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How do you make a perfect turn? - Page 2

post #31 of 59
Bob, just a minor point. If I'm walking or running and I want to change direction immediately to my right my sequence of movements is

rht leg shortens (bends)
left foot moves LEFT
Left foot plants
Power off of left foot in the direction I want to go

With out moving the left foot out you will not be able to power off the left foot with your strongest muscles.

Your method is fine if you want a slower change in direction.

Watch the guys in the world cup make quick direction changes.
post #32 of 59
I appreciate the thought that has gone into this discussion, but this notion of "perfect" is profane. Let me explain.

Is there such thing as a perfect piece of music? A perfect painting? A perfect piece of writing?

Is there a perfect race, a perfect match, a perfect game, or even a perfect run?

Doubtful.

Now, is there a perfect tree, a perfect flower, a perfect storm?

Doubtless.

Don't get me wrong. I think ideals are great. I loved the Centerline because I understood that it describes a theoretical balance point at which, theoretically, all skills would be in perfect proportion and the physical outcome would be a perfectly symmetrical series of perfectly rounded arcs.

But let's face it, people, this is an abstraction.

Let me tell a story about my friend the part-time ski instructor who flew fighter jets for the Air National Guard. Perfection had a very high value for this guy, because his life depended on being real close to perfection every time he went up. He took this value into his skiing. I have never witnessed such dogged determination and such joyless execution in my life. He was a miserable skier: never happy with his effort. He seldom put himself in challenging situations where the odds against being perfect increased. He went to the Level III exam three times. He never made it through the whole exam, because he left early each time due to some error that he magnified until he had completely wrecked his self-confidence.

Perfection is a nice ideal, but as a value it is stifling.
post #33 of 59
I don't have a dictionary handy, but doubt that true "perfection" is possible in something like skiing. Skiing's subjective, to the watcher and the doer. The doer might have a hangover and everything feels off-centre, the watcher meanwhile is thinking what lovely turns the person is making.

You see the beatific looks on the faces of some abyssmal skiiers, and it's obvious they think they are skiing like gods!

A turn might be brilliant in a certain situation, but not work so well in others (different terrain, different equipment).

At the end of the day, you might have to settle for "good" turns, rather than perfect ones.
post #34 of 59
Good thoughts again, Tom.

Yes, I'm sure we're on the same page as far as the mechanics here. One thing we must be careful of is not to confuse discussions of technique with discussions of how to TEACH technique. All of your concerns about confusing students when introducing these movements are valid, but my intent here has merely been to discuss the mechanics themselves. How to teach them--that's another book.

But let's look briefly at your suggestions, and allow this thread to drift slightly toward the teaching of these movements. First, I can tell you that, while instructors bring it up now and then, I've never had students express confusion--or even concern--about whether these movements are simultaneous or sequential. It really isn't significant as far as the independent leg steering mechanism goes. As long as the OUTSIDE ski does not try to turn first (which would require pushing its tail), a split fraction of a second either way is of aesthetic concern only. Ten thousand steps, One Thousand steps, and Infinite steps--they're all functionally the same. I would much rather see a skier with diverging tips as a result of an OVER-active inside ski than one who pushes the tails and skids because of too LITTLE inside leg activity. Over-activity needs only refinement. INactivity is an error that produces entirely different mechanics, and requires learning a whole new movement pattern. Perfect, consistent, simultaneous parallel is nice, but it’s only about as important as the sprinkles on the icing on the cake!

There are VERY slight advantages, beyond the aesthetic, of disciplining the inside leg to be just active ENOUGH, keeping the skis more closely parallel (as in “infinite steps”). Watch video of Alberto Tomba, whose skiing arguably brought the issue of "active inside leg" to the forefront back in the 1980's. He used a very active inside leg, with strong movements of his body into the turn, to the point where his skis commonly diverged. Subsequent champions--Hermann Maier comes to mind--refined the activity to keep the skis more parallel. You only occasionally see The Hermanator's skis diverge, although he too, when he "errs," leans toward too much, rather than too little, inside leg activity. When his skis are truly parallel, though, the inside ski carves a cleaner arc, scrubbing no speed like a diverging inside ski does (slightly). And when the inside ski points the same direction and tips the same angle as the outside ski, it is available to take over cleanly when the outside ski slips or breaks away. With a completely disciplined inside leg, the importance of maintaining balance completely and consistently over the outside ski diminishes--either one, or both, can do the job! But this is really getting away from the point....

