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What is the danger during transition when skis are flat? - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Arggg, I have some food for thought Mosh. Not all of the articles are finished and like so much else they are living documents. Too big for attachments here though. I'll post them as threads, if possible...
post #32 of 52
Strong neutral:

http://forums.epicski.com/showpost.p...7&postcount=16

Clearly, "functional tension" will play a central role.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
A good drill to acheive the strong neutral is to ski into neutral and stay there, allowing the skis to slide a bit before initiating the new turn.
This is a good exercise BigE describes here. I was introduce to this in my second year of instructing in a prep clinic. I like to utilize a progression to bring a skier up to the point of riding flat skis briefly in neutral. It is not as easy as it sounds.

For anyone interested, here is my progression to teach this.

Start in a hard edged traverse, two pencil lines in the snow across the hill. Then introduce an edge release to a flat ski during the traverse. This should result in the edges breaking loose but we should resist any twisting and steering of the feet, this is a pure tipping movement. Releasing the edges should result in a forward sideslip in the direction of travel but also with some slipping down the hil as well.

Next we want tip back onto our edges and two pencil lines in the snow. Perform this several in the traverse, in both directions across the hill until the skier is comfortable and successfull with the release and reengagement.

From here we work in several tip to release edges and tip engage edges, except that when we get close to the other side of the run we want tip to release, ride this forward sideslip for a second or two and then continue tipping down the hill into a turn which will bring us into position for another traverse where we will repeat the same sequence across the hill until we are ready to release and ride briefly into a turn again.

The final step would be to remove the extra edge release and engagement along with the traverse and perform a single release, briefly riding a flat ski between turns in connected turns.
post #34 of 52
I must admit that I have not done much park and pipe work but I can't think of a more effective way to find neutral in extremely variable terrain. Sure it includes pivoting but to do 360's the skis need to be really flat. The disciplined foot and leg movements it takes to do this are a good example of effective tension. As are the positioning of the pelvis and upper body (relative to the feet and the snow surface). One thing I have noticed is that there is not a lot of rigidity in any of these maneuvers. Which is why in post 12 (and in this post), I call it disciplined leg movements, instead of STRONG NEUTRAL. IMO it would be too easy to mistake strong for rigid.
post #35 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks BigE and RicB for the great details. I have one thing that I still can not figure out.

In the instantaneous moment when both skis are flat at a certain angle to the fall line, I can imagine that one can use his upper body to balance out so that he can still stay in balance momentarily. But when he stay long enough in this state what forces keep him from being pulled down the fall line. ie. what keep the skier slide downhill even though he looks travelling in his old direction by momentum?
If the skier were not on hard pack but on softer snow(laterally locked), would the skier still be able to stay in balance if his skis stay flat long enough?
post #36 of 52
As I see it Carver, when we flatten our skis we have two directions of force working on us, the direction of our momentum, and the direction that gravity wants to pull us downhill when we remove the resistance of our edges. Divide between the two directions of force and we have the direction our skis will momentarily slide when we flatten our skis and pause in this posture.

The upper body movement that you speak of, would be in my mind, to control our CoM relative to this direction and our BoS, as well as neutralize residual forces that might act to disturb our dynamic balance and our control over the skis. Of course upper body movement would not be the only movement and functional tensions happening at this time, and may actually destabilize our posture if they are over done.
post #37 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks RicB.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB View Post
As I see it Carver, when we flatten our skis we have two directions of force working on us, the direction of our momentum, and the direction that gravity wants to pull us downhill when we remove the resistance of our edges. Divide between the two directions of force and we have the direction our skis will momentarily slide when we flatten our skis and pause in this posture.

The upper body movement that you speak of, would be in my mind, to control our CoM relative to this direction and our BoS, as well as neutralize residual forces that might act to disturb our dynamic balance and our control over the skis. Of course upper body movement would not be the only movement and functional tensions happening at this time, and may actually destabilize our posture if they are over done.
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by carver_hk View Post
Thanks RicB.
Actually, my post was little too simplistic. I'm surprised someone didn't call me on it. At the low speeds of the exercise in a traverse, our momentum is close to our direction of travel, so the slide we introduce by flattening the skis we will be effected by the pull of gravity, and the slide will end up in between the two directions. IMO it is at these slow speeds that we really learn to let the tipping of the feet control our posture above our skis. At higher speeds momentum will win out of course, and when we flatten our skis we will slide in the direction our momentum takes us.

