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pool about stem christi

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

how would you define stem christie??????

 

differences stem vs paralell turns ???? 

post #2 of 24

kubagr,

 

The main difference is that a stem christie is a turn made on opposing edges (i.e. right ski on left edge and left ski on right edge) as opposed to a parallel turn being made on corresponding edges (either both skis on the left edge or both on the right edge). It's very hard to make a turn on opposing edges while keeping your skis parallel. So the obvious visible difference between a parallel turn and a stem christie is that in a parallel turn, the skis are parallel (stay side by side) through the entire turn; while in a christie turn the skis start and end in a parallel position but are in a wedge shape (tips pointed together) for some period in between the start and end.

 

Stem originally meant that the turn started with a step to get the skis from parallel into a wedge shape, but in modern times it makes no difference whether the skis are stepped into position or slid into position. Some instructors break a stem christie down into 3 types: Modern, American and traditional. In a traditional christie, the weight is shifted toward the outside of the new turn at the beginning (i.e. the new outside foot does the movement to create the wedge shape). In an American christie, both skis change direction from parallel to form the wedge shape, but the weight stays in between the skis. In a modern christie the weight moves over the new inside ski and the tail of the uphill ski has no uphill movement out of it's track. As the size of the wedge gets reduced and the matching of the skis happens earlier in the turn, the differences (mentioned above) between a modern christie turn and a parallel turn become less meaningful.

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

kubagr,

 

The main difference is that a stem christie is a turn made on opposing edges (i.e. right ski on left edge and left ski on right edge) as opposed to a parallel turn being made on corresponding edges (either both skis on the left edge or both on the right edge). It's very hard to make a turn on opposing edges while keeping your skis parallel. So the obvious visible difference between a parallel turn and a stem christie is that in a parallel turn, the skis are parallel (stay side by side) through the entire turn; while in a christie turn the skis start and end in a parallel position but are in a wedge shape (tips pointed together) for some period in between the start and end.

 

Stem originally meant that the turn started with a step to get the skis from parallel into a wedge shape, but in modern times it makes no difference whether the skis are stepped into position or slid into position. Some instructors break a stem christie down into 3 types: Modern, American and traditional. In a traditional christie, the weight is shifted toward the outside of the new turn at the beginning (i.e. the new outside foot does the movement to create the wedge shape). In an American christie, both skis change direction from parallel to form the wedge shape, but the weight stays in between the skis. In a modern christie the weight moves over the new inside ski and the tail of the uphill ski has no uphill movement out of it's track. As the size of the wedge gets reduced and the matching of the skis happens earlier in the turn, the differences (mentioned above) between a modern christie turn and a parallel turn become less meaningful.

thank you for you info................not trying to be difficult, but how would you call a series of  fast, rythmic "stem christi"-type turns?????

 

post #4 of 24

Kubagr,

 

There is another difference between the traditional stem christie and the parallel turn.  As the new outside ski is either stepped or slid into the stem position, there is movement of the CM (center of mass) in that direction as the ski is weighted.  The movement becomes in the opposite direction of the new turn, where a simultaneous edge change, the movement of the CM is (or should) be in the direction of the new turn.

 

The modern wedge christie uses the same movement pattern as the parallel turn, but with sequential edge changes.  Some of the "old timers" when they see the drill converging steppes, say "Oh! that's the stem christie."  They don't know the difference in the movement of the CM in the two.

 

Modern skiing is about the CM moving toward the intended direction, where some of the older traditional skiing was about getting the equipment to work in the snow.

 

RW

post #5 of 24

I'm glad I didn't pay for lessons when I learned to ski.

 

You're doing it wrong.

 

I find it shocking that ski instructors of all people don't understand how to move their own bodies.  How else can you explain them moving the cm in the opposite direction of the turn in order to accomplish a stem Christie?

 

I remember learning the stem Christie from a book.  Its first move involved a movement of my cm in the direction of the turn, a necessity of lighting the outside ski while remaining balanced in preparation to moving it into the stem.  The next move had my foot and ski moving to the outside as the rest of my body moved further inside the turn (Newton's opposite reaction).  It involved a further movement of my body in the direction of the turn as I picked up my inside foot, without first shifting any weight to the outside ski, merely removing its support allowing me to tip and lean into the turn like a three legged stool with one leg gone, and balance as the centrifugal forces pressured the outside ski.

 

I suppose it would have been possible to do it wrong, but not without greater effort on my part.  Of course if I were skiing very very slowly, it might not of been possible to do it without some negative weight shifting to compensate for the lack of centrifugal force at slow speed.

 Edit typo: it's --->its

 


Edited by Ghost - 5/8/2009 at 09:48 pm GMT
post #6 of 24

In a parallel turn you weight the ski early and ride it around the turn, and for a stem christie you step or push the ski into the turned position and then weight it, so your skis are the shape of a V between turns instead of remaining parallel the entire time.

post #7 of 24

In a MODERN parallel turn, you release the edges and allow turn dynamics to shift the weight as necessary.  The weight transfer occurs progressively.

post #8 of 24

Ghost,

 

Quote:

I remember learning the stem Christie from a book.  Its first move involved a movement of my cm in the direction of the turn, a necessity of lighting the outside ski while remaining balanced in preparation to moving it into the stem.  The next move had my foot and ski moving to the outside as the rest of my body moved further inside the turn (Newton's opposite reaction).  It involved a further movement of my body in the direction of the turn as I picked up my inside foot, without first shifting any weight to the outside ski, merely removing its support allowing me to tip and lean into the turn like a three legged stool with one leg gone, and balance as the centrifugal forces pressured the outside ski.

That sounds like more of a modern stem step, or converging step than the traditional stem christie.  The stem christie evolved to both pressure a highly cambered stiff wooden ski and get it on an edge early in the turn.  That's why the CM was moved over the ski after stemming it.  A progressive weight transfer would take too long to engage the stiff ski. A lot has changed in the last 70 years.

 

Kneale,

 

I agree.

 

RW

 

RW

post #9 of 24

Just by the motion of opening into a wedge position you will change the CM.

 

How about a turn initiated from a wedge position and completed with the skis parallel?

post #10 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

In a MODERN parallel turn, you release the edges and allow turn dynamics to shift the weight as necessary.  The weight transfer occurs progressively.


And yet there are exceptions to this. Watch some footage of contemporary World Cup racers making GS turns and you will see very early pressure on the skis caused by leg extension prior to the fall line. High end recrearional skiing will often exhibit the same thing ie. dynamic pressure rather than pressure developed as a result of turn dynamics.
 

post #11 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post

Ghost,

 

That sounds like more of a modern stem step, or converging step than the traditional stem christie.  The stem christie evolved to both pressure a highly cambered stiff wooden ski and get it on an edge early in the turn.  That's why the CM was moved over the ski after stemming it.  A progressive weight transfer would take too long to engage the stiff ski. A lot has changed in the last 70 years.

 

Kneale,

 

I agree.

 

RW

 

RW


We need to put some dates on modern and traditional.

 

I don't know the date for the book I self-taught myself from, and my memory isn't what i remember it used to be, but  the book looked to be circa 1950, give or take a few years.  The skis were WW II army surplus wooden skis.

 

I do remember that when skiing along at a good clip (is there any other way to ski?), the snow piling up against that snow-plough blade provided plenty of force to engage the ski almost immediately.

 

Of course maybe I was not following the books instruction to the letter and the method was flawed, or maybe other learners were not.

 

The evolution of the groomed slope with skiers spending their first days on hard packed snow might have something to do with the need to supply more weight to that stemmed stiff ski.  The edges on my modern, er I mean 2006 vintage, skis certainly grip better than those old screwed on edges (especially when you consider how little I knew about sharpening back  then).

 

There seems to be a certain amount of " I can't figure out these movements; they must be wrong; I will make a whole new set of movements for people to learn how to ski" in ski instruction - or in instruction in general.  And a lot of very good athletes who learned using a traditional method (like say learned to fight using wing chun) and then despite this proof that the method works develop a new way to learn the same thing. 

 

post #12 of 24

A great ski coach once said:

[paraphrasing]

The 'bad moves' you make when you ski did something for your skiing at some point, or you wouldn't do it. 

Its a coaches job to teach good ski technique to replace the bad moves with good(more efficient) moves.[/paraphrasing]

post #13 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kubagr View Post

how would you define stem christie??????

 

differences stem vs paralell turns ???? 

 

A stem christie is a turn that starts by brushing the uphill (new outside ski) out to a diverging position onto an opposing edge, then the inside ski is at some point, steered back to a parallel postion, putting both skis on corresponding edges, with both skis skidding. So the stem phase has the skis on opposing edges, while the christie phase has the skis on like edges (two right or two left edges) with bot hskis skidding. For me tradtional/old or contemporary/new, doesn't enter into it.

 

Keep in mind that intially a wedge christie is a completely different animal than a stem christie, except in the christie phase where the skis are parallel and skidding on like edges.

 

Lets not make this more complicated than it needs to be gang.

post #14 of 24

In the dark ages, the stem turns were wedge turns linked by traverses in the parallel position.  The Stem Christie had the turns being completed with the skis parallel (skidded).  I think it was in the 'advanced stem Christie', the parallel phases started before the fall line.  Do these these descriptions  still relate?  This comes from the days of going for my Associates pin (now phase 2 it sounds) 70+ - so memory plays a factor too. 

 

There was a period when PSIA wanted us to teach an ab-stem to build a platform with a pre-turn.  Is that still being done?  Ab-stem didn't seem like a real good idea then.

 

Then as now, the equipment was causing the teaching system to change rapidly.  Snowplow became a bad word, and GLM was being looked at by PSIA.  The techno-critters then argued about how many snow flakes can be displaced by a ski edge and how do we carve.  No, some things have not changed that much.

post #15 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

 

There was a period when PSIA wanted us to teach an ab-stem to build a platform with a pre-turn.  Is that still being done?  Ab-stem didn't seem like a real good idea then.

 


An ab-stem is good for your bag of tricks, but it is not generally taught because it is not an efficient way to turn. Associate certification is equivalent to a level 2 cert.
 

post #16 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB View Post

 

 

A stem christie is a turn that starts by brushing the uphill (new outside ski) out to a diverging position onto an opposing edge,................


I'm not going to claim to be an expert on the stem christie but I can guess at the problem it created. It may have been intended as a "brush out" of the  new uphill ski but it was surely taught to relatively inexperienced skiers for whom balancing solely on the other leg was not a reasonable task. An experienced ski instructor could do it and move the ski to the outside while remaining predominantly balanced and weighted on a slightly bent soon-to-be inside leg but a beginning skier would most likely have a more nearly equal amount of weight on both legs. As a consequence the "brush out" more often than not resulted in a move of the body's COM toward the new outside ski if not directly over it while the new inside ski remained edged.
 

 with a fair amount of weight on it and still pointed in the opposite direction intended by the new turn. Try to steer a sharply edged ski sometime and one will quickly see why this movement became an impediment to progressing to parallel skiing for many. I should think there may have been a discrepancy between the stem turn as it was intended and the stem turn that resulted from a lot of ski instruction. I remember the endless articles in the skiing magazines about "curing the stem habit" and the old "hitch up and go" and picking up the ski problem as well as the all too frequent problems students had with edge release at turn inception.

 

post #17 of 24

Any stemming movement, (upstem, abstem, bi-stem, brushed stem, step stem) is a braking movement with the pivot point forward of the foot.  There is a marked difference between "stemming" and the modern "opening into a wedge position". The modern opening is based on the PSIA Centerline demo originating around 1986 which focuses on offensive turns rather than any kind of braking movements that slowed the skier or caused a movement away from the turn direction.  This opening does not have an easy moniker to describe it so it has been a very grey area for many instructors and trainers over the past 25 years.  

 

I call it the "release and steer" opening because one foot is releasing the platform from the last turn while the other foot is simultaneously steering into the fall line with both tips going down the hill.  In order for the uphill ski tip to be able to turn down the hill the downhill tip must get out of the way by releasing it's hold.  This also moves the Cg. over the feet before any active weight transfer.  There is no braking in this type of initiation and the movements mimic the same movements in a parallel turn initiation.

 

The stem christie is a dead end movement if your goal is to ski parallel.  The modern wedge turn is a parallel turn with training wheels because we are moving the Cg. into the turn at initiation, reducing the edge angle of the down hill ski, reducing the platform, rather than stemming off of a platform, steering the new outside ski tip down the hill rather than displacing the tail uphill.  

 

I disagree with the notion that an early weight transfer is a necessary element of a good parallel turn and I believe others will support this argument.

 

I would encourage the OP to check out Bob Barnes' Wiki on "skiing the slow line fast" as he explains this concept bette than anybody.

post #18 of 24

Bud,

 

Nice post

 

oisin,

 

Yes, you know the difference between stem christie and wedge christie, good post.  :)

 

RW

post #19 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post

Bud,

 

Nice post

 

oisin,

 

Yes, you know the difference between stem christie and wedge christie, good post.  :)

 

RW


Thank you, For what its worth, the Austrian instructors I used to teach with, who still taught something like the old Arlberg Technique thought that we  moved our students along much too quickly. They seemed to think that is was important for a student to achieve a much higher level of skill development before moving out of the snowplow phase, or whatever it was they were teaching, into what I presume was intended to be a stem phase. A German student I had once shed a little  light on this when she revealed that she had been learning the snowplow for some time and that her snowplow had to be "absolutely perfect" before she could allow herself to progress to the next step. Of course the cynical side of me suggested that these folks had hit upon a formula for keeping affluent lowlanders in ski school forever but I suppose cultural differences provide a different context and the technique that looks like a dead end to me was perhaps intended to be taught at a different pace and for different goals than the way in which earlier generations of American instructors had applied it.

