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# Skiing on edge

Chris
When you're moving the "centripetal force" created by your momentum puts the weight on your outside ski: if you have enough momentum, you can have your weight on your right ski, lean to the left and PICK UP you left ski and you still won't fall over. No way to practice this at home though. But Lito's book is a great choice for lerarning how to make that transition to parallel.
If you stand in the corner formed by a kitchen countertop and grab onto the counter edge with each hand, you can roll both feet onto their left edges while maintaining most of the pressure on your right instep. Then you can roll back to where you're standing on the bottoms of both feet and gradually roll to the right edges while applying most of the pressure to your left instep.

You can do basically the same thing standing in the middle of a standard doorway, but let your shoulder keep you from toppling over. The kitchen counter corner works better for me.
1. Yup, standing on your kitchen floor it will be a little confusing. Think about going very quickly around a corner in your car. You get pushed into the door. When you're moving and turning you won't fall over if you lean into the turn, just like a motorcycle has to lean in the corners.

2. Comming soon.
2. How skis really work:

a) Soft snow. If you stand on a ski in soft snow, it acts like a beam. You push down in the middle, and the snow pushes up all along the base. The ski bends into a curve, just like a beam supported in the middle by a single post with a load distributed on it. If you then tip to the left this curve will look like ) and if you tip to the right, the curve will look like this (. The skis have a knife edge along them which wants to cut into the snow along it's length. The tipped ski will move forward in a curve as it cuts the snow.

b) Hardpack and shaped skis. The ski has an hour-glass shape, being skinny in the middle and wide at the tips and tails. If you tip the ski up on a bit of an angle on the floor, it will only touch down at the tip and tail. If you push the middle down so that the ski touches the floor along it's whole edge, you will have pushed it into a curved shape. The bigger the tipping angle, the more you have to push it down and the more curved the shape of the line where the edge meets the floor will be. So on hardpack, just tipping the ski with weight on it puts a curved edge in contact with the snow. As you go forward, this curved edge cuts a curved path. Your only task is to balance on the ski and go around the curve with it.
SCS, you're describing a technique called carving, where the skis produce the turn for you as a result of simply tipping them up on edge. I wouldn't advice going right from a wedge turn, to carving. There's a stepping stone skill you need to learn first called leg steering. Leg steering lets you control the sharpness of your turns via how much leg steering power you apply to your skis. Leg steering provides you a wider range of usable turn shapes than does carving. You really should have steering skills at your disposal before diving into carving, so you have the ability to quickly modify your carving turn shapes when needed.
Ghost and Rick, you both have helped to understand, although it is still somewhat confusing. Rick this type of stepping stone, could you explain it in a little more detail?

Ghost: when I try to tip my feet (not in skis but at home) I cant put pressure on my downhill foot, which is what i am used to in the wedge turn. I tried to do the doorway and countertop deal but it just didn't work.
Start your skis off in a wedge and when you turn try and look up hill a bit
and keep standing up straight. By looking up hill a bit at the end of your turn the hill itself should slow you down. Practise this a few times and
when you get used to the hill slowing you down you should end up with
your skis parrarel. This is a non ski intruction theory but one that worked
for me and I was eventually able to start and stop with the skis parrael
all the time.
SouthCarolingskier,

Rick has given you the missing element (skill) in your beginner progression lesson. Bravo, Rick! You need to guide the skis by turning the femor in the hip sockets, tip first, foot and tail of the ski following the path.

In the wedge turn, you are given the edge by the shape of the wedge (A). By turning the skis and balancing between the skis, your weight shifts to the outside ski. As you ski a little faster using wedge turns, more weight moves to the outside ski allowing the inside ski to flatten on the snow and match the outside ski (or parallel with it).

A parallel turn has the same elements as a turn ending parallel, but in the transition between turns, both skis are tipped to corresponding edges simotaniousally as they are guided towand the new turn direction (easier said than done for many). I suggest you take a lesson from a qualified (or PSIA Certified) instructor. The instructor can put you on the right path of blending edging, turning the skis and weight distribution.

I hope this makes sence to you.

RW
I'm going to jump on this one regarding looking up the hill. While it is true that I start some lessons with having a person "look with their face, not with their shoulders (I hold their shoulders so they can't), by the end of the lesson .... doing linked turns, I want you looking down the hill period! By looking with their face .. I have induced slight pressure to initiate that first turn or two ... but then ... explain that I have tricked them (and why) ... once they get the feeling of pressure to turn the ski we carry on.

