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Carved turns 1st movement

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Here is a relatively easy question I'd like some clarification on. Say you're gliding down a groomed slope. Your very first movement to start a nice carved turn is …what? Or when linking turns, what movement signals the end of one turn, and starts the other? I know what I think it is or would do. What about you?

I've read a lot of articles and taken a lot of lessons. There are several schools of thought. Does it start in the feet? The knees? The hips? The upper body committing down the hill? What?
post #2 of 46
Feet definitely.

I like to think it starts from standing centered on both feet flat on the slope surface and progresses as you roll both feet onto their respective edges (left edges for left turns, for example). Success requires that you allow the center of mass to move into the turn with the rolling of the feet, so your knees have to move, your inside ankle has to flex a bit more than the outside one, your inside hip has to slide slightly forward, etc., all of a piece and all progressively until it's time to begin moving back toward standing centered on both feet for the next turn.
post #3 of 46
Thread Starter 
Yes I agree, to a point.

A coach at a recent race clinic I had said something like "beginning skiers turn from the upper body. The more experience you have and the better you get, the lower the movements come from. World cup skiers ski from the bottoms of their feet".

That is good advice and understandable if you're already an accomplished skier. What about intermediates and less accomplished skiers who need a breakthrough? Would starting the turn from the feet give them a breakthrough?
post #4 of 46
You must "learn de feet".(advice from a french ski instuctor)
For me there's this chicken-egg thing. My position has always been weight transfer. Some say tip the inside ski.
In order to tip the inside ski you have to stand on the other one. Chicken and egg? I don't know.
post #5 of 46
The begining of your turn could be an early weight transfer to the little toe edge of your uphill ski. This could be accomplished by a conscience shifting of more weight to the uphill ski, or a more subtle approach of the relaxation of the downhill leg.
post #6 of 46
As a famous French skier (J-C K) once put it- while free skiing with a group of instructors at my home area in CA.

**Apply your own bad french accent here....**

"How can you ski, if you do not feel your sole?" (soul)...

post #7 of 46
Hey, VSP, was that during the filming for the lead-in to the Sybervision tape?
post #8 of 46
Arby, the best place for learning to stand on both feet between turns and roll onto the new edges is on the easiest terrain wherever you ski. Make a bunch of runs trying to feel passing through the equally weighted point with the ski bases flat on whatever pitch the slope has. If you have an easy slope with little rollers in it, you can experiment with flattening and equally weighting the bottoms of your feet on various pitches in the same run by starting turns above and just over the crest of the rollers. As you feel your feet/skis flattening, you'll come to realize the rest of you is moving into the turn too. Then you just play with it and gradually (like in a period of days) add increasing steepness.

What I'd do is practice regularly on the flats and ski occasionally on the steeper stuff but with no expectations.

A little self-check of your progress: On a flat spot, where you can see your tracks, ski down the fall line, feeling the bottoms of both feet and then roll 'em to one set of edges and turn to that side to a stop. Hike back up and examine your tracks. You should see both ski bottoms and then both edges, with no sign the tails of the skis wiped out some of the tracks before the edges appeared. I practiced this maybe half an hour a day for a month to get reliable at it. When you can roll onto both left or right edges in a relaxed manner, you should be well on the road to better carve initiations.
post #9 of 46
Hey Wink, you said:

"The begining of your turn could be an early weight transfer to the little toe edge of your uphill ski. This could be accomplished by a conscience shifting of more weight to the uphill ski"

Why would I want to move uphill when my goal is to turn downhill?
post #10 of 46
Simple, the pressure causes the ski to carve under you on it's outside edge until your CM is downhill of it. At which time it has rolled over to it's inside edge.
I start teaching this by doing "cowboys". That is standing bowlegged on the out side edges. The skis go apart until they roll over then come back under you on their inside edges. Next I do it while traversing. Add tipping the downhill ski and it comes together.
I got the inspiration for that from Arcmeister back iin 88
post #11 of 46
Originally posted by SLATZ:
...standing bowlegged on the out side edges. The skis go apart until they roll over then come back under you on their inside edges...
That's an incredibly cool exercise/demo! I had never thought of having someone do that. Thanks for the tip, guys.

Tom / PM
post #12 of 46
If you are thinking about ending a turn and starting a turn then you will never ski with flow. There will always be a "hitch in the get-along" at the connection of the two turns.

