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Different movement patterns for initiating turns

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
With a lengthened top-of-turn in mind, I'm wondering how people teach the specific movement patterns that make that happen.

Those movement patterns are not always the same.
For instance, big, wide, round, completed turns on
gentle terrain call for different initiating movements
than shorter, narrower, faster turns on moderate
or steep terrain.

Are there different isolation exercises or drills that you use that specifically target easing students into these different movement patterns?
post #2 of 17
LiquidFeet,

Don't get caught up in the idea that different turn types require different initiation movements. Basically, any movement that releases the old turn and allows the path of the skis and the path of the body to cross will connect turns and it is the movement pattern we use after this connecting moment that determines the size and shape of the turn. While some connecting movements work better with certain turn types than with others there are some connecting movements that work wonderfully with almost all turn types. For example.

The first turn connecting movement that I teach is using the right foot to guide you to the right by pointing in that direction, and the left foot to guide you to the left. When you come to the end of a turn to the left you are riding on the right ski. Simply pointing that right foot to the right will flatten the ski releasing its grip on the snow surface allowing the body to cross over into the new turn. It also starts to guide the tip of the ski in the direction of the new turn. This connecting movement will work with almost any type turn and in almost all situations and terrain.

My time is short right now but I'll add to this later,

fom
post #3 of 17
I pretty consistently put the ski flat on the snow to release the old edge and continue rotating it about its long axis to engage the opposite edge to link turns.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Guess I'm talking about what happens with the torso, not so much the feet.

For instance, to make big wide turns with lots of skiing above the fall line, I use some pronounced hip angulation get those skis on edge, but because it's so long a trip around the circumference of the turn I don't face my shoulders downhill but rather to the outside of the turn, and that calls for some countering. In other words, I do not swan-dive into the turn at 10 and 2.

But sometimes I do, if the turns are much narrower and faster.

Do instructors here have specific drills or break-downs that target these differences?
post #5 of 17
All turns involve a change of edges, and all changes of edges require the same general movement pattern. You have to get the COM from one side of the skis to the other to get a change of edges. Like FOM, I follow the Bob Barnes dictum of long ago: Nothing goes right when turning left. For me, that means my focus on a left turn is getting the left ski onto its left edge. And that's what I teach.

NOTE: Posted while LF was posting the last comment.
post #6 of 17
I think 10 and 2 are generalized movement angles for both the COM and boot tongue contacts.

I like to get "parallel" skiers thinking about the hip points moving generally toward the 10 or 2 o'clock directions as part of turn initiation. Whether that movement comes as a result of allowing the COM to go there or making the COM go there is a matter of circumstances and skill development. That would lead to the torso countering you describe, LF. Once the change of edges had taken place, what happens then depends upon the turning intention. A longer, wider turn would lead to the greater amount of counter you mentioned, while a shorter, quicker turn would involve less.
post #7 of 17
I see what you mean.

A few differences I notice between quick tight turns and slow wide turns. Generalizations admittedly suffer from approximation.

SL type turns:
- more of a retraction release, especially when speed allows for higher momentum towards the outside of the turn
- more upper body facing downhill
- skis at times pretty "loose" or legs slack or somehow disconected from upper body except for edge pressure.

SG type turns
- not so much retraction and a little more old inside leg extension in transition
- more upper body in line with skis, careful balance between too much pointing to outside of turn and too much pointing in new direction. There's a balance point there between having the tails spin out and overcooking the initiation with too much tip pressure.
Always firm contact with snow.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
Guess I'm talking about what happens with the torso, not so much the feet.

For instance, to make big wide turns with lots of skiing above the fall line, I use some pronounced hip angulation get those skis on edge, but because it's so long a trip around the circumference of the turn I don't face my shoulders downhill but rather to the outside of the turn, and that calls for some countering. In other words, I do not swan-dive into the turn at 10 and 2.

But sometimes I do, if the turns are much narrower and faster.

Do instructors here have specific drills or break-downs that target these differences?
What you are describing is an "upside down" position. Upper body counter in high C when turn is finished across the hill results in upper body facing uphill and not downhill. IMO its important that students learn how to do this. One great drill is to take your ski poles and strap them together across your hips one in front of your hips and one in the back and then push back on the outside ski poles with your outside arm straight after transition. I have seen it being called "hippometer".

