Originally Posted by SteveE
My question is about skiing on two feet instead of one. I was taught to carve a turn, not skid, you bend your ski by leaning forward and ride the bent ski(s) around the turn. The max amount you can bend the ski(s), which defines the shortest radius turn, is based on the amount of pressure you exert forward and is limited by your body weight and centrifugal force. It would appear that if you apply all your weight and centrifugal force to one ski you can bend it more than if you equally divide it between two skis. Said another way, it would be easier to get the same bend on one ski than two. So if you ski on one ski instead of two you can carve a shorter radius turn or you can get the same radius with less effort – right??
I am going to go at this question a little different than everybody else.
I agree with Rick and others that tightening the turn by leveraging the skis fore and aft is far less effective than increasing edge angles. I will also say that most skiers have enough body weight to bend both skis in decamber to a large degree. It therefore begs the question of how you can get the maximum edge angles.
Let's take the zero g force static position of standing still. If you are on one ski you cannot get much of anything for edge angles however, if you are on two feet with your feet apart you can get fairly high edge angles simply because you have stability between your two feet. I therefore declare that its intuitively obvious that you can get higher edge angles on two feet than one because you can add the edge angle you can get from centrifugal force to what you can get through stability for a higher overall edge angle. Now if we are going to agree that higher edge angles are the key to tighter turns then two feet is better than one for getting a tighter turn.
That said, there are two caveats. Number one, its far easier said than done and far easier to ski dynamically on one ski than two. Number two, skiing on two skis as opposed to one is almost always slower with higher drag and friction. This means that two skis is not necessarily the fastest way to ski a line.
Controlling turn size by carrying weight on the inside ski (tipping the inside ski to a slightly higher edge than the outside ski)requires very good alignment and very good control of the flow of the body mass throughout the turn. You mechanically have to be over the skis in the right place at the right time 97% of the time or face the splits. Its far easier to carry most of the weight on the outside ski and guide the inside ski. Your edge angles will not be quite as high but you will remain upright.
I hope I have not confused the issue here with pushing the technical envelope but you did post in the Ski Technique and analysis forum.