leg extension and avoid much relaxation of the downhill leg
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro

both are an error, getting the ski flat not actively pulling the foot upward, or pushing the other foot down creates the situation where one ski turns slower and the other faster. Friction / drag being unequal due to the sum of external forces makes the maneuver happen. Supination of the downhill foot being the only internally derived force present.
Letting it happen rather than forcing it to happen is something being repeated but largely ignored when we propose active retraction / flexing / weight shifting. Don't overcomplicate it.

We're going to have to agree to disagree.  Dissimilar rates of turning is a matter of control of the guiding inside ski, which I covered in my statement about complex... ok call it "compound" moves.  There is no weight shifting involved. In fact, the activity of the inside ski helps keep the skier's CoM moving correctly.  I think I've covered my thoughts on the  "continuous active inside ski" in many if not most of my posts.

BTW- In thousands of lessons it has never, not one time been an issue. I don't think I've taught a Wedge Christie lesson in over 20 years. I'm not sure why PSIA hasn't moved away from it.

I agree vind. We don't really teach much wedge Christie lessons any more as a goal, and I don't see my peers much doing it either. We start teaching them how to parallel. That usually involves an intermediate period of time where they can only get the skis matched in the bottom half of the turn. They are basically doing wedge Christies at that point even if the discussion is French fries and more French fries. Our exam demos have to be just so in order that we are demonstrating movements which lead the skier quickly on to parallel skiing. It's not that we are teaching a stem Christie tactic as we did in the old days. It's more that we are trying to get them to match their skis, at first late in the turn, then earlier and earlier. If they do this interim step with an uphill ski stem then we are failing to teach them important aspects of how to initiate parallel turns. This interim phase is necessary for many or most skiers that start out wedging. Exam scrutiny is about making sure we get them through this interim phase correctly
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683

I agree vind. We don't really teach much wedge Christie lessons any more as a goal, and I don't see my peers much doing it either. We start teaching them how to parallel. That usually involves an intermediate period of time where they can only get the skis matched in the bottom half of the turn. They are basically doing wedge Christies at that point even if the discussion is French fries and more French fries. Our exam demos have to be just so in order that we are demonstrating movements which lead the skier quickly on to parallel skiing. It's not that we are teaching a stem Christie tactic as we did in the old days. It's more that we are trying to get them to match their skis, at first late in the turn, then earlier and earlier. If they do this interim step with an uphill ski stem then we are failing to teach them important aspects of how to initiate parallel turns. This interim phase is necessary for many or most skiers that start out wedging. Exam scrutiny is about making sure we get them through this interim phase correctly

"We don't really teach much wedge Christie lessons any more as a goal"  As I said earlier, a wedge christie today is an error because the movements are mis-sequenced. The inside ski has to lead, not follow.

"Our exam demos have to be just so in order that we are demonstrating movements which lead the skier quickly on to parallel skiing."  Exactly. Why PSIA is still monkeying around with Wedge Christies as an exam model escapes me.

"This interim phase is necessary for many or most skiers that start out wedging"  I don't believe in an "interim" phase. If the movement sequence is taught in the proper way, the wedge is self correcting and parallel occurs spontaneously.  The problem is that still too many instructors don't understand or ignore the role of the inside ski altogether.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1

"We don't really teach much wedge Christie lessons any more as a goal"  As I said earlier, a wedge christie today is an error because the movements are mis-sequenced. The inside ski has to lead, not follow.

"Our exam demos have to be just so in order that we are demonstrating movements which lead the skier quickly on to parallel skiing."  Exactly. Why PSIA is still monkeying around with Wedge Christies as an exam model escapes me.

"This interim phase is necessary for many or most skiers that start out wedging"  I don't believe in an "interim" phase. If the movement sequence is taught in the proper way, the wedge is self correcting and parallel occurs spontaneously.  The problem is that still too many instructors don't understand or ignore the role of the inside ski altogether.

Pitch encourages but does not guarantee parallel turn entries.  It's hard to teach something that is supposed to happen spontaneously.  That's a bit of a contradiction in terms, and thus probably why the wedge christie is still on the books.  So is the stem christie, probably because we need to know the difference.

Several years back when I was training with an examiner weekly, it was made clear to me that a wedge christie must happen as a result of inside ski action, not outside ski action.  The inside ski turns and matches the outside ski at the end of the old turn.  Then the soon-to-be new inside ski lags behind as the new turn begins.  This lag time creates the stem.  Nothing special should be going on with the new outside ski at initiation.  If the outside ski tail is moved out in any way to create the stem, then it's a failed wedge christie in an exam situation.  A wedge christie is not a stem christie.

So, the inside ski is what gets manipulated by the instructor attempting to demo the most excellent, perfecto-mundo wedge christies so as not to mislead the student into bad habits.  This straight from an examiner who trained this into a bunch of LII hopefuls every week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1

"We don't really teach much wedge Christie lessons any more as a goal"  As I said earlier, a wedge christie today is an error because the movements are mis-sequenced. The inside ski has to lead, not follow.

