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Skills blend on shapes

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Do you think the skills blend and application has changed with shaped skis? And if so, how?
post #2 of 14
I have two pair of shaped skis and a pair of Hart F-17's without an ounce of shape to 'em. I don't make any dramatic changes in my technique between the skis. It's really the terrain that I adapt to.
post #3 of 14
While the skills involved in skiing have not changed, the blending of them has with shaped skis. When I started teaching, my trainers kept telling me I needed a lot more rotary (steering). Now with shapes we de-emphasize the rotary, and harp on edgeing and pressure skills. Not that rotary is gone, we just don't need as much of it to get the skis to arc. While adding more edge and pressure allows the skis to do more of the work. Just my $.02 worth.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 21, 2001 08:39 AM: Message edited 1 time, by EasternSkiBum ]</font>
post #4 of 14
The blend has changed as a result of the sequence or order of movements having changed. Instead of the historical: turn to and edge resulting in pressure, we can now more effectivly: edge with pressure resulting in a turn. Release, transfer, engage. :
post #5 of 14
I found that the neatest thing about shapes is that they require almost no steering in the transition, even for fall line turns. Which means I can let my upper body stay more square to the turn. Which means more relaxed skiing. Then, a little steering in the middle and end of the turn tightens it up very nicely.
post #6 of 14
Doesn't it depend on what you want to do at any given moment? If you want to windshield wiper back and forth to control speed in a narrow area that doesn't permit turning, or if you want to carve a turn on a wide open slope, or if you want to carve through medium moguls, or if you want to go straight down the moguls but keeping speed in check - it makes a differnce in what you want to do with your skis. Some shapes will NOT skid, so that's out. Some shapes have the so-called "pintail" taper, so the tail releases easier and skidding is more easily accomplished - there just isn't a simple answer to a question like this. Ideally, for my money, the shaped ski I like is the one that allows the most options.
post #7 of 14
A shape ski will skid just fine if you stand in the middle of it. In fact, it's a good way to find where the middle is.
post #8 of 14
Not all shaped skis will skid just fine if you stand in the middle of it.

For example, a ski with a deep overall sidecut will have a much more abrupt carving-skidding transition compared to designs with more shallow sidecuts or the pintail designs that oboe mentioned (ie, a hybrid where only the aft sidecut is shallow). The pintail design was specifically marketed to allow one to go smoothly into a skid when desired.

Another example is that wide shaped skis will always skid much more easily than narrow shaped skis (with the same sidecut and flex), with the difference becoming more pronounced the softer the snow is and the deeper the ski sinks into it. The reason is that for a given edge angle, the raised edge of the wider ski will be able to ride over larger terrain irregularities than the narrower ski.

Tom / PM

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 22, 2001 02:53 AM: Message edited 1 time, by PhysicsMan ]</font>
post #9 of 14
The key ingredient in skidding is not the ski's design but the skier's adaptation to the ski's design.

Maybe I should qualify my statement: a shape ski skids just fine, if the skier is able to help it.
post #10 of 14
Can we agree that SOME shaped skis will be easier for AVERAGE skiers to skid than OTHER shaped skis? Let's face it: Not all of us have within our chromosomes the potential to be really good skiers, but we really love it anyway and want to find techniques and equipment that help us enjoy the sport to the max.
post #11 of 14
One more thing: I am reminded of a lesson I took in which the rental skis were way longer than I had skied, and I complained to the instructor that I found it very difficult to use those skis. His reponse? He told me that I "should" be able to handle skis of that length - I mean, SCREW what I actually COULD do, cuz "the Judge" was only interested in what I "SHOULD" be able to do. Since this was at the beginning of my skiing "career", guess how much I learned from that lesson?! As the song says, "Take me as I am or leave me be!" Not to mention that I'm the paying customer, and he was supposed to be working for ME, and not vice versa.
post #12 of 14
Did I touch a nerve?

Know thyself. Honesty is part of the discipline.

Someday they'll invent a ski that is linked to a microchip implanted in the skier's brain. The skier will only need to think for the ski to obey.

What will remain, grasshopper?
post #13 of 14
This year I am skiing on 163 cm Elan Darkside M's. Basically they are the SCX Monoblock with a big lifter. Skidding on these is merely a matter of engaging the sidecut slightly (to start the turning momentum), then pressuring the shovels a bit. This allows the tails to wash out with no active steering. Same routine as on other skis, just easier! When its time to carve, just stay on the center of the ski.
A few falling leaf exercises are all you should need to become an accomplished skidder.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 22, 2001 12:09 PM: Message edited 1 time, by milesb ]</font>
post #14 of 14
I have to agree with nobolono. It all comes back to the awareness of the skier of the cause and effect of their input (movements) to their skis.

I got out on my new 168 (13m radius) K2 Mach Race slaloms last night and again this morning. Initially I was out of sync until I acepted that that they weren't going to ski like anything I'd ever been on, mush less adjust to me. So I tuned in, adapted and progressivly dialed in to them better with each sucessive run of experimentation and re-calibration of MY movements. I can now do anything on these I could do on any other ski, skid, pivot, spin, in addition to rip the arcs they were designed for. Are they less forgiving and require that I pay more attention? You bet! But for that very reason I will ski them more because of the learning oportunity there that would be missing on a more forgiving ski.

Beginners benifit from short forgiving skis but need to increment the length to keep stretching the precision and accuracy of their movements until they are on something that matches their seasonal skiing frequency and growth rate or suits where thay are happy to be.

If I get to the point that I can hear the grasshopper, I shall engevor to hear the flea...
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