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technical definitions

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Okay... PhysicsMan's post on carving and skidding got me to thinking (I gotta do something when it's slow at work).

In PSIA's glossary of terms in the ATS manual, they defines Slipping, Sliding and Skidding. At just about every level 2 cert exam (in the East) you will end up needing to define one or more of these terms. So for clarification, I'll give you the definitions:

Slipping - like side slipping, the skis move sideways only, with no forward momentum. Also think Pivot-slip.

Sliding - moving forward, with no sideways motion. Think, straight-run.

Skidding - A mixture of both slipping and sliding, where the skis are moving forward and sideways at the same time, as in a skidded turn.

Now, on to my thoughts...

Nowhere, in any definitions that I remember seeing, was a definition of the term Carving. How does Carving fall into the slipping/sliding/skidding world? If I had it my way, the definition of carving would be similar to sliding, in that the skis are moving forward, with no sideways motion, except that the skis are moving through the arc of a turn, and the tails follow in the exact same path as the tips.

This being said, I don't think that this is how most people refer to a carved turn. Most people seem to be a lot more, shall we say, liberal, in that they would say that a carved turn is one in which the skis move more forward than sideways, and a skidded turn is one in which the skis move more sideways than forward. But if that were true, then it would contradict the definition of the term Skidding, because that definition of carving is also the (current) definition of skidding.

What are your thoughts on this? BobB, has this been addresed already by the Ed Staff, and I was sleeping when the boat left the dock? I don't necessarily just want the opinions of other instructors, because sometime we are too jaded by past experience. People like dchan, lisamarie, SCSA, Ryan and others would help because you all are likely to be more open minded and logical about it.

I'll probably ask this same question on Buzz, to see what "The establishment" says.
post #2 of 18
as an "open minded" skier, I have always seen carving in your context. tails follow the exact same path as the tips. (very thin tracks) when I was skiing on "straight skis" I started trying to learn this and this is where I needed to "stand on one ski" to get it to bend. I probably should have gotten softer shorter skis but that's another issue.

I like your defination. I'll look for your post over on Buzz. I'm interested in what the "establishment" thinks too.
post #3 of 18
the boat has not left the dock, you are just not getting enough sleep.. How's Anna doing?
post #4 of 18

The more I learn about this sport, the more I think some aspects of skiing are exactly what they were 25 years ago and that they'll be that way for another 25.

For me, carving is laying down rails - where you can look back and see your tracks. I can carve longer turns and some medium ones, but not real short turns - no can, can they?

Real quick, short turns, yes, you're still getting them over to their edges, but like in the bumps, you still have to use some rotary skills, at times, for speed checking. This is what I mean by that skiing is the same and will never change. I mean, there's simply no other way to control your speed in this situation. One thing I think brand x is doing that's confusing skiers is to give them the impression that carving is all what it's about now. Horse pooehy! You still have to push those heels out at times. Yes, the first move should always be with the downhill ski, but other than that, I think a lot of skiers have been confused by all this "latest and greatest thang". "If you're not carving, you're a loser".

Just because brand x says that "this is the new way", that doesn't make it so. Sure, there's some great new stuff, but as I've learned and am learning, there's some great old stuff that's just plain old skiing 101.

I think the term "skarving" applies to those turns that aren't quite as quick and short as in the bumps. Edges and feet are the name of the game, but if you were to look back, there's no tracks.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SCSA (edited June 21, 2001).]</FONT>
post #5 of 18
Interesting thought. Carving has been around such a long time, yet the official ATS has not defined it! Maybe this is because the current definitions of slipping, sliding and skidding are all to do with direction only. Since the direction of a cleanly carved turn is equal to that of slipping, as in moving forward, carving cannot really be talked about in the same context.
Personally, I would define carving as travelling forwards on skis in clean arcs. If that definition were used, then speaking of slightly skidding carves would be kind of contradictory. How about a slipping carve?
Carving should really be in its own realm of definition.


P.S. JohnH - is your job so boring? Mine certainly is, because I'm in the wrong job for long term. While your working day is just starting, mine is just an hour away from coming to an end! Crazy round globe.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Okay folks, hold on to your Stetsons. I got a definition from the PSIA Board of Directors, Exec Vice Pres.

She states, as a quote from ATS 3rd edition 1996;

"Carved turns: Turns in which is skis travel on edge with a minimum of
lateral slipping or skidding. Pure carved turns display clean, long arcs in
the snow. In most turns the amount of carving depends on the situation,
the equipment, and the skier's ability and intent."

My response was that ANY turn that is not a pure side slip could be considered carve. I really hate the statement "...the amount of carving depends on the situation...". My brain tells me that "the amount of edging depends on the situation". I guess I'll just have to agree to disagree with The Establishment. Maybe next December, when I'm skiing with the D-Team folks, I'll push for either a change to the definition, or an explanation of the current definition that satisfies me.

I also don't like the part of the definition that says "...with a minimum of lateral slipping..." because the definition of slipping is that it is a purely lateral move. They seem to be getting their definitions in a cluster f##k.

The only excuse I could see for having the defiition the way it is currently, is that anyone CAN claim that they can carve a turn. It is all inclusive, so people feel better about their skiing, even if they are doing nothing different than they did the first day they were on skis.

Given this definition, we all carved turns from day one, no matter how old, straight and stiff the equipment was.

