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Slicing versus Pushing - Page 4

post #91 of 110
That's a very reasonable answer.

But what is this "getting inside the turn EARLY"?  Does'nt that mean before the skis are pressured? ie, before the pressure demand that the CM needs to be so far inside?

Main Edit: we've often heard the term "toppling" inside.  That can easily result in losing pressure or not establishing pressure on the skis.
post #92 of 110
Yep, that's exactly what it means, getting the body inside the turn before the skis are pressured.  Sounds scary, doesn't it?  All I can say is to give it a try.  When the skis unload and you put the body inside the next turn, there really is a moment of weightlessness.  I think you have to accept that, knowing that you won't be weightless for long, so that you can, as I say, have the body in a good, practive place to manage the tremendous forces that are about to build up. 

We used to talk about a concept of "sting...float...sting."  It's really pretty much that concept.  Floating is not a bad thing.  I spent a bunch of time at Eldora two falls ago working with Tony Sears on exactly that concept...being light and floating through the transition so that you're not so hard-wired to the snow, and accordingly, in that floating phase, you can effectively direct the ski...


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post

That's a very reasonable answer.

But what is this "getting inside the turn EARLY"?  Does'nt that mean before the skis are pressured? ie, before the pressure demand that the CM needs to be so far inside?

Main Edit: we've often heard the term "toppling" inside.  That can easily result in losing pressure or not establishing pressure on the skis.
post #93 of 110

Skiracer55,

I've done it enough, I know exactly what you are talking about....  which is why I am confused about your previous answer. I was just digging for a different explanation -- sorry -- which you provided perfectly. Thanks.

To me, the cross-over is *much* more likely to produce lower pressures at the top of the turn than a cross-under, as the direction of the body when crossing over has to be extremely accurate.  When crossing under, it is very simple to maintain ski pressure at the top of the turn.



 

post #94 of 110
Yep, what you're saying is the likely case.  If I cross over, I'm likely to have more pressure on the tip at the top of the turn.  I know it sounds heretical, but is that necessarily a good thing?  One of the things that Tony Sears is big on is skiing the ski from its center as much as possible.  His contention is that today's skis are so soft longitudinally and have such amazing sidecuts that you don't necessarily have to load the tip to start the turn, just bending the ski from the middle will engage the tip just fine. 

This thread initially started with the concept of "slicing through a turn".  Let's say that "slicing" through a turn is what you do on an edged ski and "gliding" through a turn is what you do on a flat ski.  In all events...and I'd submit in all skiing...but especially in DH and Super G, when we're gliding, we're trying to work a flat ski for speed, when we're slicing, we're trying to work an edged ski for speed.  Maybe that's not our intent here ("I don't want to go faster, I just want to slice"), but it is a byproduct, and not necessarily a bad one.  A ski that's slicing, I contend, has only the appropriate amount of edge and pressure to make things happen.  Not only does that make for a cleaner, faster ski, but it's easier on my anatomy, too.  If I have less load on the ski and the minimum amount of edge, then all other things being equal, I ought to be able to move from turn to turn more smoothly and evenly. 

So a lot of "slicing", you could say, comes from using just the appropriate amount of edge and pressure for the situation...but I think it also depends on how you maintain your balancing act.  Back on that thought to skiing the ski from the center.  I was at a PSIA race clinic at Vail a few years back where my clinic leader was Bill Gooch, who used to coach at Loveland and is now at Vail.  Very astute guy, knows a lot about skiing and ski racing, and really observes skiers like World Cuppers who ski at a high level and helps to translate stuff their doing to grunts like me.  We were running slalom, and we're all collectively cutting and hacking like Barbarians on what was a relatively easy course.  What Bill explained to us was that we were trying so hard to bend the snot out of the tip with huge edge angles to start the turn and trying so hard to load the tails and rocket the skis out of the turn that we were...well, we were cutting and hacking like Barbarians.  We'd carve a few trenches, hook up really hard, and exit stage left.  In the process of carving a few trenches, we were so intent on moving the pressure distribution back and forth on the ski that we were way off balance, and were basically making linked recoveries.  So he had us ski some flat cat walks where the task was to ski as if our skis were only as long as from the front of the bindings to the back of the heelpieces.  Ski the bottom of our boot soles, in other words.  Worked like magic, cleaned up all the doo doo, and the next thing you know, we're all finishing courses, and we don't look like we're killing chickens, either. 

Same clinic, Debbie Armstrong was one of the other clinic leaders, and we got to ski with her a little, too.  Super knowledgeable, obviously, always looking at how we ski, and how we can do it better, with a vast store of experience.  She told us a story where she said she could never understand how Tamara McKinney, who weighed all of about 110 pounds, could beat her, because Debbie knew she was a better athlete.  Answer:  Tamara stood on her skis right in the middle...stood on that sweet spot between the toepiece and heelpiece, and was therefore able to use what strength she had to beat the bigger, stronger girls like Debbie and Cindy Nelson. 

So, let's forget about getting inside and all that stuff for a minute.  Next time you go out cruising, find something flat, wide and easy and do two things:

- Link your turns, but stay as close to the fall line as possible.  The closer you are to the fall line, the smaller the radius of the turns, all other things being equal, the more you'll be able to float, to slice, without having to overload or overedge your skis.

- Ski by standing between the toepiece and heelpiece.  Just give it a try.  I'm not telling you that you or I will never go outside those parameters, it's just a really useful balance tool.  And, I submit, it's one of the keys to finding that slicing feeling, and not grinding away on the snow...




Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post

Skiracer55,

I've done it enough, I know exactly what you are talking about....  which is why I am confused about your previous answer. I was just digging for a different explanation -- sorry -- which you provided perfectly. Thanks.

To me, the cross-over is *much* more likely to produce lower pressures at the top of the turn than a cross-under, as the direction of the body when crossing over has to be extremely accurate.  When crossing under, it is very simple to maintain ski pressure at the top of the turn.



 

post #95 of 110
Since the original OP asked about how to more effortlessly slice on ice, let's talk about how to do that with BOTH cross over and cross under.  I hope we have established that neither one is the be-all, end-all.  

Actually to be honest I don't particularly even like to talk about those two things as goals in and of themselves.  I am not sure I really think ever about whether I want to cross over or cross under.  I'm thinking about other things and the result is that it feels more like a cross over or more like a cross under, depending on how fast my skis are changing from this side to that.

What BigE is saying about precision of the topple on cross over is true.  If you are not precise on that, then you will become weightless and lose early pressure, which is what we're talking about here on this thread isn't it?  On the other hand, I feel that when a turn is more like a cross-under, the factor of precision is the down-unweighting.  If you flex too aggressively during the transition, then you lose weight and go weightless, there goes your early pressure.  I feel both types of turn outcomes have this danger, just different areas of focus to be precise.

Back to the OP, on ice, I feel the trick is to MAINTAIN pressure on the skis, as early as possible and as smoothly as possible.  No sudden transfers of weight.  If you are late to pressure your new outside ski, then eventually when you do pressure it, it will be more sudden.  But if you over pressure it too soon, then obviously that's not good either.  You want to be on it as soon as possible, with just enough, but no more, then what you need to start to stand on it and start to bend it so that its providing early "slicing".

If you topple your body too far to the inside in an effort to cross-over, and you feel that weightless sensation; as fun as that is, its detrimental to the smoothness I am referring to above.  As you move inside, you develop a little edge angle, which you stand on to apply a little pressure that is just barely starting to build from turn forces.  This bends the ski, which provides a little more turn force as you move a little more inside, which develops a little more edge angle and a little more bending, which closes the radius a little more from the ski being bent by pressure, etc.  Its a gradual ramp up of pressure as you move inside.  If you move inside too quickly to the point of becoming weightless, then where is the pressure to bend the ski?  It will hit suddenly 1/3 into the turn and if its very icy it will be difficult to keep a smooth slice.  On the other hand, if you have progressively moved inside, as the pressure progressively builds, then you will avoid these sudden explosions of pressure onto the ski.  

You want to embrace the pressure on the outside ski as early as possible, but not explosively.  Gradually.

You want to move inside, but not explosively to the point of losing pressure on the outside ski.

If you're doing more of a cross-under thing, then chances are high that you're down-unweighting, so it has to be a precise level of unweighting that does not turn into weightless float.  UNLESS you know you're gonna need to pivot, in which case you are going to be weightless, but since the OP is asking about slicing on ice, I'm avoiding that scenario in this discussion.
post #96 of 110
Nicely stated.

I'd go further to suggest that floating in cross-under or falling in cross-over will both reduce your chances for early pressure regardless of the snow condition.  To my view, re-establishing pressure will happen much earlier with a slightly mistimed cross-under than a slightly mistimed cross-over -- the error in a cross-over is magnified.  To reduce the pressure at the top of the turn as much with a cross-under, you've got to try to blow it.
post #97 of 110
Quote by BigE: "I'd go further to suggest that floating in cross-under or falling in cross-over will both reduce your chances for early pressure regardless of the snow condition."

