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pressure distribution and speed

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I though that pressure should be evenly applied to the entire skis to get faster. But I was told that pressure applied near the tail at the end of turn is even faster. I have a feeling that pressure applied to the tail means a non-clean carving and would drag down the speed.
So is it really faster and if so what is the reason behind? Has it got to do with skis design?
post #2 of 14
All I can tell you is what I tend to do and comment accordingly, there is likely to be other techniques, I don't pretend to be the final authority and I'm not an instructor.

Also, dispite having skiied for more years than I'm willing to admit my experience is almost entirely on piste... and hard piste at that. I couldn't tell you how much of this, if any, is applicable in powder. Did quite a bit of racing when I was younger, too.

Basically I tend to initiate slightly forward and go to the center when I lay into the turn looking to bend the ski in a uniform manner. While edges are fully engaged and at the point of maximum G's in the turn, weight can come back a little to load the tail of the ski for some added pop to accelerate you out of the turn. BUT make sure you hold on and get back over them immediately or you'll get ever further back until you're on your butt. If you try this going too slow the ski won't bend enough to give you the rebound to shoot you out of the turn. You're trying to produce an effect similar to a watermelon seed being spit out from between your fingers when squeezed.

Allot will be influenced by the ski you're on. If it's a mushy begginer's ski there may not be enough guts in the tails to get any pop at all, you might just induce a skid. Another matter if it's a hot carver with a race pedigree. These skis tend to have a stiff tail and the bindings mounted further forward giving you more tail relative to the size of the ski. Beware, however, that these skis WILL give you that acceleration... in fact if you over do it they may just jet out from under you and it's "GAME OVER".

In the right dosage it's that tendency for the skis to jet that you want to learn to control and take advantage of. You'll have to acquire a feel for the sweet spot of your ski and the not so sweet rearward point where things start to get aggresive, then experiment.

The best resource to see this technique being exploited fully is to observe how a racer shifts his (or her) weight while moving through the gates. On this site you can find some sequential shots of racers and it's pretty easy to see when they're employing the tails to get that kick you're after.

Steve
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Procreator View Post
Another matter if it's a hot carver with a race pedigree. These skis tend to have a stiff tail and the bindings mounted further forward giving you more tail relative to the size of the ski. Beware, however, that these skis WILL give you that acceleration... in fact if you over do it they may just jet out from under you and it's "GAME OVER".
Thank you for sharing your experience. It helps me to understand.
post #4 of 14
Carver hk, are you trying to go faster and if so, why? If you are on a race course you usually dont want to go faster, you simply want to be able to keep it together at higher speeds. If you are outside gates, simply take a straighter line.

You usually apply pressure to the ski tips in order to get them engaged in turning so when you start your turn you should do just that. On modern carving skis you also want to keep arcing and turning through apex and the low C-part of the turn so you need to keep that tip pressured all the way through. If you dont your ski stops turning and your turn will not be carved evenly and not finished correctly. Letting your weight slip back behind neutral at the end of the turn will most likely cut your turn short and get you in the back seat. That will not make you faster. Being centered and balanced is allways faster. If you look at SG and DH skiers they are surpircingly far forwards even in a tuck.

In cross country skiing skating style the technique is to not skate with the ski out and back, you should push that ski forward and out and off your heel. The movement is like standing on one foot and jumping backwards. The same kind of movement can be used on slalom skis if you need to gain speed on flats. I know that modern carving pressure controll can be described as starting the turn with pressure on tip and ending at the tail at the finish. If that is ultimately faster outside advanced level gate skiing I will not pass judgement on but staying centered and pressuring the tips through the whole turn is more important and makes for great cross under transitions and an evenly arced turn radius.

General rule, mounting the binding further back will make your skis run faster but mounting them further forward will make them turn easier and keep them arcing with less risk for tail skidding and drifting.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
tdk - Thanks for your response. I am not after higher speed. Just want to understand more.

What you said have no conflict with my understanding so far. My understanding goes like this. A bended skis when release will extend both ways. A racing stock skis have a sharp tail. If more pressure is applied to the sharp tail, the unbending will propel the skis forward(because the tail snaps the snow and therefore stops the extension) and therefore throws the skier backward.

