or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

do i need to unweight? - Page 3

post #61 of 164
Very well said, Hap! I'd add that when we become so dogmatic about a particular movement or sequence, skiing becomes "technique-based" rather than "tactics-based" and "good" or "right" ties to the dogma of someone else, rather than my own desires, needs, goals, or freedom of expression.

The fact remains that there are only three basic things we can do with that tool on our foot: we can tip or flatten it, we can push or pull on it, and we can point it in various directions. There's nothing else! Skiing will always be learning to do these three things with skill, accuracy, precision, and a little personal flair!

And I've said it before--to suggest that someone could become a BETTER skier by NOT developing skill at one of these three things is pretty ludicrous!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #62 of 164
well said Bob thanks for sumerizing my thoughts.

Does anyone really read these threads when they get this long? We seem toi have taken a simple idea and flogged it to death :
post #63 of 164
Do not mock or underestimate our passion for minutae.
post #64 of 164
Bob, it appears that the new slalom turns still incorporate substantial tip to tail loading. And to a lesser extent, GS turns. And someone with credentials (Don't remember who, sorry) here once said that any carved turn will have more pressure on the tail at the end of the turn. But really my point was that it's what you do with this forward rebound that's important.
post #65 of 164
hapski, this isn't flogged to death. You haven't seen flogged to death as defined in this forum yet.

Bob, in no way am I abandoning steering but I do find many students who interperate steering as pivoting the outside foot.
Lets define TTS, traditional teaching system. In order to be considered traditional, you would have to include the bulk of ski intruction as it stands. In my opinion, TTS would be defined as "one beginner lesson with a rookie instructor followed by self teaching until the intermediate plateau is reached", then everyone points the finger at ski instruction in this country as a failure. At this point steering to a student means pivoting the outside ski most of the time so, I tend to used the word guiding rather than steering. Steering is great for a never ever that hasn't been self taught.
Wuddaya think of that definition of TTS?
post #66 of 164
Right on, Pierre! You say it so well....

post #67 of 164
sure, some of us lurkers read the long threads. As i mentioned in my new member introduction, "often it takes in- depth analysis and thought to reach simplicity!" Your "flogging ' of some of the ideas may help on that path to simplicity.

Bob, your definition is very thought provoking. You write so well, it leads a reader to follow and agree. The steering as tension pointing something straight is something I've felt but never thought of in that way. Thankyou for the great analogies.

"always on a" Holiday
post #68 of 164
OK...I like the direction you guys are going with steering and guiding the skis through the turn. At the same time, I would like to express the idea (not a new one for sure) that new skis do not require as much active force (steering or even fore-aft balance or pressure shifts) to make them turn and further to link urns. Getting the skis on edge and keeping the inside one light through especially the top half the turn is genrerally enough to make good turns even at the beginner level and certainly, in my opinion, at the advanced levels. Therefore, I don't see a great need to include steering the skis in my approach to teaching skiing or my own skiing. I focus on the release of the turn and linking that specific movement to the engagement of the next turn.

At the same time I do like the idea of saying something like: "guide your skis onto edge and keep the inside one light". This also links the turns because it is a continuation of the release move I've described at other times in this forum (see phantom move thread). Once the skis are turning, balancing really is the key. If someone is still trying to balance while while actively "guiding" or steering their foot as the skis come through the turn, it can be more difficult then it has to be. And it can be easy to over steer and create problems. Why not just have people get used to the skis turning using a siplified movement pattern? The skis do turn a lot better then even five years ago with less overall effort and less active movement to create pressure and arcs.

Once again...a few pennies to the pot.

post #69 of 164
My comment regarding flogging was intended to be a humous reminder that we (humans) tend to make this a tad more complicated than it is.

