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Old school turns seem to be getting short schrift these days - grumble. - Page 2

post #31 of 55
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the clarification.

Never having skied any shortie slaloms, I thought one would ski them centered, but from reading the link you provided, it sounds like you use essentially the same fore/aft technique on shortie slaloms as you do on older skis, but perhaps just tweaked a bit for the shortness.

Geeze, they sound like fun. I'll have to demo some next season.

post #32 of 55
Don't have much time...
Sue Spencer: was forced out. many are very unhappy (to put it mildly). politics. "not a good office manager". don't know a lot here.

Stratton Race clinic: Will happen with or without psia. probably without anyway. It should be better than last year. more coaches, timing etc.. no need to hire examiners you don't want to.

physics man- agreed
ed: looking at some of the video on the rocky mountain masters site of schlopy etc. it looks like the new slalom style has the racers more forward, leaning at the waist. Is this so? or was that just early season getting used to short skis? (or do you disagree...?)

got to catch train...
post #33 of 55
A lot of on-the-money replies. Kudos to those who pointed out shapes are not just for carving, and that they pretty much work better for everything. I would add
"Even going straight."

I still hear quite a few people out there eschewing shaped skis for various reasons. As near as I can tell, either they haven't tried them, skied them too long, or didn't spend enough time to adjust to them.

Techniques well-suited to trad. skis, while serviceable on shapes, do not bring out their advantages. It takes awhile, and often some pointers, to adjust and discover the magic. I really teach different things to people based on their equipment. Well-seasoned skiers who come to me with new shaped skis and old techniques don't take long to figure it out and are sold on them immediately.

People are being misled by the sales force out there and are getting skis that are too long. People are also being sold the 'wrong' ski design. A large proportion of reps & salespeople do not understand current designs and or their relation to customer needs/desires. Too many are missing the boat when it comes to trends in 'niche' oriented designs.

The lag between industry trends and awareness of them is tremendous. A lot of people still attach skiing prowess to ski length. Telling people what they want to hear is a powerful sales tactic. Too long a shaped ski can be more of a handful than a traditional ski what with the increased mass out front and back. 20-25 cm shorter than trad. is ideal, even shorter for some designs.

If a skier skis an unweighty/rotary force dominated technique(Naww...), a shaped ski close to traditional length stands a good chance of feeling worse than the traditonal one.

Skis are still changing rapidly. In comparison to current(this year's) models, skis even two years old could be called outdated in terms of performance.

Here are some of my shaped skipinions:

They will do the work , but you've got to
let them.

They need to be properly sized.

Being properly stanced and balanced in
your boots is critical. (Especially if
you don't think shaped ski go straight

There are great differences between
performance characteristics of
different designs. Many skis have very
defined niches, or performance zones.

Somehow, I am still a fan of an adage we lived by before shapes came out. "It's the skier, not the ski..."

"When the going get weird, the weird turn pro."

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited June 25, 2001).]</FONT><FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited June 25, 2001).]</FONT>
post #34 of 55
Jonathan - Loon's 'Upper Walking Boss': Yes! That's a trail I really enjoy!

Roto - I have 180cm Atomic BetaRace 9.20's. I love them, but they are NOT good at going straight while riding flat regardless of where my weight is fore/aft. If I ride the inside edges a little bit (i.e., knock-kneed), then they're OK. But they sure don't track like my old 205cm GS skis used to. If you think I'm doing something wrong, please explain in more detail. Maybe it's a length issue more than a shaped vs. straight issue? Of course, those old 205's sure couldn't dance the way the 9.20's can!

BE the skis!
post #35 of 55
Nice Post Roto!

Tominator, I felt the same way about going straight on shaped skis initially. I of course thought it was the equipment.

Then one of my ski guru's pulled no punches and (similar to Roto's quote) told me "Skis don't have problems going straight, only *skiers* do".

Keeping a -Truly- flat ski is an artform, a skill that speed skiers must be true masters at, but for most of the rest of us only do briefly here and there.

When you keep a truly flat ski, the skis "swim" a little bit at speed. This happens with both shaped skis and "traditional" skis (aren't shaped skis traditional now?).

Any subtle rotary, weight change or edging moves though - even if unconcious - are going to result in in stronger reactions from the a shaped ski than we felt on 'traditional' skis.

With more focus on the problem I realized that perhaps I hadn't been keeping a truly flat ski on my straighter skis either, the straighter skis were simply less responsive to my movements.

