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Is it always wrong to skid?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Going along with the recent thread by PhysicsMan, I sometimes find it difficult or impossible to carve every turn---especially in gnarly tight bumps or steeps. I find it more desireable to skid a little at turn initiation and finish with a carve in these situations. Anybody have similar thoughts?
post #2 of 21
Last season I was taught(at one stage) to pivot the start of the turns & then carve the rest. This was in short turns - to stop me squealing so much. (I had been being noisy on runs down a tight black that was icy... My friend had described it as an icy luge - not a ski run) I was grizzly I couldn't turn as 'fast' as my instructor & so ended up taking a path I didn't really want(worn by the snowplow/stem down black run brigade - not enough finish in turn for speed control) - I wanted his line but couldn't get there...

Seemed handy for tighter turns than I can carve
post #3 of 21
Beginning skiers are trying to get down the hill any way they can.

Intermediate skiers are learning more about the different ways to ski and are still exploring,

Advanced skiers have usually begun to find a specific way they like to ski and do it pretty well.

The best skiers explore all ways of skiing, skidding, carving, pivoting, checking, countering, hopping, leaping, jumping, etc and blend them seamlessly to ski everywhere on the mountain. Using what ever skills and movement patterns as the needs arise.

So, It's ok to skid depending on the situation.

Just my opinion...
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by dchan:


The best skiers explore all ways of skiing, ....and blend them seamlessly to ski everywhere on the mountain. Using what ever skills and movement patterns as the needs arise.

Hence the new term...skarving.
post #5 of 21
Since 99.9% of the turns have some skidding, I guess it is safe to say that IT IS OK TO SKID.

Seriously though, who can carve tight bumps or steeps? As for groomed runs, true carving requires wide spaces and empty slopes.

Just carve when you can and skid when you have to.

[ March 16, 2003, 05:44 AM: Message edited by: TomB ]
post #6 of 21
All that does not carve, is not a skid....

If you look at the full spectrum of turns, one could place pure carves at one end and full pivots on the other. Same skills, but radically different blends of movements.

While, as pointed out, skilled skiers will use the full spectrum of turns to solve the mountains puzzles, they use true skidded turns far less than it would appear to the untrained eye. On the other hand, the predominant skidding done by most skiers reflects their development level and lack of options to do anything but true skidded turns. Recognising that true skids and the non-(pure)carves of skilled skiers are different turns that should be recognised as such and how they are produced better understood. Both from a movement analysis and a teaching perspective.

If you look at the tracks of skidded turn made by less acomplished skiers (when the tails displace more than the tips) they look like cressant moon shaped scrapes in the snow (narrow, fat, narrow). These turns start with predominant rotary, displacing the tails resulting in edging, and as the skis are turned across the direction of travel, pressure. These turns have few options (more skid) that can control the skiers direction or line. A crude blend (if at all) sequence of skill application that can never be re-mixed to produce a carved turn. The degree of skidding is represented in hot "fat" the middel of the narrow-fat-narrow skidded turn tracks gets.

More acomplished skiers, when not pure carving, will more often leave tracks that are closer to the same width throughout the arc, showing more of a rounded "drift" than a tail-out skid. These turns use the same movement sequence as carved turns, but applying a blend that developes edging slower, allowing more rotary effect in concert with less dominant the edge/pressure. At any time the blend producing this soft-carve type of turn can easily be biased toward more carved, or a broader drift (or even a skid) providing the expert a wide array of options to alter turn shape and direction outcomes. In contrast to the above skidded turns these could better be described as brushed-carves, that result from using the same movements that produce pure carved turns, just with different blends of timing, intensity, rate and duration of those same movements. The Degree of carving is represented by how narrow in width the uniform drift pattern of the track is.

Understanding that skidded and brushed-carve turns are made by different core movement patterns is critical to teaching core movements that provide more options (like future carving), not fewer.
[img]smile.gif[/img]

[ March 16, 2003, 09:13 AM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #7 of 21
>...Going along with the recent thread by PhysicsMan, I sometimes find it difficult or impossible to carve every turn...

