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what about skiing the "fast" and "slow" parts of the ski?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I enjoyed reading all the posts about skiing the "slow line fast"... it made me think of the "slow" and "fast" parts of the ski...

I hoped to draw BB into a discussion of this fine point. Actually someone alluded to skiing "fast" and feeling "back" on his skis - that's what made me think of skiing the tails of skis - it's not necessarily being in the backseat... but, alas, I'd rather BB give the correct explainations.

take it away, Bob...

post #2 of 14
C'mon, no takers? This could be really interesting. As I have understood, part of Bode's early gunslinger ski racing technique was to ride the tails coming out of every turn to get extra rebound out of them for the next turn. That is just what I remember but I can't be sure. Any other posts would be awesome.
post #3 of 14
I avoided this thread because of the request for BB to answer it. Bob is currently tied up with ESA and unlikely to answer this.

Its more or less an illusion for most skiers that the tails of the skis are faster. When most skiers get back, they feel more out of control and controlling speed through braking is greatly reduced. This gives the impression that the tails are faster. Skiing the whole ski is faster.

That is not to say that pressuring the tails to some degree in a race course does not make one faster on time. Pressuring the tails is still done but pressuring the tails is not what it use to be when everyone was on straight skis.

In the bottom third of the turn a very skillful racer may pressure the tails of the skis to gain a higher line or hang onto a turn that has a roll away fall line. Pressuring the tails will reduce tail skidding and there are times when this is a definite advantage. For the folks who's primary goal is speed control by defensively skidding the tails, the decrease in tail skid results in loss of control.

You are correct that there are ways to pressure the tails of the skis without being in the back seat but that requires offensive skiing and a high degree of skill. Pressuring the tails is done through an extension that does not push on the ball of the foot but instead transfers the pressure to the heel. In a cross under turn, this will look like a racer is in the dumper momentarily but nothing could be farther from the truth. That is where the illusion begins.

Almost all skiers do an extension by pushing down on the ball of the foot. This either puts you in the back seat, or with some forward momentum, results in up unweighting without increasing pressure on the tails. Either way its a defensive move and the only way to pressure the tails using this method is to pressure the back cuff of the boot. Not a good feeling.

I hope this made sense. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #4 of 14
Pressuring the tails is an important part of completing each turn. However, the creation of speed is not important for a freeskier although it is vital in gates.

When racing gates you are forced to follow a specific line and once you are carving cleanly they only way to go faster is to create speed. This is done by "loading" the ski with energy at the beginning of the turn and then "releasing" it at the end of the turn.

When "loading the ski" you should have a straight outside leg and be exerting as much pressure on it as possible. Now, being that it is the beginning of the turn your weight will be on the tip of the ski. Now, as the turn progresses you move your weight and your pressure back. As you complete the turn you now move the pressure to you tips and they act as a sort of springboard, propelling you forward. If you create enough energy, you should feel yourself having to fight forces that are lifting you off the ground.

If you can create this energy effectively and then release it at the end of the turn and not let it go to waste with to much up and down motion, you will be able to ski the same size turns you are skiing now, but much faster.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
hey all

I did get a message from Bob saying that he will be happy to add a response when he really has the time to do it properly.

In the meantime - this is what I have "understood" - that is not to say I am able to regurgitate the gospel here - so I appreciate the lattitude. [img]smile.gif[/img]

At the ETU, my coach explain that the tip of the ski (the shovel) is the "slow part of the ski" and the tail is the "fast part of the ski". It has to do with how the ski performs with you pressure the different parts of the ski.

Further, it was explained to me that the tip of the ski is softer (flexes more easily) and the tail if harder/stiffer. And, that using the different parts of the ski is particularly useful when encountering different conditions - think EAST COAST conditions!!

So, yes, I invited Bob Barnes and others of his expertise to sound off on these ideas...

thanks all,
post #6 of 14
At the ETU, my coach explain that the tip of the ski (the shovel) is the "slow part of the ski" and the tail is the "fast part of the ski". It has to do with how the ski performs with you pressure the different parts of the ski.
I'll buy that from a technique point of view. Engaging the shovels introduces a braking action where pressuring the tails properly does not. It has to do with where your center of mass is in relation to the fore and aft parts of the ski. For example, turn a twin tip around and mount it backwards and the tails of the ski suddenly become the slow part and the tips the fast part.
post #7 of 14
I always tell the kids "the front of the ski is the steering wheel, the back is the accelerator".
Racers usually turn in on the tips and finish on the tails. Establishing their direction slows them down, they accelerate by shifting weight to the tails shooting to the next turning point.
Often it GS you'll see the skis diverge slightly in the middle of the turn. The athlete is looking for speed and is risking being back as opposed to controlling the turn.

[ January 29, 2004, 07:50 AM: Message edited by: SLATZ ]
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
I hear what you all are saying... what was the most interesting to me was the idea of using the stiffness of the tail as a tool in hard to edge situations and the appreciation that it will bring on some extra speed, but that's ok. The extra "stability" is a really great thing.

post #9 of 14
Well, I tried that this weekend on an icy and chattery GS. Got blown off course 3 gates from the start because missed the moment to swing all the way forward: too much joy in that feet-slingshot-by-the-tails sensation. Had to hike 10 feet up and continue from there. Needless to say, my time sucked. The rest of the course I stayed forward never swinging back past the neutral position over the ski. No skidding. After the finish, somebody told me to leave Bode tricks to Bode. Couldn't agree more!
post #10 of 14
I am no expert here and usually am hesitant to post an opinion, but I had to jump in. I also went to ETU. I spent two great days with Ric Reiter and I am skiing better than ever. A BIG reason for this is that I am now using my whole ski--including carving the tails. This is a new feeling for me. I was so focused on staying "out of the backseat" that my weight was always way forward. This caused my tails to skidout with every turn. Ric got me (actually us-most of the group had similar issues) to shift our weight back so that the force of our weight was tranferred straight down through the tibia--to the front of the heel (or back of the arch) as opposed to through the ball of the foot. As soon as I got it right, I felt the tails of my skis engage in the turn. I wasn't in the dreaded "backseat". I could tell becausse the tips were also engaging and instead of losing control as one does in the back seat, I had a new sense of control. I now find that after some practice, I can engage the tails easily and carve a much better turn and have also gained significantly improved edgehold on hard snow/ice. I think this idea of riding the tail (without losing the tip and getting in the back seat) has made a huge difference and is helping me to now use "the whole ski" in ways I never did before.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
(still waiting on Bob Barnes' reply)
post #12 of 14
Maybe Ric can elaborate on his take (from ETU) more now that we have beat the "don't lean forward" thread to death. or Bob?
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
DC - you crack me up. What - you're not taking bets on when the DLF thread gets to 7 pages??

OK... yes, please - let's generate some enthusiastic conversation around the "fast and slow parts of the ski".
post #14 of 14
The DLF is now 7 pages and is hereby classified as a "classic thread". I've printed it out and highlighted what I consider the salient points and it is neatly in my Highlights Binder.
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