Pierre eh!
"Lets define TTS, traditional teaching system. In order to be considered traditional, you would have to include the bulk of ski intruction as it stands"
Its important for us instructor types to remember that all we really do is guide someones learning process. They will learn on thier own. Left to thier own devices long enough, most will eventually discover an eficiant movement pattern of sorts. With proper guidance from a qualified instructor that learn process can definatly be enhanced and acelerated.

". At this point steering to a student means pivoting the outside ski most of the time so, I tend to used the word guiding rather than steering. Steering is great for a never ever that hasn't been self taught."
Whats more important the concept or the label? Among instructors we have agreed to use the term steering to discribe muscular action that contributes to the shaping of a turn. When working with students the terminaology is not as important as long as it conects with the student. Techno-bable should be reserved for communication among teaching proffesionals. A word of caution; After the student has an understanding of a conecpt I will often times label it for them, so that when they next encounter a technical description they will understand what is being talked about.
post #70 of 164
Yeah, the point I am trying to make is that in the original question "do I need to unweight..." The answer will ultimatly be YES.
You may not notice it you certainly may not even have to initiate it but unweighting will occur.
For the beginer we may have to use some form of unweighting for the expert it will come sure as the fall line will produce speed.

Ott has it right, maybe the team here can chat up a storm but can they ski one?

No infliction of pain intended but at times it appears that our verbose postings get the better of us.

However; truth is there has been a good amount of very real and positive reflectioon on the finer points of skiing.

It is sort of like being in the bar after a day on the hill. Some folks really talk it up, some listen. It is all in good spirits and no one is to get hurt, hopefuly some one will be the better for it.

Does the Teacher or Student benifit more, you be the judge!

post #71 of 164
you said "...predates shape skis.
That floating feeling of unweighting the skis has diminished greatly in my skiing to the point where I only feel it in short retraction turns. I have even largely lost this floating feeling in bumps. This is the one thing that I did not want to give up. You are right that it is a great feeling but so is the solid control of being on edge constantly with flow from turn to turn."
First, I agree with you! I have found that shaped skis are a terrific tool for ANYONE to finaly experience what the TRUE carve is. However the lack of feeling my friend is from something else, have that checked out!
More to the point the turn to turn control you talked about is the product of the carve as we both seem to agree. What we are at issue about I guess is what Bob was saying in what to call it.
Let me simply say that if you are on your right edge and then (how ever you want to get over there) you go to the Left edge. Is the Right edge not now UNWEIGHTED?
Well there is some unweighiting that occurs to accomlish this. Several anaylogies have been given to illistrate one thinking or another.
We have a CAR MECHANIC in the crowd, how long has Porsche been batteling the unwheighting problem in high speed turns. They have built quite a suspension to dampen it so that the tires do not loose contact with the pavement. That is not to say the unweighting does not exsist, merely that the technology has inproved the controll, so that the unweighting is not a noticable factor in CONTROL.
I do not use nor am I a proponent of using unweighting to initiate or as a staple for turning the ski. However the technique is REQUIRED if you wish to ski all terrain and all conditions.
And unweighting is a natural occurance, technology or no.

I guess WE are SO good that we don't FEEL it anymore. (sad, I think I will stay with my misconception, I love it!)

post #72 of 164
All teaching systems aside I think the term steering should be tossed out. Sure you can define it to be meaningful but if it evokes the wrong idea for any substantial percentage of skiers (which in my experience it most definitely does) it's time time to do away with it. On this forum I have seen steering used to describe every technique imaginable for controlling the direction of skis (edging, pivoting, etc.). In the scientific world we call such a term imprecise and avoid it to greatest extent possible, even within our own private discussions where everyone knows what is meant (why get in the habit of using an imprecise term that can be misintepreted). If you want to refer to control of the ski direction I suggest you find another term (like control of ski direction ).
post #73 of 164
Well said Dr! "I also love the moment of pure nuetral, pure relaxation and poise in transition just before the G's build. Even though the float is brief as the skis roll on edge and the arc begins, it is there for at least an instant and often times longer especially in long radius, off-piste turns which you alluded to. It is still there and I too dig this sensation.

post #74 of 164
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:

"Steering" is extremely important in skiing, just as holding the wheel is important in driving. It is an enormous disservice to skiers--and to PSIA--to first redefine it as something undesirable, then to suggest that, despite evidence to the contrary in plain written English, PSIA subscribes to this "wrong" definition. But the most harmful disservice to skiers is to then throw out the whole notion, based on these insidious fabrications!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

Bob the above is exactly what you have done with "unweighting".