I presume you are referring to the thread: Why don't more people carve? (started in "Ski Softly" thread)

The previous posters in this thread seem to be in general agreement that its OK to skid a bit when you have to, and that there are less and more refined ways to do so. To this, I would add the observation that one "has to" introduce a bit of skidding a lot more frequently on certain types of skis than on others.

Many skis you see on the hill have sidecut radii in the range 20-23 meters. Even if you get these skis on edge by 45 degrees (which is a lot, especially at the beginning and middle of the turn), their natural carve radius will still be 14 meters (or even more). Even if you could maintain this carving radius for the complete duration of a turn from traverse to traverse, a semi-circle of 14 meter radius will be 2*14*3.3 = 92 feet from traverse to traverse, and will go 46 feet out to the side of the fall line. A turn of this size is pretty big, and as TomB pointed out, many times there simply isn't room for this because of terrain, trail width, crowding, etc.. Because of this, if you are on 20+ meter sidecut skis, you shouldn't berate yourself if you find that one part of your mind is telling you that "carves are better", and another part is telling you that you better not do a pure carve right here. This is one of the fairly obvious reasons why you don't see everyone carving 100% of the time, and instead, are blending in various ammts of skidding/drifting into most of their turns.

In the last few years, quite a few skis have become available that have sidecut radii in the 12 - 15 meter range. A 12m ski up on edge at 45 degrees (as in the last example) could make a pure carved turn that is 8.5 meters radius, or 56 feet from traverse to traverse (instead of the 92 feet of the previous example). Turns of this smaller radius can be used in a lot more situations, and is certainly one of the reasons for the rapidly increasing popularity of such skis among both recreational skiers and instructors. For example, the ski I used most this season has a sidecut radius of just under 14 meters. This radius seems to fit a lot of the situations I find myself in, and I can get in quite a bit carving/cruising on it. However, even on this ski, there are innumerable situations per day where I intentionally have to introduce some degree of skidding (even sometimes 100%) into my turns.

In spite of saying that it's OK to skid a bit, BobB's maxim still holds: If you want to ski like an expert, you should strive to "ski the slow line fast (when you can)". This does not mean that experts are carving all the time (ie, damn the crowds and narrow trails), but just that this group of skiers are using their skis as close to the way they are designed to go (ie, forward, not sideways over the snow), and doing this as often as possible.

One further comment: In some skiing situations, there are disadvantages in going to a ski with a very tight sidecut radius. The obvious & most frequently heard problems are that deeply sidecut skis are less stable when run flat, when going fast, when trying to execute rock-solid large radii (GS, super-G) turns, and in irregular crud. Another problem is that in the more moderate lengths (eg, 165-175 cm) that don't require exquisite fore-aft balance, the tips of ultra-short-R skis can get large enough to be a bit unwieldy. A final criticism is that some of the short-R skis (depending on their tune and flex) skid/sideslip quite poorly, especially when you really need them to skid well. In the worst cases, they will do disconcerting things like alternately catch and release at the tips and tails, hook up unexpectedly, etc. These are not trivial or unfounded concerns. These are some of the reasons why you won't find 12 meter sidecuts on skis like 10ex's, g4, Explosivs, etc..

Thus, depending on how and where you ski, a moderate, compromise (~15-20 m) sidecut may be what is best for you, or you may find that you enjoy both worlds and need a pair of hypercarvers as well as a pair of longer-R skis.

Bottom line - don't beat yourself up if you can't / won't do pure carves every second of the day. Rather, learn how to do it well, and have it as another item in your bag of tricks to be called on when needed / desired.

HTH,

Tom / PM

[ March 17, 2003, 02:12 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #8 of 21
Instead of thinking in terms of carving,scarving,or skidding...

How about simply thinking in terms of an offensive turn in which the tails of the skis follow the tips as opposed to being displaced?

[ March 16, 2003, 07:44 PM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #9 of 21
Is it always wrong to skid? NO.
post #10 of 21
yeah what dchan said

In my bag of tricks are all sorts of edge releasing movements.
And sometimes when I'm going fast down easy smooth groomers, I'll
have fun letting my whole centered skis sort of plane over the snow
sideways for a long distance. I start such by pressuring the shovel
a little so I can sort of rotate around while going sideways. Sure
others may wonder what the heck I'm doing but if they were to watch
my skiing much they'd see a lot more strange fun games. -dave
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by PhysicsMan:
>...
Another problem is that in the more moderate lengths (eg, 165-170 cm) that don't require exquisite fore-aft balance, the tips of ultra-short-R skis can get so large as to be unwieldy. A final criticism is that some of the short-R skis (depending on their tune and flex) skid/sideslip quite poorly, especially when you really need them to do this. In the worst cases, they will do disconcerting things like alternately catch and release at the tips and tails, hook up unexpectedly, etc.
...
Bottom line - don't beat yourself up if you can't / won't carve every second of the day. Rather, learn how to do it well, and have it as another item in your bag of tricks to be called on when needed / desired.

HTH,

Tom / PM
Tom, I agree with 97% of what you said.
I especially like the closing sentence, but, as far as short skis
not needing exquisite fore-aft balance, well, differ.
IMO, a skier who is skiing on 165-170 needs to have a very exquisite fore-aft and left right balance and sensibility.
In fact,the second part of the sentence (....alternately catch and release at the tips and tails...) is, to me, a symptom of a skier who has not enough fore-aft balance sensibility as to
be able to move his/her weightin such a way as to avoid the phenomena.
I don't like to introduce racing when discussing skiing (after all, racing is an extremization of what every day skiers do, and as such, IMO not applicable as a direct paragon) but, think
of SL racers. In the recent years, the major cause of DNF
has been the racer taking off ground either backward of forward.
Why? Because they were not sufficiently quick to get "centered" on their ultra short SL skis, immediately before the take-off, that is, they had utterly loaded the springs that their skis are, up to the point that said spring catapulted them into the air.
This, again, is an example of short skis needing the skier to exert a very fine fore-aft balance act. Bode is effective (most of the times) because he "ride the tails" in such a way to go nearer to the "spring release point" of his skis than any other.
post #12 of 21
Matteo -

>...Tom, I agree with 97% of what you said...

Rats! That only makes me as good as good 'ol SCSA, wherever he may be...

>...IMO, a skier who is skiing on 165-170 needs to have a very exquisite fore-aft and left-right balance...

I understand what you are saying and fully agree that good fore-aft balance is needed. The distinction that I was trying to convey in my sentence was that I consider 155-160 cm to be ultra-short, and IMHO, this is the catagory which needs the best fore-aft balance. OTOH, I was putting 165-170 into the more moderate length catagory which didn't need quite such refined skills. To accomodate your suggestion, I modified my middle category to 165-175 rather than 165-170.

>...catch and release at the tips and tails...is, to me, a
> symptom of a skier who has not enough fore-aft balance
> sensibility as to be able to move his/her weight in such a way
> as to avoid the phenomena...

Actually, until an experience earlier this year, I would probably have agreed with you. Now, I'm not so sure, and think that for critical situations, its better to have both technique (your suggestion) and equipment (my suggestion) working in your favor.

On one run, my daughter (on her board, not skis) wanted to go down a very steep groomed trail which had refrozen into ice skating rink levels of smoothness and hardness. Her snowboarding is not as good as her skiing, and she found herself in over her head, and had to slowly sideslip her way down. She asked me to stay uphill from her to protect her from people who were falling and sliding by us. I was on my 170 Atomic 9.16's (which were in great tune).

