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# So when does the turn begin ? - Page 2

Do you guys actually think about things like this when you are skiing? My God.
CalG and Oboe-I agree. If I am working on a particualr aspect of turning, such as one of the fundamental basics, I will think about that and work on that one item with some drills. However, if I try to think and analyze my way through a whole series of turn sequences, I invariably will fall apart. I rember a situation where I told Bob Barnes what I was thinking and analyzing and he said emphatically "Oh no : , don't do that!" One day, while I was working on my turns, one of the trainers told me to get my head out of my : and to just ski. Once I stopped trying to analyze everything, the turns started flowing smoothly again. It's a tight rope to walk. You have to stop and think and work your way through some drills and training to improve an a particular aspect of turning, but if you think too much, you will not be able to turn : .
Quote:
 Originally posted by PhysicsMan:FWIW, mathematics provides a very clear and definitive answer to the question of where does a turn begin, and it is definitely not "in-the-fall-line". Just \$0.02 from the geeks. Tom / PM
So, what you are saying is that when a skier straightlining the fall line turns out of that straight line, they are not initiating the turn from the fall line?

You had better rethink this argument, as it is full of holes.
Quote:
 Originally posted by Harry Morgan:
quote:
Originally posted by PhysicsMan: FWIW, mathematics provides a very clear and definitive answer to the question of where does a turn begin, and it is definitely not "in-the-fall-line". Just \$0.02 from the geeks. Tom / PM
So, what you are saying is that when a skier straightlining the fall line turns out of that straight line, they are not initiating the turn from the fall line?

You had better rethink this argument, as it is full of holes.
</font>[/quote]All of the previous discussion in this thread has been an attempt to analyze a series of smoothly linked S-turns. No one else in this thread (that I remember) brought up the case you have decided to focus on, namely, when someone straightlining down the fall line turns out of the fall line.

Obviously, such a person has indeed initiated a turn from the fall line. No one ever said anything different, or attempted to dispute this because it simply wasn't discussed (in this thread) before you brought it up.

In fact, the situation you introduced is trivial for analysis because any and all changes from heading straight down the fall line are indeed turn initiations. Rather, what we *were* discussing was the case when one is only momentarily passing through the fall line (with no hesitation in the fall line) in a series of linked S-curves. The latter is a much more complicated situation to analyze, where there were many possible points that could be considered the "beginning" of the turn. We were trying to determine which of these would be the most reasonable to be called the "beginning of the next turn".

So, while your attempt to provide a counterexample is flawed, it does bring up the point that much high level skiing is done fall-line-to-fall-line and should be considered.

Tom / PM

PS - Edited to remove the argumentative edge of my initial response & then a couple of typos.

[ May 22, 2003, 11:59 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
Quote:
 Originally posted by wink: I think Alex G is using what often is called "crossover" as his turn initiation que.
It doesn't matter. It works the same way for cross under. The relative position of CM and skis is what matters. The differences in how it is achieved - crossover / crossunder / tumble / dinner roll - is formal.
Quote:
 Originally posted by chahuga:Do you guys actually think about things like this when you are skiing? My God.
I second this opinion. Do you think maybe you are over analzying things just a bit? Who cares when the turn begins, as long as it gets you through/around/over whatever you are trying to ski? It's scary to think that the future of a sport that I hold so dearly lies in such anal retentive hands.

Apologies if that hurts anyones feelings, but go back and read the whole thread before disagreeing with me.

Edit: Check spelling before submitting post.

[ May 13, 2003, 09:24 AM: Message edited by: teledave ]
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by chahuga:
Do you guys actually think about things like this when you are skiing? My God.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Of course we don't think that while skiing, who could ski that way? A discussion evolved from a very simple question which turns out not to have such a simple answer. In discussing it people figure out and clarify things. You certainly don't need to know any of it "just to ski" but if someone was helping you learn to ski you'd benefit from the exploration and clarity of thought.

Quote:
 I second this opinion. Do you think maybe you are over analzying things just a bit? Who cares when the turn begins, as long as it gets you through/around/over whatever you are trying to ski? It's scary to think that the future of a sport that I hold so dearly lies in such anal retentive hands.
It's actually quite reassuring that people care enough to go into such detail and figure out what the sequence of events are. The alternative to not knowing any of it is teaching someone and saying "oh come on, just do it!".

Of course the big myth here is that the best skiers never think about such things they just ski. Well whether they've been ripping huge lines in Alaska or running gates the best skiers will rerun turns in their minds. Whether it happens in a bar or at the bottom of the hill, they'll often discuss it too. Wondering how they could have handled something better, or reliving the feeling of a great turn, they're analyzing. It may not go into such "anal" detail, but actually it often does even if only casually expressed.

Hey, who cares if an apple falls from a tree? Just eat it or make a pie! Almost three hundred years ago someone thought about that a lot and came up with the law of gravity that eventually got us to the moon.
Hey Tog!
What does webster know about skiing? [img]tongue.gif[/img]

If you want to get that tecky, one could suggest that we are always turning.

Wherever any of us are are now, whatever any of us are doing, we are all arc'n around the gravitation center of the sum of the masses of our earth and moon, even as they are arc'n around our sun, even as our whole solar system arcs around the center of the milky way, even as it arcs throughout the universe. At the limits of conceptual awareness, there are no straight paths, only weaving ones.

So at best, all we do is choose how we modify the path of the arc of our existance that begin at conception (and may never end) to make it more, or less, snaky, and thereby more (or less) entertaining and meaningful to us. Works for me.....

[img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

[ May 13, 2003, 07:06 PM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
In the thread, "What are the basics?", Nolo brought up some issues quite relevant to this turn initiation thread.

Quote:
 Originally posted by nolo:I've had some questions about the difference between fall line to fall line and traverse to traverse. I rooted around and found this post from Weems that says what I stumbled around trying to say:
quote:
Now I've always known about the importance of linking turns, but I once took a clinic from a racer named Stephan Heinzch who really clarified it for me. We asked him to describe his turn from beginning to end. He said, okay, and then proceeded to point his skis downhill (holding with his poles) and said, "Now I'm ready to turn." FLASH! Before he went any further, I understood skiing in a new light. I'm a ski instructor, and my turn starts in the traverse and ends in the traverse--it's about speed reduction for my students. He's a racer and his turn starts in the fall line and ends in the fall line--it's about speed maintenance. Once I adopted his paradigm, the artificiality of turn finish in/turn start in the traverse went away forever (possibly because I already did that when I free skied). This, in turn, obliterated the holding at the critical transition and upgraded the fluidity.
</font>[/quote]I hate to admit this, but after holding forth on the geometrical issues which favor a traverse-to-traverse definition of turns, I REALLY liked Nolo's re-posted msg from Weems. Somehow, combining what Weems said with Bob Barnes' comments to the effect that lane changing in a car can also be considered "a turn", and Harry Morgan's comments about straightlining skiers, it finally really clicked for me personally why thinking about turns from fall-line to fall-line is sometimes appropriate.

If I am going down a slope which is shallow enough that I can straight-line it without getting up to stupid-fast speeds, my skiing often consists of a series of straight-down-the-fall-line segments connected by quick "lane-change" carves to avoid traffic and play with the terrain. This is the speed maintainence mode talked about in the message Nolo quoted, and is LOTSA fun. OTOH, as the slope gets steeper, the duration of the straight-down-the-fall-line segments gets shorter and shorter, and I start thinking in terms of speed controlling traverse-to-traverse turns, also exactly as in the msg Nolo quoted.

Coming back to the issue of trying to define where a turn begins, up until this point, we were trying to figure out where the initiation points were in a series of smoothly linked, S-turns. OTOH, if you hesitate in the fall line (even for a moment), you are no longer turning while in the fall line, and thus, as I mentioned in my response to Harry Morgan, ANY change in direction from a straight downhill segment will be the start of a new turn, by anyone's definition (including mathematicians).

Thus, while I earlier chastized Harry Morgan in this thread because he wanted to talk about turns initiated from straight line runs down the fall line, saying that this wasn't what the thread was about, I think that he essentially was trying to say that some skiing is done that way, and really should be considered.

So, it looks like it is coming to the point where the real difference between the two possibilities for where a turn is initiated depends on whether you hesitate (even momentarily) in the traverse or in the fall-line.

