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Where do you point your body in big turns?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
OK, here's one which was foxing me recently. I spent a lot of time trying to master short swing turns down the fall line, which involved keeping my body pointing straight ahead, straight down the fall line. I made some useful progress. Then I decided to go back to doing bigger C-shaped turns for a while, using the full width of the piste. I kept instinctively pointing my upper body down the slope, which didn't work well at all.

So where should I be pointing my upper body? There is clearly a transition as you widen your turns more where you no longer point down the fall line. Is there a rule of thumb as to where you should point (bearing in mind that it must vary according to the pitch of the slope)?

J2R
post #2 of 24
Rule of thumb: Generally face the way you're traveling. In many short turns the general direction of travel is downhill. In longer turns, I tend to square up more.

However, more and more, I'm staying squared up in most turns--even short--at least with the hips so that I can have the full benefit of my body's suspension system without being kinked at the hip due to too much twist toward the fall line. This expresses a bias towards managing pressure to the edge for line maintenance rather than crank (rotary). It also expresses a preference for a short turn that really snakes across the hill. So it depends on the turn.

Have you tried new socks?
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by weems:
Rule of thumb: Generally face the way you're traveling. In many short turns the general direction of travel is downhill. In longer turns, I tend to square up more.
I suppose "the general direction of travel" must be taken over a certain distance, mustn't it - maybe 30 feet or so? It's not the way your skis are heading, because in short swing turns they're heading different ways from one second to the next. In longer turns, they are heading in the same direction as me, though. Maybe I should start thinking in terms of a distance, or perhaps a time period.

Quote:
Have you tried new socks?
Not yet, but I will. From the other thread on the subject, I'm increasingly realising that socks are THE critical factor. All this technique business is just a crutch until one gets the socks right.

J2R
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by J2R:
I suppose "the general direction of travel" must be taken over a certain distance, mustn't it - maybe 30 feet or so?
J2R
Not really. Think the line of the direction of travel of your center of mass, i.e., your body, not your skis. Your body should be square to that line. Now in pure short-swing, yes you face almost down the hill and in long GS, you face almost the way your skis are pointing.

A note on short-swing, that type of fall-line short turn has become very passe of late. The short radius turn of today is a much more rounded turn. Think of the round shape of the GS turn but just with a smaller size. In this newer style of short turn, you move much more out of the fall-line and develop much less counter than the old short-swing style short term. Look at slalom racers now a days compared to films of skiers 20 years ago, entirely different type of turn. Today's skis can carve super round turns at very short radius and it has changed what is considered efficient skiing.

-Ken
post #5 of 24
I have always liked an idea put forth by Burt Skall who is an examiner in RM and the SSD at Copper (I think that's his current title)

Point your sternum at the apex of your next turn. It works fairly well in every case.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Koellner:
A note on short-swing, that type of fall-line short turn has become very passe of late. The short radius turn of today is a much more rounded turn.
Hang on, are you saying that I shouldn't have my body pointed directly down the fall line? But that is the direction my CM is moving. I thought I was getting the hang of this...

J2R
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
Point your sternum at the apex of your next turn. It works fairly well in every case.
But what's the apex? Aren't you always turning? How does one point become the apex?

J2R
post #8 of 24
I asked my instructor last week and he wouldn't really give me a definitive answer.

Unless I am in steep bumps or a very steep chute I have been moving my upper body naturally with my ski direction and it feels good.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Koellner:
A note on short-swing, that type of fall-line short turn has become very passe of late. The short radius turn of today is a much more rounded turn. .... In this newer style of short turn, you move much more out of the fall-line and develop much less counter than the old short-swing style short term.
-Ken
Some feedback from everyone on this statement is greatly appreciated. It always seems to me that while the short radius turn is entirely more efficient, the "passe" short-swing still has a valuable place in anyone's skiing repertoire. It seems to me that short-swing turn shines when one needs to negotiate an extremely steep and extremely narrow corridor, with "steep and narrow" defined by the skiers skills. Often times, it seems the narrowness of the corridor requires a tighter turn radius than managable by short radius turns.

A question for the skiing gurus, Rusty Guy, Weems, Bob Barnes, Pierre, et al. Is the short swing turn really undersirable for today's repertoire of skiing skills?
post #10 of 24
I have been taught that the amount of counter is a function of forces that develop through the turn. : Enough is enough; more is not better. : hence we do not PUT our self in this position it just happens from the demands of the turn; speed, steepness, slope width used, radius, and maybe other variables (like what is it I am trying to do anyway?)all contribute to the effect.......Guidance anyone :
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Rusty Guy:

Point your sternum at the apex of your next turn. It works fairly well in every case.
Rusty, could you explain this one for me, it don't jive. You can't mean to aim the sternum at the next turn apex during the entire previous turn. That would have your sternum fixed in one orientation for the entire arc and that orientation would be dependent on where you want the next turn to take place. That would require different sternum orientations for the same type of turns depending on where the following turn was located.

:
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by J2R:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
Point your sternum at the apex of your next turn. It works fairly well in every case.
But what's the apex? Aren't you always turning? How does one point become the apex? J2R</font>[/quote]apex = extrema

In other words, at the transition, point your sternum at the max left (or max right) point of the turn you are about to execute.

BTW, I like, use and teach this rule as well, pretty much from day 1. However, if the skier (myself included) is working on getting edge very early in the turn, even less counter feels even better (at least when everything is working right).

Tom / PM

PS - FastMan - Good comment. This "rule" doesn't speak to where you are pointed at other points in time, only at the transition. Since this is usually the point of maximum counter for old-school skiers, if they reduce their counter to this ammt at the transition, it will usually be less everywhere else in their turn. Another caveat - this rule assumes no extremely steep or obstacle ridden terrain requiring jump turns or other sharply pivoted moves.

[ February 18, 2004, 07:54 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #13 of 24
As I discovered during my last ski trip (with the help of a great instructor), I had developed a problem with too much inside tip lead. The cause? I was over countered. Not significantly, but just enough to cause my inside foot to creep forward. I squared up the hips and, magically, the "too much" inside tip disappeared.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by J2R:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Ken Koellner:
A note on short-swing, that type of fall-line short turn has become very passe of late. The short radius turn of today is a much more rounded turn.
Hang on, are you saying that I shouldn't have my body pointed directly down the fall line? But that is the direction my CM is moving. I thought I was getting the hang of this...

J2R
</font>[/quote]If you are doing short-swing, yes, your body is going (almost) straight down the fallline.

I'm not saying that that is wrong in any way. I just saying that that type of skiing, short-swing, is not as 'in-style' as it used to be. You can't say that any one technique is abolutely incorrect. Many technique have their place in some situations, short-swing included. A more rounded short radius turn is going to have you our of the fall line more so you aren't facing down the hill as much.

One could debate what correct skiing is ad nuseum. Generally, we try to teach techniques that are "functional and efficient". This is decided by the gods and demi-gods, PSIA demo team members, elite racers, etc. Then it is passed down to senior and intermediate disciples (PSIA clinicians, yer local mountain training staff), and eventually to us junior wannabe disciples.

On today's equipment, you can make a really round short turn that is distinctly different than short swing. It's also more efficient; that's why it's what the preacher's preaching.

What should you do? Learn short-swign; learn round short carved turns; learn round long carved turns; learn to ski a round turn with skid for speed control but guide the ski tips and not throw the heals out, learn blocking turns. Become verstile. Learn lots of diffent types of turns so you have them ready when terrain dictates that you need them.
post #15 of 24
J2R: good question. Weem’s guidelines as stated above work well. Here is how I see it, and I welcome comments, amplifications, other views and opinions. Usually. Or not.

First, counter-rotation can be defined as twisting the upper body in one direction and the lower body in another direction at the same time. Why? To create tension that facilitates turning the skis. How much? As much as the terrain, speed, snow conditions and the skier’s intentions require. Shorter, quicker turns, turns with more rotary, powder and bumps turns for example need more counter. The down-side? The position does not allow as strong an edge hold as a square position would allow, unless the skier bends at the waist and move their, uh, center of mass back and well inside the turn.

A counter move has two elements: the turning of the shoulders and upper body without the hips or the turning of the shoulders and upper body with the hips. Obviously this can be blended to any degree by someone far more flexible than me but that’s another thread. If the shoulders go alone the tension is in the spine. This does not create as much rotary tension but the hips are square with the skis and allows for more edge strength, as one would need in a large fast GS turn. If the hips move with the upper body the tension builds around the hip sockets and femur creating greater rotary tension but less edge strength, a position which works well in the bumps, for example.

So…where do you point your body? Depends on your intent.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by weems:
Have you tried new socks?
Thank the Good Lord I wasn't drinking a soda... I would have spewed it all over my keyboard and LCD! Now, that was funny, weems! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #17 of 24
Dano - that sounds sort of like counter roatation & counter all mixed together?

Now I'm :

Somebody help....
post #18 of 24
Hey disski, sorry about that, lets be clear on definitions. Counter simply means opposing; like the lower body opposes the upper body. More specifically a countered stance means the inside (uphill) half of the body is leading the outside (downhill) side of the body through the turn. Finally, counter-rotation is the activity of twisting the upper body in one direction and the lower body in another at the same time. I hope that puts us on the same page. If not let me know.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by FastMan:
Rusty, could you explain this one for me, it don't jive. You can't mean to aim the sternum at the next turn apex during the entire previous turn.
: [/QB]
I think PM explained it well and I want to reiterate the concept comes from Burt Skall.

PSIA-RM uses the term "seperation" to roughly define upper and lower body orientation.

The sternum pointing is indeed at neutral. At the moment just prior to the "release" into the new turn.

I spent an entire day today teaching a bump lesson. The focus was on limiting upper body rotation, creating braquage, etc. The students were strong skiers and by creating a little seperation, by having their shoulders oriented in the direction of the apex of the NEXT turn as they approached the end of the CURRENT turn, they were in a position to merely release and turn the new inside ski.

Another way I describe the concept is via a clock face. In a clockwise turn, as the feet pass five oclock the lower body, ie., legs may continue to steer while the sternum and or upper body does not rotate at the same rate.

I would argue it is not counter rotation and may not result in being countered. The pelvis can remain quite square while the shoulders have not rotated at the same rate. They seperate.

I guess this is in the forefront in my mind due to the fact I can get too "square in a wide variety of turns....particularly in bumps.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Koellner:
On today's equipment, you can make a really round short turn that is distinctly different than short swing. It's also more efficient; that's why it's what the preacher's preaching.

What should you do? Learn short-swign; learn round short carved turns; learn round long carved turns; learn to ski a round turn with skid for speed control but guide the ski tips and not throw the heals out, learn blocking turns. Become verstile. Learn lots of diffent types of turns so you have them ready when terrain dictates that you need them.[/QB]
It is time to bring the maestro back on stage.

http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...=000900#000000
post #21 of 24
I try to point my bellybutton where I'm going next. Like in the next moment. Not where my feet are pointing, but where I want my body to move to NEXT. And then I try to "flow" there.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Kneale Brownson:
I try to point my bellybutton where I'm going next. Like in the next moment. Not where my feet are pointing, but where I want my body to move to NEXT. And then I try to "flow" there.
This is close to how I think of it. What I think is the most all around applicable is your body should always face the direction of momentum. That is to say at any instant if you released your edges what direction you go in.

Obviously this would always involve facing somewhat downhill as gravity will always influence your direction. This explains facing somewhat downhill in a pure traverse as a release of edges will see you somewhat downhill depending on speed travel downhill. At high speed the speed of travel will see momentum follow closer to the direction of the skis. With modern skis the deflection of momentum is more efficient and again the affect of gravity (need to face downhill is reduced). It's a lot like apparent wind in sailing, as the speed increases the direction and strength of the wind will be altered somewhat from the perspective of the boat.

My two cents.
post #23 of 24
yep, I'm with Kneale.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
A question for the skiing gurus, Rusty Guy, Weems, Bob Barnes, Pierre, et al. Is the short swing turn really undersirable for today's repertoire of skiing skills?
I can tell you for a fact that nothing that I have learned in the past has ever been discarded. I do use a short swing but not very often. Usually in trees where I suddenly see a rock and a quick short swing will allow avoidance. The short swing turn is still very fast.

The short turn that I use most often is a bit of a modification to the PSIA short round turn. Its not as fast because the top third of the turn is slower with much more shape. I use more of a tilt forward towards the new inside tip like I am skiing off from a chairlift to get the skis to seek the fall line then engage the tips and steer them around and slightly further across the fall line than what I would do in a PSIA round turn. The top of the turn is very round and still very tight but not as elongated down the fall line. The turn requires about half again as much time to complete as the PSIA short radius turn. I do not face down the fall line anywhere near as much as the PSIA short radius because of the tilt forward and the extra time. This is my standard mogul turn and steep tight terrain turn.

[ February 20, 2004, 05:14 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
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