[quote]Originally posted by Grolby:
Can a ski student (recreational, not a racer) check in here with my experience in speed?
I think for myself, the problem is that I have a bit of a "carving threshold," if you will. I can turn at minimum speeds, but it has to be a skidded turn. I don't need much more speed to make a carved turn. That is, I generally can't carve right off the lift onto the level summit, but once I've started down even a very gentle slope, it isn't much of a problem. Anyway, as I start carving I often run into the problem described here of constantly gaining speed until I need to make a breaking turn. QUOTE]
Grolby – Thanks for checking in. The forum is for and about the skier and not the instructor so WELCOME!
Let me make a couple of suggestions or give you a couple of things to think about that may help.
First and foremost it is the shape of a turn that allows a skier to go fast or slow or maintain the same speed from turn to turn. Think of it this way, if a skier makes what we call a “Z” shaped turn, just as the term implies, the turn just by the shape keeps the ski tips pointed downhill 99% of the time. It is a “straight lining” of the skis downhill. Because the skier feels a deviation at the beginning and ending of the “Z” where the skier thinks they “turn” and really skids or slides as a braking action, usually with a hip pivot or shoulder thrust to get the skis to move a little sideways, the skier believes they made a turn. Actually the tips of the skis hardly stop pointing straight down the hill. The skier goes faster from turn to turn so in attempt to control the speed the skier will start putting in larger skids and or slides, more thrust of the body, more to the back seat etc. This is “Z” turn as opposed to making the round 0 shape turn of a skier that maintains a constant speed down the hill or from turn to turn. Visualizing a round 0 shaped turn the tip of the skis will turn around and across the fall line no matter what size the turn is which allows the speed in a skiers turns to be constant from turn to turn. The skier chooses their speed and the speed they choose follows around their turns. Of course you can do linked slides to control your speed and that allows you to point your tips out of the fall line but visually they suck. Make your turns nice and round and work on carving the shape, tail follows tip through and around the turn, and you will gain control of your turns. Remember a carved turn will have some skidding so don’t let that throw you. Skidding is not all bad.
As for starting off downhill, DON'T. You outlined your own problem. Find terrain you can warm up on and start making turns with say a small wedge, then maybe a wedge Christy, then open parallel. Set yourself up for success! Of course the problem is your friends want to “hit” the slopes and won’t wait. OK so help them choose a moderate slope you can warm up on. The first couple of runs they may wait for you at the lift but after you warm up you will wait them. In the mornings I start my first run with a few wedge hops to get the blood flowing, then some slow large turns, and then I will move up to some higher speed turns etc.
I hope this helps a little. Shape is the game if you want to ski fast or slow in control.
Have a GREAT day!