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Backseat cause of tail washout - Page 2

post #31 of 57

I think that people who are habitually "in the backseat" ie. those who are most often behind that point where their skis can be most effectively uitilized, frequently do develop the habit of heel pushing in order to shorten the radius of their turns and to control speed. Whatever it is that they are doing to make their turns usually is insuffient to control turn shape . Nonetheless you can bend the tail section and even carve a turn of sorts from back there with the tips practically off the snow but its not easy. When I was teaching we used to take out rental skis sometimes and do this. I think of it as a kind of rule-of-thumb though that when a person cannot seem to make it work he or she is usually in the backseat. Its just so easy to get back there, particularly with the design of modern ski boots.

post #32 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post

skidude72,

 

 

My Question to PaSucks was if he is referring to backseat skiers as those who are almost always leaning back and Z-turning, or those that use active pressure control to engage the ski tails as in the high end skiing you re referring to. 

 

I am still waiting for this clarification.  I don't think anyone here is saying that utilizing the ski tails, or at times, getting the hips behind the feet is bad if it is done dynamically.  It is the static position of leaning back (or forward) that we are trying to get clarified in PaSucks first post.  How many still shots do you see where it appears that a skier is siting back?  That doesn't tell the whole picture of dynamic skiing.

 

RW


Well you bring up lots of good points here.....
 

 

I agree with the point that I think you are making that: Balance, as we refer to it in skiing, including fore/aft balance is really an "act", or "action" ...it is not a static position.

 

I assume this is what you mean when you write "do it dynamically".

 

I also totally agree hanging out back with your hips behind your feet all the time is very likely bad as well, as I wrote earlier "ideal" fore/aft balance changes to some extent in all skiing throughout a turn, but much more so as the performance increases.

 

The rule that people should focus on is....Feet support the mass....or BOS supports the COM.  Not hips over feet or COM over BOS.  The term "over" is what confuses many people as they think of "over" as being in a vertical sense, or a perpendicular to the slope sense...neither are correct.  The term "over" only works if you take it in terms of the resultant fore/aft forces.  Which few people do.

 

Becuase we live, and indeed ski in 3D, this will nessecitate that the mass will move back relative to the feet in many performance skiing situations.  If the skier fails to make this adjustment they risk being too far forward which at the end of a turn could result in tail washout, "hooky" turn shapes (which triggers a whole host of other problems)...or worst of all, a face plant, to name a few. 

post #33 of 57

oisin,

 

 

Quote:

Its just so easy to get back there, particularly with the design of modern ski boots.

 
I don't think its the boots as much as the modern skis.  The old straight skis were very happy to skid sideways, especially toward the end of the turn.  That allowed the skier to be able to keep up with the skis, where the modern skis move forward and out from under the skier causing chronic back seat position.
 
RW

 

post #34 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post

oisin,

 

 

 
I don't think its the boots as much as the modern skis.  The old straight skis were very happy to skid sideways, especially toward the end of the turn.  That allowed the skier to be able to keep up with the skis, where the modern skis move forward and out from under the skier causing chronic back seat position.
 
RW

 


And yet this was a chronic problem with the old "straight" skis as well. I think that skis do have a tendency to accelerate faster than the skier upon encountering a sudden drop or upon approaching the fall line if that is what you mean but I'm not sure this is any more true with today's skis than it was with the so-called "straight" skis.
 

 

Modern boots with their high supportive spoilers tend to encourage getting "back" more than the old relatively lower cut leather boots. Many people were a bit back then too. I think it is a natural tendency but if you moved very far back with that equipment you simply fell backwards which many people did.

 

One thing that pressuring the tails does is to encourage the skis to continue travelling in the direction they currently are, effectively stabilizing them, which may actually be an advantage to an unskilled skier.............until he attempts to turn. 

post #35 of 57
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post

skidude72,

 

 

My Question to PaSucks was if he is referring to backseat skiers as those who are almost always leaning back and Z-turning, or those that use active pressure control to engage the ski tails as in the high end skiing you re referring to. 

