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A revival of the steered turn. - Page 3

post #61 of 197
Quote:

 If you don't like my original description of pressuring a ski, what to you suggest?
 

 

I suspect that among Tog's excellent points is the realization that the job of technique is more to manage how the skis and snow generate forces that apply to us, rather than how we apply forces to the skis. Yes, it's "equal and opposite," and a question of frame of reference, but I'm still fond of the statement my friend Bill "Slotcar" Sloatman said many years ago: "We don't get pressure on skis by pushing on them; we get pressure by having our skis push on us!"

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #62 of 197

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

 

 

...the job of technique is more to manage how the skis and snow generate forces that apply to us, rather than how we apply forces to the skis.

 

Yes, it's "equal and opposite," and a question of frame of reference, but I'm still fond of the statement my friend Bill "Slotcar" Sloatman said many years ago: "We don't get pressure on skis by pushing on them; we get pressure by having our skis push on us!"

 

Best regards,

Bob

Yes that's exactly what I was referring to.  Si, you were making the point that "pressure" was one of the fundamental things we can teach and my point is I really don't think it should be taught at all. It's too confusing and leads to stem turns, pushing the skis around and general difficulty with soft snow in particular.  Imagine if we taught people to walk down stairs by talking about pressure on their feet - it would be way too confusing.

 

In general, I never think about "pressuring" a ski or pushing on a ski except in doing drills or on cat tracks or special situations. I mean imagine making fast short turns thinking about pressuring the skis! - Way too slow a process and also blocks the flow down the hill resulting in choppy, stemmy turns.

 

It's managing the force coming through the skis.  As BushwackerinPA says, "on skis, sh*t happens so learn to deal with it"

post #63 of 197


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

 

 

Yes that's exactly what I was referring to.  Si, you were making the point that "pressure" was one of the fundamental things we can teach and my point is I really don't think it should be taught at all. It's too confusing and leads to stem turns, pushing the skis around and general difficulty with soft snow in particular.  Imagine if we taught people to walk down stairs by talking about pressure on their feet - it would be way too confusing.

 

In general, I never think about "pressuring" a ski or pushing on a ski except in doing drills or on cat tracks or special situations. I mean imagine making fast short turns thinking about pressuring the skis! - Way too slow a process and also blocks the flow down the hill resulting in choppy, stemmy turns.

 

It's managing the force coming through the skis.  As BushwackerinPA says, "on skis, sh*t happens so learn to deal with it"

I feel like we're going in circles here.  I pretty much agree with what you've said but it still doesn't address the issue I raise.  In discussing ski technique it seems critical that we have well defined terms when we talk about movements and their consequent actions on a ski.  For example, in this and other previous threads there has been lots of discussion of an aspect of "steering" whereby the a ski on edge has a rotational force in the plane of the ski applied (I'd use the word twist but someone strongly objected to that) which supposedly results in an increased pressuring and bending of the tip.  There are many other examples where I think it's critical to understand and differentiate the effects of various movements on the ski.  At least this is true from my perspective if I am to understand something and decide how much sense it makes.   It is especially important if I want to test in some way the claims that someone is making about certain movements and their outcomes as an action of the ski.
 

 

It seems to me that your previous response to someone in this thread said something similar in that we are not describing how to teach these things but rather working to understand specific technique.

 

I still think that to me "steering" as a term seems more like someones pet analogy than a well defined term.  It continues to be used to mean different things and at least for me it involves a struggle to define it contextually each time I see it used.

 

post #64 of 197


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

 

 

I suspect that among Tog's excellent points is the realization that the job of technique is more to manage how the skis and snow generate forces that apply to us, rather than how we apply forces to the skis. Yes, it's "equal and opposite," and a question of frame of reference, but I'm still fond of the statement my friend Bill "Slotcar" Sloatman said many years ago: "We don't get pressure on skis by pushing on them; we get pressure by having our skis push on us!"

 

Best regards,

Bob

Well I guess we're just not going to agree here.  There may be cases where the movement of skis through the snow initiate a force through the ski that we percieve.  However, when we "pressure" the tip or tail of a ski through fore/aft body movement we are initiating the force (and it's opposite and equal reaction).  I think you're friend's statement is not at all accurate.  We can very well apply pressure to skis by pushing on them.  We then perceive the pressure by the skis pushing back on us (the equal but opposite reaction).

post #65 of 197
Quote:

 I think you're friend's statement is not at all accurate.

 

 

I'm sorry you think that way, Si. You are wrong.

 

Or at least, missing the point.

