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case study - have fun!

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Help this skier.

Strong, fast, powerful.

Can't carve on 2 edges. The weight loads up on the downhill ski, compromising both the ability to steer through completion and the ability to control pressure through the arc.

That's it for info... I'm leaving this deliberately vague so the canvas is as wide as possible - what needs to happen in order for a skier to carve clean arcs balanced on 2 edges?

You may assume the skier in this example is physically and mentally capable of this task. Go nuts!
post #2 of 27
Seeing as how in the last decade world champion level skiers were still winning medals carving on the outside ski . . . if this skier is strong, fast and powerful as you say, and having fun -- then why change anything?
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hey, Todd... didja ever watch Star Trek?

"These are the stories of the Starship Enterprise... it's 5 year mission: to explore strange new worlds and civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before."

Because we are driven to explore. That's what makes it fun. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #4 of 27
Second Todd on that one...
Why fix what aint broken???

post #5 of 27
It just a hot subject right now, because I'm finding that many of my instructors are vastly overstating the two ski carving concept. We always seem so quick to grab onto any new thing and make it into a religion, throwing away the old and embracing the new simply for the sake of change itself, rather than for the sake of progress.

But if you meant this not to perpetuate the idea that everybody should be carving on both skis all the time now, but rather as a simple mental exercise -- thats another thing entirely!
post #6 of 27
?? Usually if you're balanced on your downhill ski, as Todd says, you'll carve both skis if they're both on the snow. Are you trying to press down on the uphill one also? Could be just making work that isn't worth it, as several people have already said...
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yep, you nailed it Todd... this offered mainly for discussion, to see lots of different perspectives. Seems to me, if we can absorb pressure and steer thru two working edges instead of one, that's better and more powerful....?
post #8 of 27
I think that there are clearly circumstances where a two footed carve is preferable, but it is not a blanket solution for all situations. Here are some pros and cons.

Two skis offer two platforms and two legs with which to absorb and control forces.

The forces in a turn naturally pull towards the outside of a turn, lining up more directly over the outside ski. Trying to bring the inside ski into the fray often creates a contrived and unnatural situation.

When you put all of your weight on one ski, you bend that ski more - creating the potential for an even sharper turn. However if one is on skis of short length with a radical sidecut, they do not need to be bent as far to create the same turn. But then, if one needs to tighten a turn even futher than those skis offer via natural carve radius (meaning - sidecut induced as opposed to lateral flex induced radius) one might still want to weight the outside ski more in many turns. On my 183 Elan Darksides, if I double weight them in a carve, the carve radius is extremely long - a less practical turn for anything but long wide slopes. When I pressure just the outside ski, the increased bend of that ski brings the carve radius(s) down to a much more useful realm. Conversely, my Rossignol 163 race SL's carve an extremely short (and tiring) turn when I only weight the outside ski, however when I shift more weight to the inside the turn becomes more of a GS carve.

In changable snow conditions there is often a clear advantage to double weighting of the skis.

The more radical sidecuts have created a situation where at high speeds, if the inside ski is completely unweighted but still on the snow, it can get "squirrly" (especially noticable on the extreme of short and shapely such as SnowBlades).

I think the new technology has given us more choices, and one of them is now that we can more effectively use both skis throughout a turn when the situation/our desires justify it. However the effective use of only/primarily the outside ski also still remains a valid choice depending on situation/desires. And of course the equipment one is on changes this a great deal too.
post #9 of 27
Doesn't everyone want to leave two lines in the snow?

I do! I pay for two skis, I'd better have two lines. Unless I'm in a chute, of course.
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Nice Todd. Agreed, many skiers can carve two-footed turns, but it does seem contrived and quite unnatural in many.

The skier in question is training for CSIA Level IV certification. (Equivalent to PSIA III/trainer, approximately) Even if all skiing situations do not call for two-footed carving, the ability to demonstrate two-footed carving in appropriate situations must appear in his repetoire. Beyond this, an understanding of the mechanics involved in teaching this must be present. Further yet, he must develop a pedagogical sense of all of this.

Now this could get to be REALLY fun!
post #11 of 27
All right, IHTS, I'll take a stab at a POSSIBLE explanation for the problem and a possible solution. Is this a real skier that you've just given us a very vague description of, or is it a completely hypothetical question?

From the little information you've given us, one possibility is that this is the classic "park and ride" racer-wannabe-type. Lots of edging, but little pressure management or other activity as the turn progresses. Typically also either highly countered, or possibly rotated.