 

Either that or the cynical side of me was onto them.

post #20 of 24

oisin,

 

My first ski teacher and then director of the ski school was an old polish team member.  At that time the stem Christie was very much alive.  He believed in final forms in skiing.  That every part of the progression had to be mastered correctly to the letter.  The snowplow turn had to be done perfectly before the stem Christie could be introduced and so on.  I can remember teaching a parallel lesson and "Stan" would ski by toward the end of the lesson and give the class a quick stem Christie lesson.

 

I think the difference between how many European schools teach and the American schools teach is the focus of learning and mastering solid fundamentals in the European systems.  The American culture wants to shortcut the fundamentals and move on to harder terrain without having the skills and technique to ski it in control or safely.  That is one reason the direct parallel is so popular.  If people want to ski parallel, then why teach them the wedge or wedge Christie? With the amount of groomed runs in many American ski areas, many skiers can progress to black runs quite quickly and get down them satisfactory.  Put the same skier on a black un-groomed run, they quickly find out that they are an advanced beginner, with few fundamental skills, on terrain were they don't belong.

 

RW

post #21 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post

oisin,

 

My first ski teacher and then director of the ski school was an old polish team member.  At that time the stem Christie was very much alive.  He believed in final forms in skiing.  That every part of the progression had to be mastered correctly to the letter.  The snowplow turn had to be done perfectly before the stem Christie could be introduced and so on.  I can remember teaching a parallel lesson and "Stan" would ski by toward the end of the lesson and give the class a quick stem Christie lesson.

 

I think the difference between how many European schools teach and the American schools teach is the focus of learning and mastering solid fundamentals in the European systems.  The American culture wants to shortcut the fundamentals and move on to harder terrain without having the skills and technique to ski it in control or safely.  That is one reason the direct parallel is so popular.  If people want to ski parallel, then why teach them the wedge or wedge Christie? With the amount of groomed runs in many American ski areas, many skiers can progress to black runs quite quickly and get down them satisfactory.  Put the same skier on a black un-groomed run, they quickly find out that they are an advanced beginner, with few fundamental skills, on terrain were they don't belong.

 

RW

Yes I think the typical American student is not prepared to commit to years of effort in order to master skiing. Probably only their ski instructor fits that bill. The usual student wants rapid results and expects progress without much effort. The American teaching system, properly taught, does provide this surprisingly well. American ski resorts are pretty well geared to these expectations.
 

 

I can appreciate that European culture may celebrate mastery of difficult skills and that their schools may look to provide a different kind of instruction but that doesn't really explain teaching systems that do not seem to offer a logical progression of movement patterns and skills. Of course I am thinking of a 70 year old teaching system that may be be far removed from contemporary European teaching. The people I taught with may have been throwbacks to an earlier era. I'm sure our ski schools have their share of these.

 

I can't get over the story of Professor Kruckenhauser the master of ski instruction who himself never succeeded in learning to ski parallel.

 

post #22 of 24

It would be very interesting to hear the thoughts of some current European teachers.  Doubt that their progressions are that much different than ours today. 

 

Taught with a couple of US guys, years ago, who went and did the French National Academy.  Until they got into the upper levels it wasn't that different than the American Teaching Method as proscribed by PS IA. 

 

If you go back another generation (leather boot days) the do it till 've' do it right concept seemed much more the norm everywhere, it had to be.  The runs were not groomed, and the equipment was absolutely primitive by our standards.  Not stemming is a real trick on a solid wood ski with no edges and leather boots.  You almost had to stem to survive unless you really had the skill set, Good had a different definition.  To get a small idea what it was like, unbuckle your boots and try skiing, divergence will have a new definition.

post #23 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin View Post

 


....

A German student I had once shed a little  light on this when she revealed that she had been learning the snowplow for some time and that her snowplow had to be "absolutely perfect" before she could allow herself to progress to the next step.

...


Funny, a little book I bought about the history of skiing in NH used that exact phrase to describe the teaching philosophy of one of the first European transplant instructors in NH...Benno Rybizka, maybe?
 

Sounded kind of nuts to me to expend that much effort on a snowplow, but I sure can't say anything about what was necessary to ski on those old wood planks.

post #24 of 24

Stranger,

 

Quote:

It would be very interesting to hear the thoughts of some current European teachers.  Doubt that their progressions are that much different than ours today. 

 

The American Teaching System (ATS), brought student based (focused) instruction to ski instruction developed by PSIA.  The European ski instruction systems that preceded it were more of an instructor based (focused) instruction.  That concept was brought to Europe by the PSIA in one of the Interskis, where once every four years the Demonstration Teams of snow sports schools from most every country that has a snow sports teaching system share their techniques and methodologies.

 

RW

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