I'd go along with that too.  When you think about it, the act of "floating" through transition pretty much requires the skier to have eliminated at least some pressure under the skis. 

Likewise, permitting one's self to "fall" (topple over) into a new turn automatically reduces pressure under the skis as some portion of gravity is not being resisted any longer (the nature of 'toppling over').

Re-establishing edge-pressure in either case might be as simple as extending one or both legs at will - so I'm not so sure one technique is more problematic than the other in terms of early edge engagement. 

It seems like the real issue for early edge engagement would be in our overall alignment (CM vs BoS).  If our current direction of CM travel isn't on a complimentary course with our BoS's direction of travel (for our intended outcome) then we're stuck with ungainly compensatory movements - or with skidding instead of slicing.

.ma
post #98 of 110
 michaelA,

I'm in agreement with you!  Surely, hell has frozen over!  
post #99 of 110
     Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post

It seems like the real issue for early edge engagement would be in our overall alignment (CM vs BoS). 

Wouldn't the real issue for early edge engagement be getting the skis tipped over onto the new edges? Release all you want in the right direction, but if you don't tip those feet won't you always be late? And if tipping the feet is the most important thing to do to get early engagement wouldn't we want to release in a manner that most efficiently support this? Does one type of release facilitate tipping motions of the feet better than another?
post #100 of 110
Gee BigE, all that global warming heat had to come from somewhere...  Maybe we'll all be skiing in Hell pretty soon.


Onyxjl,
... nope don't think so.  Being able to tip our edges is first and foremost directly related to the relationship of our CM and BoS.  In order to get either edge tipped into the snow at turn entry our CM/BoS relationship (meaning positioning) must be able to support it. 

For instance in a turn completed well across the slope I don't see any way for us to have those downhill edges engage at turn entry if our CM is still way uphill from our Bos (feet/skis) apart from some serious long-time Yoga practice.

Also, tipping, even to a great degree will not guarantee 'slicing' (which was the target of this discussion).  At turn entry, tipping skis way over and getting those edges dug well into the surface may just plant us on our ear - or force a skid, hop, twist, or other compensation to stay upright should our CM's direction and speed not support that particular degree of edge-angle in the direction our skis are currently pointing (ie: edge-lock going across the hill while the skier's body is going down the hill).

I guess if I had to put an order of importance on things relative to useful/desirable early edge engagement I'd go for:
a) Co-Supportive directions of CM and BoS (in this case BoS meaning one or both skis)
b) Sufficient pressure to press a meaningful length of ski-edge into the given surface
c) Appropriate Rotational Torque (meaning appropriate to the desired outcome)
d) Sufficient (but no more) edge-angle to achieve desired outcome.

Without sufficient accuracy in the first three items I don't think we're doing much service to a client by getting them to focus on higher edge angles to achieve carving/slicing.  High edge angles simply are not required for clean carving and if the student "needs" higher angles to get the ski to stop skidding then it's one of the first three items preventing them from carving - not the degree of tipping.

If we focus on getting our students to 'Tip More' in order to carve then we're simply overwhelming their real issues and they're successful only when overly-coached tipping is sufficient to 'lock' their ski in place against all the directional, pressure and rotational errors they're making elsewhere.

.ma
post #101 of 110
Good discussions... some additional thoughts:

- Think for a minute about floating in terms of biomechanics.  The floating through the transition is the going to neutral/Natural Athletic Stance part of the show that links turns, and doing it kind of corresponds to something I heard a few years back, which is that you have to use the transition to recover from the effort you just made.  If you just stand in a pair of running shoes and shift your weight laterally from one foot to another, when you push off one foot, the leg on that side initially expends effort, when you stop pushing and go to the other foot, the leg relaxes.  Skiing is pretty much the same way; you're not efficient if you're trying to make a constant muscular effort.  You have to make the effort, recover, then make the next effort.  The float or weightless phase is the recovery.

- If you're floating, I think we all agree that you've taken at least some weight off the skis.  Leaving aside the concept of whether or not this inhibits early edge pressure into the next turn for a moment, is there anything good about taking some weight off in the transition?  I think so, and so does Ron LeMaster.  I think when we get into this thing about early edge and pressure, we're getting into that "ski arc to arc" discussion.  If arc to arc is "one trench connected to the next one", as LeMaster pointed out, that's almost impossible.  About the only time you really see it is in Super G or downhill on the flats, in a series of turns with minimal radius and offset.  Any other time, you can't really ski arc to arc. 

