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How to Avoid Skis Getting Pulled Wherever

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I took my brand new Volkl S4's to Holiday Valley yesterday so I could at least try them before the season ended. I don't know the technical description of the type of snow out there, but it was a little bit wet and slushy. Well, I crashed like a million times because one or the other of my skis got caught (by ruts or grooves), and turned perpendicular to my other ski resulting in mayhem. I haven't had this happen to me in like forever, but this is my first time not renting skis. I've also never skied in snow like this and a lot of people seemed to be falling. Was it me, the snow, unfamiliarity with the skis? So my question is, how do I keep my skis from being pulled by stuff like this?

post #2 of 5
With this type of snow it is much harder to allow your skis to slide sideways.

On freshly groomed snow or hard packed snow you do not have to be quite so careful about making your skis follow along the direction of their edges, you can easily pivot them and snow moving across the edges will not grip them too hard. Indeed it takes a little skill to prevent them from sliping sideways, and many people are trying to learn how to ski without having any sideways slippage at the edges.

In heavy wet snow, the whole ski acts like an edge and if you turn them sideways they quickly get grabbed by the snow which can exert a lot of force, the farther off line ( a line from your foot pointing in your direction of travel) that force is the more torque it has to twist you around, and the more you get twisted around the farther off line it becomes.

How to ski in this type of snow is to use the forces. Deliberately put both your skis onto their edges at the same angle (angle between the base of your ski and the snow for example lift both your left edges off the snow so only your right edges are on the snow in cross section from behind it would look like this \ \, or the other way around / /) . By controlling the angle of your skis you control how much the skis turn. By keeping both skis at the same angle they both turn together.
post #3 of 5
The S4 isn't too wide, so that probably didn't help in slush. If you can get back to the hill, try renting a wider ski that doesn't get bounced around as much. Try what Ghost mentioned for the S4's and for that matter the wider ski...
post #4 of 5
What they said, also in these conditions it is helpful to adopt a slightly narrower stance. This allows both skis to experience more similar forces and conditions and help prevent unintended divergences. Do your best to keep skis closer together, arc them and try to avoid both skidding and sudden steering movements as you will likely snag an edge and fall--more tipping and riding, less steering and skidding. Also, please learn to be patient. When you put the skis on edge, you need to be prepared to wait for them to hook-up and come around. If you try to rush it, you will likely again snag an edge and fall. Realize also, that your predominant technique for speed control should turn shape and line selection vs skidding and braking.

I hope this helps.
post #5 of 5
Couple things: first, this is not the kind of ski you'd want to take out in slushy snow (or really any soft snow/crud) because it has a narrow waist and wide tips. This combination will make the ski very hooky. These are hardpack carver skis.

Second, you'd want to keep the skis on edge as much as possible, and keep them close together working as a unit. Use the skis to plow through and over the crappy snow. Be the boss and push/plow the skis through the heavy stuff in one shot. Don't let the skis run independently or else they will boss you around. If the skis are on their flats and working independently, they will be hooky and want to yaw/spin all over the place (due to what I mentioned above). So get them on edge, working as a unit, and be aggressive.

It can be frustrating to ski narrow waisted carver skis in this type of snow, as you found out firsthand. I have experienced it myself, and it was not fun! You can use the adjustments I suggested to at least make it bearable, but nowadays I would simply pick a wider, less carvy ski for this type of snow. Certain skis can actually make this stuff a piece of cake to ski.

Good luck!
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