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Snowplough Requiem

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

For those of us who were too busy skiing during the last ½ century, most official ski teaching organizations stopped teaching snow plow and switched over to the gliding wedge.   They had there reasons, I’m sure, and I’m sure they were well argued, but some of us were not paying attention.  The topic keeps recurring as a sidetrack in various other teaching threads (e.g. Passive versus active weight transfer). 

 

It seems this happened so long ago, that many well qualified and undoubtedly good instructors don’t seem to have been teaching the snowplough properly, if at all; they seem to be arguing about what is wrong with an incorrectly taught snowplough progression.

 

I am sure there are instructors on this forum who have successfully taught skiers using both the snow-plough and the gliding wedge, properly.  So let’s get it all out in the open and reanalyzed here for those of us that missed the change-over.

 

From my limited experience and understanding, here’s how the snowplough progression worked.

 

An analogy was made between a ski held at an angle across the direction of travel could act very similarly to a snowplough blade held at an angle in front of a snowplough.  The blade pushed the snow to the side and the snowplough experienced a force trying to move it in the other direction, which is what would happen if the driver didn’t steer to compensate or hit a patch of ice with his wheels.  The skier learned to tip the ski onto it’s edge to make it bite more and to pressure it or weight it more to make it have greater affect.  The tendency of a more highly edged ski was augmented by drills involving side-slipping on steeper slopes.  The skier put both skis on their inside edges tipped to high angle and positioned the skis into a forward facing v with the tips close together and the tails far apart. 

 

The skier learned that an edged and pressured ski at an angle to their direction of travel would cause them to turn in the direction that ski was pointed. When a skier wanted to turn right they would edge and pressure the ski pointing to the right (the left one) more.  When a skier wanted to turn left they would edge and pressure and edge the right one more.

 

As soon as the skier could link snowplough turns, the skier would progress to French-fries – pizza.  The skier would ski with skis parallel until they wanted to turn, then pivot their skis into a v, then edge and pressure the outside ski.  Although not taught to pivot, they in fact learned to pivot their skis into that v-formation. (This pivot was slightly problematic, as it was basically pivoting about the tips with a heel movement to the outside.  If kept at this stage, a very hard to break habit might develop, but more on that later).

 

The next step which couldn’t come too soon, was moving the inside ski alongside the outside ski.  In order to do this, the skier would have to make sure it wasn’t on it’s inside edge.  Perhaps at first they would lift it, but later they only had to unweight it (easy since they were weighting the outside ski to turn anyway) and make keep it wasn’t on it’s inside edge.  Once beside the other ski, the skier would continue the turn with both skis parallel and tipped in the proper direction.  The skier was encouraged to do this as soon as possible, and eventually the gap between the two moves became smaller and smaller, but no matter how small the gap, this stem-Christie move, was a one-two punch, stem the outside ski, move the inside ski over.  If left too long at this stage skiers could develop a stemming habit that was hard to get rid of. 

 

Once the skier could do a stem-Christie, the skier would progress to moving both skis into position at the same time, instead of sequentially.

 

However, what had to happen was the skier noticed or the book or the instructor the skier was using pointed out to them that in the second half of their stem-Christie turn, their skis are decambered, parallel, tipped and turning.  It was obvious; all they really had to do was tip a decambered ski and you would turn.  The rest was easy.

 

Problems: Stem, pivot point at the front.

 

Solutions?  (help me out here, I was out skiing when the solution was put in place).

Instructors got together and decided to do something to solve the main problems with the snow-plow stem-Christie skiing progression.  They came up with the gliding wedge.  - Don’t use the highly edged snowplough; use a gliding wedge.  Teach pivoting directly on almost flat skis, concentrate on pivoting the skis to the proper position and teach the edging indirectly.

 

Results:

 

One group of skiers who are permanently addicted to an over-dependence on pivoting, and never get their skis to a high edge angle, and their instructors against another group with a permanent stem and poor pivoting skills and their instructors.

