EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › How can I carve instead of skid?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How can I carve instead of skid? - Page 2

post #31 of 52
First of all let me say that if you are going to be arcing edge-locked turns on a slope of that pitch, you will likely be going very fast. You may be subconsciously preventing yourself from arcing, and it may be that you have a very good reason for not wanting to ski fast on your GrandSport 8 skis; I don't know those skis, but it is true that there are a lot of low to intermediate skis that were not made for skiing fast.  Those intermediate skis also make it harder to carve edge-locked turns at high speeds because they don't have the required torsional rigidity to hold the loads at speed.  Let's just put this aside for the moment and concentrate on the skier, assuming the skis are ok.

If you look at your video you will notice that you ski fairly straight and then very quickly make a very tight turn with small radius and then ski back the other way.   You are rushing your skis through the fall line, spending as little time  with your skis pointing down the fall line as possible.  What you should be doing in order to carve is very gradually tip your skis, and patiently wait for them to come around.  You will pick up more speed when you spend more time in the fall line, but because your edge-locked turning skis have such a good grip, you can keep turning right around until your are skiing uphill.  Skiing uphill is a very good way to slow down, when you have the room on an uncrowded slope to do so (not when you are joining another trail and skiing up it in a blind spot).  So start your turn sooner so you can gradually tip onto the edge and keep tipping to keep making the turn tighter and tighter, then gradually untip until you're gradually tipping the other way; make S turns not Z turns.   Make the ride down the hill a constant ski tipping exercise, tipping the skis one way and steadily increasing the tipping angle, until you are almost going uphill, then start to decrease the edge angle and loosen the turn, decrease the tipping angle all the way through flat and right into the next turn and repeat.  One turn ends gradually as the next one starts gradually.  Don't rush to turn at the fall line, just keep steadily turning  when you get to it.

You need to get a little angulation/counter balancing going on, so that you can dig those edges in, not push them out.  Here's a little drill for that. Grab both your ski poles and hold them together with one hand near the grips and the other near the baskets. Hold the poles horizontally in front of you so they line up visually with the horizon.  Ski down the slope, making turns while keeping the poles lined up horizontally (with the horizon).

You need to get a little upper/lower body separation going on.  A fun little drill that will help with that is the picture frame drill.  Grab your ski poles near the baskets and hold them up in front of you vertically, so they act like the sides of a picture frame.  Frame the picture of the bottom of the run (with the lodge and parking lot or what have you).  Now ski down, keeping the picture in the frame.

You can try to add elements of the picture drill to the horizontal pole drill. (keep shoulders and hips level while you keep facing downhill).

Try to dig those edges in, not push them out.  In fact you don't need to push, you just need to resist the push that will come when the skis turn and you get pushed against them by inertia. Carving edge-locked turns is about keeping those edges locked down; pushing tends to work against that (though you may have to push like a SOaB when you dial up a hard turn in a compression).

If you are having trouble tipping the skis, just concentrate on gradually tipping and lifting the inside ski more and more while allowing your body to make adjustments to the changing balance.

Let your weight come onto the outside ski; it does most of the work.  Later you can worry about parallel shins and keeping just enough weight on the inside ski to keep it arcing too.
post #32 of 52
Thread Starter 
Ghost,
Thanks for your input. I mentioned the skis for that reason. They may have been okay for last year when I was starting back into the sport again, but may have passed what they can keep up with. I have been looking for something designed for higher speeds, like the Volkl AC 30.

I noticed the "Z" turns when viewing the video. They feel rounder when I am skiing, but the video shows I am not there yet. I appreciate the advice and drills you have suggested. I have not spent much time on these types of drills. I need to focus on improving technique instead of feeling more comfortable on steeper slopes.

Thanks for taking the time for such a lengthy reply. I have found it very helpful and I hope others that read this thread will find the same.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCNM9789 View Post

Ghost,
Thanks for your input. I mentioned the skis for that reason. They may have been okay for last year when I was starting back into the sport again, but may have passed what they can keep up with. I have been looking for something designed for higher speeds, like the Volkl AC 30.

