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parallel skiing

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
My goal for skiing has always been to keep the skis as close together as possible and make my turns in this way, sliding one of the skis back as i switch the side i'm turning to, keeping the distance between my skis as minimal as possible. Is this wrong? I always thought that that was the goal of parallel skiing, but after seeing some information online, i'm beginning to think that i am incorrect. Can anybody clairfy the goals of parallel skiing to me?

Thanks.
post #2 of 25
Oh boy, that was old school with straight skis. I'm no instructor but for shape skis you want your feet "about" shoulder distance apart. Find a distance that is comfortable for you. I would suggest that you take a lesson to learn the new technique. Just remember the better you get the more fun this becomes.

I see your fairly new to this site. Welcome, You have come to a very friendly place with lots of help and knowledge.

I'm sure some of the PSIA pro's will answer your question soon.

You may want to feel free to update your profile with more info.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
post #3 of 25
I am not a pro instructor either. This technique is what I frequently see telemarkers do - understandably so, since their heel is detached - and it is what I used on XC skis back in my competing days when the race was on a hilly terrain (before skating was introduced into XC skiing, and all racers were skiing in tracks).

Today's skis make such turning technique unnecesary - but it will work with the "modern" so-called soft boots - the latest hype in boots.

Try taking a lesson.

[ November 26, 2003, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
hmmm.... i guess that's what i get when i am taught by my father who skied 25 years ago, quit and then started skiing again 7 years ago with me. If my skis aren't right togther i just don't understand the challenge on non-mogul trails, and i do not see how one can ski moguls without keeping your skis together. My progression for skiing seems to have gone from snow plow to shoulder width apart and now i can ski fairly well with as little space as allowed between skis.

I guess this is something that i'm going to have to work on this coming season. Although i am quite hesitant about taking a lesson, i just may have to.
post #5 of 25
viper,
Why so hesitant to take a lesson? There are plenty of qualified instructors to help you. If you are interested in taking a lesson at Okmemo I can lead you to some highly qualified Level III's.
I come from a background of skiing with my boot's glued together. I found that if I just made small changes at a time that worked better. So instead of hip width stance try not letting your boots rub together. It will feel weird but you will get used to it. Next step might be to pretend you have a softball between your knees. Just a few suggestions! I am sure other pro's will chime in soon!

Regards,
Terry
post #6 of 25
Hi Viper, welcome. Are you on shaped skis or still on the older skis like your father skied many years ago? Input would help, and so would a lesson.

....Ott
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
I've been on shaped skis my whole life... fortunately i've only been practicing the old technique for 2 years now, and i'm not that attached. With a lesson or two this winter, i'll be able to get down the proper technique.

Thanks for the input!
post #8 of 25
Viper, moguls are different. On moguls, you have to keep your legs close together, but don't turn by pulling the inside foot back. Most Level 7 and higher classes will teach you moguls, some resorts offer them for free.
post #9 of 25
viper45al,

1. Feet, hip width apart on the most part.

2. Don’t intentionally shuffle your feet to create tip lead. Let the terrain create the tip lead needed. Try and see if you can make a turn without any tip lead. It’s hard, but see if you can minimize it as much as possible.

3. It’s not (anymore) up and twist and skid. Its tip the ankles and engage the edges with some steering if needed.

4. It’s more equal weight on both feet, although terrain and gravity will cause you to have more weight on the outside ski. More not all.

5. Take a lesson.

6.Take another lesson.

7.And then------------take another lesson, etc, etc, etc. You get the picture, keep taking lessons.

You said in your post that a couple of lessons and you’ll have this new technique down,---- NOT! I’ve been working on it hard for three seasons now and I can’t say I’ve got it down, but I got a pretty good handle on it now, and I ski everyday. What the trainers at the ski school I work at want to see is different than the way I’ve been skiing for the last 38 year or so. Now what I was doing before taking on this new thinking and technique, I had that down pretty good, IMHO. :

Wigs
post #10 of 25
imho, I want to ski any terrain,in complete control(as much as possible!)in any snow. Skis are designed to operate together; it seems they do this best when they are parallel. My goal is not parallel it's to ski well anywhere.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by fltlndr:
imho, I want to ski any terrain,in complete control(as much as possible!)in any snow. Skis are designed to operate together; it seems they do this best when they are parallel. My goal is not parallel it's to ski well anywhere.
Paralell, well... sortof. In shorter and medium radius carved turns, the inside ski is actually steering a slightly sharper turn that the outside, so they're not perfectly paralell.