Just come up to mind that if I use more ankle flexing to apply more pressure to the tail then I might go faster and at the same time compensated for being throwed backward. Is this move reasonable?


Understanding
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by carver_hk View Post
Just come up to mind that if I use more ankle flexing to apply more pressure to the tail then I might go faster and at the same time compensated for being throwed backward. Is this move reasonable?
Does not sound right to me.... you cannot apply more pressure to the tails by flexing your ancles if you are not in the back seat which is a bad thing. I would step off the old outside ski with my heel pushing that ski forward to relece it and then regain my balance on my old inside ski. This move would include keeping the tail part of the old outside ski on the snow as a pivotting point; austrian sl move.
post #7 of 14
Imagine this scenereo:
As you begin a turn you load the tip with most pressure, on edge the tip digs into the surface more, grabs tighter and turns more than the rest of the ski. Once the turn is underway, your load shifts toward the center, evenly loading the edge down the entire length of the ski during the shaping phase. Near the belly, you load the tails, they grab harder and carve more (the tips, now carving less, maybe even "drifting" toward the new turn). At the precise moment before you intend to change direction, you push the tails into the earth... they rebound and propel your CM directly away from the tail of the ski (now at end of the old turn) forward and across the skis (where's that? dare I say somewhere near the new turn). In this perfect imaginary world, your CM now has been propelled slightly forward of center and your on the new edge entering a new turn. Now... go to the beginning of this paragraph and start the new turn.
Wake up from your dream... or, could this really happen?
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Davis View Post
Wake up from your dream... or, could this really happen?
Your description looks very sound. Isn't it happening in this vid from 38 secs onward?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=uVLcVFZeLBo
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by carver_hk View Post
Your description looks very sound. Isn't it happening in this vid from 38 secs onward?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=uVLcVFZeLBo
Nice video but I would not bog my mind too much on the for aft pressure distribution during the turns different phases to gain speed. Check out how the skier flexes through the transition and lets his legs get ahead of himself. Then he drives his knees into the turn and tips and angulates and extends to center himself and at apex he is able to put pressure on his ski tips. Thats only briefly since he releses the downhill ski just a fraction of a moment later. You can even see it come off the snow. That short pressure causing a lot of rebound sends him into the floating unweighted part of the turn, through the transition and into the next turn. IMO he looks to be very centered and there is absolutely no forward/aft motion in his upper body to pressure the ski tips. All his work he does with his legs.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Check out how the skier flexes through the transition and lets his legs get ahead of himself.
vs
IMO he looks to be very centered and there is absolutely no forward/aft motion in his upper body to pressure the ski tips.
There is one thing I don't quite understand when reading your reply. Does the above two statements appears to be a conflict?
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by carver_hk View Post
There is one thing I don't quite understand when reading your reply. Does the above two statements appears to be a conflict?
No conflict, eather you keep your upper body in place and let your skis get ahead of yourself at transition and then back underneath you at apex or you keep your skis in place and move your body back during transition and then forward at apex. Noone said skiing was easy even here in cyberspace .
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
No conflict, eather you keep your upper body in place and let your skis get ahead of yourself at transition and then back underneath you at apex.
Lets consider this one alone. The CG looks moves backward then return to neutral. Because the upper body represents a large part of body mass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Noone said skiing was easy even here in cyberspace .
This is a very good one.
post #13 of 14
Due to angle and clarity, it is difficult for me to analyze this vid. There does appear to be movement along the tip and mid section, at the snow surface. I cannot find indication of such at the tail of the ski. The CM appears to be aft thru the transition. Basically: I can't tell.
With regard to the original question though, I am of the opinion that modifying pressure from tip to tail, along the length of the ski is a turn shaping maneuver and may contribute more overall skid to the turn. Allowing more skid on one end while minimizing skid more on the other end may even out. If overall skid is greater in this turn, speed will bleed off more through more skid. However, if your line is more accurate, then sheer speed may be allowably compromised, resulting in overall shorter path (at a lower speed) and a better time. But, if the overall skid is the same, it seems that a better line and a better time may be achieved by this type of pressure alteration.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Bryan Davis - thanks for the further explanation.
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