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Wedge - when is it good

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ok, here is the thread to put this in. I personally don't wedge except to control speed where doing it with a sideslip or drift in my turn would take up to much space and controller speed with turn shape is also not possible.

But, to get my terms accurate, that type of wedge is really a plough. When is a wedge desired in skiing.

Do people see it as a way to help people transition out of one bad habit and towards better sking as Rusty had an example of.

I come from a background where wedging is seen as counter productive. Many here keep saying it is productive. Please provide examples so I might understand the wedges application.

I put this here rather than discuss in my Perfect Turn thread so I don't do the ultimate folly and Hijack my own thread. I already hijacked someone elses and I'm certainly not gonna Hijack my own thread!
post #2 of 23
well you can put it in mine!
post #3 of 23
For me, the real usefullness of a wedge is to allow for isolation of movement patterns. This is what I use it for to work on my own skiing. If you are to learn new movement patterns or perfect the ones that you have, you have to find a way to do those movements while shutting down all the other movements so that you can feel them and understand them. The wedge shuts down a lot of cross feed blending between the upper body and foot to foot. This allows for better isolation.

In short the wedge introduces a platform from which to learn high level movement patterns. Its very useful for total beginners and very advanced skiers. The ones in the middle may be better served with the parallel stance.
post #4 of 23
I took a telemark clinic this weekend. We did a drill to work edging where we stood in a wedge, weighted the downhill ski and used the uphill ski only for speed control. Just to emphasize the feeling of how the ski carved - there was no skidding allowed whatsoever on the downhill ski. To turn you came to a stop and switched your weight to the other ski. Then we went right to big GS turns and bingo - nice tele RR tracks.

I'm not sure how well it would work if you're starting from scratch. Both of us in the lesson have been alpine skiers for 20 years and are just new to tele. But it was helpful in that situation anyway...
post #5 of 23
actually Pierre, some of the middlemen benefit as well, I speak as one! It certainly allows you to feel what is going on. I was introducing some competent but skiddy intermediates to carving and after some persuasion got them to swallow a little pride and do some railroading, gliding wedges then angulating to really get one edge running with a hand on the boot - they just couldn't believe the speed and the power they felt.

of course they went back to skidding again, but a door had been openned. A feeling was there.

Crabbing with footrolling seems particularly instructive and if followed by an inside foot guiding of a gliding wedge can lead to parallel without any twisting or forced rotation of the outer ski, all within a very easy safe platform.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
So if I paraphase, the wedge allows for the trying out of new movement patterns in a safer way since balance issues are not as much a factor. Also the wedge will keep speed under control.

So things that might throw a person actually skiing a new movement pattern, like a progression to carving if not introduced in a wedge may be to dramatic a change. With the wedge they can get a feel of the effect of the new movement pattern without a lose of stability.

I can see that approach.

Thx!
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
In the specific example you were giving of a progression to carving, we did it at race camp with a series of side slip drills which kept things under control. Then we moved to shallow traverses. At that time of year only the palmer snow field was open which is pretty steep. I would imagine a wedge approach there would have been dificult because of the steepness. But I can totally see that as an approach on blue terrain where instead of the big jump from side slip to skiing you can phase it in.

I know people have me tagged as a PMTS person, but many of the concepts I see people talking about like the wedge as a training tool I also did not get in my PSIA instructed race camp. I'm just trying to see where people are coming from and these are good examples.

Thanks!
post #8 of 23
There's way too much emphasis on RR track type edge use today. Too many folks are "learning" to ski without developing the ability to skid well. They're letting the sidecut and flexibility of their ski determine where they go.
All to avoid learning to steer skis while in a wedge.

Anyway, to stay on the topic, a wedge is NOT a really good speed control maneuver. The way to control speed is to chose a turn path that doesn't go so fast. Where there's not room for a turn (approaching a lift line for example), the wedge is an appropriate speed limiting maneuver, provided your speed already is under control. In a wedge, no matter how much braking you're doing, your skis still are pointing down the fall line. The way to stop/slow is to have the skis pointing across the fall line.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
(my phasing in experience of carving on the palmer snow field resulted in lots of highly salted snow in various places of my body)
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Kneale Brownson:
The way to stop/slow is to have the skis pointing across the fall line.
My understanding of speed control, or what I currently do is turn shape (I believe what your saying above) and controlling edge angles. If you are in a pure carve you don't lose much speed, but by backing off the edge angles you can then drift your turn (brush your turn) and that also has the effect of bleeding off speed.

I would agree, this continum of controlling speed is not taught.

Here is an example, I can be carving down a black but then there is an area where carving isn't going to work. I can alter my line by changing the arc of the turn to avoid whatever, or I can just stop carving by releasing but not turning and side slip to the good part and then pick up carving again. This is nothing I was taught but just something that I do whenever I need to basically add a stair step piece to my turn.

Or, I can be carving a turn and am getting towards the bottom so I just back off the edging and let my turn sweep a broad brush instead of a line and that removes a lot of speed. Of course I can also carry the turn more completely or even go uphill, but that's not as much fun as playing with the continum between carve and side slip.

