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why is banking bad?

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
form (ugly) or function (inefficient)? is it putting the CM where it shouldn't be in a turn. i DO see competitive skiers bank, but it's rare. maybe i'm seeing something else?
post #2 of 46
My thought is less versatile. Recovering from a ice patch or loss of edge control would be harder while banking as compared to hip/angulation. Properly controlled I would think it has the same affect with relation to CM?
post #3 of 46
Maybe because it tends to put too much weight on the uphill ski.

Also you only get about 3% return on your dough.
post #4 of 46
Shucks. It ain't bad! It's fun! I kinda like tilting inside and just surfing the turn. nothing wrong with that at all. Adds a little flair.

Banking is, however, not the best way to execute and monitor edge control. Like dchan said, icy patches can put on the Earth real quick if you're banking.

Spag's quote of the day:
"Micheal Bolton USED to be a cool name. Until that no-talent a## clown started generating hits."
- Micheal Bolton in "Office Space" -
post #5 of 46
Because you generally get a better yield from the stocks and bond markets.
post #6 of 46
It isn't of itself, bad. I do it a lot...for fun, like posted in the Huge/carve thread.
A tightrope walker can go across with or without a long balance pole, only difference is when a gust of wind comes up!
But, on a consistant cordoury day with little crowd, the ol' comfort christie comes out!
post #7 of 46
I think we have to look at levels of skiing. When beginners or intermediates are banking they are invariably trying to use the upper body to get their skis to turn. Banking, upper body over-rotation and lack of upper-lower body separation often go together for such individuals. For these people banking is VERY BAD.

For pros like Robin and Notorious Spag, banking may be fun, but they know what they are doing. Also if you are going to bank into the turn, you will have to have higher speed to prevent you from falling to the inside (the more you bank the higher the centrifugal force required to keep you from falling).

So in my opinion banking (as a normal habit) is bad.
post #8 of 46
Usually is indicative of static skiing. The upper body just leans inside the turn. There's usually no flow down the hill and no movement of the body throughout the turn. One often falls down to the inside of the turn while banking particularly if something happens to affect the outside ski's path. (clump of snow, ice, etc.)

At downhill speeds banking is necessary to resist the forces. Take a look, particularly at the lower image: http://www.ronlemaster.com/downhill.htm
post #9 of 46
Good point, TomB.
post #10 of 46
I see four important items here that determine if banking is good/bad.
1-level of skiing ability
2-speed during the turn
3-goal/purpose of the turn
4-ability to maintain balance

For racers-it looks like a bank-but it is extreme angulation. Look at the skiis and what is being done.

Non racers bank when they are lazy and don't understand how to edge/pressure the skiis.
post #11 of 46
Must be having a blond moment! I'm reading Angulation, Banking and Inclination in Bob Barnes' book, plus the threads on this forum, and I'm having a bit of trouble with the distinction.

P.S. Just read the threads on these terms on Hyperchange and ended up even more confused!<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lisamarie (edited September 07, 2001).]</FONT>
post #12 of 46
Lisamarie. Speaking from experience, the terms Inclination and Banking seem to be the two that get the most confusing. I tried to explain my thoughts on them in the "inclination vs. angulation" thread, but I fear I may be adding to the confusion. The definitions are far too open for translation. As of about 3 years ago, PSIA still hadn't come up with any concrete discussion on the subject and hadn't achieved any sort of continuity among even its examiners as to what is what. Is inclination angulation? or not? Is banking the same as inclination? or some form of it?

I've since made up my own mind... but in the process of taking my full-cert exam I failed my first one because my examiner was spouting different information than that which I had been given. Frustrating as hell and Robin will probably accuse me of holding a grudge, but This is one of those things that makes PSIA so subjective sometimes. Our so called "common language" gets us all into trouble when individuals start becoming mavericks and changing the rules, starting factions. (woops 'nuther thread maybe!)

