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Wedelning-Quick Turns with just the feet

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know how to do this? I saw a ski video last night that talked about it briefly but the guy was on traditional skis ... Can it be done on shaped skis as easy? He said it's a great tool for mogul skiing. He described it more or less as quick turns with JUST the feet, like quick steering moves. He didn't say whether to keep the skis flat, roll them on edge, or whether to ski with independant foot action or balanced equally on both feet, moving both feet together as one.
post #2 of 38
Yeah, you guys, you have me pegged. Wedeln >tail wagging< in german, was the ultimate in skiing, a religion, when I came to Amerika.

And was then and is now terribly misunderstood here. First, skiers here literally translated >tail wagging< into pushing the tails from side to side while sitting back, the other literally translated term >fersenschub<, meaning heel push, didn't help.

Actually, those terms described what wedeln looked like, not how it was done. Wedeln was the forerunner of the modern shortswing and is done exactly like it with a very close stance, pole plants as you do them now and a quiet body moving down the fall line.

The trick is weighting and edge control when wedeln on groomed, through the moguls or in powder. With the straight skis then (and with shaped skis now) the weight was kept forward and and a slight up-unweighting took place at the pole plant. That lighhtened the tails of the skis which could be rapidly moved side to side against a stable upper body mass and some weight transfer was done as if walking, a rapid step-step-step from one ski to the other, and contrary to present belief, weight transfer and independent leg action can and does take place when skiing with no daylight showing between the legs. But nobody could do any wedeln with knees tied together, you were expected to be able to ski well before you learned it.

We old timers can make three turns a second easy on groomers .. the down side of wedeln was that there wasn't much speed control on steeper terrain and the result was that the shortswing evolved which uses a harder edge set, more across the fall line and thus takes longer to go from side to side.

But wedeln was the forerunner of minimal body movement so sought after now. The idea is that the less mass you move to the one side, the less you have to move back to the other side.

But carving is the new religion now and it seems to me that fine edge control is not in the quiver of too many new skiers.

BTW, did you know that in 1966 in Aspen, a four hour ski lesson in Curt Chase's ski school cost $8 and a special ski week, including a 6-day lift ticket and 6-day full day ski school lessons cost $60? And there were only six hotel-motels to stay in?
And a package deal of 7 days lodging, 21 meal tickets and and 6-day lift ticket was $80?

And that is only 34 years ago.

post #3 of 38
Wedlen is fun . . . G-Forces (carving) are pure pleasure. And flat ski "sperm turning" pivots are based in ego rather than function.

post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 

I'm wondering here ... maybe you can save me some time and energy, are you saying that Wedeln is really not worth learning. I mean does it have a function besides hot dogging?

Ott, and the rest of the gang, what do you think?
post #5 of 38
From our own Bob Barnes's "Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing (3rd Edition)":

"Wedeln (or Wedel) means short, quick turns, generally involving a very narrow, often locked stance, with strong rotary movements and lots of skidding. Once thought of as the ultimate in expression of skiing skill, today the classic wedeln is rarely seen in in high level skiing, . . . "

I don't think there is any "wrong" or "right" in skiing mechanics. And the best uses of our bodies and equipment changes as the equipment changes and our understanding of biomechanics changes.

Fact is though - the locked foot, counter-rotated, skidded ski turn is much less effiecient than other ways of using modern gear. It cannot come from wanting to FEEL good but rather from a misconception of what LOOKS good. Therefore you'll often hear people also refer to this skiing style as "ego skiing" (and "sperm turning", "Mono-wanna-be" and others).

You should do what makes you happy, but if you are seeking power and effeciency. The secrets of the worlds great racers and extreme skiers - look not to the Wedeln!

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Gravity (edited February 02, 2001).]</FONT>
post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 
BTW, I am right here in the Cleveland area. I'd like to see you Wedeln sometime at Boston or Brandywine and maybe you could even show me how. Do you go to 7Springs much?
post #7 of 38
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that pretty much sums it up.
post #8 of 38
>>>"Wedeln (or Wedel) means short, quick turns, generally involving a very narrow, often locked stance, with strong rotary movements and lots of skidding. Once thought of as the ultimate in expression of skiing skill, today the classic wedeln is rarely seen in in high level skiing, . . . "<<<

Tod/gravity, since you and I are both part of Bob Barnes' book in one way or other I am reluctant to rectify some misconception it gives. But I know that Bob will correct/amplify some of the things in his next edition, that's why you have a next edition, I guess

"generally involving a very narrow, often locked stance, with strong rotary movements and lots of skidding."