Where the distinction between simultaneous and sequential movements really DOES matter is when considering "pushoff" turn initiations. A sequential pushoff initiation involves standing on the platform of the downhill ski while turning the uphill ski (tail out), then pushing off or rebounding from that platform to transfer weight to the other ski. Besides the skidding tail-push that this movement entails, it is a dicey, unreliable technique at best, especially in inconsistent soft snow ("crud"), because the platform is unreliable. Simultaneous movements of both legs and skis are a better bet in most conditions. But again, the mechanics we're discussing in the "perfect turn" do not involve a pushoff in the first place.

Anyway, because I'm not terribly concerned about the student who is a little TOO active with the inside ski, I find "Thousand Steps," with its obvious sequential movements and diverging tips, an extremely effective exercise to develop accurate rotary movements--among other things. It creates the right movements, continuously (or at least repeatedly), throughout the turn. The emphasis is on the MOVEMENTS, not the divergence or parallelness of the skis. The real value of the exercise is in the dynamic, continuous, accurate motion it involves.

For this reason, your version is not an equivalent exercise. Indeed, holding the skis in one place or position is almost the antithesis of Thousand Steps! While it may have its place, it is not a viable alternative to Thousand Steps, at least for this purpose. Trying to "keep the V-angle constant" is indeed a contrast to the focus on MOVEMENT that is the essence of Thousand Steps.

You also suggested that Thousand Steps involve "unnecessary motion," which I guess is the point we disagree on. If they involve unnecessary motion, then they are not happening correctly. Every bit of motion in Thousand Steps is NECESSARY, both in quality and in quantity (in order to follow whatever line you are trying to follow at whatever speed). Seeing to this, and providing any necessary corrective feedback, are the responsibility of any instructor using Thousand Steps! The exact same motions, from the feet to the center of mass to the hands, take place in dynamic "perfect turns"--they just occur smoothly and continuously, rather than "digitally." And this point is the very lesson that Thousand Steps teaches so effectively!

We are at a point, Tom, where it would be helpful to be on snow to explore this further. But even the "weight transfer" issue of Thousand Steps is relevant to "perfect turns" (which again, I maintain, are synonymous with "infinite steps"). No, we don't step from ski-to-ski throughout "perfect turns," but both skis ARE involved, continuously. Visualize again what becomes of that weight transfer when we quicken the steps, approaching the continuous, smooth movements of "infinite steps." And look at the tracks of skiers doing Thousand Steps--the outside ski invariably leaves a deeper track, and when the steps get quicker--say, "4000 Steps"--the tracks are very difficult to distinguish from those of a good skier just skiing a "perfect turn." Trust me on this one--I've done it more than a few times! Again, the lesson learned is the movements involved, not the static concept that we must transfer the weight and simply stand on the outside ski. The outcome is the subtle, yet SO important, difference between "good" skiers who can ride a carving ski, and truly outstanding skiers who charge through turns with authority, power, and continuous, unbroken, flowing motion. I wish we could be on the snow....
Like I said before, Thousand Steps is an exercise best done first, THEN analyzed, rather than vice-versa. An instructor can teach Thousand Steps. But the exercise is what teaches skiing! Thousand Steps is a powerful, effective teacher!

As far as your concerns about the definition of "turning," they are, of course, valid. But it really comes down to a communication issue between individuals. That there IS an issue is the important thing to remember--we cannot assume that we can just say "turn" and have it mean the same thing to the person who hears it as it means to us! That's what discussion, explanation, and "checking for understanding" are for. It's one of the reasons why human instruction is so much more effective than reading a book, and why discussion forums like this one are more likely to create common understanding than the one-way "conversation" of a magazine article!

