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Release & Aim your skis

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
How about this focus? The last 1/3 of a turn should be about letting go of (releasing) the old turn. The release should be gradual and not ballistic. The release will create a force which we must then aim IN THE DIRECTION OF THE NEXT TURN.

I believe that most of us have a mind set that we need to CREATE a force to move us into the next turn, when, in fact, that force is created automatically by the release of the old turn. We do not need to do anything to start the new turn except release the old turn - it is then our job to be balanced against our skis so as to be in a position to immediately AIM the force in the right direction. When we fire a rifle we don't move the rifle to get the bullet going, the explosion of the powder gets the bullet going - we merely aim the bullet. The release of the old turn is the gun powder which creates the explosion which allows us to aim our skis into the next turn. Turning is all about LETTING GO! Try starting your turns by thinking only of releasing the old outside leg.

To sum it up, a turn is probably 2/3's releasing and aiming, and 1/3 "work" in the middle.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 25, 2002 03:23 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Blizzard ]</font>
post #2 of 20
I'd say your "focus" has some validity, but I'd restate it to say the last third of a turn incorporates PREPARATIONS to release and reorient for the next turn.

What mechanics would you use to carry out the thoughts?
post #3 of 20
Blizzard, I think what you are refering to is that many skiers are still up unweighting instead of just releasing the old outside ski. I still see many advance skiers with the old style up-unweighting. I think you're point is well taken.
I would like to expand somewhat on what I think Kneale was refering too. Many advanced skiers are doing what you said. They are just releasing the old outside ski and rolling onto the new edges and assume that they have reached nervana. Relax and roll works great for large radius turns but falls short on short to medium radius turns.
What 95% of all advanced skiers are not doing is continuing to steering their old inside ski and at the same time, move their center of mass while preparing for the next turn. These skiers indeed start moving their center of masses early but shut down the inside ski as soon as they start to move their CM in the last third of the turn. The result is being very "over their skis" with the resultant late edge or uncompleted falline turn. These skiers never get the skis way out from under them in the top part of the next turn and end up with a slight traverse between turns.
To get you're skis out from under you, in the top third of the turn, you must steer the skis out from under you in the last third of the previous turn. That means that the inside ski must continue to steer in the direction of the current turn while you're body is moving towards the next. Most skiers release too soon by relaxing both feet and their entire body in the last third of their turns then float somewhat to start their next turn.
Its all good skiing, its just that there is a step well above what most advanced skiers realize from just listening to the ski talk.
post #4 of 20
Wow - very interesting!
post #5 of 20
Pierre, Execellent point.
On our hard snow where we attempt to use the skis technology to carve as much as possible we are streaching for progressivly higher edge angles throughout the arc. I call it following-thru from transition to transition, by attempting to gain an extra few degrees of edge roll out of the inside foot nearing end of the arc you not only get them around the corner further but also under the bod and then further out and away quicker into next turn as your edge/leg release allows the CM to flow to inside of next arc. The follow-thru keeps the kinetic chain engaged with muscular tension acting as a wind-up that provides rebound from the muscles when the release is triggered, whether quickly with high intensity, or slower, sooner and more progressivly. This also precludes dead/flat spots (park-n-ride) in the flow from turn to turn.

A couple of us old farts were commenting on how some things have not changed, back in the '60s "Total Motion" was one of the 7 tenents of good skiing.
post #6 of 20
Bliz- Nice topic starter! Pierre good comments. We need to keep the ski's moving by steering them thru the body as we back off the edges. To often I think people are holding on to the edges much to long, the result being skidded or chatter from the skis as TOO MUCH pressure as built up because people will tend not to keep pulling the ski through the turn and ski it out the other side as you described.

Arc- You talked about adding more edge at the end of the turn. I like your description on why but I guess with new skis I don't ski with as much wind up I release more with the moving ski even in short carved turns. Therefor I feel even in a short turn I try to release the edge from the middle of the apex out but continue to steer so my transition is a very nuetral position with weight close to equal, edges about flat, stance alinged with the tips of the skis as I transition into the new turn.

