Yeah, that's fair...
Originally Posted by BigE
I understand the notion of the comma to be that the skis exit from the turn closer to fall-line -- there is a lot less pressure late in the turn than in a 'C' shaped turn.
With all respect, you say, you've been pressuring the top, and coming up with nice ROUND turns. To me, this sounds like release is simply too late. Release to me, means release of the CM/upper body.
I do not subscribe to the notion that late pressure will make you faster than early pressure. It makes no sense: resisting the downhill pull of gravity cannot make you faster, as you want to go downhill.....but there is a way it can make sense, if you are careful about the wording.
Here is the exampleL: if you lighten top and bottom, you end up skiing like Ligety.
But you have to revisit the definition of the top and bottom of the turn, and neutral. Let's face it, Ligety has a short but highly pressured top of turn, after a long neutral/preparation phase. The belly of his turn is short but highly pressured, his completion occurs quickly thereafter, again, to minimize the resistance to gravity......His turns are very very short in duration, with a LONG transition phase, most of which is spent unweighted. So the spot between edge neutral and initiation is not considered "the top of the turn" anymore it's light, just like after completion (ie. release of the upper body).
So now, if you look at what's really going in in Ligety's turns, they're sort of C shaped, but there is a heck of a lot less of that C, especially at the bottom than most......
...and I think that's probably the same as what I was talking talking about, which is how you describe the way Ligety is currently skiing. Interestingly enough, one of my teammates and I have been working on exactly what you're talking about, which is on the steeps, it's still a "C" but it's in a pretty small space horizontally and vertically, and there's a lot of light, gliding stuff in between.
There was another thread I was in recently where the discussion was, here's what you do in powder...no it isn't, here's what you really
do in powder...maybe, but here's what you should
do in powder...and what I said was, it's somewhat dependent on what the powder (shallow, deep, dense, light, and so forth) and the tools you are using, where one of my examples...and I have done this...is skiing powder on a pair of 223 cm DH skis.
I kind of hijacked this thread, so I promise 2 things:
(1) Greg, I really like the way you are skiing, take my suggestions for what it's worth...or not...and
(2) Here's a somewhat related/somewhat tangential thought that I'll offer for everyone's review, and then I'll shut up...and here 'tis....
My background is, I'm PSIA Level 3 Cert, taught for 5 years at Breckenridge, 1 year at Copper, 1 year at Gore Mt., NY. I started racing Masters about 20 years ago, and that has been a blast. I've gotten to race DH, which I always wanted to do, raced in 5 Masters Nationals and 4 Internationals, including the Masters World Criterium at Park City in 2001, definitely a high point. I train at Eldora in Colorado and race in RMM. Last year I got my Level 1 USSA coaching certification, which was a great learning experience.
In the fall, most of the folks on my team start free skiing early at Loveland in late October, we go to free skiing at Eldora in mid-November to running gates there to our winter RMM season. Usually, we start out on slalom skis because there ain't a lot of hill space early and it's the easiest tool to use to work on stuff. One of my teammates/coaches, Broc Thompson, who is the big dog on the porch in RMM and also races FIS (he's down to about 40 points in SL) agree on the same thing, and we beat up all the newbies about this constantly. Which is, don't spend all your time on SL skis
. Get on the GS boards, and if possible, bigger sticks than that. (This is, of course, in addition to all the other stuff in your quiver for skiing bumps, trees, powder, and so forth).
Why? Because it's great to do the Stenmark thingie and really work on the fine-tuning of your turn shape at low speeds, or increasing speeds, on SL skis...but if you spend all your time on SL skis, you're gonna get a false sense of how you're really standing on your skis, and moving on your skis, and using the forces and ski design.
So, accordingly, I try to spend at least a couple of hours a week on a pair of 201 SGs or longer making low edge angle, big radius turns on the flat....and yeah, on the steep, too. You can think you're standing exactly on the sweet spot on a pair of SLs, but the facts are that you can be a little off and still get an okay turn. To turn a pair of SL skis really
well, yeah, you have to be right on the money, but to turn them just okay, all you have to be is...just okay.
Once you get on a pair of Big Sticks...well, the game just changed, for two reasons: (1) If you ain't standing and moving efficiently and effectively, it won't be a question of a good/better/best turn shape, because there won't be any
shape at all. A big ski takes a good balancing act, solid fundamentals, and strong, positive moves, otherwise it'll just go straight. (2) A big ski won't do much of anything until it has some juice applied to it. I have a pair of 212 Atomic DHs I got from a kid on the US Team from California, and they won't do a thing until I'm doing at least 40...but at that point, provided I got the moves, it's just like being in a Porsche that felt like dog doo in stop and go traffic, but will suddenly average 90, no sweat, from Georgetown to Denver on I-70.
I'm not just talking about doing this as a you-know-what measuring contest. One of the skills we worked on...which you never
hear much about outside racing circles, which I think is unfortunate...in my Level 1 coaching clinic, was making turns in a tuck
. Low tuck, high tuck, mostly on the flat, then working into rolling terrain. It teaches you how to be clean, subtle, and how to use the forces and the ski rather than trying to do it all yourself...try it, you'll like it!