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Training value of straight skis?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I still have a pretty nice pair of Kastle Speedmachines leaning up aginst my basement wall, jealous of the shapes that replaced them. Is there any technical training value to practicing with straight skis. Can doing so enhance your carving skills? If so, what drills would be helpful? My goal overall is to master erratic, bumpy terrain.
post #2 of 6
Maybe someone else can think of some value, but my opinion, leave them on the wall or use them in bumps only if they aren't too huge.
post #3 of 6
They make great bench slats.
also good tuning practice board for learning how to repair and tune skis.
post #4 of 6
TJazz, they are different tools and have to be handled differently, but both can, and the straight skis have for decades, serve you well.

Differences in carving, for instance: we taught carving on straigth skis for about forty years, and it became easier with stiffer and higher boots, but the carving on these skis is achieved by putting the skis on edge and putting a lot of forward pressure on the tongue of the boots which is transferred to the shovel of the ski, making it grip and carve. The tails of the skis do not grip much and thus chatter or wipe a broader track.

With shaped skis the difference largly is that with the wider tail, both shovel and tail grip when the ski is edged and a lot of forward pressure is not needed to bend it, mostly just standing on the center will carve the ski. Forward pressure is used to change the radius of the turn.

That said, a good skier who has carving down on straight skis, and using them, has no trouble staying in the tracks of a carving skier on shaped skis, the tracks will be wider but the body of the skier will describe the same arc and the skis will hold the same on the snow/ice.

Shaped skis just have brought carving to a lower level skier. Which is good.

post #5 of 6
Good points Ott.
One of the people on our last trip took lessons for the first time in many years. While we were talking, I asked what she really wanted out of the lesson so I could give the instructor some background. Her biggest complaint was that when we ski with her and tell her to "put your ski on edge" and show her what we mean she would do everything right and her arc in the snow was a big wide turn. Carved but big wide turn. The new skis just made it easier. She demoed some Atomic v820L skis in 160 and all of a sudden a carved arc was the same size as mine. The instructor did not work on changing anything she was doing (all done well) but refined things a bit and taught her some tactics but all the skills she learned on straight skis that were not getting the desired results did teach her the proper movements to carve.
post #6 of 6
Great summary Ott. Took me a while to unlearn the hard knee drive and roll. "Standing center" (and hip edging)was exactly what I kept trying to get across to a friend last weekend. He got it figured out on the third day. Like power steering in a car.
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