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Carving my pivot in faster speeds and steeper slopes.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi to all the guys and gals that go for the sound barrier on edges!

The question today is about carving steeper pitches and in faster speeds.

I can carve fine on green and some empty blues. However, there are a few nice
flat blacks that just invite carving and slicing but I always seem to revert
to drift on those. At least the tails (slight back seat).

There is an expression that says carve your pivots and not pivot your carves.

Well I revert to pivoting my carve under stress and the steeper the pitch,
the thicker the tracks in the slow.

However, if I am in an emergency situation, like to avoid a child, I sky
perfectly...

So this seems to be a psychological issue with speed.

If I may, I will split this question in two parts:

What is the best way to get used to speed? Jump in or just be patient and it will sink in?

Are there exercises that help carving a pivot? Which mucles are engaged, which are loose
for the pivot to happen without resistance?

Or am I just wanting to get better too fast?

Thanks for any advise!

Pierre
post #2 of 12
Pierre, speed training is best done in a closed course, if for no other reason than safety. A race club near you may have access to enough fencing and b nets to set up a good, safe practice course. As far as how to get used to speed, we all hit a speed where we find it hard to not freak out. A more measured approach would suggest exploring higher speeds in steps. It will also allow you to assess the effectiveness of the strength training regimine you are using. Which is another important factor in speed training. As far as which conditioning program you should use, many exist and detailing them here would take several pages. USSA has that stuff available, as do many race clubs and race academies in Canada.
 
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi JASP and thanks for the feedback!

I do not want to take the pro avenue at this point, however, is we take the speed
out of the equasion, can you recommend a way or practive drill that would help me
isolate the correct muscles to carve effectively?

I feel I am missing a small part of the concept, though I agree that those small parts
seperate the experts from the Pros!

Regards.
post #4 of 12

Actually most of us do a variety of activities throughout the year. Exactly what's best for you depends on what you enjoy doing, your past injuries and what you've done in the past to get in shape. Ankle and lower legs strength / flexibility are important but no more so than upper leg strength and flexibility, or core strength. Perhaps spending some time in the fitness forum will give you ideas.

As far as what muscles you use to carve, well from what you wrote previously, you can carve a turn, it just gets harder as the terrain gets more challenging. So it just might mean you already use the right muscles until you reach your speed limit. I suspect when you get near your speed limit you begin adding some skidding to scrub off some speed. This suggests to me that you add muscle power that causes the skid to occur. It's entirely possible that in your case keeping the skis carving involves just not adding that additional muscle power that causes the skis to skid. It also may mean speed control through turn shape is an area to explore. Bob Barnes has an article in the Wikis about the slow line fast and I strongly suggest reading it. Once you know more than one way to control your speed, the carve everywhere goal is more doable.
Hope that helps Pierre.
 

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes is does!  I think you are describing exactly what is happening, so I will read
Mr Barnes's article with care!

Cheers!
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterGoa View Post

 can you recommend a way or practive drill that would help me
isolate the correct muscles to carve effectively?

 

Master,

It's not the muscles. It's the movements!

Steeper pitches force skidded turns when the tops of the turns are not rounded.

Railroad tracks sounds like a good drill for you. However, you find that "follow me" behind a more advanced skier may work more effectively at achieving your goal.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey rusty! Please tell me more about the railroad track's drill!

And yes, as the Brits say: Follow a hotty!
That helps as well as the rider in front is totally clearing the slope as you go...
post #8 of 12
RR tracks are very simple. You turn only by making tipping movements. If your tracks in the snow are pencil thin all the way through linked turns, you've done it. Typically, we start this drill on cat tracks or very flat beginner slopes making very shallow turns until speed builds up. As you start this drill, you should have a very strong feel of lateral movement of the ankle. Some people doing this drill need to overcome the shock of not skiing with the brakes on (i.e. turning with the feet and skidding to control speed). The amount of acceleration this drill can generate can be unnerving. As you increase the pitch of the slope, the drill requires more extreme balancing movements and becomes more difficult to do.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post




Master,

It's not the muscles. It's the movements!

 
Very true. All I was saying is that if MG is adding muscle power to create a pivot / skid (a movement) then it could be simply a matter of not trying to add that steering input to create skidding / braking. Which is why I also offered the idea of skiing the slow line fast as an alternative to the skidding forspeed control. Thanks for catching that, I hope my post makes more sense now.
JASP
Edited by justanotherskipro - 1/14/10 at 10:40am
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
So I will be tipping the ankles only to create the turns, or do I involve the knees
as well? I take it there will not hips however!
post #11 of 12
MasterGoa,

I'll offer a different perspective.

When a skier "Stays in the fall line" on easier terrain it's quite easy to use muscle to support themselves (and edge-angle) against the combined force of Gravity and Centrifugal Force at the end of the turn - and the carve holds.

As the terrain gets steeper the skier picks up greater speed by staying mostly in the fall line and the force on them at the end of the turn tends to overpower the skier's ability to hold the edge. 

The problem here is Momentum, or more precisely, the how much momentum is going downhill late in the turn because we've chosen to stay so much "in the fall line".   Typically, this skier also feels largely weightless or 'light' early in the turn and feels massively heavy late in the turn.  Remember that whenever we feel light or weightless ... it's because we're accelerating!

An easy solution is to direct our momentum more across the hill by completing our turns a little further and by maintaining constant pressure.  In other words, we can translate some of our downhill-speed into across-the-hill speed rather than trying to control it by bracing forcefully late in the turn. 

By converting some of our downhill-momentum into across-the-slope momentum we can more firmly engage the new edges early in the new turn.  This lets us maintain constant pressure (a continuous feeling of weight on our feet) throughout the entire turn.  For me, it feels like my skies are actually 'pushing' me downhill (carving into the next turn).


The key here is that this skier will not feel 'weightless' or 'light' early in the turn because they're constantly keeping their acceleration in check, effectively reworking that Speed-Up-Slow-Down Cycle by re-distributing it throughout the entire turn.

The main requirement of this technique is that we direct our upper-body mass across the slope (not just our skis!).  Once our upper-body mass is mostly going across the slope (even briefly) we can then direct it back downhill by tipping the edges the other way.  Since our body has inertia going across the hill, this will create pressure on our skis once we direct them another way (back downhill).

With this technique a skier can more easily maintain a continuous carve on steeper terrain.


.ma
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

Master,

Railroad tracks sounds like a good drill for you. However, you find that "follow me" behind a more advanced skier may work more effectively at achieving your goal.
And it is! Trying to do railroad tracks on a kiddie slope was quite
a humbling experience after drift-carving 40 degree pitches, lemme tell you!

But yeah, I have little motor perception of the heel's forward/reverse
motion and I am always over powering the carve, making it pivot.

I guess this is the result of trying to do too much stuff alone...

I guess I will invest in a lesson or two with an experienced coach
to develop this essencial skill... I am told that my weight shifting, fore-aft balance
and A-Frame are all under great control,
so now I have to learn to let go and let the ski do it's thing!

Moving forward!

And thanks all for all the tips, Epic really is... Epic!
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