"Our exam demos have to be just so in order that we are demonstrating movements which lead the skier quickly on to parallel skiing."  Exactly. Why PSIA is still monkeying around with Wedge Christies as an exam model escapes me.

"This interim phase is necessary for many or most skiers that start out wedging"  I don't believe in an "interim" phase. If the movement sequence is taught in the proper way, the wedge is self correcting and parallel occurs spontaneously.  The problem is that still too many instructors don't understand or ignore the role of the inside ski altogether.

Vind, I think you might have missed it somehow, but check all the comments from everyone again.  In a properly executed wedge christie the inside ski does lead!   A wedge christie is not the same as the classic stem christie.  In a wedge christie, the uphill ski most NOT be stemmed.  And its also not really that the downhill ski is stemmed either, its just that the tipping of the inside ski to the LTE does not happen strong enough to get all the way over to the LTE until later in the turn.

Any skier being taught a wedge progression will likely go through this phase...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet

Pitch encourages but does not guarantee parallel turn entries.

LF...

It is not about the parallelitivity (if there was such a word!) of the ENTRY. It is about the activity that will allow parallel within the turn or even more importantly, not defeat it. At the slowest speeds, regardless of the efforts to use the correct movement patterns sometimes a wedge will initially develop momentarily because the inside doesn't have enough movement to allow it to be released.  This is not a concern to me, as I have said earlier, parallel becomes automatic and spontaneous as part of proper sequencing of movement patterns once the skis are allowed to glide a bit. .

Vind, what you are endorsing is one of various different approaches for direct to parallel.  Nothing against that whatsoever, but wedge progressions are also still alive and and well, and that is where the wedge christie becomes part of the path to getting from wedge to parallel.  Some skiers are able to make the leap directly from wedge turns to parallels turns perhaps, but in my experience, many are unable to do that so directly.  This is where wedge christies happen.  A certified ski instructor needs to know how to escort skiers through that phase, which is why the wedge christie demo is still part of the exam process.

I have a question.  It seems that once we teach the wedge we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get rid of the wedge or at lest trying to move beyond the wedge Christie.   For a skier who has been taught direct parallel and generally skis parallel,    do we see that skier use a occasional wedge or stem Christie when that skier senses a particular need?   Maybe we don't have this information but curious.    YM

DTP progressions are outside the scope of this thread in a way, but what I will say is that DTP is certainly an option in some cases, but this thread is about the wedge christie, specifically help for the exam,...

What I will say in response to your question is that correctly done wedges do not have the effect you are talking about.  Correctly taught wedge progressions include all the same elements of a well taught parallel lesson in terms of releasing and tipping the inside ski.  Its only a matter of magnitude, in parallel turns the inside foot tipping needs to happen sooner and bigger with better one footed balance then a wedge.

The lingering wedge effect you speak of that pops up in skiers through advanced level is caused by lack of releasing.  Its called an ab-stem.  I don't care whether you teach DTP or wedge progressions, if you don't teach a release, that problem will rear its head later.  I have a friend who is an excellent skier of 40 years.  I would definitely call him expert.  but when I slow things way way down and watch his feet I can see a small sequential move that is basically the wedge creeping in there.  Its very small and very quick and most people won't even detect it, including him.  But when I try to make him follow me with very slow steered turns it becomes more pronounced.  He hasn't skied a wedge in 40 years and nothing about wedge turns are making him do that.  What is making him do that is lack of focus on releasing.  I can have him do the TFR for half an hour and clean him up just like that, but old habits die hard.  15 years ago he was a big tail swinger.  He developed a lot of habits that have nothing to do with the wedge, but everything to do with not releasing and crossing over very well.  then the ab-stem comes out.

But a properly taught wedge progression can absolutely teach the skier to release properly from the get go.  A lot of instructors aren't doing that, I hear you, but that is why its on the exam and should be.   FWIW, I don't believe in DTP progressions, I teach a wedge progression every time unless the skier starts spontaneously skiing parallel, because maybe they played hocked or water skied a lot or something, then I may go there, but for 99% of the never ever population I teach a wedge progression every time, and as you know I am big on carving technique, that crowd is a very DTP kind of crowd.  To each their own, but I see more problems with DTP, so I teach wedge.  It does matter HOW its taught though.

It's simpler than that, edge releases from lessening of the edge angle instead of some contrived pressure release move is the key. At the one third phase we may, or may not use more flexing of the inside leg but that clean transition eliminates the need for any active flexing prior to that second third of the new turn. Gravity is already drawing us onto that downhill ski and will continue to do so until we face downhill (change the direction we are facing). Interrupting that to add an active foot to foot weight transfer only degrades the performance of this maneuver. It really is that simple and straight forward. It is a low level maneuver that gets so many conflicted when they insist on adding layers and layers of extra but superfluous moves to the task.

Maybe the moderator would like to move my question to a new thread as I do have a few more questions in mind.  Sorry for the inadvertent high jack.  YM

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogaman

Maybe the moderator would like to move my question to a new thread as I do have a few more questions in mind.  Sorry for the inadvertent high jack.  YM

YOU can start a new thread, you know.