At that point (when we start linked turns), in a gliding wedge using pressure (long/short leg) ... I have them pretend they are taking a video of the parking lot at the bottom of the hill and I don't want to see any trees or lifts along side the hill. I want a "quiet upper body" with turns initiated at the feet/ankles .... period!

Introduction of upper body rotation is not going to help and will just start a bad habit that will have to be dealt with later. This poster is already skiing blue runs.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by south carolina skier Ghost and Rick, you both have helped to understand, although it is still somewhat confusing. Rick this type of stepping stone, could you explain it in a little more detail?
SCS, so I don't have to reinvent the wheel, I'm going to provide a link for you to another site in which I've been composing a series of instructional articles for skiers such as yourself. Scan down the page until you find my post (under the poster name FASTMAN) titled "MEAT AND POTATOES,,,,, part 2". That particular entry deals specifically with leg steering. Might be a good idea to examine the other MEAT AND POTATOES entries too, to provide some context, some prerequisite skills, and some later direction to go in your learning. I'd suggest ignoring the tangent discussions that take place between the MEAT AND POTATOES entries for the time being. They tend to just cause unnecessary confusion.

Moderators; please don't delete this link/post. I have no financial interest in that site, and none are derived by people reading my work. I do it only out of courtesy, and offer it here simply in an attempt to provide assistance to South Carolina Skier. Thanks.
Guys, thanks for all your help and I will get that lesson to a least get me started in the right track.

Chris
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Yuki I'm going to jump on this one regarding looking up the hill. While it is true that I start some lessons with having a person "look with their face, not with their shoulders (I hold their shoulders so they can't), by the end of the lesson .... doing linked turns, I want you looking down the hill period! By looking with their face .. I have induced slight pressure to initiate that first turn or two ... but then ... explain that I have tricked them (and why) ... once they get the feeling of pressure to turn the ski we carry on. At that point (when we start linked turns), in a gliding wedge using pressure (long/short leg) ... I have them pretend they are taking a video of the parking lot at the bottom of the hill and I don't want to see any trees or lifts along side the hill. I want a "quiet upper body" with turns initiated at the feet/ankles .... period! Introduction of upper body rotation is not going to help and will just start a bad habit that will have to be dealt with later. This poster is already skiing blue runs.
The looking up the hill to slow myself down was a technique I used to
progress away from using a wedge to slow me down. When I was able
get a consistant parraell turn my next step was to be able
to ski with my upper body pointing down the hill all the time. I was able
to teach myself this by pretending there was a boss I did not like at
the bottom of the hill and I had to try and hit them by not taking my
eyes off them. By practising this imaginary exercise my problem of
getting my upper body outside the fall line went away. A similar
exercise could possibly be used for a kid and having a baloon at the bottom of the hill for them to ski down and pop.
Sorry Cassina but that band aid just doesn't work in the long run. Looking up hill for any turn initiation is flat out wrong.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Yuki Sorry Cassina but that band aid just doesn't work in the long run. Looking up hill for any turn initiation is flat out wrong.
Let me just say this. It would probably be best for you to take another lesson from a experienced skier. It seems as if you are more of a hands on learner, which i am to. I think you should take another lesson if you are having trouble understanding. As helpfull as members are trying to be, in my oppinion it is aways easier for me to learn by watching someone do it. Just my two cents. Sorry I couldnt be more helpfull.
I'm not an instructor but saw this on "recent posts" and had two suggestions from personal experience learning to ski.

1 - Read "The All Mountain Skier" by R. Mark Elling, chapters 1 - 6. Best off-slope reading to understand what you're going to do when you're back on skis.

2 - Roller blades (along with helmet and wrist guards). First skate enough to get strong and comfortable on these things. Then go to a gentle and nicely paved down slope -- and skate/ski down it, making "S" turns with both skates to control your speed. "Wedge" turns aren't an option. Best non-skiing activity to prep you for the real thing.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming - instructors and pros, please correct if you think these ideas are off track.
Going from the shallow water to the deep end with out first learning how to swim is a bad idea! So is jumping from a wedge based turn to a carved turn.
Take a lesson from a good instructor, learn about traversing, side slipping, step turns. hockey stops, etc.
MrDave says it well – “Rule #1 Have Fun!"

I gotta throw in my two cents……Look DownhillPERIOD! (except when merging trails, of course)

RonWhite nails it with “By turning the skis and balancing between the skis, your weight shifts to the outside ski. As you ski a little faster using wedge turns, more weight moves to the outside ski allowing the inside ski to flatten on the snow and match the outside ski (or parallel with it).”

Steering and edge control (ie allowing the ski(s) to skid or slip laterally) are skills you will develop in this phase. With miles and more speed, higher edging and more scarving (skidded carving) will result. Balance and weight transfer will improve as well.

Hey! I gotta tell ya – Take a (some) lesson(s) from a certified PSIA or PMTS instructor early in the season and periodically throughout your ski lifetime. I can’t emphasize this enough! You’ll learn more in a shorter time than years of self instruction!

I’m thinking that because you’re already familiar with the wedge a PSIA instructor may be the way to go, save the PMTS for after you have more experience. Wonder if that comment will start a thread?

Rule# 2 - Have Fun. If you disagree with Rule #2, refer to Rule #1.
When taught properly, the PSIA narrower "gliding wedge" ... is not a full wedge turn and leads to parallel skiing via edging and pressure in a few more lessons.

Use the search engine for last years .. and the year before (ad naseum), PMTS/PSIA "discussions".
Carolina
cya
Quote:
 basically moving your knees side to side
NO! The knee is not made to bend sideways.

What you're asking for is easier than you think. Just lift the right big toe edge of the ski off the snow to turn right. The movement starts in the ankle. Kneale's description of allowing the whole body to tip is a good one. Just as a bicycle leans into the turn, the skier does something similar.

Here's Anja Paerson with a beautiful demonstration of how the best skiers in the world do exactly what you're asking about.

Some of us disagree with the advice above about steering the ski with rotation of the leg--not needed and often not the best way to sk, altho the standard way turning is taught. Lito's book you have is somewhat out of date, but the basics are still good. Stick with it.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by ts01 2 - Roller blades (along with helmet and wrist guards). First skate enough to get strong and comfortable on these things. Then go to a gentle and nicely paved down slope -- and skate/ski down it, making "S" turns with both skates to control your speed. "Wedge" turns aren't an option. Best non-skiing activity to prep you for the real thing.
You can do the 'S' turns on the flats. It is safer. Downhills on blades can cause lots of trouble, especially when learning a movement. At best, going downhill on skates too early will give you a serious A-frame. At worst, you'll break your tailbone.

Make 'S' turns with equal edge angles on the flats. Try to figure out how to maintain your speed with the 'S' turn. (Hint: think cross-over/toppling) THEN you should try a very gentle downhill. Don't do it before you can propel yourself with your turns.

### Pick up a video as well

SC Skier - Lito's videos helped me visualize all this stuff and I've found them to be a great companion to his books. Good words of advice in all the replies, but there's nothing like seeing it in action. Good luck, rickp
Guys, thanks for all the replies. I am just going to take it one step at a time. I will add the part about going faster and making it easier to be parralel makes sense. Last year when I started getting more confident I did find it easier to get parralel on the skis during my turns. The slower I went the more difficult it seemed to get parralel. I will slowly try to incorporate getting totally on edge but for the time being just work on totally getting all my weight on one ski to turn and bring the light ski (uphill ski) parralel. Hopefully this will be a good way to start and that it what Lito teaches in his book I have been reading. Do you guys think that is the best way to go for now plus getting a lesson.

Chris
Rollerblades are great for practising ski carving movements. One thing to note when you're using rollerblading for ski training in particular is when you get to the point where your speed starts to creep up, be aware of the annoying and painful road rash that you get if you "lose an edge" and slide out on your side. When I'm doing ski-specific training on blades, I wear hockey pants for leg protection. Good point earlier about starting the "S" turns on flats.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by south carolina skier Guys, thanks for all the replies. I am just going to take it one step at a time. I will add the part about going faster and making it easier to be parralel makes sense. Last year when I started getting more confident I did find it easier to get parralel on the skis during my turns. The slower I went the more difficult it seemed to get parralel. I will slowly try to incorporate getting totally on edge but for the time being just work on totally getting all my weight on one ski to turn and bring the light ski (uphill ski) parralel. Hopefully this will be a good way to start and that it what Lito teaches in his book I have been reading. Do you guys think that is the best way to go for now plus getting a lesson. Chris
I bought Lito's DVDs for myself and my wife. We watched them in the evenings, after the kids were out, and found them to be very helpful... best wishes.
-Z
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