 

I am still waiting for this clarification.  I don't think anyone here is saying that utilizing the ski tails, or at times, getting the hips behind the feet is bad if it is done dynamically.  It is the static position of leaning back (or forward) that we are trying to get clarified in PaSucks first post.  How many still shots do you see where it appears that a skier is siting back?  That doesn't tell the whole picture of dynamic skiing.

 

RW


My real reason for starting this thread had much more to do with they way people give advice in MA threads on this board, and maybe to a lesser degree, the way some instructors teach lessons at the mountain.  My point was that I have read this statement, or something very similar, many times on this board: "You are in the backseat therefore causing your tails to washout."  First, my argument assumes a different meaning of "tail washout" than what some on here use it for.  Apparently most people call skidding a turn as tail washout. 

Second: regardless of definition, I think it is sort of a cop out and sometimes flat out wrong to make this statement.  It is often an incomplete explanation of a skiers deficiencies.  If they are backseat they need to be made aware of it, but in many cases the reason for the skid or the tail washout is not based on fore aft balance, or only partly based on it.  To me, the better statement to make in this situation as an instructor would be "You are in the backseat, which can cause a lot of your other movements to be inefficient.  Also, you are skidding your turns (or pushing your heels, if you want to call it that) which can be inefficient, and you can do this, this, and this, to work on your turn shape and your fore aft balance."  This is a much simpler explanation to give to a layman IMO. 

 

I guess the root cause of this thread is that I see a lot of people bringing complicated and incomplete advice/explanations into threads where they don't belong.  As an instructor, it's rare if ever that I get technical with a student, and I kind of look at the MA threads as a sort of on line lesson.  Obviously, if the person looking for advice is a known instructor that knows the "instructor-speak" well, it changes things, but for many, these sort of incomplete, incorrect, overly technical, or a combination of the three explanations really don't bring anything to the thread. 

 

This isn't to say that highly technical ski discussion has no place on the board.  I just often see it creep into other places, maybe as a result of non-instructor types reading the techy threads and then trying to bring that stuff to an MA thread without a real understanding of what they are talking about.

 

I'm also not trying to claim that nobody gets or give amazing advice here, because we all can learn A TON from this board.  

post #36 of 57

oisin,

 

Quote:

Modern boots with their high supportive spoilers tend to encourage getting "back" more than the old relatively lower cut leather boots.

If you are calling modern boots anything that is not a leather boot, then I agree.  Leather boots went out 40 to 50 years ago.  I think of a modern boot as being not more than 8 to 10 years old.  From the first plastic boots, there has been a lot of design changes and material changes in the last 10 years.  The boots have become laterally stiffer without becoming stiffer flex wise.  The boots now actually flex in a more even pattern and the skier is able to pick a boot with a flex index that more closely matches their size, weight, and skiing ability, without giving up lateral stiffness.  The boots are also more adjustable with an improved overlap of the shell and buckle system and removable or interchangeable spoilers so they fit a wider range of leg shapes and ankle flexibility.  Many of these innovations have been the result of the characteristics of the shaped ski, and how it behaves differently than the straight skis. The shaped skis are much harder for the skier to keep up with then traditional skis.  They have the ability to accelerate on edge through a turn that the old skis couldn't do.

 

RW

post #37 of 57

PaSucks,

 

Good post.

 

Quote:

If they are backseat they need to be made aware of it, but in many cases the reason for the skid or the tail washout is not based on fore aft balance, or only partly based on it. 

 

But, I believe that a skier needs to be positioned better over the center of the ski before they can expect to make improvements that will positively benefit their skiing. IE: a Z turner can't make round turn shapes without first balancing better over the ski.  From there, other skill improvements can be made to accomplish the task.

 

Many skiers default, when things get difficult, is to lean on either the tongue or the rear of the boot (and often on the inside ski).  If they had a better position over the skis in the first place, they wouldn't have to resort to the default move.  Most instructors that are also very good skiers, will tell you that they are working on keeping a good position over the skis, so they don't have to bend their knees and at the waist instead of flexing their ankles.  From the balanced position over the skis, they have the ability of actively change the pressure for/aft on the skis by either opening or closing the ankle joint a little.  With most skiers I see, for/aft balance or position over the skis is a good starting place to enhance their skiing.