Something to consider in all this is that when flattening our skis at any kind of speed, is that we don't confuse a skidding, still turning ski, for a flat sliding ski. When we release from that critical edge angle, say in carve, the skis will start skidding long before the ski's edge is totally released. It is a precarious position to be in, riding a flat ski at any kind of speed at all, and the natural tendency is to keep some edge angle on the skis and just let them skid as opposed to slide. That flat ski exposes us to catching that outside edge, which is why I introduce this in a slow progression. At slow speeds we can play with the accuracy of our movements with little distraction and/or help from big momentum.

It is a good exercise IMO though as we will have a hard time pausing with flat skis if we aren't working from the feet up. When we drive these movements from the hip and torso, we are making the hips proceed ahead of the edge angle development, it becomes very hard to pause over a flat ski because our mass is ahead with respect to timing, and needs a new edge to catch it.

This would be a good exercise for you Carver, but the run in your video you sent me is too narrow to really get it working I would think.
post #39 of 52

Maybe a little O.T.

It seems that the flat ski thing changes with the kind of turn you are making.

Here is something that I have used for a while that may or may not be pertinent.

If you take a ski without the brake and whip it across a wide slope, it will follow its own sidecut until it is shooting straight down the hill. Of course, then it becomes the missile that we have all seen before.

The same happens if you are doing fast medium to large radius (arced) carved turns and instead of transitioning to the new edge, you let the skis run flat across the fall line. In the aforementioned neutral position, they will seek the fall line according to their sidecut. If you keep them flat the whole time, you will eventually be shooting straight down the fall line. Note that this does not work with skidded turns very well because your COM must be heading the same way that your skis are. Of course, you must make sure that you have room to do this according to the type of skis you are riding. Don't take SG skis on a narrow slope and expect to have room to let your skis seek the fall line.

I have found this drill very helpful for two things: It helps people to get comfortable having their body perpendicular to the slope while the skis are across the fall line. This is a similar position that I try to help people achieve on rails. It also helps them to realize that they can flatten out at any angle relative to the fall line. This helps them set up for rails and other park features that are not set up in the fall line.
post #40 of 52
Two things happen when making the transition from one edge to the other when carving. First: both skis are unweighted. Second: the transition should be so quick from edge to edge that, unless you are carving in (moguls or real heavy crud which I dought) you have a flat surface to deal with.
post #41 of 52
To me the ski tip seeking the fall line denotes a pressure difference and/or resistance differential over the length of the ski. As gravity takes over the skiers mass and direction of travel will align itself with falline eventually. This shows up with a well executed sideslip,,,,when the fall line changes the direction of travel will change too all things being equal, unless we control direction with pressure differences, as in a falling leaf.

That quickness through transition can mask issues of posture and control that this exercise will help out. IMHO And I'm not so sure that unweighted is a give either.
post #42 of 52
I'm not really getting this...the transistion (executed well) is where we get speed into our skiing...Take this lady :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLSwWo82e2M

If you press pause a coupla times you will see she gets up over her skis very well. She has good angles which create a tight arc which then gives her the space to let her skis run fast.

I'm pretty sure this is how to get good times in gs racing - that ability to let the skis travel unchecked for that transistion between turns. I think on the Canadian coaching courses they maybe call it phase 1...

Anyway, I wish I could ski like that...
post #43 of 52
Well the key words here are "executed well". Carver asked what are the dangers when skis are flat, and the thread has evolved into exercises that help to identify what "executed well" means versus the dangers.
post #44 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB View Post
Well the key words here are "executed well". Carver asked what are the dangers when skis are flat, and the thread has evolved into exercises that help to identify what "executed well" means versus the dangers.
I persue on this thread because I imagine when skiing pack snow with scattered small bumps the flat moment does present a real threat to balance. If we can stay in perfect balance at this moment we have a good start for the next turn be it a carve turn or a brush tail turn. I think the exercise you introduce is a good one. I ll try it out despite the space limit at my nearby ski center.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Progressions that focus on the body postion in the "strong neutral" can be developed, even when rebound energy or a bump has taken the skier off the snow. The key element being that the body alignment over the skis remains the same..
Does it mean that it is possible to develop the strong neutral into 'airbourne strong neutral' by making use of rebound leading the way to stivot?
post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB View Post
To me the ski tip seeking the fall line denotes a pressure difference and/or resistance differential over the length of the ski. As gravity takes over the skiers mass and direction of travel will align itself with falline eventually. This shows up with a well executed sideslip,,,,when the fall line changes the direction of travel will change too all things being equal, unless we control direction with pressure differences, as in a falling leaf.
I am guessing that this was in response to my post.