"unweighting" is extremely important in skiing, just as holding the wheel is important in driving. It is an enormous disservice to skiers--and to John Paul Robinostrum --to first redefine it as something undesirable, then to suggest that, despite evidence to the contrary in plain written English, Dr. Go subscribes to this "wrong" definition. But the most harmful disservice to skiers is to then throw out the whole notion, based on these insidious fabrications!

Bob, some people unweight there skis with no intention of "throwing the skis into a skid".
post #75 of 164
I don't understand, CW. Where did you see anything I wrote suggest that unweighting is "undesirable"? I merely said that it--and I've clearly described what I mean by "it"--is not necessary when linking carved turns. Like ANY movement, it may be undesirable in the wrong situation, but there is nothing inherently undesirable about unweighting. Clearly, though, when it comes to directional control, you have none when you're in the air!
I have also stated that getting air can be fun, and that unweighting is an ESSENTIAL tool in our bag, if we want to be experts.

While the only FUNCTION of classic unweighting is to reduce resistance and make the skis easier to turn, you are right, of course, that it can also be done "just for fun."

I do wish you would read more carefully, CW, before you lash out at something not said!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #76 of 164
And where has Bob Barnes said that "Unweighting" is unimportant. In his first post in this thread he has clearly stated it is an important skill to have within your arsenal when the tactical situation demands it.

However, he has repeatedly and correctly pointed out that in contemporary skiing we have progressed from the old concept of "unweighting" to a more dynamic transfer of weight by moving across the skis. If you have trouble with the concept go to the December 2000 Ski Magazine instructional article entitled " Out with the Old In with the New". Look at the sequence of Stu Campbell doing the old:up,down,up down and compare it with Mike Rogan demonstrating: just cross over. This article is archived in their web site.

Weight transfer and unweighting are not synonmous in contemporary skiing.
post #77 of 164
Just to recap a little further...what is the the movement (the trigger) for getting the CM to go "over the skis" as you guys describe?

If some one could address this question it would be great.

On a sperate note and back to this thread... another thought on unweighting...I think I may speak for a few people here who would say that the usage of the term "unweighting" in transition can also describe VARYING DEGRESS of unweighting the skis, from total unweighting (air under the skis) to not that much unweighting which may leave a feeling of foot to ski to snow contact through transition to link turns.

Salud compadres,

post #78 of 164
ESki you are on top of it as usual!

The wieght transfer SKi & Golf is pointing out is in fact just what we are talking about it is an Unweighting in a dynamic sense.

Not UP Weighting that would be BOBing!

TO get a 2x4 from one edge to another ya gona have to take your foot off of it for a second partner!

Just and attempt at humor!
post #79 of 164
Gee Bob, I didn't think I was lashing out. Practically every word in the post was written by you. Were you lashing out at HH?
If you were lashing out at HH I could see why you would think I was lashing out at you since they are your words.

I am sorry I am not a professional writer and don't have your knack for words but what I was triing to point out is that right here

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:

but when I use the word "unweighting," and usually when you encounter it in skiing literature, this is how it's meant. It is the "lift" of the old Arlberg technique. It is the "hop" of hop turns or "spiess." It's waiting until the skis naturally unweight at the top of a bump or the lip of a fall-away before twisting them.

It is an intentional activity, over and above(although usually incorporating) the inevitable ebb and flow of pressure that accompanies all turns. And unweighting, by this definition, is NOT necessary or even desirable for linked, carved turns, any more than a car needs to "unweight" to turn from right to left.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

you define unwieghting as NOT necessary or even desirable. Just as HH defines steering as something undesirable.