For my skiing I begin to prepare to ski on the other set of edges well before the 'end' of the turn. I begin to move the outside foot toward the little toe side while at the same time relaxing the legs so that the force generated by the skis is no longer being transmitted to my body. This causes my body to take a straighter path than that being followed by my feet which are still following the path of the carving ski. This causes the path of my feet and the path of my body to cross. Continued active tipping of the old outside/new inside foot to the little toe side ensures early edge engagement. I pass through the neutral that Kneal mentioned but I am never aware of being there. When I do this well there is no evidence of the skis being flat on the snow. Each ski goes from one edge to the other with no indication of a flat ski running on the surface of the snow. When I reach this state in my skiing there are no turns as such just the constant 'going where I want to go'.


PS Slatz, why do I have to 'shift weight' to one ski to tip the other? It seems to me that I can tip either foot eithet way whether there is pressure on it or not.
post #13 of 46
Originally posted by Ydnar:
PS Slatz, why do I have to 'shift weight' to one ski to tip the other? It seems to me that I can tip either foot eithet way whether there is pressure on it or not.
& further to that...

If you have to weight the other ski to tip 1 ski how do you do the ski on 1 ski stunt?
post #14 of 46
Seems to me if you're tipping the ski you're lightening it. Like I said in the beginning, a chicken and egg thing.
Also the exercise I describe has the goal of a "seamless" turn. The tracks in the snow are clean and the skis roll over together equal distant apart.
One note doesn't make a symphony, it's how it fits into the piece.
post #15 of 46
Actually the proper technique is to go screaming downhill, and when you are ready to turn, casually mention very loud which way you want to turn. Now... stab your pole (let's say your right hand pole) out as if to signal a right turn. [do this just before Slatz comes rippin' by with his Ferrari hat!) make sure you aim for his hat! He loves that!

Now... while he is going back up hill to get his hat, this would be a great oportunity to find out how fast your skis can handle speed. Aim for your car. if youi can make your car and get the doors locked in 28.6 seconds, you're safe........ because Slatz can make that run to your car in 28.5!
post #16 of 46
Thanks for lightening things up.
It was getting pretty heavy.
How' "tings" in Oreeg on?
post #17 of 46
Hood is starting to get snow. Last number of days it's been raining here, so it's been snowing up there. it will be awhile yet but it's coming. Yes... Oreee-gun is better than Aw-reh-gone! Actually it's or-uh-gun.

Now... after Slatz takes out your windshield to get at you for messin' with his hat (Mess with anything but not his hat!) you might want to purchase a bottle of glucosamine!

Yes, Slatz... I'll try it, but it's so spendy! I'm still trying to pay for all these Christmas presents, etc.

I'm still rather impressed with what I learned in that class. point the midriff or bellybutton to the inside (weight on outside ski of course)and go forward as far as possible with straight legs but without locking knees. Completing the turn, flexing at the bellybutton gradually and smoothly. Boy does that take the pressure off the legs! And you reminded me to REACH downhill with the pole... which helps to stay forward. You're taught these things but you forget this and that now and then.

But doing all this you might forget where you are going and get lost! Therefore I suggest the technique called the F-B-L-P! Or ... Full Bore Linear Panic. When, upon deciding you are truly lost, take off at break-neck speed in a straight line until you hit something. When you get up, take off again in whichever direction you happen to be facing. Continue this process until you reach civilization. (Screaming all the way is a nice additive refinement to this techique.) - courtesy- Pat MacMannis.
post #18 of 46
Thread Starter 
Seriously though….

I’m thinking more along the lines of hip movement. Nothing good happens in my turns until I commit the center of mass to the inside of the turn…way inside. This commitment begins with a deliberate movement of the hip to the inside, (and yes forward and down the hill). Kind of like opening a door with a thrust of the hip.

I’ve found this accomplishes several things. First, it separates the upper and lower body (the comma shape), and gets the skis up on edge. Foot, ankle and knee movements alone do not accomplish this. Most importantly though, its more aggressive and committing to the turn. No holding back at this point. You are now out from over your skis and up on edge, charging ahead. Simultaneous edge changes are now a result of the aggressive hip move and happen in a blink of an eye. No transition between turns.

My right turns were always a mess with “A” framing, inconsistent edge angles, scissor look to my skis (diverging), the whole bit. Once I started the movement from the hip, the problems are under control. Seems like my “A” frame never went away with inside leg movements alone. Why? Because my hip (center of mass) was not over far enough to the inside. My left turns were always good because my center of mass moved inside naturally. Yank the hip over and everything else follows.

BTW, this is not something I learned on my own. A top level GS racer explained this to me.

post #19 of 46

How do you turn when you ski VERY SLOWLY? This "GS racer hip thrust" will be overkill in that situation.
post #20 of 46
Thread Starter 
Yes of course it would be overkill in a slow situation, but you don't have to be going very fast to start your turn with a hip movement.

I will also add when skiing slow, I'm not overly concerned with "A" framing, parallel shins, equal edge angles and all that important stuff.

[ December 18, 2002, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: Arby ]
post #21 of 46
I know exactly where SLATZ is comming from. I thought exactly the same way for a while. The chicken or the egg thing comes in with the fact that in a dynamic situation, you must balance on one ski in order to move the other ski. This is not true from a static position when you are not moving. You can tip the new inside ski all you want from a static position. For me, it stood to reason that weight must be transfered in order to shift balance. Just as SLATZ said.

I went out on the hill to verify this. I wanted to know if balance could be transfered without a weight transfer. It turned out that balance could be transfered with little or no weight shift and can be verified in a two footed turn, tipping the new inside foot first.

In order to transfer balance without transfering weight, all that is needed is to cease tipping movements from the foot to the hip in the leg you want to balance on. Just one problem with that thinking.

To stop all tipping movements in the leg you intend to balance on, you must first lock the central bones in the foot. This is done with a diagonal move towards the big toe of the new outside ski. Anyone can easily do this in a static position by tipping the new inside ski towards the little toe side and allowing movement of the center of mass. I was back to the chicken and the egg thing. I new a movement must occur towards the big toe of the new outside ski, first, in order to lock the bones and allow the necessary balance transfer. That's a movement other than the new inside ankle first. I reasoned that this could be done with a passive center of mass movement into the new turn first. A natural early center of mass transfer such as proposed by Ydnar, in a continuous motion, letting gravity do the work, would provide the necessary movement to lock the bones in the new outside foot and allow a balance transfer without an intentional weight shift. Bingo

I could pretty much bear this out as tipping the new inside ski towards the little toe edge without an intentional weight transfer, from a traverse, is almost impossible without letting the center of mass move over the new inside ski first. All of this logically lead me to believe that a natural center of mass movement down the hill was the first efficient movement.

Turns out this is only true in fact, for the start of our first turn. This is why our first turn is usually crap and Harb picks up a ski from a traverse. I now realize that the new outside foot can be locked using angulation.

Once angulation develops in turning, we are back to the first movement being tipping the new inside ankle towards the little toe edge of the new inside ski. Tipping the new inside ski towards the little toe edge first, decrease the angle on the new inside ski. As a result, the new outside ski is natually left on a higher edge with the resulting ankle movement being towards the big toe on that foot; the exact movement we need to lock the bones in the foot and transfer balance.

The resultant balance transfer is progressive with an early center of mass movement and no active weight transfer. Hope this made sense, It was hard to write. [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ December 19, 2002, 04:32 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #22 of 46
My last post points out one more thing to me. If you tip both feet simultaneously towards the new turn you will almost definitely be out of balance momentarily as you hunt for a locked foot. Tipping the new inside ski first and allowing the new outside ski to passively follow along is the only way to insure staying in dynamic balance from turn to turn. Once you do this, you will feel the difference. You will perceive the turn as two footed and solid, with no momentary unweighting.
I have proven to myself that the most efficient movements are not simultaneous but are a new active inside foot, followed by a passive new outside foot.
post #23 of 46

What you are talking about here is one of the supreme sensations of skiing to me. I can be traveling at over forty miles an hour and yet feel as solid on my feet as if i was standing in my living room. Actually more solid because the force, generated by the skis, that is pressing on the sole of my foot to trigger the stablization of the bones of the foot/leg is greater than that of gravity. This is what Ric B is talking about when he talks of the connection to the earth that he is trying to bring from Tai Chi. When I ski like this my root becomes greater than the tree and the tree is almost impossible to topple. Nolo and Arcmister are refering to this when they bring up Center of Pressure and finding the sweet spot of the ski. This is what I was trying to convey in the post where i likened skiing to powered flight.

Those who haven't experenced it don't understand what we are talking about. Those who have experienced it once spend much of their skiing time trying to experience it again and learn how to do it at will. Those who can call it up on demand are hopeless addicts who keep going back for another fix at every opportunity.

I'm not skiing tomorrow because I have a huge list of errands to run before Fri. when my Holiday bookings start. But after writing this I'm beginning to sweat and get the shakes. If I don't get everything done that I l have planned for tomorrow because I end up on snow somewhere I'm going to blame you.

Looking forward to meeting you and talking and sking about this and a whole bunch of other things at the Academy. Wait till you see where my concept of the ride ski and guide ski has evolved.

post #24 of 46
Before the "simultanious tipping" There was talk of shifting weight to the little toe edge of the uphill ski. That's where the "seamless turn" begins. At that point the downhill ski is weighted more. From there on weight transfers progressivly to the new outside ski. When I think of it that way I ski better. The tracks are even width with both skis changing edges at the same point. Those are the cues that work for me. Not everyone keys in to the same things. There's an awful lot going on at the same time.
Which note in the symphony are you keyed into?

Here in the Mid-west they end it like "on"
post #25 of 46
Yes Ydnar, that's what I'm talking about. I played around alot last year with some things involing the hip and the kinetic chain, but not all the dots were connected. The structural awareness and sensitivity developed in tai-chi has opened up my body, so to speak, and allowed my understanding to evolve.

So how do we have that seemless transfer of weight from one side to the other? For me this also lies in the hips, but I fnd that it's not from a lateral transfer, but from a natural tilting of the pelvis from one side to the other. Meaning that the hips need to move with the feet, more or less parallel with the feet, which becomes more or less parallel with the snow surface, of course ruled by the steepness of the terrain. One enlightened examiner started me down this path, but I don't know if she had all the dots connected either.

So I'm traversing a blue groomer, a hard edged traverse, hips with the same angle as my feet, which keeps my legs the same length. To hold this traverse I've got tention in my uphill abdominal obliques, straight down into my uphill hip. I want to turn now, so I simply raise my down hill hip, slowly and deliberately, not sideways, but lift it with that same tention in the obliques, but on the opposite side. What happens? Almost instant pressure transfer to the uphill foot on the little toe side. Keep in mind that no other movement has happened at this point but the small movement in the hips. At this point gravity starts pulling the COG down the hill, the new edge is engaged and the turn developes naturaly and very sructuraly. Balanceing isn't compromised and the structure is doing the work. So I play with this back and forth, one turn after the next. The lateral movement of the COG into the turn and down the hill comes as a result of the other movement. Try railroad track turns with nothing but this slight lifting of the old outside hip. It will give you the feeling of what I'm describing. Talk about being rooted.

For me this resulted in a new understanding of how our hips are truly our foundation, and what role that foundation can and does play in our skiing.

Now if I use this hip movement as a natural enhancement to the initial foot movement what I find is that I don't need to move my hips lateraly, this happens as a result of the other movements, in a structural way, in direct realationship with the forces we are creating, in a way that doesn't interfere with our developing and maintaining our root, so to speak. I would love to have some feedback on this whole concept and movement.

Keep in my mind that I'm not advocating skiing from the hip, only to develope an awareness of the role of the hip in our biomechanics and how this enhances or hinders our skiing, and controls our ability to use our structure in our skiing. Just another twist on this conversation. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #26 of 46
Ric B & Ydnar,
My instructor is hooked on hips!
When we video he is always drawing lines on hips knees feet. He wants them all matched. Mostly I do Ok but..

Going back to my hip dilemma from last season. The hip movement in & down I described on my weak side is NOT a large move.
It is simply that on my good side (& sometime on the bad side if I get yelled at enough) there is a smooth continuous hip movement as you described(ie UP & through). The BAD side it is not there & so that hip that SHOULD be up ends up level or slightly lower than the other.(& behind instead of forward)


Does that shed any light at all on that problem?
post #27 of 46
Disski, for me I feel that when my hip doesn't come "up and through" as you say, my inside half gets weak and I can't angulate as well or direct the forces to the outside ski, or move fluidly into the next turn. Having the hips tilted forward too much can hinder this amoung other things. I see this in DChans, OPPS that's Ryan's still he posted yesterday. It makes his inside half weak and keeps him from angulating. I'd like to see him open up his hips and knees more to allow the ball and socket hips to work as more than just a hinge. Can you see that? Do you fold at the waist Disski? I don't remember your hip problem but has your instructor given you something to draw awareness to how this effects things and can be changed?

As this examiner I mentioned said, People were talking all around the hip, talking about what ot do with every part of the body except the hip, including showing what a good hip position is but no one seemd to be addressing how. What's the role of the hip in our skiing. It IS where all things connect. She had us work this for a long time with a good portion of time spent on the side of the trail with our skis off, teamed up and trying various positions and movements with our hips, many related to modified walking movements, but all in the direction of releasing the old ski moving to the new ski, and the movement of our COG into the new turn and down the hill. Some really good stuff. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

[ December 19, 2002, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: Ric B ]
post #28 of 46
Originally posted by Ric B:
Disski, for me I feel that when my hip doesn't come "up and through" as you say, my inside half gets weak and I can't angulate as well or direct the forces to the outside ski, or move fluidly into the next turn... Can you see that? Do you fold at the waist Disski? I don't remember your hip problem but has your instructor given you something to draw awareness to how this effects things and can be changed?

Sorry Ric - it was in August sometime & people kept giving me these ideas that didn't match the hip movement that occurred. The movement wasn't a 'move' one way but the simple 'lack of move' as you & Ydnar described - ONLY ON TURN TO RIGHT & ONLY AT END OF that TURN.

No waist folding - but that is my weak turn side & if it is really cruddy etc THAT is the side I think I will bite it & so I do strange things (pretty much I FEEL UNSTABLE compared to the other turn & then either have balance problems or do silly things because I am uncomfortable - read run away from possible problems etc)
ie the biggest problem is lack of FLUID movement (from what I have been told)

NO PROBLEM with other side turn - hip ALWAYS moves as it should(I'm told)

Instructors cure? ummm he had a couple
- ski around behind me yelling 'HIP' at the initiation of that turn - then I try to make sure i move the hip THROUGH & the 'falling back & in' doesn't happen because I am moving forward & through.
-make me do EVERY STEEP ICY traverse in the direction that pushes that hip UP he could find on our daily travels - so I learn the position better in my muscles.
-get me to concentrate on my KNEE in that turn initiation a bit - when I get the knee right the hip seems to follow suit.
Knee right - ski without poles soI can do hands on knees...

That foot is VERY unstable - I have a HUGE correction in my walking orthotic - unfortunately since 1997 I am up to second pair of footbeds & boots & have had alignment done TWICE by surefoot & a quick look by some guys in Whistler(when they built the second orthotic) & it is STILL CRAP! That foot FEELS BAD - I am used to a supported foot & the FOOTBEDS do NOT cut it.
I CAN make the moves - if I try really hard as above - but they are REALLY hard & I need to concentrate & my knee aches the WHOLE ski season as it did before I had walking orthotics.
post #29 of 46
Disski, I'm sorry you ski in pain. I can relate as I have arthritis in my left knee from my former occupation. I find when a part of me is hurting, my body does everything it can to keep that part from being used. Even if I force it to happen, it simply comes off as forced, and usually not very effective. And I hope you can find some footbed resolution.

If it were up to me, I would have you tryng to work your hip in an isolated manner to learn the movements and not by forcing it into position from movements in other areas. This will create muscle memory and also some conditioning of the muscles we use to stabilize and control the movements of the hips. There is a real tention in the obliques over the hip you want to engage. This tention forms a straight line directed right down to the hip and the leg below initialy. It's different than the "sqeezing the lemmon" with our upper body that used to be popular. With this tention over the hip the upperbody doesn't tilt, there is simply a shift of the contact point from one side to the other, and not from any lateral movement either. It creates a skeletal release, and at the same it creates a positive platform or foundation for the upper body and keeps the angles between the snow, feet and hips more positive. You can get a feel for this standing in the living room and working through this tentionng of the obliques. Very little movement is needed to have an effect. Just tention and lift maybe a 1/2" or inch, and feel what happens. Maybe for you, if the hip moves first on your weak side it would allow a more structural or skeletal stacking from the beggning of your turn, which could reduce the need to use your knee to force the turn. To get correct hip movement by using your knee to force it can work and falls in line with the current thinking that everything starts down on the snow and works it's way up, but that only works if whats happening in the hips is not interfering. For me this hip exercise helps us feel how using our skeleton correctly helps us ski easier and use gravity and the other forces more effectively.

It's tough to ski when we're hurting. You are a true dedicated and passionate "skier" Disski. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

I always seem to have to edit!

[ December 20, 2002, 05:45 AM: Message edited by: Ric B ]
post #30 of 46
Ric - I know the move - other hip does it EVERY turn - no problem easy as - it just does what it needs - no thinking involved & I end up in the strong position I want.

& the position bit is why we take steep icy traverses rather than cattracks whenever possible. - so I can get the position

the knee bit is because that knee 'folds' under pressure - as soon as I try to lunge onto it in fencing it tends to bend in- but I learnt to keep it straight so I didn't get hit by my coach- - for skiing it must NOT bend in so I can try to stabilise it - unfortunately my stabilisation pattern involves using my HIP & thigh to hold the knee out - see a dilemma there?
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