 

What did I miss?  Please add to the story.  What was wrong with the snowplough progression? What could be done to fix it without abandoning it?  What is wrong with the gliding wedge progression?  What can be done to fix it?  What mistakes are typical in teaching either?  How can they be avoided (other than using an alternate method)?

post #2 of 23

Umm.....I was around in them bad ol days, but I gotta say I dont really recall it the way you described.

 

First, snowplow, gliding wedge, etc is really the same thing.  A turn made with the skis in a wedge.  I think the term gliding wedge was adopted simply because it conotates a more positive image.

 

Second, you need to keep in mind no ski school or instructor actually considers the snowplow/gliding wedge the "end game", it is just a step onto bigger and better things.

 

Hence with those two ideas in mind:

 

Back in the day most TTS taught some variant of the Christie Progression.  The Christie progression was a manevour based approach where by you would teach someone to snowplow, once they could make a snowplow turn, you would teach a "glide christie" (start with a wedge, skis match after the fall-line) once they could do that you would teach an "elementary christie" (start with a wedge, skis match above the fall-line), then once they could do that you would teach basic parallel (no wedge, just parallel skis).

 

This concept worked for a long time, but had serious limitations.

 

The biggest limitation and most obvious was what do you do with students who are not in lessons all the time, and have moved off this predetermiend path?  This problem of course applied to most students...so somthing drastic had to change.

 

That change was the invention of the Skills Concept.  The skills concept has no maneouvers.  Just skills.  Sure we may describe how someone looks with a "They ski in a gliding wedge" but we would never teach the gliding wedge....only skills. 

 

Hence the beef is, when you teach push on this leg to go that way, and that leg to go this way, you are really just teaching a maneouver.  A maneouver that we all agree is of little value except for maybe slowing down in a lift line.  But if you teach skills that is better, because skills last forever.

 

Now since the goal for most people when learning to ski is to get to parallel skiing asap, the skills needed most for that are stance and balance and pivoting.  Sure others matter, but those two are critical.  I know some people argue you can ski parallel but just arcing the skis...and that is true....but I have yet to meet anyone, or even hear of anyone that could do that on day 1.  I do know a few exceptional people who for one reason or another managed it on about day 15-20.  But even at that, these people are extremely rare.  Hence the pivoting approach works to get probably 40% of people skiing parallel by the end of day 1,   70% by the end of day 2,  85% by end of day 3, and about 95% by the end of day 4. 

 

Those showing promise of course can move into seriousl development of edging on day 1....but pivoting first works far better, for far more people in those first few hours or days.  Typically development of the edging skill does not start until about day 5.  This is not to say edging is not existant earlier, it obviously is, or the skier would just go straight, but it is not the first focus. 

post #3 of 23

I agree with SD. The snowplow and the gliding wedge are basicly the same thing. In other languages there is no new word for the gliding wedge. Therefore a snowplow is still a snow plow. I took a quick look in the austrian ski school manual from the 50s. It was basicly a wedge, stem-christie to parallel turn progression. Everything was based on pressuring the outside ski. In the wedge and stem-christie stage there was a very aggressive upper body counter move to start the pressuring phase. When progressing into a parallel turn the aggressive counter move was dropped and the upper body remained facing downhill in the upper C part of the turn.

 

In older times everything was thaught in sequencial steps. Look at any sport and you will see the same. In boxing they took turns at hitting each other.

post #4 of 23

Would submit that a lot of the changes were equipment based.  With a wood ski and flexible leather boot, pretty much ever thing had to be exaggerated.  Lots of counter and angulation was required.  The plow was done as much on the base of the ski pushing out soft snow as on the edges.  Try unbuckleing your boots  pulling the tounges out while skiing on retro gear, it will give you a little more empathy for what it was like on this stuff.  Your rolling ankles required this kink of motion.  PSIA said we had to up-unweight.

