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what do tracks in the snow tell you?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Since I could not get someone to video me today, I did something else that might be fun.
I took some pictures of my tracks and actually have a close up video of them as well.

Everyone tells me the tracks you leave behind never lie and will tell you a lot..

The skidded track next to the "carve attempt" track is me side slipping down checking out my previous track.

I'm still working on getting the video smaller but if you have a fast connection and want to see the video of this track, Here it is. Warning! It's a 15 M file and if you are prone to motion sickness you might want to skip it.

Track1 has been converted into a gif (see post #5)

A second track a few runs later is here.

(working on track 2)

[ May 22, 2002, 12:14 PM: Message edited by: dchan ]
post #2 of 15
I also took a look at your clip.

I seem to see two carved tracks at the moment of weight transition. I don't see any weight(track) on the inside ski through the middle third of the turn. The faint track I see in the still seems to be parallel with the weighted outside ski, which is a good sign. In the clip, the skiis widen slightly.

Without the weight on the inside ski, you are not "driving" the ski to carve. Without weight, the ski can wander a little.

The transition between turns looks very good. Nice edge to edge with no skidding. You are carving. Now you need to engage both skiis.(I know we will get some comments on this one!!)

Suggestions:when rolling onto the new outside ski, initiate the inside ski to pull you through the turn. "Walk through a doorway", lead with the ski.

With weight on both skiis, you can vary your turn shape quicker and with more finesse, because you have two feet to work against each other. As an exercise, try in your carved turn to lengthen your shorter leg...pushing against your longer outside leg.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Keetov

I guess I should have stated the conditions too. (afterthought) as it might help with analysis.

The snow was groomed crisp but not ice. The pitch is about 15-17 degreees (my guess) I'll post a picture if I can find it. Per some of the comments from the last video, I tried to be more patient and let the skis pick up speed and then control the overall speed by trying to continue my turn all the way to across the fall line.

I guess I'm moving pretty fast.

After the first clip I noticed that my inside ski was smearing and on the second clip I was really trying to pull the inside foot back and put down my little toe. Hopefully it shows. Thanks for the hint's Keetov, It sort of meshes with what I'm feeling. I think I'm moving in the right direction.

[ April 21, 2002, 08:21 AM: Message edited by: dchan ]
post #4 of 15
Nice tracks dchan. Your outside ski seems to carve pretty well. If you want to make more of a railroadtrack put some more weight on that inside ski and really roll onto those edges. Let the sidecut do your work for you. Your ski's have lots of sidecut(15,16 m??) on a nice groomed slope lose the poles and put your inside hand on the snow in the turns. You don't need the super short, super sidecut funcarvers to do this and its a great exersize and lots of fun.

edit: Watch out for big clumps of ice though. I once got a black nail on my tumb as i hit one with my hand at full speed

[ April 21, 2002, 09:02 AM: Message edited by: Crosscarver ]
post #5 of 15
I can see your wife has been an influence on your photography. I took a pic of a set of tracks this year but had to outline them since their were so many. End of a Spring like day. Please give me your thoughts on these. Going to SLC today. Would like to ski their Monday but have to do a turn around back to Oregon.

post #6 of 15
Your tracks show dominant outside foot and passive inside foot relationship. There appears to be a strong dominant big-toe-to-big-toe emphasis in these turns. The track left by the inside ski shows it drifting along dragging its little toe edge, on apparently less edge angle than that of the outside ski. Because it is not being edged as much, its avaliable arc (if carving) would be a much longer radius than the strong arc the outside ski is tracking (inhibiting/conflicting). As a result you've had to (whether consiously or not) guiding & steer it just enough to get it around the corner and keep it out of the way. You may even show a small tip divergance of the inside ski, but not necessarily unless the steering is very active. This is a dominant outside (bulldozing), inside inhibiting relationship.

If what YOU WANT is two more uniformaly carved tracks (I'm guessing more like sliders?), then I'd suggest that you work to change your order of movement, first through your transitions, and then continuing throughout the turn. You will need to learn to start your transition by actively rolling over the old outside foot to release its edge, as you relax its leg to release the CM across and to inside of the new turn. Followup theat trigger by continuing to tip that foot ( now new inside) so the CM/body is drawn to the inside of the turn and outside ski edge angle is "catching up" with the leading inside foot activity as the new outside leg extends (after the edge change) to take over its balance//support role.

Also, play with slowing down your weight transfer to try and create a double arc2arc edge change tracks. If you start on flatter terrain at slower speeds you will be able to increase your awareness of cause and effect through your transitions. As you amp up speed and terrain later, you will learn to allow turn dynamics to create any appropriate weight distribution for each turn scenario (-vs causing any specific distribution ratio)

When you start out to make any change make sure have a clear focus and intent for both movement and outcome. Here it should be on order of movement and to be very progressive as you develope your edge angles, avoid rapid max-to-max, park-to-park balistic movements. An intent to keep your feet continiously rolling (always leading toward the little toe side) will train your new order of movement. If initially you should experience a delay, or gap, between little toe lead and big toe follow, and that's just fine, it means you are on track (literally, if you look at them). As focused practice trains muscle memory, you can reduce the "Gap" and the movements will be more simultanious, yet still with this very efficient order of movement.

Good luck with on your pathway to the changes you want to make. [img]smile.gif[/img]
I only wish I was still on snow and could be there learning with you.

[ April 21, 2002, 11:31 AM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
I finally figured out a better way to show the tracks.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Here's track2 2 runs later.

[ May 22, 2002, 12:42 PM: Message edited by: dchan ]
post #9 of 15
Hey dchan,

It looks like the inside foot is just along for the ride, and not a "strong inside half". There is definitely less edge angle and less pressure on it. In conditions like that, I'd expect to see the inside ski/leg more active in helping to shape the turn and guide the skis. However, the outside is holding the edge nicely (ssems like very soft snow). The turn radius is fairly large, and the turns not very complete, but that could be due to the slope not being steep enough to finish them any more. Also, the transition between turns could be a bit more decisive, and not take quite so long.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi JohnH
Good to see you around more often [img]smile.gif[/img]
Thanks. Actually for California the snow is pretty hard.. It's not east coast hard but early morning spring hard cord.. as far as the inside half, I wish I had more time this season but this was on the last day of the season at Sugarbowl for me. I think on the second run (second track) I started to feel more inside but still need to work on that. The first run as I video taped the tracks I noticed either a lack of edge on the inside ski or skidding of the inside ski. On the second run I at least was able to see the edge and much less skidding. I should have taken more video later but I was having too much fun as the snow softened. I think it slowly got better. (see my thread on "park and ride" or "more video to pick apart"

[ May 23, 2002, 07:12 AM: Message edited by: dchan ]
post #11 of 15

An exercise for you, the next time you are on the snow and have time and space to play with this again.

Take a piece of patrol tape (or some other strap that is easy to break or velcro), about 3 feet long. Standing at the top of the hill, with your feet skiing width apart, tie the patrol tape around your knees, leaving the same amount of space between your knees, that you have between your boots. Now, the object is to ski, without letting the patrol tape drop below your knees. This will force your inside ski onto the same amount of edge as your outside ski, and will do some other cool things with the turn entry.

You'll know if you tied it too loose or too tight. If it's too loose, you won't be able to make a straigh run without it falling, and if it's too tight, it'll want to break when you make a straight run.

I learned this from Mike Rogan. We did it for about 2 solid hours. Ending with doing this through a steep bump run. It was ugly. Except for Rogan, who skis like that anyway.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
I heard that exercise last season at Whistler. I never got a chance to try it but I will definately try it next season. Our instructor suggested we use elastic however because it would be "safer". Thanks
post #13 of 15
Hi Dchan,
hope your spring is going well. thought I'd drop in for a moment and "track" the action.

Arcmeister is on it as usual. In addition to all the evidently good stuff going on in these turns, I feel if your goal for these turns is railroad tracks, you need to moderate the inside leg steering. Of course to do this, you need a higher edge angle on the inside ski as arcmeister stated. You may be using a slight divergence on that inside ski to help you balance. This is what I see often with athletes working toward a more active little toe edge. To prevent this, you need to actively minimize the rotational tendencey of the inside leg. A fuctional tension in the ankle to keep it tilted but not rotating may help create this. As I stated before, though, the movement may be there, but if your balance isn't quite there, the divergence creates a wider platform and some friction to balance against. The best way I know to refine that linear balance is one footed rails on easy terrain.

nice looking tracks. good inside ski angle and progressive tipping. the only thing I'd like to see is evidence of a lack of building G's toward the end of the turn. it looks like just when the forces have a chance to build, you roll through them and into the next turn. this could be terrain and choice dependent, but i see this alot in skiers that make good rails on easier terrain, but loose it on steeper or chopped terrain. On the easy spring snow, perfect practice would involve feeling some good g's and progressing to a higher angle and stronger position to resist them before flowing with forces across the skis into the next turn. So,I could be off base, but that was impression of your good looking snow photo.

Anyway, nice to think about skiing. This is the earliest I've put up my skis in 10 years. I got the powder days at sugar bowls closing weekend, but that was the end. The new career in real estate needs my time right now.

Cheers, Wade

[ May 25, 2002, 09:40 AM: Message edited by: Holiday ]
post #14 of 15
That area is at the bottom of the lifts and flat. I am unable to slow myself down on steeper runs unless I skid the turns. Perhaps a shorter ski would be helpful(191cm now). Also try to bring the skis around the hill more. Thanks for the info. about releasing the turns to early. I will work on that.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
and something different for the MA junkies
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