I will play with your thoughts some time, nice post.
post #7 of 20
Pierre and Arcmeister, good point. Personally this is an area of focus for me as I try to further develop my skiing. I find that working on this on the groomed gives me a much better sense of an "active" transition between turns that also carries over to off-piste even when I don't focus on continual tipping and retraction of the inside ski.

Pierre, I know this has said before but I think the term steering is not very effective to describe this activity. It is too open to misinterpretation and from my experience can lead to all sorts of extraneous movements (upper body, etc.) in a person's attempt to "steer" the ski. At least for me, the concept of continuing to tip the inside ski (and retract the ski and leg up towards the body) is much more effective. It also better conveys the concept of modern efficient skiing where you tip the ski and the ski (based on its shape and technology) can steer itself through the turn.
post #8 of 20
Todo, the last part of you're response to me said.
>>To often I think people are holding on to the edges much to long, the result being skidded or chatter from the skis as TOO MUCH pressure as built up because people will tend not to keep pulling the ski through the turn and ski it out the other side as you described.<<
I know what you meant but, to many readers, this part will confuse them in relation to my post. To clarify what you are saying is, that many skiers hang onto the turn by not moving their center of mass or backing off the edges throughout the last third of the turn. Sort of park and ride if you will. They complete the turn fine but don't move the center of mass early. I was talking about many advanced skiers moving the center of mass early but not completing the turn.
It seems that many advanced skiers can both move the center of mass early or complete a turn but not both at the same time. Most level II's fall into this catagory. What they cannot do is combine the two and both finish the current turn and move the center of mass early into the next turn. This requires keeping the inside foot back with the shin against the boot tongue and steering the inside ski throughout the finish phase of the turn while at the same time, relaxing and moving the center of mass towards the next turn, from the feet up. They cannot steer the bottom half of their turn into the top of their next turn as arcmeister is saying. Those skiers feel a floating sensation in turn transition instead of solid throughout turn transition.
post #9 of 20
Si you said:
>>Pierre, I know this has said before but I think the term steering is not very effective to describe this activity. It is too open to misinterpretation and from my experience can lead to all sorts of extraneous movements (upper body, etc.) in a person's attempt to "steer" the ski. At least for me, the concept of continuing to tip the inside ski (and retract the ski and leg up towards the body) is much more effective. It also better conveys the concept of modern efficient skiing where you tip the ski and the ski (based on its shape and technology) can steer itself through the turn.<<
Si I will agree with this statment for the period just after trasition to the point where we want to start moving our center of mass towards the next turn (roughly the fall line). Once I start decreasing angulation to move my center of mass towards the next turn I find it quite impossible to continue tipping my inside foot further into the turn throughout the finish phase.
If you do uphill christies, using the natural arc of the ski, you will find that you must continue to tip the inside foot further onto its little toe edge to complete the turn as you come out of the fall line. In linked turns this is not possible to do as the center of mass is moving away from the direction the current inside ski is moving. Once the center of mass starts to move you must start actively steering the current inside ski in order to have it track the same arc and complete the bottom half of the turn. If you don't actively steer the inside ski from the moment you start to move the center of mass into the next turn, the inside ski will instead passively follow the center of mass and you will not get the skis way out from under you at the top of the next turn. Mind you, passively steering the skis still results in a smooth transtion and good skiing but there is a whole level above that. Indeed my whole discussion in this tread is that most advanced skiers don't actively steer the skis in the last third of the turn.
post #10 of 20
Good stuff Pierre/Arc..I've been constantly floating in & out of that active "Control Zone" with the short-radius on the steeps.

*SideBar: Looks like I just landed a good PT
job!....WoooHooo!...looks like I'l be out on the mountain soon.
[img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #11 of 20
Piere- You are correct my friend! Sorry if that caused any confusion. It is a hard task to be able to continue to move the cm with the ski while backing of the edge and to keep the guiding input going on the inside ski, this truly does seperate many good skiers from great ones!

You said keep the inside foot back, I do agree but can some times lead to no action so some times I will think of continueing to close the inside ankle progressivly. In esssence the same think it stays under my hip but allows me to keep moving with the ski instead of causing a static or contrived position that I have found it can cause with some skiers.