If we are talking carving I teach students to turn by ILE for GS type of turns. Both leggs are equally long at the same time, at transition. For SL type of turns I teach OLF. Both leggs equally short at the same time, at transition. OLF gives us a much quicker transiton when turning short turns, swan-dive type turns. Long tunrs are more about carefully hooking the skis up into a carve while short turns are more about cranking the skis arround quickly.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
One great drill is to take your ski poles and strap them together across your hips one in front of your hips and one in the back and then push back on the outside ski poles with your outside arm straight after transition. I have seen it being called "hippometer".
I've heard of this one, too, but never seen it done. If a student falls, is there any danger of the poles getting entangled in some bad way with the skier?
post #10 of 17
I could see doing the pole exercise statically to develop a feel for the hip involvement as opposed to just turning the shoulders into counter, but I wouldn't want to ask clients to ski down a slope tied to their poles that way. Just too much opportunity to have an injury result. I know it's been done "forever" as an exercise, but I wouldn't use it.
post #11 of 17
LiquidFeet,

What happens with the upperbody is largely dependent on what goes on at the feet. In longer turns there is more time for my body to follow the feet/skis so I have less counter throughout the turns and never try to actively develop an early counter. If I contrive to have a lot of counter early in a longer turn then I can't allow the counter to develop later in the turn and I am likely to end up static in the last part of the turn.

In the shorter turns my upperbody never has much time to follow the feet/skis so it ends up in a more countered relationship to the lower body.

One last point. I owe it to a former member of the Swiss National Demo Team to have no fear of rotation and inclination to in fact to embrace them as two of the most powerful tools I have at my disposal when changing direction. In the earliest part of a longer turn I actually try to be slightly rotated in the direction I am going and rather than using any angulation that point I want to be as purely inclined into the trun/direction I want to go as I can be. When I decide to go right I turn to the right, I lean to the right, I tip my feet to the right and direct the tips of my skis to the right.

fom
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatoldman
If I contrive to have a lot of counter early in a longer turn then I can't allow the counter to develop later in the turn and I am likely to end up static in the last part of the turn.
Why can't you..? I find that a small degree of early 'contrived' counter makes for a wonderful turn entry yet I'm still able to allow my own feet to continue turning under me and create even more counter as I turn further. Furthermore, even if I end up appearing a bit 'static' why is that a bad thing if everything is working perfectly for my given overall degree of counter?

Must I be moving just to be moving? What if I'm fully able to remain 'static' for just a moment, yet still able to easily move in any new direction at any moment I choose?

Sure, there are times when assuming an unchanging position is unhelpful in that it may gradually puts us further from an 'ideal' position late in a turn but there are also times when Park & Ride is quite pleasant or genuinely useful (like in a long Downhill Race turn).

.ma
post #13 of 17
Michael asks good questions. This really needs to be explored:


- Why do we need counter? What does it do for us?

- How much do we need?

- Do we need more later in the turn, such that we need to ski into more of it as we go through the turn?

- What is wrong with being rotational state static through a portion of a turn?

- How much counter provides the best/strongest state for steering?

- How much counter provides the strongest stance for resisting turn forces?

-

When I first came on this forum it was early in the shape ski discovery period, and the popular belief was to try to ski square. When I spoke of any need for counter I was looked upon as a dinosaur. Now, 5 years later the rotational pendulum has swung the other way. Do you think it's swung too far? Do you know how to measure? Before, counter was "bad", but the reasons weren't known by those who held the belief. It was just the belief of the day that anyone who knew anything believed. That was good enough,,, all the reason most needed. No, it wasn't good enough then, anymore than it is now.

Perhaps it should be another thread.
post #14 of 17
With respect to initiating turns I think our useful degree of counter is dependent on the type of turn technique we want to use.

If our turn entry is to be any kind of pivot-to-an-edge (or simple Open Parallel) then an anticipated position probably works best since it provides a bit of assistance for twisting the skis into the new turn. This anticipated position is created by hanging on to the old 'counter' (created for the old turn) right up until new-turn initiation.

If our turn entry is to be carved or some form of Dynamic Parallel then we'd want to sufficiently reduce the degree of anticipation that we easily prevent our skis from twisting. We might even want to deliberately relinquish all counter from the old turn prior to skis going 'flat' so as to eliminate all unnecessary muscular torque.

---
There is a definite similarity in movement patterns for all types of turn entry, on all terrain types, all slope angles, all sizes of turn... but I think we instructors and coaches over-emphasize the similarities. What LiquidFeet is asking is a very good question that probably crosses the mind of many skiers who see more differences than they see similarities. Simply telling them "Duration, Intensity, Rate and Timing (DIRT) change" doesn't cut it for these people nor did it mean anything to me when I asked the same question long ago.

In order to communicate with students I think we need to speak in their language, from their perspective rather than from our own deeply immersed, in-the-know-about-similarities perspective. I believe answering with "It's just differences in DIRT" is a quick and evasive answer we too-often use just to avoid explaining the many nuanced differences that DIRT involves.

.ma
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
I've heard of this one, too, but never seen it done. If a student falls, is there any danger of the poles getting entangled in some bad way with the skier?
There is allways a danger present when you are holding on to your ski poles. Both for your self and for others. Strapping them on surely adds to that danger but I have found that the real dange is not in falling because you dont do that very often but you might hit something like a annother person by accident. Its for sure not a drill for total beginners. I would say advanced level. Its not a drill for learning how to counter, its getting feedback from your hips. A person that cannot counter has little use for the drill. IMHO offcourse.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatoldman View Post
LiquidFeet,

What happens with the upperbody is largely dependent on what goes on at the feet. In longer turns there is more time for my body to follow the feet/skis so I have less counter throughout the turns and never try to actively develop an early counter. If I contrive to have a lot of counter early in a longer turn then I can't allow the counter to develop later in the turn and I am likely to end up static in the last part of the turn.

In the shorter turns my upperbody never has much time to follow the feet/skis so it ends up in a more countered relationship to the lower body.

One last point. I owe it to a former member of the Swiss National Demo Team to have no fear of rotation and inclination to in fact to embrace them as two of the most powerful tools I have at my disposal when changing direction. In the earliest part of a longer turn I actually try to be slightly rotated in the direction I am going and rather than using any angulation that point I want to be as purely inclined into the trun/direction I want to go as I can be. When I decide to go right I turn to the right, I lean to the right, I tip my feet to the right and direct the tips of my skis to the right.

fom
Very good post fom . There are two things I want to comment on. First, I understand what you mean with getting a bit static in the mid/late turn. On the other hand, I have been told I look as static as a statue of granite so go figure. Anyway, I also think its good to not go with too much counter early on. Secondly, that "rotation into the turn" position you are talking about is also called antisipation. I like to use the consept of "skiing in and out of counter/antisipation". That is upper/lower body separation. Also, you use the words lean right to go right but it can also be viewed the other way arround, your skis go left when you turn right. Its sort of the same as cross over vs cross under.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
With respect to initiating turns I think our useful degree of counter is dependent on the type of turn technique we want to use.

If our turn entry is to be any kind of pivot-to-an-edge (or simple Open Parallel) then an anticipated position probably works best since it provides a bit of assistance for twisting the skis into the new turn. This anticipated position is created by hanging on to the old 'counter' (created for the old turn) right up until new-turn initiation.

If our turn entry is to be carved or some form of Dynamic Parallel then we'd want to sufficiently reduce the degree of anticipation that we easily prevent our skis from twisting. We might even want to deliberately relinquish all counter from the old turn prior to skis going 'flat' so as to eliminate all unnecessary muscular torque.

---
There is a definite similarity in movement patterns for all types of turn entry, on all terrain types, all slope angles, all sizes of turn... but I think we instructors and coaches over-emphasize the similarities. What LiquidFeet is asking is a very good question that probably crosses the mind of many skiers who see more differences than they see similarities. Simply telling them "Duration, Intensity, Rate and Timing (DIRT) change" doesn't cut it for these people nor did it mean anything to me when I asked the same question long ago.

In order to communicate with students I think we need to speak in their language, from their perspective rather than from our own deeply immersed, in-the-know-about-similarities perspective. I believe answering with "It's just differences in DIRT" is a quick and evasive answer we too-often use just to avoid explaining the many nuanced differences that DIRT involves.

.ma
Did not see your posting. Excellent !
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