Bob, just so we are clear, the above something you wrote suggesting that unweighting is "undesirable".

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:

It is only a few ski instructors who seem to think that steering implies gross pivoting/twisting movements or throwing the outside ski into a skid. HH has certainly not helped this--he's the only one I know who adamantly insists that steering means twisting the outside ski. He's the one who has made it a popular (or unpopular) notion. He's right when he says "don't do it" in general, but he's wrong to suggest that most of us ever said otherwise!

The "official" PSIA definition of steering, from the most recent ALPINE MANUAL, is simply "the use of muscular actions to direct the path of the skis" (pg 149). These words are consistent with the "common" definition, reinforced by THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY: "To direct the course of" or, perhaps even more appropriate, "to guide by means of a device such as a rudder, paddle, or wheel" (or, perhaps, a ski!). The dictionary suggests that "guide" is a synonym. Where does "twist" or "throw into a skid" come in here?

Now I could go to THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY and look up unweighting ( but I won't) but it probably says the act of removing wieght or something similar.

Bob, do you now understand what my point is?

I'll try to summarize it here.

In one post you get down on Dr. Go for not using the classical skiing definition of unwieghting which is not supported by the dictionary and then in a later post you get down on HH for using his ski definition of steering when the dictionary version of steering is .....

I'm sorry for the confusion, maybe if I had left out your last sentence, like this,

Bob the above is exactly what you have done with "unweighting".

""unweighting" is extremely important in skiing, just as holding the wheel is important in driving. It is an enormous disservice to skiers--and to John Paul Robinostrum --to first redefine it as something undesirable, then to suggest that, despite evidence to the contrary in plain written English, Dr. Go subscribes to this "wrong" definition. "

you wouldn't have taken offense.

Sincerely Yours

Cold Water

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 03, 2001 09:30 PM: Message edited 1 time, by cold water ]</font>
post #80 of 164
Let it go man!

Too up tight about all of this, we are just having a conversation. And some FUN.

To be honest PSIA is working on a GLossary project. Which should be interesting.

But those who think they know may have a few biases that they need to shed to make it work. Possibly in Austria a million years ago there was this term that some feel does not discribe this or that. However with new technology we must be accurate in some of the review.

Watch the racers, edge to edge, some get the perfect carve and edge change.

There is weight transfer, there is unweighting as the body mass moves from one track to the next. Inside right then inside left. See the hip flexors push out then contract to send the body mass over to the otherside and repeat the process. Unweighting. Not a bad word, maybe misunderstood by some that have a biase to it as "old School". Possibly it needs to be present to paint a picture.

Personlay it seems to acuratley discribe what is going on. As to the untrained eye, this process might not be visible.

There is discussion about instructors not using the correct words of discriptions. When PSIA change it almost every year it becomes difficult for everyone to stay on track.

What Bob and some of our examiner types need to do is listen more to the wind through the pine needles. If you talked with students. I mean some really professional students. A few that I know who have had the money and the time to get instruction all over the world. You know the ones who go to Vail, or Aspen and take a private for a day or two just to get oriented or briefed more on the gossip than anything else.

Yeah they will tell you it is confusing. In fact some of the orientation that they are looking for when they meet with their favorite instructors in these well established resorts is what is the Ski School teaching this year. Then at cocktail parties you don;t sould like the Alrberg king. I do not know if we ski anybetter but we be cool with da lingo.

It is all in good fun really.

New year, new "nics", new tricks!

Have FUN and it will not go to waste!

post #81 of 164
Many instructors are avoiding the un word these days prefering to use over or across to describe what hapens during turn intiation. This seems to make more sense to most customers. The move feels soooo diferent from what they used to do that if we use a similar term (unweighting) it confuses them.
post #82 of 164
Geez, CW--no, I have no idea what your point is, or why you're belaboring it. Or perhaps I do understand your point, but I fail to see your basis for it!