Tom / PM
I support the advocates of the falline-to-falline perspective. In that if you are going to have any "hesitation" in your end/start mind-set, it has a far, far, less signifigant impact on flow to hesitate when you are continuing to do pretty much the same thing (as you are in the falline) than to hesitate when you are involved in the transition from one set of edges to the other. :
The turn begins when the straight line ends
Fall line to fall line is two turns, not one.
Here is something I'm working on for a seperate purpose on the definition of a turn. I'll paste it here for you guys to see:
========================================

There has been recent debate in the instructional community over where a turn begins and ends. Specifically, does it begin and end semi perpendicular to the falline and resemble a single arc C shape or does it begin and end parallel to the falline and resemble a two partial arc S shape? Further, is the shape of a turn defined by the direction of travel of the skis or the direction of travel of the Center of Mass (CM)?

The premise of this article will be that a turn represents one complete arc, and that the beginning, end, and shape of a turn is solely identified by the direction of travel of the skis. The brief moment in which edges are disengaged and CM passes through lateral neutral (directly over the feet) represents the transition period between separate turns and that transition can happen at any orientation to the fall line depending on the characteristics of the slope and intent of the skier.
All,

Try this on for size. There is no 'turn' involved in skiing. Because skiing has always involved traveling along arced paths the word turn was adopted to simplify talking about what was going on. This led to the breaking down of the turn into phases and solidified the idea of a turn being a C-shaped arc. Then along came a few of us who started to talk about a turn going from fall line to fall line and boy did we get some strange looks and fierce resistence from other instructors when we started to present this idea in clinics. Now, I have a new way of looking at skiing. Skiing is going where you want to go at the speed you want to travel at. I don't think of 'turns' at all. There are a series of points on the hill that I want my skis to pass over and I am just guiding my skis and body to and through those points on my way to the other points.

Hope this adds to the confusion,

Yd
Hey Ydnar--where you been--haven't seen you in a while. Welcome back!

I like your description. And it fits nicely with the description I've suggested above. I do think it provides a better image of modern skiing than thinking of a turn as a discrete event.

You've also almost described one of my favorite exercises, designed to get people into the "controlling your line" mode (as opposed to "making turns" and even more opposed to "braking")--I call it "targets." Pick a chunk of snow, a shadow, or some other visible point on the slope, and try to slice it in two with your ski. Pick another point, and do it again. As you ski down, constantly pick targets for your skis to slice. It's an interesting game, involving more than it may seem on the surface. Once you've picked your point, you have to determine a path--a rounded trajectory--that gets you to it with your skis going the right direction. It develops an acute sense of line and control, and keeps skis going the way they're pointed (otherwise they won't "slice" the target, they'll just push it away).

Good to hear from you Ydnar!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
Bob,

It used to be 'target turns' but when I came up with this idea of skiing where I wanted to go and not thinking so much in terms of 'turns'. I had to change it to 'target skiing' . This led me to making a change in the exercise itself. In using the term 'target turns' the target was at the end of the turn and so the target would be sliced at the transition of the turn. I still use that as the introduction of the idea of target skiing but then go to slicing the target with the skis in the fall line and finally to slicing the target at different points along the arc I am traveling. It sometimes surprises me just how much this exercise smooths out my students skiing. Also, as an exercise, it comes as close as you can to just skiing.

Amazing how great minds think alike just as long as the subject isn't centrifugal force,

Yd
Quote:
 Originally posted by Ydnar:Skiing is going where you want to go at the speed you want to travel at.
That certainly describes what I wish to do. So if I ski down a very narrow and steep trail with sharp turns that require [as a matter of physics] that I limit my speed, how can I possibly do that without scrubbing?

Or if I "go where I want to go", that might be the "fast line" rather than the "slow line", but I want to go at a slower speed, so how can I do that without scrubbing?
Turn up hill that last little bit in the first one...

The second one - why? If I want to ski slower I don't pick a faster line
disski, "turning up the hill" is not always an option, and sometimes in those places, even when you can turn up the hill, you have no room for a carved turn the othe way. In the second item, I want to ski where I want to ski at the speed I want to ski. That's what I want. Sometimes it's necessary, as when the trail is crowded, and sometimes - I just WANT to. Why is that so godawful bad?
I didn't say to turn right up hill - simply to turn uphill that extra little tiny bit each turn... REALLY TURN your legs in shorties
Quote:
 Or if I "go where I want to go", that might be the "fast line" rather than the "slow line", but I want to go at a slower speed, so how can I do that without scrubbing? That's what I want. Sometimes it's necessary, as when the trail is crowded, and sometimes - I just WANT to. Why is that so godawful bad? -Oboe
Well if you -want- to do it without "scrubbing" you could do hop turns but that's a lot of energy. One certainly doesn't have to 100% carve every turn and as you point out sometimes it just isn't possible. Some call the combination of carved and skidded a Skarved turn or a "brushed carve" (Arcmeister). There's nothing wrong with it at all and you can play around with when in the arc the skis skid or brush out.
Well, I'll admit, Tog, that I asked a leading question and that you have given the answer to which the question leads. That's my point - is there something about the "brushed carve" that is against the rules?
[quote]Originally posted by Tog:

Quote:
 Some call the combination of carved and skidded a Skarved turn or a "brushed carve" (Arcmeister)
Yea, I have a friend I don't like who's a little pregnant that does these all the time once in a while, but he can only do them in a parallel wedge. I keep trying to suggest to him when I don't see him that he should try steering instead, but he says he would rather just brush his tails out. Any suggestions? :

[ May 27, 2003, 03:40 PM: Message edited by: FastMan ]
Quote:
 Originally posted by oboe:
quote:
Originally posted by Ydnar: Skiing is going where you want to go at the speed you want to travel at.
That certainly describes what I wish to do. So if I ski down a very narrow and steep trail with sharp turns that require [as a matter of physics] that I limit my speed, how can I possibly do that without scrubbing?

Or if I "go where I want to go", that might be the "fast line" rather than the "slow line", but I want to go at a slower speed, so how can I do that without scrubbing?
</font>[/quote]
Quote:
 Originally posted by oboe:disski, "turning up the hill" is not always an option, and sometimes in those places, even when you can turn up the hill, you have no room for a carved turn the othe way. In the second item, I want to ski where I want to ski at the speed I want to ski. That's what I want. Sometimes it's necessary, as when the trail is crowded, and sometimes - I just WANT to. Why is that so godawful bad?
Oboe:

Who's the argument with here?

In your word problem (above), you state that it is not possible to execute linked carved turns. So, given that it is not possible, how can there be any conflict here?

Tog's description of a skarve certainly seems workable. What about redirecting the skis into the turn during initiation then carving the bottom portion of the turn?

Is it your contention that you will be held accountable for breaking the "RULES" if you displace the tails? Doesn't seem like the spirit of the pro's here to me. By all means, push them babies out there instead of hitting someone or speeding off down hill beyond what you're comfortable with.

Am I missing something?
Quote:
 That's my point - is there something about the "brushed carve" that is against the rules?
Well, the "rules" of carving state that the tails shall follow the tips in the same arc. So you won't be carving. So the question becomes "Is it against the rules to make a turn that's not carved?" If your playing the game of carving then yes it's against the rules but there's other games to play...

I think by "the rules" you mean a concept of good skiing? There's nothing at all wrong with it, in fact it is impossible to ski the whole mountain carving every single turn.

Still, "pushing out the tails" is a braking manuever. If you want to do that fine, but for your turns (even if it's a braking turn) think about guiding the tips first. You can still let the tails drift out and if you really need to come around quickly you make a hard edge set and use the rebound to help change direction. Note that the edge set is really focusing on the center of the ski under your foot after you've guided the tips around perpendicular to the fall line.

The real question is "what rules?" (maybe a different thread?)
I admit I've been playing with this a bit, but I don't want to contribute further to the puzzlement.

As Bob Barnes writes in The Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing,, a pure carved turn is theoretical, and all carved turns involve some degree of skidding or "skarving". It's a matter of degree. This is not a case of being "a little bit pregnant".

I have no wish to ski so fast that it's unsafe for me or those around me. Also, my interest is NOT in skiing a line that's slow enough for me to control with as close to pure carving as I can get. My wish is to learn to ski the line of my choice - or the line of necessity - while controlling speed through skarving, or brushing. I want to ski trees, and bumps, to negotiate crowded slopes, to ski down eastern trails that are narrow and winding - and at a speed slow enough not to get hurt. I am not convinced that I can do all that by always carving to the max and turning uphill to control speed. I turn to "go there", and at a speed I can handle.
That thing about pure carved turns being technically impossible can get you into trouble. I mentioned it on a skiing newsgroup, and came in for strong disapproval! Because they all carve, you see, fully. No skid. Yep.
Oboe:
> My wish is to learn to ski the line of my choice - or the line
> of necessity - while controlling speed through skarving, or
> brushing. I want to ski trees, and bumps, to negotiate crowded
> slopes, to ski down eastern trails that are narrow and winding
> and at a speed slow enough not to get hurt.

I think that the second sentence of Oboe's that I quoted above gives the background for his position, namely, crowded, narrow, and most importantly, "Eastern" (ie, packed) snow.

On a narrow, crowded trail, even an expert can't really ski "like an expert", because for safety considerations, he should not be carving back and forth across the trail, or going so fast there is a large velocity differential between him and the other people on the trail.

If the snow is reasonably consistent and packed, a good skier under such conditions should (if necessary) even be able to put his skis some angle to the fall line and through adjustments to fore and aft pressure (and edging), be able to descend surprisingly long stretches of the trail without varying that angle. Such skidding is the ultimate in non-carving. Its a great exercise, and is certainly useful to have in your bag of tricks. I know because I do it myself quite often, especially on catwalks, and I certainly don't feel even the slightest twinge of angst afterwards . In fact, I feel like I just used a rather good technique. So, Oboe, there is nothing wrong with what you are suggesting for the conditions you specified.

HOWEVER ...

Now, OTOH, lets consider how to get down a similar narrow, fairly steep corridor (minus the crowds - to start with), but this time, the trail is covered with 18" of heavy, wet, tracked up mush. Unless I'm on such fat boards that I'm riding totally on top of the mush, there is absolutely no way that I can employ sideways skidding with parallel skis in such grabby thick glop, and the skidding technique that served me so well in other conditions will now be just about totally useless.

I can probably negotiate these conditions by reverting back to a moderate angle snowplow, but this will require quite a bit of muscular force, be nerve-wracking if there is any inconsistency to the snow, not very confidence inspiring in steeper terrain, and last but not least, look really lame.

In these conditions, a much better option is to know how to carve linked short radius turns. This approach is a lot more fun, tires your legs much less, is adaptable to quite steep terrain, and simply looks a lot better. These are conditions just made for "skiing the slow line fast". While such conditions don't happen all that often in the east, they occasionally do happen (eg, deeply rotted spring slop), and you better have a good, really pure carve in your bag of tricks if you want to enjoy the day, because introduce just a couple of degrees of sideslip, and you will probably be falling every few minutes.

FINALLY ...

(...and this situation also occasionally happens...) populate the narrow, glop-covered trail that I just described with hoards of other skiers all picking their way down. IMHO, you now have a situation for which there just isn't a "good" answer. You can't sideslip because of the snow, you can't fit in short R pure carves because of the traffic, and so, you might just be reduced to either the shallow, energy intensive wedge or just waiting out the traffic.

I guess what I'm trying to point out is that no one (ie, BobB) ever suggested that unless you "ski the slow line fast all the time", you will be a second class skier. There are times when this is obviously not the right approach and serious parallel skidding is called for, times when the opposite is true, and times when neither approach is optimal. The well-seasoned skier will know what is most appropriate technique to use, and be able to do it immediately, seamlessly, safely and effectively.

Tom / PM

PS - IMO, the apparent emphasis on carving in this forum and amongst instructors comes because most skiers simply don't realize how tightly a good skier (on appropriate equipment) can carve a turn, and hence think that they have to transition to skidded turns much earlier than is really necessary. Thus, if these skiers can acquire short-R carves in their bag of tricks, it really opens up their options as an all-terrain, all-conditions skier.
Quote:
 Originally posted by PhysicsMan: populate the narrow, glop-covered trail that I just described with hoards of other skiers all picking their way down. IMHO, you now have a situation for which there just isn't a "good" answer. You can't sideslip because of the snow, you can't fit in short R pure carves because of the traffic, and so, you might just be reduced to either the shallow, energy intensive wedge or just waiting out the traffic. [/QB]
Hey PM, out about some leaping pivots here. To me this is one of the few situations where the dynamics of hop turns come in handy as an actual skiing technique.
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