The rotated version is often the skier who reaches way forward and to the inside with his/her (usually his) outside hand and arm. This movement typically combines with excess forward leverage (boot tongue pressure), that prevents the skier from moving forward through the turn. And the tail of the outside ski often washes out as the pressure of the turn increases.

The countered version is the skier who just bends sideways at the waist and hips, often (but not always) pushing the outside ski out until it locks on edge.

Either way, the tendency is to move quickly into a "position" and then to "freeze" there through the rest of the turn. The focus is usually outside ski-oriented--tip the outside ski onto its edge and let it take you for a ride. Our great carving skis still manage to deliver a good ride, even with this lack of movement, but real turn control will require more subtlety and progressive motion throughout the turn.

Being essentially a lateral move, turns resemble in many ways the lateral move of a football linebacker, for example. Picture it--from a neutral, athletic stance, the linebacker suddenly needs to move quickly to the left. What happens? Weight transfers to the right foot as he moves his left foot and the rest of his body to the left. As he commits his weight to the right foot, the right leg flexes somewhat. At the same time that the leg flexes, in a seemingly contradictory motion, he also extends away from that right foot! This movement is the key.

The "park and ride" skier typically only does the first part of the movement--the commitment to and flexion of the right leg. He tips and flexes the right leg to go left--and just stands there! There is no movement of anything into and through the turn.

The solution is to focus on the OTHER leg--the inside leg, the left leg of a left turn. Start the turn not by pushing down on the outside ski, but by tipping the inside ski. The tipping motion should begin in the foot and ankle--never the upper body--and the knee, hips, other leg, and upper body should follow progressively, moving increasingly into the turn as forces develop. Even if the outside ski is where the action is, the inside ski is where the ACTIVITY must be focused!

This movement may or may not create a "two-track" carved turn. If two tracks are important to you, it's a simple matter of just making sure that there is always some pressure on that inside ski. Being tipped to an angle similar to the outside ski, the inside ski can and will carve if it receives enough pressure to bend it.

Well, there's my 2 cents--not worth any more than that for such an open-ended and brief description of the skier. But the skier I've described COULD fit the description you gave....

Good little exercise, Secret!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hey, Bob. Thanks for the perspective. Yes, this is a real skier, but I wanted to pose the question hypothetically, because I am seeking a broad range of ideas to try, a broad range of interpretation of the physical facts. Yes, the skier happens to be me!

I'm pretty pleased with my skiing overall, but this has been a sticking point for me. Ultimately, I am a "physician, heal thyself" kind of learner, so I like the stuff that goes on here. Already, I want it to be tomorrow!
post #13 of 27
Ah--it's a real skier. Of course, it could be an anatomical/alignment issue--possibly over-edged. Or even a ski tuning issue--too flat (too little base-edge bevel), too much side-edge bevel, or concave or railed, perhaps.

But I'm still leaning toward a technical issue, as I described above. What happens if the skier focuses on FINISHING the turn in "neutral"--not on moving to or through neutral to START the turn. Neutral, as I'm using the term, has three components. "Rotary neutral" is the moment the skis point straight ahead, with the tips square (no lead). "Edge neutral" is the moment both skis are flat on the snow. "Pressure neutral" involves equal weight on both skis, centered fore-aft on the "sweet spot." For turns to flow and link smoothly, all three "neutrals" must roughly coincide! I wouldn't be surprised if your skier never arrives in edge or pressure neutral, and doesn't finish the turn in rotary neutral. (Again, I'm imagining and extrapolating a LOT from your brief description!)

To end a turn in neutral, we must not get stuck down or back or inside--it requires continuous, accurate motion of the body. (By the way, since we had quite a discussion not long ago about where a turn ends/begins (Where does it all begin?), for the purpose of this discussion, I'm defining this beginning/ending point as the transition between left and right turns.)

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[Edit--oops--posted this on top of your last post. So it's you, eh? Does any of my hypothetical skier fit? Best of luck with that CSIA Level 4!]

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 26, 2001 09:54 PM: Message edited 2 times, by Bob Barnes/Colorado ]</font>
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yes indeed, well done! I am all too familiar with the park and ride sensation! Here's more background...

Typically, when I try to pressure the inside ski, it's just not there, it just washes out to the inside. The downhill ski leaves a nice pencil track, the inside one a big skid. The reverse snowplow picture! That's why I continually wonder about my alignment. I seem to be doing (trying) everything I can think of to to get even a little pressure on the inside ski and it's just not there... any movements I make don't reach the edge, if that statement makes sense. Maybe I should LET the uphill edge engage and then retract my legs away from the pressure?
post #15 of 27
One more thought--how are you at Thousand Steps, Secret? Can you do them with perfectly clean, skid-free tracks? How is the transition?--many good skiers can step cleanly through the turn, but have difficulty in the transition.