I think next time a student asks me "why do I have to focus on my ankles so much?" I'm just going to say "Because I SAID so!"(ha ha)

To Speak? Or not to Speak? Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to leave a message; or to take up arms against a sea of answering machines. To discourse? or to speak no more... thus do answering machines make cowards of us all.
(man I am REALLY bored. Someone needs to start posting threads with little moving pictures)
post #13 of 46
Thanks Spag! I don't feel so bad now!
post #14 of 46
Spag, LM mentioned Hyperchange. They are (me a little) playing with the definitions. It is an interesting excercise...too brief or succinct=meaning is incomplete. Too descriptive=it unravels. Skiing can "literally" be a complex mother. Do you isolate the definition whereby you cancel all the "under certain circumstances", "but if's", "except when's", and "only if's" concerning all the other things that are mixed it to create the thing you are attempting to define. It is a daunting task, but like I said a learning excercise!
For that reason.......I have mostly stayed out of it! The one currently is Inclination....I have a personal view....gonna wait and maybe go in with a tie-breaker. Arcadie and Frosch are pretty good, as well as the other contributors.
There is some cool esoteric stuff going on, but a little "highbrow" in comparison to the kind or "rockem' sockem' WWF thread discussions here" Entertainment at it's all american finest.
post #15 of 46
IMHO, it seems it would be much easier for everybody, both teachers and students if Bob Barnes' book became the official terminology text for the PSIA. Since its available to the general public, students would be more enlightened.
Reinventing the wheel is going to get everybody more confused.
post #16 of 46
That is integral to the discussion on Hyperchange. Eveyone believes there is too much overlapping, ambiguous or misused terminology out there. Some needs to lovingly be relegated to the history section or framed and hung.
The purpose is not to invent new terminology but clean up all the misinterpretations and maybe organize it a bit. Sets and subsets, etc. Also there is terminology that really doesn't mean anything...like "rotary"! Unless you are talking about that club full of elder busybodies, rotary in and of it self is meaningless. Rotary movements, Rotation, Rotary Momentum (angular momentum)etc etc etc.
The fact is PSIA has not provided a glossary in YEARS. Bob's book is excellent, well researched and thoughtfull. It is absolutely an accurate and imperative book for anyone going to exam. It has become the default glossary for the PSIA. But I think even Bob will admit...it is coming from his view of terminology. The folks at Hyperchange are toying...but would like PSIA to get their act together and form concensus on definitions and print it. Just one of many recommendations they are proposing.
post #17 of 46
Actually you have a point. Fitness instructors ruined Step by changing the original terminology. So if you move from NY to Boston, nobody can understand what you're talking about, and its not just because I still pronounce the letter R.

I have also gotten annoyed at ski instructors who confuse the terms "countering" and "counter rotation", so I guess a consensus is needed.
post #18 of 46
OK, here is the way I would make a distinction between banking and angulation.

Check where shoulders are relative to the slope.

If the shoulders are parallel to the slope (the way you want it to be), you have angulation. Depending on speed/ability/terrain/etc. you may angulate with your knees, hips or mid-body (refer to WC pics for the last one). Keeping your shoulders square and actually driving your outside shoulder down is the key to a powerful carve.

Banking is when your upper body is stiff and just falls inside the turn. Unless you are a total beginner I prefer to think of that mistake as dropping the inside shoulder. The results are:
- less pressure on the outside ski
- which in turn results in relying more on the inside ski.
- since your inside leg is bent and thus is weaker than the outside, you find yourself scissoring and in the back seat
- teh outcome is a skidded turn and tough time transitioning to the next one.

You may get away with banking only when you are on skis with extreme sidecut and/or on a soft snow. In both cases you do not need much pressure to make a turn


Speed does not kill, the difference in it does...
post #19 of 46
Banking is bad becuase it does not fit with the establishments current thoughts on what constitutes good skiing.

Wait a year and the definition will change.

Pierre eh! those powder shots are usually of skiing in powder. Powder skiing does not require edging. If they angulated instead of inclinated it is likely that they would bury the outside ski and get flipped. If they are banking they can take full advantage of the width of the skis and power both skis.....

gotta go.