Case in point:  The GS skis I was using last year were an Atomic 183, essentially a women's WC ski, with a 24.6 meter sidecut, or something like that.  When we set courses, we always measure, and generally we set somewhere between 22 and 24 meters between gates, kind of the range for a tight course vs. a loose course.    So at 24 meters, I ought to be able to ski arc to arc, right? Nope, because the gates aren't set in a line vertically, they have horizontal offset.  Therefore, after I finish one turn, I have to float, or take weight off, or whatever you want to call it so that in the transition I can steer the ski to what LeMaster called "the effective steering angle" where you can begin the carved portion of the next turn.  I'd have preferred he called it "the effective carving angle", but I agree with the concept. 

It's pretty much the same thing is what Thor Kallerud, then one of the US Team coaches, talked about in his "carve/pivot/carve" article back in 1989.  I prefer the term "steer" to the term "pivot", but the idea is the same.  You have to have some essentially flat ski redirection of the ski between carves, otherwise you won't make the next gate.  So what does a non-racer care about making the next gate or not?  Well, where do we set offset and why?  We set offset on the steep to keep racers from accelerating to Mach 3 and going into the weeds.  If you want non-racer students to control their speed on the steeps, what do you tell them?  Not to make windshield wiper turns and scrub the speed, but to make carved turns way across the fall line and across the hill.  Yep, they're still carved turns, but you have to have some steering/redirection to link up the carved sections.

- So if you're with me so far and you agree that you have to have a redirection, and because it's steered and you have to be on a more or less flat ski with reduced weight...what does this mean in terms of the mantra of "early edge/early pressure"?  I think the key is to think of trying to edge and pressure as early as you can without making it an unnatural act.  When I was first getting into racing, where do you think I edged and pressured the ski?  That's right, way after I had steered the ski past the fall line, so, of course, I was skidding, and trying to find edge and pressure was a losing battle at this point.  I am an L3, and when I was teaching Level 8 plus students, that was the standard problem on steeper harder terrain...and yep, by waiting until the last minute to edge/and pressure, those folks definitely weren't slicing.  So I think that floating, redirecting, being neutral are all perfectly normal and reasonable things to do...as long as you try to edge/pressure as early as possible and as early as is called for by the situation.  Think of your students.  If you could get them to change, even a little bit, the mix of steering and edge/pressure to get them to do less steering and more edge/pressure and do it earlier...wouldn't that turn on the lightbulb, and get them to try to tweak the mix even a little more?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post

Quote by BigE: "I'd go further to suggest that floating in cross-under or falling in cross-over will both reduce your chances for early pressure regardless of the snow condition."

I'd go along with that too.  When you think about it, the act of "floating" through transition pretty much requires the skier to have eliminated at least some pressure under the skis. 

Likewise, permitting one's self to "fall" (topple over) into a new turn automatically reduces pressure under the skis as some portion of gravity is not being resisted any longer (the nature of 'toppling over').

Re-establishing edge-pressure in either case might be as simple as extending one or both legs at will - so I'm not so sure one technique is more problematic than the other in terms of early edge engagement. 

It seems like the real issue for early edge engagement would be in our overall alignment (CM vs BoS).  If our current direction of CM travel isn't on a complimentary course with our BoS's direction of travel (for our intended outcome) then we're stuck with ungainly compensatory movements - or with skidding instead of slicing.

.ma
 
post #102 of 110
Very interesting discussion. IMO if you want to be able to carve properly you need to be able to engage your edges early and to carve the high C without any skidding, steering or tail washing. However, its all about when you need your edges the most that counts. You dont need any strong or forcefull pressure in the high C. Simply a very light touch. This can be achieved wether you are crossing under or over. But no matter how well you start off your carve after transition if you dont "fall" enough into the turn you will not be able to carve a tight enough turn or with enough edge angles. That is if that is your intent offcourse. On race tracks for example that is allways your intent. The advantage with crossing under is that your CoM is allredy low. Maybe only 50cm to the snow. When you cross over your CoM will be much higher, lets say 100cm. There is a huge difference between the two in how quick you can put your hips down 1cm from the snow. Also note that as you lower your CoM after transiton your pressure will be de-creasing. Thats what happens if you bring your CoM down. If you lift it up you get the opposite effect. But as I said earlier, you dont need that much pressure to carve the high C. What its really all about is what you do after apex before you relese your turn. I would like to put a thaught forward regarding cross under that goes like this: when you turn you recover from your transition. When you cross over you dont need any recovering. You are allways in balalnce.
post #103 of 110
Hey SkiRacer55, that's a pretty good writeup on your perspective in this.  Very much shows a Racing Intent verses a Recreational Intent.  Actual Mechanics vs. Perceived Mechanics has long been of interest to me as both are perfectly valid in learning and teaching.

Some considerations...

You mention the muscular efficiency of floating through some degree of transition between exertions/efforts and use walking as an example.  That example works well on flat terrain but I think it tends to break down on steeper terrain.

As terrain gets steeper we have further to fall between each step.  During the float phase we are making no effort to support our body so our body accelerates downward - and at a higher speed downward each micro-moment that passes.  The amount of muscular effort exerted to arrest this falling Mass is quite small if we only fall/float a short distance for a short time but what happens if we fall/float further over a longer period of time?    In my estimation we must end up exerting a much higher muscular effort to arrest our fall the further we have fallen (all else being equal).

Relating this to skiing we have the same situation if we deploy a float period with respect to Gravity.  Muscular effort to 'catch' ourselves on the way down goes way up if we float for a while as compared to the effort required for no (or a minimal) float period. 

Furthermore, muscular effort goes way up if we 'float' with respect to the required curvature of our intended turn.

This is a little more complicated but consider the idea of 'cutting off' part of the turn as was described earlier.  If we transition progressively into a new direction along a progressively changing path then we exert minimal energy over time.  If we float through the first 20 degrees of that same turn then firmly engage our edges we incur a greatly increased load (for a brief moment) - the entire load that would have been progressively distributed in the earlier scenario.  Combine this with the increased landing force that Gravity produced while floating and we definitely have a higher 'recovery' energy requirement than what would be required in the non-floating scenario.

This is a purely mechanical assessment and makes no claims at all on the rightness or wrongness of either technique as intent is everything.  Each method has it's own mechanical merits.  For instance while the float method may require more calories to execute the higher force of touchdown is useful in driving our edges more firmly into a hard surface.  Floating certainly makes pivoting and rapid redirection of the skis much easier.  Floating does potentially deliver a moment of muscular rest, though transferring the load leg-to-leg in each turn probably provides better rest.  Floating also feels pretty cool.  Lots of good reasons for it and lots of good reasons to maintain pressure at all times (again, intent is everything).


Quote by SkiRacer55: " If arc to arc is "one trench connected to the next one", as LeMaster pointed out, that's almost impossible." 

I'd go even further and cross out the word 'almost'.   If you consider that every ski has some width between its edges then there is no way in creation we can simply roll a ski over and get the new edge exactly into the rut of the old edge in order to continue that trench...


In my opinion the skills required to achieve an "Early Edge" and "Early Pressure" are essential skills in upper level skiing - but not essential (nor even required) as a ever-present technique.  We train instructors to be able to do such things so they might also be able to teach it - not to advocate it as the only 'right way' to ski.   The same for pivoting.  We teach pivoting as a very useful technique to possess and not to be wielded as a right-way-to-ski hammer that must show up in all turns. (Hopefully nobody will read anything in this post as prioritizing/advocating one technique over another, ie: continuous contact vs. floating transitions).  

To me this thread has evolved into the highest and best use of this forum -describing and analyzing each concept to figure out exactly how it can be achieved (perhaps, many ways it can be achieved) and figuring out the the merits, problems and practical applications of the concepts described. 

.ma
post #104 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post



Onyxjl,
... nope don't think so.  Being able to tip our edges is first and foremost directly related to the relationship of our CM and BoS.  In order to get either edge tipped into the snow at turn entry our CM/BoS relationship (meaning positioning) must be able to support it. 

For instance in a turn completed well across the slope I don't see any way for us to have those downhill edges engage at turn entry if our CM is still way uphill from our Bos (feet/skis) apart from some serious long-time Yoga practice.



I guess if I had to put an order of importance on things relative to useful/desirable early edge engagement I'd go for:
a) Co-Supportive directions of CM and BoS (in this case BoS meaning one or both skis)
b) Sufficient pressure to press a meaningful length of ski-edge into the given surface
c) Appropriate Rotational Torque (meaning appropriate to the desired outcome)
d) Sufficient (but no more) edge-angle to achieve desired outcome.

Without sufficient accuracy in the first three items I don't think we're doing much service to a client by getting them to focus on higher edge angles to achieve carving/slicing.  High edge angles simply are not required for clean carving and if the student "needs" higher angles to get the ski to stop skidding then it's one of the first three items preventing them from carving - not the degree of tipping.

If we focus on getting our students to 'Tip More' in order to carve then we're simply overwhelming their real issues and they're successful only when overly-coached tipping is sufficient to 'lock' their ski in place against all the directional, pressure and rotational errors they're making elsewhere.

.ma

A few comments:
  1. relying primarily on the relationship of the cm / bos to determine the degree of edging leads to the passive skiing Nick Hill happened to be doing when someone filmed him.  Onyxjl's suggestion of early tipping is an easy way to make that kind of skiing dynamic.  It's not Yoga, just a good skiing tip
  2. having read some of onyxjl's other posts, I think that a movement inducing "directional, pressure, or rotational errors" isn't something he would call tipping ... it's a matter of technical terminology.  In some skiing circles, those would be deemed a failure in tipping.
  3. In your response, you keep referring to high edge angles, but onyxjl's post never mentions big edge angles.  If you replaced your comment "tip more to carve" with "tip enough and balance to carve" then you'd have given your client the keys to the kingdom of skiing (oops, did JC of Aspen trademark that   Rephrase: you'd have given them a great ROI on their lesson. )
  4. "High edge angles are simply not required for clean carving"  Isn't this highly radius- and terrain-specific? 
  5. Onyxjl's emphasis and question are also relevant for non-carved and scarved turns. He's getting at the core of what separates a level 8-9 skier from 6-7, although his use of jargon and his skiing weltanschauung may differ from yours.
  6. I don't know if y'all or right or not that Hell has frozen over as I'm not an eyewitness to that event.  But I do know that Loveland, A-Basin, Boreal, and hopefully some other hills are definitely frozen over and the earliest in decades.  Who's gonna slice some turns before October's out? 
post #105 of 110
I already have (sliced some turns at Loveland yesterday) and will be there tomorrow with all of my ski racing homies...look us up...



Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post


A few comments:
  1. relying primarily on the relationship of the cm / bos to determine the degree of edging leads to the passive skiing Nick Hill happened to be doing when someone filmed him.  Onyxjl's suggestion of early tipping is an easy way to make that kind of skiing dynamic.  It's not Yoga, just a good skiing tip
  2. having read some of onyxjl's other posts, I think that a movement inducing "directional, pressure, or rotational errors" isn't something he would call tipping ... it's a matter of technical terminology.  In some skiing circles, those would be deemed a failure in tipping.
  3. In your response, you keep referring to high edge angles, but onyxjl's post never mentions big edge angles.  If you replaced your comment "tip more to carve" with "tip enough and balance to carve" then you'd have given your client the keys to the kingdom of skiing (oops, did JC of Aspen trademark that   Rephrase: you'd have given them a great ROI on their lesson. )
  4. "High edge angles are simply not required for clean carving"  Isn't this highly radius- and terrain-specific? 
  5. Onyxjl's emphasis and question are also relevant for non-carved and scarved turns. He's getting at the core of what separates a level 8-9 skier from 6-7, although his use of jargon and his skiing weltanschauung may differ from yours.
  6. I don't know if y'all or right or not that Hell has frozen over as I'm not an eyewitness to that event.  But I do know that Loveland, A-Basin, Boreal, and hopefully some other hills are definitely frozen over and the earliest in decades.  Who's gonna slice some turns before October's out? 
post #106 of 110
I'm okay with all of that...meaning, if I were to summarize where I think you're going, "Float...but not too much.  Try to edge/pressure early to make those nice C shapes...but don't fixate on it so much that you're just grinding away and dissipating the forces...and producing more lactic acid than you can unload."  And, yep, floating is highly cool, apart from whether it's good or not.  Skiing, any form of it, is pretty much the best thing you can do with your clothes on.  There are two situations, however, that stand out for me these days:  (1) First tracks...don't care where I make them. (2) Running DH at 70 mph plus, which is easily better than sex...



Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post

Hey SkiRacer55, that's a pretty good writeup on your perspective in this.  Very much shows a Racing Intent verses a Recreational Intent.  Actual Mechanics vs. Perceived Mechanics has long been of interest to me as both are perfectly valid in learning and teaching.

Some considerations...

You mention the muscular efficiency of floating through some degree of transition between exertions/efforts and use walking as an example.  That example works well on flat terrain but I think it tends to break down on steeper terrain.

As terrain gets steeper we have further to fall between each step.  During the float phase we are making no effort to support our body so our body accelerates downward - and at a higher speed downward each micro-moment that passes.  The amount of muscular effort exerted to arrest this falling Mass is quite small if we only fall/float a short distance for a short time but what happens if we fall/float further over a longer period of time?    In my estimation we must end up exerting a much higher muscular effort to arrest our fall the further we have fallen (all else being equal).

Relating this to skiing we have the same situation if we deploy a float period with respect to Gravity.  Muscular effort to 'catch' ourselves on the way down goes way up if we float for a while as compared to the effort required for no (or a minimal) float period. 

Furthermore, muscular effort goes way up if we 'float' with respect to the required curvature of our intended turn.

This is a little more complicated but consider the idea of 'cutting off' part of the turn as was described earlier.  If we transition progressively into a new direction along a progressively changing path then we exert minimal energy over time.  If we float through the first 20 degrees of that same turn then firmly engage our edges we incur a greatly increased load (for a brief moment) - the entire load that would have been progressively distributed in the earlier scenario.  Combine this with the increased landing force that Gravity produced while floating and we definitely have a higher 'recovery' energy requirement than what would be required in the non-floating scenario.

This is a purely mechanical assessment and makes no claims at all on the rightness or wrongness of either technique as intent is everything.  Each method has it's own mechanical merits.  For instance while the float method may require more calories to execute the higher force of touchdown is useful in driving our edges more firmly into a hard surface.  Floating certainly makes pivoting and rapid redirection of the skis much easier.  Floating does potentially deliver a moment of muscular rest, though transferring the load leg-to-leg in each turn probably provides better rest.  Floating also feels pretty cool.  Lots of good reasons for it and lots of good reasons to maintain pressure at all times (again, intent is everything).


Quote by SkiRacer55: " If arc to arc is "one trench connected to the next one", as LeMaster pointed out, that's almost impossible." 

I'd go even further and cross out the word 'almost'.   If you consider that every ski has some width between its edges then there is no way in creation we can simply roll a ski over and get the new edge exactly into the rut of the old edge in order to continue that trench...


In my opinion the skills required to achieve an "Early Edge" and "Early Pressure" are essential skills in upper level skiing - but not essential (nor even required) as a ever-present technique.  We train instructors to be able to do such things so they might also be able to teach it - not to advocate it as the only 'right way' to ski.   The same for pivoting.  We teach pivoting as a very useful technique to possess and not to be wielded as a right-way-to-ski hammer that must show up in all turns. (Hopefully nobody will read anything in this post as prioritizing/advocating one technique over another, ie: continuous contact vs. floating transitions).  

To me this thread has evolved into the highest and best use of this forum -describing and analyzing each concept to figure out exactly how it can be achieved (perhaps, many ways it can be achieved) and figuring out the the merits, problems and practical applications of the concepts described. 

.ma
 
post #107 of 110
Actually, I'm largely in agreement with you SharpEdges.  Just a few subjective conceptual deviations to consider.

Point of clarification: When you say, "...relying primarily on the relationship of the cm / bos to determine the degree of edging..."

...you seem to have interpreted what I said to mean that our edge-angle is 'determined' by the cited relationship.  The CM/BoS relationship concept I proposed was one of enabling potential relationships while eliminating others. In any given moment the CM/BoS relationship determines what's possible (even probable) regarding edge-angle and outcome.  Nothing was intended to convey the idea that edge-angle is determined by the CM/BoS relationship.

Also, I'm not sure we can say early tipping makes anything more (or less) 'dynamic' in our skiing.  ('Dynamic' being such a fuzzy term and all)


Not sure what you mean in your #2 point.  Onyxjl has put up a lot of good material in the past and his list of questions above (rhetorically intended I suspect) seemed quite on-target.  Parsing them individually...

Quote by Onyxjl: "Wouldn't the real issue for early edge engagement be getting the skis tipped over onto the new edges?"  This was the question my post responds to with the opinion that I didn't think so (along with my reasons).

Quote by Onyxjl: "Release all you want in the right direction, but if you don't tip those feet won't you always be late?" Most of the time, yep!  Again, this is still dependent on the skier's CM/BoS relationship.  For instance, a Cross-Over 'release' for a stiff and static skier will still work OK.  Letting his CM flow across his skis will also tip his skis (stiff skier, remember?).  Will new edge engagement be 'late'?  (Late for what?) Dunno.  Depends on the exact circumstance and what they hoped to accomplish I suppose..

Quote by Onyxjl: "And if tipping the feet is the most important thing to do to get early engagement wouldn't we want to release in a manner that most efficiently support this?"  I didn't think his embedded conclusion (tipping feet = most important) necessarily followed his earlier material but I would agree that to get early edge-engagement we'd want to release (both old edges and CM) in a manner to 'most efficiently support' it.  That's pretty much what I say in my own posts above.  I simply don't believe that tipping is the 'most important' thing.  When Onyxjl says, "wouldn't we want to release in a manner that most efficiently supports this" I first visualize the skier's CM and BoS being in locations and moving in directions that are 'most efficient to support' the release.