When I was actually skiing, the 9.16's were absolutely wonderful, and were carving up this terrain like a knife. Probably, they were one of the best skis I could possibly have had on my feet for skiing this trail. However, once I switched into pure sideslip mode (to go as slow as she was going), they turned horrible on me. With zero forward velocity, and very low sideways velocity, I simply couldn't stop them from catching and releasing. If I did not concentrate, the catching and releasing tended to alternate between the tips and tails, but if I *did* concentrate on fore-aft balance, I could at least make the tips and tails catch and release in unison.

To experiment a bit further with this phenomena while actually skiing (instead of nearly stopped & just sideslipping), I let her get ahead of me a bit, and did a couple of old school jump turns (ie, no carving involved at all). Used in this mode, the 9.16's still acted pretty much the same way. Once again, they were much poorer at highly defensive skiing than many other skis I own including both modern (but less deeply sidecut) shaped skis (eg, p40's, Stormriders, even Enemy TT's), as well as any number of 20 year old stiff, straight skis I used to ride.

If the instability I experienced happened in serious "no-fall" terrain, it could make for real problems. This (and similar experiences I have heard from other people) is the reason that I said many people might prefer a more predictable, tolerant, skiddable ski for critical conditions than a more high strung (but high performance) carving machine.

Just my $0.02,

Tom / PM

[ March 17, 2003, 07:20 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #13 of 21
Thank you for the clarifications Tom. I was thinking of a skier in
"normal skiing mode" and not someone who was purely slipping.
In the place I usually ski, a 170 cm long ski is already being considered short...The type of skis which are the still the best sellers here are GS skis
Just for the record, I still ski a 198cm P40 F1.
Beleive it or not, an instructor pointed my skis to one of his students and said: "that's the ski lenght people should be" (actually I don't and didn't agree).
I wish a 165/170cm Supersport T5 or the new T6,or a 155cm P50/60 SL, but I'm sure I would end up with a 183 (or 182) P60 GC...Alas having bought a Head i-race 164cm for my wife and since I'm going to buy new skis for both ankle baiters, this year budget is already used up...
post #14 of 21
I recently started going to a different ski area which consists of mostly seriously steep groomed slopes. I was taken back that all of my very expert friends were effectively ignoring the whole carving craze and were gracefully skidding turns down these steeps. Since I've been worshipping at the pure carve altar for so long, I felt a distinct disadvantage, both because I have simply forgotton how to slip a steep slope well from a technique standpoint, and because my Atomic Race 9.16's at 170 were not too good at this because their edges let go when anything other than a pure carve was involved.

So I demoed some Volkl P50 GS Racings in 178, and then Atomic GS11's in 176 (the 180's were out), and I was stunned at how much better these skis were able aid me by gripping a skidded or semi-skidded edge. I then tried the Atomic SL9 in 160, and the edges would simply not hold well on the icy slope much as my 9.16 slaloms would not. Then I jumped on 183 P50's, but much preferred them in the 178 length, possibly because I'm so used to the shorter slaloms.

I guess my points are, 1.) Pure carving requires a commitment to higher speeds than skidded turns regardless of the pitch involved, and if it's steep enough, you're going to have to skid or semi-skid your turn unless you're willing to run 50-60mph, and 2.) PhysicsMan, I found GS skis to be surprisingly better at expert semi-skid and drift type turns when it is called for, and they give you greater confidence to go faster with a pure carved turn, and 3.) I have been converted from the "buy a long slalom ski" camp to the "buy a shorter GS ski" camp.
post #15 of 21
>...PhysicsMan, I found GS skis to be surprisingly better at expert semi-skid and drift type turns when it is called for...

I couldn't agree more, especially with respect to smooth steep surfaces. This is why I specifically mentioned my p40's (23 meter sidecut) in my previous post.

OTOH, if there is an irregular crud surface on this same slope, you almost cerainly will want to switch back to carving it up since skis don't work very well going sideways in such stuff .

What I seem to have settled into as my everyday ski (at least for this season) is a long, burly, wide ski with a SL-like sidecut radius, namely, my 184 Head xp100 Ti (123/68/107 - 13.9 meters). I didn't go the route of a short GS because while such skis will pivot easily, they preclude the short R carved turns that are needed when conditions get funky.