Now that I've been on shapes for many years I don't notice any problems in tracking at any speed, I'm sure you'll find the same thing with more time on them.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Todd Murchison (edited June 25, 2001).]</FONT>
post #36 of 55

I've watched some slow-mo of speed skiers. They don't ride a flat ski because it's too unstable. They ride on their inside edges. Granted, they try to let them go as flat as possible, and the flatter they get them, the faster they go, but if they let them get too flat, then when you see the ugly wrecks.

DHers tend to be able to ride a flat ski because they aren't flat for very long, and their speeds are under 100mph.

Riding a shaped ski flat is definitely an art form. Especially when you consider that the ground just about never stays flat under the ski.
post #37 of 55
Thanks Todd, good on ya too.

Tominator. I do not know if you are doing anything wrong. I can only speak to my own experiences which are similar to Todd's. I do beleive it is likely you can improve to overcome the lack of stability. Without more information on you and your background I really can't address you specifically. I do beleive this, the place to start is to find out if you have boot related alignment, stance, or balance issues to deal with.

Awhile ago I discovered that even though I had footbeds and bootwork done I was not stanced and balanced properly in my boots. I was skiing around with uneven, or unequal edge angles. (fairly equal edge angles are important on the new stuff) Visually, my body parts may have given the look of 'symmetry'. What was going on down below was different, whether I was trying to ride a flat ski or not. The fact is, I was doing one thing while my skis were doing something different.

I went to an occupational footwear fitter who happens to be a core skier, teacher, coach and equipment tester. He pointed out my probelm and set me up right in less than one hour. The first day on the slopes in my new booties I could do things I had been striving toward for years with intermittent success.

Do you have a bootfitter? Do you trust your bootfitter? Is footwear fitting their primary source of income? What is their background in the trade?

Going to a random in-(ski)shop fitter is a gamble. I'm sure there are many reputable ones, but I know there are a pantload of incompetent ones who are nothing more than glorified salespeople. They don't walk the walk. They can make footbeds, but they can't, for the most part, make accurate orthotics. They sure talk a lot though.

As for the Betas, I am not very familiar with them. There is such a wealth of shapes and designs and they are all sooo different. I can't to keep up with them all. I used to be able to speak to most skis. Not anymore. I work hard at skiing as many as I can so I have some idea of what works and how they act. In desperation, I have taken to honesty when asked about skis I am unfamiliar with and admit as much lest I start speaking out of another orifice and compromise what little credibilty I have managed to gain.

By the way, I nominate you for Best Thread for your 103% rant. Stellar. Have you ever seen the book & video Distinctive Skiing?

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited June 25, 2001).]</FONT>
post #38 of 55
Thread Starter 
Todd M -

You said, "...When you keep a truly flat ski, the skis "swim" a little bit at speed. This happens with both shaped skis and "traditional" skis..."

In the old days of straight skis, one phenomena that I was absolutely sure of was that those skis with the least initial camber "swim" the most when flat.

OTOH, initial camber seems to have all but disappeared from all recent discussions of shaped skis. I suspect that the designers want recreational skiers to be able to effortlessly pivot their turns, so they design in only a trivial amount of initial camber, but unfortunately, this sacrifices flat-running stability.

Perhaps if they designed in a bit more, it wouldn't change their properties when carving at all, but would make them more easily able to be run flat.


post #39 of 55
Roto -

Thanks for the advice. I've been skiing for 40 years (in New England). I'm somewhere between 8 and 9 on the PSIA ability scale. Used to race a little. I've never had customized boots - just good fitting ones. My current boots (Dalbello DX7s) have a canting adjustment which was set visually by the guy at the shop when I bought them.

But you and others on this forum as well as a few books I've read recently ("The Athletic Skier," for one) have completely convinced me that custom footbeds are absolutely in order for next season.

By the way, I've always considered myself a good, and relaxed, 'glider'. I haven't really done a lot of going straight on my new skis - it's just too much fun to keep them turning - but they do seem to swim around more than my old straighter LONGER skis. (However, I bet they're no less stable than 180cm 'straight' skis would be!) Once I'm REALLY aligned, I'll have to experiment a bit with straight line tracking techniques, as you and Todd have suggested.

Never heard of, "Distinctive Skiing." I'll check it out. Thanks again!

BE the skis!<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Tominator (edited June 26, 2001).]</FONT>
post #40 of 55
good luck finding that book distinctive skiing. It was a joke as far as skiing technique and has been out of print for a very long time. I can't remember if even Todd has it listed in his "super ski library"
I think Bob B mentioned that it's one book he has that Todd doesn't.