Actually the question is what sort of wedge entry is being taught. Done well the release allows both skis to dive downhill even though both skis remain on big toe edges. The key is the outside ski flattens just enough to lose edge purchase. It never really goes totally flat in a wedge turn though because the maneuver itself prescribes opposing edge usage throughout the maneuver. Some mistake this to mean the edge angles do not change when all it really means is our steering and edging moves need to occur in a limited range of motion. The proof is easy to understand if we simply stand in a wedge stance and rotate the legs from the hips. The knees move laterally and the feet change edge angles just enough to facilitate the release of the outside ski's edge platform. Again it needs to be pointed out that the naturally occurring external forces will take care of most of the foot to foot weight transfer. Another issue is how the slope itself will cause one foot to be lower than the other and how that will change as we change direction. It is in my mind a separate issue though since the turn entry seems to be the focus of this thread. At best we might want to think of these as autonomic leg length changes that occur as we strive to balance on the moving platform.

As speed increases the magnitude of linear momentum increases as well and the re-establishment of an edge platform thus creates additional pressure into the snow and the reaction forces coming back from the snow also will increase proportionally. These higher force levels allow the early outside ski dominance so many here champion. It is at this level that active foot to foot weight transfers can be of value since we can use them to modify how fast or slow, long or short, round or asymmetrical that next turn will be. My contention is that speed demands we expand our RoM and modify the DIRT to handle the increases in the magnitude of the forces we are now experiencing and it is this factor alone that separates experts from beginners.

Edited by justanotherskipro - 3/24/15 at 8:23am

Soo...

Bob posted this one 8 years ago:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob Barnes

Essential fundamentals include
• The turn must begin with a release of the edge of the downhill (new inside) ski (not a pushoff from the platform of an engaged edge).

IMH (and possibly worthless) O, this is a major element missing from the skiing of many terminal intermediates and many older progressions. A number of posts in this thread seem to agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro

See what I mean. Weight is naturally on the old outside ski at the end of the turn and the skis are parallel and on corresponding edges. The edge release is accomplished by reducing the edge angle until the skis lose edge purchase. Done this way there is no active weight transfer and by default the new inside ski breifly has more weight on it. Centrifugal force from our linear inertial momentum combines with centripetal reaction forces coming up from the new edge platform to naturally shift weight to that new outside ski. The constant and equal bilateral steering effort thus causes the unequal friction underfoot to be why either ski turns quicker. Holding weight on that old outside ski might be a bit of an overstatement but the sentiment is good in that we are trying to not actively do a foot to foot weight transfer. The transition for this maneuver is not stepped, heel thrusted, stemmed, or like a white pass turn. Hope that makes sense.

Yes!  Note that, for most of us, in order to reduce the edge angle and accomplish the release, it is necessary to allow the COM to move down the hill at least slightly. I have considerable difficulty releasing the old downhill ski without such a move. That said, it's not necessary to push the COM down the hill. Gravity and turn forces will do that quite nicely, thank you.

Outside of antiquated teaching practices, why do so many people have trouble with releasing the old outside ski?

Well, it just feels risky. Someone who is not terribly confident on these long slippery things is being asked to give up a solid grip on the hill. And as it gets steeper, it feels more risky. Instructors need to recognize this psychological component. The ol' brain stem doesn't want to give up the old turn with one foot until the new one is well started with the other. Hence, the stem. For some exams, stems are a required demo to prove, among other things, that the candidate clearly knows the difference in mechanics between a wedge Christie and a stem Christie.

We should also note that the fundamentals of the pivot slip, the wedge Christie and the dynamic parallel are all very similar and they all require a release, first and foremost. After that, it's all adjustments to the DIRT. The pivot slip, by the way, shows that it is possible to execute a fully parallel rotation with no forward movement whatsoever - but it is surprisingly difficult, at least partially for the reasons JASP outlines.

Let go. Give in to the mountain, Butterfly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley

Yes!  Note that, for most of us, in order to reduce the edge angle and accomplish the release, it is necessary to allow the COM to move down the hill at least slightly. I have considerable difficulty releasing the old downhill ski without such a move. That said, it's not necessary to push the COM down the hill. Gravity and turn forces will do that quite nicely, thank you.

They will *IF* you release your CoM from the blockage being created by your leg.

Think of your leg to your CoM like your edge to your ski.  During a ski turn, the edge blocks the ski from side slipping down the hill.  Similarly, your leg blocks your CoM from moving down the hill.  In order to "ALLOW" your CoM to move down the hill without pushing it, you have to RELEASE it.

I will say it again, if you release your edge without releasing your CoM, your skis will just drift away from you. You actually want to release your CoM ahead of releasing your edges...as you inferred above. Releasing the CoM causes it to move across, which aides in releasing the edges, and you don't really want your edges to start drifting sideways either, so actually you want the edges to remain engaged a little longer then the CoM does by your leg.  If you actually try to release your edges first, the CoM will fall towards the ground on the uphill side as the skis drift away.

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