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Those turns...illustrated - Page 2

post #31 of 141
Barnes I'll show up tomorrow and make you a perfect parallel turn. Heck, I'll make you 50 of 'em. And, I'll do it on 190's.

You're making your assumptions based on one day, in November, when I was stoned to the bejezus.

One thing I'll admit, is that Barnes's criticism (he was right) really got me going. From that day forward, I was never more conscious of what parallel really is.

I'll see you again in November. I'll make those perfect turns you ask for - bring your camera.


[ June 30, 2002, 06:48 AM: Message edited by: SCSA ]
post #32 of 141
In the basic parallel turn at frame 16, and in frame 12 of the dynamic parallel, what is the importance of outlining the inside ski? In the proceeding frames the inside ski looks less significant till pressure is applied to start the new turn. A nice example and informative.
post #33 of 141
What I notice Bob is that you show a 100% weight transfer to the outside ski, especially in the dynamic turns. I thought you ALWAYS kept some weight on the inside ski--5%? 10?--in the nu 2 footed skiing. This is how the world cuppers seem to ski to my eye (although i tried it and ummm let's say i'm no WCer...)

SCSA--only a few months ago you claimed you were were putting the wood to that pro guy in Aspen, now you're making excuses for taken the wood from some old guy with his butt hangin' out [img]tongue.gif[/img] !!! What gives? surely you haven't ummm exagerated your Maieresque : abilities???

First Worldcom, then Xerox, now SCSA...how the mighty have fallin....
post #34 of 141
Thread Starter 
SCSA--relax, man--I was definitely NOT talking about you! To paraphrase Carly Simon--"this song is not about you!"

The person I was referring to, as I clearly stated, was a certified ("blue," I think) PMTS instructor who works for the Eskimo ski club at Winter Park, along with several PSIA-certified instructors. And I was not, in any way, being critical of HIM or THEM, either! I was merely pointing out that--the wedge happens--in the right circumstances, to the best of skiers, making the best of movements. Yes, it would happen to you. It happens to me. It happens! That would only be considered "bad" to someone who, for some reason, thinks that there is something inherently bad about the wedge in and of itself! The instructor in question thanked me for helping him understand this point!

For the record, SCSA, your skiing is perfect, extraordinary, optimal, exceptional, wonderful, ideal, beautiful...wait, let me find my thesaurus...fabulous, astounding, miraculous, phenomenal, wondrous, stupendous, glorious, unbelievable.... You are the expert's expert! Now let's move on!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #35 of 141
Thread Starter 

Slider--that outline is an artifact that is not in the original illustration. I was curious about it too. Sorry about the confusion! The original file is a very large .tif file that I converted to .jpg, shrunk, and finally converted to .gif to upload to the Forum. In the original, all the skis have the same black outline, and only the fill shade changes. Some of the "torsos" seem to have heavier outlines too. Ignore them!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes


[Edit 3/4/2012--This artifact is gone as of the 2008 updated images. --Bob]

post #36 of 141
Thread Starter 
Trey--good question about weight transfer. Another forum member e-mailed me with the same question. This was my reply:


Regarding weight transfers, we have had a few discussions about this at EpicSki in the past, and you're right--there's a fair amount of disagreement and confusion. I'll rehash my point of view (but there are others).

In "the past" racers did (usually) make very distinct, active weight transfers, literally stepping to the uphill ski before initiating the turn. Today we see much less of that. We often see racers with weight on both skis. So the question naturally arises: "What has changed?"

My answer has been "very little, actually"! First, racers did not ALWAYS step, even in the past. They stepped then only when they needed to--which was "usually." Courses and equipment have changed today, reducing the need for stepping, but racers STILL step whenever they need to.

But some things HAVE changed. "Old" race skis were very stiff, and it took an enormous amount of pressure (and edge angle) to bend them enough to carve a useful turn. This usually meant ALL your weight on one ski, with the other one lifted slightly so it wouldn't interfere with the turn. Today's skis, with their deep sidecut, don't need to bend as much, and they're much softer too, so they bend with a lot less pressure. We CAN bend them both at the same time, so quite often, we DO! The need for all the weight on one ski to carve is no longer there.

So we don't usually need to STEP to the new ski. But there are still several reasons why it makes sense to balance on that outside ski:

1) Biomechanically, we have more control of its edge angle, and tipping movements ("knee in") of the outside ski are stronger than those that tip the inside ski ("knee out").

2) Balancing on the outside ski reserves the inside ski as a "backup." Should the outside ski lose its grip, or the snow give way, or we just lose our balance a little, the inside ski is there to assist or take over.

3) The forces of the turn naturally pull us to the outside ski, just as they pull us to the outside when we take a turn in a car. It takes a lot of extra and unnecessary movement to the inside of the turn to PREVENT a weight transfer, and there's little to gain by doing it.

So "normal," typical turns, which is what I tried to illustrate, involve a weight transfer toward the outside ski as a RESULT of the turn. I call this a "passive" weight transfer, because it takes place IN SPITE of the skier's movements into the turn. There is no active movement toward the outside ski. (And as we've discussed, an active weight transfer causes problems--specifically, it is a "negative movement"--a move up the hill before starting a turn down the hill, a move literally away from the finish line, in the wrong direction. It would interfere with that smooth flow of the center of mass from turn to turn, shown by the red dashed line in my drawings. It also interferes with the ability to steer the new outside ski smoothly into the turn, as we recently discussed in the forum, usually requiring twisting its tail out into a skid with upper body rotation. Beware of taking Lito too literally on this one--that is exactly how his own turns start!)

Because the weight transfer is (mostly) passive, and results from the forces of the turn itself, it tends to take place more quickly, and more completely, in more dynamic turns. The illustrations show this as well.

(I'm almost finished!) There are some very slight potential ADVANTAGES of weighting both skis in a race course. I think the disadvantages outweigh these advantages almost always, but they still probably account for some of the inside ski use we see on the World Cup. Specifically, weighting the inside ski requires the skier to move farther to the inside of the turn, as I noted above. This allows him/her to take a slightly shorter line through the course. Like I said--a SLIGHT advantage! It's no advantage at all if it causes a poorer turn, causes the skier to blow out of the course, hook a tip, or injure a knee! And this advantage applies only to the split-second world of winning races. It is rarely relevant in recreational skiing.

Finally, the very same movements that result in a complete weight transfer in dynamic turns on good groomed snow will result in EQUAL weighting at times. If the outside ski either slips away (ice, dull edges, technical error), or the snow under it gives way (powder, crumbly snow, crud), your balance will shift to some degree toward the inside ski. If it is ready--equally tipped, and steered in the right direction--it can take over seamlessly, as much as needed. You don't have to make any adjustments whatever! In "the past," when that outside ski broke away, racers often made huge, athletic movements to get back on it. Now--watch Hermann Maier especially--they often do nothing at all. They ski on the inside ski often, not because they MEAN to, or HAVE to, or TRY to, but simply because they CAN!


So that's my stance on weight transfer, and I'm sticking to it! The illustrations show "typical" turns; they do not represent a dogmatic approach to "every" turn.

I hope that someone else will present the alternative viewpoints, which include "you should intentionally ski on both skis" on one end of the spectrum, and "you should make an early and active weight transfer for every turn" on the other.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[EDIT] PS--the above may still not address your specific question, Trey. Even when I feel 100% balanced on the outside ski, my inside ski usually brushes gently along on the snow, perhaps kicking up a little wake. This gives me some added sensation of the snow and my relation to it, and allows me to use the inside ski to help steer the outside ski, with the "independent leg steering" mechanism that we've discussed. I would NOT say that I try to put any particular amount of weight on that ski, but it may indeed result in 95%-5% distribution, or something.

