New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The short turn - Page 3

post #61 of 83
Oz,

Been doing any reading lately? Or have you just been reading into things?

Maybe we need a better understanding of the difference between a short swing and a short radius turn. A short swing is described in The official American Ski Technique (1964) as "consecutive parallel christies without traverse." {Yep, you guessed it, the old-time parallel turn had a traverse!)

At least one difference between the "old turns" and the "modern turns" is the elimination of the traverse.

Let me share the how-to on short swing from that manual:

"Practice hop exercises in fall-line on gentle slopes, and hop-garlands on a traverse on steep slopes. Develop proper rhythm and timing of pole-plant. Strive for good rhythm and smooth linking of turns, so that the end of one turn blends into the beginning of the next."

"Gradually practice on steeper slopes. striving to eliminate the hop in favor of a smooth minimum amount of down-up-down motion. Ar first, turns may be quite rounded, but gradually decrease the length of the arc of the turn...Guuard against over-turning of the skis when the turn is initiated. Gradually polish the movements by eliminating all unnecessary motion."

I feel it is fair to characterize the short swing as a controlled hop-pivot-edgeset with quick loading and unloading of the ski and a blocking pole plant, in which the human turns the ski; the ski does not turn the human.

A modern short radius turn is the same as a modern long radius turn only of shorter duration, somewhat greater intensity (due to the exciting terrain on which it is performed, no doubt), and quicker tempo. In all of these turns, unless an emergency comes up, the ski can be said to turn the human, and not the other way around.

Finally, I would submit that the specifications changed because of technological advances in equipment which allows people to use a shorter, considerably softer ski than in 1964.

Actually, it occurs to me that long turns may be the endangered species of ski technique, as so few learn the patience and subtlety to do one (without a traverse). People learn a medium radius, then move to shorter radii, gain tons of control, and shy away from the opposite side of the spectrum where speed and precision are rewarded with exhilaration and freedom.
post #62 of 83
To make a short turn I just do what I do to make a long turn but I do it harder, quicker and adjust the timing of when I do what a little.

Its all the same damn turn ain't it?

Yd
post #63 of 83
Quote:
Basically the theory seems to be drifting from the reality
Well said, Oz. As a general comment, this statement represents what I've seen happen time after time in skiing! I think it results from a misconception, or a blurring of the lines, between what CAN happen and what SHOULD happpen.

Some racer has great success and someone identifies a unique move in his/her technique now and then--the Mahres' "White Pass Turn" that we've discussed at length is a good example--and the next thing you know, coaches and instructors start hailing it as "the new technique," something that makes all "previous techniques" obsolete, and that represents the only "right" way to do it.

Or some new ski comes along, with deeper sidecut and a much tighter turning radius than "traditional skis," bringing new capabilities to carve tighter turns. Slalom racers find that, in many cases, they can make the gate by just tipping and riding, rather than the classic redirect--edgeset--rebound & redirect cycle of the traditional "float and sting" slalom turn. And coaches and instructors latch on to this as "the new way"--which assumes that the "other way" is now the "old way" and therefore obsolete.

New capabilities are great, but they don't necessarily render anything else obsolete. I don't know why we have such a hard time simply learning a new thing and ADDING it to our quivver of movement options, without feeling the need to throw something else out! It's like learning a new word and forgetting all the "old" ones in your vocabulary! That is NOT growth!

This theme runs through almost everything, including teaching methodologies. The new skis give us the capability to explore edging movements and carved turns much earlier than we could before. The best instructors have ADDED these options to their teaching repertoires, without feeling the need to adopt an "either/or" mentality.

The solution, as always, is to gain enough, and deep enough, understanding to keep it all in perspective.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ August 12, 2002, 08:29 AM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #64 of 83
Quote:
Actually, it occurs to me that long turns may be the endangered species of ski technique, as so few learn the patience and subtlety to do one (without a traverse). People learn a medium radius, then move to shorter radii, gain tons of control, and shy away from the opposite side of the spectrum where speed and precision are rewarded with exhilaration and freedom
Yes, Nolo--good point! Because shorter turns WILL get you down just about anything, the practical side of longer turns is not obvious. In our many discussions to try to define the essence of "expert," we've certainly seen how commonly it is equated with the level of terrain you can survive. With that perception, long turns have no practical use!

If ski technique were simply a matter of practicality and survival, the long turn would be no more than a luxury--a sports car in a world of pickup trucks.