Paralell also doesn't mean together. The distance between shaped skis should be hip width apart for all purpose skiing (not moguls). In high g-force turns, while your skis are on edge and ankles are angulated, the ski's may get closer together or slightly farther apart. That's alright, but it should not be forced... just let it happen. In the turn, the width has more to do with stability, balance and steering. It's really more about 'feel' at that point.

GF
post #12 of 25
As I have just jumped into this thread, I note that there are some inconsistancies. I am a ski pro (PMTS). Hip width and shoulder width are confusing. Shoulder width, in my estimation is too wide to be able to control the inside ski properly. What is hip width? Hang by something so that you feet will dangle. The space between the feet is hip-width. You will note that there is but about 4 inches between them. That is a reasonable stance for skiing. It lets you tip the inside ski more effectively. It lets you weight the inside ski, if you so desire, effectively. I use 70/30-80/20 weighting of my inside ski. This weighting allows for different snow conditions, ie hardpack or ice.

I have noted some high level PSIA pros skiing. They are not skiing "wide-track," but hip-width, as I have described above. Their skis are tracking 4-6 inches apart. They are further apart than mine, but that is ok. Their's works for them, mine works for me.
post #13 of 25
4-8 inches between the skis is fine for bumps. Wider than that is also fine if you take the right line. Closer than that is really only for competitions.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by GF:
Paralell, well... sortof. In shorter and medium radius carved turns, the inside ski is actually steering a slightly sharper turn that the outside, so they're not perfectly paralell (sic)...
Huh? So, two circles with a common center are not parallel at corresponding positions around each circle?

Most good skiers can go around turns of any radius with their skis converging, parallel to within a degree or less, or diverging.

Tom / PM
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by PhysicsMan:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by GF:
Paralell, well... sortof. In shorter and medium radius carved turns, the inside ski is actually steering a slightly sharper turn that the outside, so they're not perfectly paralell (sic)...
Huh? So, two circles with a common center are not parallel at corresponding positions around each circle?

Most good skiers can go around turns of any radius with their skis converging, parallel to within a degree or less, or diverging.

Tom / PM
</font>[/quote]Tom, your reference to concentric circles and common radii is correct. However, you make an assumption that the ski-tips lay on the same radius at all points in the turn, and that's where you make an error.

Depending on your anatomy and how you were taught, the inside ski-tip goes ahead of the outer ski-tip at some point in the turn (usually during the entire second half of the turn), and so it is at a point further along the circle. Under those conditions, the inside ski appears to be diverging slightly from the outside while you are in the middle and finish of the turn.

GF

[ November 29, 2003, 10:14 AM: Message edited by: GF ]
post #16 of 25
I had the chance to ski with Rick H and CGeib over the holiday at Loveland. We had a good time on a cold windy day.

I think the best advice I have ever heard was to imagine being picked up under the armpits and allowing your legs to dangle. This is ideal stance width.

You'll know when you are too wide and/or too narrow.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by GF:
...However, you make an assumption that the ski-tips lay on the same radius at all points in the turn, and that's where you make an error...the inside ski-tip goes ahead of the outer ski-tip at some point in the turn (usually during the entire second half of the turn), and so it is at a point further along the circle...
Hi GF - Thanks for the thought provoking reply. I don't think I have ever seen anyone suggest that particular mechanism before. You are absolutely correct that I did make an implicit assumption that the effect of tip lead on divergence was negligible compared to other reasons for divergence or convergence of the skis. However, I still think this is true, and I will outline my reasoning below.

First, in modern, higher-level skiing, tip-lead has been greatly reduced, so I wouldn't base an argument on assuming that it is present.

Second, even if tip lead is present, perhaps, as you suggested, in a skier with older technique, its effect on ski parallelism is negliglble.

Lets assume conditions most favorable to your argument - a huge amount of tip lead even for an old school skier (say, 1 foot), and a skier making a tight carved turn (say, of radius 5 meters - around half of the sidecut radius of the most deeply sidecut skis currently available for sale).

If you do the geometry, the divergence due to the mechanism that you suggested is only 3.488 degrees. In reality, maximum tip leads even for old-school skiers are usually more like 6 inches (not 1 ft), leading to divergences (due to the mechanism you postulated) in the 1.5 degree range.

This is the reason that in my previous post I said that the small divergence angle due to tip lead is negligible compared to the much larger angles between the skis that skiers intentionally or unintentionally introduce because of their technique. For example, in a modest stem (or diverging step) position on a pair of 170 cm boards, if the tips are separated by 2 inches and the tails by 1 foot (or visa versa), the skis will be off parallel by 8.5 degrees, about 5x larger than what arises from the tip lead mechanism you suggested.

Tom / PM

PS - Sorry for the mini-hijack, folks.
post #18 of 25
PSIA should pass a decree, "Anyone who ever suggests shoulder width for skiing stance be banned from teaching for a period of from life or until actual knowledge is attained".

I'm 6'1" 190 pounds and in excellent shape. At shoulder width my feet would be 16 inches apart. What am I, in a freakin World Cup Downhill event.

Viper, I concur with Wigs. Get a lesson. But if the instructor tells you to be "shoulder width" in your stance, ditch him in the woods and go find a new one.
post #19 of 25
Jump straight up. You will land with your feet at a natural distance apart!

Lest we get too crazy here. Skis need to be apart (not jammed together) for better balance and to allow better range of ankle, knee and hip movement. No "magic" distance.
post #20 of 25
Viper,

You asked for the "goals" of parallel skiing.

Here's one for parallel skiing on a groomed run:
Leave pencil thin tracks in the snow.

Here's another one for in general:
Make smooth "C" shaped turns.
post #21 of 25
Rusty Guy,

It was fun skiing with you and CGeib! Your armpit analogy is right on. By looking at you tracks in the snow, there is a 4-5 inch space between your skis. That to me, is a good, athletic stance.

Laurie and I skied at Steamboat, in the mashed patatoes, yesterday. We worked on different approaches to pole plants. Amazing, the difference in turn shape by altering the placement and lifting of the inside hand after the plant.
post #22 of 25
A reply to Blizzard , sure if you jump straight up and land you tend to land with feet well apart . How much skiing is straight up and down ? Try straddle jumping a 2 foot high bench and see how your feet land , or even say 30 vertical jumps in a row with knees touching your chest . In both cases your feet will be barely inches apart . It is interesting how things can be taken out of context in order to bolster a point of view .

J.C.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
outta curiosity, when at just plain epicski.com, is the guy at the top right parallel skiing, cuz his skis seem pretty close together.
post #24 of 25
Claski,
The point is that your body seeks a position of balance and ends up with feet apart - it's an example to show that the body seeking balance does NOT end up with feet together. What other athletic moves do you make with your feet together?

[ December 04, 2003, 09:55 AM: Message edited by: Blizzard ]
post #25 of 25
Blizzard , I see your point about balance but I think we are talking about two kinds of balance , the static kind used say in martial arts eg. Aikido or the dynamic kind as used in skiing or the above mentioned straddle jumps . In both the latter cases the centre of gravity is away to the side of the feet when they hit the ground .In the former case the centre of gravity is actually between the feet most of the time . In Aikido or Karate stability is important , in skiing it is a kind of balanced instability ( which is what makes it such fun ). In martial arts that centered feeling is great , in skiing it's that feeling of always being on the edge .
What do you think ? Try the straddle jumps with feet apart and together ( continuosly with a stable upper body )
J.C.
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