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What defines a turn?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Let's say we want to compare the turns of two different racers. Assume we have the technology that could tell us anything we want to know. What would we want to know?

Or in other words, what type of information defines a turn?
post #2 of 26
I would like to experience what both turns feel like.
post #3 of 26
Some things to look at would be first, how the turn is initiated and at what point (assuming the skiers are turning on a fixed point) next, might look at the angulation of the skiers body in relation to the snow an also in realtion to it's self for example the angle of the calves to the angle of the back, in racers this would be different than most instructors, due to boot flex.
Pressure in the boot, percentages of weight distribution between feet and also where the weight is on the soles of the feet and shins. Turn shape that was created.
Acceleration or deceleration through the turn.
these are just a few ideas, I am shure there will be many more to come.
post #4 of 26
OK, now I think I know this one.

A turn occurs when someone changes direction. It can be to the right, or to the left. In fact, a turn can be both to the right and to the left.

If I'm skiing down the hill towards you, I may make a left turn, but to you, I will be turning right.

Wierd, eh?

Hope this clears up any undue confusion.


Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #5 of 26
a turn is defined as
1)when one admits defeat & gives in to fear

2) forced movement & edging to avoid obstacles
post #6 of 26
I'm with Lucky.
If I could feel what the turns felt like I might be able to make my turns "feel like that" Probably not to the extent that a world class racer does but as a "feels like" type learner at times It would be a great help.
post #7 of 26
I think the question, in and of itself, is flawed. The reason is that we don't know what we don't know. And in some cases, especially these sort of things, we may not even know what we do know. In other words, Herman may not even know why he's better, because he doesn't know what he's doing differently than others.

If there were some mystical machine that could tap into people's feelings, then you would need to be able to tap into both the physical and emotional feelings (does he get angry when he skis, and that makes him faster?), and we would need to be able to compare the feelings of skiers with each other, then draw conclusions from that. Feelings are what we use as reference points for physical activities. Racer A might need to angulate to the point of pain, but not beyond that point, to get the proper amount of angulation, but Racer B may never feel any pain, but may be stressing his body more than A because of the adreniline rush.

I think, what would probably work, is something that has been discussed here, in the "future of skiing" topics. If we had some sort of suit, that you could hook up to the instructor and another suit that hooks up to the student, that forces the studen't body to mimmick the instructors movements, then the student would be able to understand how a turn feels to them, not be told how it feels to someone else (the instructor). The major flaw with these suits, is that, what if the instuctor is in the powder on the side of a trial, and the student is in the bumps on the trail. That could get ugly in a hurry. As the instructor, it would be kind of kool. If I don't like the student, I could force him to flip the bird to some linebacker-type, and get his butt kicked, or ski him off a cliff. The possibilities are endless.

Oh yeah, the instructor and student would have to be identical twins, otherwise, then the 150lb instructor angulates into a turn, the 250lb student would do a face drag half way down the hill.
post #8 of 26
Cute JohnH
How's the back?
post #9 of 26
I find the question interesting. If I had really good video equipment, here is what I would be looking for:

Looking at the skis

Where in the previous turn does the racer release from that turn? How does he/she release?

What is the stance width? How much lead is the racer using, by looking at the bindings?

Where the turn does the racer transfer? Does He/she keep the inside ski weighted? For how long? does he/she transfer to the new ski little toe edge and for how long?

Where in the turn does the racer engage the new stance ski?

Looking at the body

How much counter/angulation is the racer using? Where does he/she release that counter to set up the next turn?

Where are the racer's arms? Where in relation to the boots is the racer planting the pole?

There is no way that a recreational skier is going to be able to replicate a racer's movements. However, by understanding what the racer is doing, a recreational skier can improve his/her skiing. I know that there are some here that will disagree, but with the help of a friend and a video camera, positive changes can be made.

post #10 of 26
Interesting "Turn" in this discussion...

I have been dabbling with video anlysis tools that allow side by side comparisons of two video clips, as well as "stick-figure" highlighting capability. It's a little tedious, but it works.

I'd really like to try using video, and use a method of "marking" the critical joints, mebbe using infra-red sensative camera and IR light sources on a ski suit...

Been messing with skiing video anlysis for years, it's a lot of fun, and very... clarifying...

Just tell all your students that you'll be the one that looks fattest on video... lol!