I've been on the hunt for a copy just for the laughs.
post #41 of 55
I'm sure BobB has lots of literature I don't, but that book isn't one of them. Though I think I bought it on his recommendation some years ago -- recommendation for "if you want a laugh . . . " Owning the book is certainly nothing to brag about, it records a shameful little piece of ski history. But it is very funny to look at!
post #42 of 55
Thanks for the note. Maybe it was the otherway around? in anycase every time I go to an old/used bookstore I look for a copy. Maybe one of these day's I'll find one. It sounds like a fun read if nothing else.

How's that review coming along?
post #43 of 55
DChan - there's some used ones (3 of 'em) for sale on Amazon.
post #44 of 55
cool. I'll check it out. The last time I checked there were none. I wonder if it's an after the ski season thing. Scary if people are reading that during the ski season only. Maybe they are using it to learn how to ski
post #45 of 55
The book will make you laugh, good luck!

Dchan - I just got back this weekend from a week in Colorado visiting family. Going to hunker down in the next week or so and try and make some good progress on the book. I have a tough time wading through all the self-rightousness in it, so I've just been doing it a piece at a time.
post #46 of 55

Going to a good fitter will probably cost a couple hundred bucks, but don't let that phaze you. It will be worth every penny.

Here are some great tidbits on "Distinctive Skiing." I can't remember why I mentioned it. It was something in someone's post. Yes, the book is full of laughs. The biggest one being that the guy was serious.

"Pole dragging is the venereal disease of skiing."

"Always keep your elbows as high as possible."

"Never allow light to show between your legs."

"Never bend your knees unless absolutely necessary."

He also refers to instructors as "Piston-pumping Fall-Line-Thrashers."

and racers as "Belly-Benders."

Neither of these are skiers to emulate in his estimation.

Do I need to apologize for this tangent??

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited June 26, 2001).]</FONT>
post #47 of 55
Yikes! It does sound like it's good for a laugh.
post #48 of 55
And you say there's a video, too???
post #49 of 55
Some people have very weird ideas on skiing. This past winter I was doing a race clinic up at Loon,NH. There was a guy there who insisted on skiing with his head at a certain level off the ground. He had an exact distance for it, I forget what. It required his head to be bent down and his body bent forward usually. It was very odd looking. The instructor received a lecture about this odd theory of skiing (he was an engineer). Then he skied with his feet locked together. The instructor tried to get him to open up his stance. The guy replied: "Everyone tells me that! I must ski this way! This is what works!"
post #50 of 55

Are you sure he wasn't examining the techniques discussed in the thread "Lito and Harald Break Wind?"
post #51 of 55
The video is priceless. I do not have it or the book, just a memory imprinted with many nights of laughter and beer as we watched and learned. We had it at work. I even remenber seeing it in a video rental place for awhile. I would love to find the video again. You should see the demos. read the previous list of tidbits and just imagine...

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...
post #52 of 55
OMG, I want that book, or video/film

My goodness, that would be great!

¯¯¯/__ SnoKarver <A HREF="http://communities.msn.com/SnoKarver

" TARGET=_blank>http://communities.msn.com/SnoKarver

post #53 of 55
Tog -

Why do you think they call it 'LOON' Mountain? Ha, ha!

Actually, it sounds like this guy could have been a renegade (escapee) instructor from the XSCHUSS movement who was somehow misconstruing the CCM (Crowd Clearing Maneuver) or pervertedly combining it with the URB (Under Rope Bendover)!

Gotta see if Blockbuster has the 'Distinctive Skiing' video!

BE the skis!

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Tominator (edited June 28, 2001).]</FONT>
post #54 of 55
Distinctive Skiing...

No, really. This could be better than Mobius, or Maltese Flamingo...

Doing a little search AltaVista came up with:

OMG, it's there. in the list of "D" films.. LOL!

Who lives in NY City? Near Port Washington?

¯¯¯/__ SnoKarver <A HREF="http://communities.msn.com/SnoPeople

" TARGET=_blank>http://communities.msn.com/SnoPeople


<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SnoKarver (edited June 28, 2001).]</FONT>
post #55 of 55
The guy's name was Bill West or something like that. He was into real estate in the Tahoe area.

We'll get a hold of it yet.
Isn't the net amazing?<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited June 29, 2001).]</FONT>
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