 

Plastic buckle boots become the standard for rentals.  Now we can steer the ski more and reduce the upper body motions, and brush the ski into a wedge.  Your ankles stopped rolling with the support, and you are able to ski more on the edge.  PSIA says you are not a heretic if you down-unweight. 

 

The American Teaching Method shows up with the common use of shorter skis at the rental shops.  The wedge of the day is edge pressure based, a much more subtle maneuver.  You were teaching the student to ride the ski instead of forcing it to turn and a narrower V occurred quickly.  "The Inner Skier" and, "How the Racers Ski" have shown up now.  Got to sit at a table and listen to Horst Abraham say, 'the wedge turn is the Snowplow, with a less negative name'.  That is the first time I can remember discussions on the wedge vs gliding wedge.  (This is about the end of my active teaching days.)

 

I am looking forward to seeing if the reverse camber ski becomes the norm and what will become the beginners turn.  Will the wedge live on?

post #5 of 23

Nice post SD.... 

 

however as mentioned in some of the other posts, can we determine which is the correct terminology?? Pivoting or Steering or ??? 

post #6 of 23

Pivoting is better than tipping. Love the carve, but live by the skid. Safety first, then fun, then learning. Priorities.

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post

I agree with SD. The snowplow and the gliding wedge are basicly the same thing. In other languages there is no new word for the gliding wedge. Therefore a snowplow is still a snow plow. I took a quick look in the austrian ski school manual from the 50s. It was basicly a wedge, stem-christie to parallel turn progression. Everything was based on pressuring the outside ski. In the wedge and stem-christie stage there was a very aggressive upper body counter move to start the pressuring phase. When progressing into a parallel turn the aggressive counter move was dropped and the upper body remained facing downhill in the upper C part of the turn.

 

In older times everything was thaught in sequencial steps. Look at any sport and you will see the same. In boxing they took turns at hitting each other.


So, it seems I am the only one who experienced the old way as a heavily weighted strongly tipped ski forcing a direction change as opposed to the new way with almost flat heavily pivoted, or released and patiently waited on to come around, wedged but not greatly tipped ski driving the turn in todays teaching?

post #8 of 23

Ramzee, Pivoting is an element of steering IMO.  we combine muscular effort to turn the skis (pivoting) blended with edgeing to create steering.  Pivoting is a rotary skill, edging is a skill, blend the two in a variety of biases and you have steering or guiding!

 

 

 

I too was around back in that day!  I remember teaching the stem progression and it never seem to make sense to me as once we got to elementary chrisites the turn mechanics totally changed in order to initiate a parallel turn.  The primary difference was instead of the stemmed ski changing edges and placing our cg. inside the new turn arc we had to leave the skis on the snow and move the cg. across the skis to change edges!  These are two drastically different moves!  By the way the stem I consider a braking movement and the other an offensive fluid movement.

 

When the "Centerline" concept was introduced around 1987 to eliminate the stem christies in favor of wedge christies which focused on a set of turning mechanics that flowed very nicely from wedge turning to parallel turning.  Nothing needed to be abandoned or relearned.  The same mechanics in a wedge turn existed in the parallel turn.  

 

Instead of stemming from a platformed ski we now release that platform and steered the tips down the hill.

 

Some of us got it and others took a long time to see the difference and embrace the concept.

 

Now to understand the Centerline concept we know that by blending the skills differently we still leave room for TDK6's type of wedge turn mechanics to the left or right of the centerline for tactical applications or simply to recognize a variety of skill blending to produce a different outcome.  The centerline demos all focus on the most efficient blending of the skills to produce the "GO" turns or offensive movements.

post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post


 


So, it seems I am the only one who experienced the old way as a heavily weighted strongly tipped ski forcing a direction change as opposed to the new way with almost flat heavily pivoted, or released and patiently waited on to come around, wedged but not greatly tipped ski driving the turn in todays teaching?



We are fossils Ghost. But not due to our age, due to our resitsance to change

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

 

Now to understand the Centerline concept we know that by blending the skills differently we still leave room for TDK6's type of wedge turn mechanics to the left or right of the centerline for tactical applications or simply to recognize a variety of skill blending to produce a different outcome.  The centerline demos all focus on the most efficient blending of the skills to produce the "GO" turns or offensive movements.



Theres room for all of us on the hill. And blending skills is a key consept here. Folks reading this should not think we are too serious or mad at each other for real. We are just trying to find out stuff about ourselves and how we ski. I dont think badly about anybody that dissagrees with me. Im happy that people dissagree. That way we can maintain a healthy debate.

post #11 of 23

The difference here TDK6 is that most of us posting here have done it your way  BUT you have not given our method a chance!

 

We don't want to go back, in fact anyone who has discovered and understood this method have never gone back to your historical methods?  I wonder why?

post #12 of 23

Well Ghost, for good or ill, the type of snowplow wedge you describe is exactly how I was taught,i.e. high angled base push to the outside with the resultant force directing you in the opposite direction. The snowplow I was taught(in the mid 60's) bears little resemblance to the graceful "gliding wedge" concept so ably demonstrated by Bob Barnes in the weight transfer thread.

 

Thank you for that by the way, it's the best visual description of a gliding wedge I've ever seen.

 

So either something changed or there was rampant misconception from day one as to what a "snowplow" really consisted of. As it was taught to me, looking back, it was a total braking maneuver that you happened to be able to turn with. To slow down in a straight line you pushed your tails out and increased the ski base/edge angle to the snow--to turn you manuevered your weight out over the ski pointed in the direction you wished to go and waited for the slop in the equipment(boots/bindings/f&*^%$ stiffff 2x4 skiis) to catch up and take effect and you moved in that direction, very different to my eyes than what I see occuring in the video. 

 

As a skinny kid with no mass(5'7", 110lbs), I wasn't able to get rid opf the snowplow/christie trap until I got a pair of skis that I could actually bend and that were made for someone that didn't weigh 200lbs or had been skiing for years. Those skis--Hart Hornets- bright red with yellow bases, changed my winter life and I promptly fell in love with them and found a new love for skiing that has lasted to this day. Equipment is key, good boots were the next revelation. I'm also really happy that I don't have to keep screwing my edges back on after every couple of days on the slopes.

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 

Resistance has nothing to do with it; the others don't even remember it being the way it was for me. (edit: excpet for flog57. I am not alone

 

There is a lot of talk about skier outcomes and what we see on the hill as a result of different teaching approaches, but the more I think about it, it is perhaps more the skier and the skier's needs that shape the teaching methodology than the teaching shaping the skier.  I'll explain below.

 

If you have a student who is aggressive, has excellent balance and kenistetic skills and wants to ski fast with large turn forces from day 1 (like I was, like my daughter was), you will get nowhere fast with the pivoting a gently edged pair of skis and patiently waiting for the weight to transfer to the ski that now has a steering angle (but is only slightly tipped) to drive a slight turn.  The forces available without some significant edging are just not satisfying enough.  In order to satisfy that student, you need to have a tipped engaged edge.  The price of being allowed to play with huge forces that allow you as a beginner to go fast on narrow twisty turny trails is all the gross movements initially required to get those tipped edges into position (until the skier is mostly turning by tipping parallel skis).

 

If you have a student that is content with the gradual turns that work on a not too steep hill, and is willing to stay there for a while and delay high performance skiing for a longer while, then the the gliding wedge works fine to get the student to parallel skidded turns (intermediate??).  They can learn bigger edge angles and forces later.

 

It's not necessarily that the tipped engaged edge driving the turn creates high performance skiers, it's that high performance skiers want those forces to start with. 

 

The modern north American pivoted gliding wedge relies on the outside ski's edge and steering angle to power the turn, but that edge cannot be tipped very much or the wedge cannot be pivoted.  So if you are to use the modern north American beginner training technique and avoid all those nasty gross movements like a stem, picking up the inside ski, etc., you cannot go directly to skiing with significant turn forces.  However, the teaching is so focused on pivoting the wedge to affect the steering angle that, never mind the skier, it would seem even some instructors don't realize that it is the extra friction due to the preferential weighting and tipping of that outside edge that causes the turning force that accelerates the skier around the turn.  It's all about the pivot.  They have traded a perma-stem for a perma-pivot.

 

More edit for flog57,

I got out of the stem-Christie fairly quickly.  The book I had guided me to notice what happened at the end of my stem Christie, and I also noticed when skiing really fast (I was always straightlining as much as possible) that simply leaning caused a turn.

 

 

post #14 of 23

My route out of the wedge/christie morass was almost instantaneous. I had many friends that were skiing from a much younger age than I and had well to do families that could afford lessons other than the free ones provided by our local hill Iroquois Mtn. in exchange for side stepping and packing out the runs in the early season. Most of them could ski parallel and it was a real motivater for me. A number of these friends had older brothers and sisters that were on the ski team and there were a couple of very good older skiers that coached and were former instructors, they took me under their wing and helped me greatly, but, I digress.

 

 The second day on my Hornets I suddenly found that with( to me) subtle movements I could suddenly, with little or no effort, turn both skis at the same time. Worked on it for a couple of hours away from everyone else and then rejoined the fold. My friends and instructors jaws all dropped as I sailed up to them and easily hockey stopped next to them, something that was a great deal of work on my old Lund planks. There was much rejoicing and that was really the beginning of my young racing career. Sorry to hijack, but that's a GOOD memory I haven't relived in quite a while.

                                          Joel

post #15 of 23

Well Ghost I almost agree with you here, BUT not quite.  

 

As speed and forces increase the skier can and will use higher edge angles as a consequence of simply balancing against the forces and with a bit of coaching or trial and error learn about angulation to increase the edge angle and it's affects.  Especially and athletic non fearful of speed skier.   By the way we are not "pivoting" the ski in the wedge we are "steering" it.  I don't know about everyone else's understanding of these two terms but mine are significantly different.  A "pivot" is a rotation about an axis and enlist no edging and therefore no direction change, while "steering" blends the rotary movement of pivoting the foot and leg with edging to produce a whole spectrum of blending and turns.   So as we go faster and skid less and carve more we use progressively less rotary and more edging to move closer the carving end of the spectrum (see "Teaching Concepts III" manual cirque 1970's).  As the speed and forces increase we can now develop our steering angle from the ski bending into reverse camber as you suggested above.

 

The thing about the gliding wedge passive weight shift methodology is it doesn't lead to a dead end street where we have to dismiss what we have learned to that point and learn new alien movements to progress.  So this method actually works quite well for athletic skiers too as long as the instructor recognizes the athleticism of the student and does not hold them back but offers appropriate advice to help them progress faster!

post #16 of 23

Welcome to Epicski Flog57!  

post #17 of 23

So many myths, so little time. I have a ski technique book (an Invitation to Skiing) from 1947 that includes a section on the difference between a braking wedge (snow plow) and a gliding wedge. I also have a copy of the PSIA's first manual from 1964. Neither of those works agrees with the idea that a snow plow is the same as a gliding wedge. In fact in the 1947 book they go to great lengths to suggest if you are plowing snow you are using too much edge. They use the idea of spreading butter on a piece of bread to describe how the skis should glide across the snow. They go on to say that If snow is building up under the skis you are over edged. To expand on that example if you are scaping butter onto the knife you would want more edge. If you're trying to spead it onto the bread you wouldn't use the same higher edge angle. That's IMO is the easiest way to describe the difference between a defensive braking wedge and an offensive gliding wedge.

 

TDK, that left turn includes a very strong pivot of the inside ski at the two thirds point. Before that we seem to agree that it's in the way and inhibiting the turn. Let me add that without that ski in the way, forward momentum would carry her across the hill enough to create a C shaped turn entry. So it's not necessary to keep it engaged so far into the new turn. The effort to overwhelm that ski, then releasing it brings up the question of what would happen when you release that ski? Without the resistance to the turn wouldn't the turning rate increase? Wouldn't the elimination of the resistance decrease the braking? Which would allow the skis to accelerate when the braking stopped. Making constant speed a challenge.

 

The gliding wedge isn't anything like what Ghost and Flog are describing. Does it involve rotary? Sure but it also includes edge and pressure elements as well. Rudimentary rotary skill usage is common at this level but that doesn't mean we make it a singular focus. It's a blended turn fellas. Maybe if you came out to Keystone and participated in our trainers level clinics you would find out exactly what Bob's method includes and why. Like him I'm not saying believe me because I am one of his staff trainers, I'm suggesting you come hear and see what we do first hand. If you did that I'm sure most of these misconceptions would be eliminated.

As far as big edge skiing for aggressive beginners, well you still need to walk before running guys. Impatience isn't a good enough reason to take short cuts that negatively affect a students development.

post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

So many myths, so little time. I have a ski technique book (an Invitation to Skiing) from 1947 that includes a section on the difference between a braking wedge (snow plow) and a gliding wedge. I also have a copy of the PSIA's first manual from 1964. Neither of those works agrees with the idea that a snow plow is the same as a gliding wedge. In fact in the 1947 book they go to great lengths to suggest if you are plowing snow you are using too much edge. They use the idea of spreading butter on a piece of bread to describe how the skis should glide across the snow. They go on to say that If snow is building up under the skis you are over edged. To expand on that example if you are scaping butter onto the knife you would want more edge. If you're trying to spead it onto the bread you wouldn't use the same higher edge angle. That's IMO is the easiest way to describe the difference between a defensive braking wedge and an offensive gliding wedge.

 

TDK, that left turn includes a very strong pivot of the inside ski at the two thirds point. Before that we seem to agree that it's in the way and inhibiting the turn. Let me add that without that ski in the way, forward momentum would carry her across the hill enough to create a C shaped turn entry. So it's not necessary to keep it engaged so far into the new turn. The effort to overwhelm that ski, then releasing it brings up the question of what would happen when you release that ski? Without the resistance to the turn wouldn't the turning rate increase? Wouldn't the elimination of the resistance decrease the braking? Which would allow the skis to accelerate when the braking stopped. Making constant speed a challenge.

 

The gliding wedge isn't anything like what Ghost and Flog are describing. Does it involve rotary? Sure but it also includes edge and pressure elements as well. Rudimentary rotary skill usage is common at this level but that doesn't mean we make it a singular focus. It's a blended turn fellas. Maybe if you came out to Keystone and participated in our trainers level clinics you would find out exactly what Bob's method includes and why. Like him I'm not saying believe me because I am one of his staff trainers, I'm suggesting you come hear and see what we do first hand. If you did that I'm sure most of these misconceptions would be eliminated.

As far as big edge skiing for aggressive beginners, well you still need to walk before running guys. Impatience isn't a good enough reason to take short cuts that negatively affect a students development.

Excellent.

 

There is nothing new under the sun (except for groomed ski hills, that didn't exist back in the day).

 

The gliding wedge, as described to me on this forum, was described to distinguish it from the snow plow.  In truth the actual wedge used in good teaching would have enough edge to be effective and enough rotary to introduce a preferential initial steering angle to accomplish the weight shift. 

 

It's not the method that's flawed; it's the teachers who don't quite fully understand it.