Si, At some point the ski needs to pass through FLAT and I want to continue to guide this ski from one edge to the new edge and it's not just tiping I think it is HIGHLY REFINED rotary or steering or guiding or what ever you want to call it, but I think it is more than just tiping.
post #12 of 20
Todo, you got me. This time you are correct. The correct term is flexing the ankle, not pulling back the foot. In order to flex the ankle, when moving dynamically, it feels like you are pulling back. You can also pull the foot back by reducing counter as well so if you say, "pulling back the foot" instead of "flex the ankle" in a PSIA level III exam, its back with the silver instead of the gold. :

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 25, 2002 09:22 AM: Message edited 2 times, by Pierre eh! ]</font>
post #13 of 20
Todo,
Agree with your point. However, I may have caused confusion by my use of term wind-up. I was not refering to the traditional twisting lower vs. upper body content (anticipation/release), but in the sense that we can move much more quickly from a position of opposing (agonistic?) muscular tension than we can from a passive, relaxed state. You can have your students experience what I'm describing by having them stand on flat terrain, passivly tipped on left, or right, edges. Ask them to quickly change edges as much as possible. Then get in front of them and press your hands down on their ski tips as they activly roll their feet/skis to edge and then to again change edges quickly as much as possible. They will feel a much quicker result, and greater range of edge angle change, because of rebound effect both from muscles, and torsional stiffness of skis. When this is applied to their skiing they will get a quicker, more complete release/edge change and engaged onto a higher edge, sooner, in the new turn. This happens because the edges change more from a rolling of the feet and less by rotarty tail displacement in part due to the minimizing of the time spent in the flat ski pivot zone. Additional benifit is from the legs releasing tension and allowing CM to move across more directly to inside of new turn vs. entering transition passive and firing legs to pop up and over the top, lengthing time spent in the flat ski pivot zone with skis unloaded and succeptable to rotary (useful only when desired, not as a habit).

End result, a much cleaner transition with the skis re-engaging and working for you much sooner. Now they can start learning to carve from the top of the arc....
[img]smile.gif[/img]

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 25, 2002 12:00 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Arcmeister ]</font>
post #14 of 20
Pierre, you hit home for me when you commented:

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>It seems that many advanced skiers can both move the center of mass early or complete a turn but not both at the same time. Most level II's fall into this catagory. What they cannot do is combine the two and both finish the current turn and move the center of mass early into the next turn. This requires keeping the inside foot back with the shin against the boot tongue and steering the inside ski throughout the finish phase of the turn while at the same time, relaxing and moving the center of mass towards the next turn, from the feet up. They cannot steer the bottom half of their turn into the top of their next turn as arcmeister is saying. Those skiers feel a floating sensation in turn transition instead of solid throughout turn transition.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you or others have any further comments on how to achieve both good turn completion and early movement into the next turn I would love to hear them. I would have to say, however, that the "flotation" (free fall)into the next turn is a great feeling that I would not want to abandon all the time.

Since I don't think I do this with any great proficiency I can't really respond to your comments about the necessity of steering the (old) inside foot through turn completion. I know that in general as I've eliminated the steering concept for myself my skiing has improved. Perhaps steering is the answer in this case (although I'm admittedly skeptical), that's why I'd like to hear more on this from you, Roger, Todo, and others.
post #15 of 20
Admittedly, I didn't read every word of all the posts above, but I'll add this...

When you go for that feeling of falling into the new turn, don't let yourself fall completely laterally (sideways) down the hill. That's NOT where your skis are going. Your skis are moving forward. If you move too laterally, it is very easy to get hung out there, and you will lose a good bit of your control and adaptability to changes underfoot. This gets into the consitancy thing. Sure, you can move way laterally, and it will work some, and sometimes most, of the time. However, every once in a while (every 3rd, 4th, 10th turn), you'll find yourself hung up on an inside edge, or committed to too quick or too long of a turn, and have to make a recovery move to adjust.

When moving into the new turn, you need to make sure your knees and torso move to the intended path of the skis. If you want the skis to go "over there" (point to the front right or front left), then that's where your body needs to move.

A great exercise to acomplish this, as well as the idea of guiding the skis into the new turn, instead of pushing the tails out, is to follow someone, about 10-15 feet behind them, and move your body and point your feet at them as they are just ahead of you in the turn. Doing this will put you on the new turning edges (downhill edges, or right edges for a right turn) at the very beginning of the turn, yet will keep you from over steering the skis before you hit the fall line. It's a very easy exercise to accomplish the desired outcome. The trick is to be able to visualize and accomplish the same move when the person in front of you is no longer there.

Moving in this direction will allow you to be much more quick, adaptable, and agile on your skis because you will be properly balanced throughout the entire turn.

If you fall too far laterally, you end up out of balance until your feet come around under you. While you can ski from this out of balance position, you are a lot more vulnerable in this position.
post #16 of 20
I rely on resultant rotary that is produced when the feet both are activly rolling on edge in the same direction to assist turn completion. This maintains input to the kinetic chain which rotates the femurs in the direction the feet are rolling, producing what some call passive steering. This, with the additional extra sidecut exposed really gets the arc to finish around the corner with clean carving. This action can be continued even as the legs are flexing to absorb/manage pressure and start allowing the CM to release toward new turn, in fact the flexing of the legs increases the leverage and effect of the "passive" rotary. (Seldom considered insight: The more the skis are up on edge, the more any rotary input increases shovel bite and enhances them drawing the skis around the arc because rotary primaraly results around the axis of the lower leg shaft, which are less perpendicular to the snow surface the more skis are on edge, so skidding need not be the default result.) The blending of these activities is what allows a high end skier to be smooth and snakey while slicing clean round arcs.

If someone knows how to attach a video clip I can show some very round, very carved short radius turns highlighting this action.
OR I can email the clip, but I'd need to get the software onto my new PC first.
:
post #17 of 20
Arcmeister I think that we are talking the same thing with different terms and I even swore at one point that I was going to change my definitions. What I call active steering is flexing the inside ski ankle, moving into the tongue of the boot and guiding the ski into the turn. The resultant rotary to the tip of the ski is what I call active because that is what I intended to happen. I sure don't mean twisting the feet and pushing the tails out. Your passive seems to be the same thing.
>> (Seldom considered insight: The more the skis are up on edge, the more any rotary input increases shovel bite and enhances them drawing the skis around the arc because rotary primaraly results around the axis of the lower leg shaft, which are less perpendicular to the snow surface the more skis are on edge, so skidding need not be the default result.)<<
Before you just abandon you're wind up explanation, lets take a look at it. You were stepping all around it anyway with your explanation of opposing muscular tension. The old way of anticipation release was to use rotary to wind up the skis against a fairly stable upper body but the results in practice were really counter rotation. What we are now doing is finishing the turn arc with our feet while our body is heading into the new turn. The feet are continuing around the turn and our body is headed into the next turn. If we are carving the finish of the turn, our feet and upper body are indeed winding up one against the other but, as you have said, not in the sense that we use to mean it. When we finally switch edges doing it this way the edge change will be quick. The energy stored up goes into (I suppose passive) rotary into the shovels on edge and translates into powerful turning forces with the skis on edge very early into the next turn.
I don't know how many new ways we can say things that don't drag some of the old meanings back in. Eventually as skiing matures we will run out of clear terms and have to invent new terms like Phantom Move to mean things.
post #18 of 20
Yup, we make it more complex than it need to be, let's boil it down to something really simple.

Roll'em, Bend'em, grin when the endorphins go off.....
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great comments, everyone!

The reason that I suggested this "focus" is because I believe that we often think we need to DO something to start a turn, which often cuases us to hammer the outside ski at the top of the turn, or violently twist our feet, both of which will decrease ability to edge early in the turn.
I am not suggesting that there is no steering - AIMING is steering!

As for the idea of "falling into a turn" - I did not mean that the skis stay flat so as to cause a slide - they are flat for only a moment. Edging is always PROGRESSIVE and the ski angle continually changes.

Todo and Pierre - I really like your thoughts about movement of the CM while starting to back off the edges. This certainly can often feel like trying to rub your belly and pat your head!
post #20 of 20
"falling into a turn"

Reminds me of Mermer Blakeslee's idea of surrender: the act of commitment to the turn is a "little death" (the French have a phrase for it that translates erotically); every turn has a moment where we surrender to gravity. Or not. It's a moment that seems to determine the quality of a turn.
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