[ June 30, 2002, 11:17 AM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #37 of 141
Thread Starter 
While I'm at the cut/paste thing, I was also asked to explain that mysterious "relative edge angles" diagram, at the bottom of each illustration. For those who aren't clear on it, here's the explanation:


As far as the "relative angles" illustration, it shows three things: 1) the edge angle of the skis on the snow, 2) the angle of the slope itself, and 3) with shades of gray, it shows the distribution of pressure between the two skis.

Remember that there are two things that affect edge angle. One is the amount you tip the skis. The other is the tilt of the hill itself. When you stand across the hill, your skis may be level, but the because the hill is tipped, your skis are on edge. That hill angle changes throughout the turn and obviously varies according to the steepness of the hill. So before a right turn, when traversing across the hill from right to left, the hill tips down to your right, while you tip your skis uphill to the left. That is what frame 1 of the "relative angles" diagram shows. As you release those edges, you flatten the skis--frames 2-5.

Then you continue to increase the angle all the way through the new turn, until it is time to "start finishing" it (does that make sense?)--frames.5-14. At the same time, as you turn downhill, the angle of the hill itself, relative to your skis, DECREASES until you reach the fall line (frame 12). When you are going directly downhill (the fall line, frame 12) the hill does not tip to the SIDE at all--so it does not affect your edge angle. In the second half of the turn, the hill increasingly angles down to your left, ADDING to the edge angle you create by tipping.

So that is what that diagram is intended to show. Does it make sense now? Any ways you can think of that I could make it clearer?


Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #38 of 141

Would it be clearer if the ski angle graphics were in the right veritical margin opposite the picture they represent. Wouldn't this also make it easier to understand the slope angle.
post #39 of 141
Thread Starter 
Like this, Tom?

This was an earlier version of the Dynamic Parallel diagram. It has several advantages, the main one being that individual frames of the edge angle diagram can be a lot bigger. But I had rejected it, because it took up too much space at the side. What do you think?

The other alternative is to put the edge angle illustrations right beside the skier frames, as it is in the old Wedge Christie illustration from the 3rd Edition (posted above). I tried this, too, but it appeared more cluttered and confusing to me.

Thanks again Tom, and everyone. This feedback is very helpful, and the book will be the better for it. I really appreciate it!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #40 of 141
I like them on the right - seems easier to read
post #41 of 141
I prefer down the side.
Just another thought...
Could I also suggest having 1 at the top of the page, and working down to the bottom?

post #42 of 141
The density of information in those illustrations is impressive. I reminds me of the examples in Tufte's wonderful book, "The visual display of quantitative information" (or some similar title, I don't have it in front of me).

Do you have this book? If not, you should get it as you keep working on the book. It is fabulous, and will just reinforce what you're doing already.

The best example there, by the way, is an old graphic of Napoleon's march into and retreat from Russia. Shows geography, troop numbers and losses, temperature, time, and who knows what else on one plot. Wins his award for high density information. The losers? US government graphs and newspapers.
post #43 of 141
Great use of photos in the up coming edition. Hopefuly these will clear up some confusion forn those people with a visual bias in their understanding of skiing. Just one sugestion. Would it be possible to eliminate a few frames per second, when I first saw the dynamic parallel photos they seemed clutered. Would use these prints on a full page or would thy be compreesed? Good luck with this edition.

post #44 of 141
I agree it's much better "down the right side".

I do have a question involving edge angles and eversion. Perhaps it's my lousy vision, however, it appears from a neutral position, between turns, the edge angles at the outset of eversion are the same and that they remain fairly equal for a considerable period ("frames 6,7,and 8 in the basic parallel turning right). In frame 20, of the dynamic turn, the edge angle of the outside ski (right) appears a ever so slightly greater, giving a sense that the skier is very mildly "a-framed".

