or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

# Skiing on a slush - Page 2

Quote:
 Originally posted by PhysicsMan:... Now, you are at a psychlogical point where you can actually teach them how to do a proper, narrow-angle gliding wedge turn through the slush. I usually demonstrate that with the proper technique (eg, both knees move in the same direction), I can make a 180 degree turn in about a ski length or two, even at sub-walking speeds in slush. ...
PhysicsMan, Can you elaborate on your technique for doing this turn?

-Ken (Ski Knowledge Sponge)
Learn2turnagain - How to do a proper, narrow-angle, gliding wedge turn on corresponding edges (ie, two L edges or two R edges) has been the topic of much discussion here on Epic, and has been the bane of many older instructors and skiers who learned the very different braking wedge.

Unfortunately, I have to sign off now and won't be back till late tonight, but perhaps someone could point you to the most useful threads on the subject. A quick search on the term "gliding wedge" in the instruction forum turned up 41 hits.

Tom / PM
I suspect what PM is refering to is the use of the gliding wedge (as opposed to the braking wedge) to introduce rolling of the feet onto R or L edges and the guiding of the inside foot, rather than the older preoccupation with trying to 'weight'and/or rotate the outer ski. That attempt to rotate the turning outer ski is what has given rise to the doctrines of PMTS etc and through which the wedge has unnecessarily been discredited. He may of course have been refering to something else entirely...
I'm a little late to weigh in here, but general advice for skiing in slush, although 1-3 here is pretty much an echo of what everyone said above:

1. Ski slightly more two footed, instead of committing almost everything to the outside foot.

2. It takes longer for the skis to react and carve, because there's more give to the soft snow. Be patient and accept smooth, round turns.

3. Ski in balance, as you can be thrown forward by clumps of slush (and I've always assumed some of the stickiness was clumps of melting man-made snow, which feels different.) I find that putting my hands out for balance helps. Note that being in fore-and-aft balance is _not_ the same as leaning back or being in the back seat. Someone said it well, above, that you have to stay aggressive.

4. Wax your skis with an appropriate wax for warm weather conditions. Other than racers and cross country skiers, no one really does this (well, 97% of recreational skiers don't), and it's crazy--wax makes even more difference in warm, slushy conditions, and it will likely increase your feeling of skiing "these snows in a much lighter manner...almost dancing across it". You can obsess about the exact right wax (say, if you're a racer, consulting the online Swix Wax Wizard, button on the right at

http://www.swixsport.com/index.htm

Or, more likely just use an all-temperature low-fluoro wax like Swix F4 or Swix universal warm wax. Let the ski shop at the mountain base hot wax your skis in the morning. That'll have the side benefit of maybe leaving a little wax on your skis when you put them away for the summer. (And, actually, your base should be thoroughly waxed right before you put it away for the summer, so it doesn't dry out. But don't get me started...)

Good luck,

sfDean
I've been reading everything here trying to learn how to enjoy spring skiing more. This is another thread I found
http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...=000260#000000

Ihavethesecret's epic post in that thread stresses the mindgame of taking on the speed needed to carve the slush, but makes reference to the need to have confidence in those thin steel edges.

Isn't one of the problems with slush, the need to carve it but with condiderably more base flotation, more like powder, as if the bases have to push against and run on a wall of slush and this needs more aggressive edge angles than harder snows require?

My guess is that edge sharpness plays very little part here and that the whole bases are doing the work. So the turn transition becomes critical when the bases are flat and if allowed to skid will do so with confusing feedback or worse, particularly with ruts etc where balance is difficult anyway.

Somehow these flat skis have to be brought to considerable edge angles before turning forces can be sustained. Subtle and aggressive, that's a tough one, when all the bumps, troughs and loose stuff also has to be absorbed!
Quote:
 Originally posted by jimbo: However, I have found that a little bit lower stance has been more effective in skiing the slush. When I have seen skiers in a really high upright stance, and they hit the varying snow conditions, they seem to get pitched forward or sideways a little more often. The key is to keep your joints flexed and moving so that, as WVkier says here, you can absorb as much as possible. In the really deep slush, however, sometimes you will have to use an active retraction of the skis.[/QB]
I think Jimbo is on the right track here.
Slush requires a bit more of an active style and approach and this inevitably means a bit of a lower stance. As opposed to what someone said before, a lower stance actually gives you more room for absorbtion then a high stance (unless offcourse one exagerates in either way).

I also feel you need toput a little more effort into unweighting the ski's i the slush.

A skier at the level presented won't be able to "cut" through all the turns in the slush right away.

Active skiing, skiing out your turns will do the job I think.
Quote:
 Originally posted by learn2turnagain:
quote:
Originally posted by PhysicsMan: ... Now, you are at a psychlogical point where you can actually teach them how to do a proper, narrow-angle gliding wedge turn through the slush. I usually demonstrate that with the proper technique (eg, both knees move in the same direction), I can make a 180 degree turn in about a ski length or two, even at sub-walking speeds in slush. ...
PhysicsMan, Can you elaborate on your technique for doing this turn?</font>[/quote]Daslider gave a good overview.

To add a bit more detail, in a gliding wedge turn, the tips are fairly close (just like in an old fashioned braking wedge - aka snowplow), but your boots are only a foot or so apart. Because of this, the skis meet at a more modest angle, say 5 to 20 degrees, compared to the much larger angle (30 to 90 deg) of the braking wedge.

The proximity of the boots allows the skier to keep his shins parallel instead of dramatically A-framed as in the braking wedge. This allows both skis to lay flat on the snow, and allows them to be simultaneously twisted in the same direction by simultaneous rotation of both femurs in the pelvis (aka, braquage). One of the important features of this turn is that because the skis are relatively flat on the snow, release from the old turn/traverse is trivial, and this is critical to shortening the radius of any turn.

