EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Change of Skis, Change of Technique? (K2)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Change of Skis, Change of Technique? (K2)

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
K2 Ski Technique Question:

Greetings, my question involves a change of skis and reciprocal ski technique. By means of background, I am a Level One PSIA instructor with around 15 years of skiing experience.

I started skiing on K2 MOD X's this year and found the ski light and lively, overall responsive to my efforts to turn, carve, and otherwise hold an edge in a variety of terrain. During mid-season, I gave the MOD X's to my wife since she was on old straight skis and I switched to K2 Axis XR's. I used to race slalom ages ago and thought the change to the Axis XR might be nice as the ski is based off of the "Mach S" from what I have read. In addition, the K2 Axis XR is described by K2 for use on "the iciest, steepest runs."

My "issue": I am having difficulties in the last phase of turning with the K2 Axis XR skis. That is, I can initiate the turn wonderfully, start to fall down the fall line, but once the skis cross, I "wash out" a bit, loose edge grip, and become a bit unstable. The same process happens in the next turn: initiation is fine, skis cross the fall line, and at the last 85-90% of the turn, the skis get skidding instead of maintaining their arc. Note: this occurs on somewhat steep black diamonds. Skiing on blues and less steep blacks does not produce this result. I do not have any problems with washout on the Mod X's on steeper terrain.

My initial reaction is that the K2 Axis XR's are heavier, beefier skies than the MOD X's and require me to "hammer" them more and muscle them a bit more through the end of the turn. I am also playing with my balance adjustment as the Axis XRs seem to like to be skied in the center rather than more forward as the Mod X's do.

I'm curious if anyone could lend some general comments or, if you have experience with K2s or the mentioned skis, specific comments would be appreciated.

Much Appreciated,

Benjamin Barr
post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 
On a side, note: I am a small skier -- 5'4" and weigh 135 lbs. My skis are 160 CM long -- If that matters!

Quote:
Originally posted by Benjamin:
K2 Ski Technique Question:

Greetings, my question involves a change of skis and reciprocal ski technique. By means of background, I am a Level One PSIA instructor with around 15 years of skiing experience.

I started skiing on K2 MOD X's this year and found the ski light and lively, overall responsive to my efforts to turn, carve, and otherwise hold an edge in a variety of terrain. During mid-season, I gave the MOD X's to my wife since she was on old straight skis and I switched to K2 Axis XR's. I used to race slalom ages ago and thought the change to the Axis XR might be nice as the ski is based off of the "Mach S" from what I have read. In addition, the K2 Axis XR is described by K2 for use on "the iciest, steepest runs."

My "issue": I am having difficulties in the last phase of turning with the K2 Axis XR skis. That is, I can initiate the turn wonderfully, start to fall down the fall line, but once the skis cross, I "wash out" a bit, loose edge grip, and become a bit unstable. The same process happens in the next turn: initiation is fine, skis cross the fall line, and at the last 85-90% of the turn, the skis get skidding instead of maintaining their arc. Note: this occurs on somewhat steep black diamonds. Skiing on blues and less steep blacks does not produce this result. I do not have any problems with washout on the Mod X's on steeper terrain.

My initial reaction is that the K2 Axis XR's are heavier, beefier skies than the MOD X's and require me to "hammer" them more and muscle them a bit more through the end of the turn. I am also playing with my balance adjustment as the Axis XRs seem to like to be skied in the center rather than more forward as the Mod X's do.

I'm curious if anyone could lend some general comments or, if you have experience with K2s or the mentioned skis, specific comments would be appreciated.

Much Appreciated,

Benjamin Barr
post #3 of 27
I ski the Mach S with a riser plate under the binding, which friends skiing the XR tell me makes the S quite similar. I use this ski on hard snow days. The rest of the time I'm on the XP. Both are 174s. I'd guess your experience relates to overedging and stiffening your outside leg at the ends of the turns where the skis skid. Try reducing the edge angle slightly as you reach the skidding point.
post #4 of 27
too much forward weight bias is causing tail wash. as you enter the turn's belly, you should be pressuring the ski's tail and should feel that pressure under the rear of your arch and under your heel.
post #5 of 27
Check the tune. May be base beveled too much.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Kneale. I would suspect that since the problem is more pronounced on the Axis XR's (and not present, or not very present on the MOD X's) that overedging and stiffening may be the culprit.

There is another, perhaps important difference between the two sets of skis. The K2 Axis XR's have a riser plate w/ Look bindings. The K2 MOD X's did not have a riser plate. How, if at all, might that play into the equation?

My thought is that since the riser plate makes it, theoretically, easier to edge, that I am overcompensating and not letting it do its job...hence overedging at the end of the turn. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Ben

Quote:
Originally posted by Kneale Brownson:
I ski the Mach S with a riser plate under the binding, which friends skiing the XR tell me makes the S quite similar. I use this ski on hard snow days. The rest of the time I'm on the XP. Both are 174s. I'd guess your experience relates to overedging and stiffening your outside leg at the ends of the turns where the skis skid. Try reducing the edge angle slightly as you reach the skidding point.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Gonzo, I appreciate the contribution, but my technique is nearly identical on both sets of skis. Yet, it produces different results, as described in this posting. My weight distribution does shift towards the tail near the end of a turn. Perhaps the K2 Axis XR simply requires more focus on this fact or more weight being consciously moved than the Mod X to achieve the same result?

I'm also using riser plates on the Axis XR skis, which may be the culprit, as discussed in the lower post re: overedging at the end of the turn.

Thanks,

Ben

Quote:
Originally posted by gonzostrike:
too much forward weight bias is causing tail wash. as you enter the turn's belly, you should be pressuring the ski's tail and should feel that pressure under the rear of your arch and under your heel.
post #8 of 27
The XR has a stiffer tail. You can't burst-load it or it will chatter. The load must be progressive and, as I said, felt under the rear of your arch and under your heel.

Did you change bindings when moving to the XR? A different delta angle might cause this tail-wag... especially if the new binders have an INCREASE in delta over what you had on the Mod X.

As a general rule, recreational skis like the Mod X, Escape 5500, Axis, and Axis X are more forgiving when it comes to proper pressure amount/direction/sequence. The XR has a more racelike response and therefore isn't quite as forgiving.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by gonzostrike:
As a general rule, recreational skis like the Mod X, Escape 5500, Axis, and Axis X are more forgiving when it comes to proper pressure amount/direction/sequence. The XR has a more racelike response and therefore isn't quite as forgiving.
There you have it Gonz. I don't think anyone can dispute that different skis react differently based on like technique. I know mine do.

While we're on that subject, unforgiving skis are not always a bad thing. They'll highlight a technique flaw in a heart beat under the right circumstances. And...demand changes in technique for good results.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by Coach13:
While we're on that subject, unforgiving skis are not always a bad thing. They'll highlight a technique flaw in a heart beat under the right circumstances. And...demand changes in technique for good results.[/QB]
[img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
There's something about people who've been involved in competitive athletics!!
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by gonzostrike:
too much forward weight bias is causing tail wash. as you enter the turn's belly, you should be pressuring the ski's tail and should feel that pressure under the rear of your arch and under your heel.
Did someone request technique for 1970's slalom jet turns?
If I'm not mistaken, skis are led by the tips not the tails. If we move our weight distribution to the rear, we potentially lose carve by underpressuring the front half of the ski. Now the tail washes out because it simply cannot sustain the forces we are generating or they hook up and rocket us from turn to turn.

Benjamin,

I own 4 pairs of skis now and have probably skied another dozen in the last year and have found none that ski better than in a neutral to forward position. My RPM 21's for most uses like a very neutral fore/aft position throughout. My Beta Race Carves like the tips to be enganged aggressively, especially in a GS course. If I get weighted at all behind the arch on my Rossi slalom's I better hang on for my life. The bottom line is that the change from ski to ski only enhances or detracts from technique issues already present in your skiing. The other issue is what you're trying to do on your skis. If you find that as you steepen up the hill you have a harder time maintaining a carve on any higher end ski, it's more than likely a movement pattern issue rather than the ski. One pair of skis may simply be more forgiving or adept at covering up your certain movement pattern. Not that adjustments don't have to be made from ski to ski, it just should'nt be so pronounced that by the time you have adjusted to the ski it's time to buy a new one. A wise old ski shop owner told me, "I could grab any pair of skis off my floor and ski them better than my favorite pair from 10 years ago". How true.
post #12 of 27
I took it from your first post that you were experiencing tip chatter and skidding sideways some with the skis, Benjamin, as opposed to tail wash skidding.

The riser plate makes edging easier and makes it easy to overedge the ski. Just try tempering the edging slightly and see how the ski reacts.

[ February 04, 2004, 01:18 PM: Message edited by: Kneale Brownson ]
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments, Gonzo,

The XR has new bindings on it -- Look TX 7.0 and riser plates. The skis and bindings were bought on-line...used demo skis. I can adjust the bindings fore/aft a few centimeters. I'm generally unaware as to the delta angle on it in comparison to that of the MOD X ski.

What I suspected is true...that the Axis XR simply has a different, better feel to it because it demands more out of you and your technique for it to work properly and is, consequently, less forgiving. I'm up for the challenge. I used to race and have just gotten back into teaching plus my job change lets me ski many days a year now...so I'm able to get more mileage on the skis and, as a result, work on my technique as well on steeper terrain.

Thanks for all the thoughts,

Ben

Quote:
Originally posted by gonzostrike:
The XR has a stiffer tail. You can't burst-load it or it will chatter. The load must be progressive and, as I said, felt under the rear of your arch and under your heel.

Did you change bindings when moving to the XR? A different delta angle might cause this tail-wag... especially if the new binders have an INCREASE in delta over what you had on the Mod X.

As a general rule, recreational skis like the Mod X, Escape 5500, Axis, and Axis X are more forgiving when it comes to proper pressure amount/direction/sequence. The XR has a more racelike response and therefore isn't quite as forgiving.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by MC Extreme:
Did someone request technique for 1970's slalom jet turns?
If I'm not mistaken, skis are led by the tips not the tails. If we move our weight distribution to the rear, we potentially lose carve by underpressuring the front half of the ski. Now the tail washes out because it simply cannot sustain the forces we are generating or they hook up and rocket us from turn to turn.
That's very murky and a bit contradictory.

Did I say to BEGIN the turn with heel pressure? No. So why do you comment on "leading" with tails? That's contrary to what I said.

I didn't say he should move his weight distribution to the rear. I said he should feel the pressure build under the rear of the arch and the heel. He should resist that pressure with muscular force and proper dynamic body positioning. But the FEEL is the most important aspect, as it indicates that the ski is being fed the proper input.

Feel free to disagree. I don't mind.
post #15 of 27
I agree to some point with what Kneale is saying. I think that the distictive difference in your skis and how they are reacting to your body movements are the riser plates.

However, riser plates do not necessarily make edging easier. While they do make your edging skills more powerful, they also decrease your edging quickness. If you think of an infinitly long pole turning about an axis point, the farther away fromt the axis point, the farther you have to turn to change the position of the axis point. However, the farther you are away from the axis point, the more leverage you have, meaning the ability to create more power.

So, how does this relate to your skiing. The picture that I am seeing (just from your descriptions) is that you have lost some ability in the transition stage of your turn to quickly change your edges, becuase of the riser plates. You have to be actively faster in this edge change because of the riser plates. Also, because you probably are skiing at a faster speed, your mistakes aren't being amplified as much. So, back to the edge change idea. Because you have lost some ability to change your edges in the transition part of your turn, you probably are creating a lot of turning forces with the outside part of your body to compesate for not being able to release your down hill edge. By the end of your turn, I am suspecting that you have created strong outside (meaning weak or following inside) body movements. This creates a converging parallel turn where your inside ski is pointing more downhill that the outside ski and your outside ski is probably washing out just a little bit at the end of your turn.

To fix this, I would focus on two things. First, make sure that you are releasing your downhill edge at the initiation of each turn. Second, make sure that you are leading with the inside half of your body and creating diverging parallel turns. In respect to practicing these skills, do them at a slower speed so you can really focus on the causes and affects of your skiing.

Best of wishes.

Taylor
post #16 of 27
Benjamin, when I first used my shorty slaloms on a mildly steep icy pitch, I experienced the same chatter. I worked on tightening the first 2/3 of the turn so that I could ease off on the last part. This solved the problem entirely. The shortness of the skis demands that you be very involved with managing pressure, but this is not overwhelming because they don't require much rotary input at all. The old style "float and sting" style CAN work, but it takes a very delicate touch to get the fore/aft balance just right, and also takes some precise flexing at the end of the turn. But you should get the hang of it quickly.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Miles, Thanks for the words of support. I think you may be onto something here. I am just getting the hang of the "float and sting" as I am figuring out how the ski likes to be skied and where on the ski it likes to be skied. I've noticed that a somewhat more forceful entry to a tighter slalom turn, coupled with (as you noted) increased pressure management, allows the skis to easily float out of the end of the turn into the start of the next. It's coming along, bit by bit.

I should have noted in my first post that I have just switched to shaped, parabolic skis myself. I was on Rossignol 7SK (193 cm) before. So, some of my issues are going from a straight and long racing ski to a short, shaped hybrid racing ski (K2 Axis XR, 160 cm w/ riser plates).

I'll be working on technique some more this week, thanks for all the tips.

Ben

Quote:
Originally posted by milesb:
Benjamin, when I first used my shorty slaloms on a mildly steep icy pitch, I experienced the same chatter. I worked on tightening the first 2/3 of the turn so that I could ease off on the last part. This solved the problem entirely. The shortness of the skis demands that you be very involved with managing pressure, but this is not overwhelming because they don't require much rotary input at all. The old style "float and sting" style CAN work, but it takes a very delicate touch to get the fore/aft balance just right, and also takes some precise flexing at the end of the turn. But you should get the hang of it quickly.
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Taylor,

Thanks for the information regarding riser plates, as it was helpful to my understanding of how they affect skiing. I am an attorney by day and not at all oriented or familiar with the sciences involving spatial concepts or physics.

However, I am not having inside leg converging parallel issues. My upper body seems rather stable and quiet throughout the turns, so I am doubtful about its application here. I do think the latter post about needing to be quicker and a bit harder on the edges sooner in the turn is on-point...allowing me to "float" through the end of the turn, and use the energy of the ski and rebound to place me in the start of the next turn. I just played with that last night and its working, bit by bit.

Thanks for your help,
Ben

Quote:
Originally posted by Taylor S Kennedy:
I agree to some point with what Kneale is saying. I think that the distictive difference in your skis and how they are reacting to your body movements are the riser plates.

However, riser plates do not necessarily make edging easier. While they do make your edging skills more powerful, they also decrease your edging quickness. If you think of an infinitly long pole turning about an axis point, the farther away fromt the axis point, the farther you have to turn to change the position of the axis point. However, the farther you are away from the axis point, the more leverage you have, meaning the ability to create more power.

So, how does this relate to your skiing. The picture that I am seeing (just from your descriptions) is that you have lost some ability in the transition stage of your turn to quickly change your edges, becuase of the riser plates. You have to be actively faster in this edge change because of the riser plates. Also, because you probably are skiing at a faster speed, your mistakes aren't being amplified as much. So, back to the edge change idea. Because you have lost some ability to change your edges in the transition part of your turn, you probably are creating a lot of turning forces with the outside part of your body to compesate for not being able to release your down hill edge. By the end of your turn, I am suspecting that you have created strong outside (meaning weak or following inside) body movements. This creates a converging parallel turn where your inside ski is pointing more downhill that the outside ski and your outside ski is probably washing out just a little bit at the end of your turn.

To fix this, I would focus on two things. First, make sure that you are releasing your downhill edge at the initiation of each turn. Second, make sure that you are leading with the inside half of your body and creating diverging parallel turns. In respect to practicing these skills, do them at a slower speed so you can really focus on the causes and affects of your skiing.

Best of wishes.

Taylor
post #19 of 27
Ben, I asked about bindings and delta because I know for sure that the Look/Rossi turntable heel bindings (Axial in the Rossi line, Pivot in the Look line) have a pretty significant delta. This causes a forward weight bias that might result in a lightness or insufficient pressure on the rear part of the ski, especially if you aren't adjusting your stance and technique to account for the differing delta.

To explain - I have 3 pair of skis. One pair have Rossi Axial 110 binders (my Fischer Worldcup SC slalom carvers), one pair have Fischer/Tyrolia binders (my Fischer Big Stix 8.6 all-mtn skis), and one pair of Naxo AT binders (my Black Diamond Havoc pow/BC skis). Each pair has a different delta, which causes the following features --

Worldcup SC - more delta, more forward stance, lighter on the rear of the ski.

Big Stix - less delta, more balanced stance, centered on the ski

Havoc - negative delta, rearward stance, hard to engage the tips without exaggerated movements. When skiing steeps, the tips feel like they have minds of their own, and will wander unless I exaggerate in a forward fashion.

My plan is to make all 3 skis have equal delta.

Your experience on the XR sounds like the exact opposite of my experience on the Havocs. I think the delta might be the culprit, and not just the fact of having risers. Risers don't cause weird fore/aft conditions, they just feel odd because you're taller on the skis and might feel like edge engagement is somewhat delayed.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Gonzo,

I'm curious what you suggest as a result of the delta analysis then. You noted that "Your experience on the XR sounds like the exact opposite of my experience on the Havocs." You also explained that you had to "exaggerate in a forward fashion." As a result, I would infer that your suggestion for me is that I should exaggerate in a backwards direction. Yet, I can't fathom shifting my fore/aft balance backwards (isn't that heresy?) In any event, I'm curious what your thoughts are concerning a remedy as to delta angle. I would assume an adjustment of my fore/aft balance that I may simply need to play with.

Ben

Quote:
Originally posted by gonzostrike:
Ben, I asked about bindings and delta because I know for sure that the Look/Rossi turntable heel bindings (Axial in the Rossi line, Pivot in the Look line) have a pretty significant delta. This causes a forward weight bias that might result in a lightness or insufficient pressure on the rear part of the ski, especially if you aren't adjusting your stance and technique to account for the differing delta.

...

Havoc - negative delta, rearward stance, hard to engage the tips without exaggerated movements. When skiing steeps, the tips feel like they have minds of their own, and will wander unless I exaggerate in a forward fashion.

My plan is to make all 3 skis have equal delta.

Your experience on the XR sounds like the exact opposite of my experience on the Havocs. I think the delta might be the culprit, and not just the fact of having risers. Risers don't cause weird fore/aft conditions, they just feel odd because you're taller on the skis and might feel like edge engagement is somewhat delayed.
post #21 of 27
well, first of all, "exaggerated" definitely is subjective, and you might be thinking about much more in quantity and quality than I actually use.

I mean "exaggerated" as a deviation from completely centered and balanced. I think of the balanced position as a tension of fore-aft energies. Exaggerate either one, and you have an emphasis in that direction.

My plan is to decide which of the two Fischer skis is closest to my personal balance position and skiing style. I'm tending to think it's going to be the (+) delta of the Slalom Carvers, as I find myself best engaging the tips on those skis, and don't have problems using the tails of the skis either.

To achieve the delta on my Havocs, I'm going to shim the rear piece of the binders. Go to the bottom of the discussion here to see what I'm talking about. The Havocs are causing me the most fore/aft trouble right now.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by gonzostrike:
Ben, I asked about bindings and delta because I know for sure that the Look/Rossi turntable heel bindings (Axial in the Rossi line, Pivot in the Look line) have a pretty significant delta. This causes a forward weight bias that might result in a lightness or insufficient pressure on the rear part of the ski, especially if you aren't adjusting your stance and technique to account for the differing delta.
I have 2 pairs of Rossi power 120 bindings, and I agree with your assessment of the delta. It did require me to adjust my stance but once I did I loved these bindings. I think they help keep me from getting back. I noticed no difference in my technique on these bindings vs my other bindings (Marker and Solli) once I got used to them. They're probably my favorite bindings.

I did try them with the rear plate removed and hated them because of the negative delta that resulted. If I wanted to modify the current delta, I'd have to find another solution.

Gonzo...are the bindings on your BigStix the railflex version? If so, how do you like them?

[ February 06, 2004, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: Coach13 ]
post #23 of 27
nope, they're the basic FX12 binding, DIN = 4-12, no railflex. don't know much about what the railflex adds or takes away. the only "dead spot eliminator" binding I've ever skied was the Volkl G3 Motion, which felt as though it made rounder turns than the non-Motion G3 at the same length. I don't think I'd want more longitudinal flex in the BigStix 8.6.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by gonzostrike:

Worldcup SC - more delta, more forward stance, lighter on the rear of the ski.

Big Stix - less delta, more balanced stance, centered on the ski

Havoc - negative delta, rearward stance, hard to engage the tips without exaggerated movements. When skiing steeps, the tips feel like they have minds of their own, and will wander unless I exaggerate in a forward fashion.

My plan is to make all 3 skis have equal delta.

[/QB]
What's your plan to accomplish this? Obviously you can shim the Havoc to bring it up to desired delta. But do you have a plan to reduce the delta in the Rossi bindings? I guess you could remove the rear plate from the Rossi and then shim this bindings as well. I take it that the Big Stix with the Fischer bindings have the delta that you'd try to replicate.
post #25 of 27
that's what I'm trying to sort out now, Coach. I can't tell yet whether the SCs or the Big Stix are my more natural stance. I'm leaning toward the SCs though.

If I have to shim the SCs, I'll shim the toe piece.

If I have to shim the Big Stix, I'll shim the heel piece.
post #26 of 27
gonzo,

Good luck finding screws if you have to shim that toe piece. I have about 3/16" under the toe piece on my Look/Rossi's ...and it was not easy finding longer screws to replace the front two.

My experience with delta/forward lean angle was a bit different than (I interpret) you are describing. When I get too much forward lean, then I have to fight to stay out of the back seat ...and if effects my range of extension where I can remain in balance.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by Benjamin:
K2 Ski Technique Question:
My initial reaction is that the K2 Axis XR's are heavier, beefier skies than the MOD X's and require me to "hammer" them more and muscle them a bit more through the end of the turn. I am also playing with my balance adjustment as the Axis XRs seem to like to be skied in the center rather than more forward as the Mod X's do.
Benjamin Barr
I have skied the XT the last two seasons (even racing some GS on them) and would suggest that rather than "hammer" them as they come out of the falline, you do just the opposite. Big sidecut skis do not get their grip from the skier increasing pressure across the length of the ski like old straight chisel sticks. Their edge grip comes from slicing in an arc. What you could play around with is allowing your legs to soften some from falline to transition, while you continue to tip your feet to increase edging. This will shorten the turn radius and result in the skis bringing pressure to you, which the softer legs will help manage vs. stiff legs which would blow them sideways out of their cutting arc as they are trying to come back under you.

Skiing the new big sidecut skis at a high level requires more of a focus on pressure management than pressure creation.
Arc [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Change of Skis, Change of Technique? (K2)