There is an ENORMOUS difference between saying that "unweighting is undesirable" (your out-of-context quote of me), and that it is "not necessary or even desirable for linked, carved turns, any more than a car needs to "unweight" to turn from right to left" (what I actually said). Context is crucial--if I'd meant to end the sentence with "undesirable," I would have!

Anyway, in case I really wasn't clear, let me restate my position: Unweighting is a highly desirable, extremely important, skill in skiing! No, it is not always necessary, and it can be detrimental to control if misused, but when it's needed, nothing else will do! And--it can be fun, even when it ISN'T needed.

So if you thought I was implying that unweighting is a bad thing, I apologize for being unclear. But please hear this now: I wasn't saying that! And the only reason that I'm bothering to re-explain this point is that I think it is an important one! Unweighting--like steering--is an essential tool. That it isn't ALWAYS needed does not imply that it isn't EVER needed! That it is sometimes undesirable does not imply that it is ALWAYS undesirable!

I also thought I had made it quite clear that I have no problem with people using terminology differently than I do. (I quote: "No Problem!"--from my 8:10pm post of 11/1). If that sounds like "getting down" on Dr. Go, it certainly isn't what I intended. I intended what I said--"no problem!"

I KNOW that people use words differently. I accept it. I even cherish it! It makes life interesting, and it does not offend me in any way that someone else defines a word differently than I do. What DOES bother me is when someone else tries to put words I didn't say in my mouth--and then criticizes me for having said something quite counter to my beliefs. THAT is what I "got down" on HH for. I couldn't care less how he defines "steering," but I'd prefer he not tell others--wrongly--how I define it.

I have argued this point strongly in discussions of PSIA's "Glossary Project" (actually, an independent project at the HyperChange Cafe that PSIA is apparently interested in). I am on record firmly AGAINST attempts to create "official" definitions, to insist that words SHOULD be defined certain ways. I have stated that words have their own lives, that their real meaning is in the minds of those who hear or read them, regardless of the intent of those who speak or write them! I've gone so far as to reject suggestions that my own book be used as the "official" guide. The real benefit of discussing a term's definition is not to arrive at THE definition, but to increase our awareness of how others use terms, that we may better know how to avoid being misunderstood.

I don't mind being misunderstood, CW. I don't take it personally, and I'll do my best to clarify if I confuse someone. But as you can see, I do mind being misquoted!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

By-the-way, Dr. Go, regardless of how we define it, I agree with you that we DO see unweighting to varying degrees--sometimes even EXTREME degrees--in World Cup racing still today.

CW--just for kicks, I just looked up "unweighting" in the American Heritage Dictionary. I was surprised to find that the only definition it gives is a ski-specific one! The dictionary defines "unweighting" as "to reduce the pressure on (a ski) by shifting one's weight in order to execute a turn." For whatever that's worth....

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 03, 2001 11:48 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Bob Barnes/Colorado ]</font>
post #83 of 164
People from Utah make me nervous...
post #84 of 164
It is interesting that in the Hyperchangecafe's defintions they make a very clear distinction:

1. Pressure Transfer
Intentionally redirecting pressure from one edge or set of edges to the other in one smooth, uninterrupted, flowing movement.

2. Unweighting
Intentionally removing or reducing pressure from the skis.

I would argue Dr. Go that the weight transfer of discussed in my previous post falls under definition number 1. It is a redirection of pressure not a removal of pressure.

And I'm curious-why to get a 2x4 (or ski for that matter) from one edge to the other do I have to take my foot off of it for a second?
post #85 of 164
When I skied in St. Anton this March I saw a kid, a teenager actually, come down the mountain on a contraption. On a shaped ski there was mounted a bicycle seat about 18 inches high, a handle bar from a bike and a foot rest about 8 inches from the surface.