Thousand steps are a great way to make sure you move continuously through the turn. With each step, you have to drive your body forward and into the turn. You cannot just "stand" on the outside ski, of course. It develops good, accurate activity of both feet and legs, and is a great way to get out of a "park and ride" habit.

All right, enough--way too much conjecturing on my part! I'll be curious to hear about what you come up with as you explore the problem. Stay in touch!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #16 of 27
Well, if we're going to type simultaneously, I'll keep going!

You could be a little OVER-active in the inside leg steering department--that would account for the "reverse wedge" (diverging tips) and washing of the inside ski. This could also have several boot alignment causes. Ramp angle, cuff angle, canting, footbed--any of these could be the culprit. Have you had a (very) good boot expert take a look at you?

Good luck!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #17 of 27
My guess is Bob Barnes skier A. Artificially countered by allowing the inside ski to open up with excess tip lead. You would fall slowly into the back seat and need a slight traverse at the end of the turn in order to find the front seat and start your next turn (static, holding onto the turn too long).
My self fix would be bulldozer turns. Ski slow on easy terrain in a wide stance while trying to keep the ski tips even with little or no tip lead. When done correctly, you will find that if you do not move the center of mass efficiently, you will have to stem to start your turns. The sensation you should feel at first is that you are pushing the outside ski forward and pulling the inside ski back from start to finish on your turns.
post #18 of 27
IHTS- Bob gave some good insights as to cause and effect for you to explore, I will just add a few things to try:

1. From a wedge position on flat terrain you are going to point right down the fall line. Now the object here is NOT to make turns but to slide sideways back and forth across the hill. Here is something to try. From the wedge your on the inside edge of both skis and your ankle, knees and thighs are focused over the inside edge. Now when you want to go left tip your left ankle and thigh so your knee is centered over the binding (flat ski)as you do this your hip will also slide that way (thats ok) by moving away from your outside ski (right) pressure will build against it causing it to bend and you will move left, repeat the other way. Your track should be a thin line (NO SMEAR).

2. Now try to think of your outside ski as what I like to call the glide ski and your inside ski as the guide ski. Go to flat terrain and stand in a straight run on your left leg, now push off down the hill with your right leg in the air. While its in the air simply tip it to the right. Play around with how far you can tip it and see what happens to your left leg. Now switch legs and due the same thing.

2. Now still on flat terrain going straight stand 100% on your right leg and tip it left and right with the ankle up to the thigh. Try to leave a thin S line with only 1 track. Once again swith legs.

3. GO to some blue terrain and with both skis on the ground focus only on tipping and flexing the inside ski (focus on bending the ankle)to start the turn. As you tip and flex only the inside you will move more inside. the more you move inside the more pressure builds on the outside to cause it to bend and arc back to you. Make your movements progressive (not abrupt) The intersting thing is even as you move inside you will feel more and more outside foot dominate because the pressure keeps building against the outside as is arcs under you. The goal is to feel a little like the second exercise with your guide foot just tipping and creating the arc for the outside ski, but now with it on the ground it bares some pressure and leaves a thin line as was your goal.

4. Get some snow blades and play around with causing them to leave 2 lines, then grab some short SL and do the same thing then what ever ski you like to ski.

I hope these work for you! Give me a shout if I can better explain anything, and good luck!!!
post #19 of 27
Hello All,
I am a new member here and I must start out by saying I am very impressed with the level of knowlege displayed here. With that said I wanted to add my 1.5 cents in....
One thing that i have always taught, after it was taught to me, was the idea of center of mass. This was briefly touched upon earlier but it really is the key for a solid foundation. Way back when, when the PSIA introduced the idea of "steering" it made no sense to me. After all what is the use of having a vibrant, responsive ski on my foot if all i am going to do is "drag" the indise one through the turn, hopefully keeping it out of the way of the doiwnhill ski. The way i visualize it when i am skiing is this, as I am turning, carving, arcing, I imagine a ball that is placed in my pelvis, this is my center of mass...this really dictates the "power" of your skiing, as the placement will grossly dictate what you can do. If you are statically fixing it in a position, then as was so eloquantly stated by others, you will wash out in the turn.
Try the thousand step excersize, but instead of worring about just edge contol think about the "flow" of moving you center of mass in a dynamic way. Always moving, this combined with the movements of your feet for fine control will allow you to control both skis at once.
I am not a big fan of consciously weighting or unweighting a ski, more as you move your center of mass in relation to the fall line, this happens automatically. There may be a millisecond where your center of mass is "in the pocket" but that is all. the key is to keep moving throughout the turn. I feel that your body knows what it wants to do in different conditions. We should learn to listen to it.

post #20 of 27
IHTS, now that the secret's out: The key part of Bob's neutral moment for me is the equal weighting. It really blends the ski use.

I suspect you learned to weight the right ski by picking up the left, and then you found that also got the inside ski out of the way, and finally you discovered that if you just take enough weight off it to let it reach its natural camber, you can LOOK like you're skiing on both feet but make the weight switch and "steer" the inside out of the way.

I'd second Bob's suggestion that you do some thousand steps, but be really certain that the ski tips go into the turn rather than the tails going out as you step. I'd go from the thousand steps to doing some one-footed turning in both directions with the unweighted foot beside the one you're standing on and just skimming the snow. Then I'd suggest some long, slow turns on gentle terrain where you really feel passing through a stage of standing on both feet during the transition between turns. Carry a hint of the outside edge sensation from the one-footed skiing to the new inside ski as you enter the turn after the equally weighted transition, but let the pressure advantage build on the outside ski as the turn progresses. Before completion, start feeling for the equal weighting again.
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
YEEEEHAAAAAAWWW!!! Count this as another testimonial to the knowledge and inspiration found on this board.

All the yeehaaaawin' is about Bob's description of the "neutral" concept... thank you sir, this really clicked for me, and it was virtually INSTANT! Suddenly, I am exploring a realm which has eluded me for a very long time. Fun stuff!

I'm sure some have looked at my username and thought "who does this guy think he is?" Perhaps it's time to reveal the "secret"...

Friends, the secret of skiing is this: there is no secret. If there was, the journey would be over. Every little breakthrough is another peek toward the infinity of skiing. Goals? I don't really have goals... I just want more and more and more!

"On the road again...
I can't wait to get on the road again..."

Thanks to everyone for the push!
post #22 of 27
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ihavethesecret:
The reverse snowplow picture!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This statement should set the instructor Ah huh!!! in motion.

My stab is that a little hip push turn initiation is happening with a subsequent rotated fall back to the inside on completion .... and so it goes ... turn to turn.

Try getting lower, opening the stance and doing about a million miles of two footed, even weighted ski, garlands on medium\steep pitch groomers. You are searching for a neutral ski\CM crossover position.

post #23 of 27
This whole carving thing is overrated.

Everybody thinks, "Carve this, carve that..."

But then you take them anywhere else but groomers, they're lost.

Carving is great. But the focus should be how to ski the whole mountain, not some of it.
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
The ability to "carve" is simply the result of the application of solid fundamental skills. Would this not prove useful in skiing the "whole" mountain?
post #25 of 27
I agree w/ SCSA. Carving is a bit overrated, it's not much use anywhere other than hard snow.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> The ability to "carve" is simply the result of the application of solid fundamental skills. Would this not prove useful in skiing the "whole" mountain? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, it is important to have all the fundamental skills all over the mountain. However, nowadays with all the emphasis on carving and eliminating 'steering' and replacing it with very little body movement, it leaves skiers with the ability to carve on easy slopes, but when it gets hairy they are stuck because they cannot turn the skis quick enough because they've been relying too much on just flexing the ski to turn.

My point is that to be a good skier one needs to be able to do more than just put the ski on edge, and 'older' techniques such as skidding and steering are equally important.
post #26 of 27
I have too go with SCSA and Mike B on this one. What use is a pair of "super carve" skis at a place like Vail when the conditions encountered for "real" skiers is so varied.

Today it was fast steep perfect groomers on Blue Ox = foot carve with light relative pressure + new pow in the trees in Champagne Glade = float and steer + variable wind pack crud in Siberia = bounce and steer + big frozen bumps in narrow tree lined glades filled with variable pow in Bleu Sky = all of the above.

This carve thing is lots of fun but with all the different skis envolved its getting a little like America football. ... okay interchange, midfield play, bring on Joey Midfat, time for some deefence, bring on Big Daddy, OOOOfence, bring on Samy super carve. Sheeeees soon I will need a caddy .... hey SCSA want a job.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #27 of 27

Listen to me and you'll go places.

The job crack was very witty. Nice job. But, you're still behind.

oz 1
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