But what fun it is to drive a sports car....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #65 of 83
Ydnar - lot of truth to that!

Certainly short turns of the variety which use a lot of unweighting have require some unique skier input compared to longer turns.

However, many of the other species of shorter turns have really mechanically moved very close to longer turns (and longer turns moved closer to shorter turns) with the last decade of advances in equipment and training.
post #66 of 83
For your amusement, let me tell you the "reason" one younger guy gave me why he didn't like carved turns, particularly, the way he was doing them, namely, nicely done medium-short radius carves, but linked with long, almost level traverses between them.

His big problem with these turns was that, "even beginners doing snowplows beat me to the bottom."

He didn't see that these very turns that he disliked provided tremendous control over his rate of vertical descent. He didn't see the irony or anything humorous about his statement, so I responded seriously with comments to the effect that this is exactly what control means, he is lengthening his path by his long traverses, what will happen to the snowplower on steeper terrain, in rough snow, he can always open up his radius, etc.

Unfortunately, I don't think I ever really convinced him, because his deeply held criterion for success in skiing was simply how fast he could get down the mountain, and nothing was about to change this (short of having him run a few highly offset gates and a bit of skiing maturity, ie, experiences on something other than groomers, etc.).

I think he is representative of a decent sized group of intermediates that have actually learned the technique of carving in ski school, but (a) haven't learned the reasons behind it, and (b) for some reason, think they must only use one technique (as BobB mentioned).

FWIW, I'll throw out one final set of "reasons" occasionally given for not likeing short radius carved turns. Often these reasons are given by older people whose only intention is to ski manicured groomers on bluebird days, and that prefer long periods of sliding sideways followed by a quick change in the direction they are pointing. They say, "Carving is too much work ... you can never relax and stop turning ... it's hard on the legs ... etc."

In some ways, I can't fault them for their opinion - they have defined the limits of their interest, found a nice relaxing way to get down the mountain, the G force that they experience never varies from one, their method doesn't stress their weakening muscles, it keeps them in a narrow corridor in traffic, etc. Any comments on what to say to this group (other than ask them what they want to improve)?

Tom / PM

[ August 12, 2002, 09:57 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #67 of 83
Those are pretty funny comments he made to you!

As far as what to say if a student (or gawd help me an instructor) said something similar. I think I would make sure not to smile, and very patiently and seriously explore the topic of what the fastest skiers in the world do, ski racers . . . which is of course carve.

Then perhaps gently demonstrate the fact that in truly carved turns of any radius I would be able to beat them down a slope where they were skidding any turns of the same radius. Only straightlining it and making no turns at all is faster than carving! And its not just because you are not losing energy as you do when skidding, but because you also can actually accelerate out of every turn when you are really on them.

There is certainly nothing wrong with skidding, I'd be dead pretty quick if I was only allowed to carve on extreme steeps and in the moguls -- but it certainly is not faster!
post #68 of 83
Quote:
Originally posted by GravityGuru (Todd):
...demonstrate the fact that in truly carved turns of any radius I would be able to beat them down a slope where they were skidding any turns of the same radius. Only straightlining it and making no turns at all is faster than carving! ...
You are right. Holding the radius constant is key to any reasonable comparison.

Unfortunately, this guy was comparing apples (an extreeeemely long sinuous path at say 15 mph with parallel skis, aka "skiing the slow line fast) with oranges (ie, a straight line to the bottom of the mountain at 7 mph in an arms-everywhere snowplow, aka, "skiing the fast line slow").

The real problem is that to him and probably to many (most?) other recreational skiers, this distinction is completely irrelevant when all he really cares about is beating his buddy down to the lodge. Maybe this is part of the reason "they" never come back for lessons after they can know enough to ski down from the top.

How about the other "type": Any thoughts on the comments made by the older skiers?

Tom / PM

[ August 12, 2002, 01:04 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #69 of 83
>>>How about the other "type": Any thoughts on the comments made by the older skiers?<<<

PM, I can't really comment without being skewed because I ski with an older group, between 70 and 89, both women and men and we kick butt all around. There are very few younger skiers who can stay with us.

Lucille Borgen at 89 skis every day all season long, all day long. And at the end of he season she goes to her Florida home and waterskis all Spring and Summer and still does tricks on slalom waterskis, hooking one foot through the loop and skiing backward. She once was US waterski womens champion.

And I tell you the reason why. At our age the less capable skiers have fallen by the wayside through illness or injury and don't want to risk it anymore. A former ski school director here and one of the top skiers in the midwest in his time and once the head of certification in the Central Division of PSIA and a role model to all of us, at 75 has given up skiing alltogether.

