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# Flex/flatten/pivot&extend

In the poling thread, veeeight posted this video.

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Note being very light in the upper part of the turn; actually not even on snow, and pivotting madly!

These are precisely the movements that get labelled as poor skiing, due to the lack of early edging and extension. How'd this guy ever make it to the WC?

Actually, this is very consistent with what the CSIA have been teaching: Flex, flatten, pivot & extend!
Stop the sequence at 2:15 and you will see a pivot with inclination (via extension and projection). When you are making off set turns on a very steep section of the course, which happens to be an injected sheet of ice, with the goal of getting to the bottom as fast as possible then this is the technique one uses.

Its just not possible or even practical to make ATA turns in every situation. Not bad technique but not really applicable as a universal approach either. Like many things, it has its place and time.

If one takes a linear approach to skiing, then this high level technical application would be learned after a skier first learns to make an ATA turn w/out pivoting.

Regards,

Justin
Quote:
 Originally Posted by jbm13 Stop the sequence at 2:15 and you will see a pivot with inclination (via extension and projection). When you are making off set turns on a very steep section of the course, which happens to be an injected sheet of ice, with the goal of getting to the bottom as fast as possible then this is the technique one uses. Its just not possible or even practical to make ATA turns in every situation. Not bad technique but not really applicable as a universal approach either. Like many things, it has its place and time. If one takes a linear approach to skiing, then this high level technical application would be learned after a skier first learns to make an ATA turn w/out pivoting. Regards, Justin
ata==huh??

wtfissat
ATA=Arc to Arc
Ya do what ya gotta do...
To survive in the course? Sure. As a model of efficient SL turns? I think not.
Efficiency is a matter of application and circumstances. WC skiers apply the most efficient movements based on the circumstances they face as efficiency equates to speed. The clock doesn't lie.

There are few if any absolutes in skiing, and what is efficient in one situation may not be in another. The type of turn displayed has a limited/specific application and should not be the default model that recreational skiers base their movement patterns off of for everyday free skiing situations. This type of drifted or pivoted turn is an adaptation of an arc to arc turn.

Once a skier has learned to make proficient arc to arc turns, then they can explore the more esoteric variations utilized for extreme scenarios.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by jbm13 Efficiency is a matter of application and circumstances. WC skiers apply the most efficient movements based on the circumstances they face as efficiency equates to speed. The clock doesn't lie. There are few if any absolutes in skiing, and what is efficient in one situation may not be in another. The type of turn displayed has a limited/specific application and should not be the default model that recreational skiers base their movement patterns off of for everyday free skiing situations. .
This is true. It is limited to any turn where the desired radius is less then that which can be achieved in pure arc to arc carving, or any situation where the speed that would be achieved from pure arc to arc exceeds that of intention of the skier....: So like...what, then, this is only applicaple to 90% of the turns that 90% of the general skiing population make?

Sure 99.99999% of the population will never achieve the level of skill displayed by WCers....but those fundamental skills, are very applicaple to everyday free skiing situations, and are the basis of modern ski technique taught by just about every major ski school on the planet. I am sure there is an exception out there...but I cant think of one.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by jbm13 This type of drifted or pivoted turn is an adaptation of an arc to arc turn. Once a skier has learned to make proficient arc to arc turns, then they can explore the more esoteric variations utilized for extreme scenarios.
Like doing short radius turns on a blue or black run at any typical Ma and Pa ski area......:
Interesting perspective BigE.

Heh - as we know, WC video can be used to justify anything, I mean, why cherry-pick only the item(s) we want to promote? There's lots of other good stuff in there.

If we take it all as-is then that WC video suggests we should all:
- Use Random A-Frames and O-Frames,
- Use upper-body and whole-body rotary into turns while reaching across our body with the new outside arm,
- Lean heavily on the tail of one ski with the other ski pointing upward,
- Frequently lever onto the tails of both skis,
- Bend at the waist,
- Cross our ski tips (about :50 in and again at 1:01),
- Drag and lever on our ski poles for balance (about :12, :18, 1:25),
- Ski as fast as we can at all times while forcing hard turns as we careen down public slopes on the edge of control...

OK, maybe not.

---
The term "Efficiency" is one of those fuzzy terms that crop up frequently in an attempt to label something as 'good'.

Efficiency of what specifically? Edge-lock carving? But that's only efficient in the sense of least frictional resistance in the forward direction along the edge and has nothing to do with efficiency of other things.

