EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Carving old style or new - lots in common
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Carving old style or new - lots in common

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Okay, I have been reading a lot on here about carving, and been trying it on the hill, and have come to the conclusion that if you can carve an old fashioned straight ski (at speed), there is little difference on the new skis. On the old skis, if you could carve well at speed, there was little vertical motion, the weight shift was almost like an absorbtion as the skis transitioned under your body. Yes, the new skis have a far more subtle shift, but the technique does not seem as different as many people seem to make it out to be. Granted, the new skis allow you to skis subtly without vertical weight shift at lower speeds, but for steep, short radius turns, the techniques are extremely similar. Hey, flame away and show my what I am missing, but for an advanced skier, the switch to the carving skis really is not that much of a technique change.

When I was skiing straight skis, my real goal was to minimize the weight shift in the vertical direction, trying to make it as subtle as possible. (Keep in mind that I was an instructor in Canada and we were all taught the vertical extension/weight shift style.) The new skis allow me to do it more easily, but the technique is not as radically different as I was led to believe. I used to spend about 60 days/winter on my old boards and then took YEARS off, but now back into skiing and was really concerned about learning everything all over again.
post #2 of 23
I don't think the point is that the technique has changed, but rather that the level of technique that is realistically acheivable by a recreational skier has changed.

I was happy pushing my tails on my old straight skis. I'm not happy doing so now (and I've made a lot of progress this year). If you were already past that on old skis, you're right, there are minimal changes.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
I don't think the point is that the technique has changed, but rather that the level of technique that is realistically acheivable by a recreational skier has changed.

I was happy pushing my tails on my old straight skis. I'm not happy doing so now (and I've made a lot of progress this year). If you were already past that on old skis, you're right, there are minimal changes.
Since I was out of the sport for so long, I had assumed that the new skis required a totally different technique (I was led to believe this from some newer friends who did not know what level of skier I used to be). They got me really nervous about getting back into it, saying I would not be able to ski using the same techniques. Turns out, I have been giving them all lessons every time we have gone out this winter (not on carving, just general body position, how to attack a fall line, etc. Been 20 years since I taught and do not want to impose my old weight shift technique given today's skis)

I will say that the recreational skier should be able to enjoy the sport a lot more now and be able to confidently venture onto parts of the mountain that a straight ski would have made difficult for them. I applaud the progress in equipment, I just wish people in general would invest even 10 minutes a day improving their technique (That hasn't changed over the years!).
post #4 of 23
The newer skis simply make the more advanced carving techniques readily available to beginning skiers giving them more control and enjoyment. Nothing wrong with that. They also make it so that truly advanced skiers (when carving) can push the limits more because the finesse and ease of edging allows for more control over precise edging conditions.
post #5 of 23
There is no "one technique". There are however, techniques that are newer that do utilize newer ski shapes in carving more effectively.
post #6 of 23
I'm with you HudsonHacker. It's a subtle difference. Not having had the benefit of your training, I don't find a difference so much in up and down weight transfer, but more in the fore-aft weight transfer, unless I'm talking about very stiff skis on hardpack, when I would have to get a little dynamic in the vertical direction at slower speeds to have enough force to bend the tips on the old speed skis. It's still the same basic principle: bend the skis to the shape you want and ride the edges around the turn.

I think a lot of people just assume that everybody on old skis was doing an unweighted pivoted or steered turn all the time.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by HudsonHacker View Post
...but for steep, short radius turns, the techniques are extremely similar.
One might argue that for steep, short radius turns, we are no longer talking about carved turns. Alas, that argument has been beat to death here.

The technique changes for modern skis vs straight skis are subtle but important if one wants to get the most out of their gear. In addition to the focus on turning tips vs tails, the "short version" I've often taught is that modern skis require more tipping and less turning/guiding of the feet. For high end skiers, the differences are no greater than the subtle adaptations one needs to make when going from groomers to ice to bumps to different kinds of powder. But there were many high end skiers that tried the new shapes when they first came out and said "These skis suck!" because they did not make the adaptations required. Some very high end skiers could readily interpret the higher levels of feedback that shaped skis provided and automagically made the needed subtle adjustments without consciously thinking about them.

