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Hop turns.

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
I see a lot of skiers here refering to hop turns being the only option on some terrain. I have never seen, in my own personal skiing, a situation where I felt that a hop turn was the only option. In fact, I have always thought that a hop turn was the least desirable of my options. I guess that I have viewed a stem christe or a peddal turn to be the superior choice for the situations that I found myself in.
I find hop turns to be too iffy and tiring. Lets face it. A flat lander like me doesn't have enough air to do hop turns all day in the extreme areas out in the western US.
Just my observations eh!
post #2 of 39
I'm with you Pierre, I just don't have the wind or the strength to do all that hopping around. Now to learn that other stuff!
post #3 of 39
>>>I see a lot of skiers here refering to hop turns being the only option on some terrain.<<<

Pierre, there is such terrain, try Lech or St. Anton! [img]smile.gif[/img] ...but I totally agree with you, if there is another option of turning at all, I'll certainly do that, but if you gotta do it, you gotta know how.

In St. Anton last year I found myself in a situation where even the quickest turn got me going way too fast without the room to come around.

So after coming to a stop on the first turn, I made a hop turn across the fall line and when the edges bit I was sliding down along with chunks of snow for about 30 feet before the skis stopped.

That was not sideslipping but with edges in a full grip. Thereafter for the couple of hundred feet between the rocks, instead of hop turns, I just made sideways hops without turning. A small hop and the skis would break loose and slide 20-30 feet, another hop sidways, and so on, concentrating on keeping my body sliding with the skis, catching the uphill inside edge and I wouldn't have to worry about getting down .

But hey, you get into a situation, you handle it the best you can.

post #4 of 39
Steep, hard and narrow, three descriptives that Europe has in abundance.

Pedal if you can. Hop if you must. Getting down upright is the goal.

A pedal or a hop turn on trully steep IMHO uses about the same energy.

I would pedal if the snow is softer and hop if it is firmer.

Oz :

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 24, 2002 06:45 PM: Message edited 1 time, by man from oz ]</font>
post #5 of 39
Agree as last resort option, I hate to do them. But I've been in breakable crust on a steep pitch where if you did not explosively get your skis clear, you were not going to get them around far enough to control your decent. A step, stem, or pedal, (much less a french poodle) just were not an option.
I've also been in spring monkey-snot so sticky that it took two hops per turn, one into the falline, and one out of it. In the air was the only way to advance down the pitch. You'd have to have been there to appreciate that day.

As much as I hate doing them I'd contend that a bombproof hop turn is a very valuable one to have in your bag of tricks, unless you are never going to get in a situation where you would need to use one.
post #6 of 39
If a hop turn is an option, then I'm thinkin' it must be steep. I like to try and stay in the fall-line in the steeps, and if I can get a rounder turn with the gear I'm on, then so be it. But there are places on my mountain where it's too darn narrow to make a rounder turn without going faster than I want to go. IMHO, hop turns are not that draining if done right. You just gotta move your butt down the hill! [img]smile.gif[/img] Get your skis out away from the wall so you can get-um pointed in the other direction, and not bring your shoulders along with them if it's really narrow. It's either that or go straight. NOT!!!! [img]tongue.gif[/img] ------------Wigs :
post #7 of 39
places like regal chute or Hourglass Chute come to mind. The width of the run depending on how much snow they got, felt like about 250Cm. (it was probably wider but it felt that narrow) and I belive the rated pitch is 42 degrees. Pretty hard to make "round turns" without going scary fast. Even our instructor (Scott Mathers) recommended hop turns. I think I saw him make some rounder turns but I was much more comfortable doing hop turns in that situation.
post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 
I can certainly see using a hop turn in a very sticky or breakable crust situation where getting up and out and a good heavy edge set is necessary.
I guess I have never been is a tight chute in those conditions. With my low altitude lungs and lack of good conditioning I am out of gas before I can get to one of those places to ski in those conditions. Perhaps Europe would be easier.
The conditions that I have most often encountered, in a steep tight chute, has been the surface scraped clean of snow and the ice/wind pack is all that remains.
I can do decent hop turns without a problem. I just don't like them much except to torture friends.
post #9 of 39
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I can do decent hop turns without a problem. [/QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Where did you learn/practice 'Hop turns'? I ask because I can do them on a groomer (who needs them there) but I can't do them in soft powder on a steep slope; ie when I need them.
post #10 of 39
>>>With my low altitude lungs and lack of good conditioning I am out of gas before I can get to one of those places to ski in those conditions<<<