If what I just wrote above is good, you are right in that it was not taught to me in my background.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by Kneale Brownson:
There's way too much emphasis on RR track type edge use today. Too many folks are "learning" to ski without developing the ability to skid well. They're letting the sidecut and flexibility of their ski determine where they go.
All to avoid learning to steer skis while in a wedge.
I came into this season very "tipping biased," the result of race coaching in the 70s without any new insight until this year. I spent a fair amount of this early season "buttering" turns to really force myself to dial in some rotary movements. I think it helped me pass my PSIA skiing exams, but more than that, it has shown me a lot about how the blending really works and helped me to be far more effective on-snow.

Also, like Pierre, I tend to use a wedge christie as my primary drill for independent rotary. Most of the other drills are simultaneous rotary.
post #12 of 23
John Mason said:
Quote:
So if I paraphase, the wedge allows for the trying out of new movement patterns in a safer way since balance issues are not as much a factor. Also the wedge will keep speed under control.

So things that might throw a person actually skiing a new movement pattern, like a progression to carving if not introduced in a wedge may be to dramatic a change. With the wedge they can get a feel of the effect of the new movement pattern without a lose of stability.
It actually goes much deeper than that. It is not so much a balance issue or a dramatic change issue. It is a stability issue. Usually the changes sought are so subtle that they may even be masked by the normal core balancing movements. The wedge allows for stability instead of balance. That allows some of the core balance (fuctional tension) to be shut down as well, further isolating movements. Some of the movements patterns that I work on in a wedge are very very subtle and easy to miss.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by John Mason:
Also the wedge will keep speed under control.

!
Not how I was taught - & I WAS taught the evil snowplow.... TURN SHAPE controls speed... not the 'wedge' shape...

Look at all the snowplow racers on any blue/green hill all flying straight down the hill...(usually with arse in air)
post #14 of 23
Careful disski ...if you disagree with him then he'll quit! And he'll probably delete all his posts later this evening anyway, so why bother.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by John Mason:
My understanding of speed control, or what I currently do is turn shape (I believe what your saying above) and controlling edge angles. If you are in a pure carve you don't lose much speed, but by backing off the edge angles you can then drift your turn (brush your turn) and that also has the effect of bleeding off speed.

.
Try carving that turn right back up the hill & see how fast you end up going...
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by cgeib:
Careful disski ...if you disagree with him then he'll quit! And he'll probably delete all his posts later this evening anyway, so why bother.
True - I missed all the originals & got to a thread full of empty bits - very rude... I thought that was a girly trick (deleting all the rude stuff you say to someone staight after they get upset - then claim you have no idea why & they are being unreasonable)
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by John Mason:
Do people see it as a way to help people transition out of one bad habit and towards better sking as Rusty had an example of.
Where in the world do you get the idea that I said that?

You are one very confused human being. Your thread with SCSA is also full of confusion.

http://www.realskiers.com/pmtsforum/viewtopic.php?t=121

Perhaps if we try to keep this simple you will understand.

Skis can be turned

Skis can be tipped

Skis can be pushed on and pulled on.

Skis can be placed in the closet.

Those are all the choices.

Take any of the first three movements listed, blend them, and you will turn on skis.

In your confused post at thr PMTS site you suggest someone here has advocated outside leg steering.

No one has. Again, you have only been exposed to the sport for a short period of time and have every right to be muddled. What is sad is the fact that you have been sucked into a PMTS vs the rest of the teaching world mire.

John listen closely. When you pick up one ski and stand on the other ski, that "turn on a dime feeling" you describe at the PMTS forum is the outside ski skidding and as you have come to understand, it is an effect. The cause? Shoulder or hip rotation.

Keep lifting and or lightening your inside ski and you will never sniff the type of expert turn that you aspire to make.

Give my best to SCSA at the other forum and tell him one of the weasels he describes misses him dearly.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by John Mason:
Here is an example, I can be carving down a black but then there is an area where carving isn't going to work.
I'm sorry, however, if this guy can "carve" a turn on a black run in Colorado I'm a monkey's uncle.

Last night he was describing his turns at Perfect North in Indiana.

I bet his turns have more side slip and drift than a sprint car.
post #19 of 23
post #20 of 23
Rusty - depends on people's idea of what 'carving' is...

I remember skiing at Whistler the day after they finished the Canadian champs... quite icy... & being very annoyed at my skiing - it felt HORRID (think skis were not well tuned either)...

There I am making my medium radius 'safety' turns just to get down after the day... I spot a him/her pair ahead... he does a set of "short turns" (I'm not commenting on those) then gets way ahead of her... she is scared STIFF & I mean stiff... & he yells at her from ahead to do x & y & z....

I pulled up next to them when they stopped together at one spot & suggested that she follow me - because my turn shape may help he a bit more ....she does for a section... while I do nice slow turns.... When I stop again he comments on how nicely I am carving....

I had to stop myslef from hitting the poor fool... I was sliding & my pressure control was so CRAP (from 1 week of crappy teaching - my nerves were shot) that anytime the poor buggers started to carve I was knocking them off edge again pretty fast...

So you see it all depends - he like my 'carving' ... I was so upset at my lack of 'carving' I was just about in tears....
post #21 of 23
Thats easy....two tracks
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
http://www.realskiers.com/pmtsforum/viewtopic.php?t=124

Can I video?
Let me know how you make out on the scheduling, Rusty. Maybe I'll join you. The 3rd will be my last day of skiing of a week in Summit County area.
post #23 of 23
I'll be there from 4/2-10. I guess I should stop by for a lesson.

BTW, I ski better than 3 percent of the other skiers I see on the slopes.
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