 

And I believe that your inability (or refusal?) to grasp the meaning of this idea explains your misunderstanding of how rotational movement of the legs when inclined absolutely influences fore-aft pressure on the skis--and can, indeed (not just "supposedly"), contribute to "increased pressuring and bending of the tip." (If you must look at it that way, "tipping" won't bend a ski either--but isn't bending and carving the expected outcome of tipping?) Interestingly, rotating the legs when inclined directly pressures the tip of the ski (or the tail, depending on the direction of rotation)--something which might seem to contradict Bill's statement. The bending of the ski that results, though, is the consequence of forces acting on the ski as a result of turning. Bending a ski, obviously, requires forces perpendicular to the ski's base. In this case, you apply a little force (torque) in the plane of the ski's base (to use your preferred terminology)--which, of course, won't bend the ski. But the result of your subtle movement is that it causes the snow to apply the perpendicular force that does bend the ski. 

 

It is very much like the effects of tipping the skis. If you do it standing still, tipping is just tipping, and it will not cause the ski to bend. But do it in motion, when momentum and inertia and gravity enter the picture, and tipping causes the skis to bend--as a result of the snow pushing on them. You don't push on the skis--you just tip them. And they push on you, as a result. Just like Bill's elegantly simple statement suggests. The same thing happens when you turn skis across their direction of travel and tip them on edge--you just turn them and tip them. The snow pushes on and bends them.

 

If you consider only the direct forces that you apply to your skis with your muscles and movements--including rotary movements, flexing and extending movements, and tipping movements--you are looking at only a very small portion of the significant forces involved in skiing and turning. The far more important forces are those that cause and that result from the turns we make--specifically, gravity and centrifugal force (or centripetal, depending on your frame of reference). Great technique is much more about harnessing, managing, and manipulating forces than about creating them directly!

 

Again, you can easily (over-) analyze this notion or take Bill's statement too literally and entirely miss its elegantly applicable meaning--if you want to. Every force entails an equal and opposite reaction, every action a counter-reaction. You push on the snow, it pushes back--no denying that. But you'll ski better if you think of playing with forces much bigger than you rather than trying to create them yourself, of allowing some things to happen rather than forcing everything.

 

I know that you aren't a big fan of "PSIMAN," Si, but it's worth considering again how he does what he does--when he really can't "do" anything. Without muscles, he cannot push, pull, or twist, or actively apply pressure or force in any way. All PSIMAN can do is yield to forces and "allow" them to act on him. He does not push on his skis--he lets his skis push on him. And yet he carves better turns than many skiers (you can't deny that)! PSIMAN is the ultimate version of the skier who simply lets things happen. He can't do everything (because he can't actively "do" anything.) But look what he can do!

 

 

PSIMAN--letting it happen--doing so much without "doing" anything!

 

 

Quote:
I think it's critical to understand and differentiate the effects of various movements on the ski.

Of course, PSIMAN also has the distinct advantage of not being so afflicted!

 

 

Best regards,

Bob


Edited by Bob Barnes - 3/19/2009 at 06:19 am
post #66 of 197

I will bet to your way of thinking you apply small forces to shape the ski that allow the snow to apply larger forces to shape the ski more and then you apply large forces to the ski in order to benifit from the equal and opposite reaction force when once the ski's shape allows the forces you want.

 

An interesting thought:  If your ski is tipped and you apply a forward weight bias, it must be accompanied by a torque or you would not be able to balance properly as gravity pulls you down but your applied pressure is perpendicular to the plane of the ski.

 

Before Newton came along we didn't have to think in terms of equal and opposite forces, we just had a force between two objects.  It is easier to think of one object at a time, and for that, the forces acting on the object being considered.  However, thinking of pushing on the ski as opposed to letting the ski push you around often leads to an error in that the skier pushes the ski too much, and consequently either moves it unintentionally or moves himself too much leading to future problems with the turn.  I don't know why this is so.

post #67 of 197

Bob, you are interpreting me incorrectly and painting a picutre of my thinking that doesn't match at all with the actual.  First, when I am explaining to someone how a ski works or teaching a student I describe a ski as a turning machinge that with some very small inputs can make a turn for you.  My emphasis is on doing a very little to activate a turning machine that produces a tremendous gain.  Second, I use and show PSI Man all the time as an example of the ski as a turning machine.  I don't use him much as an example of how to make movement because his anatomy is so different and it just gets confusing.

 

However, in order to discuss how to provide efficient inputs into the turning machinge called a ski, I do think it's improtant to have as clear of terminology as we possibly can.  That's all that I have been trying to do.  The semantics of applied forces and opposite/equal reactive forces just confuses things from my point of view.  Ultimately we want to make movements to provide efficient inputs to the ski that let it effectively produce a desired outcome.  With a good understanding of the connection between these we can use the expected outcomes to verify that the inputs were as we attempted (or not).  To me, ski discussion is getting a solid understanding of those connections.  That's why I'm asking for as clear as terminology as possible.  I use "supposedly" in my statement about rotating/twisting a highly edge ski to produce an increased bending of the tip because I have yet to see an explanation of this that is fully convincing.  I do think there are other inputs to a highly edged ski that can bend the tip and I still wonder if people are confusing these.  I do not have a fixed belief either way, I'm just trying to better lock in an understanding of this and other technique, nothing more.

post #68 of 197


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Si View Post

 

It seems to me that your previous response to someone in this thread said something similar in that we are not describing how to teach these things but rather working to understand specific technique.

 

I still think that to me "steering" as a term seems more like someones pet analogy than a well defined term.  It continues to be used to mean different things and at least for me it involves a struggle to define it contextually each time I see it used.

 

Ok I guess I get what you're after now, to define the word "steering" ?

I think the reason it's always not reduced to your basic elements of edge, pressure, twist is it becomes more complicated to describe aggregate movements. But sure, let's break it down and also define steering.

post #69 of 197


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

 

thinking of pushing on the ski as opposed to letting the ski push you around often leads to an error in that the skier pushes the ski too much, and consequently either moves it unintentionally or moves himself too much leading to future problems with the turn

Yes. When a learning skier is told to "pressure" a ski, they often will push on it, with the result that they either move themselves away from the ski (usually uphill), or move the ski away from themselves.

 

Either way, the increase in pressure is very transient and it is followed by a decrease in pressure because the skier is no longer balanced effectively over the ski. Meanwhile, muscular effort continues as the skier continues to try to "pressure" the ski. Balance is lost, edge control is lost, edge engagement is no longer effective, rotary/steering/twist control is lost.

 

When standing still, the most long term pressure you can put on a ski is by standing on it. You're balancing against the only force of the moment - gravity. When moving, if you want anything other than a brief pulse, the most effective way to pressure a ski is by balancing against the forces that arise as the result of the movement. Pushing on a ski often reduces the accuracy of balancing movements, and ultimately reduces pressure.

 

The above discussion does not take into consideration deliberate variations in fore-aft pressure, other movements used to control or modify pressure distribution along the ski, or twisting/steering movements which may be used to increase or decrease edge pressure on a particular part of a tipped ski.

 

Getting back to the original topic:

 

A pure arc-to-arc carve is a fun and wonderful thing, but it's not always the best tool for the job. Other variations, including the pivoted/steered turn entry, also are important tools to have available, when the situation demands it. Such movements all use the same fundamentals - accurate balance, release the old edges, progressively engage the new ones, guide the skis, allow to slip or engage in firm edge lock as desired using subtle variations in edge control,... And no pushing!

 

A well-rounded skier will be able to do either, as the situation demands or conditions allow.


I'm going to complain to MacDonald's. Someone told me that I'm a few fries short of a Happy Meal.
 

post #70 of 197

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Si View Post

 


 

I think the answer is quite simple.  It's because the steering wheel moves the wheels within 1 degree of freedom.  Thus when someone talks about steering of a car I know what they are talking about.  I would suggest it would be confusing to talk about steering as a combination of steering the wheels and using the accelarator or brake. 
 

 

"You present a direction change with the steering wheel, you make it happen with the throttle or brake"

 

Sterling Moss

 

the thing is that anyone in the entire world can point there skis where they want to go, as can anyone in the world can turn the steering wheel on their car. IMO presice(ie expert level) steering in either skiing or driving is done with help with other forces.

 

I would say this car is using more than just "turning the wheel" to accomplish these turns, there is alot of throttle steering and unweighting though braking here, I should know I was driving.

 

as I would say despite using alot of edging and pressure there is still pretty active steering done in these turns

 

 

post #71 of 197
Quote:

 

"You present a direction change with the steering wheel, you make it happen with the throttle or brake"

 

Sterling Moss

 

Great quote, BWPA.

 

As I've suggested--sticking purely to common usage, with no ski- or driving-specific meanings, you can steer a wheel, and you can steer a car. The latter involves much more than just the steering wheel!

 

Likewise, you can steer a ski, and you can steer a turn (essentially, steer yourself through a turn). The latter involves much more than just rotary movements.

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #72 of 197

I did once start a thread way back last year, proposing to change the way we thing about using the term "steering" - and decoupling it from equating it to mean a rotary movement :p

 

 http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/71719/steering

 

 

 

post #73 of 197

So back to Rick's original thought...

Is there a revival of a steered turn going on?

No, it never went away. A wider set of options allows us to arc or skid at will. That hasn't changed. What has changed is the focus on being versatile enough to perform more than one type of turn. The limited thinking of the carvaholics has been exposed as just that. Arcing is nothing more than one type of turn. To be an expert you need more than one turn in your skills set.

As far as how we steer a turn and if we push on the skis, or if they push us, Both happen. Suggesting we need to define it as just one way is another symptom of limited thinking. It reminds me of all the golfers who focus on driving and can't sink a putt because all they practice is driving. Learn it all, use it all, stay open to all the possibilities.


Edited by justanotherskipro - 3/22/2009 at 12:02 pm


Edited by justanotherskipro - 3/22/2009 at 12:09 pm
post #74 of 197

Last time.  I'm not commenting on what it takes to make any specific type of turn.  The more I hear the more I get the feeling that steering and turning are synonymous.  In that case when someone explains a skiing movement and says that it involves steering I'm still at a loss as to what combination of inputs to the ski they are talking about.  As I have listened to trainers and examiners this season there seems to be the further usage of steering as any rotation of the femur in the hip joint independent of what the input to the ski is. 

 

However, it seems like everyone else loves to use this term and finds it quite understandable so I'll just keep on trying to figure out it's ever changing contextual meaning each time someone uses it.  Doesn't look like there is any other choice.  I think that the most helpful comment I've gotten from anyone comes from an Aspen trainer who told me I was looking for scientific accuracy and that I wouldn't normally find that in the descriptions trainers use. 

 

 

post #75 of 197
Quote:

 I think that the most helpful comment I've gotten from anyone comes from an Aspen trainer who told me I was looking for scientific accuracy and that I wouldn't normally find that in the descriptions trainers use.

 

...much less the descriptions skiers in general use!

 

Si--I've suggested that to you myself, from time to time. Skiing is a sport, not a science, and its lexicon derives from generations of skiers, instructors, coaches, technicians, and authors, in many different languages. If you're looking for a universal, scientific definition of a term like "steering," much less expecting any particular person to adhere to that definition, you're obviously going to be disappointed. And, as I've pointed out in this thread, you'd still need to specify exactly what is being steered--the ski or the skier. If you could find a scientific definition of "steering," you'd still need to ascertain how any particular person was using the term at any time--simply because it is a term used in common English, in many different ways.

 

Note, too, that if you are speaking strictly of twisting the skis with muscles, there are more scientific terms you could employ, such as "torque" and (speaking of needing context) "couple" (in physics: a pair of equal forces acting in parallel but opposite directions, that produce torque--as in your hands on opposite sides of a steering wheel).

 

To me, there is much understanding to be gained by exploring the many possible contexts and uses of a term like "steering." The process--which this thread exemplifies--yields not only a better understanding of the term, but a deeper understanding of the sport itself.

 

Any way you look at it, though, I don't think many people would agree that the term "steering" is best thought of as entirely synonymous with "turning"--although note that the term "turning" itself is probably even more vague in skiing. Skiers call virtually everything we do on skis a turn, from pure braking skids to arc-to-arc carves to the straight fall-line tactics of mogul competitors, who are judged on their "turns." Indeed, the very sport itself is often referred to as "making turns," isn't it? And, of course, turning a ski is not the same thing as turning a skier, so in that sense, the terms are, at least, similar.

 

Nevertheless, there are steered turns, and non-steered turns. You can steer a ski--actively (muscularly) controlling the direction it points and moves, or you can just let it go where it wants. And you can steer a turn--again, actively using muscles and movements to direct your path exactly where you want it, or you can just let your skis take you where they want. Like a car, steering a turn (which really means "steering a skier") involves more than just steering a ski, or a pair of wheels--but it does involve that. "Non-steered" turns, in general (context!--remember, there are other ways to turn a ski than muscle-derived torque), do not.

 

I love the definition of "steering" in wikipedia"Steering is the term applied to the collection of components, linkages, etc. which will allow for a vessel (ship, boat) or  vehicle (car) to follow the desired course. An exception is the case of rail transport by which rail tracks combined together with railroad switches provide the steering function." 

 

"Collection of components"--says it all, I would think. And some of those components can, like skis, be themselves "steered." Like skiing, you can steer a ship many ways--with the wheel, as well as with bow thrusters, differential thrust from twin screws, or "walking" a single screw. (Of course, you'd best be clear on the context of the word, "screw," too!) You can steer a sailboat with the rudder--and you can steer it with the sails if you lose the rudder.

 

I suspect that most skilled ship captains and sailors take advantage of the wheel and rudder when they have it--but still combine the other components for optimal, most efficient steering of the vessel. (However, certainly all good captains also practice steering the vessel without the rudder, to develop their skils and prepare for all "situations.") Likewise, I suggest--as I always have--that optimally steered turns in skiing combine all available movements and skills, including rotary--our equivalent of the wheel or rudder--as needed (and only as needed). It would be folly not to practice turning without rotary (steering the skis), but it would be equally foolish to think that you should never use it.

 

Yes, it depends on the context of the term, and no, that context is often not made sufficiently clear when many people speak of "steering" in skiing. But then, that's what discussion is for. If you're not clear, ask questions. If we could use a naked term like "steering," without context, and expect everyone to know exactly what we're talking about, there would be no point in having a discussion, would there?

 

All that said, I think that in most contexts, you'll find that knowledgable instructors consistently use the term "steered turns" to imply that some degree of active rotary--muscularly applied torque--applies to help guide the skis along their paths. And non-steered turns--usually--involve only passive rotary movements (letting the skis and legs rotate as needed, but not using muscular force directly to guide them or pivot them). Pure-carved turns would often be described as "non-steered" (although again, even in these, there is a phase in the transition where the skis are not carving). Some brushed turns could be called "non-steered" too, when slippage occurs due to reduced edge angle without twisting--and fore-aft movements can also induce pivoting and influence the pivot point of the skis without muscularly-applied torque.

  

Race coaches have long employed the terms "active turn" and "passive turn" to describe the same things as "steered" and "non-steered." Non-steered, or passive, turns could be described as "edge-pressure" turns, while steered turns are "rotary-edge-pressure" turns. PSIMAN makes passive, non-steered turns. (Of course, his edging and pressuring movements are equally passive!)

 

In another context, though, I do not think it would be contradictory or inappropriate to discuss ways of "steering" a turn without actively steering the skis--just like a sailor steering a rudderless boat (or a windsurfer, for that matter).

 

Context is key, in virtually all discussions. "Steering," like most ski-related terms, is no exception. Even the term "ski," left alone, is ambiguous isn't it? Can you picture the ski I have in my mind at the moment, simply from that term? Tele, alpine, touring, skating, monoski, "straight," old, new, slalom, downhill, fat, jumping, Hoting, skinny, rockered.... Context is key! Is it a problem? Should we argue about whether "ski" is sufficiently, scientifically non-ambiguous?

 

Well, you can if you want to. I don't think it's a problem at all!

 

 

Best regards,

Bob


Edited by Bob Barnes - 3/22/2009 at 04:10 pm
post #76 of 197

Since it is an obvious reality that skiers of all levels do employ rotary movements (sometimes appropriately, sometimes not), the questions much more important than "do they or don't they?" or "should they?" are..."how do they? "when do they?" "why do they?" "how muich do they?" and, ultimately, "is it optimal for producing the intended result?"

 

How does a skier apply rotary? There are many mechanisms than can influence torque--generally falling into the four categories of "rotation," "counter-rotation," "blocking" (pole plant), and "leg-rotation." These mechanisms have been much-discussed over the years at EpicSki, so I'll leave further description to the archives and the search engine for now. Suffice it to say that each involves distinct movements, each has distinctively different effects, and each can be used effectively or ineffectively, depending on the circumstances and the skier's intent. They can also combine--simultaneously, or in different phases of the turn.

 

Much of the discussion about steering really centers around which rotary mechanisms are, and in any given case, should be involved. Rotation, counter-rotation, and blocking pole plants are powerful but generally fleeting movements, well-suited for quick redirection (pivoting) of the skis, but poorly suited to the sustained, precise, continuous guiding that "steering" usually involves. Leg rotation, however--like steering the wheels of a car with the steering wheel--is ideally and uniquely suited to the rotary demands of precisely steered--and carved--turns.

 

So usually, when instructors speak of "teaching steering," it is not the fact of steering that they're referring to, and certainly not pivoting to cause an intentional skid that they're teaching (usually). It is the specific mechanism of leg rotation--in which each leg rotates independently in the hip socket--that they'are referring to--specifically to allow the skier not to need to twist or pivot the skis into a skid (unless he wants or needs to). When an instructor speaks of "leg steering," I submit that he usually means "leg rotation" specifically to steer the skis--which will then be combined with edging and pressure control movements to steer the skier (to steer the turn).

 

And when "teaching steering," instuctors are (or should be) just as concerned about eliminating excess rotary as about how to apply any rotary. Steering skis no more implies twisting them harshly into a skid than steering a car's wheels implies the same. As I've often said, we steer a car (and its wheels) on the straight-aways just as much as on the curves. Steering is just as critical to keep skis tracking cleanly in the transition--without twisting or skidding--as it is for pivoting the skis to a hockey stop. Leg-steering (leg rotation) is well-suited for both, and "teaching steering" implies both developing this mechanism and learning how, when, when not, and how much to use it.

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #77 of 197

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post #78 of 197
Quote:

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Um, why, JASP?

 

Please bring it back!

 

post #79 of 197

I find a lot of limited thinking happens when we restrict our concept of steering the skis to just doing so when the edges of the skis are engaged. As you know I teach a lot of near flat edging and a very blended turn as a baseline for my average students. Once they develop the balancing skills to accomplish this blended turn, I introduce higher edge angles and more pressure but not as a replacement for the blended turn. It's another option and as such isn't applicable in every situation. Especially in the four to six world. Momentum and moving along the slow line fast is involved but in a lot of cases more edge too early in a skier's development inhibits their ability to maintain a balanced stance upon the skis throughout a turn. The net result of rushing towards an edge biased carved turn is that they never understand just how little edge is needed for most ski maneuvers.

post #80 of 197
Quote:

The net result of rushing towards an edge biased carved turn is that they never understand just how little edge is needed for most ski maneuvers.

 

Good point, JASP. I cringe when I watch skiers who were taught only pure edge-locked carved turns, in contorted, contrived positions, at the mercy of the sidecut of their skis. They often have a "right turn position" and a "left turn position," with little movement throughout the turn and a big heave as they "switch positions" from one turn to the next. Interestingly, this also tends to happen a lot with skiers who spend most of their time in the terrain park, too. While they may have mastered the upper body rotation that creates the various aerial spins in the half pipe and off the jumps, they may lack both the leg-rotation skills needed to steer turns, and the refined edging skills that give them control over their carved turns.

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #81 of 197

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

 

 

Good point, JASP. I cringe when I watch skiers who were taught only pure edge-locked carved turns, in contorted, contrived positions, at the mercy of the sidecut of their skis....

 

 

Bob,

 

I can understand your frustration with such a strange-behaving species of skier and the prospect of sharing a slope with them.  Apparently their range is limited -- possibly something to do with Summit County's high altitude and consequent lack of oxygen or maybe the high influx of solar radiation. 

 

You should consider a return to your Northeastern roots.  There have been no confirmed sightings of this species back East.  Plenty of skidders, a coupla hot bumpers, a few graceful carvers, some kick*ss freestylers but no contorted belly sidecutters.

 

If you're stuck in the Rockies, my advice is to ski plenty of powder.  Sidecutters who venture there will learn the full meaning of "sink or swim."

 

 

 

post #82 of 197


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

 

 

Good point, JASP. I cringe when I watch skiers who were taught only pure edge-locked carved turns, in contorted, contrived positions, at the mercy of the sidecut of their skis. They often have a "right turn position" and a "left turn position," with little movement throughout the turn and a big heave as they "switch positions" from one turn to the next.


 

Who would teach that? Is that part of PSIA?

 

 

post #83 of 197

I would disagree with the whole regional difference idea. IMO a skier's origin has so little to do with the problem. It has more to do with fear and the mis-guided idea that a little edge is nowhere as good as a whole lot of edge. This conclusion is partly our fault for not getting the message out that getting onto and off an effective edge usually doesn't include the need for extreme edge angles. Add to that the fact that skiers learn a large edge angle late in the turn will help them resist the downhill pull of gravity. A classic hockey stop being the best example of this because it introduces this idea that we can use a high edge angle and lots of pressure to stop very quickly.

Applying that maneuver to making turns seems inappropriate to me but I would venture a guess that these are the skiers you guys are seeing. So we set out to correct this by telling them to be more active earlier in the turn. "Shape the turn in the control phase" being the phrase that comes to mind immediately. All in all it isn't bad advice but without some further information all they hear is "arc sooner". Which in most cases is exactly the opposite of what we were trying to communicate. Again IMO it is our fault for not being clear about how to change what they are doing before asking them to make changes.

 

Would our advice be much easier to understand if we simply told them that through every phase of the turn we need a more balanced blend of the fundamental skills?  After all the whole idea of balancing on the skis is the intended outcome and the framework for the fundamental skills. As their ability to balance on the skis improves, they are ready to explore higher edge angles. Until then all they do is freeze up in an inclined and usually aft stance as the skis accelerate. Then as if this isn't bad enough they abbreviate the finishing phase and turn towards the fall line and add even more acceleration. This is the unguided missle phenomenon I described earlier. I can't tell you how many skiers I see yelling "hey get out of my way" as they fly by totally out of control. Sadly instead of finishing their turns, or at least doing a hockey stop and starting over, they look for a place to crash when they want to stop.

 

Somewhere between the arcing missles and the pivot skid to a hockey stop groups exist the rest of us. Don't get me wrong I am not villifying carved turns, just all the hype and mis-information that has produced the impression that arcing is somehow the ultimate skiing experience. My job requires me to be extremely versatile and I have found no one discipline or skiing experience to be anything more than part of the greater whole. So IMO the ultimate skiing experience is the one I am having at the time and in all but a very few of those it requires a blended turn. Always has...

post #84 of 197


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post

 


 


 

Who would teach that? Is that part of PSIA?

 
 

I've seen a lot of posts that would suggest some here at Epic would teach that way. Not they they would be alone. A large part of the race community would suggest they never steer, or skid a turn. They talk about exactly what Bob said about two mirror image "positions" and very little about how to connect the two. Granted setting a training course that allows that much sidecut riding happens when teaching a racer to carve. Although I can't imagine an actual race course without some gates that force the racers out of that mode. Especially once you leave the junior ranks.

So in one very specific situation it is a drill for developing the ability to carve a turn. Outside of that application I question why it is offered as more than what it is.  


Edited by justanotherskipro - 3/24/2009 at 10:40 pm
post #85 of 197

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

 


 

I've seen a lot of posts that would suggest some here at Epic would teach that way. Not they they would be alone. A large part of the race community would suggest they never steer, or skid a turn. They talk about exactly what Bob said about two mirror image "positions" and very little about how to connect the two. Granted setting a training course that allows that much sidecut riding happens when teaching a racer to carve. Although I can't imagine an actual race course without some gates that force the racers out of that mode. Especially once you leave the junior ranks.

So in one very specific situation it is a drill for developing the ability to carve a turn. Outside of that application I question why it is offered as more than what it is.  


Edited by justanotherskipro - 3/24/2009 at 10:40 pm

 

ok I was agreeing with you guys, but one thing I dont agree with is this post...

 

and active rotary moves done in any racing is done on a flat unweighted ski before its put on edge.

 

stivot, race pivot whatever you want to call it but its never done on a edge skied or at least not personally.

A team WC racers DO NOT practice stivots at all. despite popular belief. If you want I can email some current WC racers and set that story straight. They practice how to try carve everything, when they cant make it on edging and pressure alone they pivot a unweighted skis and then lock the edge. It is never a goal of theirs to steer a turn or even stivot. The stivot is only a nessacity.

post #86 of 197

BW, I'm glad you confirmed the idea that the race community would say their goal is to carve every turn. Although I wonder what that has to do with the skiers I'm talking about. They are riding the sidecut and only making turns of that radius. When was the last time you set a course that allowed that to happen? As a practice course for young developing skiers maybe but no one in their right mind would suggest that they would set a course that easy for a WC level race.

In addition I want to ask you if you realize how much you are discounting all the hard work juniors coaches all over the world do to help their racers develop the skills to do a blended turn long before teaching them to carve. Ignoring that stage because you talked to a WC racer or two only proves my point that the carvaholics mantra is alive and living in that community. Too bad those racers don't appreciate what those coaches did for them when they were first learning to ski.

As far as "active" rotary, developing the ability to not add pivoting is just as much a part of that skills pool as pivot slips. Just like learning to use a near flat ski is just as much a part of the tipping skills pool as booting out. Much like steering a car involve the ability to not weave while driving down a straight road, as well as turn around corners.  You can't have one extreme without the other. Why is that so hard to accept?

Speaking of stivots, look closer and you will not see a flat to the snow ski. They tip the skis enough to avoid catching the outside edges and add pressure to that ski to engage the inside edges. Which brings up a good point, practiced or not they still use skidding and pivoting to negotiate a race course, which you cannot ignore simply because it conflicts with the stated goal you mentioned. Which is why I find it curious that even as you offer the carve everywhere mantra, you admit it doesn't work everywhere.

In any event I am not here to dredge up old arguments for or against carving. It is just one way to turn a ski and does not represent how most of the recreational world skis.

post #87 of 197

As  a carvaholic, I must protest. 

 

Nobody arcs skis at only one radius of turn on a ski.  Perhaps you mean they ski a radius of turn, which at any moment for any given speed they are skiing at that moment, is determined by their speed and the fact that their inclination that lacks any angulation.  The ski does have a sidecut radius, the approximate radius of a curve fitted to the side of the ski.  It is not the radius of the only turn that ski can make.  The turn radius the ski makes depends on how much the ski is tipped.  That radius is just slightly greater than the maximum radius that the ski will carve in a pure edge-locked arc (let's not get into the definition of how pure is pure; anybody who has done it knows what I'm talking about).  You would also have to have the ski flat on the snow to ski get that radius touching the snow and then the edge wouldn't hold at any speed not approaching zero.

 

I try to carve all my turns.  Yes getting off the lift I will make a too-tight-to carve turn, no problem.  Yes when I'm staying behind someone and following them or when the freezing rain on my googles blinds me I will make steered turns to control my speed, but otherwise I'm arcing; it's more fun for me that way.  However if I'm not trying to control my speed, I'm arcing. On the ski hill I have that luxury. 

 

When arcing, I do not ride the sidecut of the ski.  I ski a variety of turn sizes.   I use inclination and angulation and vary the amount of counter and play with weight distribution to dial up the turn radius I want.  When I ski arc-to-arc, I also vary my turn shape from infinity during transition to as small as I want, within limits imposed by the physics of the centripetal acceleration required, grip on snow and how much I can get the ski to bend.  My turn radius varies smoothly from infinity at transition to a minimum at the apex and back to infinity in the other direction. Obviously there is a range in the transition where the turn radius at the moment is greater than the turn radius of the ski and arc-to-arc is a misnomer. 

 

There are also plenty of times I ski at a speed that requires turn radii greater than the sidecut radius of a SL ski, and at those times, I'm using the same carvaholic movements to make a steered turn.  Last weekend I took out my longer radii 190 Volant McGs, and wondered why I had bothered making these non-arced turns with the SL instead of just sticking to the longer radius skis (and when I get on the SLs and make small radius turns I know why).

 

A race course is designed to separate the field.  The turns are too tight to arc all the way from the top to the bottom, and many are too tight to arc with the ski they must use in order to excel at the other turns.  It's just like a road race course has too many sharp turns to drive with out using your brakes.  The key is knowing where you can floor it and where you cannot.

 

Having learned many years ago on GS skis, perhaps I don't remember how much time I spent skiing slowly and learning to feather the edges just so in a steered turn.  Watching my daughter learn to carve on 2002 vintage skis, I will admit that here carving skills are much better when compared to her non-carving skills than that ratio would be for a skier with her experience on the old skis., and it's not just because she knows how to carve.  

  

 

 

 


Edited by Ghost - 3/25/2009 at 11:21 am
post #88 of 197

IMO, it's pointless to argue about this topic. 

 

Any racer will tell you that it is the ability to carve where others cannot that separates the winners from the losers.

post #89 of 197

JASP:

 

Under your definitions, does the video in this ma request qualify as "Left turn position"/"Right turn position" skiing?

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/82838/kinda-of-gs-turns-for-ma

post #90 of 197

Ghost,

I'm not sure what you need to protest? Your post confirms my points. We all need to do turns that cannot be carved. Choosing to not do them often doesn't mean the situations that require that tactic goes away. Perhaps you are thinking steering is limited to a pivot move. That is exactly the limited thinking I mentioned earlier. It's thinking of the world in an all or nothing way. I've used a variety of analogies to try to make my point that there is more to skiing than one option. That being said let me offer another. Red, blue and yellow are primary colors. By combining then in different combinations we can produce the rest of the color spectrum. Take one of those colors away though and you lose a third of the colors you can produce. Which is exactly the limitation I see in the carve everywhere mantra. What is curious is when you propose to limit your skiing to situations where you can carve and then suggest that includes "everywhere" on the mountain. Then you readily admit that you cannot do that "everywhere". Perhaps it has to do with where you ski. A carved turn simply is the wrong tactic in a lot of situations like steep bumps, etc... 

I also want to more clearly specify the scope of my comments about the level of skier I mentioned. The four to six world involves a skier who can wedge, wedge Chrisie, and has just broken through to parallel turns. Asking them to carve at that point produces the results Bob and I were discussing. Edge locked and going for a ride they never intended to take and don't know how to control. I feel it is important to accept the fact that they are passing through an early developmental stage and

do not possess the refined skills to use a ski like you would. They are writing a check their body doesn't know how to cash. The result is the unguided missile syndrome I mentioned.


Edited by justanotherskipro - 3/25/2009 at 03:03 pm
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