The word "turn," as you point out, will always entail some ambiguity. But that does not lessen the significance of the fact that most skiers use the term differently when skiing is involved than with pretty much any other activity in life. The profoundest breakthroughs await those who make this realization. It goes far beyond simple semantics to the level of a true "paradigm shift." You can't expect to turn like an expert, if you turn for different–specifically, opposite--reasons than they turn! If you aspire to make turns like an expert, you have be trying to control the same things with your turns that they are. And--it isn't speed! If you're trying to slow down, and they're trying to GO somewhere, the difference in your turns reflects more than just a disparity of skill level!

Thanks again for your well-considered discussion, Tom. It's great to bounce ideas off you! Unfortunately, I'm going to be a little shorter on time for the next few days (road trip--Crested Butte), so I may not be able to continue this, but I will try to check in when I can.

Take care!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ June 13, 2002, 09:20 AM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #35 of 59
Harpo--you've reiterated the main argument for a wider stance. You do not need to move your foot to the side if it is already there! With your foot out from underneath your body, all you have to do is relax that inside leg. This is also one of the advantages of the wedge stance--it eliminates the need for a "negative movement" to initiate a turn (although an OPEN parallel stance shares this advantage).

Yes indeed--watch World Cup racers. Or watch athletes in any situation that requires--or MIGHT require--quick lateral movement. Hockey goalies, soccer goalies, and linebackers are good examples. To avoid the (time-consuming) need to make a step in the "wrong direction" before they can move in the intended direction, they adopt the wide stance that facilitates quick lateral movement.

The defenseman Darius Kasparaitis was a late-season acquisition of the Colorado Avalanche hockey team. His signature move is diving into the corner with an opposing player in close pursuit, then "vanishing" with a quick lateral move that leaves the enemy smashing against the boards while Kasparaitis skates away. He is uncanny with this move! And his signature stance? Very wide!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #36 of 59
You guys are on fire!

This is really heavy. I'm going to have to read it a few times more for it all to sink in.

There's great turns, no doubt. I think, there really is a perfect turn, technically. But like what Barnes is saying (I think), there's different turns. Different situations, causing different reactions that really can't be lumped all together under one id - and then defined as a turn, or turns.

If I'm reading right, I love the idea of thinking about turning as direction, not as breaking in any way. Breaking is breaking - not turning. Turn, to go somewhere. Turn, to slow down. Don't turn, or think of turning, as breaking.

Cheers,
post #37 of 59
Wow! I'm gonna have to print this - all 25 pages!

Now - returning to flippant one-liners, the REAL answer is simple:

BE THE SKIS!
post #38 of 59
I take the point of this dialogue to be perfect unity of purpose between the skier and the skis.

If this is so, then "wherever they go, they go together" is the value. If I want to go left (intent), then I want the entire system to go left without hesitation. By system I imply that this is not simply a physical event, but is also cognitive (intent), emotional (no holding back), and relational (an act of cooperation between me and my ride).

You can't perfect a system, but you can optimize its ability to achieve its purpose. I completely agree with BB that the "highest purpose" is to Go (as contrasted with to not-GO).

The job, then, is to get everything to go together. BB & PM's back-and-forth concerns the orchestration of everything going (or coming) together. We have discussed the physical impossibility of simultaneous action in bipeds. That's a given, but still we return to the intent that they go together.

I like thousand steps and shuffle steps where the objective of the exercise is to orchestrate or bring together the actions of the lower extremities. As the actions of the lower body release, transfer pressure, and engage the edges they communicate intent to go in the desired direction to the skis.

Skiing on one ski is probably the best way to train each leg to be an equal partner with the other.

The value of any technique is to optimize bodily communication with the skis: WE go there! If a part of the body disagrees with the directive to the skis (e.g., goes in a different direction to "there"), total unity of purpose goes out the window. The value judgment is simple: do our movements communicate clearly to the skis what is desired? If not, it's noise.

Finally, I heed Tom's comment: "...the problem with breaking down a movement into minute pieces (as you have done) is that it encourages/allows extremely literal (almost algorithmic) thinking by the student / listener." This is a significant problem in ski teaching and should be taken to heart.
post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by harpo:
Bob, just a minor point. If I'm walking or running and I want to change direction immediately to my right my sequence of movements is

Harpo,

Obviously you're going to have to start walking or running in a wider stance if you want to get quicker to those pretty ladys flagging you down

[ June 13, 2002, 07:36 AM: Message edited by: Cheap seats ]
post #40 of 59
I'm with Nolo here. Trying to define the perfect turn reminds me of the discussion between Robin Williams and Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting:

Damon: But how do I know if she's the perfect girl?

Williams: There is no such thing as the perfect girl, there is only the perfect girl for you

What Bob so elequoently described is "perfect turning" which, I'd argue is different from the "perfect turn". It's all situational.

I've borrowed from Bob a lot. I usually start a class with a group question that the folks have to discuss on the first chair ride. "Why do we turn?" It's 90%+ who say "to slow down". For the second ride up I ask them to discuss "do you turn the skis or do the skis turn you." (Of course, it's a trick question, but it is a lot of fun to get them thinking.)

Bob

But, I love this stuff. Keep it up.
post #41 of 59
Quote:
perfect unity of purpose between the skier and the skis
Yes, Nolo--this is the only really true definition of "perfection," is it not?

I would say it slightly differently, but the meaning is probably the same:

The "perfect turn" represents perfect unity between the technique and the intent, and some might add something about the tool as well.

This is relevant to your point, too, WVSkier. Once, and only once, the intent is clearly, unambiguously defined--call it whatever you want--then the "correctness" of any given movement becomes easily and objectively measurable as far as its effectiveness toward that intent. "Perfection" toward a specific, objective goal is not subject to opinion or individual preference. "Skiing"--like the perfect girl--is not so objective. We've been over this one plenty. But "turning," if we can identify it with a specific intent, can be!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ June 13, 2002, 09:40 AM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #42 of 59
Thank you, Bob. I think we now have an overarching definition that makes perfect sense!
post #43 of 59
But, my point was somewhat different. One of the great things about skiing is that no two turns are ever the same. So, for every turn, perfection is defined by the setting, snow conditions, skier's speed, motivation, bumps vs groomed. What might be perfect technique/movement in one circumstance might not be perfect in another.

I agree with your points, I just disagree that there is one perfect turn, like there is one perfect woman (of course, Nolo might be as close as humanly possible. )
post #44 of 59
Bob,

How often do you see a perfect turn on any given ski day? Are there any regulars at your mountain who have perfected perfect turns?
post #45 of 59
I like the fisherman's ideal of "matching the hatch." Does this express your thinking, WVS?

(You silver-tongued devil, you.)
post #46 of 59
Ah-h--PERFECTING the perfect turn--now that is another question altogether, WTG! No, it has never been done!

The perfect golf game is easy to describe and to recognize too, at least if the intent is to score as low as possible. It would be a score of 18, for an 18-hole course--a hole-in-one for every hole. That it has presumably never happened does not negate that it is a clear, objective "perfect score."

The "perfect turn" I have described has actually nothing to do with the level of skill! It describes certain TYPES of movements, certain fundamentals that that either happen or they do not. The "perfection" of those movements is what we approach as we practice them, but a beginner can begin to practice them on day one!

Yes, I see "perfect turns" all the time, at every skill level. And I see very poor turns done with very high levels of skill--even more often!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ June 13, 2002, 04:36 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #47 of 59
I'm not sure if I've ever had a perfect turn in skiing. Not sure I'd recognize it if I did. But I've had a lot of perfect DAYS skiing.
post #48 of 59
"... the silver tongued devil just slipped from the shadows and silently stole her away.... And, you know he's a devil, he's everything that I ain't, hiding intentions of evil, under the guise of a saint. All he's good for is getting in trouble, and shifting his share of the blame, some people say he's my double, and some even say we're the same." Kris Kristoferson

I've never heard the term "matching the hatch" so I can't comment on it.

[ June 14, 2002, 09:34 AM: Message edited by: WVSkier ]
post #49 of 59
Hoo-boy!

I'm disappointed that you didn't remark on matching the hatch. That one works great in flyfishing country.

For some reason it reminds me of the time I was teaching intro to powder to my women's group a few years ago. I explained that you want to look ahead for the freshies because that's the best place to turn. One of the women burst out laughing. She said, "Freshies? That's what I call new diapers."

EDIT: The woman was a young mother, not an old gal.

[ June 14, 2002, 06:44 AM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #50 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:

The perfect golf game is easy to describe and to recognize too, at least if the intent is to score as low as possible. It would be a score of 18, for an 18-hole course--a hole-in-one for every hole. That it has presumably never happened does not negate that it is a clear, objective "perfect score."

A 18 will never be recorded on a regulation golf course. Perfection yes, reality no.

Recently a Minnesota golfer scored two hole in ones in the same round. The National Golf Foundation estimated the odds of this occurance were 1 in 67 million. So to extrapolate that to a 18 hole round-oh my gawd. Probably would match what some CEO's are paid these days.
post #51 of 59
Nolo:

Oooo, fishing!

Your flyfishing analogy is dead on.

I know people quibble about this, but if you can define a single ski "turn" as everything that happens from the time you cross the fall line while going left to when you cross the fall line while going right, then the equivalent in flyfishing is everything that happens from the time you start the casting motion to when pick up the fly for the next cast.

Matching the hatch is critical, but it's just one element of creating the "perfect" fishing "turn". Matching the hatch means you have the exact size, color, and shape of fly to imitate the natural bugs the fish is feeding on. In skiing, the analogy might be having the right skis, boots, alignment, etc for the conditions.

But having the right fly only gives you the *opportunity* to approach perfection, doesn't guarantee it.

In flyfishing, you still have to read the water, understand the currents, time the feeding frequency of the fish, and deliver the fly in such a way that it will drift naturally enough that the fish can't resist. All of these require physical skills as well as mental recognition of the requirements of that particular situation. As Bob B suggests, that's where "intent" comes in. If you do all of that right, you accomplish the "perfect" drift and the fish rises. You've achieved perfection.

(Of course, then if you're like me you set the hook too hard or trip over a mossy boulder or wrap the line around the guides or do some other bonehead move to lose the fish.)

In skiing, you may have the right equipment for the turn, but you still have to read the terrain, understand your line and speed, have a feel for the snow, and you must know where this turn should lead. Then, you've got to perform the physical movements that deliver the exact kind and amount of pressure needed to make the skis do what you intended. That approaches perfection in a ski turn.

One major difference is that in fishing, you have a very obvious and objective demonstration of whether or not you were "perfect" - the fish ate. In skiing, you always wonder if that turn couldn't have been *slightly* better.

Bob
post #52 of 59
Quote:
[A 18 will never be recorded on a regulation golf course. Perfection yes, reality no.]

This perhaps should be placed in humor, but.....

When describing the result of halving the distance between two objects repeatedly, No matter how many times the distance is halved, the two objects will still never touch.

In the specific example of a man approaching a woman, with each approach halving the distance between. The two shall never meet. In theory.
The reality remains that the two will come together "for all practical purposes".

CalG
post #53 of 59
Hi Bob -

Sorry I didn't have time in the last couple of days to respond fully to your insightful and thought-provoking posts in this thread. I love getting into these sorts of in-depth discussions with you.

> ...One thing we must be careful of is not to confuse discussions of
> technique with discussions of how to TEACH technique. All of your
> concerns about confusing students when introducing these movements
> are valid, but my intent here has merely been to discuss the mechanics...


You are absolutely right. I did intentionally shift the focus a bit away from mechanics and towards teaching. They are indeed quite different things, but both are important, so, taking your lead, I'm going to continue to discuss both, but point out which is which (when I'm not simply responding to points that you raised).

> ...First, I can tell you that, while instructors bring it up now and then,
> I've never had students express confusion--or even concern--about
> whether these movements are simultaneous or sequential.


That's good to know. I guess I was extrapolating from my personal interest in such details, and would have thought this issue would come up more often, at least with advanced skiers. I obviously will bow to your much more recent and extensive teaching experience. The last time I taught regularly (outside of family and friends) was in the very early '80's when (according to my daughter) dinosaurs like me still roamed the ski hills on straight sticks.

> ...I would much rather see a skier with diverging tips as a result
> of an OVER-active inside ski than one who pushes the tails and
> skids because of too LITTLE inside leg activity.


Phew! I'm glad, because if we ever finally get the chance to ski together, I would hate for you to look down and see all the little nicks on my topsheets near the tails of my skis along the inside edges, and then proceed to beat me up for it. Obviously, I agree totally with your POV on the need for an active inner leg, erring on the side of too much activity, as well as agreeing with all of your supporting arguments and examples.

> ...the distinction between simultaneous and sequential movements
> really DOES matter in "pushoff" turn initiations.


Again, total agreement, especially in heavy deep snow and slop (as you point out).

> ...For this reason, your version is not an equivalent exercise. Indeed,
> holding the skis in one place or position is almost the antithesis of
> Thousand Steps! While it may have its place, it is not a viable
> alternative to Thousand Steps, at least for this purpose. Trying to
> "keep the V-angle constant" is indeed a contrast to the focus on
> MOVEMENT that is the essence of Thousand Steps.


Yup, here is where our POV's (on teaching, not mechanics) diverge somewhat. I suspect the reason for the divergence is that you see 1000 Steps as a multipurpose exercise that can simultaneously develop dynamicism in edging, rotary and weighting, whereas I think it would be more effective in teaching to approach this goal from two directions, each with its own distinct exercise, eg, the "Constant V-angle" (or something similar) and the "1000 Steps". In my previous post, I certainly didn't intend to come across as dismissive of the 1000 Steps, it was just that I didn't have time to fully go into how it would fit into teaching.

You have described extremely well the need for dynamicism, and the benefits of the 1000 Steps in achieving this goal, so I won't repeat or attempt to rephrase what you said. We are in total agreement on this as the final desired endpoint. However, I think that this is asking an awful lot of some students. Basically, I feel that by (say) alternating between the "Constant V" exercise and the "1000 Steps", it lets students experience the static aspects of the desired positional end-point (with only few and small L-R weight adjustments needed), and from there, they can move on to discover (through the 1000 Steps exercise) how to introduce the desired and necessary dynamicism that will allow them (through the use of micro L-R weight shifts and micro-rotary inputs) to deal with the inevitable unwanted perturbations from this position by rough snow, momentary out-of-balance moments, etc..

Part of my concern is that I don't feel that the "1000 Steps" lets the student know what he/she should aim for until they actually achieve the goal. This is along the lines of Ant's rant on (poorly executed) guided discovery a couple of weeks ago. In contrast, IMHO, I feel that my "Constant V-angle" exercise on billiard-table smooth snow lets the student: (a) Get their first experience skiing with diverging tips that doesn't result in them doing a face plant between said tips [img]smile.gif[/img] ; and then, (b) Let the student learn how to achieve and adjust the edging of the inside leg and adjust the inward force required to hold the legs at the desired separation (and at various V-angles) without having to simultaneously deal with any L-R weight issues (above what they use in their normal skiing).

> ...You also suggested that Thousand Steps involve "unnecessary motion,"
> which I guess is the point we disagree on. If they involve unnecessary
> motion, then they are not happening correctly.


Sorry. I was unclear and overly terse on this. I have absolutely no disagreement with you that a large number of micro-LR-weight shifts and small rotary inputs are indeed necessary (in fact, *central* ) to achieving the desired dynamicism in skiing, and, in particular, the correct execution of the 1000 Steps exercise.