Pierre, you are talking? What about me? : . I hadn't done hop turns in years, but when the situation presented itself, adrenalin made it possible.

But still, I found it MUCH easier to do sideways hops than hop turns. Doing hop turns in narrows it is imperative that the bite of the skis ends in a platform exactly across the fall line to allow you to do the next one without gaining speed.

The common mistakes made which end in disaster are that the tail slide ends before being across the fall line and thus accelerates the skier toward the rocks and neccesitates an imidiate hop turn to the other direction to avoid disaster.

The other one is letting the tails come around too much and sliding backward, but the most common, really, is getting tangled up in the pole plant. Sliding into a pole planted downhill will have going on your belly the rest of the way.

Yet it is hard to do a hop turn without a pole plant. The correct way is to have your pole and your skis leave the snow at the same time.

All of this is from experience in my younger days seeing skiers make those mistakes and wondering why they didn't learn the correct technique before entering that kind of terrain. I guess they were pushing the envelope.

Pierre, you talk about Europe skiing. It is so different from skiing here that many US skiers complain bitterly : .

First the trail marking. It is getting better but the easiest trail markings more often than not, because they are so long and have andulating natural contours, include steep sections which would be black over here. Tough for novices who can trust a green slope over here.

Also, trails often divide and are simply numbered and don't have a difficulty sign on them, just six inch orange round plaques on top of poles declaring that this in number 36 or whatever.

Last year, skiing down from the Valluga at St. Anton toward Stuben, a very long intermediate run, I must have followed some signs of a trail that split off (all above tree line) and boom, I had to do that hopping until it opened up again and got easier.

Unless you stick close to marked trail, even when skiing off the prepared piste, you can find yourself at the side of a road with no other sign of civilization around. In that case just wait for a bus come by and flag it down.

Skiing with a cell phone when off-piste is a smart thing to do. While in Lech last year there was a helicopter rescue of someone who skied down an untouched powder slope and when he (or they) got to the bottom there was nothing but mountains several thousand feet high all around. He called for help on his cell phone. Luckily the cell towers are on top of the mountains.

The melt off of that couldron goes via an underground river, there is no way out for a skier. In the US this would be marked off limits, but they don't rope off a three mile stretch from which that valley can be entered.

If you don't see houses at the bottom, it means that the area is not accesible, so don't ski down there .

Sorry this turned into such a long post...

post #11 of 39
Thread Starter 
Ott I suspected that Europe skiing was as you decribed. You could easily find yourself in a situation where a hop turn would be advantagous. I just don't see it here much in the states unless you hike.
post #12 of 39
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Where did you learn/practice 'Hop turns' <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

We were playing around with hop turns with a clinic a few weeks ago. Most of us were just fumbling through, but we have one guy on our ski school who is so strong he can do hop turns and on each turn he can propel himself back UP the mountain.

A year ago he made Examiner Training Squad in PSIA-E.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 25, 2002 09:47 AM: Message edited 1 time, by WVSkier ]</font>
post #13 of 39
Are hop turns now a required task for Level 3 skiing?
post #14 of 39
Naturally, you are right, Pierre. The reason I used hop turns as an example in the other thread about instructors falling is that if they are not done correctly, in some situations they can be disasterous.

I keep reading here that if your are not falling, your are not pushing yourself andyou are not learning anything new, wich, in my opinion, is poppycock.

