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What is steering? - spinoff from Rick's rotation thread

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Big E's comment from the other thread promted me to start this spinoff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
I use the term steering angle as the angle betwee the direction the skis are pointing and the direction of travel. It is important to realize that the direction of travel is not necessarily the direction in which you are facing.

When you overpressure the tips so that the tails break away, and a steering angle is created. It is not necessary for the femurs to rotate in the hip socket to create this steering angle -- the whole body rotates to stay square to the skis; the body continues to faces the direction that the skis are pointing.

It is possible to add to the rotation of the entire body in this "oversquare" position by using pole movement and hyper engaged core to drag the outside of the body further around it's rotational axis. Some may say that this pole movement is a sophisticated way to hide a "thrown shoulder".
I have always had difficulty with the term steering as it is used to mean so many different things I find it more of a hinderance to discussion that a help. I will use Rick's definition of steering:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
OK, here's the definition we will use for steering, as meant in this thread:

A manual turning of the skis, while they are pressured, via some form of rotary force input by the skier.
Let me throw out two questions to start with:

1) In a pure carved turn with high edge angles and a high degree of angulation what muscle groups are strong enough to add some degree of pivot to the pure carve to make it a steered turn?

2) In a turn where the edge angle is inadequate to hold a pure carve a "steering angle" is created, using Big E's definition. Yet, it seems to me that no steering is required if there is no rotational force applied to the ski in the plane of the ski (i.e., a "brushed carve"). In this case the bend of the ski provides all the turning force (even though the edge is not locked in a carve). With this in mind then, how do you visually tell the difference (without measurements) between someone steering the ski and doing a purely brushed carve, especially when there is only a "small" degree of steering/pivoting going on?

I ask this because there are many times here during MA on Epic when one poster sees heavy steering and another sees a purely brushed carve.
post #2 of 11
A good clue is to look at the balance. Steering tends to make the balance fall between the skis.
post #3 of 11
Just to help:

A steering angle is present anytime the skis are turning.

A steering angle is difference in direction between where the skis are pointed and the direction the skier is headed.

In a skidded turn, this is pretty easy to grasp.

In a pure carved turn, the steering angle is the difference between the direction the ski tip is pointed (ie the ski is bent into reverse camber) and the tangent of the arc....ie the direction the skier is moving...which in this case is about equal to the direction the ski immediatley under your feet is pointed.


Hence it is not necessary for the ski to "Break away" for there to be a steering angle.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Just to help:

A steering angle is present anytime the skis are turning.

A steering angle is difference in direction between where the skis are pointed and the direction the skier is headed.

In a skidded turn, this is pretty easy to grasp.

In a pure carved turn, the steering angle is the difference between the direction the ski tip is pointed (ie the ski is bent into reverse camber) and the tangent of the arc....ie the direction the skier is moving...which in this case is about equal to the direction the ski immediatley under your feet is pointed.


Hence it is not necessary for the ski to "Break away" for there to be a steering angle.
Well, that's one of the points I was trying to make - you can create a steering angle without steering? Doesn't seem like the best use of terms to me.
post #5 of 11
MilesB has something going here. Dynamic stance and balance is (in some circles) the RESULT of the other skills. Rotary, Edging, and Flex/extending.

Any human on Earth can execute a static stance... what does it take to stay in balance while moving forward on skis?

Fud 4 thot,
Spag
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB View Post
A good clue is to look at the balance. Steering tends to make the balance fall between the skis.
This is part of the basis for my first question. To my understanding, getting the skis to travel farther out from the body with higher edge angle reduces (substantially eliminates?) the ability to apply the rotational torque to the skis needed to steer. Additionally, with higher edge angle, a significant component of any rotationally torque applied to the skies is resisted by the snow surface.

The use of steering when the COM is between or not too far out from the skis is much more straightforward and easy to understand. Here, however, I see lots of disagreement in differentiating between a steered turn and a turn produced by the shape of a (non-edge-locked) ski.
post #7 of 11
Here, however, I see lots of disagreement in differentiating between a steered turn and a turn produced by the shape of a (non-edge-locked) ski.

And what makes you think that's ever going to change?
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si View Post
Here, however, I see lots of disagreement in differentiating between a steered turn and a turn produced by the shape of a (non-edge-locked) ski.
I guess you have to look at the participants in the disagreement to understand why it exists, don't you?
post #9 of 11
I agree with skidude about the steering angle.

It does perhaps need some new defining but is used in many technical discussions outside of skiing. It is not invalid.

Quote:
Here, however, I see lots of disagreement in differentiating between a steered turn and a turn produced by the shape of a (non-edge-locked) ski. -Si
Gee, what a suprise! :

-You're wrong.
-No, I'm not.
-You're an idiot.
-No, you're the moron.
-You just can't accept a new, better way.
-You just can't accept it's not new...
: and on.....8 years...let's go for nine!
"Maybe they'll change"
"Yeah I've got the key now...I've found the convincing piece of argument!"

-Sorry, couldn't resist acknowledging that you've perhaps just put a bottle of nitroglycerin in the cupholder of the car. Let's see if the road is smooth and it might not go off...

serious now, questions (they're not some sort of test):

Do you ski soft snow with any active steering input?- ever? That is sometimes, often, never, etc. ?

question two:
Does an active "steering input" on an edge locked ski influence the ski in any way?
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si View Post
Let me throw out two questions to start with:

1) In a pure carved turn with high edge angles and a high degree of angulation what muscle groups are strong enough to add some degree of pivot to the pure carve to make it a steered turn?

Si, these questions followed this sentence:

Quote:
I will use Rick's definition of steering:

If so, then adding pivot does not alone make a steered turn. A pivot can precede or dissect a carved turn too. And for a pivot (my definition, remember) to be introduced in the midst of high angle carving, some form of un-weighting must be executed to disengage the skis turning edge from the snow. As I spend the majority of my time skiing arc to arc around crowded Colorado resorts, it's a technique I often have to use.

As far as trying to introduce steering while high edge carving,,, well,,, the high edges and body positions needed in big angle carving are not very compatible with steering (my definition) The engaged edges resist steering, and the CM is located too far inside to remain in balance when steering. You need to reduce the edge angle, and it's very helpful to lighten engagement, when trying to go quickly from big angle carving to steering.








Quote:
2) In a turn where the edge angle is inadequate to hold a pure carve a "steering angle" is created, using Big E's definition. Yet, it seems to me that no steering is required if there is no rotational force applied to the ski in the plane of the ski (i.e., a "brushed carve"). In this case the bend of the ski provides all the turning force (even though the edge is not locked in a carve). With this in mind then, how do you visually tell the difference (without measurements) between someone steering the ski and doing a purely brushed carve, especially when there is only a "small" degree of steering/pivoting going on?
Sorry, Si, but I'm having a hard time with this one. You can carve a pretty dang low edge angle. I can only see problems coming as you enter the falline, and then leave it. And it seems if the low edge did lose it's grip in a carve, then the result would be the skier getting moved along the line of current momentum,,, not in the line of the side cut. Momentum and gravity would be the main players I think. Certainly, with no skier added rotary, direction control would be very much out of a skiers hands, left primarily up to whatever exterior turn forces and ski mechanics decide on between themselves.

The basis behind my thinking,,, things I know I can do on snow:

- I can intentionally disengage from a carve, and with no rotary input, slide on a tangent out of and away from the arc I was traveling while carving.

- I can intentionally disengage from a carve, and with rotary, then quickly resume the same radius/shape arc I was traveling.

- I can intentionally disengage from a carve, and with rotary, quickly sharpen the arc I was previously traveling, and end up cutting inside where my previous arc would have taken me. Or, if I like, straighten the arc.

- I can intentionally disengage from a carve, and with rotary, pivot my skis strongly, create a big steer angle, and follow the same shape/radius arc I was traveling previously. Or, if I like, sharpen the arc. Or, if I like, straighten it.


I like the control steering input provides. I don't see too much use for just disengaging and going wherever I happen to go.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
You know Rick, I'm not sure I always agree with you but I do find it easy to discuss these issues with you. I've added some response in blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Si, these questions followed this sentence:

In response to my first question:
If so, then adding pivot does not alone make a steered turn. A pivot can precede or dissect a carved turn too. And for a pivot (my definition, remember) to be introduced in the midst of high angle carving, some form of un-weighting must be executed to disengage the skis turning edge from the snow. As I spend the majority of my time skiing arc to arc around crowded Colorado resorts, it's a technique I often have to use.

Sorry, I wasn't very careful with the use of the term pivot here. I should have said adding a rotational torque to the skis or something like that. Nevertheless, I have do difficulty with your answer. Makes good sense.

As far as trying to introduce steering while high edge carving,,, well,,, the high edges and body positions needed in big angle carving are not very compatible with steering (my definition) The engaged edges resist steering, and the CM is located too far inside to remain in balance when steering. You need to reduce the edge angle, and it's very helpful to lighten engagement, when trying to go quickly from big angle carving to steering.

Again, makes good sense and jives with my thinking.

In response to my second question:

Sorry, Si, but I'm having a hard time with this one. You can carve a pretty dang low edge angle. I can only see problems coming as you enter the falline, and then leave it. And it seems if the low edge did lose it's grip in a carve, then the result would be the skier getting moved along the line of current momentum,,, not in the line of the side cut.
I think I don't quite agree here. Even when total edge lock is lost, the bent ski interacting with the snow provides a turning force. Of course this is combined with movement (skid) in the line of current momentum.

Momentum and gravity would be the main players I think. Certainly, with no skier added rotary, direction control would be very much out of a skiers hands, left primarily up to whatever exterior turn forces and ski mechanics decide on between themselves.

Well, if you know what to expect in terms of turn contribution from the bent (non-edge-locked) ski combined with the degree of "skid" then you can set up a "brushed carve" (I don't care what term you want to use for this) to do pretty much what you want. I do agree that this is not quite the same level of control (at least in my case) that might otherwise be achieved if I have adequate skills or less challenging terrain.

The basis behind my thinking,,, things I know I can do on snow:

- I can intentionally disengage from a carve, and with no rotary input, slide on a tangent out of and away from the arc I was traveling while carving.
If there's still a bent ski there will be some turning force. The same force direction of an edge-locked ski is still there, it's just that the force magniture is reduced.

- I can intentionally disengage from a carve, and with rotary, then quickly resume the same radius/shape arc I was traveling.

OK

- I can intentionally disengage from a carve, and with rotary, quickly sharpen the arc I was previously traveling, and end up cutting inside where my previous arc would have taken me. Or, if I like, straighten the arc.

Seems to me there are 2 competing issues here. Sliding out as you disengage and the rotary input to the ski. You might sharpen the turn but only if you can adequately limit the sliding out.

- I can intentionally disengage from a carve, and with rotary, pivot my skis strongly, create a big steer angle, and follow the same shape/radius arc I was traveling previously. Or, if I like, sharpen the arc. Or, if I like, straighten it.


I like the control steering input provides. I don't see too much use for just disengaging and going wherever I happen to go.
I have no particular bias against steering (within the scope of definition you've provided). As I don't spend anytime in gates I tend to try to learn how to utilize edge angle and decrease steering. It certainly doesn't mean that I don't steer. BTW I also pivot, skid, and do just about anything else you can think of.

Rick, thanks for you responses. They certainly help me clarify the issues.
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