Welcome back to the party. It's been a hoot watching older skiers being able to stay in the sport longer because the sport is less tiring and watching new skiers rip carves in a fraction of the time it took us old timers to learn. Regardless of the impact on techniques, the impact on the sport has been significant.
post #8 of 23
Ghost: I think a lot of people just assume that everybody on old skis was doing an unweighted pivoted or steered turn all the time.

But their assumption is in fact correct. The large majority of skiers rely on unweighted pivot-entry turns, most of the time. It takes a lot of discipline and considerable skills to avoid this.
post #9 of 23
Technique hasn't changed since Warren Witherall published How the Racers Ski in 1972. The two things that have changed is that shape skis and grooming have made race techniques effective at moderate speeds, and fat skis have made it easier to develop the lateral balance skills needed in powder. Those two things allow ordinary people to ski as well as only gifted athletes could 30 years ago. Every thing else is a detail.

BK
post #10 of 23
I remember my learning my first pure carved turns (ones that left 2 clean rail road like tracks in the snow). I think it was the early to mid 90's. I was on 198 cm (or so) Salomon 3s's at a small Minnesota area.

And yes they did require speed. Thing I remember most is that they had to be really loooong radius. (3 to 5 turns on our short slope). To tighten up the turn even a little bit took a huge amount of pressure on the tips of the skis. To tighten the turn even more (without starting it with a pivot) resulted in the tails breaking away and leaving a bananna or cresent moom shape track in the snow.

But it was fun and resulted in a smooth and rewarding transition to my first shaped ski. I now ski a 161 cm Volkl Supersport (13 m turn radius/sidecut) and am having a great time making much tighter turns that generate huge g forces. (Assuming the hill is not crowded and I feel comfortable with the speed)
post #11 of 23
We had to use considerably more rotary action on the straight skis if we weren't going fast. We could not bend the skis enough at slower (recreational skiing speeds) to allow the ski to bend and get the sidecut to work. Now, a recreational skier can do what only the racers were able to do because of the greater forces that their speed created.

This is why most of us recreational skiers no longer want to ski on race skis. We want a ski that is soft enough to bend at slow speeds.
post #12 of 23
Hudson- I'm right there with you! If you search this issue , you'll find countless threads which debate this fact. But there really is no debate- you are right!

Sure there have been some adaptations and modification. But the general technique is still pretty much as it was 30 years ago... And the new equipment has made it easier for the average skier to attain some technique which was difficult long ago. But the fundamentals are still there.

Ghost and TomB- You are right, many people did have limited skills re: up-unweighting and twisting... But as Hudson stated in his opening post- upper level skiers didn't always need to do that...
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by vail snopro
Sure there have been some adaptations and modification. But the general technique is still pretty much as it was 30 years ago... And the new equipment has made it easier for the average skier to attain some technique which was difficult long ago. But the fundamentals are still there.
post #14 of 23
HudsonHacker,

I agree that the modern movement pattern hasn't changed that much for shaped skis, but not that many skiiers really used a lateral turn initiation on streight skis. What is different is streight skis allow higher edge angles and the ability to do a pure carve.

The biggest change in technique I see is having to move more with the equipment to keep from getting in the back seat. Shaped skis tend to travel more along their length where streight skis were often skidded sideways and easier to keep up with.

RW
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by vail snopro View Post
Hudson- I'm right there with you! If you search this issue , you'll find countless threads which debate this fact. But there really is no debate- you are right!

Sure there have been some adaptations and modification. But the general technique is still pretty much as it was 30 years ago... And the new equipment has made it easier for the average skier to attain some technique which was difficult long ago. But the fundamentals are still there.

Ghost and TomB- You are right, many people did have limited skills re: up-unweighting and twisting... But as Hudson stated in his opening post- upper level skiers didn't always need to do that...
There're so many old-school skiers who twist and skid to turn that the stereotype is correct: "old-school techniques don't work with new shaped skis", FOR THOSE SKIERS.

But for quite a few BETTER skiers from the old-school day who already know how to carve in limited sidecut skis. The stereotype doesn't fit.