To think one can actually learn a correct maneuver by repeatedly doing it incorrectly and falling down just leads to eventually being able to do a maneuver incorrectly without falling down.

post #15 of 39
Hey You Guys,

I used to use the hop turn all the time in steeps but now rarely use this turn much any more. Now, I really only use a hop turn where absolitely needed such as a very tight terrain challenge where a carvy turn is simply not possible. The hop turn is a good balance drill, though, because you can't do them if you're not balanced.

The pedal turn is much smoother and can have varying degrees of hopping to it. I would say in most cases it is never necesarry to hop the skis any farther then the falline and most times you do not even need to get them this far through the turn before setting them on the snow and carving the rest of the turn. Even in super steeps the carve finish provides better feel for the hill and a more balanced finish to the turn. This means more natural control which is the big goal for most skiers in this situation.

On soft snow in the steeps, the carve-type pedal turn works way better because you need to let the skis come out of the snow (or at least come to the snow surface) before guiding them into the new turn. So a longer transition is better.

OK...just a couple thoughts!


PS: hope everyone is having a great winter with lots of fun turns.
post #16 of 39
Thread Starter 
Thanks ESki you summed up my thoughts very well.
post #17 of 39
Eski, at least you know how to do a hop turn if neccesary. This discussion, in my view, was linked to an example I gave in another thread pertaining to how one learns a certain maneuver.

So many times we hear "If you are not falling, you are not pushing yourself and you are skiing too careful and not learning anything new".

As instructors we ease skiers into a new maneuver by giving exercizes and we don't expect them to right away do the finished thing and keep falling until they learn it.

I just used the example of a hop turn because it is useful in breakable crust and in situations as I described, so narrow and steep that the skier has to come to a virtual stop to build a platform to hop it around the other way.

But I totally agree with you, we need to only use it when nothing else works.

post #18 of 39
Thread Starter 
Ott I did not single your hop turn out from the other post. My response is to a lot of threads over the last couple of years. Your post just put me over the top. I had to see if I was the only one who used a hop turn as a very last resort.
You put me over the top because I know that you don't ski really knarlly stuff any more. When I see many posts point towards a hop turn and I am not using a hop turn in those situations, one has to wonder if I am off base or everyone else is on a different page. Thats the reason for my post. One need to always question themselves and not assume. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #19 of 39
post #20 of 39
OK, Pierre, in the other thread my point wasn't the hop turn, just the way to learn anything new by trial and error, mostly error and falling.

Your post just fit in with that. And you are also right that I avoid that kind of terrain and you will find me sideslipping if I'm not sure I can make the turn.

But I certainly will not make the turn anyhow and fall just to be "pushing" myself to learn something new.

Oh well, enjoy the rest of the season. :

post #21 of 39
DB and Eric, I just read that article and I will try the new turn to a carve on steeps next season.

Basically the landing is just like when you take a little air over a bump only that in this case the upward energe is provided by the skier.

I presume the takeoff from the uphill edge of the uphill ski is because it puts the body mass already downill/inside and because it is much more flexed than the downill ski affording more power. ???.

post #22 of 39
Thread Starter 
That pedal carve turn is exactly what I do instead of a hop turn. I basically vary the degree of initiation depending on how much room I have.
post #23 of 39
Pierre: how do you define a hop turn? As opposed to the pedal turn that Eric is describing in the article.
post #24 of 39

In RM division the hop turn is an alternate for pivot slips in cse the exam is on a powder day.kj Don't know about anywhere else.
post #25 of 39
Hop turns are the turn of choice when you've got to change directions while losing little vertical (losing more vertical than a kick turn and less than a round turn). Basically, you use it to "swap ends".

Also, Arcmeister's right. Two-hop turns are the only thing possible in some snow--although less necessary with the new powder skis. I've even been in snow where three hoppers were the only move.