How about efficiency of muscular activity and energy usage?

Certainly doesn't seem like ski racers are trying to be efficient in that area - but recreational skiers who ski all day certainly need it. Racers only need to ski for 30 - 120 seconds. They can expend great amounts of energy (and do) since they don't need to keep it up for very long. Not very efficient in that regard.

Then there is the efficiency of line choice as combined with technique.

A purely carving technique would require rounder lines though a given course and that might not be fastest. A mixed-mode model of pivot-entry turns combined with carving might be a better choice in many cases. To attempt carving in some parts of the course might be terribly inefficient and pivot-entry turns makes no sense in long turns on a downhill course.

As to "The clock doesn't lie" - it most certainly does!
- It lies about everything except elapsed time.

It tells us only how much time has elapsed and nothing whatsoever about how "good" the skier is nor whether their technique was particularly well implemented. A winning time only means the fewest seconds ticked by - nothing else. A far better skier with ideal technique might have been about to win but lost a ski due to pre-release. When we use 'the Clock' to justify any particular technique as being 'good anywhere and all the time' we're simply employing a logical fallacy. The two are not related.

Heck, "Technique" used by WC Racers isn't really a technique at all, it's a whole gamut of athletic movements on skis to control direction while maintaining the highest speed possible. Certainly there are a lot of techniques available to them and they've probably learned a great many of them for implementation in the moment - but each turn technique implemented is specialized and adapted to the needs of that moment only.

There is a misconception that "What they do on the World Cup is what everyone should be doing..." and I think that's just bunk. Look again at the video and you'll see what skiers must necessarily do in a WC Race.

Personally, I see athleticism forcing technique and specifically see Athleticism-Based Outcomes rather than Technique-Based Outcomes.

But maybe that's just me. :

.ma
Quote:
 Originally Posted by michaelA Interesting perspective BigE. Heh - as we know, WC video can be used to justify anything, I mean, why cherry-pick only the item(s) we want to promote? There's lots of other good stuff in there. If we take it all as-is then that WC video suggests we should all: - Use Random A-Frames and O-Frames, - Use upper-body and whole-body rotary into turns while reaching across our body with the new outside arm, - Lean heavily on the tail of one ski with the other ski pointing upward, - Frequently lever onto the tails of both skis, - Bend at the waist, - Cross our ski tips (about :50 in and again at 1:01), - Drag and lever on our ski poles for balance (about :12, :18, 1:25), - Ski as fast as we can at all times while forcing hard turns as we careen down public slopes on the edge of control... OK, maybe not.
Oh god....:....hint...look up the difference between an "open skill" sport like skiing...and a "closed skill" sport like darts.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by michaelA --- The term "Efficiency" is one of those fuzzy terms that crop up frequently in an attempt to label something as 'good'. Efficiency of what specifically? Edge-lock carving? But that's only efficient in the sense of least frictional resistance in the forward direction along the edge and has nothing to do with efficiency of other things. How about efficiency of muscular activity and energy usage? Certainly doesn't seem like ski racers are trying to be efficient in that area - but recreational skiers who ski all day certainly need it. Racers only need to ski for 30 - 120 seconds. They can expend great amounts of energy (and do) since they don't need to keep it up for very long. Not very efficient in that regard. Then there is the efficiency of line choice as combined with technique. A purely carving technique would require rounder lines though a given course and that might not be fastest. A mixed-mode model of pivot-entry turns combined with carving might be a better choice in many cases. To attempt carving in some parts of the course might be terribly inefficient and pivot-entry turns makes no sense in long turns on a downhill course.
Efficiency as used to evaluate ski technique is defined as what you put in...vs. what you get out. A WC skier puts a heap in...but get an unbeleivable amount out....with WC fundamentals, we can put in a modest amount allowing us to ski all day...but still get alot out.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by michaelA As to "The clock doesn't lie" - it most certainly does! - It lies about everything except elapsed time. It tells us only how much time has elapsed and nothing whatsoever about how "good" the skier is nor whether their technique was particularly well implemented. A winning time only means the fewest seconds ticked by - nothing else. A far better skier with ideal technique might have been about to win but lost a ski due to pre-release. When we use 'the Clock' to justify any particular technique as being 'good anywhere and all the time' we're simply employing a logical fallacy. The two are not related.
Skiing is a sport. Strength, atletcism, equipment...and yes even a little luck, all play a role in winning.

Hence to look for example at only the winning run would be a mistake...however ski technique is not derived on one winning run...but rather by looking at a whole host of runs, over many many skiers, over many many courses, over many years......then commonalities are found...there is alot...those are what technique is based on...the rest is window dressing. I have never heard anyone, on this board or else where declare that we must all ski like Bode, and only Bode...rather, what is pointed out is the fundamentals that Bode, and all of his fellow WCers share...those are the right and wrong bits....the rest is just a result of the open skill nature of skiing.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by michaelA Heck, "Technique" used by WC Racers isn't really a technique at all, it's a whole gamut of athletic movements on skis to control direction while maintaining the highest speed possible. Certainly there are a lot of techniques available to them and they've probably learned a great many of them for implementation in the moment - but each turn technique implemented is specialized and adapted to the needs of that moment only.
Ya.....that is technique....one that is efficient, and affords the skier the ability to adapt to, and handle various conditons....

Quote:
 Originally Posted by michaelA There is a misconception that "What they do on the World Cup is what everyone should be doing..." and I think that's just bunk. Look again at the video and you'll see what skiers must necessarily do in a WC Race.
No one suggests you should ski like a world champion...only that you should look at what they do...as a guide to what you should do...if you want to ski better....if you want to jsut have fun...great, I wont stop you, neither will anyone else.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by michaelA Personally, I see athleticism forcing technique and specifically see Athleticism-Based Outcomes rather than Technique-Based Outcomes. But maybe that's just me. : .ma
I see rock solid technique enhanced by athleticism and specifically see greatness rather then mediocrity.

But maybe that's just me. :

SD72
SD,
For sure there are skills that can be observed and learned from watching this turn and others made by top WC skiers. Skills by themselves are one thing, but their sequential combination (and proficiency, intensity, duration, etc.) determine the end result. While this turn highlights many skills that recreational skiers need for free skiing, as we know this exact turn will seldom if ever be made outside of a race course.
If we are going to talk about this with the recreational skier in mind, wouldn't an ATA turn where the skis are directed out of the fall line be a more attainable goal/model for carving turns allowing them to better manage speed control? One could argue that video above is the most difficult turn to make because it combines the elements of a dynamic carved turn with a progressive drift applied in a very specific manner. There is so much going on that it could easily be misunderstood by the average skier.
Then again, I suppose its all relative to where you are in the learning process and what your goals are.
Regards,
Justin
Quote:
 Originally Posted by jbm13 ATA=Arc to Arc
Thanks!
Quote:
 Originally Posted by jbm13 SD,For sure there are skills that can be observed and learned from watching this turn and others made by top WC skiers. Skills by themselves are one thing, but their sequential combination (and proficiency, intensity, duration, etc.) determine the end result. While this turn highlights many skills that recreational skiers need for free skiing, as we know this exact turn will seldom if ever be made outside of a race course.
Doesn't it really depend on the steepness of the terrain? IMO, when a new skier is exposed to "steep" terrain (which can be their first top to bottom green run ever) , they are more predisposed to try something like the above pivot than they are to trust that their ski will turn.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by jbm If we are going to talk about this with the recreational skier in mind, wouldn't an ATA turn where the skis are directed out of the fall line be a more attainable goal/model for carving turns allowing them to better manage speed control?

ATA demands a very high degree of accuracy re: balance and edging.

Quote:
 One could argue that video above is the most difficult turn to make because it combines the elements of a dynamic carved turn with a progressive drift applied in a very specific manner. There is so much going on that it could easily be misunderstood by the average skier.

Actually, it shows the same skills that a novice on a green run can master -- it's just a different level of athleticism. As you say:

Quote:
 Then again, I suppose its all relative to where you are in the learning process and what your goals are.Regards,Justin
Precisely.

One could argue that the ATA turn is the more difficult turn to apply everywhere, especially when you begin to venture onto TRUE blue terrain -- without the pivot, speeds will soon exceed comfort levels for most, and turn forces become quite extreme. (wrt the speeds and forces experienced on green runs.)

Flex/flatten/Pivot&extend (FFPE) is generally taught to the beginning skier, since it provides for more versatility than ATA -- the FFPE movement pattern can be used to ski any terrain, from the magic carpet serviced to the double black.

Note that the removal of the pivot reverts the turn to ATA, as flattening uses a tipping movement -- Flex, tip, extend.....

Consequently, the movements in an ATA turn are a subset of FFPE.