He said he doesn't enjoy skiing slow and he is afraid to ski fast anymore so he gave it up, but he still plays a mean game of tennis.

...Ott

Edited for spelling....

[ August 13, 2002, 05:05 AM: Message edited by: Ott Gangl ]
post #70 of 83
Quoting 1964 as the turn to relate back to for this discussion is pretty useless. I am talking about the past 10 years. This, I believe is the relevant time period of change that can be used as the basis of this topic. Short turns without a traverse have been taught universally since I first attended a SS clinic in 1983 … and probably long before then.

What has changed in the past 10 years? The tools of the trade is what. Torsionally stiffer, graduated flex patterns, superior dampening, enhanced side cut, bindings that allow the ski to flex along its whole length these are the changes.

Have we changed the short turn skier movements a great deal to match these technology changes?

I believe not at all. What I do believe is that we have changed the EMPHASIS on particular movements. I.e. not so much up and down but more suck and glide.

So are the “suck and glide” “use the edged ski” movements new …. IMHO no they are not.

Minimize skidding and maximize carving.

This has been the ski turn motto since I first listened to a ski lecture.

Each time the ski tool changes some people want to reinvent the turn motions as “A NEW TURN”. Personally I use the terms “changed emphasis” rather than “new way”. My clients find it easier to “progress” from what they know instead of thinking it is all new again. Sort of like if I buy a sports car I do not need to resit my driving license again but I may want some specific practise to get the most out of my new toy.

Has anyone thought how much confusion using the term “new way” has for the general skiing public as well as all those confused new instructors passing on confused messages to the confused clients. Yes it is circular and the confusion does end up being published at times. I think PhysicMans examples may be case in point of this confusion.

I feel strongly about “new messages” that are incomplete. The theory must match the hill time. It must include "historic" references to be valid.

I do agree with the technical discussion in this thread on the TARGET correct technique for making short turns using the latest ski tools. (longer or shorter in crud or groomed)

Cheers

Oz
post #71 of 83
Oops, sorry Oz. I thought it might be instructive to go to the wayback machine to find out what's the basis for this "short swing" people are talking about, particularly since I felt taken to task for my comments on the difference between the old short swing and the "new" SRT.

To me, short swing IS a blast from the past, when people distinguished between christies and turns, were okay with traversing between direction changes, and did something called down-up-down and "total motion."

I was happy with my understanding of the difference based on that long view, but if we're limiting our discussion to the past 10 years, then I would question the relevance of short swing, for surely it has been in mothballs for 10 years, except as a historical artifact or exam task.

SIDEBAR
In my 22 year teaching career, I don't recall having taught short swing to a paying customer--that's how rarefied the maneuver was in actual practice, and how slim I gauged the customers' chances of success with it. (I did, however, teach short swing at my Level III exam in 1983.)

In its day, the short swing was held up as the pinnacle of skiing achievement, the toughest demo in the pack, the one the examiners were going to be particularly picky about. In point of actual fact, this emphasis produced a few examiners whose expertise at executing textbook short swing turns carried their careers as divisional DCEs, but they were essentially one-trick ponies.

It's interesting what happens when a short swing god puts on a pair of new softer, wider, shaped skis. (This is not a dramatization--I have in mind a particular person with whom I work closely and whose awakening I witnessed.) The first impression is, "These skis suck!" (They do! He picked the same length of skis as he always has.) After a while (a couple of years, in this case) the skier will get out of himself and his disappointment at not taking to the skis like a duck to water, and look around at "lesser" skiers getting a heck of a lot more from the skis than he is. When that light comes on, the old short swinger will be ready to accept that he needs to size down for better handling and that his repertoire of skiing movements needs a makeover.

Then, Katy bar the door, because this guy will think he just discovered the sport of skiing and will have the zeal of the convert to tell everyone about it, whether they've been there, done that or not.
END OF SIDEBAR

I agree that in the past 10 years, we have not created a new SRT, but have gotten more performance out of the same old turn, whether it is carved on groomers or skidded on steeps.

