Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
Parallel: both skis are pointing in the same directing, and the gap between the skis stays constant. This is easiest done with both skis flat or both skis on edge. There is no requirement for a turn, or a particular type of turn, it's just the physical definition of parallel lines.
Yes. But technique and especially the size of the gap seem major sources of confusion. And I'm pretty sure blanket labels like 'old school' and 'new school' add to it. There appears to be some conceptual interference rooted in a blurry notion of 'what is no longer done'.
What I've noticed with amazement: Some newcomers restrictively associate "parallel" turns with narrow-stance turns. Are they still thinking of "wedeln" or the likes, and if so, why? And others confuse all wide-stance "edging" with "carving", even though they skid 95% of the time. Whereas the real difference today is between steered
turns and induced
turns (carved). That's the difference you can actually feel (and hear) as you ski. Even I can, and I'm really only a very casual skiier, though getting a little more ambitious in recent years.
I think the mistaken notion that 'new-school' skiing involves nothing but pure carving is creating a whole lot of confusion among beginners as to what carving actually is - i.e. more than a wider stance and a pair of short skis set on edge. Instead of accepting that they and everyone else will inevitably 'fail' to carve in many situations (and with good reason), they kid themselves that anything not resembling the 1970's is 'new school' and thus automatically 'carving'. It would be better to realise when one actually is
carving or skidding and to what degree (and why). The next step would then be to apply the techniques in more conscious and reasoned doses, and a third would be to re-commit everything to intuition.
I know that goes beyond the topic of this thread, but I'm wondering why absolute beginners with no experience of 20th century skiing fall prey to this particular flavour of confusion - which ought really to bother old geysers who don't think about skiing enough like myself, and be a total non-issue to today's novices. To me, it would seem that the initiator of this thread has a virtual birthright not
to harbour the questions he posed. But he's by no means untypical in voicing them nevertheless. So where do all those 'old-school' concepts live on to boggle minds without immediate cause to fret about them - and why is the old-school label frequently extended to techniques that actually remain perfectly en vogue? Where's the source of this unnecessary confusion? Skiing instructors with a passion for history lessons? Alpine scenes in old James Bond movies? Apres ski gossip with all the wrong people?
Seriously, I'm wondering whether images of 'wedel-style' skiiers remain so much part of popular culture that even youngsters have them engraved in their minds. Which would make modern skiing the antithesis of what people initially expect it to be. Which in turn generates stereotypes to combat stereotypes...