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long term intermediate - Page 2

post #31 of 53
1. Shorter skis
2. More pressure in the fall line--softer coming back across. More powerful commitment to fierce pressure control movements. Watch da Bodie-man.
3. More extension of the outside leg as the center moves down the hill. This let's the ski go way out and then come quickly back underneath.
4. It is not necessary to do a locked up carved turn in every turn you make, but you can learn, to minimize the skid and not make it a full-on braking maneuver. You can still keep speed consistent. A little driftage is not a bad thing, and a locked up carve is not always possible. The thing is: DON'T PIVOT. Don't throw 'em sideways. Make it round and you will find the right edge angle for the turn.
5. Throw on the brakes before you run into someone.

And milesb is right. (See nobody's rolling the eyes! [img]tongue.gif[/img] )

[ April 22, 2002, 12:08 PM: Message edited by: weems ]
post #32 of 53
Oh, I get it. I'm supposed to brake BEFORE I run into these people that are in my way?! I thought if I used their bodies to slow me down, I'd skid less.
post #33 of 53
Originally posted by Scientist Bill:
Oh, I get it. I'm supposed to brake BEFORE I run into these people that are in my way?! I thought if I used their bodies to slow me down, I'd skid less.
Slow down before running into them? No way. Carve through them!
post #34 of 53
PS - Thanks. Those tips were helpful to me, and I'll work on them. When I've been partly successful, I've noticed that steeper terrain seems to help you compensate for itself, because more speed lets more pressure develop, which in turn tightens the turns. Not that my leg muscles appreciate it at the end of the day.

As for shorter skis, is it OK to use my table saw, or do I have to actually spend the money on a new pair?

[ April 22, 2002, 12:51 PM: Message edited by: Scientist Bill ]
post #35 of 53
Well, I'm again going to say something unpopular.

The carvers-only are in the same league as the sperm-turners of yore.

Anytime you try to ski a mountain using only one technique or one type of turn, either skidding or carving, it is time to go back to skis school...

post #36 of 53
Thanks Ott

I am getting a bit tired of watching all the aspiring racers express down the slopes in their carving monotones. Dramatic but ...yawn....rather like one continuous drum roll. If they would just change the tempo from time to time.

post #37 of 53
I agree totally. My goal is not to ski with one type of turn, but to have the ability range to choose.
post #38 of 53
That's why Weems said "don't pivot" and not "never pivot"!
post #39 of 53
Exactly, Robin.

I agree Ott.

But I'll tell you one thing, we've sure never been able to carve, day in and day out, like we can now, and it is sooooooooo much fun.

I really prefer carving terrain, and I think the blue/black trails are the toughest to carve well on and still maintain speed control, and yeah, it tires you out.
post #40 of 53
And I agree with you, weems, I just posted that because I see skiers here chastising themselves for slipping or drifting, something they should be able to do at will.

Having the edges being either on or off and nothing inbetween is not edge control...

post #41 of 53
Physics man.

I knew that.
post #42 of 53
Physics Man

As far as speed threshold and control goes, I find two seconds in the fall line at "point 5" is "safer" than 6 seconds in the fall line at mach 2.
Momentum being the square of velocity, it is "easier" to stay slow than to slow down.

The slope remains the same, but in short radius turns, we likely spend less time in the fall line and proportionally more across it.

post #43 of 53
> As far as speed threshold and control goes, I
> find two seconds in the fall line at "point 5"
> is "safer" than 6 seconds in the fall line at
> mach 2.

Yup! This is an excellent point about duration in favor of short radius turns which I forgot to mention. In long radius turns, most skiers do not employ sideways drifting in the tightest part of their turns and/or skarving in the straighter parts to keep their instantaneous over-the-snow velocity approximately constant. You generally see this employed only (on suitable snow conditions) by skiers who have spent many years on straight skis. This means that for most skiers, their instantaneous velocity usually varies around its average value MORE with long radius turns than with short radius turns, exactly as you implied. Thus, with short turns, not only do most people spend less time in the high speed portion of the turn, but that "high speed" portion is not all that much faster than your average speed.

In addition to the above peak speed argument, as I pointed out in my previous message, the increased AVERAGE rate of energy dissipation in short turns keeps your AVERAGE speed from ever getting uncomfortably high as well.

> Momentum being the square of velocity, it
> is "easier" to stay slow than to slow down.

The second half of this sentence is yet another excellent comment (related to your previous point). To say whether it is momentium or kinetic energy that is more important in determining the "ease" of slowing down would require careful argument, but fortunately, the answer is almost irrelevant - it simply IS easier.

BTW, just for the record, its kinetic energy that is proportional to the square of velocity (momentium is linear in velocity).


Tom / PM

[ April 23, 2002, 08:14 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #44 of 53
Yes, I am corrected

Momentum M = mv (kg Meters)
Kenetic Energy W = mv squared /2

post #45 of 53
Hmmm... I think you guys need better skis. Speed is your friend
post #46 of 53
Well, on the brain - muscle - ski axis, I think the skis are the least of my problems. But they sure are easier to replace. This discussion has really helped me; I only wish it were the start of the season, although we have at least one more good weekend out here in the PNW. A couple of other things I've noticed along these lines:

1. In tight places, one strategy is to use what I think is called a big "initial steering angle". That is, you don't twist and pivot the skis in order to bring on a braking skid, you pivot the skis in order to quickly change their angle so that the tightest radius you are capable of carving will bring you to the point to you want to go to. This seems very different to me than the twist and skid routine, whose purpose is not exactly to brake, but to avoid accelerating in the first place.

2. Although I haven't completed cementing my friendship with speed yet, I at least have come to see the value of the relationship. But something more I've noticed: constant movement is also my friend. A long-radius carve tends to be for me at least, a static ride during which I'm more likely to become unbalanced. But alot of quicker turns seem more stable. I think the constant movement and adjustment has a way of helping your body automatically compensate for micro-variations in terrain and snow conditions, so they "average out" somehow.

I hope for one more day out here to try some of the suggestions here.
post #47 of 53
All you need to do is steer the skis aggressively as they enter the fall line. They will still be mostly carving, but you can get them going across the hill and maybe a little uphill while you keep moving straight down the fall line. Well, it's not really that easy, but I guess you could take another lesson....
post #48 of 53
Originally posted by epic:
Hmmm ... Speed is your friend

The faster you go, the more energy per foot of travel you transfer to aerodynamic drag, the various forms of snow friction, snow displacement and snow compaction, so the less energy you have to scrub off by intentional maneuvers such as skarving, full-on skidding, turning further away from the fall line, etc. Thus, in some ways, the faster you go, the easier it gets, altho at some point in steepness and speed most mortals start to think very seriously about controlling the line and/or hitting the brakes.

Tom / PM
post #49 of 53
Absolutely. A good skier is a speed merchant. Harnessing, hoarding, buying, selling, managing, massaging speed.
post #50 of 53
In response to Scientist Bill's comment about the lack of suitability of carving for speed control in steep / narrow places or in traffic, both milesb and CalG both made the very reasonable suggestion of employing short radius turns. Milesb added the term, "carved", and risking putting words in his mouth, probably meant, "as much carving as most recreational skiers can muster in short radius turns".

A string of linked, rapid fire short radius "carved" turns do indeed control speed better than longer radius turns. However, I would suggest that the reason they generally work so well is that for everyone except trained slalom skiers executing their craft on appropriate equipment, the average skier spends a much larger fraction of their short radius turns skarving (ie, partial skidding) than they do when executing linked longer radius carved turns.

Hence, the real reason that short radius turns are effective is pretty much what Scientist Bill suggested - ie, some skidding is usually necessary to control speed.

Another way to think about this question is to consider the average angle of a skier's descent. Lets compare two skiers going down a given run side by side. Lets assume that both are making nice round "sine wave" like turns, but that one is making several short radius turns for each longer radius turn of the other person, and that the maximum angle each skier deviates from the fall line is the same. Obviously, to do this, the "GS skier" will have to use a much wider corridor down the hill.

As both people come through the fall line, their instantaneous angle of descent equals the actual angle of the hill (say, 20 deg). As both people go through the transitions between L & R turns, their instantaneous angles of descent will (both) be some fraction of the angle of the slope, depending on how far away from the fall line they are both turning. This minimum instantaneous angle of descent might only be something of order 10 deg if they turn 45 deg away from the fall line on a 20 deg slope. Now, the important fact is that averaged over one or more complete turns, the average angles of descent of both skiers will be EXACTLY the same (somewhere around 15 deg in the above example). If only pure carving were involved, this would be equivalent to both skiers schussing straight down the same 15 deg slope, and both skiers should reach the same terminal velocity.

However, from experience, we know (as per the suggestions) that skiers making more turns will have a lower speed. The only way for this to happen is because there is excess dissipation of energy involved in the slalom path. The principal reason for this is that a larger fraction of each short radius turn (ie, the early parts) is spent in skidding for most skiers, even when they think of their technique as being pretty close to "pure" carving.

In principle, one could also control speed (on a good snow surface) by doing old school skidding, ie, "sideways drifts in the turns" and "park and ride skarves on the traverses" in the various portions of slow-mo GS-like turns, but this has numerous disadvantages including:

1) uses a wider corridor;

2) requires a larger "skarve angle" (ie, angle of attack) for a given degree of speed control, hence is much less suitable for heavy, rutty, and/or deep snow.

3) is static and doesn't foster the ability to respond to terrain / snow irregularities;

4) looks like static old straight ski technique; and,

5) you can't control "line" as easily/accurately (with a tip of the hat to Bob Barnes).

Because of these issues, I agree fully with the suggestion to employ short radius turns, even though I believe that the underlying reason that this works is usually also skidding. IMHO, effectively, one has two quite different ways to use skidding to control speed for recreational skiers - one more desirable, and the other less desirable.


Tom / PM

PS - I should also point out that in some snow conditions (ie, heavy, moist & clumpy), sideways displacement and compaction of the snow into one or two banked grooves also provides an energy loss (speed control) mechanism similar to skidding, in that (a) it is much more effective in short radius turns (because they develop larger transverse G forces), and (b) sideways motion of the snow is also involved. Again, short turns are better than long turns here as well.

(added in edit) PS#2 - This discussion of speed control is getting quite a bit away from the thread title. Perhaps we should put this in its own thread.

[ April 23, 2002, 08:24 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #51 of 53
Soon it occurs that "more scraping equals MORE control!" They learn to brake "parallel"--making hockey-stop-type "turns" (I use the word loosely). They twist and skid, and get better and better at twisting and skidding. They--especially men--discover that the simplest, most effective, "most natural" way to get the skis skidding is to twist them with their upper bodies. And they get "better" at what they practice. Soon they can brake down steeper and steeper runs--green, blue, black.... And they are getting deeper and deeper in the rut of terminal mediocrity!
Bob Barnes
That described me to a "T". For years I thought that I was a good skier since I could twist and brake at faster speeds than most of my friends. Of course I did this on only the best skis.

Finally I took a off piste lesson with a friend who didn't want to go alone (although I really didn't need any lessons). When the instructer, an Austrian guy who taught at Big Sky, tactfully pointed out that line was a better approach to controling speed than skidding and that all that twisting was not neccesary it was an epiphany. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Can you unlearn years of bad habits instantly? Not in my case. But at least the instructer got me moving in the right direction and one which I continue to pursue.

[ April 23, 2002, 01:04 PM: Message edited by: Lostboy ]
post #52 of 53
Long term intermediate-that's me for sure. I started downhill skiing at 35 and spent the next 14 years trapped in blue-green world, like some sort of algae. At 49 the light went on and I decide to start pushing it or quit altogether. Now at 52 I'm rockin' and rollin' all over the mountain (except for moguls-still working on that)and loving every run. The secret for me was the decision to work a lot harder to improve. For years I was just coasting. Here are a few of my breakthroughs:
After reading "Breakthrough on Skis"(rather appropriate) I achieved "Dynamic Anticipation" - the feeling of throwing my body downhill ahead of the skis in the hope/expectation that the skis would turn back and pass under your body. Scary at first! Another one happened after reading a posting by KeeTov who spoke of skiing with the belly button, not the feet. I tried it and another light went on. Now my skis glide over and around terrain irregularities rather than bashing into them - amazing. Nothing earth-shattering here but it all adds up to progress, thank God.
post #53 of 53
PM and SB-
I'll throw my lot in with Weems.

Before the advent of shapes, we acknowledged that a "pure carved turn" was inefficient and/or ineffective in many circumstances. Due to that, we had a somewhat different definition of "carving".

It had more to do with minimizing excessive skid in a given radius, rather than making pure carved turns. Oh, in some conditions it was possible, but not common nor realistic.

I love going out and leaving trenches around the hill, for I'm a g-force junkie! But when bumps, powder, or narrow chutes are the condition du jour, out of my bag-o-tricks comes what many might think to be ancient techniques. But they are the techniques deemed effective for the given environment. I will strive to make them as dynamic as possible, but I believe there is a time and a place for almost anything in the realm of technique!
Knowing full well that many might take me to task over that statement, I challenge anyone, including the great SCSA, to ski radically differing terrain dynamically with but one set of movements.

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