Originally Posted by Jamt
loki, you pressure the ski by extending
, that is why WC racers extend agressively into the turn. That initial pressure will give tighter radius, thus pressuring the skis even more through centrigfugal force. You weight the same but you regulate pressure by flexing/extending.
An aggressive turn is not balanced, you'r actually falling to the inside
. You stop the "fall" by regulating pressure between inner and outer ski and by angulation in the latter part of the turn. The optimal turn is never in a static position
The ski will actually bend more in softer conditions as long as you are carving. You dont have to edge as aggressively in softer conditions, and usually you cannot because of reduced grip.
Originally Posted by loki1
True they extend aggressively to maintain pressure at the top of the turn, but it is the edge angle and the force of the snow on the ski that allows them to make the tight arcs
that they do. The main reason they extend is so that as the pressure increases they are in a position to handle that pressure. The outside leg needs to be extended so they can use their skeleton to aid their muscles in resisting the forces that have been built through the sidecut of the ski, edge angle and the force applied to the ski from the snow
A ski will bend more when more force is applied to it. Simple physics. If you take the same ski and ski it on soft snow and hard snow the hard snow can apply more force to the ski and it can bend more. That is why people use softer skis when the snow is softer. Also you will see racers increase the length of their turns when the snow is softer because it will not support the forces that are needed to ski a shorter, higher pressure turn.
Aggressive turns may not seem to be in balance in the initiation but remember that these skiers are trying to pressure the ski in the fall line for the shortest amount of time that the snow will allow. So that being said the transitions are used to set up the pressure phase of the turn. So you may not be in perfect balance as you increase edge angle and extend the outside leg, but as you have said you have to stop that fall and get balanced over the outside ski to get the ski to react to the snow in the way you want. So an aggressive turn may not start out in balance but when it counts you need to very balanced to get the desired result.
You both have excellent points.
WC racers extend at the top of the turn to be able to support themselves later
when the forces build and
to get the ski on an edge and engaging early. Not much pressure (relative to later in the turn) can be applied to the ski just after transition as the CoM is moving away from the skis. Until the skis come back towards the path that the CoM is travelling the extension is mainly preparatory for the apex of the turn.
Racers don't want to overextend their outside leg because they may require more extension to flex the ski more at some point in the turn. The outside leg is almost fully extended at the apex of the turn because that is a position of strength as the skeleton can carry a lot of weight with less muscle strength required than if they were flexed. The turn shape is adjusted through out the turn; from transition to next transition; i.e.: constantly. More ski flex can be acheived in the ski at the apex of the turn and just after than before the apex.
There are no absolutes in skiing or racing. The extension of the leg also affects CoM fore and aft as well as controlling the flex of the ski so there are trade offs in how much extension will work in a particular turn. Where the CoM is laterally and fore/aft will affect how much extension and flexion is needed. Everything is inter-related. What is good in one turn may be bad in another.
Skiing is falling with style. Constantly letting yourself fall out of balance knowing full well (if things go right) that you will catch yourself and return to balance again, if just briefly before the next 'fall'.