This is not necessarily wrong, it just leaves some misconception, I think. "very narrow stance" is correct, "locked stance" is not. Locked stances were only used in long turns which were initiated with counter rotation. It is impossible to wedel with a locked stance since you need to shift weight and change lead and edges quickly.

Also,"with strong rotary movements" is only correct if it means rotary from the knees down, but I'm afraid that statement envokes the image of body rotation or counter rotation. If the body even moves a little bit it is impossibole to bring it back and back again to make three turns a second, the body stays totally quiet.

"and lots of skidding." It can but doesn't have to. As Pierre eh! said, it works great through moguls with little skidding, and at a slower pace and with more edge set it is the short swing of yonder days.

Nobody seems to want to do it anymore and with modern equipment everybody seems to make longer carved turns, but I throw in a bunch of very quick turns once in a while when skiing under a chair and there is someone on it I want to impress.

It looks hard but really isn't, it just takes fine edge control, something that very few teach and nobody wants to learn anymore, they just want to carve.

Us old timers don't just ski one kind of technique, we ski every kind.

post #9 of 38
Ott . . .

You say

>>"very narrow stance" is correct, "locked stance" is not.<<

I doubt there is a celestial ski god looking down and judging "correct" and "incorrect". There is only effecient and ineffiecient, and it is still a personal choice. If you've energy to burn - what the hell, hop turns even work!

The point is, the closer skiing becomes to what our bodies have evolved to do (walk and run) - the more effecient it becomes. A wider stance allows more balance and a more natural alignment of the tib/fib/femur under the hip . . . and therefore a more square relationship to the hill . . . and therefore more power. Daron and the Herminator don't ski the way they do because of "style" - its all about effeciency.

>>Us old timers don't just ski one kind of technique, we ski every kind.<<

And us young timers - who've been skiing 150+ days for 20 years or so . . . agree! You should be able to do it all, and you should just do whatever the hell you want. But if you are coaching/teaching, you should coach to the physical ideal model of the time/technology . . . which is NOT a narrow stance.
post #10 of 38
Vman, we ski Boston Mills for a few hours on weekdays, usually from about 10 a.m until 2 p.m. or so and go home before the school busses come.Beats walking around the block for exercise..if you are out there, ask an instructor to point me out.

Once in a while we go to Seven Springs with our RV and park at the end of the lodge parking lot,there are plug ins and it is ski in and ski out to the Alpine Meadows lift. But not often anymore, though I want to see the new slope on the back side, the back side is all we ski most of the time.

post #11 of 38
Gravity, why are you arguing the point , someone asked about wedeln, so I told them. Not what skiing has evolved to, but the 50-year old wedeln.

Wedeln was done with a very narrow stance. If one skis wide track as most of us do now, it isn't wedeln, thats all...

And there is a correct way to do the wedeln turn. There is also a correct way to do the Mambo turn and crouch Mambo, the Festop,the Swing turn, the abstem wedeln,the Arlberg turn, the Ruade and many more.

None of them are modern turns, and just because Hermann Maier doesn't race doing the Ruade, doesn't mean that someone who does the Ruade has to ski efficient or look like the Herminator.

So if you or anyone wants to wedel down the slope and there is daylight coming through between your legs, you are not wedeling correctly, though you might be skiing great.

Or some such... .....Ott
post #12 of 38

Thanks for another memory. My instructor, Erwin Mulbauer, used to practice this like religion. Solitary, an hour at a time on the freshly groomed snow.

We would be booting up before the lifts opened and we knew where he was. Then we would try our poor imitations of his ritual.
post #13 of 38
Ott: The Mambo turn - now that's something I can relate to! (Stein was, and always will be, my hero!) Please explain the difference between a regular mambo and a crouch mambo. I love doing mambo turns - it produces such puzzled expressions from young onlookers!
post #14 of 38
Tominator, the way I do the mambo makes it a little bit showy and looks daring. To do it, I double up my poles and put the middle of them behind my neck and hook my arms over them on either side. That means if anything goes wrong I can't catch myself with my hands, it is face plant

As I start off across the hill I will twist my body quickly around dowhill as far as it will go doing nothing with my feet, instead letting the momentum of the twist pull the skis into a turn downhill, but as soon as the turns start I quickly twist my body to the other side as far as it will go and the momentum starts another turn.

This has the effect of a slinky snake-like movement with the body twisted totally one way while the skis are turning the other way. Neat. Or cool. Or whatever.

In doing the crouch mambo, take the Hermann Maier downhill tuck postiton, outstreched hands touching each other in front with the poles tucked under your arms and then just swing your body around as in the regular mambo. The skis won't change edges and start turning until your body is all wound up but by then you will already have started the counter motion. It feels like a constant fall except your skis catch up and keep you upright.

You can throw in a Royal Christy on your last turn, always impresses.

And you know you must do them ONLY where everybody on the chair can see you.

post #15 of 38

I'm going to jump in here, which I don't very often but read every day. Skiing with a wide stance all the time is just as bad as skiing with a narrow stance all the time. There are times when they are both necessary and both proper to the terrain you are skiing on. And nobody skis like the herminator on every run so why mention their styles here. You going to use a wide stance in deep powder, or the bumps? A narrow stance (I don't mean feet wired together either)here is better.

If it holds snow-It can be skied!
post #16 of 38
My daughter and I watched an older guy skiing under the lift making a series of wedelin turns today. We couldn't figure out what he was doing, but now I think I understand.
At the end of his run he was half way down the slope and well postioned by the rope to watch his kid in the afternoon freestyle snowboarding event--among all the Moms with their videocameras.
Dunnoe who he was but he had nice moves. Maybe some of the Moms noticed.
post #17 of 38

I didn't mean to imply that there is any *one* correct position for skiing, far from it. In the moguls, if you want to do the zipper line - it is easier for many people to tighten their stance. I absolutely agree with you - we are not teaching "positional skiing" or "forms", great skiers change their stance unconciously to suit the needs of the moment.

Powder? That I must disagree with, though it is a very common misconception. Flotation in powder is a function of surface area - this area does not change with distance between the skis. I skied Wolf Creek every day for over a decade (read: LOTS of powder) and I stand in a natural (walking width) stance in it.
post #18 of 38

A narrow stance to me is very close to walking width I would guess. If you are walking down a path and draw lines from footsteps of both feet I doubt they will be very far apart but yes I agree, I think of myself as a very good powder skier also. Note, I didn't say boots wired together but narrow wich is narrower than wide, and wide to me is shoulder width. I don't think you walk with your steps shoulder width apart.

Anyways, while disagreeing with each other the conclusion is clear that one needs to vary their stance with the conditions and situations that challenge ones abilities. Being locked into one style only, isn't going to cut it.

I think we're on the same page here Gravity. I'm not disputing your knowledge, justlooking at it from another perspective. Hey, how is the skiing at Wolf Creek in April? Also, is there good backcountry access there? Thanks

If it holds snow-It can be skied!
post #19 of 38

We are on the same page. Hip width and the "q-angle" (when in relaxed athletic stance the angle your femurs exit your pelvis) are different for each of us so it makes sence that the most natural/functional stance will be a little different for each of us.

The skiing at Wolf Creek in April is generally stunning, their biggest storms come in the spring - with major dumps happening up through June (though they close on Easter). You cannot access backcountry directly from the slopes - though the Waterfall area is like backcountry that has been avalanche controlled - you could ski there lift served all day in April and not see anybody except at the lift.

The backcountry surrounding the ski area is wonderful, on the West (Pagosa) side you'll see some emergency truck ramps. Above a couple of those are draineges that lead up into absolutely mammoth bowls. We've don't quite a bit of exploring on those peaks and Bowls. If you really want HUGE backcountry that nobody ever skis - take the Eastfork road back as far as you can (not too far in the winter) and then get and and walk/ski/snowmobile back until you are surrounded by mindblowing mountains. The Eastfork valley is the last place in the lower 48 states where the Grizzly is still thought to exist, its one of the biggest unspoiled (undeveloped) mountain valleys left in the lower 48 in fact. The land in the valley below Wolf Creek pass, and on both sides of the East Fork access roads entrance is owned by family of ours, and we used to live there. Its the "At Last Ranch".

Wonderful country - better stop talking about it, I'm missing it now!
post #20 of 38

It all sounds so beautiful. How lucky you are. I have been to Wolf Creek but only once and in January quite a few years ago. Would like to visit over Easter Vacation on our annual Colorado trip. Thanks very much.