[ August 13, 2002, 08:03 AM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #72 of 83
originally from BobBarnes
Quote:
New capabilities are great, but they don't necessarily render anything else obsolete. I don't know why we have such a hard time simply learning a new thing and ADDING it to our quivver of movement options, without feeling the need to throw something else out! It's like learning a new word and forgetting all the "old" ones in your vocabulary! That is NOT growth!
Bob hit the nail on the head.
Last season I recieved a pair of really short really shaped slalom skiis. I've always tended toward short turns. On my previous pair of shorty SL's a pure carved turn tended to be drawn out down the hill. With this pair I could really arc a set of round carved short turns that contolled speed on MOST terrain.

Two weeks later I arrived at Jackson Hole to lead a few days of exams and clinics I accidently left my long(184) big mountain skiis sitting at home and only had my 160 SL's. It did not take long to discover that all manner of short turns; carved and skidded were needed to survive. It was amazing to discover that this ski did well in everything that great mountian had to offer.

Boy were my glutes sore in the morning though!!
post #73 of 83
Hey Hap-where you been? Good to see you back here!

I did the same thing last winter--took a pair of new Elan SLX (short slaloms) to Vail one day, to ski 10" of new snow. What was I thinking? (What, was I thinking?) Besides being just about as wrong a choice of ski as I could make for about every turn, the nose-picker tips finally impaled the side of a steep gulley, and I ended up with a cracked rib!

Stick around!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #74 of 83
The term "Technical" developed as the athletes on the ski teams starting falling into two groups:

The high speed events DH and SG became the "Speed event" athletes, while the SL and GS athletes became known as the Technical event athletes, probably because they didn't want to call them the "Slow" group. Not exactly, but you get the idea.

GS is considered to be the basis for all ski team (alpine race) training. Start in the middle with emphasis on skills (technique) and develop shorter or longer turns from there. As Robin pointed out it is the event where skills are most important. As SL turns have become more carved and GS turns are carved with ease, the line between the two has become blurred as "I'll ask ya" Mike points out.

For me there is nothing more "Technical than high speed, short, pure carve turns. And nope, there's not a bit of steering in there!

Thanks for the interesting forum, I'll go back to lurking now, thank you!
post #75 of 83
Oz:
Quote:
Quoting 1964 as the turn to relate back to for this discussion is pretty useless. I am talking about the past 10 years. This, I believe is the relevant time period of change that can be used as the basis of this topic. Short turns without a traverse have been taught universally since I first attended a SS clinic in 1983 … and probably long before then.
I am going to side with nolo on this one. The short swing was something that I had perfected and used constantly in the 70's. By the 80's I was more into a short rounder turn which I did not consider to be a short swing turn.
If we are indeed discussing the differences between a PSIA round short turn and a short swing turn, then we do have to go back more than 20 years.
My 160cm 1975 Olin Mark IV's were nothing like your 1985 skis that you go jump on and do round turns.
When I demonstrate a true short swing turn today all the instructors just stare at it in disbelief.

[ August 14, 2002, 02:52 PM: Message edited by: Pierre eh! ]
post #76 of 83
Thread Starter 
Don't listen to Juan Pierre. He thinks he's the man - he ain't.

I am.

Hey Pierre. You better quit typing and start jogging. Cuz, ski season will be here before you know it.



Edit:
I'll tell you something else. The only thing instructors are amazed at with Juan Pierre is when he bends over and shows his...better side.

ha ha ha ha
I'm gonna kick his a##

[ August 14, 2002, 03:03 PM: Message edited by: SCSA ]
post #77 of 83
Quote:
SCSA says:
ha ha ha ha
I'm gonna kick his a##
Hey Boy! you can't put that much time in between now and Utar.
post #78 of 83
Bob Barnes/Colorado

I was lucky that I was on next years SLX. What a great ski. I was very surprised at how well it skied off piste. I was a little nervous on the first high speed crud run following the local boys. The ski did great as long as there was some shape to the turn
post #79 of 83
See:

http://www.psia.org/psia_2002/educat...shortturns.asp

Three years old, but this is the latest published article on the SRT in the TPS archives.

Excerpt:

Quote:

While skiing changed slowly and subtly during the 1970s and '80s--and even into the early '90s--it has exploded with possibilities within the last few years. Skis are now much shorter and softer with a lot more sidecut, but they aren't the only type of equipment that shows vast improvements: today's boots are more anatomically built, provide better feel and sensitivity through customization, and transfer more energy to the skis than those made just 15 years ago. Innovations in bindings have also contributed to the recent revolution in skiing, offering everything from increased leverage through added height to flex control for fine-tuning the stiffness underfoot and vibration dampening for increased stability. With the many advances in equipment design, a skilled skier can now carve wickedly short arcs and carry more speed in short-radius turns than his or her predecessors would have thought possible.