 

Sorry but with that radius (16m) you simply won't be able to carve steeps arc to arc. You'll be going too fast.
Look for a SL sidecut. 13m is for me the upper limit. After that you'll need to start rotate in the transition into the arc.

If you like Volkl I'd say Racetiger SL 160 or shorter. But if you can find skis in 11 or 12 m radius it will sure help keeping the speed down.
Btw, the higher the bindings are the better because, regardless what they say in the stores, when you carve steeps the boots come very close to the ground. With flush mount bindings on a flat ski you'll certainly have the boot instead of the edge in the snow at some point.
post #34 of 52
I carve arcs on my 13-m WC SCs, my twenty something radius Machete Gs, and my 60+ radius Super Gs.  I have carved arcs on every demo ski I've tried on the hill, including many skis in the 15 to 20 m radius range.  FIS GS skis carve beautiful arcs.  It's not the radius that is a problem. 

If you tip a 16 m radius ski up to a 60 degree edge angle it will scribe a beautiful edge-locked 8 m radius turn, that can turn uphill in the slope shown in the video..

Granted it might well be that a Gransport 8 won't carve too well at speed, or do anything well at speed.
post #35 of 52
 Ghost, it all depends on how steep.

I can carve with my DH skis if that's what you want to hear, but not in the steep stuff. Well I could, but I don't think that I would keep the lift ticket for long.
Shorter radius skis is safer *and* easier on steeps.

EDIT: I must add that turn initiation is soo much easier with the shorter radius skis when leaning inverted on steep hills. The speed necessary to keep the body from falling into the turn when initiating going straight across the slope with a 16m ski, I think is not something that the OP wants to do as his normal routine.
Ok, if one carves with easy peasy angles until closer to fall line then it might work in lower speeds, but is that really as fun?
post #36 of 52
I will agree with Carl that a 13-m or less radius ski is the best tool for learning how to arc edge-locked turns.  That fact is why I bought a pair, to improve my short turns.  As the original poster seems to want to learn how to arc turns, and doesn't want to go fast, this would be ideal for him, something like a Fischer WC SC, Head SuperShape, or the '09 Rossi Classic CS 70. 

However he needs to be aware that one of the above skis will come with a new problem: unlike his current skis that let him know he's skiing too fast, the new ones might just decide to keep that information hidden until it's too late. 

Quite right, it all depends on how steep, but how steep is shown in the OP's video.  a 16 m ski, like the old Atomic SX11 would be fine for carving on the slope shown.  Sufficient counter balance and skiing with enough counter is all that is required to arc turns at slower speeds.

You are also quite right that a 13 or less radius ski is a better tool to learn how to arc turns on.  Much easier to initiate, lower speeds required to work, tipping to 60 degrees ==> 6.5 m turn, more turn for less input.

However I don't think a short radius ski is necessarily safer for arcing on steeps.  Unless speed is kept tightly under control, someone trying to carve arcs, someone who doesn't ALREADY have a feel for a pure arc and can tell when they are going too fast to safely arc on that ski (or someone who would rather ski fast for a bit despite the ski being past the design range because that's fun), will find themselves carving non-edge-locked turns at longer-than-sidecut-radius turns on the steeps with SL sidecut skis.   That action is a Russian Roulette Recipe for pain.
Edited by Ghost - 2/5/10 at 6:02am
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post


Internet Skier/poser/gaper here. The new thing is to weight the uphill ski first, What do say about this therusty?
I think this is what they're getting at in DesLauriers book Ski the Whole Mountain, correct?  imo--the drills in this book, ending with the 'I-can't-believe...' drill, are fantastic to get the feel of a carved turn.
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCNM9789 View Post



I am returning to skiing after taking 30 years away from the sport. When I last had skied back in 1976, needless to say, skis and technique were much different. I am having difficulty getting a good clean carve on steeper slopes. I feel my difficulty is that I start skidding to keep my speed in check. N On a more moderate pitch I feel like I get a decent carve.  I am on Norica GranSport 8 skis, 176 cm 116-70-100 with about a 18 m radius. I am trying to  use my ankles first to edge in followed by my knees while putting more pressure on my outside ski and pushing the shovel in to initiate the carve.
 

This is the only video I have taken on one of the steeper intermediate slope, Capitan, at Ski Apache in southern New Mexico. Unfortunately the first 10 seconds are out of focus. The remaining 25 seconds are better. According to my GPS I was traveling at about 20 to 25 miles per hour at the top of the hill and got up to 30 miles an hour at the bottom. This is about the speed and pitch that I start having trouble holding an edge.
 

Any comments about how get a cleaner carve would be appreciated.


 

Great video for MA purposes. Without the video the feedback in this thread would have been much different (did not read any of it just guessing).

Wellcome back to the sport after 30y. Stuff has changed and so have you. We have new skis, new boots, new wax, new bases, new edge tuning, new groomers, new flat pists, new internet communities etc all for your advantage while on the other you probably did undergo some physical changes over the 30 years that will be challenging for you to adapt to.

I dont know where you got the ide to edge with your ancles first and then knees etc but see how far that got you! Quite uppsetting actually. You need to start balancing over your outside ski and let the skis with their edges turn you and not the other way arround. Check out the TGIF consept here at epic or the PSIA site. You need to hook your skis up on their edges and keep them running in the grooves in the snow. No turning of feet. No brushing, no skidding. Just tipping with your feet and upper body balancing. Lean you upper body out in the turn while your legs are tipping inside the turn. This will put your hips into the turn. This is called angulation. The ski you are using has a too wide side cut for your level and the slope pitch. Find one with shorter radius, 13 would be good. I can with certaity say that even if you are skiing on a very easy slope you are not carving rr-track. But that is fixed with learning how to initiate your turns according to the TGIF consept. Go to the easiest slope you can find that is not crowded and try to tip your skis on edge as you glide forward. Your skis should start to rail. Leave two tracks behind. Then pick the speed up and go to more steep slopes.
post #39 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks Carl,
I have been looking at the Atomic Metrons or Head Supeshapes for a small radius ski. I am not partial to any brand. What length are you using in these small radius skis? I have been looking for something around 160 cm or so. The Metron 9 is pretty easy to find as well as the Metron B5, I just am concerned the B5 is way to stiff for the slow speed I am at.

My biggest problem is the lack of local ski shops to demo skis. I tend to look for goods deals online, then buy it and try it.

Thanks for your input!
post #40 of 52
I'm using Metron B5i at 162 cm length and I'm 182 cm and weighs 82kg.
I think that one of the biggest advantages of the Metron B5 is that it carves well at any speed. I think that many people, especially shop guys makes the SL-like skis something special, when in fact they are probably easier carvers than an intermediate ski with a longer sidecut.
I'd say that you probably can't go wrong with the B5.
post #41 of 52
I would consider myself an intermediate skier at best so take my advice with a grain of skepticism.

There's a drill I do to get me out of the back seat. I leave the poles behind and choose a gentle terrain for this one. I raise my arms in front of me, open palms, so as to break a fall. Then I bend my knees slightly and lean forward. I try and make sure I move my upper body so that it is pointing downhill at all times while I ski. I start by making gentle turns until I gain enough speed to make sweeping arcs. This exercise usually helps me keep my weight at the front end of my skis.

This may help you.
post #42 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCNM9789 View Post


I am returning to skiing after taking 30 years away from the sport. When I last had skied back in 1976, needless to say, skis and technique were much different. I am having difficulty getting a good clean carve on steeper slopes. I feel my difficulty is that I start skidding to keep my speed in check. N On a more moderate pitch I feel like I get a decent carve.  I am on Norica GranSport 8 skis, 176 cm 116-70-100 with about a 18 m radius. I am trying to  use my ankles first to edge in followed by my knees while putting more pressure on my outside ski and pushing the shovel in to initiate the carve.
 

This is the only video I have taken on one of the steeper intermediate slope, Capitan, at Ski Apache in southern New Mexico. Unfortunately the first 10 seconds are out of focus. The remaining 25 seconds are better. According to my GPS I was traveling at about 20 to 25 miles per hour at the top of the hill and got up to 30 miles an hour at the bottom. This is about the speed and pitch that I start having trouble holding an edge.
 

Any comments about how get a cleaner carve would be appreciated.




Technique has not really changed, equipment and outfit has. In soft snow like that you can never really cleanly carve but you can improve your skid. I think first you need to learn again to gain confidence in your outside ski and commit to that, let it do its work before you engage it actively.
post #43 of 52
Thread Starter 
I went back out today to apply all the concepts listsed here. I was with a different instructor than I have had in the past and They saw the same things as have been mentioned in the thread here. The main focus today was on keeping my upper body facing the direction of travel and working on increasing angulation keeping the upper body upright and leaning the hips and knees into the turn. Also it helped quite a bit to keep my arms forward and lean into the tongue of the boot. I did not get any video, but I will try to get a new one posted.

It was amazing to me how similar the input was that I got from the responses to this thread as to what my instructor was giving, but then again I was talking to them about the concepts mentioned here so I injected a bit of bias.

Regardless, it helped. Thanks for all the responses. I had a lot of fun putting it in action.
post #44 of 52
LC

Some good advice above, some that made no sense to me whatsoever.

To carve you need to put the skis on edge and ride those edges around the turn...the skis turn you.  You need to get on edge at the start of the turn.  You must show the bottoms of your skis up the hill on a steep hill.  You've heard about "finishing the turn correctly."  Well, there is no way to finish it correctly if it isn't started correctly.  The new inside edges (presently the downhill edges) must be engaged in the snow and you're riding them around before you reach the fall line.  You need the patience to ride the edges all the way around.  To control your speed, you need to put the skis on more of an angle to turn sharper and to continue the turn somewhat uphill if needed.

There is no way the info you get here will tell you how to carve on that hill.  It'll help, but books have been written on the subject.  Some of the info will get you started.

Start with this.  Someone above mentioned J-turns from traverses.    Lose that stupid wide stance where your feet are wider than your hips--I know, you paid a pro good money to be told that.  On a moderate hill, ski down, then roll your uphill ankle into the hill.  That's all.  Roll the ankle more and more.  Allow your knee and hip to move toward the hill.  Just balance with your upper body.  You'll find that your head & shoulders go out over the skis in the downhill direction--you'll also need to twist from the hips toward the outside of the turn.  If you do this right and do nothing except roll the  uphill ankle toward the hill and allow your body to balance, you'll see two sharp grooves in the snow that make a J uphill until you stop.  Increase the starting angle downhill, increase the steepness of the pitch, and increase how much you roll your ankle to make tighter turns.  Keep your body flexible and balanced, always balanced over the toes of your outside foot (downhill foot, here).  If you aren't making sharp grooves in the snow, ease up and make gentler turns until you can get those sharp grooves.  Drill with the tail (only the tail) of the uphill ski an inch off the snow.  This one-foot drill is great for balance and will get you where you need to balance.

Now, you're carving J-turns.  When you've made as much of a turn as you want, just totally relax the downhill leg.  As you relax it, your body will cross to the other side of your skis, and roll that ankle toward the hill.  Do not forcibly extend the new outside leg--allow it to length to maintain contact with the snow.  As before allow the knee & hip to move close to the hill, roll the ankle more and more and more, and do not drive the knee or hip toward the hill.  If you were patient and didn't try to do too much, you now have a sharp carved S-turn. 

What do you see wrong in your video?  Look at the :16 to :18 second bit. 
--Feet too wide
--Heels kicked out to start the turn
--Inside leg too straight
--Skis twisted around instead of riding the sidecut
--Body leaning back toward the hill--shoulders tilted toward the inside of the turn instead of tilted to the outside.
--Inside hand low & back instead of high & forward
--Inside foot too far forward--pull it back and try to keep your tips even (can't be done, but try)

Really good skis to greatly improve your carving--Head SuperShapes, Elan Waveflex, Stockli Laser CX or SX.
post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCNM9789 View Post

I went back out today to apply all the concepts listsed here. I was with a different instructor than I have had in the past and They saw the same things as have been mentioned in the thread here. The main focus today was on keeping my upper body facing the direction of travel and working on increasing angulation keeping the upper body upright and leaning the hips and knees into the turn. Also it helped quite a bit to keep my arms forward and lean into the tongue of the boot. I did not get any video, but I will try to get a new one posted.

It was amazing to me how similar the input was that I got from the responses to this thread as to what my instructor was giving, but then again I was talking to them about the concepts mentioned here so I injected a bit of bias.

Regardless, it helped. Thanks for all the responses. I had a lot of fun putting it in action.


 

The last thing an instructor wants to hear is a student taking advice from a skiing forum online. But you seem to have gotten away with it. Good. Yes, what I told you earlier, keep it simple: initiate a carved turn by tipping your skis on edge and dont try to turn your feet. Ride the side cut. Keep your weight forwards, angulate and try to balance over your outside ski. Thats basicly it. BTW, did you check out the TGIF consept on the PSIA site? Here:
http://www.thesnowpros.org/index.php/PSIA-AASI/video-gallery/turning-with-your-tips
post #46 of 52
Thread Starter 
The PSIA video was very helpful. It made me realize I need to work on carving on a grade (pitch) I feel comfortable with the speed I would get by just gliding straight down the slope, then I can work on tipping on the edge so that the "Tips Go In First"

Thanks for the reference to TGIF
post #47 of 52
Glad you picked up on the video lesson. Thats what its all about. Tips go in first. No turning of feet. There are offcourse many different approaches but they all boil down to the same essential thing: tips go in first. You need to get on your edges and let the skis do their work. How you do it is then secondary. The first thing you need to understand is how it works. Usually when people get it right the first couple of times they lose their balance because they are not used to being locked onto the snow. This is where the how comes into play. IMO the best way of doing it is to tip your skis on edge by moving your upper body towards the outside. Thie will bring your hips into the turn and tip your skis on edge. This way you learn to angulate the proper way.

Here, Ive made a short instructional video that might be of some interest to you:
post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCNM9789 View Post

The PSIA video was very helpful. It made me realize I need to work on carving on a grade (pitch) I feel comfortable with the speed I would get by just gliding straight down the slope, then I can work on tipping on the edge so that the "Tips Go In First"

Thanks for the reference to TGIF
 

Yes, carving properly makes you very fast and you need to do it on a very moderate pitch at first. There are no brakes and you accelerate all the time. Thats why you need to be able to finish your turns and go accross the slope and not stay so much in the fall line. From my video you can also see how much faster I go when I carve vs when I skid.
post #49 of 52
This is a great discussion for me.  Thanks, all.  I really enjoyed it.  My own skiing is a combination of carving and skidding, but it is not by intent necessarily, but lack of skill to always do what I want to do when I want to do it.  Obviously in crud, steeps, bumps or less than groomed conditions, weaknesses in technique become very evident.

And while I agree that there is no substitute for competent personal instruction, for me, there is much value to be gained from this discussion.  While the basic concepts are relatively universal, having them presented in different ways helps me assimilate and understand them.  Most times, I just want to ski and have fun and not take the time to get a lesson.  However, when I want to work on better technique without the commitment of a lesson, the drills and concepts presented will be very useful.

I actually consider this homework for a formal lesson.  For me, it illustrates some of what I don't know and what I need to learn.  If I already have these concepts in my head along with the experiences of attempting some of the drills, it will greatly improve my learning curve during one on one instruction.  

Thanks to those who provided input!
post #50 of 52
 Here is my two cents!  

I'm wondering if this-- I am having difficulty getting a good clean carve on steeper slopes. I feel my difficulty is that I start skidding to keep my speed in check. N On a more moderate pitch I feel like I get a decent carve. -- might be at the heart of the issue.  What it looks like from the video is that you're using the skid to bleed speed as you go down, i.e. the natural response when you start to get uncomfortable with the speed you are pulling (I do this too!).  When you carve you are going to go faster, and if you're not comfortable going faster, your feet are probably going to follow the lead and... not carve.  If you are able to carve on easier slopes then the skill set is most likely there already.  

Sometimes it helps me personally to use a mental game to psych myself up with speed/ get in an adventurous mindset - I noticed that when I started approaching skiing as if I was playing offensive tackle in football my abilities/speed increased a lot because I was willing to put myself in situations where I pushed myself to the next level.  Do you feel comfortable maneuvering quickly/stopping fast once you've got the speed?  Maybe you are holding yourself back because you worry about losing control. 

Also, in my non-expert opinion it looks like you were pushing your tails out on your turns, but you probably already knew that/ could feel it.
post #51 of 52
Thread Starter 
Memilyg,

I believe your assessment is correct. Speed, or trying to keep from going too fast, was a big part of the problem in the video I posted. What I have learned from all of this discussion is that I really didn't want to carve arcs down the fall line on a hill that steep. Last week I was back on the same slope and have found that I am getting more comfortable with the that comes from this steep of a pitch. Also engaging in a long turn to get across the fall line keeps the speed in check somewhat.

For me, it has been the focus on technique that has helped. Keeping my weight forward, leaning my hips across my skis while keeping pressure on the outside ski, keeping the upper body upright and facing down the fall line (creating the missing angulation), and waiting for the skis to bite and turn. I had to keep on a slope that was steep enough to get good speed, but not so steep that I was uncomfortable with the speed I would get if I just ran straight down the fall line.

I will try to get video posted of the changes since last month, but have not had someone with me to film.

Thanks for all those that have posted comment. It all has helped in someway and is appreciated.
post #52 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCNM9789 View Post

Memilyg,

I believe your assessment is correct. Speed, or trying to keep from going too fast, was a big part of the problem in the video I posted. What I have learned from all of this discussion is that I really didn't want to carve arcs down the fall line on a hill that steep. Last week I was back on the same slope and have found that I am getting more comfortable with the that comes from this steep of a pitch. Also engaging in a long turn to get across the fall line keeps the speed in check somewhat.

For me, it has been the focus on technique that has helped. Keeping my weight forward, leaning my hips across my skis while keeping pressure on the outside ski, keeping the upper body upright and facing down the fall line (creating the missing angulation), and waiting for the skis to bite and turn. I had to keep on a slope that was steep enough to get good speed, but not so steep that I was uncomfortable with the speed I would get if I just ran straight down the fall line.

I will try to get video posted of the changes since last month, but have not had someone with me to film.

Thanks for all those that have posted comment. It all has helped in someway and is appreciated.
Just reading and I saw the sentence above, have highlighter it. The longer, or bigger the turn, the more speed you will pick up, simple matter of physics, you are in the fall-line longer and gravity will do its number on you. The goal of the expert is to "not rush" the turn initiation but that applies to tighter, shorter turns too, which are de rigeur in the steeps, or longer, bigger higher-speed turns, of course, finishing the turn, i.e. getting your skis across the hill, almost uphill at the bottom of the short turn scrubs speed and is pretty much necessary in the steeps unless you are Bode or some avatar or his.
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 › How can I carve instead of skid?