However, as I stated in the previous section, my intent was to suggest dividing up the approach to good robust turns into two parts. In one, the student gets familiar with, and then commits to "muscle memory", the static aspects of the desired goal, and from there, moves on to the more difficult problem of handling the inevitable perturbations (e.g., rough snow, ruts, etc.) via dynamicism. What I was trying to get across with my phrase, "unnecessary motion" was that in the "Constant V" exercise (not the 1000 Steps), any shuffling or stepping means that the either the student hasn't refined his control enough to achieve a stable position, or that the current snow conditions are simply too rough for this exercise at the student's current level of development. Thinking about it a bit more, I think that students could easily start with either exercise and then alternate between the two in their attempt to converge on good turns.

> ...We are at a point, Tom, where it would be helpful to be on snow
> to explore this further. ... Trust me on this one--I've done it more
> than a few times! ...


I agree. It would be most useful to take this onto the snow. I totally trust your advice, insights and explanations, and would absolutely love to have you coach me (if you could stand dealing with a blithering old slowpoke). I'll keep you informed if I ever get the chance to get to Colorado or to next season's Bearfest in SLC. (...bad name - reminds me of CB radio days...). Obviously, should you ever get to my neck of the woods, pls. do the same.

Finally, I have not forgotten about the one remaining point of discussion (from earlier in the thread) about whether tails can move to the outside when the tips go to the inside. I need to make up a couple of diagrams and post a link to them to discuss this properly, but unfortunately just discovered that the place where I had some on-line images posted(PhotoPoint) went out of business, so I'm looking around for another place.

More later, and thank you once again for the GREAT discussion, and a heartfelt thanks to AC for providing the forum for it.

Tom / PM

[ June 14, 2002, 01:25 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #54 of 59
Gee, after a couple of weeks absence I come back to interesting reading like this thread. I'll put my two cents worth in here, if I may.

I believe that only after a turn has been completed can one asess how near perfection it came.

Intent, and achiving the objective of the turn, as in wanting to end up in a certain place and a certain position, may it be ready to make the next turn or coming to a stop, whatever, will determine how close to perfection I would judge a turn to be.

I haven't mentioned technique, as so ably discussed by Bob and physicsman. Ideally, technique wise, the setup of the turn would be so right and the execution during the turn so correct that no corrective action need be taken during the turn yet the intent would be realized exactly.

Precision like this is only needed by racers trying to barely miss the gate by inches, recreational skiers have much more leeway. That is not saying one shouldn't try, but for most of us, close is good enough.

Thirty years or so ago, our ski school director wanted to see how precise we were, so he made a starting gate with his poles, took off his skis and anchored them down at where the turn ought to end and then pressed two nickles into the very hard packed snow, about eight inches apart and on a diagonal to the fall line, about three quarters through the turn and told us to carve over the nickels and he didn't care what we did before or after, just so we started in the gate and finished by his skis and carved over the nickles.

And then he put the fear of God into our hearts by standing about eighteen inches below those nickles, and if you knew Ziggy Baier, you didn't want to run him over, ever.

And practically everyone skied as if they learned to ski just last week.

...Ott
post #55 of 59
Ott,

That sounds like some of the horror stories I remember hearing, from some of the folks going to Full Cert exams back in the early 80s.

But I agree that the turn needs to be completed before it can be judged. In some cases, you need tom complete the next turn also, as the only way to know that you finished the turn exactly as planned will be to have entered the next turn and completed most or all of it before you can tell how well the previous turn was executed.

[ June 19, 2002, 07:13 AM: Message edited by: JohnH ]
post #56 of 59
Perfect turn?

Make it with a grin and a giggle........
post #57 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by Arcmeister:
Perfect turn?

Make it with a grin and a giggle........
Aaahhhh! Another one who skis for "experience" rather than "performance"!
post #58 of 59
I think Bob made some great points. I will give it a try. I kown it's wordy but this stuff is technical and I for one like it.
post #59 of 59
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › How do you make a perfect turn?