Quote by Onyxjl: "Does one type of release facilitate tipping motions of the feet better than another?"  As judged in each given context, absolutely!  Each future action we hope to take is highly dependent on exactly how we're positioned and how we move in the present.


In your point #3 SharpEdges, I also agree with you that tipping 'just enough' for our given purpose is 'the right amount'. 

What I described above is the ubiquitous problem we see on the hills where so many skiers crank up the tipping to get the skis to hold a carve rather than refining their pressure, rotation and directional movements.  Perhaps you'll agree that if any of these elements are 'off' then it becomes harder to achieve that minimal edge-angle you mention. If the skier has too little pressure, is moving too much across the ski, or is applying too much torque to the skis then how likely is it that a very slight edge-angle will hold?

Absolutely agree with your point #4. So long as the first three elements in my list above are accurate enough for the task then even very slight edge-angles will have the ski carving.

On your point #5, I think skidded turns are quite easy to make for people who have very little skill in the first three elements mentioned above.  In fact, I think it's their lack of skill in those three areas that keep them from getting to scarving, let alone carving.

I don't believe that tipping skills alone are what separate the different documented levels of skiers.  Instead, I'd suggest all four of the basic skills (balance, pressure, edging and rotation) along with 'Directional Movements' play a role in where each skier lands in the official 'level categories'.

.ma
post #108 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post

Sounds good, let's stop talking and go slice!  Or maybe even ski some powder!  Loveland is open and it's supposed to start snowing tomorrow through the weekend!  Any takers?

I can't believe that they are open!

My little guy is celebrating his 8th birthday this year, so I'm focused there for the weekend... but, we'll find some time!
post #109 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post

What I described above is the ubiquitous problem we see on the hills where so many skiers crank up the tipping to get the skis to hold a carve rather than refining their pressure, rotation and directional movements.  Perhaps you'll agree that if any of these elements are 'off' then it becomes harder to achieve that minimal edge-angle you mention. If the skier has too little pressure, is moving too much across the ski, or is applying too much torque to the skis then how likely is it that a very slight edge-angle will hold?

I understand where you are coming from and agree you can't really say a single isolated movement produced a carved turn.

I focus my thought on this question to tipping though because I think focusing on the skills to not only tip onto the new edge early but tip off the old one in release will be enough to produce basic carving. The visual of taking a static tipping drill, going from edge to edge while just standing still, and then just putting this same drill while sliding forward was how the light originally clicked on for me. 
post #110 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post

That's a very reasonable answer.

But what is this "getting inside the turn EARLY"?  Does'nt that mean before the skis are pressured? ie, before the pressure demand that the CM needs to be so far inside?

Main Edit: we've often heard the term "toppling" inside.  That can easily result in losing pressure or not establishing pressure on the skis.
Actually, you have the option of falling in or not; it's up to you.  There is no need to apply early pressure to the ski if you never remove the pressure from the ski.  All that's required for a cross-under is you reduce the upwards force of your legs on your cm, not that eliminate it completely.  It's sometimes fun to "fall into" a turn.  It's also fun to have a cross-under with early untipping out of the old turn and early tipping into the new turn with continuous edge pressure and with varying the degree of angulation supplying sufficient tipping and directional control of the skis without falling into anything.  It's sometimes fun to go weightless at the times; it's sometimes fun to float and sting.  A lot of different things are fun; non of them are necessary.

Personally I prefer to ski with at least one edge, and usually two edges, always pressed in to the snow and arcing.  As a general rule, when I switch edges, one groove starts 66 to 68 mm displaced from where the other edge leaves off, but it's a lateral displacement and the end of one groove is pointing pretty much in the same direction as the start of the next one.  I release my turn by untipping the old ski, not unweighting it.  .The amount of weight needed to to keep the the ski engaged may be minimal at low edge angles, but the edge will be released when it is tipped flat regardless of how much weight is on the ski. 
 
I don't feel any need to pivot between turns, or create a steering angle, unless I'm doing a braking maneuver.  Speed control is understandable and sometimes necessary, but in most of my experience I'm perfectly happy to do the arc-to-arc thing with no between-arc pivoting or braking. 

I'm sure course setters do their best to make SL and GS courses darn near impossible to ski arc to arc with the specified equipment; they have to separate the field.  Braking and knowing when and how to brake is a BIG part of racing. 
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