 

I am not disagreeing with you, but don't overlook fore/aft balance as being a root cause for other deficiencies.

 

RW

post #38 of 57
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post

PaSucks,

 

Good post.

 

 

But, I believe that a skier needs to be positioned better over the center of the ski before they can expect to make improvements that will positively benefit their skiing. IE: a Z turner can't make round turn shapes without first balancing better over the ski.  From there, other skill improvements can be made to accomplish the task.

 


Certainly, I am going to concentrate on improving balance/stance before I touch any other deficiency, I won't argue that point. 

 

post #39 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post

oisin,

 

If you are calling modern boots anything that is not a leather boot, then I agree.  Leather boots went out 40 to 50 years ago.  I think of a modern boot as being not more than 8 to 10 years old.  From the first plastic boots, there has been a lot of design changes and material changes in the last 10 years.  The boots have become laterally stiffer without becoming stiffer flex wise.  The boots now actually flex in a more even pattern and the skier is able to pick a boot with a flex index that more closely matches their size, weight, and skiing ability, without giving up lateral stiffness.  The boots are also more adjustable with an improved overlap of the shell and buckle system and removable or interchangeable spoilers so they fit a wider range of leg shapes and ankle flexibility.  Many of these innovations have been the result of the characteristics of the shaped ski, and how it behaves differently than the straight skis. The shaped skis are much harder for the skier to keep up with then traditional skis.  They have the ability to accelerate on edge through a turn that the old skis couldn't do.

 

RW



 

I see your point.  The new skis are less tolerant of a backseat stance, particularly for the larger numbers who are attempting to carve. I think the old "straight" skis could accelerate through a turn just fine but it took quite a bit more skill and relatively few people could do it. The expression "keep up" (with the skis) is telling. Racers have been allowing themselves to get back in order to take advantage of that acceleration you mentioned for a long time but they are in control of their stance (usually), not trying to "keep up" with the skis. I think there is a distinction between those who are usually back and struggling to gain control of their skis and those who are momentarily back. The boot spoilers that became commonplace maybe 35 years ago help an accomplished skier to recover and manage stance but tend to prop up people who are habitually back.

 

As for the original question, a person habitually back may develop the habit of moving way forward in order to pressure the tip in order to initiate a turn. It shouldn't be any surprise that a turn that attempts to utilize mainly the front of the ski that has weight centered way forward would end in "tail washout". Quite a few people seem to envision this habit as the normal technique for initiating a turn. Talk of "tip engagement" etc. was a lot more relevant to the stiff "straight" skis of many years ago than it is to skiing with today's equipment or even the "straight" slalom skis of 10 or 12 years ago that I still have in my closet.. Like almost everything you can do on skis its a sometimes useful thing to be able to do but it has its drawbacks like "tail washout. "Keeping up" with the skis seems to me like a symptom characteristic of someone normally moving too much forward and back instead of developing the habit of finding an effective centered stance and using the equipment effectively to turn.

post #40 of 57


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post

oisin,

 

If you are calling modern boots anything that is not a leather boot, then I agree.  Leather boots went out 40 to 50 years ago.  I think of a modern boot as being not more than 8 to 10 years old.

Could you elaborate a little bit more on how a "modern" boot differs from say a 20 year old Koflach Comp 911?