Tom / PM

[ March 17, 2003, 11:43 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #16 of 21
PhysicsMan, I mentioned your name because I thought you'd find it interesting that I had the same experience that you did with the otherwise excellent little carvers, the Atomic 9.16 Race Slaloms.
post #17 of 21
>...PhysicsMan, I mentioned your name because I thought you'd find it interesting that I had the same experience that you did with the otherwise excellent little carvers...

It *was* very useful to hear this. I had just had mine tuned (I keep them at 1/2 base, 3 side), and was not entirely sure if the problem I described might have been due to a bad tune. As I usually don't skid around on them very much, I simply hadn't been in a situation (ie, intentionally skidding a steep icy groomer) to encounter this problem before.

One other comment: My 9.16's are now a couple of years old. I believe that last year's model was longitudinally stiffer than mine. At minimum, this would increase the frequency of these grab-release relaxation oscillations, and might even eliminate them for lighter skiers (I'm 210 lbs). As a matter of curiosity, which year do you have and how much do you weigh.

Cheers,

Tom / PM
post #18 of 21
I've got the 2001's.. they were the 2nd iteration of this ski, and I don't think Atomic has changed them since. I tuned them 1 degree/3 degrees, but I admit that I probably hadn't touched them in 20 ski days, so maybe it's not all the ski's fault.

When I demoed skis, I noticed that the ski shop was doing a lot of machine tuning. I'm curious if you or anyone knows.. because I was greatly impressed by the tenacious grip on ice that both the Atomic GS11 and the Volkl P50 GS Race had, and because of the production line way that they were tuning all varieties of demos, I have been wondering what angles (if any) they put on their demo stock? I wonder if it isn't simply 0 degrees for both base and side edge, which raises even more questions?
post #19 of 21
Bump.. does anybody know.. do ski shops tune 90 degree edges with their demos?
Thanks..
post #20 of 21
>...I wonder if it isn't simply 0 degrees for both base and side edge...

>...does anybody know.. do ski shops tune 90 degree edges with their demos...

What shops do is obviously going to vary from place to place, but I'd be very surprised if anybody did 0/0. If there is a norm, I think 1/1 would most likely be it. The better shops might actually follow the individual ski mfgr's recommendations .

When I needed a pair tuned on the hill once, I wound up showing the kid how to adjust the machine away from 1/1, and stood right there while he ran mine through.

BTW, the 1/2 - 3 on my Atomic 9.16's (ie, that I mentioned earlier in this thread) is a special case because I use them pretty much exclusively as my ice skates. The rest of my skis are either at 1/1 or 1/2.

Tom / PM
post #21 of 21
Tom,
Weren't you talking about your skis being too grabby? Perhaps trying something in between 1/2 and 1 for the bottom might be better for sliding.
As far as shops are concerned who knows? I remember a couple of years ago, (when still on 193cm), talking to actually a good shop and finding out that they regularly did 2 deg. on the bottom! They refused to accept any of my arguments as to why that's too much. They're point was "it lets the kids get their feet out from under them". Well now they do 1 deg regularly for the base. I get mine done flat and then do it myself. ("flat" usually means a little bevel like 1/4 or sometimes even close to a half).

I know another shop, not nearly as good but with all the fancy equipment, which I wouldn't trust with anything. I mean most of the people working in their think I'm nuts when I take a new ski and check it with a flat bar. "What, do you think it's warped?" Though I bought new skis there I took them to a different shop to get flattened.

I thought Europe would have a much higher degree of competence in this matter but I was wrong. Pockets of incompetence and ignorance could give any shop here a run for the money. At least in Les Deux Alpes. I took my rentals to a shop to get tuned and started discussing angles with them. They looked at me like I was a stupid American and had no idea what I was talking about. They did everything flat and 90 deg. As they were rentals I really didn't care so I said whatever... C'est la vie!
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