Did I miss any reference to Spiess turns? That's what Tom Burch is talking about in the RM exam. They come from a slalom drill used extensively by the Canadians (I think) many years ago, and maybe still. I also believe that it comes from the great Austrian racer/coach, Toni Spiess.

They are a fabulous way to develop edge precision and resiliency. Even if you never use them in real skiing, you'll be a better skier for having learned them. Doug Morrison, at Telluride, can do them on the flats, hopping backwards through turns. Sean Smith, years ago, had a version where you would alternate back and forth between inside edges while hopping: Inside edge to inside edge to outside edge to outside edge. These are the drills we used to do when hanging around the meeting place, or when the skiing was really to trashed to go out and really ski. I think all that practice really improved my abilities.
post #26 of 39
Ott and Pierre eh,

You guys are right on. You use the uphill ski and leg in transition becuase it is in very good position to make it happen. The real trick is to make it smooth and effiecent so you do not over hop it. Leading the edge change with the inside foot as you "pedal" off the uphill really aids the flow.

Soemtimes when it is really steep, a simple heel lift of the uphill foot off the little toe edge and onto the big toe edge of the outside ski is enough. This is very little effort and takes up very vertical per turn AND allows for sound, efficient technique coming into the new turn.

I agree with pretty much everyone that the hope turn itslef is best applied as drill. (a good feather in the quiver though) My brother really likes the inside edge to inside version which Weems mentioned. It is very good for indepent leg movement and balance. I have to say I have not seen the outside edge to outside edge version. Maybe that one is geographically unique the cowboy states? [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #27 of 39
If you want to ski everything at a mountain like Mammoth, you had better be able to do a hop turn. Sure, most people use them in places where they are not really needed, but when it gets steep and narrow, or dogglegged (Werners, Serbe's come to mind), it is the only move that will work. Even more moderate run's (say Hangman's or Phillipe's) are often so rutted, and chewed up that hopping the best way to ski them. Rocks and exposure will also make hopping very advisable. This is especially true in the BC where falling is not an option and control is everything. As a drill, the hop turn will pay off in huge dividends. The year I did my Level 3, I practiced hop turns every morning at line up. I did crab walks (outside ski), and charlstons (inside ski) too. I did them backwards up the hill (the trick is to push yourself back up the hill with your poles-the ultimate blocking pole plant). It was one of the best things I ever did for my skiing, and helped me do a little dazzling at the exam.
post #28 of 39
spinheli - can you explain the crab walk and charlston drills? :
post #29 of 39
A crab walk is a hop turn where you lift up the inside ski. Thus, on a hop from right to left you would hop off your left foot (inside edge) (it was on the ground pointing right before you hopped), and land on your right foot (inside edge) with it pointing left. Basically, it is a hop from outside ski to outside ski. The charlston is an inside ski turn. In a hop charston, you hop from inside ski to inside ski. so, in a charlston from right to left, you hop from your right foot (outside edge, ski pointed right), to your left foot (outside edge, ski pointed left). Try this out of your skis first. These are great hop variations that can save your butt in scary places, not to mention, great recovery moves.
post #30 of 39
dchan asks: Are hop turns now a required task for Level 3 skiing?

In the east there are about a dozen tasks that you need to master for Level II and then Level III. Hop turns are on the list at both levels, but at different levels of proficiency.

Other tasks are:
Super slow skiing (boy, does speed mask a lot of sins)

One footed skiing. Different levels of proficiency at LII vs LIII, for example at LIII you might do one-footed railroad track turns.

One-footed traverses. LII on the downhill foot, LIII on the uphill foot.

And a bunch more that I can't remember now. At the exam they pick three tasks that you do for each examiner. Just three of the dozen or so.

Exams vary very much from division to division. In the east we have separate skiing and teaching exams. Two days apiece. In Rocky Mtn they have a 2-day LIII exam that does skiing, teaching, and professional knowledge.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 04, 2002 08:55 AM: Message edited 4 times, by WVSkier ]</font>
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