 

BTW my son learned to jump first, then run, then walk

 

It's not a question of you being patient and satisfied with low-forces skiing for your student; it's a question of the student going to ski the steeper runs at higher speeds whether you like it or not, and needing a high edge angle in order not to crash into the rocks.

 

 

 


 

post #19 of 23

Ghost, I would rather have my kid venture off on a steep run knowing how to steer his skis across the hill to turn and head down the hill thinking that if a little edge is good a whole lot would be better.  Without the skill to manage that edge angle with rotary and pressure, he would probably be "veering" more than turning and have little control over his destiny.  note: Simply to balance at higher speeds a skier will intuitively develop higher edge angles just to balance against the resultant forces.

 

I still remember my first night of skiing and I did alot of veering until I figured out how to back off the edges a bit so I could twist my feet.  Consequently I would pick up alot of speed but managed not to panic unless I was going to hit another skier or an immovable object, then I ditched it and slid to a stop trailing a blue streak in the snow from my jeans.  Was it the safest way to learn? I think not.

 

As per the classic snowplow teaching method, it wasn't until I was teaching in Mammoth in the eighties that I discovered the more efficient way to turn in a wedge and what exactly causes a wedge to turn.  Once the physics and mechanics are understood the rest falls into place.  The intent and result is a notable contrast to the classic thinking snowplow or wedge turn.

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

The low angle wedge skier does have the advantage that the skier on the steep windy trail will crash at a lower speed, since he won't make the first turn.

post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

So many myths, so little time. I have a ski technique book (an Invitation to Skiing) from 1947 that includes a section on the difference between a braking wedge (snow plow) and a gliding wedge. I also have a copy of the PSIA's first manual from 1964. Neither of those works agrees with the idea that a snow plow is the same as a gliding wedge. In fact in the 1947 book they go to great lengths to suggest if you are plowing snow you are using too much edge. They use the idea of spreading butter on a piece of bread to describe how the skis should glide across the snow. They go on to say that If snow is building up under the skis you are over edged. To expand on that example if you are scaping butter onto the knife you would want more edge. If you're trying to spead it onto the bread you wouldn't use the same higher edge angle. That's IMO is the easiest way to describe the difference between a defensive braking wedge and an offensive gliding wedge.

 

TDK, that left turn includes a very strong pivot of the inside ski at the two thirds point. Before that we seem to agree that it's in the way and inhibiting the turn. Let me add that without that ski in the way, forward momentum would carry her across the hill enough to create a C shaped turn entry. So it's not necessary to keep it engaged so far into the new turn. The effort to overwhelm that ski, then releasing it brings up the question of what would happen when you release that ski? Without the resistance to the turn wouldn't the turning rate increase? Wouldn't the elimination of the resistance decrease the braking? Which would allow the skis to accelerate when the braking stopped. Making constant speed a challenge.

 

The gliding wedge isn't anything like what Ghost and Flog are describing. Does it involve rotary? Sure but it also includes edge and pressure elements as well. Rudimentary rotary skill usage is common at this level but that doesn't mean we make it a singular focus. It's a blended turn fellas. Maybe if you came out to Keystone and participated in our trainers level clinics you would find out exactly what Bob's method includes and why. Like him I'm not saying believe me because I am one of his staff trainers, I'm suggesting you come hear and see what we do first hand. If you did that I'm sure most of these misconceptions would be eliminated.

As far as big edge skiing for aggressive beginners, well you still need to walk before running guys. Impatience isn't a good enough reason to take short cuts that negatively affect a students development.


You must have missunderstood me. I never said that the gliding wedge was the same as the snow plow. Only that the word wedge is basicly the same as the word snow plow. They meen slightly different things in the english language since you guys have given the word wedge the meening of a snowplow with very small edge angles. The gliding wedge is then a totally different thing as it is a consept including different movements used to turn. Its actually a turn. It should say the gliding wedge turn. Your quotings from the litterature from the 40s prove it. I have a very hard time keeping up with how your mind works. I doubt that there is any reference to "gliding wedge" in the 64 manual. If there is I stand corrected. As I said earlier, in other languages I speak we still use the equivalent words for snow plow. This is a rediculous discussion. Its like this kid that laughed at me when I mentioned the word freestyle and helicopter. He said that its twin tip and 360... you dumb ass. Are those the same or not? Is a wedge with very high edge angles plowing snow out to the sides in fact a snow plow or a wedge with high edge angles? Or is it a wedge that becomes a snow plow if edge angles are high enough?

 

 

In her left turn her inside ski pivots arround. But its a completely passive movement. The inside engaged edge is resisting the pivot early in the turn but later on when the pitch swings arround it releses. The tighter the turn the more it pivots. But its passive with no muscle effort. There is a drill I have been practissing myself for more than 30ys now and that is linking wedged turns while picking up the inside skis tip in the air. It pivots in the air arround its tail. Sort of like an advanced level hip drill. I find it very good to have the inside ski on its edge in  the high C giving resistance. It keeps the speed more constant as pointing the skis down the fall line causes the skier to accellerate.

 

 

You are right. The gliding wedge is not a singular focus consept. The AWT is. Thats what makes it so good. You have a minimum of things you have to get right in order to perform it correctly. Suits very well for young adhd boys.

post #22 of 23


A skier who uses either a wedge or snowplow type turn as their primary move has no business on any steep windy trail.  As mentioned many times in this thread and others the relatively flat narrow wedge turn is a parallel turn with training wheels.  Properly taught the wedge shape disappears quickly and the student is left with a basic parallel.  Any skier with a decent basic parallel and the ability to shape turns will increase edge angles as the terrain gets steeper and they need more edges.  It's called skill blending.  Any instructor that doesn't recognize that all of the skills are present in every turn won't get far with any student.  IMO it is useful to focus on one primary skill for most lessons, or lesson segments in a longer format.  It's simpler and IMO more effective to teach this way.  Of course all the other skills are present and should be acknowledged even if they are not the focus of that particular lesson.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

The low angle wedge skier does have the advantage that the skier on the steep windy trail will crash at a lower speed, since he won't make the first turn.

post #23 of 23

 

 

Quote:

In her left turn her inside ski pivots arround. But its a completely passive movement. The inside engaged edge is resisting the pivot early in the turn but later on when the pitch swings arround it releses. The tighter the turn the more it pivots. But its passive with no muscle effort. There is a drill I have been practissing myself for more than 30ys now and that is linking wedged turns while picking up the inside skis tip in the air. It pivots in the air arround its tail. Sort of like an advanced level hip drill. I find it very good to have the inside ski on its edge in  the high C giving resistance. It keeps the speed more constant as pointing the skis down the fall line causes the skier to accellerate.

Just about every sentence above is Wack dude!

 

If one stands correctly balanced over their skis this action can be relatively passive or active to tighten the radius

 

Why not be proactive and release that resistance to turning sooner?

 

can be passive or active but it is still the rotary skill at work

 

this tells me you are on your heels and likely rotating your hips, reinforcing a bad movement

 

for goodness sakes WHY? why would you want more resistance to turning.  Remember good skiers separate the intent to turn from the intent to slow down.  A gliding, offensive turn will accelerate into the fall line, a defensive turn will brake, you are braking which consequently makes turning more difficult.  Controlling the line to control speed is what offensive good skiing does.  A defensive skier uses turning to slow down by using methods like you describe here.  Big Big difference in intent and clearly opposite of the intent of gliding "Centerline" turns PSIA describes.  Geez!

 

 

 

In response to your language gap:

Gliding wedge = lower edge angles, narrower stance with braking minimized

Braking wedge = higher edge angles, wider stance with braking emphasized

snowplow = what's that, forget about it!  ha ha.....snowplow IMO equals braking wedge.  though you could argue that you can make a less or more braking snowplow.

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