Slalom skis in particular have recently undergone their most radical construction change since the early 1970s. The traditional slalom ski had a narrow tip and waist with a wider flaring and stiff tail. A ski of this shape can be turned quickly down the fall line and hammered in the mid- to final phase of the turn to bite firmly on hard snow. Today's slalom skis are more radically shaped than older models, and racers are experimenting with very short lengths in the 160- to 180-centimeter range.

On these new-generation slalom skis, the tip is the widest part of the ski. This huge design shift is motivated by the increasingly round and across-the-fall-line turns demanded in World Cup slalom. Very short skis with a wider tip, a very narrow waist, and a high taper angle (narrower tail than tip) are extremely effective at carving short, round arcs and directing energy forward and across the hill between turns. Slalom racers are generally skiing offset slalom turns with earlier pressure and much more carving on these radical new slalom skis. The biggest problem the racers encounter appears to be the challenge of maintaining balance on such a short platform. The shaped skis that most instructors are now using put these very round, more carved short turns within reach of us mere mortals; we just won't ski them quite as fast as the World Cup racers.
post #80 of 83
Oz:
Quote:
I would love it if one of my learned collegues could post a summary of the current short turn "pure" technique when utilising the latest ski technique in a "perfect" ski hill scenario.
Now to address your point. The short turn "pure" technique only applies during a PSIA level III exam. Its whatever the hell the examiner thinks it is. Its a moving target.

A few short years ago, some edge set and pushoff was acceptable in the short turns, in the level III exam. Then the examiners got on short carvers and wala. Its now not acceptable to to show anything but diagonal CM movements (ie the so called "pure" turn movements). The turns have to be round with no straight ski movments. (Staight ski movments are movements where a platform was created to effect an extension.)

So whats new? Nothing, we can do those round short turns on straight skis with a slightly larger radius or more tail skidding. What is new is that many examiners somehow think they have discovered something new. They do not believe that they are slightly behind the cutting edge thus, they talk about new "pure" turn technique.

So to answer your quote "New short turn pure technique" is a PSIA level III exam-moving target and has little to do with everyday skiing.
post #81 of 83
I was under the impression we where discussing short turns and the changes to technique that apply due to relativly recent developments in ski manufacture.

Anything before then was supereseded many moons ago.

I would love it if one of my learned collegues could post a summary of the current short turn "pure" technique when utilising the latest ski technique in a "perfect" ski hill scenario.

Cheers

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #82 of 83
Pierre eh!

Not sure what examiners you've been working with or talking to. I've been working as an examiner for more than 10 seasons with recent experience in Rocky Mountain and Intermountain. As equipment and technique have changed over the years we (clinic leaders/exminers that I've worked with) have always stiven to keep exam tasks pertinent to our students and our own skiing.

Using the World Cup (AS AN EXAMPLE), technique has evoled as the equipment has became more efficient. The movments are the same but the timing duration and intensity of movments has changed as the desired/expected outcomes have changed.

What does that mean? We have always fexed-extended, turned our feet, and tipped our legs.
When we want to carve the mix of those movements is different than if we want a brushed/guided turn track.

In reality the carved turns of 8-10yrs ago were brushed to the fall-line and carved for the end of the turn. Seldom did we see someone really bend the ski at the initiation of the turn. It is now possible to bend the ski and carve during the initiation of the turn.

When a good skier want a brushed turn track today the6y move very similar to the way we saw skier move 10 years ago. If a skier is expecting to lay down a set of train tracks then the movments will look very different. Same skier, different outcomes, different movments.
post #83 of 83
To take that point farther, Hap, 10 years ago, you COULDN't bend a slalom ski at the top of a slalom turn. It was so far out of the question to try to carve the entire arc of a short-radius turn that slalom skis were built for just the opposite--float & sting, steer-then-edgeset, as quick on and off the edges as possible. Completely contrasting with today's extremely deep-sidecut slalom skis, "old" slalom skis were very straight. Ironically, these skis, designed for the tightest-radius turns, had much less sidecut than Giant Slalom (longer radius turn) skis. They weren't meant to bend much and carve an arc--they were designed to bite instantaneously in response to the late, quick edgeset of traditional slalom turns. Deeper sidecut simply made the skis slower to react to the edgeset, feeling "sluggish."

And you know what? As much as I LOVE the new skis, I miss the rebound and energy of those old turns and those old skis!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching