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Steering versus carving - Page 2

post #31 of 45
hmpph, I'm glad my video helped. 
post #32 of 45
Totally agree with Rick the instructor.. 
I'm assuming for tipping read carving..  I've got nothing else to do so...

It's irrelevant whether you can teach a beginner to 'tip' or carve, even in a morning.. on a nice wide empty soft smooth beginners slope..
IMO if you want to go up and be safe in the mountain, then as a skier, what you need to learn is how to control your speed, control your line and know how to stop suddenly.. and as a beginner skier thats by mastering the wide track pivot.. (getting your edges across the line for a start and not locking into a 20mph carve on a 15m radius ski). 

The 'importance' of carving to many skiers I suspect lies in kudos.. overweighting the emphasis on style points over function..  What about skiing the bumps, jumps, crud, breakable crust, powder, narrow paths of icy bumped hardpack(?), slalom courses etc bumbed up reds, very bumped up blacks(diamond?), half pipes, trees? 
Ask your self, when do most people actually use nice GS sized carved turns?.. on nice wide smooth greeny blues? When showing off going past the beginners class maybe? Mostly.  

I'm old school.. I learnt when only real experts  could carve on 210cm skis .. The mountains havent changed much over the last 50 years have they? Us mere mortals had a good time then and even looked good too sometimes.  Skiing nice smooth flat ski turns can be really pretty.. so...

My advice to anybody learning to ski ..once you're nearly going parallel .. is to take your time,  learn ALL the techniques and even then remember how to do a decent stem! 
I say again ..once parallel, that video shows the way.. Some people might only take a season to do it.. for others, maybe a life time.. who cares? get in the mountains and enjoy the process of learning to ski on all sorts of snow.. it can last a long time.. so enjoy it. 
But beware, if you  let technique become an ego loaded obsession theres a danger that skiing becomes less enjoyable and I bet you'll be less fun to be with too.  I know.. I went there for a bit... but I'm back now..

BTW I've skied heel lift 'down hill' skis, grass skis, old style 'regular' skis, mono skis (I wore out two) , snow boards (still got an old  Burton goofy asymmetric.. A stiff boots carving machine if there ever was one:  going to be buried on it) and now I ski a mono-sitski. On any and all of it the first thing to learn is how to control it's speed and do an emergency screech stop (impossible on grass skis) and last but not least.. enjoy learning it. Carve it? yeah, later, but at the moment... 
post #33 of 45
Originally Posted by Rick View Post

Hi Rick.  My simplest answer to your question is that steering provides a level of speed control and turn shape verstatility that carving just can't match.  It's a great tool for learning skiers have in their pocket. 

It's confidence inspiring for them, and strange as it sounds it acutally frees them to a degree from the intimidation of speed and pitch.  Just knowing they have the ability to dial it down in any manner they want, at any time they want, removes one of the primary frightening aspects of skiing arc to arc. 

They suddenly feel in more control when they hit the gas, because they know they can dial it down or change direction with precision at the drop of the hat.  And they're right.  They're skiing safer, and that makes everyone around them safer.   

We've all seen the low skilled skier who's riding a rail at mach 10, totally out of control.  They couldn't shut it down or change direction quickly to save their life, and they put everyone around them in danger because of their run away train form of skiing.  Good steering and basic edging skills is what they're missing.



Sorry, but I can't say that I've seen many beginners on the hill in an out of control edge locked carve. And if they were "riding a rail" the arc of the turn would bring them back up the hill and they would stop on their own. By contrast, I have almost been run over countless times by out of control skiers of all ages going mach 10 in a wedge.
post #34 of 45
Skiing arc to arc requires a certain level of balance that some beginning skiers just don't have.  Some beginners do have the balance from prior sports like bicycling, surfing, skating, martial arts, etcetera, and they can learn to arc turns in a couple of days.  They can do hockey stops, and then "blend" a hockey stop into their turns for speed control.  Other beginners just don't have the balance.  These beginners need to improve their balance before they will be able to ski arcs, so the spend some time in a wedge.  You can't arc turns in a wedge.
Originally Posted by Rick H View Post

Good video! But why not teach tipping from the beginning? It can be and is done on a daily basis. I have taught many skiers to tip, rather than wedge and steer
post #35 of 45
Originally Posted by Mac View Post

Sorry, but I can't say that I've seen many beginners on the hill in an out of control edge locked carve. And if they were "riding a rail" the arc of the turn would bring them back up the hill and they would stop on their own. By contrast, I have almost been run over countless times by out of control skiers of all ages going mach 10 in a wedge.

Mac, if you haven't seen the the out of control, run away train, low edge carving types you're lucky.  I can't tell you how many people Iv'e seen injured by them out here in Summit County.  They're probably the most dangerous people on the slopes because of speed they carry.  When they hit someone it does real damage. 

That said, your observations are very valid too.  Lack of control comes in many forms.  The flying wedger going down the falline with little edge engagement, stiff as a board, eyes the size of silver dollars, god help anyone who gets in their way because they ain't slowin down till the hill flattens out.  The guy running parallel skis straight down the falline, every so often throwing in a mega tail toss meant to look like a turn but in reality is simply a speed check that does offers no change to their direction of travel down the falline.  Anyone below him unfortunate enough to turn into his line is road kill. 

Yep, we have them all out here in spades, and they make skiing a very defensive sport.  You really have to be careful, always be watching over your shoulder for the next skill deficient out of control skier so you can get out of their way. 

It all comes back to the importance of building up the base skills.  Learning the edge control skills that allow a skier to turn on a dime when ever they want, to make any shape turn they desire.  Learning how to use turn shape to control speed.  Learning about something called skid angle, a skill that allows skiers to ski any turn shape at any speed they fancy.  And building the balance skills Ghost mentioned, that support the acquistion of all the skills mentioned above.   

All those learned abilities provide skiers with a basket of skills that let them enjoy the entire mountain in control and safety.  They totally change the experience of skiing, open up terrain to skiers once thought beyond their ability to negotiate, and put ear to ear smiles on faces.  With that complete package of skills in a skiers pocket, carving becomes something they can fully enjoy in comfort and control.  And, yes, it is fun!
post #36 of 45
wehyam, excellent post.  Thanks for sharing your experience with the folks here. 
post #37 of 45


Part of that first day lesson is terrain selection and turn shape to control speed. Also included is sideslip and "liftline manuevering tactic", aka, wedge. While the wedge is not protocol, it is a defensive tool that no skier should be without.

Cheers...Rick H

post #38 of 45
I enjoyed reading some of the articles at your site, Rick. Very down-to-Earth and an interesting read.  Thanks for sharing and making them available. Just finished, "Models are for Shelves." 
post #39 of 45
Thanks, MojoMan.  I'm glad you're finding the articles interesting and helpful.  Keep an eye on the site as the season goes on here.  Now that I've finished producing all the DVDs I have more time and plan to start writing more new articles.  I have a list of topics I've compiled that I want to address. 
post #40 of 45
useful info for sure!
post #41 of 45
Like I've read here that a wedge is just a parallel turn with training wheels a skidded turn can be training wheels for learning carving.
Awareness of your skid track and learning to shape it and narrow it we make carving happen on it's own . You'll be moving with your skis and they will naturally hook up . You will determine what amount of skidding you want to allow from wide to none at all.

Check out Rick's website for tips and his Basic Edging for a deeper exploration of the path from skidding to carving and back again.
post #42 of 45
Thread Starter 
I am looking forward to trying out Rick's drills when I get out there this season (which will be this Friday for the first time).
post #43 of 45

Great answer, so informative almost like a skiing tutorual thanks

post #44 of 45

Ozan: Welcome to EpicSki!  Glad you found this thread from 2009 useful.  Hope you'll stick around and share your questions and experiences.  How long have you been skiing?


Originally Posted by Ozan Saracoglu View Post

Great answer, so informative almost like a skiing tutorual thanks

post #45 of 45

Here is a seventeen year old girl who figured out how to carve some pretty good turns:



For beginner carvers?  The Carving Turns and Transition section of the USST's Alpine Ski Fundamentals II is what my nine year old is learning from.  He has reasonably good balance, an OK pole plant and that corridor thing down OK.  He has been skiing black diamonds for a while now, preferring to ski away from the groomers but his carving skills have a ways to go.  He is starting to get a good feeling for what he should be doing, but the upper /lower body separation and flexsion isn't there yet.  After watching Shiffrin and comparing it to a video of himself last year, he figured out a few nights ago what all that knee, lower leg and hip stuff means.  Now it is only a matter of time... and finding more time on the snow.  He has so many other activities that he may not be on the snow again until late Feb. or early March.  But once he "feels" the sensation there will be no turning back.

Edited by quant2325 - 1/7/13 at 10:28am
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