I agree totally, but that was not really my point. The point of the drill is that you can be completely stable while riding your skis flat across the fall line if that is where your momentum is going. It will also help you understand what being perpendicular to the slope feels like. Once you can master that, your skis will seek the path of least resistance down the fall line and your sidecut will be what gets you through that 90 degree arc.

Most students and instructors feel really sketchy about this at first, but once they get it, it is a nice "a ha" moment.
post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by carver_hk View Post
Does it mean that it is possible to develop the strong neutral into 'airbourne strong neutral' by making use of rebound leading the way to stivot?
Yes.
post #47 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Yes.
Thanks for confirming my idea.
post #48 of 52
Jumping in late. I think there are two dangers. (and both have been referred to above--so I'm just repackaging).
1. Physical danger: Catching the downhill edge. When you're flat, you don't really know where that edge is. So if you stall during flat, it can suddenly dig in--causing the imbalance or crash.
2. Technical danger: Sweet temptation to pivot and oversteer. With some exceptions, once you've started down this road in a turn, it's really hard to regain the integrity of the line or platform.

The solution, most of the time, is to move "through" flat, without stalling there--from edge to edge at a steady pace. The degree of angle of the old platform-->flat-->new platform can vary infinitely. What should not vary is the fact that you keep moving (or rolling, or changing edges, or tipping--whatever you want to call it.)
post #49 of 52
Quote:
The solution, most of the time, is to move "through" flat, without stalling there--from edge to edge at a steady pace. The degree of angle of the old platform-->flat-->new platform can vary infinitely. What should not vary is the fact that you keep moving (or rolling, or changing edges, or tipping--whatever you want to call it.)
This is really an important point Weems brings up. It is easy to loose sight of the fact that movement is what it is all about when discussing particulars.

Even with an exercise like pausing in neutral,,,what we are after with this exercise can be thought of like taking or lifting a still photo from a frame in the movie we are in the middle of making. What this means is that if we are moving effectively up to the point that we pause, we will be successfull in our pause, our still/pause will feel right and look right. If we aren't moving effectively up to this point we will have to make adjustments in our movements coming up to our still/pause, so that we will be successfull at pausing in neutral. We change how we move within the movie we are making so our still taken from that movie is successfull and feels right. Which should also lead to our movements moving out of our pause/still photo being more effective too.

To me this is one of the beauties and freedoms of skiing,,,,every turn is an opportunity for a retake and we have the lead role. We won't end up on the editors cutting floor. Well if we do, we simply dust off and roll the cameras again.
post #50 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by philsthrills View Post
It seems that the flat ski thing changes with the kind of turn you are making.
I have found this drill very helpful for two things: It helps people to get comfortable having their body perpendicular to the slope while the skis are across the fall line. This is a similar position that I try to help people achieve on rails. It also helps them to realize that they can flatten out at any angle relative to the fall line. This helps them set up for rails and other park features that are not set up in the fall line.

Exactly! Every discipline has it's own unique technical requirements. Freeriders and parkers have expanded what we thought was possible on skis. So in the context of the original question flat is a place to pass through. Not so if you play in the park.
post #51 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB View Post
If we aren't moving effectively up to this point we will have to make adjustments in our movements coming up to our still/pause, so that we will be successfull at pausing in neutral. We change how we move within the movie we are making so our still taken from that movie is successfull and feels right. Which should also lead to our movements moving out of our pause/still photo being more effective too.
I think this is a good description of how to achieve.
post #52 of 52


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Danger? The ability to release and balance on flat skis is a required phase of the transition. So it doesn't make a lot of sense without more information and some context. What was he talking about when he made this comment?

My opinion is that most people fear a flat ski so they spend as little time possible "unedged". If you think about it though, what is the worst thing that happens? You release the edges and you slide down the hill. If you have enough forward momentum you will still move across the hill until Gravity pulls you into the fall line. If you have little to no forward momentum, Gravity will pull you into the fall line immediately. It will also cause the tips to turn into the fall line sooner than the tails, because the bindings are usually mounted slightly aft.
I see this a lot in newbie instructors when they have to do patience turns, pivot slips and even sometime in RRX turns (they over edge them). The movement isn't hard but it does take a big mental leap of faith. I think this is a milestone in a skier's development and I try to teach it as early as possible. Usually in the beginner corral.


I find that I have no trouble when skiing fast and aggressively, but a bit of different story when skiing slowly.  I seemed to have focused too much on high edge angles and am now not releasing well while skiing slowly.  I've been working on pivot slips, releasing wedge turns and the drill that Ric (I think ) mentions. 

 

JASP, what do you teach in the beginner corral?  What is the USSA drill that you mentioned?  Any others?

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