Cheers!
Gee Skidude, your response to my post was uncharacteristically ... restrained ...

Still, I'll stick to my guns and say I think the key difference between recreational skiing for the general public and Ski Racing is a matter of specialization.

Any time we optimize an attribute/characteristic we almost invariably end up de-optimizing other attributes/characteristics. In the case of Ski Racing the skier is optimizing time rather than technique in each moment. Sure, certain core techniques work best for optimizing speed in a Race Course but I don't believe the average recreational skier should (in general) be implementing optimizations designed to reduce time on a specially groomed, hard, predictable Race Course. The underlying fundamentals (the stuff we so frequently chat about on this forum) are far more relevant to the regular skier.

Mogul Competitions, Ski Jumping Competitions, Freestyle Competitions and the like are all 'specializations of skiing' that produce all manner of directed innovation for specialized optimization. Many techniques developed for same can certainly be modified for general use by the skiing public. Still, how many times have we heard a Race Coach gripe that their new students come to them for racing without "learning to ski first"...? This suggests to me that Racing technique is an add-on to regular skiing fundamentals.

---
On the Open vs. Closed thing, I find it interesting how many people on this forum compare skiing to golf - since the golf swing is classified as a closed skill. Perhaps each specific skiing technique we discuss here is a closed skill or collection of closed skills (at least, we tend to discuss 'techniques' in the manner of discrete skill sets).

During actual skiing a great many individual discrete skills and skill sets are combined and applied as needed thus rendering skiing an open (continuous) skill application. Considering the sequential nature of linked turns in skiing, maybe we should classify turning techniques as Serial Skills...?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by BigE ...they are more predisposed to try something like the above pivot than they are to trust that their ski will turn
This may be one of the few universal truths in skiing.

In my experience, most people do exactly this when faced with more challenging terrain and/or conditions. Doesn't work very well in 12 inches of soft Cascade Concrete but works just fine in most other conditions to get them through the run. And since it works reasonably well, most skiers stay with it and never learn more advanced/difficult turn-entry techniques.

.ma
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Skidude72 This is true. It is limited to any turn where the desired radius is less then that which can be achieved in pure arc to arc carving, or any situation where the speed that would be achieved from pure arc to arc exceeds that of intention of the skier....: So like...what, then, this is only applicaple to 90% of the turns that 90% of the general skiing population make?
I don't know about that 90 percent; Judging from me and mine, I would say that it's closer to 3 percent of the turns made outside of a course where the designer is deliberately setting you up. Just speaking for myself, with these new-fangled short radius skis (13- m it's hardly ever on the hill.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Max_501 To survive in the course? Sure. As a model of efficient SL turns? I think not.
All racers base their skiing on efficient SL/GS/SG turns and technique. If we want to use racers as models we should look at them while they practise and perfect their technique and not when they puch themselves beyond controll. The video is a good example of how the worlds best skiers ski on a difficult race course as fast as they can. If we dont look like that when we ski its only becaue we do not push ourselves past skidding our tails not because we are better skier.
Hey tdk6 - that's a good thought! If people really want to use WC Racers as a model for technique we probably should be looking primarily at their practice runs rather than when they're going for broke in a real race.

Might even be interesting to compare those practice runs with the end product in actual racing.

.ma
There's efficient skiing and then there's winning. Sometimes the 2 meet.:
Quote:
 Originally Posted by jbm13 SD,For sure there are skills that can be observed and learned from watching this turn and others made by top WC skiers. Skills by themselves are one thing, but their sequential combination (and proficiency, intensity, duration, etc.) determine the end result. While this turn highlights many skills that recreational skiers need for free skiing, as we know this exact turn will seldom if ever be made outside of a race course.

Sure...I agree with all of this....

