EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Any hints on how to learn or maintain parallel edge angles?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Any hints on how to learn or maintain parallel edge angles?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Just got back from Whistler and the heavy snow once again reminded me of my lack of truly parallel edge angles. My occasional forays into untracked heavy snow usually result in frequent flailing about as my skis decide to work independently of each other. Once I get em straightened out all is well but clearly I need work. I practice this on groomed but it seems the heavy untracked is the acid test. Any advice on "ski thoughts" or images to help me maintain parallel edges? By the way, railroad track drills at low speed aren't my favorite. skidoc
post #2 of 24
Start by developing a feel for passing through a point between turns where you are standing on both skis with your boot shafts perpendicular to whatever the slope pitch is. That'll help you get to rolling onto the edges simultaneously.

Then work on being sure you flex the new inside ankle and keep your knees as far apart as your feet are.
post #3 of 24
To add to what Knealle said, if you're havng trouble being simultanious, try focusing on only your new inside foot to start the tipping movement, allowing that to move up to the knee ect., the outside foot and leg will follow. IN heavy untracked, think more equal weight from foot to foot, and slow deliberate tipping movements. Keeping the legs soft or relaxed helps. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #4 of 24
I have the same problem. A'int it a .....
Since you are a doc, you can self diagnose. Any muscle imbalances from one side to the other?
post #5 of 24
Following down Lisa's path, consider getting your alignment checked out if this is a consistent problem for you AND the other great suggestions above don't help. Make sure your equipment allows you to achieve simultaneous release/edge engagement - sometimes difficult conditions or terrain can magnify biomechanical stuff already going on.
Let us know what works!
post #6 of 24
I am going to add to what Rick B and what Kneale have said.

The problem is most likely that you are thrusting out the heel of the new outside ski to initiate your turn first instead of tipping the new inside ski into the new turn first. The result is a slight wedge and a skidding of the outside ski. This is fine on groomed terrain but results in upsets and trouble turning in heavier conditions. When initiating a new turn, move the new inside ski first and the new outside ski will passively follow.

Rick B and Kneale are suggesting some good exercises to help correct the problem.

[ December 16, 2002, 07:15 PM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #7 of 24
I will also support Kneale and Ric B. But one idea that I use seems to have some measure of success.

Though we think we know what part of our body is moving at any given time, it can fool us. As often as not, what I see is skiers are so dominant with the outside leg, that it always moves first. Even if this movement is minute, it still skews the result.

As Ric B said, focus on the inside foot. I would add- focus on moving the inside knee first, until you have identified which leg is moving at any given time. To assist in helping the "student" identify the dominant leg, while skiing behind the "student", I give very clear instructions as to when and how much to move the inside knee.

As soon as the identification of body parts and timing is achieved, they are capable of modifying the movement to suit themselves.

Once the movement is accurate, then we can begin to deal with pressure distributions, etc.

Hope this helps!

:
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by skidoc:
Just got back from Whistler and the heavy snow once again reminded me of my lack of truly parallel edge angles. My occasional forays into untracked heavy snow usually result in frequent flailing about as my skis decide to work independently of each other. Once I get em straightened out all is well but clearly I need work. I practice this on groomed but it seems the heavy untracked is the acid test. Any advice on "ski thoughts" or images to help me maintain parallel edges? By the way, railroad track drills at low speed aren't my favorite. skidoc
Maybe you do not realize you have two topics in your question.

If parallel simultaneous initiation is what you are looking for to practice open your stance as wide as you can, I mean really exaggerated wide, on a smooth green slope and make “wide” parallel turns. You can only initiate a parallel turn from this stance if you move into the turn with your center of mass and initiate with both feet. It is desirable to start the initiation sequence with your inside ski while making a slight movement towards the turn with your center of mass causing/allowing your ski edges to release and allowing the turn to happen. Don’t force the turn’s keep them long radius and slow so you can think and feel what is happening. As the slope becomes steeper the “move” as well as the inside ski initiation will/should become more pronounced. If you can not make the turn you are probably not "moving" toward the turn (downhill) and or not releasing inside then outside ski. I will stop here even though there is a little more as the slope turns from blue to black. Too many items at one time can become confused. Wide stance and I mean forced out wide, release inside ski, moving forward into the turn. This will create a feel that you can then tone down as you slowly narrow the stance, keeping same moves, while returning back to what may be your normal stance.

Heavy snow is a different topic. Here most skiers will find a very narrow stance, not all skiers mind you but most intermediate/advance skiers, while turning BOTH feet together. Still initiate with the inside foot but it will seem even more two foot initiation. Why? Narrow stance makes it seem more even. However making the move towards the turn is still VERY important because it allows your skis to release. In fact it is even more important because your skis are glued in and you need to get them to come unglued.

Just a few thoughts that may help both topics.

By the way alignment can be a real issue when making turns with what we call parallel knees. You may want to make sure of your alignment with a specialist. If you are too far on you’re outside edge you will need to make and initial release move to the inside before you can actually make a turn.
post #9 of 24
Good alignment facilitates achieving equal edge angles with (near) equal effort (and perception of same).

On soft snow, with someone to help gauge edge angles, get into a skiing stance (not too narrow, or too wide), balancing with ski poles. (or on your own at home in front of a mirror in boots and skis while standing on foam, or pillows).

Close your eyes, tip both feet to what you percieve as equal edge angles, then FREEZE!, open your eyes.

Are the edge angles equal?
If not, while looking, actually match edge angles. Are lower leg shafts now parallel? If they are then your "kinesthetic mind's eye" just needs calibration via perfect practice.

If legs not parallel when edges are equal, alignment may be an issue inhibiting your equal edge intent to the extent of mildly confusing your kinesthitic perception or even making it difficult (or even painful) to match edge angles if alignment is far enough off base.

post #10 of 24
As Physics Man pointed out in another thread, "to carve railroad tracks the inside ski has to have a few more degrees of edge angle to carve the smaller inside radius." Parallel shins" are what I think is being referred to here. If alignment is done according to The Athletic Skier then the inside ski will have 3 to 4 more degrees of edge angle when shins are parallel.(When it's the alignment on your car it's called "toe out on turns")(The steering linkage makes the outside wheel turn fewer degrees because it travels a larger radius)
Just a little "thing" that goes off in my head when people talk about "equal edge angles".


[ December 16, 2002, 09:27 PM: Message edited by: SLATZ ]
post #11 of 24
Slatz,
Good point!

I suggest people need to percieve "bowlegged" to get that same slightly knee in home stance to create equal leg shafts and the net result of a little more inside edge as you mention.

By the way, skied Copper yesterday, Sunburst tonite. While runs were a lot shorter, turns at both sites were with good folks and were pretty equal quality on fun factor grin meter.
post #12 of 24
Learner:
Quote:
If parallel simultaneous initiation is what you are looking for to practice open your stance as wide as you can, I mean really exaggerated wide, on a smooth green slope and make “wide” parallel turns. You can only initiate a parallel turn from this stance if you move into the turn with your center of mass and initiate with both feet.
Your statement here can work but needs some clarification.
It is entirely possible to initiate a parallel turn with your feet wide appart without commiting the center of mass to the turn. All one has to do is pivot both feet simultaneously and scissor the new inside ski slightly into the turn. The result is a parallel turn initiated from the back seat that is banked instead of angulated. This is in fact how most advanced skiers initiate their turns. This method works great on groomed terrain and has some limited success in heavier snow. No commitment of the inside ski first, or center of mass early into the turn is necessary. [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ December 17, 2002, 04:52 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thankyou all for the very helpful hints. My alignment is ok so I can't blame my gear and LM sadly the imbalances appear to be between my ears. I'm gonna print this info out and take it with me to Big White so as to practice all of it. I can't wait to try it out. I suspect some of you nailed a few of the problems right on the nose. My movements are too quick and jerky for heavy snow and I am very heavy on the outside ski and probably don't even it out near quick enough when I find untracked. I'll try the gentle tipping of the new outside ski and see how that works. Thanks again! skidoc
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:
Learner:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />If parallel simultaneous initiation is what you are looking for to practice open your stance as wide as you can, I mean really exaggerated wide, on a smooth green slope and make “wide” parallel turns. You can only initiate a parallel turn from this stance if you move into the turn with your center of mass and initiate with both feet.
Your statement here can work but needs some clarification.
It is entirely possible to initiate a parallel turn with your feet wide appart without commiting the center of mass to the turn. All one has to do is pivot both feet simultaneously and scissor the new inside ski slightly into the turn. The result is a parallel turn initiated from the back seat that is banked instead of angulated. This is in fact how most advanced skiers initiate their turns. This method works great on groomed terrain and has some limited success in heavier snow. No commitment of the inside ski first, or center of mass early into the turn is necessary. [img]smile.gif[/img]
</font>[/quote]Think about this. A quick pivot is not a parallel turn. A parallel turn by deffinition is the tail following through the same line as the tip carving if you will. So actually the clarification is not really correct. It could also be said tipping the inside ski without clarification of moving into the turn will leave you flat footed with no turn and or in the back seat and that is true and clarification seems never given and yet it really needs to be or you create a bigger problem than you had when your student started. Been there and done that with HH.

I would suggest you give the little wide track exercise a go and see what happens. I personally have used it with some mighty fine skiers to get them to "feel" a future move that has eluded them for ever. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

Ps: don't think of this as a RR turn. You will require a more aggresive turn.

[ December 17, 2002, 02:37 PM: Message edited by: Floyd ]
post #15 of 24
Floyd:
Quote:
Think about this. A quick pivot is not a parallel turn. A parallel turn by deffinition is the tail following through the same line as the tip carving if you will. So actually the clarification is not really correct. It could also be said tipping the inside ski without clarification of moving into the turn will leave you flat footed with no turn and or in the back seat and that is true and clarification seems never given and yet it really needs to be or you create a bigger problem than you had when your student started. Been there and done that with HH.

I would suggest you give the little wide track exercise a go and see what happens. I personally have used it with some mighty fine skiers to get them to "feel" a future move that has eluded them for ever.

Ps: don't think of this as a RR turn. You will require a more aggresive turn.
On the contrary, a quick small pivot can indeed be a parallel turn. The definition you give is for carving, not parallel turning.

Tipping the inside ski without moving into the turn will produce the splits or the maneuver cannot be done. Pivoting the inside ski first can produce the flat skis without much turning action that you're talking about.

As far as using the wide track exercise. I have used it many times and know its limitations. You will find more than one thread initiated by me on that very subject. Feeling a future move can be done just as effectively from a narrow stance. The future move from a wide stance is much more apt to be latteral verses diagonal with any student because the exercise is harder to do in a wide stance. [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ December 17, 2002, 05:01 PM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #16 of 24
Skidoc,

I think the perscriptions from Kneale and Ric B are very good. Remember you are skiing in snow, not on it. Keeping some weight on both skis at all times is very important.

Also, to obtain flotation, speed is your friend. The faster you go, the slower and more deliberate your movements must become.
post #17 of 24
I believe we all agree that his turns need to be more gradual and the inside ski (or leg, or half of the body) needs to become more active and complimentary to the action of the outside ski (or leg or half of the body). I skimmed the previous replies so I don't if anybody suggested drills like skiing on one ski or skiing the on the inside ski to develop better skills for ungroomed snow.

If the only skill in the skier's bag of tricks is a quick pivot turn the turns need to slow down for earlier edge engagement before tackling the above drills. The skier should start to feel pressure on the shin of the inside leg throughout the turn before trying to ski on one ski or the inside ski as well. Drills that can help bring a person along to this level are properly developed javelin turns, thousand steps, shuffling or anything else that forces discipline of the inside half of the body.

Developing a stong insode half of the body will help a skier build the skill for "shins parallel" or complimentary edge angles.

Aar
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:
On the contrary, a quick small pivot can indeed be a parallel turn. The definition you give is for carving, not parallel turning.

Tipping the inside ski without moving into the turn will produce the splits or the maneuver cannot be done. Pivoting the inside ski first can produce the flat skis without much turning action that you're talking about.

As far as using the wide track exercise. I have used it many times and know its limitations. You will find more than one thread initiated by me on that very subject. Feeling a future move can be done just as effectively from a narrow stance. The future move from a wide stance is much more apt to be latteral verses diagonal with any student because the exercise is harder to do in a wide stance. [img]smile.gif[/img] [/QB][/quote]

Now to pull your chain just a bit more a pivot is not a turn or we would call it a pivot turn. That being said then a skid is not a turn but a skidded turn. Yep a lot of them there folks do that one. Then a parallel turn should be carved more than skidded my latest greatest how to book says. Yep tip follows tail. [img]tongue.gif[/img]

Lateral well maybe yes probably but I would suggest the "move" is almost lateral because the skier is in a cowboy stance. BIG horse and small rider makes for wide stance. We both know it is hard to move to the future unless you create angles which is really what a lot of this little exercise is really about. It can be done IF you really work it.

It is a good exercise done correctly just as RR turns are and a few others which I can leave alone for now cause it will just confuse the original question of how to keep parallel and ski the crud. Now me I like crud but I am from the midwest!

CLICK! I let go of the chain!

Ps. Happy Holidays. Darn it got a little warm down here! 50 degrees and climbing.
post #19 of 24
Floyd, why you stickin yur tongue out at me. Them temps gettin to you or what down there.
Quote:
Now to pull your chain just a bit more a pivot is not a turn or we would call it a pivot turn. That being said then a skid is not a turn but a skidded turn. Yep a lot of them there folks do that one. Then a parallel turn should be carved more than skidded my latest greatest how to book says. Yep tip follows tail.
In the real world show me an intermediate that can do a pure pivot without moving ahead into a turn. I'll accept "pivot turn". I will accept a bunch of skiddin along with some edging. I'll just bet you that you cannot convince an intermediate skier whom is using pivoting to inititate their turns, as their primary turning mechanism , that they are not turning. I wouldn't even try. They are not skiing very efficiently but they are turning, going in the general direct they want and their skis are relatively parallel. Parallel is parallel whether pivoting or not. The key is corresponding edges not opposed edges. There are skidded parallel turns, carved parallel turns, dynamic carved parallel turns, open parallel turns and probably a whole bunch more if you want to come up with them. By your definition the only parallel turn is the mythical pure RR track turn. That's rather useless to my students. You can change the definition on paper but not in the skiing public's minds.

Floyd, if you're intention here is to shift the focus in you're students mind in order to get them to understand carving is better than skidding, I will accept your definition on a one-on-one basis with the student.

[ December 18, 2002, 10:05 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #20 of 24
Skidoc - did you catch up with any of those instructors in whistler?
post #21 of 24
Well my understanding is that a pure pivot straight down the falline can only be done on a flat ski which is called brauquage, at least that's what I was taught. Add even the hint of edge, and you sudenly have a direction change which equals a turn. Now a parallel turn is a Pierre says, skis staying parallel and on corresponding edges through the turn, or direction change. Sure we have the tip leading the tail when it's done best for alot of conditions, but then there's everythnig else also.

To read what you are saying Floyd, it's not parallel unless it's not at least a skarve. Is this what you mean? Seems to me you are confusing two different things.
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Wink, I hear you when you mention that speed is my friend. I do have more trouble at low speed than at higher speed. Disski, I tried to get Roger but he started the day after I left. Anyhow any lesson probably would have been half dodging people and half learning given the limited terrain at the time. Aar, you and the others are probably very close to target in pointing out the use or misuse of my inside leg. Interestingly enough my wife skis better thinking about the "phantom foot" edging while I think of my outside ski and just the smallest attempt at phantom edging usually throws me off. Perhaps not coincidentally she does ok in heavy untracked while I tend to flail far too often. I will make an effort to work on that when I get to Big white in 3 weeks! Thankyou all again, skidoc
post #23 of 24
skidoc, sound like the wife finesses the skis while you try to beat them into submission.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Pierre, you got it right on the nose. While my wife and I are of similar abilities she is smooth and graceful while I tend to be more rough and grace is definitely not my stongpoint! Boy do I pay for it when I run into deep snow! Doesn't keep me from trying though! Thanks again, skidoc
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 › Any hints on how to learn or maintain parallel edge angles?