I examined it as he was putting it away at the bottom and he said a friend of his made it.

Why I mention this is that he was carving some mean turns, laying the the ski way on it's side while angulating from the hip.

I didn't see any unweighting, I don't see how he could, just rolling it from side to side.

Now what I think the argument is that there is a build-up of G forces while in a turn and that those extra forces are reduced and then elimiated totally at the transition, whereupon they build up again in the next turn.

Elimination of G forces does not imply that the skier's actual weight is also eliminated from weighing down the skis, it just feels like that because of the difference.

In ski lingo, in French, German/Austrian, Italian and English, in all the literature, the term unweighting has applied only to a deliberate act.

It can be up-unweighting (there is weighting at the start of this, while the body weight is pushed up, the unweighting starts as the body has reached it's apex and starts down).

It can be down-unweighting, where we do away with first going up to an apex and start by retracting from a present positon. It is much shorter in duration.

There is unweighting via a pre-jump in a downhill race to avoid getting too much air which slows the skier down.

Rebound unweighting occurs when the skier stiffnes up momentarily as the spring board lofts the body and while in suspension at the apex and rectraction of the skis, there is momentary weightlessness. Rebound can be absorbed by flexing as it happens.

Terrain unweighting is going rigid enough over uneven terrain to lighten the body, or if done over big moguls, to get air.

ALL those are deliberate actions which unweight.

And then the skier can be unweighted unwittingly by making a mistake.

post #86 of 164
Ott...I would add one other way to unweight the skis: maybe we can call it, for discussion purposes, "guided unweighting". I have desribed this before but briefly it the deliberate movement of releaseing the turn (reducing the G's) and the edges by relaxing the outside leg then, to some degree depending on preference or snow/terrain demands, the inside one. By guided, I mean there is not a set rate at which you flex the legs to draw the skis into nuetral and the upper body into the turn. YOU can guide the rate this happens which can determine your turn radius even at varying speeds. This is also my version of the "trigger" to move the CM across the skis. The continuation (the magic) of this move to enter the new turn without a hitch is to continuatue to focus on the movment of the same release foot which becomes teh new inside foot. After you take the weight off it and pass through neutral, you continue to lightly lead the edge change with it. this puts your "weight" naturally on the new outside and it bends into the arc.

Another thing that really helps this is to have good upper/lower body seperation when finishing the turn to load the rotary energy so that as the skis pass through nuetral as describerd above, they more naturally seek the falline as they come up onto edge. This can happen fast or slow. Check out the next issue of Skiing Magazine, I have it on a good source that there will be a short article on just this.

post #87 of 164
Eski, what you describe sound like a weight shift, not unweighting. To qualify as unweighting, all (or most)weight has to be OFF BOTH SKIS AT THE SAME TIME, even if just for a moment.

Simply unweighting one ski at a time while the other one is still weighted I would call weight shift.

If I read you right, what you describe, if done more vigorously, would still not lift both skis clear off the snow.

The movments I described as unweighting, if done vigerously, will lift both skis off the snow.

post #88 of 164
Right on BOB!

You have won, my heart and mind!

"Anyway, in case I really wasn't clear, let me restate my position: Unweighting is a highly desirable, extremely important, skill in skiing! No, it is not always necessary, and it can be detrimental to control if misused, but when it's needed, nothing else will do! And--it can be fun, even when it ISN'T needed." - Bob Barnes -

I love the dictionary thing too.

You know if the world sees it as a SKI thing, hmmmmm, maybe we should too!

post #89 of 164
Very good one...Ott.

post #90 of 164
Yes, Ott--great post! I like your description of unweighting as a "deliberate act." Regardless of what we call it, it is important to recognize the differences in intent and movements, if not necessarily in outcome, between these "deliberate acts" and the natural reduction of pressure that occurs as a result of the constantly varying external forces of turns.

We've hammered this one, eh? Time to get out and put these thoughts to good use!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching