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Grabbing an earlier edge

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I am curious to learn some new ways of teaching students (and myself) how to engage their edges earlier in the turn. I like the idea Arcmeister posted somewhere for a boot drill where the person plants one boot for balance and carves a semicircle in the snow with the outside foot, feeling how the foot moves through the arc, furthest away from the body at the apex of the turn. I have also been experimenting with reining in the inside ski to promote earlier movement of the hips across and earlier edge engagement. Are there some other ways to get this desired result?
post #2 of 25
Does this topic relate to the thread about "Release & Aim your skis"?
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yes it does actually. I was thinking that the trick is to grab the edge somewhere between the release and aiming, then you don't have to "throw the turn" or aim real hard, just maintain a steady aim.

I would say it's associated. I could have made it a reply, but I hit post instead.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 26, 2002 05:26 PM: Message edited 1 time, by nolobolono ]</font>
post #4 of 25
Would the progression of "skate to shape" fit in here?

You have the early engagement, flexion/ extention, forward/lateral CM movement.

From skating flats go to steeper and traverse on uphill ski... after several traverses, just naturally "step/skate" onto new uphill ski. You'll see the new outside ski engage an edge at the top of the turn!

Would the "aim" then be how far you "throw" your new inside ski to initiate the turn?

I know this is important stuff, but it is getting into real "fine points". Did I miss the thread? :
post #5 of 25
I've had some success getting the new edge engagement idea across to folks by talking about the outside ski of the old turn performing like an expert's snowboard as it rolls off its inside edge through the flat onto the outside edge during transition between turns.

I try to combine this during introductory stages with skiing relatively gentle terrain while equalizing weight on both skis continuously.

The other "focus" idea I try to incorporate here is the idea I'm aiming my belly button toward a point about a foot off the outside tip edge of the new inside ski.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
KeeTov says:
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Would the "aim" then be how far you "throw" your new inside ski to initiate the turn?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I used the word "throw" because that's how a turn feels when I don't gain edge purchase early and get the ski to assist. It's like the difference between throwing and rolling dice. Hard vs. soft.

Maybe "hurl" would be a more accurate word.

In any event, aim applies to the whole body not just the inside ski.

I recall Bob Barnes talking about the neutral point when all the "stuff" of turning winds down to 0--rotary, edging, pressuring, CM over the feet. The idea is to get everything there at the same time. The neutral point is a reference point, not a stop or even a flattening in expert skiing, just a pass-through.

I think I heard Arcmeister, Pierre, and Todo talking about it on the other thread: how they start moving their CM toward the upcoming turn as early as the 2nd third of the turn they are in. That gets the CM to arrive at neutral when everything else does.

What I am asking is this: how do you get students to DO IT??? You know, relax and enjoy the incredible thrill of that instant of being perfectly neutral and weightless, body suspended downhill of the feet while rolling the skis to the new edges. Without this release, there's not much hope of getting the early edge for the best aim.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 26, 2002 11:23 PM: Message edited 1 time, by nolobolono ]</font>
post #7 of 25
In my experience with conveying the pass through turn neutrality, the most difficult aspects of the concept for most advanced skiers are getting both skis flat and equally weighted.

Biggest impediments seem to be impatience regarding the transfer of weight to the inside edge of the new outside ski, the tendency to overcounter slightly in turn entry and oversteering the inside ski.

Best approach I've found for solving all these issues is take the time to practice on unchallenging terrain. Make turns that are big enough to allow recognition of nuance in how things feel inside the boots. Resist the temptation to take "new" feelings to tougher terrain immediately.

My personal "light bulb" in this process was FEELING the AUTOMATIC beginning of turns from an equally weighted gliding wedge.
post #8 of 25

>>What I am asking is this: how do you get students to DO IT??? You know, relax and enjoy the incredible thrill of that instant of being perfectly neutral and weightless, body suspended downhill of the feet while rolling the skis to the new edges. <<

What we are asking our students to do is get the CM or body into the turn before the skis. This will create early edge engagement, IMHO. An aggressive way would be to tell them to dive into the turn. More passive, move your body into the turn before you do anything with the feet to start the turn. Although, it's hard to get them to dive or fall into the turn at all. Even when they think they are, they are doing something with their feet to start the turn, like steer the new outside ski with a rotary move. One thing that works for me when trying to get them to move into the turn, along with emphasizing moving with the body into the new direction of travel, is to have them feel their ankles tipping over at the same time into the new turn direction. If you can get them to do this, they have to move into the new direction of travel with their CM to get the ankles to roll over at the same time. It works for most. It kinda tricks them into moving their CM into the turn.

Kneale Brownson ,

>>The other "focus" idea I try to incorporate here is the idea I'm aiming my belly button toward a point about a foot off the outside tip edge of the new inside ski. <<

Question, Are you aiming your belly button as you go through the turn, or after you reach the point of starting the new turn? And I'm assuming that this is a large radius turn.----------Wigs
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi Wigs,

I think you hit on something key:

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>have them feel their ankles tipping over at the same time into the new turn direction.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think you also pinpointed the essential difficulty of "DOING IT." It's a combination move. Asking a student to do one thing won't get them there. They have to choreograph the body with the feet to pass through neutral and roll the ankles as one.



Thanks for the idea of using a gliding wedge to feel the sensation that it happens automatically. I can see that will work nicely.

post #10 of 25
nb, here's one from JimW

traverse a mild blue run. when you get to the edge of the run, step onto your uphill ski in an exaggerated wedge position, on edge. the edge should quickly settle in, and then transfer your pressure to the uphill ski by moving across the skis. your wedged ski will become your downhill ski, and your former downhill ski should slide right in beside it, bringing you back to the traverse position heading back the other way.

works great for me. I tend toward a late edge on my right hand turns and this is my favorite drill to wake me up!
post #11 of 25
Wigs, the belly button goes toward the target point through the transition. The aiming starts as flattening the skis starts. I'd describe the turn size as medium radius to give time for actually feeling the point of neutrality in the transition.
post #12 of 25

Thats a stem crispy - breakfast of champions.


The belly button projection? Is this somewhere between the ski direction at initiation and the gravity line? I am playing with this at the moment and find I am getting my projection further forward in the ski direction than I did with my old school skis and longer new school ones? I am also finding that I feel a little "forward" & SCSA commented on this on Saturday at Copper. I am still "learning" the new skis (4 different pairs in 4 weeks)and find this topic and the recent related ones very informative. Thanks. Any comments on feeling "forward". i.e. not in the boots but rather the CM.

post #13 of 25
More toward the tips than toward the fall line, Oz. The idea is to move diagonally into the new turn rather than laterally. Helps maintain shin contact with the inside half of the boot cuffs. Keeps the CM more in the driver's seat.
post #14 of 25
I have found that in order to get the edges engaged the CM must move into the turn. I initially try not to get bogged down in the details of how the body does this (ankles vs. hips vs torso). I will try to find a slope on the steep end of the students comfort zone then give them a target for a pole plant. I will stand, without skis, below that pole plant and ask them to make the plant and try to knock me down with their chest.

Alternatively to work a countered,angulated position into the excercise you can stand down hill of the student and tug on their poles (emulating gravity and centripal force). From this position we can feel and discuss the stability in angulating vs banking. When they can balance against the tug on the downhill foot we start moving across the hill. I ask them to extend off the uphill foot and try to knock me over. This may take a couple of trys but it usually gets them to feel the crossover and commitment into the turn while carving around me.

Hope that this makes sense!
post #15 of 25

Thanks. I am on the right track then. The turn initiation is gradually becoming smoother and the pause\glide sensation diminishing. We are starting to get into the serious training part of the season and the skiing sensation "auto pilot" is slowly being retuned.


Interesting methods. I understand the "hit me in the chest" projection analogy.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #16 of 25
What part of the student's anatomy is supposed to hit you in the chest, Tom?

The goal in nolobolono's thread here is simultaneous engagement of corresponding edges. Folks who push off the inside edge of the uphill ski are the target group for this focus on ways to involve the outside edge of the new inside ski.
post #17 of 25
From a student's perspective, both Kneale's and Tom Burcn's approach seem the most viable and comprehendable {at least to me}. In order for a student to trust in the idea of early edge engagement, they need to feel stabilized.

Kneale's aiming the belly button " toward a point about a foot off the outside tip edge of the new inside ski," is actually a way of engaging the deeper obliques and transverse abdominal muscle which stabilize the body. {sorry, currently studying for a sportsmedicine exam; chacon a son technobabble!}
The same applies to Tom's concept of knocking over the instructor with their chest, although I must say that voluptuous females have an unfair advantage! This has the added advantage of a neuro occular component. As the student looks down the hill at Tom, the body follows the eyes.
post #18 of 25
I'm repeating this (from another post) because I just back today from a skier development clinic where I used it again with great success and it applies to the question of how to get students to do it.

I start trying to develope in the students an awareness that we can move much more quickly from a position of opposing (agonistic?) muscular tension than we can from a passive, relaxed state.

I have them experience this by having them stand on flat terrain, passivly tipped on left, or right, edges (poles planted wide to each side for stability). Ask them to quickly change edges as much as possible. Then get in front of them and press your hands down on their ski tips as they activly roll (torque) their feet/skis onto edge and then, to again quickly change edges as much as possible. They not only feel a much quicker result, but greater range of edge angle change as well, because of rebound effect both from muscles, and torsional stiffness of skis. I call this the snap-roll exercise.

(Note: prior to this point they have been introduced to and practiced releasing the new inside ski first and could do fair railroad tracks with this order of movement.)

I first have them attempt the snap-rolls on flatter terrain where they are comfortable carving clean railroad tracks. After the above rebound snap-roll exercise, start in falline edging strongly with the feet and standing strongly TALL against their edges as they begin to arc, then quickly flex down and across while snap-rolling the feet over onto the new edges and extending against them as they begin to arc. One of my students called the down and across move "sucking them up" so I adopted it to describe that movement.

The immediate result is a much quicker, and cleaner, transition with the skis re-engaging and working for them on much higher edge angle, much sooner. While getting some practice runs progressively notching up the terrain we reinforce the focus of extending the duration of foot rolling torque (follow thru) to produce more complete round turn shapes.

Next we applied this new early engagement to learning to more aggressivly carve right out of the transition into the top of the arc using railroad track type garlands. Goal is to try to match the FEEL of the easier clean carve out of the falline with a snap-roll engage and carve back into the falline. Fan this process from more in the falline to more angled across it, reinforcing the down and across snap-roll effect.

When this is applied to their skiing they will get a quicker, more complete release/edge change and are engaged onto a higher edge, sooner, in the new turn. This happens because the edges change more from a rolling of the feet and less by rotary tail displacement in part due to the minimizing of the time spent in the flat ski pivot zone. Additional benifit is from the legs releasing tension and allowing CM to move across more quickly and directly to inside of new turn. We focused on keeping shin boot contact thru this release process by moving diagonally forward and across.

Next is where I plugged the above mentioned foot sweeper exercise (at top of a blue run just before skiing down) and used that image/feeling to create flow and rounder turn shape to power thru the slop we were skiing in today.

P.s. Todays group started out mostly skiing using more up-unweighted, re-directed, turn initiations resulting in edge engagement after the falline and more to less skidded, not so round turn shapes. They all ended the day with earlier edge engagement, well before the falline. All were arc'n the greens and a couple of them were able to create really clean medium radius twin ski arcs on blues.
Everyone really enjoyed the extra stability and power of being able to carve thru the heavy wet slush. (it has been 40+ in mid-west for the last week, help! think snow! we're melting!)

Enjoy the toy... [img]tongue.gif[/img] :

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 27, 2002 08:51 PM: Message edited 2 times, by Arcmeister ]</font>
post #19 of 25
I'd be concerned that the snap-roll idea, the focus on quick activity, would feed into the student's desire/habit of rushing turn entry. It's always easier to do things abruptly. The trick is to be patient with movements. The movements need to be positive, as opposed to passive, of course. Your more athletic student probably would do well in this progression, but I'd guess the guy who has to force himself to turn toward downhill, the guy who's already tensed from concern, would miss the patience part entirely.
post #20 of 25
Noblo- I know it's long but read my post on "Learn to Move Away!" I find these work very well in getting people to learn to use there edge correctly and in turn get an early edge engagement.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone. I will think about these ideas. Tod, I will re-read your piece. What do you think of using a delayed weight transfer turn to teach the roll, esp. from inside to outside edge?
post #22 of 25

It si hard to say exactly which part of the body trys to make contact, It depends on the students height and how steep the hill is. Usually it is the middle to upper torso.

While this excercise does initially create a sequential edge change it does create an edged and commited to ski. It brings people forward and creates an aggressive movement into the turn. With work at can become simultaneous. And I have never actually been hit.
post #23 of 25
The snap-rolls are done with a focus of changing edges without redirecting where the skis are pointing, and then allowing the wide tips and sidecut draw the skis into the arc. This is a rough hewn intro activity that gets smoothed out with practice. When presenting a movement that will be replacing a low awareness habit, I have found that making it very active creates the level of contrast that is necessary for learning to take place (perception of change). On one run we made our first 4 turns deliberatly unweighting and redirecting the skis with tail displacement, then "shifted gears" to the completing the snap-roll with skis on line to produce rounder more carved arcs.

I try to avoid working too close to comfort zone habits or trying to introduce a final polished outcome that is too subtle in variation to promote efficient learning opportunity. I've found that creating clear awareness of, and contrast between, old and new gives provides easy choices so learning can be enhanced.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 28, 2002 07:55 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Arcmeister ]</font>
post #24 of 25
We have two things going on here as was pointed out in the other thread. We have early center of mass movements and early edge. Both of these movements can be separate or combined. Its tough to teach both simulaneously.
The best exercise that I have seen for a simply feeling an early edge is the Phantom Move. The Phantom Move on the other hand does nothing to teach natural weight shift or early center of mass movements and is much better suited to long radius turns.
Part of the problem that we have in teaching early center of mass movements to achieve an early edge, is that we normally teach from a traverse and these movements actually start at the fall line. Any attempt to teach early center of mass movements should start from fall line or linked turns.
I normally start with a static exercise on nearly flat terrain and simply move the center of mass and feet where they need to go using the poles to hold me up. This creates a visual of what you mean and you can feel the anticipated relationship of the skis to the upper body. From this static exercise, you can also demonstrate the importance of keeping the ankles flexed. If the ankles are not kept flexed, its impossible to walk completely through the turn. The skis simply don't respond and you don't have enough stomach muscle to bring them around without good ankle action.
The next thing that I will do is start a christe fan on gentle terrain from the fall line and pick out a fixed object and guide the skis to a big artificial counter. I then point out that if we move the center of mass instead of build up the counter, our feet can continue to be guided around the turn yet move the center of mass. I then repeat the christe fan from the fall line and have them move the center of mass into the turn, towards a fixed object and when they feel like they will not recover they simply fall and catch themselves on the new inside ski that is already on edge and complete the turn. Bob Barnes also mentioned doing this. Banking is very likely and I don't consider it detrimental in an exercise like this. When learning early CM movements, leading with the hip into the turn to prevent banking at this point in the process, is more likely to result in a shuffle/scissors turn entry with no early CM movement. The hip can be added back in later.
I would then progress to skiing linked turns without much finish. Follow the leader is great for these turns. I gradually work some finish into the turns and decrease the radius of the turns.
post #25 of 25
Nolo: Your question poses some difficult techniques for level 7 to 8 skiers. Those who are moving from the early dynamic to more advance dynamic stages of development. Let's take a look at what is really needed to have happen to develop earlier edge engagement in a turn.

First we should go back and look at how a turn develops from the edging point of view. From a mechanical stand-point the edge is engaged somewhere early in the control phase of the turn. It stays engaged until some point in the bottom of the turn when we decide to move in another direction. When we move in another direction we enter a transition phase where the edges must be released. As we move from the transition phase to the new control phase we begin to re-engage the edges. All of these movements come down to tipping the skis outward and releasing the edges and then at some point after the transition phase to tip the skis inward to re-engage them and enter the control phase.

The answer comes down to what body part do you move first, how do you move it, when do you move it, and where do you move it to?

Since we always try to move the body part closest to the snow first, we need to roll the ankles, then the knees, then the hips, out over the skis, to release the edges. We then reverse the process as we re-engage the edges by rolling the ankles, knees, and hips back into the hill. If we create these movements precisely and fluidly the rest of the body will follow across the skis in each direction.

Now to your question at hand. How can we teach our students to learn to develop earlier edge engagement in a turn?????

The above movements combined with the rotary forces which develop in a turn due to ski design and muscle tension, which is created in every turn we initiate, create a force called "STORED TORQUE", which assists us as we release our edges from one turn and begin to enter another turn. The more "Stored Torque" we develop and the more we learn how to manage it the earlier we can engage our edges.

Your real issue is how do we teach it to our students.

First I start with solid ski mechanics by doing a variety of edging exercises such as straight sideslipping down the fall line,sideslipping diagonally down the fall line which develops the controlled fall feeling, then move to the falling leaf exercise which also adds some rotary torque and a directional change.Then add the boot arc turn in the snow without skis to develop the feelings of pressure on the inside of the arch of each foot, then the the same move to the outside, which provides pressure to the little toe side of the foot.

Now on skis I start with linked pivot slips with NO edge engagement sliding straight down the fall line, to develop strong rotary skills in both directions. Then I ease them into adding some edge engagement by tipping the skis and to try to round out the turns with NO Transitional Flat spot.

Finally we increase the edge engagement by increasing the arch pressure (ie-big toe side)on one foot, and corresponding pressure on the outside of the other foot,(ie-little toe side). This movement continues to increase the "Stored Torque" we spoke of earlier. The more the stored torque increases then the edge engagement can occur earlier.This takes some practice, but it will enhance earlier edge engagement. Good luck with your students.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 29, 2002 09:36 PM: Message edited 1 time, by whtmt ]</font>
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