What price freedom
dirt is my rug
well I sleep like a baby
with the snakes and the bugs
<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by cold water (edited September 08, 2001).]</FONT>
post #20 of 46
I agree with Bob, but most people do use the term "banking" to descibe an undesireable movement pattern. It is "bad" because banking often does not allow you to stay balanced over your feet(skis). It often results in losing the "outside" ski and having turns "straighten out" before the finish. Both of these require a rather significant "rebalancing" move before comfortable skiing can ensue.

Banking can also result in being "overcomitted," or "stuck" to the inside of turns, making it necessary to do something drastic to get going the other way.

That said, banking can be done in appropriate amounts. It is a fun, lazy feeling when weaving down the fall-line at speed. It is best to add some other edging movement patterns to your repertoire instead of only trying to learn to use banking well. There are situations in which banking simply will not work well at all, exposing you to danger, or holding you back from a desired improvement or terrain choice.
post #21 of 46
They are equal and opposite. Does it really matter which is which?

What price freedom
dirt is my rug
well I sleep like a baby
with the snakes and the bugs
post #22 of 46
Bob Barnes wrote re centrifugal / centripetal forces: "...How's that--evasive enough? (Ducking....) (PhysicsMan--HELP!)..."

No way, Jose!

About a year ago, I got into this very issue with a guy on RSA, and it turned into what was probably the longest thread (140 articles) in the history of that forum. Never again.

Bob, you were right on the mark when you said that without the appropriate background (ie, doing well in a college physics course) all the terminology and concepts just sound like a bunch of gobbledy-gook.

This is very unfortunate tho, because to me, one of the most useful and important things to come out of a discussion about these forces is the concept of the "local, instantaneous vertical" and the distinction between "edging angle" (angle of the ski base with respect to the hill), and "critical edge angle" (angle of the ski base with respect to the skier's local instantaneous vertical). In a technical sense, THIS is at the root of why angulation (vs banking) is so important on hardpack.

For those interested in last season's heated discussion on the basics of centrifugal forces in rec.skiing.alpine, here is the google reference:
http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=lang_en&safe=off&threadm=3abbc615. 261541887%40news.verio.net&rnum=1&prev=/groups%3Fas_q%3D%2520fleeing%2520the%2520center%26 as_epq%3Df1%252 0centrifugal%2520Remember%2520it%2520by%2520thinki ng%2520of%2520%26as_ugroup%3Drec.skiing.alpine%26l r%3Dlang_en%26num%3D100%26as_scoring%3Dd

You should start around Goggle message #18 from Ichin Shen or message #22 from me, altho if you've got the time and want some entertainment, skim through the whole thread. Given the recent question on this forum from FamilyManSkier, people should look at messages #1 and #131 to see what started the RSA thread, and how it eventually ended (the guy was on old railed skis). "Dude" from RSA sounds like he was having problems similar to the issues FamilyMan was describing here.


Tom / PM

PS - Bob, while I'm thinking of it, did you ever get that email I sent you just b4 you took your 2 or 3 week hiatus from epicski? Its the one that had my work contact info.
Tom / physicsman000@yahoo.com

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[This message has been edited by PhysicsMan (edited September 09, 2001).]</FONT>
post #23 of 46
>>"How do you explain inclining the plane of support in terms of those two bugaboos: centrifugal and centripetal force?"<<

I don't...
post #24 of 46
When writing my previous post in this thread, because of a lack of time, I referred to terms like "local, instantaneous vertical", "edging angle", and "critical edge angle" and their relation to this angulation / banking discussion, but didn’t have time to fill in the details (let alone get into the whole centrifugal / centripetal definition thing).


Lets imagine a skier standing on one ski, traversing across the hill in a straight line on hardpack. No matter what contortions he puts his body through (e.g., angulation, counter, etc.), unless his center of mass is directly above the uphill edge of his downhill ski (as viewed from the rear), he will fall over – no ifs, ands or buts about it. This is the meaning of “being in balance” for a static skier. In everything that follows, I assume that the skier is always in balance.