Quote:
 Originally Posted by jbm13 If we are going to talk about this with the recreational skier in mind, wouldn't an ATA turn where the skis are directed out of the fall line be a more attainable goal/model for carving turns allowing them to better manage speed control? One could argue that video above is the most difficult turn to make because it combines the elements of a dynamic carved turn with a progressive drift applied in a very specific manner. There is so much going on that it could easily be misunderstood by the average skier.Then again, I suppose its all relative to where you are in the learning process and what your goals are.Regards,Justin
I agree with all of this...except the bolded bit....I dont believe ACA is particularily good for speed control....infact is properly the worst thing for speed control...ACA promotes speed....the drift controls it....but I think we are splitting hairs...we seem fairly close on this.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by michaelA Gee Skidude, your response to my post was uncharacteristically ... restrained ... Still, I'll stick to my guns and say I think the key difference between recreational skiing for the general public and Ski Racing is a matter of specialization. Any time we optimize an attribute/characteristic we almost invariably end up de-optimizing other attributes/characteristics. In the case of Ski Racing the skier is optimizing time rather than technique in each moment. Sure, certain core techniques work best for optimizing speed in a Race Course but I don't believe the average recreational skier should (in general) be implementing optimizations designed to reduce time on a specially groomed, hard, predictable Race Course. The underlying fundamentals (the stuff we so frequently chat about on this forum) are far more relevant to the regular skier. Mogul Competitions, Ski Jumping Competitions, Freestyle Competitions and the like are all 'specializations of skiing' that produce all manner of directed innovation for specialized optimization. Many techniques developed for same can certainly be modified for general use by the skiing public. Still, how many times have we heard a Race Coach gripe that their new students come to them for racing without "learning to ski first"...? This suggests to me that Racing technique is an add-on to regular skiing fundamentals. --- On the Open vs. Closed thing, I find it interesting how many people on this forum compare skiing to golf - since the golf swing is classified as a closed skill. Perhaps each specific skiing technique we discuss here is a closed skill or collection of closed skills (at least, we tend to discuss 'techniques' in the manner of discrete skill sets). During actual skiing a great many individual discrete skills and skill sets are combined and applied as needed thus rendering skiing an open (continuous) skill application. Considering the sequential nature of linked turns in skiing, maybe we should classify turning techniques as Serial Skills...? This may be one of the few universal truths in skiing. In my experience, most people do exactly this when faced with more challenging terrain and/or conditions. Doesn't work very well in 12 inches of soft Cascade Concrete but works just fine in most other conditions to get them through the run. And since it works reasonably well, most skiers stay with it and never learn more advanced/difficult turn-entry techniques. .ma
There is no doubt racers "optimize" things...ie: simple example, tucking.....but again the core fundamentals can be derived from WC and passed on...I think you mentioned that.

The difference is really in the quality of the coach/instructor, to know what the WC is doing...and why...then what of those bits are applicaple to their particular client at the time.
Arc to arc, when done precisely, is good.

Pivoting, when done deliberately, is good.

Steering, when done of choice, is good.

Pivoting, when done as a no other option default, is a sign more learning is advisable.

Pivoting/steering, universally condemned, casts a speaker very suspect.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Skidude72 ....I dont believe ACA is particularily good for speed control....infact is properly the worst thing for speed control...ACA promotes speed....the drift controls it....but I think we are splitting hairs...we seem fairly close on this.
I think you nailed it right here.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Rick Pivoting/steering, universally condemned, casts a speaker very suspect.
Its because there is no universal definition on carving. The initial clip in this thread should not stand as an example of modern SL technique. Its an example of modern SL technique pushed beyond all limits. Compare speed and figure scating to hockey players trying to score.
The fundamental movements in the clip differ from those of an intermediate skier solely in the degree of athleticism; otherwise, they are the same movements. The sequence FFPE is extremely versatile.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Rick Arc to arc, when done precisely, is good. Pivoting, when done deliberately, is good. Steering, when done of choice, is good. Pivoting, when done as a no other option default, is a sign more learning is advisable. Pivoting/steering, universally condemned, casts a speaker very suspect.
heh heh
Quote:
 Originally Posted by BigE The fundamental movements in the clip differ from those of an intermediate skier solely in the degree of athleticism; otherwise, they are the same movements. The sequence FFPE is extremely versatile.
This is quite accurate. The vid shows a massive pivot/feather/carve at high speed on a steep slope. The same process can be done medium pivot/feather/steer at slower speeds on less severe slopes, yet be performed with similar movements patterns and power source mechanism (anticipation). The amount of pivot matches the need, and I suspect BigE used this example because the grossness of the pivot makes it easier to see for untrained eyes. In the past some here have had trouble distinguishing the existence of subtle pivot transitions from arc to arc skiing. Part of developing skill in this area is learning to fine manage the amount of pivot used, or eliminate it completely when desired (arc to arc).
Quote:
 Originally Posted by michaelA Still, how many times have we heard a Race Coach gripe that their new students come to them for racing without "learning to ski first"...? This suggests to me that Racing technique is an add-on to regular skiing fundamentals. .ma
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. "
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