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Tips hitting?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this belongs in the Ski Instruction or this forum . . . but I'll try it here.

I posted previously about transitioning from older long ski technique (195cm) to new shaped skis. Had a chance to try out the new skis this weekend (on 160 Fischer Vapors). I felt far more at home on the new skis than I expected. Skied a little of everything on the mountain that day (lots of groomed, a bit of cut up off trial stuff -- not deep -- smaller moguls, and some sheer ice up at the top where it had rained and froze over). About 2/3s blues, 1/3 blacks. Liked the skis in everything, and felt pretty much at home on them.

Post-sking, though, I looked them over closely. At the tips, on what I assume were the inside edges, there is about a two inch length on both skis that is slightly abraded on the top edge. Starting just below the apex of the tip, then down. Fairly slight, but it's there. No nicks on the edges underside on either ski.

I did not do anything on the tuning of the skis. Decided to ski them as is to get the feel for them with the factory tune. So the upper edges, all the way up to the tip, are mighty sharp. With my long skis, I used to dull about the first 8 inches or so of my tips and tails, at least slightly. I didn't do that with these (not sure if that's done with shaped skis in the same way).

I never felt the ski tips nicking each other. Any advice? I'm going to make sure that the skis are flat and that I'm not riding the inside edges for some reason (like the cant of my boots, but it shouldn't be that). What should I be thinking about technique-wise?
Any other theories of what's going on or what I should do about it?
post #2 of 11
No dulling required these days.

If not canting, maybe you have a very narrow stance
post #3 of 11
Sounds like a combination of too narrow a stance and outside ski dominance. Are you employing the "turn the right ski right to go right" approach to modern equipment use?
post #4 of 11
The narrow stance with the feet locked together is bad. A stance with just a couple of inches showing between the legs but independent foot action can be very good.

90% of the weight on the outside ski is good on packed snow.

"turn the right ski right to go right" approach is widely used but not necessarily the best and not related to modern equipment. Why steer the skis with all that sidecut? Why not use the sidecut so the skis turn us? I know, old argument and no agreement on the outcome.

Yes, sharp tips & tails all the way. We want the tips & tails to bite so that sidecut is used for the skis to turn us.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
"turn the right ski right to go right" approach is widely used but not necessarily the best and not related to modern equipment. Why steer the skis with all that sidecut? Why not use the sidecut so the skis turn us? I know, old argument and no agreement on the outcome.

Yes, sharp tips & tails all the way. We want the tips & tails to bite so that sidecut is used for the skis to turn us.
I agree. My motto is tip skis right to go right; tip skis left to go left.
Some would say, "Tip right ski right to go right; tip left ski left to go left."
post #6 of 11
JDGin,

My guess is you are starting a new turn without flattening both skis first. This causes the new outside ski to converge toward the old outside ski just as you start the new turn. This is most likely where the tips kiss. The remedy is to move your body over the skis in the transition and into the new turn before you start turning the skis. This will disengage the old edges and tip the skis on new edges keeping them parallel before you turn them.

RW
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Lots of thoughts from all of you . . . here are some responses.

-- Good to know I should keep the edges sharp, tip to tail.

-- I don't have a feet locked stance, or an overly narrow one. As an old school skier, I perhaps tried to mimic the likes of Stein Erikson (or his female equivalent at least) back in the old days, but always preferred a more pragmatic stances with my feet at least a few inches apart. I think I probably default to that. A bit on the narrow side, but certainly not a feet-locked together stance.

-- I don't think I'm much of a steerer or skidder. Maybe more of what SoftSnowGuy describes -- feet a few inches (3?) or so apart, with a fair amount of independent leg action.

But that is where I think I am most confused about technique changes for shaped skis. One very skilled skier I talked to in the shop advised that I should have about a 60/40 split of weight on downhill and uphill skis (respectively_. I played with that while on the hill. The 60/40 felt natural enough at times, and so did 90/10 and points in between. Just depended on conditions and terrain at the time.

Ron's guess sounds most right to me. I'm not flattening the skis before the turn. I tried mentally coaching myself to flatten the skis and roll them on the opposite edge, without much unweighting. And I believe I was doing it well enough when I made myself think about it. But I likely defaulted back to more of an unweighting technique as I thought less and skied more.

So the remedy may be "to move [my] body over the skis in the transition and into the new turn" before I start the turn, eh? Any drills or other aids you would suggest I try to make sure I'm getting the feel of that correctly?

Thanks, everyone. You are great resources and I appreciate it.
post #8 of 11
I think Ron's diagnosed it correctly. I will let him prescribe the cure.

Calling Ron White, please pick up the courtesy phone.
post #9 of 11
Ron hasn't answered yet, so let me share my thoughts on his concept of moving the body over the skis at transition:

As we turn, we want to consistently have the center of mass "inside" the arc that the skis travel in a turn. Here's a crude picture that I drew that represents this relationship (blue are the skis, red is the center of mass):



There are any number of things that might help you to understand this concept on the snow:
  1. Thinks of moving the center of mass (COM) over the tip of what becomes the new inside ski to start the turn.
  2. Keep the zipper of your jacket "inside" the arc of the skis.
  3. "Turn the right ski to go right, left ski to go left"
All of these " movement keys" are effectively doing the same thing, it's really a matter of seeing which connects with you.

Mike
post #10 of 11
Releasing the downhill (outside) ski by reducing the edge angle is not a new idea. How we do so is different though. It's much more subtle and in many ways should resemble the same release we use doing sideslips and Garlands. Not that you have to skid when this happens, just that you need to make subtle adjustments to your stance and balancing activities to facilitate the "subtle and progressive reduction of edge angle that causes the skis to release". Compare that to the bigger and more staccatto edge change maneuvers we used in the past.
Another possibility is you add a slight steering of the new outside ski through the transition. A very refined Wedge Christie entry move. In a race you will still see this happening and IMO we should never discard it because it has a very valid use. It just isn't used as often in recreational skiing.
Lastly, if the tips are wider, it follows that our stance needs to be a bit wider. The clearance between the skis would be smaller if we use the same stance we did on our older (narrower) skis. A good drill to help you adjust your stance would be to ski with a foot of clearance between the skis. As you do so be aware of the extra lateral stability. Not that you need that much space between your skis, but they certainly need to be wider than you were on the old skis. hope that helps.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
Sounds like a combination of too narrow a stance and outside ski dominance.
I ski with a narrow stance. When not paying attention or not 100% on my game.....what Kneale said above is what I do......and I too...........click my tips.
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