The next thing to add in terms of turn sophistication is simultaneous edging of both skis onto their corresponding edges (ie, two left or two right edges). Because distance between the boots is much less, simultaneous edging is easy to do.

This is quite different from the old snowplow, where one is on adjacent (ie, both inside) edges. With the large and opposite edge angles that result from the A-frame position, the skis are essentially always fighting each other (ie, the right ski wants to rail off to the left, and the left ski wants to rail off to the right).

One of the main attractions of the gliding wedge turn is that there is no essential difference between the simultaneous edging involved in this turn and what one does in high level dynamic parallel skiing, yet its width provides less experienced skiers with a solid base of support.

Most people would never think of suggesting a wedge as part of a progression to learn to ski slush. However, in my experience, it works quite well, even with very inexperienced skiers, especially if they are used to doing a proper gliding wedge from previous lessons on groomed snow.

In slush, the narrow angle, gliding wedge turn works well because your skis are going mostly forward, and are not trying to be forced to move sideways through the heavy snow at a large angle. Even if the wedge angle is as much as 20 deg, each ski is pointed at most only 10 degrees away from straight ahead, and the ability to add rotary steering and generate simultaneous edging all contribute to the ability to make extremely short radius turns with this technique, even in slush. This is a huge advantage to skiers just learning to ski in such conditions. As they get better and move to steeper slopes and higher speeds, this turn merges seamlessly into the normal, fully edged parallel turns described by the other contributors to this thread.

There is lots more to discuss (and has been discussed) about gliding wedge turns, but I hope this gives you a basic idea of what its about. A search should turn up much more lengthy discussions of this type of turn.

Cheers,

Tom / PM
Slice THROUGH the snow. Don't try to move it or plow it. Leave it where you found it, but with 2 deep grooves in it!!
Agree with Blizzard. Edge the skis early, underneath you. No flat spots. And mind you don't get ahead of them!
I totally agree with the "2 deep grooves" approach for more advanced skiers, but in keeping with the guy who started this thread who said that he just recently learned to ski parallel, I would build his skills (ie, how to lay down those two elusive deep grooves) and confidence through the very slow speed, very tight turns that a gliding wedge turn can provide.

Tom / PM
Physics Man

while I can see that the narrower wedge would help in the slush, it doesn't necessarily follow that a wider wedge has to be a braking wedge. It only 'brakes'significantly if the knees are rolled in. If the hips are opened and pressure maintiantained on the outsides of the feet but insides of the skis, it is an ideal platform for learning foot rolling and inside foot guiding. The narrower platform may not be stable enough for some of this, after all this 1 ft is narrower than many people's 'hip width' stance.

imo the entire 'anti-wedge' drive is based on its misapplication.
Quote:
 Originally posted by daslider:...it doesn't necessarily follow that a wider wedge has to be a braking wedge. It only 'brakes'significantly if the knees are rolled in. If the hips are opened and pressure maintiantained on the outsides of the feet but insides of the skis, it is an ideal platform for learning foot rolling and inside foot guiding. The narrower platform may not be stable enough for some of this...
True 'nuff, but if you open up the wedge too much, even if you keep them flat on/in the snow, then the skis will be pointed in significantly different directions than the direction they are both moving, ie, the skidding angle (sometimes called the "angle of attack") starts to become too large. The problem that this causes is that the legs start getting torqued significantly by the random irregularities in the slush. Even worse, the two legs always get torqued at random, independently of each other, and this really bothers beginning slush skiers.

As in most things, there is a happy medium - a wide enough separation between the legs to give lateral stability and allowing the skier to apply braquage, but not so wide as to cause the problem mentioned above or to limit the ability to maintain parallel shins when edging (as is one problem with the clasic braking wedge).

Quote:
 ...after all this 1 ft is narrower than many people's 'hip width' stance...
That's why I said, "1 foor, or so".

Tom / PM
PM

I think we are talking about different things here. I don't think a proper wedge is any use in deep slush for the reasons you give. The narrow wedge may be easier, but let's face it slush is not an ideal learning environment for people who haven't already got some basic carving skills.

my point about the hip width, or so, is that unless the platform is significantly wider the stability is lost and its learning use compromised. The shins can't be parallel on a wide supporting base. But it doesn't have to be just a braking manoever because of that.
Actually, I don't think our POV's actually differ very much at all, maybe just in degree.

> ...is not an ideal learning environment for people who haven't already got some
> basic carving skills...

True, but ya got to do something when it's slushy and a group of level 3 - 5's that don't have a clue about carving walk up and need a lesson.

> ...my point about the hip width, or so, is that unless the platform is significantly
> wider the stability is lost and its learning use compromised...

In my experience, lateral stability is not as big a problem for beginning slush skiers as the feeling of their skis being "stuck in the snow" and "being twisted by the snow", so I'd err on the side of a bit narrower rather than wider (and flat) to reduce the random torques mentioned above and make large edge angles easier to achieve.

As usual, YMMV. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Tom / PM
Nice posts, PM. Very useful and well-explained (now that I read the entire thread!).
One tip that I learned from my trainer for skiing crud, is to drive off the big toe of your uphill/outside ski at the beginning of the turn. It's as if your skis are across the hill and you want to start skating down the hill really fast. You drive off that uphill big toe to get yourself started. This works in a couple ways: it encourages you to make an active extension into the new turn and it helps to engage the new outside ski on its turning edge. Try it for yourself, I noticed immediate payoffs (I went from really bad, to nearly ok in just one hour!).
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Return Home
Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching