|while the majority of the turn is "centered", a clean turn usually begins with some forward leverage and ends with slight aft leverage.
Hmm.... Slatz, there may well be some truth to this statement, as an outcome in real skiing, but I have to respectfully disagree with it as a fundamental truth or a guideline for what OUGHT to be, for cleanest carved turns on today's equipment.
Close analysis of good skiers (World Cup racers, for example) may often reveal this slight ball-arch-heel leverage action through turns that Slatz accurately describes. But we must be careful about watching real skiing, even at the highest levels, and extrapolating from there what "ought to be," for several reasons.
First, remember that even racers trying to get to the finish line as fast as possible do not make only "clean" or "perfect" turns. Like race car drivers, ski racers must use their brakes too, very skillfully, and they often drift and skid as well. Racers do it all. "Perfect turns" are NOT the only things ski racers do, any more than turning the wheel and pressing the accelerator would be the only skills needed to win a car race. Because many racing turns are somewhat drifted, and even moreso because they sometimes brake, they DO often jab forward on their tips a little as their turns begin. But they do NOT do this when they are trying to make purest, most cleanly-carved turns. With the following exception....
The truly "perfect" turn has never been made by real human skiers. True perfection exists only on paper, and in theory. So the best skiers always need to compensate for imperfections, no matter how slight. It's a judgement call, but if you know you're going to err in something, it's usually better to err to one side than the other. It's USUALLY better to be a little too far forward on skis going into a turn than a little too far back, so expert skiers will often intentionally err to that end. It's not "ideal," but it may be the best realistically possible technique!
Pressure on the sweet spot of an edged ski will bend it into a clean, round arc from tip to tail. Leverage forward or aft of the sweet spot will change the SHAPE of the bend--tightening the arc where the pressure is increased (the tip, when levering forward), and straightening it where it is decreased. So levering forward into a turn, even slightly, is NOT desirable if you truly want your skis to start carving the cleanest, round turn. Levering forward will cause the tails to wash (which may produce the need to lever the tails slightly to end the skid and finish the turn--a vicious cycle!). Only one spot produces a clean, round arc--at any point in the turn.
The purest real example of cleanly carved, linked turns is the "railroad track turn" exercise. Accurate fore-aft movements are essential to maintain balance on the sweet spot, but no fore-aft leverage is needed or desirable. It's an exercise, though, rarely applicable to "real" skiing or racing.
So I don't disagree, Slatz, with your description of "what is" in good, real skiing. But I do disagree that fore-aft leverage is necessary or theoretically desirable in "pure-carved" linked, round turns. Creating the "ball-arch-heel" sensation through turns may be valid, practical advice for many turns, and a reasonable compensation to assure erring on the right side of perfection. But it does not describe the "perfect turn."
Bob Barnes[ February 10, 2004, 03:06 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]