**Due to the power shortage, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off indefinitely.
post #7 of 18
Well, those manuals aren't very well written...
So In our non-liberal definition, would a turn where weight is almost completely on the outside ski, and you leave one track be considered carved? I think yes, but what if the inside ski flops around a bit (even -skids- )?
Does a pure carved turn have to leave two tracks?
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Pierre - Pure carves boring??? If you think so, then you need to work on tightening those puppies up. Noting boring about a 3 meter radius pure carve at a good rate of speed. And even less boring than that is when you start linking them.

Tog - My definition would be that only one ski is okay (outside or inside). If one is carving, it's still a carved turn. Maybe an outrigger carved turn, but still carved. You see this a lot on snowblades. The inside foot will be in a total outrigger position, but the outside foot is carving, and the CM is being re-directed. The inside ski may be skidding, but only if it's in a diverging relationship.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
let's see... 3 meter radius = 6 meter diameter = ~20 foot diameter.

My 150s are capable of that. Or should I say I am capable of that on my 150s.

Now "high" rate of speed is subjective, but let's just say enough speed to be able to hold the turn without booting out or having the surface give way.

Your choice, but you bring the pig or fart catcher and paint.

If I do it in 4 meters, you can paint the fart pink, okay?

Either way, it's NOT boring. Neither will the pig roast be!
post #10 of 18
Doesn't a pure carve depend, somewhat, upon the condition of the snow. If the snow is very firm I find it much easier to lay down clean tracks. In packed powder and spring conditions I may be using as much skill and technique as in firmer conditions, but because of the condition of the snow I can't leave thin lines. So the definition may change depending on snow conditions.
post #11 of 18
no way do I think I could do pure carves at all and I find trying to define them boring but I do think trying to achieve them is lots of fun. It's like a goal not something I do.... wheeeee

by the way I'm not sure I want to see pink farts.
<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited June 22, 2001).]</FONT>
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Lucky, Yes the conditions need to be appropriate. A good hard hardpack, slightly softer than boiler-plate, where you can set an edge about 1/2" to 1" deep is optimal.

Pierre, I don't know. I still like "pure" carve. You may be right that they look smaller from the lift than they actually are, but I think a 20 foot diameter is not at all unachievable, leaving a line thinner than the skis waist width. In the right conditions, I've made some turns that left two thin lines in the snow, that seemed less than 20 feet, even using my 193 Dynastar Ski Cross'. It takes some rotational force. Just enough so that the tails don't wash out, but enough to add some additional pressure to the tips.

hopefully we'll remember to bring this up again in December, and we can put our skis where our mouths are (that sounds painful!). Too bad I can't afford a trip south to try to prove my theory.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
I almost forgot... Pierre, you said "A pure carve in my opinion is impossible to achieve. The closest you can get to it is a static railroad track turn, very boring."

I'm surprised to hear this coming from you. Just because a ski is locked in on its edge, doesn't mean you can't add some dynamics to the turn to affect the turn radius.

Your statement would lead one to believe that if it were true, a ski could only make a pure carve in a pre-determined radius without completing the turn (unless you had a 100 yard wide trail and really liked to go fast).

I have proven to myself, many times, that a pure carve is very possible. On some of the really firm mornings, when I have been on my alpine snowboard, I've made lines no more than 1/4" wide, that didn't even make it half way through the frozen cordoury. In some places, it was so firm, that I was not able to find the line - it just disappeared - yet, I was still holding an edge. This involved stopping and walking up the hill to look at the lines. Sometimes on my hands and knees. These were not static turns. They had very tight turn radii.

***It's not an obsession Doc! I swear! I don't want a frontal labotomy! But I'll take the bottle in front of me.***

As another note, the thing that really got me into carving, was about 6 years ago, we had a snowboard GS race at my mountain. I was on the lift watching a guy (competitor) goofing off on the trail under me. He was making short carved turns. Then he ripped off a complete carved 360 with his inside hand extended away from him (over his head since he was laid out). His hand maintained it's point in the snow. If he was 6' tall, and was able to reach to 7 1/2 feet, then he made a 14 foot diameter, purely carved, 360. It was a beautiful thing, and is what made me go out and buy a race board.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
No, Pierre, I'm not changing my tune. Let's just say that the sidewall and the base of the ski make an angle of some kind. The track left in the snow will come to a point at the bottom. The track may look as wide as the ski width because the base of the ski leaves a flat spot in the snow.

The radius of a bent ski may be different from tip to tail, but remember that there are few if any skis out there (of any real skiing quality) that are truly parabolic. However, a ski is flexible. If I add enough pressure to the tip to shorten the turn radius, and keep enough pressure along the whole length of the ski, the tail will stay in the track that the tip made. I know this. I've gone and looked, very closely at the tracks in the snow, in the middle of a turn. The track comes to a single point at the bottom. Therefore the tail HAD to be in the same track as the tip.

Now, I wouldn't say that to claim to have made a pure carve you need to inspect the track and make sure it comes to a single, perfect point, but I would say that to the observer, it needs to be a thin, clean line in which the tail follows the same path as the tip.

Man! Where's a hill and some snow when you need it?
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

The turn would have to be less than the listed turn radius of the ski, since the listed turn radius is of the ski sitting flat, not on edge. As soon as the ski reverses camber on the snow, the turn radius gets smaller. Therefore, on my 150s, I can't carve a turn larger than 11m.

If we remember this thread this winter, and I get a chance on the hill (just having the baby, I probably won't do a lot of skiing this year), I'll take my digital camera to the hill and record my attempts.
post #16 of 18
You seldom hear two men arguing about who has the smaller one. Turn radius, that is.
post #17 of 18

Very clever.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
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