If it holds snow-It can be skied!
post #21 of 38

Since you've been there they added a lift that single handledly created about 800 acres of lift served terrain. It was open before, but you had to hike more for some parts of it - and then get pulled back out by a snowcat (which was pretty cool!).

Horrible place to work - but one of the best mountains in the U.S. to play on!

"Quod me nutrit me destruit" - What nourishes me also destroys me.
post #22 of 38
The new trail at 7 springs, Giant Boulder, is a winding intermediate run cut out of the woods between North Face Slope and Giant Steps. It is fun once ot twice, but it alone isn't worth the trip.
post #23 of 38
Pow Ripper, thanks for telling me. Seven Springs can be a lot of fun and it is only two hours and forty-five minutes from my house. The back side is fun but why they don't make a half-way ramp on that first chair so we wouldn't have to ski cross country for half the distance is beyond me. I know that one has to go to the top to get back to the front side of the mountain but a ramp to get off on top of the steep section would make skiing that hill more enjoyable, I think.

post #24 of 38
Thread Starter 
I have been saying that for years about the mid drop for that lift. How much money could it cost to build a little 1-man hut and a drop ramp?? I hope there is a better reason than not wanting to spend the money.
post #25 of 38
Vman, when we get a nice day in the next week I might make a trip to Seven Springs. It's a one day trip for us unless we want to stay longer, which we can't do now since we leave for two weeks in Kitzbuehel and St. Anton a week from Friday.

But maybe when we get back in March since Seven Springs has often good snow conditions when the weather seems hopelessly warm around here.

post #26 of 38
Pow Ripper and Vman, we had the most gorgeous day in Seven Springs yesterday, warm sunshine, great snow, ski-in to the lifts, spent the day on the back side and after looking at the new Big Boulder slope, decided not to ski it and rather put our time in at the other slopes..Gunnar (sp?) and Giant Steps were groomed but they didn't run the middle chair and left those slopes ungroomed with about four inches of new snow.

Though it got cut up quickly, it was a lot of fun...also, there were about 40 participants of the Boxer Shorts Ski Run club from Virginia Beach there and they stripped to their boxer shorts in the Matterhorn lodge on top and raced down Wagner to meet at the Foggy Goggle at the bottom for some warm-up drinks. Mucho fun

I even did some wedeln...

post #27 of 38
Ott- Sounds like a glorious day. I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your posts. I don't know Seven Springs at all (even what state it's in - I've only skied in the eastern part of North America twice 20 years ago) but you cerainly described a fun mid-week day.

Enjoy the trip to Kitzbuehel and St. Anton. I leave tomorrow morning for a week in British Columbia (Monashees/Selkirks).
post #28 of 38
Powder Junkie, I've been angry all day!!!!!

skican called me to cancel my Europe trip, can you believe it! The hotels in Kitz informed them that there is not one room available anywhere for the dates I was to go.
The same in St. Anton...hard to believe, but when checkig the hotel availability on the net, it confirmed it.

They were going to sell me air tavel, transfers and lift tickets, but that is useless if I don't have a place to stay, I tried privately, but no dice...soooo, I'm lost at this time, I'll have to collect my thoughts and decide what to do, it seems ten days notice was just to short to get the package together but they had told me there wouldn't be any problems, yeah, right.

The reason I waited that long is that as of ten days ago there wasn't any skiing snow over there, then they got it and now it's melting again, rats....

post #29 of 38

Sigi wouldn't have room for a old friend?

Think of the pool of new stories you could tell us.

When spoiled some will resort to anything for a new Sigi tale....
post #30 of 38
Pierre and yuki, after collecting my thoughts I went on the internet and booked a two-week round trip flight to Munich, renting a car and going to either Austria, France, Switzerland or Italy, wherever the snow is. We'll just wing it.

We are taking only our boots and plan to rent skis and poles wherever we ski, and if the weather is too warm we'll go party in Venice.

If you've never been in Venice, better go soon, as I hear it is flooding just about every week now but It's been dry the times we were there.

I read Lisamer's posts about skiing in Italy on Paula's forum and she is having a bad experience with the ski instructors, it seems they are all still on straight skis and teach them old technology (wedeln?)

If she has posted here let me know where...

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