If the tipping/steering/eversion is being lead by the inside ski wouldn't there be differing edge angles? I always picture the inside ski as being less obtuse than the outside for a considerable period of time as a turn initiates and eventually the differentials meet. As steering softens, and the process begins where a neutral "turn completion" is sought, the obtuse angles change at a matching rate. At this point eversion begins with the old outside soon to be new inside ski. Isn't this the basis for "left tip left and right tip right"? Both tips aren't going in a particular direction? Isn't this the basis for "releasing" the skis from a traverse down the hill into a line parallel to the gravity line?

I really like the new diagrams, pictures, and schematics.

[ July 01, 2002, 04:32 PM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #45 of 141

I think the edge angle graphs are most understandable in the WC diagram, but given the aesthetic choices of bottom or right, I agree that having the graphs flow up the right side is second most understandable.
post #46 of 141
Thread Starter 
Sounds like The Bears have spoken! I will work again with putting the edge diagram on the side again. Ultimately, it may depend on the situation where the illustration is used. If the space available is more narrow and vertical, I think I will need to keep the edge diagram off the side, to maximize the space for the "main event." But all else being equal, I will certainly take advantage of the wisdom of the Bears. Thank you all VERY much for your feedback!

Rusty--you've brought up some great points. In the "real world," there will often be differing edge angles and often some divergence of the skis. In particular, if we could somehow diagram my own skis as they go through a typical turn, I suspect that the inside/downhill ski would tip more than the outside ski, especially early in the turn, and that there would be a slight divergence of the tips as I actively steer the inside ski through the turn.

So the question is, where to draw the line between technical accuracy, clarity and simplification (perhaps over-simplification). And where should the line be in illustrations like these between "real world" turns that we actually make, and "perfect," "optimal" turns, that no one has ever actually made?

One advantage of illustrations is that, unlike photographs, video, or photo sequences, we actually CAN portray "perfection." We can strip away the unnecessary and irrelevant, the imbalances and compensations, and the affectations of individual style, leaving only the clinically sterile, but relevant, universal stuff. We can show "turn-ness" as opposed to just "a turn." The Tao of skiing....

This is the main reason why I like putting both the bare-bones "theoretical" illustration and photographs of real turns by real people on the same page. They complement each other well, I think. (Except for those overly dynamic photographs that accompany the Basic Parallel diagram. I'm working on that, Nolo!) They need each other!

Great talking with you today, Rusty--thanks for the phone call!

CDC--good to hear from you. I don't know if you've seen it, but I have the exact same sequence of Hermann Maier, except showing only every other frame. It is interesting--one seems to show the flow of motion better (the one with more frames), while the other shows the individual moments, movements, and "positions" better. In this case, I was after the "flow" of a real, real-life turn, thinking that separated frames to analyze would more likely distract from the main diagram, and any discrepancy would be more likely to confuse. In the book, the other version will certainly appear as well, elsewhere, in a larger format than would fit in these diagrams.

Fox--as I replied earlier, the diagrams show entirely different things when viewed "upside up" or "upside down." They are useful either way, but to make the movements "real" to the viewer, and to help him/her visualize actually making those movements, I think you will find that it doesn't work at all if the skier is coming down the page. When I look at the diagram facing up the page (as in these diagrams), I see movement. I even FEEL movement. When I turn it upside down, I see positions, isolated moments, but no "flow." Try it--it's an interesting experiment in perception!

I find this question of "up vs. down the page" interesting. Over the years, since the earlier diagrams came out, I've had people argue both sides, vehemently! Some people like it one way, others like it the other way--and few are willing to budge in their opinions!

I will throw out this thought, though. If you were illustrating some aspect of driving a car, whether a driving technique, or giving directions on a map, which way would you orient the car? I think it would be unusual to draw the car coming at you, for most purposes. I've asked this question to a few people, including one car afficionado who also thought that the skier should move "down" the page. When he thought about an analogous drawing of a car, he agreed that it should be facing up the page. Don't you find it easier to read a road map if you turn it so that you would be driving "up" the page?

For whatever reason (I'm sure our perception of gravity has something to do with it), what seems right for a car may not seem as right for a skier (again--sounds like other arguments I've made, doesn't it?).

Anyway, YOU are the skier. YOU move forward. So if you are to imagine yourself as the skier in the illustration, I think that skier has to move forward too, "up" the page.

Thanks again, everyone!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #47 of 141

Those are outstanding diagrams. I will be studying these this summer. I am not currently an owner of your encyclopedia, it was out of print by the time I tried to order it. But, please place me in line to buy the 4th edition. Your posts on this site have proven to me that you can convey the motions of skiing through words alone. But in a book, with good diagrams and photos, I think the book will be worth its weight in gold.
post #48 of 141
Bob - I prefer the angle diagrams on the Right (or left?) also. There is a more natural and obvious link between the two when they both flow in the same direction over time. I like the bottom to top layout as well. Lets me "put myself into the picture" like orienting a map where forward is always up.
Have you tried pictures from the rear? This is the way students watch the instructor, so it might help them visualize the changes easier.
post #49 of 141
Thread Starter 

Here is the Wedge Christie, finally, incorporating some of the ideas you all have suggested, including a photo-sequence from behind. I agree that this is a useful angle (wish I had the footage of everything else to create similar sequences). The other skiers are Tom Banks, of Breckenridge, and Jen Metz, of Winter Park.

Aesthetically, I still prefer the edge diagram on the bottom, personally. It is less distracting to me. But I value the feedback from the Bears, so here are all three options for comparison.

(I know, SCSA--you don't like any of them with those evil converging skis! But besides that, if you were interesting learning something, which would be the most helpful?)

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #50 of 141
I like the last one - even better with the angles by the sequence.

Photos from behind are good too
post #51 of 141
#3 is the easiest to comprehend and cleanest too.
post #52 of 141
I'll vote for version number three also.
post #53 of 141
Ditto for #3
post #54 of 141
Thread Starter 
H-m-m--I'm detecting a subtle hint here. All right! Thanks, gang!

I have one question only: with the edge angle diagrams spread out as they are in the third diagram, can you still see the small, continuous, progressive changes from each one to the next? Can you still see the "movement"? One thing that stands out more clearly to me, in both of the first two diagrams, is how the slope angle increasingly opposes the ski angle, throughout the turn (from frame 5 all the way through to frame 18). Is that relationship still clear enough in the disjointed frames of the third diagram?

I'm sorry to keep bugging you all for your opinions on this, and I truly appreciate your input. It's (obviously) harder for me to be as objectively detached from the illustrations, so your opinions are very helpful.

Other than perhaps this last question, though, the jury is in! I should have trusted my first instincts, as usual--the third illustration is the most similar to the old one it will replace, from the Third Edition. Thanks again for your help!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ July 02, 2002, 07:37 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #55 of 141
I like #1 better. I think it does a better job of showing the change in slope angle. Also having them right next to each other shows the progression of angles better. I like looking at it left to right instead of up/down.
post #56 of 141
Originally posted by disski:
I like them on the right - seems easier to read
post #57 of 141

That is what I had in mind. I tried to review it again to see if the flow was still there but the grapic didn't come up this AM. When I first saw it I liked it and thought that it flowed just fine.
post #58 of 141
Bob, though all three are understandable, it is more work to associate #1 and #2 with the skier graphic at any one point, so #3 is it for me.

I think your worry about not seeing the angle of the slope is unfounded insofar that any skier who has ever looked down a slope can relate to where the skier in the graphic is in relation to the slope, across the fall line or in it, etc.

Also, is it possible to stretch the whole picture vertically to narrow and elongate it to fit better on a page?

post #59 of 141
Barnes did a really nice job on the photos - way to go.

You know what would be good, would be some sort of test cases. A group of students taught this way, another group taught this way.

Put the results in ski rag, talk about them. Repeat the tests.

I think it'd be great.
post #60 of 141
Not trying to derail the thread, just curious.
What the heck is a "dynamic parallel turn"?


Oh yeah.
Best of luck to Barnes with his new book!
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