¯¯¯/__ SnoKarver
post #11 of 26
I like the premise. Perhaps we extend it? Both racers, same gate, same seed, same rise line approach, same proximate entry speed, same elapsed splt time and basicly the same somato(sp?)/body type etc. Will the blending of skills be replicated? Will the montage flawlessly mirror if all the variables are eliminated?
Years ago, I trained with team members who mirrored results, times and body type who contrasted greatly in technique. Both were blessed with 6'5'', 230 lb frames. The type of athletic, mesomorphic stature that visually enhanced analysis. Their "instruments" allowed incredible range of motion, leverage and unlimited (it seemed) flexion, extention and retraction capablity with exceptional power. However, one seemed to alter the surface while one adapted to it. The difference in time was negligible, the difference in skill bias was not.
Remember the stark contrasts between Piero Gros and Stenmark in the Majors and Larsons photo montages (World Cup Ski Technique)? The difference is evident between Dorfmeister and Nef...Maier and Vongrunigen...Mueller and Wassmier! My question is...all things being equal, how does body type and fitness affect technique in terms of skill bias? Without the other variables and how the ski must optimumly perform, can the same results eminate from differents in national technique, emphasis or tactics? Or does there exist one "naturally occuring" resultant appearance of technique. BOB??????
The question of that "suit" is one we all would like answered. How many students stupify you with the size of their boots..."what are they feeling" "what does their biofeed back, feel like" or how do you relate to anothers pain/comfort threshold...sensations of speed...what triggers their neurons? It would indeed be interesting to get in their heads...and their moccasins!
post #12 of 26
SnowKarver...when I was in the rockies we produced a video for Movement Analysis training that did incorporate what you are talking about. Tony Forest, one of my favorite ski minds and clinicians (ex Demo team Nordic) and I produced a video affectionally refered to as the "Crash test dummy" video by the instructors. I don't know how he produced the "editing and special effects" magic, but from movements in suits with skeletal "lines" he produced moving stick like figures for most of the centerline manuvers. I will email him and try to find out the was really effective.
post #13 of 26
The PSIA "Images" video does exactly this. They have tags on the tors, in a triangle, at the shoulders and navel, so that the arms are connected to the torso. It was okay, but not all that impressive.

SnoKarver, Are you using "Neat" software? it's pretty cool, for doing side-by-sides, mirror imaging, viewing angles (you draw the lines, it calculates the angle), as well as other fun things. It's expensive software though. But if you're interested, a guy at my ski area can get it for you. I think he has some sort of deal with the SW creators, to help him offset the cost of it, because he paid for it out of his own pocket. The SW was originally created to do golf swing analysis, but is incredibly well suited to skiing. If you want to contact him, go to and you can contact him through his web site.
post #14 of 26
Happened to have tuned in. This could turn into an interesting discussion. As far as racers goes, Ron LeMaster has provided some excellent photographic sequences in his web site at Consider for example, Kilian Albrecht and Mario Matt. They look different, are they doing the same thing? Is the women’s technique the same as the men’s? Is there anything that they do more effectively than the men? You can ask many questions and have some data to compare and contrast. Or, how does this level of skiing relate to recreational skiing? Incidentally, the men’s and women’s courses were very close to each other physically, and the conditions were the same; Men’s course is a bit steeper. Course was held on a pretty standard upper level intermediate hill, with two pitches and a flat. Have fun. I’ll drop in occasionally with a comment or two if people are interested.<FONT size="1">

How do I make the link work??<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by edgreen (edited June 13, 2001).]</FONT>
post #15 of 26
Sounds neat. Any idea if this video is avail to anyone or even avail at all? I keep asking if there is a MA tape or study material and everyone says no. but there might be some on the division level. I am not an instructor and probably would not be able to do MA at real time but I would like to learn about this. I have noticed that if I slow mo my one videos of myself, I can see what I am doing right or wrong. I would like to learn more about the process.
post #16 of 26
The faster the time the better the turn.
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Interesting to see what happens when you ask a pretty open question. I had in mind more concrete information that is measureable than feelings. I suppose if you measured everything you might be able to get at the feeling part.
Right now what do we have for info on racers? Total time and split times -just time, that's it.
In Ron Lemaster's [ ] slide show he does a graph for starts of various racers. He's plotting angle of the poles versus time. I'm not sure what this tells us but this is more along the lines of I was thinking about. Specific data: force, angle, speed, position in space, that one could use to compare the turns of different racers. For two reasons, one is to just to learn and compare turns, the other would be to make it more interesting to watch.

I guess one of the easiest, most direct things to measure would be maximum g-force in the turn. This could even be reported like split times are now. "Herman was pulling 2.5 g's in that last turn there." Though just because one pulls a lot of g's doesn't mean they were faster in the turn?

I suppose the basic thing to have would be the "line" that the racer takes. For this we would want a 3 dimensional computer topo map of the selected turn. Then we could plot the turn on that, but which part of the body would define the line? The middle of the boot sole? We certainly would want to know where both feet are at each moment-this would tell us stance width over time.

It's been suggested to know how the racer initiates the turn. I suppose even before that we'd want to know the speed before initiation and what's happening in terms of the skier's momentum. Are they "drifting" or skidding in a direction other than optimal and need to correct?- What would tell us that in terms of data?

Ok. we've got the line the boots are taking so we could map the edge angle and see where the turn is initiated. Also how the skis are pointing to tell the initial steering angle for the turn.
So we'd want to know where the feet are and where the skis are. I suppose for the skis if you plotted points from the tip,tail, middle and maybe a couple others you could get the position of the skis and their flex.

Then there's the forces. Force on the bottom of the foot, force on the boot tongue, (I guess you might as well record it front,back and sides of the cuff to get a good picture). I suppose if you know the forces and the edge angle you could tell the transfer point to the next turn? (Then there's the issue of how to determine edge angle? You'd want to know in relation to the surface I suppose)

The video analysis software sounds very interesting. It's sort of what I was thinking of - if you could make the image a stick figure and record all the different angles. Better than video I think would be if you could record the absolute position of the points on the body. If we knew the position of the critical points we're interested in and the time we could use that to show how they're moving. This would be like the video but maybe more accurate since it's based on their absolute position in space instead of what's seen from one point of view.

I suppose this is becoming picturing the turn in 3 dimesions. If you can picture how the body moves and correlate it with the forces on the skis and velocity (which would also tell you acceleration) then you could start making comparisons on initiation, transfer etc.

This is getting complicated, I need a break. Maybe back to an earlier question. If you're watching a race on tv, what would it be interesting to know?

Also, has anyone seen this device e-coach which tells you when you're pressing on the boot tongue or back? Think it's worthwhile?

Ed, certainly come back and give us your thoughts.

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Tog (edited June 13, 2001).]</FONT>
post #18 of 26
There is a corridor of fast lines triggered by initiation at or around the rise line, from aggressive to more passive, offensive to conservative. Certainly, that would meet most tv watching race fan approval than say Fox's hockey puck with tracer's. Herman's line certainly ain't von gruenigens's.
The Canadian Ski Coaches Federation's elementary MA focus is on the skis. Are they flexed, how much and when, and pointing where...I have no doubt the technology exists to quantitatively monitor and anaylize these factors in real time via device(s) attached to the skis. I ain't Mr. Wizard but some kind of electrode throughout the muscle system could measure the storage and release of energy.
What kind of info would I like during the race? I dunno, hasn't ABC's injection of "up close and personal" always given us everything we need? Favorite ice cream, past tragedy's overcome, visuals of athlete throwing a stick for the dog in front of the Jungfrau!
post #19 of 26
Y'all got it all wrong! A turn has occurred when your brain compares two before and after views of what's in front of you between eye blinks. If there is no blink and the view in changing, one is in the middle of a turn. If a tree or other immovable object appears in view, one made a wrong turn. if one sees nothing but snow... face down turn. Nothing but sky... face up turn. Either of these last two turns tends to impede ones foward motion somewhat. At this point one is seen doing one of three things: 1)holding an impromptu yard sale, 2)proceding further down the hill, skis in arms with disgusted look on face, 3) both.. #1 then #2.
Boy! The things I gotta do to staighten y'all youngins out! Now... if I kin jes git Powderjunkie, Spyder, or Mikla to take some more pics of me I'll show y'all how to hold a proper yard sale.

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #20 of 26
DChan...still diggin around looking for a copy of that video, I know of a coupla copie in NM
post #21 of 26
Cool. thanks. Let me know. You can contact me via Also let me know how much. No big hurry. I have a feeling I won't get much chance to test what I learn until the winter...
post #22 of 26
It's kind of like sex the first time. People would tell me what it was like and I thought I understood, then once I did it I realize it's something you have to experience.
post #23 of 26
Yes, but those who grew up on a farm have a better idea than most.
post #24 of 26
I hope it's by observation only.
post #25 of 26
Hey, you do what you gotta do!
post #26 of 26
Glad we finally got away from breaking wind.
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