If this traversing skier is in balance and fairly upright (i.e., not in an angulated or banana-shaped position (as viewed from the rear)), the bottom of his skis will be close to parallel with the surface of the earth. As he goes across the hill, the compression of the snow under his skis will generate a little shelf in the snow for him to stand on. In this case, the little snow shelf will also be close to parallel to the surface of the earth. This will happen no matter how steep the hill he is on (within reason).

On the other hand, if the skier is again in balance (i.e., his CM is directly above his edge), but has assumed an angulated position, the little snow shelf that he is actually standing on will no longer be parallel to the surface of the earth – the part of it furthest into the hill will actually be slightly lower than the part just under the surface of the snow. Under the weight of the skier, this sideways ramp angle makes the ski want to cut into the hill even more, and ensures that the ski won’t sideslip.

For the in-balance, but upright skier, should it happen that the little snow shelf that he is standing on tilts slightly outward instead of inward, then, the weight of the skier will tend to drive the ski off of this shelf, and ensure that the ski begins to sideslip.

This is THE fundamental phenomena that makes angulation important.

In technical terms, first draw a line between the center of mass of this hypothetical one-legged skier and the ski edge in contact with the snow. Next, draw a line perpendicular to the ski passing through its edge. The angle between these two lines is the “critical edge angle”. If it’s one way (positive), your skis get driven into the shelf, and don’t sideslip. If it’s the other way (negative), they slide off the shelf and you slip.

It is important to realize that this angle is NOT the normal edge angle that people generally talk about in skiing. The normal edge angle is simply the angle between the base of the ski and the snow. In contrast to the critical edge angle, the normal edge angle depends on the angle of the hill you are on, and might only vary by a few degrees out of many between a skidding and non-skidding situation.


When the skier is in a turn, centrifugal force is added to the situation, but nothing fundamentally different is happening with respect to the issue of critical edge angle and skidding. At any point in a turn, the instantaneous value and direction of the centrifugal force is added to the force of gravity acting on the skier. This can be thought of as a single resultant net force acting on the skier. It acts in a direction that is not the same as either gravity or centrifugal force alone, and it varies in magnitude and direction depending on where the skier is in the turn, how fast he is going, etc.. This direction is the “local, instantaneous vertical” direction, and is the single most important thing to a skier trying to stay in balance.

Again, draw a line from the skier’s center of mass to the ski edge in contact with the snow, and draw another line representing the direction of this net force through the skier’s center of mass. Unless the two lines are exactly coincident, the net force will make the skier fall to either the inside or outside of the turn. This is the technical meaning of being “in-balance” in a turn, and is exactly analogous to being in-balance while not turning, except that centrifugal force has been added to the mix.

For a skier in a turn, his instantaneous vertical direction is always inclined at some angle with respect to the static vertical direction of a stationary observer. Our hypothetical one-legged skier always must lean over in his turns at this angle to stay in balance, whether or not he is simultaneously employing angulation (e.g., to adjust skidding). I have always heard the angle (previous paragraph) the CM-edge line makes with respect to earth vertical called the angle of bank (in analogy to aircraft).

Bob Barnes posted a diagram related to this phenomena a few weeks ago in another thread. In that thread, the issue was forces in the plane of the hill, so that diagram was “from above”. In the present case of dynamic balance and the concept of the “instantaneous local vertical”, this can be seen more clearly in a side view. Maybe Bob’s graphic arts skills can be persuaded to be brought to bear on this topic as well.

Hope this helps,

Tom / PM

PS – As they say in textbooks, “I will leave it to the interested reader” to derive the details of a real, two-legged skier in a wide stance (instead of our hypothetical one-legged skier). There are no new physical phenomena going on in this case, but it can be a royal pain to describe everything in words.

