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Balance inefficiency in the last 1/3 of the turn in advanced to expert skiers - Page 2

post #31 of 42
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post #32 of 42
You're welcome, enjoy...



Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post

 I just ordered his book.  Thanks for what you did write.  I'm sure it will be interesting.
post #33 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post

Coolness.  If I remember back to the original posting on this (a hard thing to do if you're in Masters Men's Class 7...), part of the deal with handling the "washing at the end of the turn" problem is the fear thing that causes skiers to lean in and back, taking the pressure off the outside ski and causing it to wash.  Once a skier gets the idea that a carving ski that you can direct where you want can control speed at least as well, and maybe even better, than windshield wiper turns, you can do the tactical exercise of "ski fast on a slow line", which I use a lot.  In other words, find something steep and wide, with no traffic, and make big, round GS turns where you can come well out of the fall line, then rocket across the hill on a pretty steep traverse, then make another big, round turn and rocket back the other way.  As opposed to making great carved turns close to the fall line and risking having the skis accelerate away from you. 

This also teaches skiers that momentum is your friend. Or, as a friend of mine used to say, "If you're not turning, go faster."  Momentum, properly controlled and applied, is an external force that you can use to get your skis to turn you.  If your momentum is suboptimal for the situation, now you need internal (essentially muscular) forces to make the ski turn.  Which isn't bad...there are times when that's the only game in town.  All things considered, however, as a (ahem) Chronologically Challenged alpine racer, I'd prefer to have the skis turn me...





 



 

I would like to clarify my innitial question.
1. We are talking about an advance skier here, who skis single and double diamond with easy comfort and would like to take the elegance of the turn to the higher level. Therefore, pshycological factor is not part of the picture.
2. Being out of control at any single moment of the turn is not an issue as well. All described moves are executed in order to maintain desired speed. Not the speed nessesary to stay in control.
3. It might not make a lot of sence for racers, but after you are totaly capable to ski "the slow line fast" some people become interested to ski "a fast line slow"! That is exactly the goal here!
post #34 of 42
Okay...I'm not sure we're on the same page here.  If you figure that a "fast" line is pretty much the fall line, the only way I know to ski a fast line really slow, doesn't matter who you are, is to make windshield wiper (skidded) turns...on the other hand, I think this whole thread, including the part about whatever you need to do to balance effectively in the last third of the turn, is pretty much about what you have to do to carve turns and maintain control on a steep, icy hill.  If that's what "slow on a fast line" means to you, then I don't really have anything much to add...





Quote:
Originally Posted by stroller View Post




I would like to clarify my innitial question.
1. We are talking about an advance skier here, who skis single and double diamond with easy comfort and would like to take the elegance of the turn to the higher level. Therefore, pshycological factor is not part of the picture.
2. Being out of control at any single moment of the turn is not an issue as well. All described moves are executed in order to maintain desired speed. Not the speed nessesary to stay in control.
3. It might not make a lot of sence for racers, but after you are totaly capable to ski "the slow line fast" some people become interested to ski "a fast line slow"! That is exactly the goal here!
 
post #35 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post
.........

- (2) At the bottom third of the arc, where you're coming out of the fall line, you also want to be easing off on the pressure and rolling off the edge to a neutral ski...tracking out of the turn, in other words.  This is my greatest sin, and why I can be slow in the course, which is that I often enjoy my turns so much that I spend half my life in them.  Once the ski has turned the corner, track out of the turn, don't grind against the combined forces of momentum and gravity. 
......


 

SkiRacer55,

This is a BRILLIANT description of what happens in the buttom third of the turn!!!! 

We have very different goals: yours is to ski the slow line fast and mine is to ski the fast line slow.

This skiing pattern does work for me in terms of slowing me down, but is creates 2 following issues:

1. I have to "grind against the combined forces of momentum and gravity" which is not ideal in terms of energy conservation (important factor for me);

2. At the beginning of transition my hips are far inside the turn and instead of clean directional movement towards the next turn, I make combination building a stable platform under my skis with high engle edging ---> vertical extension (to get my hips over the skis) --->directional movement to initiate the new turn. It takes too long and I loose "natural rhythm and flow".

It is pretty clear (not easy though!) how to avoid these problems by dramatically decreasing edge angle at the end of the turn and therefore keeping hips over the skis from the beginning part of the completion phase of the turn. Then completion becomes short and transition fast! Am I thinking correctly?
…..But where and how do I get rid of that extra speed?
post #36 of 42

Okay...I'm likely to mess this up, but here goes.  I can already hear the Screams of the Doomed, but I'll give it a shot.  This'll be a little esoteric, but bear with me.  I'm like LeMaster, I see a lot of great skiing on the WC, but there's usually a number of athletes that, I just like the way they ski, and then I try to figure out what they're doing.  Here's Jean Baptiste (JB) Grange, winning at Zagreb last year. 

 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acAxCCo9yC4

 

The guy is a great, soccer-style quickness athlete, and in any slalom course, things are happening incredibly quickly...but compared to most of the other guys, JB looks incredibly loose, relaxed, and balanced...and he never looks rushed.  He rarely has to pull a major recovery move because he's always balanced and where he wants to be in his line up above the gate, before the meat of the turn really happens.  How does he do it?  Well, I often think of skiing in terms of music, specifically tempo...fast, slow, and so forth.  Even in terms of time signature.  To me, a lot of the other guys are skiing in 4/4 time...one, two, three, four, very quick into one turn and then immediately out of it into the next.  I think JB skis in 3/4 time, which is really closer to the movement pattern and rhythm you often see in GS...and, yes, IMHO, SL, as it is currently best practiced, is really mini-GS in a lot of ways. 

I talked a lot above about how well balanced and relaxed he is, but look at his progress down the hill.  Yes, he's obviously going fast, but I really don't see anywhere where his skis get going way too fast and he has to tromp on the brake.  I think he's doing what you want to do, which is ski slow on a fast line.  So even if he's skiing perhaps "slower" than the other guys, he's able to maintain a cleaner, more direct line, so he gets to the finish faster. 

One of the things about the French, and this is true of their tennis players, too, is that they are real stylists.  As a group, IMHO, they ski very elegantly and precisely.  I have a ski instructor background before I got into Masters racing about 20 years ago, and I had to spend a lot of time unlearning how to ski pretty and figuring out how to go fast. 

Having said all that...I think there's a case for skiing precisely, and I'm thinking of what Stenmark used to do when he was having problems, which was to slow down, make precise turns where he could feel the whole turn and the accompanying body movements until he got everything resynched and back on track.  So here's a drill I invented...or probably, I just discovered it, and somebody else already has the patent, which I've been doing a lot lately that I think gets to the heart of what you're looking for.  Which I call the "3 click" or 'click, click, click" turn.  Three distinct moves, 3/4 time, right? 

So here it is. I'm at that phase in the turn, probably in the last 3rd like we've been saying, where I've got max edge angle and pressure. Turn done, or close to it, I now need to stop turning, transition, and get the carve the other way going.  So here's the three clicks, where it's foot oriented, but the body has to balance:

- Click 1, I roll off the major league edge angle to a flat ski, hips also move so that they're centered between the skis, weight more or less even on both skis.  This is the "go to neutral" phase I do to get off the edge, and I have to go through it...I can't just jump to the next set of edges.  Or maybe I could, but I probably wouldn't be in balance, and I'd probably land pretty harshly on the new edge.

- Click 2, roll just slightly to the new edge, the body starts toppling to the inside of the turn.  A lot of people, and I think this is the 4/4 time thing, feel like you want to immediately go to a major edge angle.  I'd prefer to do as Rick has suggested in some of his posts, and get the edge tracking lightly...I'm feathering from a flat ski to the new edge, I'm not trying to butcher my way to the new edge.  The ski starts the arc because, thanks to today's sidecuts, even a little edge and pressure starts what LeMaster calls the "self steering" effect. 

- Click 3, thanks to self-steering, I'm in the fall line.  I could just let the ski keep tracking lightly, but that would keep me in the fall line for a while longer than maybe I want, and my speed could get away from me, and I might get jacked in the back seat.  So I click over to a big edge angle, hips move way inside the turn (but I'm angulating out to put max pressure on the outside ski), and lo and behold, I complete a clean arc, I'm balanced and I have momentum, but it's under control, and I repeat the 3 clicks the other way. 

I'm not saying this should be mechanical.  You don't want to park and ride at each one of the clicks.  But you do want to feel each phase distinctly.  But once again, go back and look at what Grange is doing.  Whatever he's doing, I think this is what we're looking for in this thread.  My words, above, and the above drill are just my way of trying to find for myself what he's doing.  If somebody else sees it a different way, so be it...just one more data point, on my part...



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stroller View Post


 
post #37 of 42
Thread Starter 

 

I have not been involved with racing since "step turn" times. Then I got into beer league racing for a few months and lost interest, so forgive my illiteracy.

I am even afraid to say that, but what I see from the Jean Baptiste clip, that you posted...May be I am seining things... He is swiping his tails sideways! Yes, I said it. The only difference, he is doing it at the beginning of the turn. He is skidding initiation part of the turn and carving the rest.  This way his trajectory is shorter, his relative speed is lower, but his time from point A to B is shorter. Am I crazy and see what is not there?

I have been taught so many times to start a turn with aggressive directional move of COM down the fall line leaving ski on high edges behind and up the slope from the COM and then catch up.
post #38 of 42
You could call it swiping, I'd call it a stivot, but see what I said, above, about what Rick said about feathering.  And, yes, he is not doing what you say you've been told, which is to romp up on a huge edge angle early in the turn.  A huge edge angle early in the turn is going to produce *some* arc, but it's also going to tend to make the skis rail out, go right to the fall line...and accelerate beyond a manageable speed.  In racing, there's a reason for steering, then carving, which is that the combination of the offset and turn radius is too much for a pure carve...if you ski pure arc to arc, you won't make the next gate.  In just plain old free skiing, however, steering and feathering to an edge has the additional benefit of controlling the speed as well as giving you more control over the overall shape and direction of the turn (out of the fall line some, out of the fall line a lot, and so forth).  I guess all I'm saying is that, per what we used to talk about many years ago when I was teaching, your balancing act is the overall skill, and every turn is a blend of the three other skills.... *some* amount of steering coupled with *some* amount of *edge and *some* amount of pressure...



Quote:
Originally Posted by stroller View Post

 

I have not been involved with racing since "step turn" times. Then I got into beer league racing for a few months and lost interest, so forgive my illiteracy.

I am even afraid to say that, but what I see from the Jean Baptiste clip, that you posted...May be I am seining things... He is swiping his tails sideways! Yes, I said it. The only difference, he is doing it at the beginning of the turn. He is skidding initiation part of the turn and carving the rest.  This way his trajectory is shorter, his relative speed is lower, but his time from point A to B is shorter. Am I crazy and see what is not there?

I have been taught so many times to start a turn with aggressive directional move of COM down the fall line leaving ski on high edges behind and up the slope from the COM and then catch up.
post #39 of 42
Thread Starter 
Ok, now we are talking about the stuff I was looking to discuss for a long time to help myself reach my goals!!!!

I would like to learn as much as possible about this "feathering", "stivot", "self steering"! Is there an online instruction somewhere on how to do it? Is there a link to Ricks post?

Lets come back to 3Clicks that you have described and use clock as a trajectory reference. Imagine we are skiing from 12 to 6. Could you please map beginning of every click on this scale?

Is "feathering", "stivot", "self steering" based on the fact that small radius skis starting to catch? How it will work with 25m radius fat skis?
We have determined earlier that this is good technique for hard snow. I can see how it will also work in crud. Will it work in knee and above deep powder? You cannot really steer in powder, right? What do you do instead to ski that fast line slow in powder?
post #40 of 42
Ack....you know, I see what you're asking for, and I'm actually trying to help but...and this is Totally Ironic, because I have a Masters in Technical Communication, and my daytime job is, in fact, software technical documention, and I have, additionally, written a ton of stuff, here and elsewhere, about skiing, and ski technique...but I'm having a tough time coming up with the words to help you with what you're looking for.  

However, if you want a much better explanation of what I'm getting into than I could do, I'd strongly recommend that you get  yourself a copy of LeMaster's Ultimate Skiing and give it a couple or three serious readings.  That's point number one

Point number 2 is...I'm a really verbal person, but when words fail me, what I tend to rely on is that a picture...or in this case, a video...is better than a thousand words.  I *think* that Jean Baptiste Grande is doing something that is, maybe kinda sorta, in the direction you want to head.  Just a quick aside about ski racers versus the rest of the skiing population.  Sometimes, I think, there is, unfortunately this concept that what ski racers do is this really whacko, out there thing that doesn't have a whole lot of relationship to what the rest of us think about as skiing.  IMHO, nothing could be further from the truth.  A lot of the really great all mountain skiers...Glen Plake, Jeremy Nobis, the late Shane McConkey...got a lot of their chops and fundamentals and tactical skills during their early days on race skis.  The top racers are, generally speaking, incredible free skiers.  I saw a video, I don't remember where it was, of a bunch of the US Team women skiing powder on an off day at Aspen, last year I think, when there was a huge dump and the races couldn't go on until the courses were all buffed out...and they were ripping some turns in some steep and deep that were just incredible.   The USSA race system is, I believe, becoming much more skills as an entree to racing focused, the way the Euros have been for years.  What Tony Sears told me, from his skiing with the Euro racers, is that in their culture, the future racers first learn to ski...fundamentals, then steep and deep, icy and gnarly, changing conditions, and doing it fast...and then when they stick a gate in front of these kids, it's no big deal. 

So to take Grange as an example, I think the guy's a great skier.  If you took the gates off that steep, icy pitch he's on, and watched him free ski, I don't think you'd see a whole lot different.  Understand, these guys are in control, but they are wailing.  In slalom, the speeds are getting up to 35 or 40 mph, and the turns come up every .9 of a second, or something like that.  So I tried, and it probably wasn't a very good effort, to describe what I think Grange is doing...but whatever he's doing, if I were out cruising around, and I saw him on whatever the local "You're either an alpine hero...or you suck" pitch is...I'd be saying, "*I want to ski like that dude."  So point number 2 is, go watch Grange, and some other video of skiers you like, racers or whatever, and try to figure out, in your own terms, what they're doing, and then go out and experiment with it.   And yep, I'd say that this approach will work well in different conditions...I have a whole discussion about how all this good stuff got conveyed to me in my Level 2 exam, if that'll be of use. 

- Point #3, the 3 Click approach.  On a clock face, If I'm standing on and looking down at the clock with the 12 more or less at the top of the fall line and the 6 at the bottom of the fall line, I'd say that Click 1 is actually at about 9 o'clock, Click 2 is kind of at 11 o'clock, and Click 3 is at about 1 o'clock.  But what I'd also say is, my verbal description is weak, but I think you might get the idea...go out and try doing it, see how it works, or doesn't and we'll go from there.  If this gets two parochial for this thread, just send me a PM...


Quote:
Originally Posted by stroller View Post

Ok, now we are talking about the stuff I was looking to discuss for a long time to help myself reach my goals!!!!

I would like to learn as much as possible about this "feathering", "stivot", "self steering"! Is there an online instruction somewhere on how to do it? Is there a link to Ricks post?

Lets come back to 3Clicks that you have described and use clock as a trajectory reference. Imagine we are skiing from 12 to 6. Could you please map beginning of every click on this scale?

Is "feathering", "stivot", "self steering" based on the fact that small radius skis starting to catch? How it will work with 25m radius fat skis?
We have determined earlier that this is good technique for hard snow. I can see how it will also work in crud. Will it work in knee and above deep powder? You cannot really steer in powder, right? What do you do instead to ski that fast line slow in powder?

 
post #41 of 42
Thread Starter 
Did you mean this?
post #42 of 42
Wow, you're a lot better at understanding than I am at explaining.  This is real close.  Here's the minor adjustments I'd make:

- I'd say Click 1 at 9 is pretty ideal, WC level stuff.  Click 1 at 8 is maybe more realistic...experiment with this one. 

- I'd say you're dead on with what you're saying about what you're doing re 0 edge angles and so forth at 6 o'clock. 

- I'd say you're dead on with Click 2 at 1 o'clock. 

- I *think* what you meant to say was Click 3 at 2 o'clock.  Per what I said above, I'd move Click 3 to 3 O'clock and then the next Click 1 to 4 O'clock. 

If you're willing to experiment with this, please do, and let me know how it works for you.  If it's totally bogus, then forget I said anything and try a different method.  If it works but you want to adjust it, please do that, also.  This is just a toy that I came up with that might help you and I and others find what you described in your initial post.  At this point, I'm hearing a lot of silence from the other posters, so please feel free to send me a Private Message if this thread has worn out its (general) welcome...

Thanks for your feedback!



Quote:
Originally Posted by stroller View Post

Did you mean this?
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