I love the statement "The new shaped skis make carving, a skill only available to some of the very few good skier in the past, possible to average skiers." Well, HudsonHacker, you're one of those "very few", very good skiers!
post #16 of 23
It still cracks me up....

There are so many skiers who, while on straight skis, were the classic push and shove, twist 'em and throw 'em, who now on shape skis claim to be able to carve. Yes, some have calmed down to allow the ski to do more of the work, and they have more or less become the park and arc crowd.

But if you watch most of these previously described skiers closely, you will find their fundamentals are no more developed than they were on the straight skis... they still push and shove, etc, and think they are carving sweetly....

And boy, they are sure sold on how great the new skis let them ski... lol

OK, Maybe I'm being a bit sarcastic- but hasn't everybody either seen, heard, or been that person?

Good fundamentals are still required, regardless how good the equipment becomes. And unfortunately, most skiers do not spend nearly enough time focusing on them. Sure, things are getting easier, but it is not automatic!

The saddest part of my observations is that many "pro's" are the worst protagonists of this lot! They rely far too much on the equipment, rather than skill, to get them down the hill. Not that using the equipment is a bad thing, but it's not the ONLY thing. And for many of these one trick ponies, it is all they have! And therefore, it becomes all they teach.

Let's hear it for fundamentals... and hope one day they return to the forefront of good skiing!
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Let's hear it for fundamentals... and hope one day they return to the forefront of good skiing!
Good Post VSP,

When I am assigned a group lesson and tell the class that we will be working on fundamentals, all eyes and ears of the class are focused on everything I say and demonstrate. I think many skiers know they are lacking in fundamentals in some way and think mastering fundamentals will fill in the gaps in their skiing.

RW
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
Well, HudsonHacker, you're one of those "very few", very good skiers!
Or one of those very, very BAD skiers who used every black or double black as their own personal DH race course.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Or one of those very, very BAD skiers who used every black or double black as their own personal DH race course.
You mean the ones standing basically straight up on their skis, but since the poles are tucked into their armpits they think they are in a DH stance? No, I am not one of those, but I have seen my fair share of them over the years. The parka is usually unzipped as well and flapping behind them, augmenting the feeling of speed.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by HudsonHacker View Post
You mean the ones standing basically straight up on their skis, but since the poles are tucked into their armpits they think they are in a DH stance? No, I am not one of those, but I have seen my fair share of them over the years. The parka is usually unzipped as well and flapping behind them, augmenting the feeling of speed.
No. I mean bad in the sense of naughty. The ones doing 80 mph on open public runs with no fencing or course preparation. The same people who treat the public roads as their own personal Isle of Man TT (I got better).
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
No. I mean bad in the sense of naughty. The ones doing 80 mph on open public runs with no fencing or course preparation. The same people who treat the public roads as their own personal Isle of Man TT (I got better).
The only time I really open them up is when I am night skiing and the place is deserted. Even then it is only high speed GS turns, but seems so much faster under the lights!

Never could figure out the need to downhill; I spend enough time waiting in lines, so to rush to get back to that line always seemed illogical to me.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
Good Post VSP,

When I am assigned a group lesson and tell the class that we will be working on fundamentals, all eyes and ears of the class are focused on everything I say and demonstrate. I think many skiers know they are lacking in fundamentals in some way and think mastering fundamentals will fill in the gaps in their skiing.

RW
Totally Agree! Any time I had a student that wanted to learn to bump ski, I worked on their ability to do short radius turns on a steep GROOMED slope controlling their speed. If they weren't interested in starting that way, I would gracefully bow out and let someone else work with them. Too many people will never reach their potential as a skier because their fundamentals are weak. Sometimes taking a few steps back allows you to move forward at an accelerated rate. Want to learn how to carve...let me see you do a good stem christie.
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
HudsonHacker,
The biggest change in technique I see is having to move more with the equipment to keep from getting in the back seat. Shaped skis tend to travel more along their length where streight skis were often skidded sideways and easier to keep up with.

RW
Ron,

It took me a few days to figure that out. I kept ending up on the tails of my shaped GS skis and couldn't figure out what was wrong. There is a need to be more aware of your forward/backward balance on the new skis. Once I figured out the need to pressure different parts of the ski, the started to really track around the corners.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Carving old style or new - lots in common