 I don't seem to recall any lack of lateral stiffness in those old boots.

post #41 of 57

Being backseat causes the all the pressure to be on the tails of the ski and tail edge.  This results in the front 2/3rds of the ski being unweighted, sometimes to the point of actually being off the snow entirely.   This leaves a person skiing on the only the back 1/3rd of the ski.  Skidding is far more likely when less edge is on the snow, hence washing out.  In the old days very bad skiers would try to look like good skiers by locking their legs together, leaning way back so the skis flexed and tips cam up off the snow a bit, then wiggled little noodle turns back and forth.  Skiing backseat makes a ski easier to turn initially, but harder to control at speed because you're only using a third of the tools available to you under your feet.  It also puts you in jeopardy of falling because you aren't in a balanced fore/aft position.

post #42 of 57

I think edging is more a function of inclination ie leg angle. You can get pretty good edge grip even with a relatively short edge. Lack of edgehold is more likely to be a result of poor alignment laterally of the COM with respect to the slope and developed forces ie knee angulation or banking. Pressuring the tails makes turn initiation difficult in my opinion hence backseat stance often leads to other bad habits such as the development of excessive and unnecessary fore and aft movements. I think of a skier I used to know who was a "banker" ie a leaner. He would usually be seen skiing down the mountain way back in a very tall stance pushing his heels out from time to time to scrub his speed. You would never see him out on a day when conditions were icy, wouldn't have been good for his image. If he were required for some reason to make a relatively short radius complete turn I'm pretty certain you would see him move way forward at turn initiation (with an exagerrated pole plant) to execute a mostly skidded turn around the front of the ski. Encouraging a skier to find a good effective centered stance is often key to unlocking all sorts of successful progress.

post #43 of 57

ghost,

 

Quote:

Could you elaborate a little bit more on how a "modern" boot differs from say a 20 year old Koflach Comp 911?

 I don't seem to recall any lack of lateral stiffness in those old boots.

Go back and read my post #36, that is not what I said.

 

RW

post #44 of 57

Okay.  Here's what has piqued my interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post

there has been a lot of design changes and material changes in the last 10 years.  The boots have become laterally stiffer without becoming stiffer flex wise.  The boots now actually flex in a more even pattern and the skier is able to pick a boot with a flex index that more closely matches their size, weight, and skiing ability, without giving up lateral stiffness.  The boots are also more adjustable with an improved overlap of the shell and buckle system and removable or interchangeable spoilers so they fit a wider range of leg shapes and ankle flexibility.

Obviously, I can see the 20-year old boot doesn't have interchangeable spoilers.

 

I guess you are saying that you can now get a boot with the same lateral stiffness without needing to buy one with that stiff a forward flex.   No arguments from me on that score;  the benefit of stiff forward flex has it's costs.

 

I would just like you to elaborate on the benefits of a modern boot versus the 20-year old boot shown in my picture, to someone skiing hard ( high speed and high forces).

oh, forgot the liner

 

post #45 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaSucks View Post

I see a lot of MA threads and advice threads where posters claim that being in the backseat causes the tails to washout.  I'm pretty sure this isn't the case.  Pressuring the tails causes them to grip; in fact, you can carve arc to arc on your tails.  Not that I would call it good skiing, but it can be done.  Tail washout is often a result of NOT pressuring the tails, ie. being too in the front of the boots, at least in my oppinion.

 

Again, I'm not trying to promote skiing from the backseat.  The best stance is a centered stance, and obviously there are times when you need to get foreward to stay centered, I'm just pointing out what I see as a common misconception on these boards.  Or maybe I'm way off base.

 Correlation does not prove cause and effect.  Being in the back seat is so common that it's an almost automatic criticism these days wether warranted or not.  Tail washout is also very common.

 

It is possible to arc a turn from the back seat.  I have saved my bacon more than once doing so. I have one icy turn seared into my memory by excess adrenaline where I was in the trailer, let alone the back seat.

 

Nevertheless there are ways in which being in the back seat can contribute to tail washout.  If you are not weighting the front of the ski enough, then you can overpower the ski's tails just because the total load is to much for the tails alone.  Also if you don't start the groove from the tip of the ski and have the edge follow along in the same groove the grove isn't as developed.  It's also much harder to start a clean groove from the middle of the ski.

 

Where your weight should be is where it allows you to put the forces  you want to put on the ski including the direction of those forces.  Think of how workbenches that are lower allow a workman to put more weight behind his work.  Consider the direction you want to push your cm and how the force is spread along the skis edge to accomplish that.

 

 

post #46 of 57

No doubt I'm in way over my head here. But maybe for those of us who haven't quite digested all the "coaches' lounge" talk in this thread, it will be helpful if I try to take a more concrete, experiential, student's-point-of-view look at this.

 

I suffer from this problem far less often than I used to, but on a bad day it still happens occasionally. So I'm trying to recall when it happens and what it feels like.

 

First of all, it almost always happens in inconsistent conditions. Classically it happens in the afternoon on a busy, cold day at an area with a lot of man-made snow, where piles of heavy, coarse sugar alternate on a yard-by-yard basis with slick boilerplate or even glare ice. (Can you tell I ski in the Northeast?) If the surface is consistent - even if very hard - it is unlikely to happen.

 

Second, it tends to happen where it is steeper and/or bumpier. If the pitch is not too severe, and the piles of loose stuff not too heavy and deep, and there are no bumps, then I'm more likely to be locked into a reasonably solid carve and am not likely to experience the problem. I.e., it happens when I'm making turns with a significant amount of skid in them.

 

I think what is happening to me is that the piles of soft snow allow / encourage me to fall back into a pattern from a prior life where - as others have pointed out - I'm pivoting more around the tip of the ski instead of scarving through from the top of the arc, skis moving forward through the snow, with associated speed control happening right through the turn. Instead my edge angles are very low in the early phase of the turn and I am relying mostly on the end of the turn for my speed control. I tend to hang on to the turn a bit too long because I sense that I haven't scrubbed enough speed yet. This is the moment where my tails can sometimes wash out catastrophically, even if my upper body position is basically sound, with hands and shoulders more or less level and more or less square to the fall line. For what it's worth, I do not feel like I'm "in the back seat" at this moment. The pattern is that I make several turns that deceptively seem very successful and comfortable. (But it's only because the soft snow is letting me get away with windshield-wiper-style tail pressure at a low edge angle.) As soon as my skis hit the boilerplate, I lose it. The reasons I generally lose the tails and not the tips seem to be:

 

1) (less important) I can see the tips so I tend to carefully place them in the good snow (If there is no good snow available in that spot I don't generally have the problem, because I immediately make some kind of adjustment into better fundamentals when I see that this is the case.)

 

2) (more important) The tails are covering a lot more ground than the tips  and so they are much more prone to hit the slick spot. The fact that edge angles started out low early in the turn - even if they have been increased (too) abruptly near the end - only compounds the problem.

 

The bottom line seems to me to be that when I'm tired or whatever, I end up using a fundamentally different technique when I get into steep or bumpy softer or mixed conditions than I do when I'm "on" or when it's hard. Instead, I should be doing a better job of making just minor modifications to my pretty solid racer-boy-wanna-be arcs into slower scarved turns that maintain the same basic movement patterns, including establishing edge angles early and being patient rather than rushing with any rotary stuff. I actually know how to do this, and often achieve the goal but... well, old habits die hard when you've been skiing for 40 years and you have desk job quads.     But I don't really feel like "being in the back seat" is at the core of the problem... at least for me.

 

post #47 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

 

 ............  It's also much harder to start a clean groove from the middle of the ski...................................

 


Why?
 

 

If you tilt a ski on edge while in a centered stance doesn't the entire edge become engaged more or less simultaneously? Why isn't this a "clean groove"?

post #48 of 57

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by oisin View Post

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

 

 ............  It's also much harder to start a clean groove from the middle of the ski...................................

 


Why?
 

 

If you tilt a ski on edge while in a centered stance doesn't the entire edge become engaged more or less simultaneously? Why isn't this a "clean groove"?

 

I kind of translated this in my head as "It's also much harder to start a clean groove from the middle of the turn".

post #49 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

 

I kind of translated this in my head as "It's also much harder to start a clean groove from the middle of the turn".

I see, well I'm still trying to understand how the ski could cut a groove without its following the tip.

 

post #50 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaSucks View Post

I see a lot of MA threads and advice threads where posters claim that being in the backseat causes the tails to washout.  I'm pretty sure this isn't the case.  Pressuring the tails causes them to grip; in fact, you can carve arc to arc on your tails.  Not that I would call it good skiing, but it can be done.


I think my experience supports this observation. I have a tendency to be in the back seat but seem to be able to keep the tails from washing out as shown in this video taken in Feb (posted for MA before):
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8yKq8sZkIs

 

The snow was heavy and wet which helped, but I can also ski similarly on hard pack. It seems to me that the binding position is a big factor affecting the carve. A more forward binding position makes it easier for the tails to wash out.

 

I had more trouble controlling my B5 previously. After reading in an article on Peter Keelty's website that Austrian ski manufacturers tend to place the binding further aft, I adjusted my binding forward by about 2 cm from neutral and felt much better. This, however, didn't seem to alleviate by back seat problem. When I scored a pair of RX8, I immediately set the binding at the +15 forward position. The skis are great, but I noticed that when I carved to a stop, I had to try consciously to avoid the tails washing out a little. I couldn't feel it, and could only tell by looking at the tracks. Last weekend I move the binding to the neutral position, and the smearing disappeared. BTW, I also skied with better fore/aft balance this time. Maybe that helped too. Here is a video of me on RX8 last Saturday. Please feel free to point out what I need to work on. My season is over, all the skiing is mental from now till December.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87NirSvDrPY&feature=channel

 

post #51 of 57

Hi Chuck,

 

Quote:

 Please feel free to point out what I need to work on. My season is over, all the skiing is mental from now till December.

You are getting nice shape to your turns and good carving from just a little before the fall line to turn finish.  Your position over the skis is much better in the second vid.  In the first vid, you can see the tips of the skis out of the snow about 6" past the shovel.  The second vid at 12 seconds, you can see the right ski getting light in the tip area.

 

I can see 2 items for you to work on.  The first is ti slow and quiet down your transition.  Keep both skis on the snow through the edge change so you are better balanced as you approach the fall line.  The second item is keeping a more neutral position over the middle of the skis so you are able to progressively flex your ankle through the turn so you don't end up with the skis getting ahead of you after the fall line.  From the flexed ankle position, you can then open it up some after you change your edges to engage the tip of the ski without pressing your knee forward.  So in essence, I'm saying to use your ankles more actively so you don't have to do reactive movements using your knees and bending at the waist.

 

Hope this makes sense to you.

 

RW

post #52 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin View Post

 


Why?
 

 

If you tilt a ski on edge while in a centered stance doesn't the entire edge become engaged more or less simultaneously? Why isn't this a "clean groove"?

Perhaps I am just flattering myself with my ability to do it, but I think it is not so easy when you don't start at the leading end of the leading edge.


The ski is moving forwards.

 

If you are only carving on the tails and the front of the ski is not cutting a groove, what must take place where the carved arc begins?  The cutting edge is being smeared at one point, but despite that the edge will cut a groove further back along the ski.,

 

If the you first seek to make a cut with the first part of the ski to contact the new snow (snow that was untouched ahead of you) by sliding that part of the ski along in the direction of its edge and then bring the rest of the edge along in the same grove it is much easier than if the leading part of that edge is smearing.

 

Think what would happen if you took a sharp but flexible blade bent into a curve and moved it against skin and flesh, but pushed straight.  It may well cut, but compare that to the cut made if the blade is straight and pushed straight. or if the curve of the blade and that of the path it is pushed in concur. 

 

A clean cut.

post #53 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

 

Perhaps I am just flattering myself with my ability to do it, but I think it is not so easy when you don't start at the leading end of the leading edge.


The ski is moving forwards.

 

If you are only carving on the tails and the front of the ski is not cutting a groove, what must take place where the carved arc begins?  The cutting edge is being smeared at one point, but despite that the edge will cut a groove further back along the ski.,

 

If the you first seek to make a cut with the first part of the ski to contact the new snow (snow that was untouched ahead of you) by sliding that part of the ski along in the direction of its edge and then bring the rest of the edge along in the same grove it is much easier than if the leading part of that edge is smearing.

 

Think what would happen if you took a sharp but flexible blade bent into a curve and moved it against skin and flesh, but pushed straight.  It may well cut, but compare that to the cut made if the blade is straight and pushed straight. or if the curve of the blade and that of the path it is pushed in concur. 

 

A clean cut.


Trying to understand your post.
 

I'm not sure you are carving what i would describe as a "clean arc" if  part of the ski is "swiping" as you put it. This can occur for example if your skis are too soft in flex for the force you put on them and they bend in an arc that is of appreciably smaller radius than the turn you are making. This is a turn in which all the mechanics are there but the clean carved arc is not.

 

As for fore/aft weight districution, this can affect the shape of the arc bent in the ski and likewise result in a poorly carved arc.

 

I would agree that a ski will not carve if the edge (or knife blade) is not moving along a path which follows the tip. If this is happening,, in other words if the edge is being displaced at an angle to itself, it is skidding.

post #54 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post

 

I can see 2 items for you to work on.  The first is ti slow and quiet down your transition.  Keep both skis on the snow through the edge change so you are better balanced as you approach the fall line.  The second item is keeping a more neutral position over the middle of the skis so you are able to progressively flex your ankle through the turn so you don't end up with the skis getting ahead of you after the fall line.  From the flexed ankle position, you can then open it up some after you change your edges to engage the tip of the ski without pressing your knee forward.  So in essence, I'm saying to use your ankles more actively so you don't have to do reactive movements using your knees and bending at the waist.

 

 

Hi Ron,

 

Thanks for your comments. I will work on controlling the transition. I think I still rush it too much because of my insecured feeling in transition. I have the urge to get into the next turn quickly and often lose balance or rythm in doing that. Hopefully a bit more focus and mileage on snow will cure that.

 

I have a decent range of ankle flex (not wearing ski boots), but I don't know how to use it. My ankles are pretty static when I ski. I am not very mindful of them and don't know when to flex or when to extend them. I have to think about what you wrote more and start a new thread with questions.

 

Chuck

 

post #55 of 57

Chuck,

 

Quote:

 I have to think about what you wrote more and start a new thread with questions.

We're here, and glad to help with any questions.

 

RW

post #56 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin View Post

 
Trying to understand your post.

I am not advocating skiing from the back seat.  I agree the best option is to slice smoothly from tip to tail.

 

However, it is possible to have the edge at the tail go through the exact same spot as as the edge at the foot and every point in between while the ski is traveling in a direction parallel to it's edge at that point, following exactly the arc shape of the (flexed and tipped) tail of the ski.  The rear portion of the ski is in that case carving an arc.  This is a recovery move that I have used in the past, on very hard snow/ice at high speed with large radius skis.

 

As near as I can recall, the last time I used this move, my ski tips were not on the snow, so perhaps it doesn't really matter what they were doing at the time.  There was some point where the front non-carving part of the ski met the rear carving part.  The part of the ski in contact with the snow that was not arcing was discordant with the rest of the ski, making this turn inferior imho to a properly executed purely arced turn.  Nevertheless I would say that the few centimeter's of non-carving edge were overcome by the couple of feet of carving edge, and as the tails were slicing a nice cut in the end, I would call it carving.

 

 

post #57 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

 

I am not advocating skiing from the back seat.  I agree the best option is to slice smoothly from tip to tail.

...............

 

I think I see what you're saying. I had a crappy pair of Olins at one time that. once they had broken down, the only place I could get a decent arc out of them was back in the tail section. It wasn't much of a carve that I could get by balancing over that part of the ski and it wasn't easy balancing back there but I could get edgehold on ice at least during part of the turn. In that case the front of the skis had become soft and were probably just flopping or plowing rather than being engaged in the arc. Again I am not sure that can accurately be described as a carve but the other mechanics were present. )ie inclination, angulation and at least some part of the ski edge following another part. I suppose the thing to acknowledge is that a perfect carved turn probably does not happen and that there are degrees to which it is actually attained.
 

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