PS#2 - Looking over earlier posts in this thread, I sensed the feeling that banking was something you could decide to do or not do in a turn. For a single ski (or snowboard) turn this is impossible - you've got to bank to stay in balance. OTOH, for two-legged turns, this is not the case, but I would point out that you immediately run into a problem in defining banking, and have to think about things like unequal leg extension, the geometry of which, as I said above, gets awfully complicated.
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[This message has been edited by PhysicsMan (edited September 10, 2001).]</FONT>
post #25 of 46
What and where is the RSA site?
post #26 of 46
It is a blessing to me!
post #27 of 46
Lucky - the reference to RSA (rec.skiing.alpine) is not to a web site, but rather to a Usenet Newsgroup.

You can set up most browsers to access it, but if you are not already set up to access this set of 30,000+ unmoderated discussion groups, the easiest way to do so is through Goggle. Go to:

and from there, click on the links to navigate your way into the hierarchy to RSA:

Before you post there, however, be advised that there are a number of mentally disturbed people active on RSA that have caused serious, real-world harm to others (eg, loss of jobs, intimidation with physical violence, etc.). Follow all the usual cyber anti-stalking techniques such as never use your own name, never put down any info that these individuals can use to link to real world addresses and tel numbers, disclose nothing about your gender or other family members, etc.

"The Problems" at RSA have been ongoing for a few years, and apparently, some people are in the process of attempting to form a moderated sister group, but I'm not sure where this stands as one individual has repeated threatened to libel and slander anyone who steps forward to formally propose it or moderate it.

Be aware of, but TOTALLY ignore anything from the most obvious hot-heads, and you will find a core of nice dedicated skiers. They tend to be not quite the techno-geeks that we have on this forum, but good people trying to survive in its "wild-west" atmosphere.

Unfortunately, because of "The Problems", newbies on RSA tend to get either get immediately scared away, or drawn into the conflict when someone flames them. The cycle then perpetuates itself.

Tom / PM
post #28 of 46
re Robin: "It is a blessing to me!"

OK - I give up. Do you mean you have the same problem as me, or are you offering me free lessons - grin?

Tom / PM
post #29 of 46
I was refering to your "perverse bent" which I hope is physics oriented. I have followed your posts relegiously and have aquired greater insight to the physics of skiing than I have reading the likes of John Howe, Juris Wagners or Dr. Twardokens. When combined with Bob's practical insights, you guys make a great 1-2 team!
I realize that long, thorough posts are a tedious pain in the *ss...just wanted you to know that you have a grateful audience.
post #30 of 46
> Robin: "I was refering to your "perverse
> bent" which I hope is physics oriented.

I'll have to take "the Fifth" about any perverse bents (other than physics and skiing) which I may or may not have. Only my wife knows for sure

>I have followed your posts relegiously and
> have aquired greater insight to the
> physics of skiing than I have reading the
> likes of John Howe, Juris Wagners or Dr.
> Twardokens. When combined with Bob's
> practical insights, you guys make a great
> 1-2 team!

Thank you very much - that's one hell of a compliment. I've loved skiing for 30 or so years, but until I found this forum, I never found many people who care to go into the technical details in the depth that I prefer.

I've personally learned a tremendous amount from this forum as well. I keep feeling like I should be paying AC, BobB and everyone else for all the dryland training I've been getting. I don't get out to ski as often as I would like any more, and am by no means an expert skier, but learning from these discussions maximizes my enjoyment when I do get out on the hill.

> I realize that long, thorough posts are a
> tedious pain in the *ss...just wanted you
> to know that you have a grateful audience.

Again, thank you for realizing this. I was worried that my posts were getting too long and tedious (not thorough). However, if you don't make your logic and exposition as perfect as possible, you run the risk of creating more confusion than you clear up, so I don't post a huge amount, but I try to make each post understandable and contain the correct physics. Besides, around here there are so many experts you will have your tail handed to you on a platter if you make a mistake - grin.

Tom / PM

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[This message has been edited by PhysicsMan (edited September 10, 2001).]</FONT>
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