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Ice Advice Please - Page 2

post #31 of 45

Superb comments, R58.

 

Originally Posted by RiDeC58 View Post

Develop edge angles with more angulation and less banking so that you balance over the edge rather than trying to bank against it (or it will break loose for sure)

 

Thinking about a good, fast MTB turn in tight singletrack helps me here. In both cases, I'm looking way ahead and setting up the direction of the approach, laying the bike (ski) over earlier than might seem really necessary, while keeping everything above the belly button as upright as possible and focusing on the next turn. There's even an analogy with hand and arm movement: While of course the bars are going to tip with the bike, the subtle little counter-intuitive pressure you give to the INSIDE grip when rolling around that corner is very much like remembering to keep your inside hand pressing forward during a ski turn. Everything is hanging off that one row of outside knobs. It's improbable, but it's enough, if you just stay with it calmly. The final parallel: Once you've started the turn, stay off the brakes!

 

 

Originally Posted by RiDeC58 View Post

If the edge breaks loose, turn again so that you are again moving with the direction of the skid (like driving a front wheel drive car), re-establish momentum into the direction of the skid


Right, so the other thing, if you bobble a bit, is not to panic. Be like Julia Child. Acknowledge the mistake and gently realign for the next turn without making a big deal of it, physically or mentally.

post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

The confidence aspect is true, too. If people could see video of themselves skiing terrain that aren't confident on, they wouldn't recognize themselves vs when they are confident. They'd see themselves leaning in, sitting back, and being rigid.


This is so true. After watching myself skiing gates at the big races last year I was kind of shocked. I looked a million times more confident at our club races and my score was much higher. This year I need to work on my attitude. 

post #33 of 45
post #34 of 45

I agree with the Wicked Witch of the West when she said, "These things must be done deeeelicately." Just like driving on ice. Don't surprise your skis.

 

I'd also add that if you're relying entirely on your edges to hold, and they don't, you've got nothing to fall back on. Well, except your ass.

post #35 of 45



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice Queen View Post

I'd also add that if you're relying entirely on your edges to hold, and they don't, you've got nothing to fall back on. Well, except your ass.



This observation seems like it was going somewhere beyond the apparent conclusion, but then the wanton, exuberant  [Submit] button chimed in before the observation arrived at this mysterious telos ?

post #36 of 45



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

  


Right, so the other thing, if you bobble a bit, is not to panic. Be like Julia Child. Acknowledge the mistake and gently realign for the next turn without making a big deal of it, physically or mentally.


^^

Learn and practice a skidded turn, every turn is not going to be carved, so embrace the dark side too.  On a slick morning will start the first run with some 'windshield wiper turns' (kind of a like linked hockey stops, without the stop, down the fall line) then start adding edges to get a feel for the conditions and balance.  Sooner or later that day you will needed that turn again to get through parked skiers or obstacles. 

 

It is better to dig trenches carving, but it is critical to have a fallback survival turn. 

 

Rule #1.  Smile; this is supposed to be fun, and it helps reduce the body tension.
 

post #37 of 45

OK, early edge angle; engage the edges before the middle of the turn...but how?

 

This is the tough part.  Your head has to be the first thing down the hill (well, maybe hands).  The top third of the turn is where speed control is accomplished.  If you don't get your inside edges engaged in the top third, you'll be chattering over the bottom third every time.

 

You need to get the front half of the inside edge of your outside ski engaged in the snow before you reach the fall line.  And the earlier the better speed control you'll have.  Whether you have all or most of half of your weight on the outside ski is your preference, but never heavy on the new inside ski.  You gott'a get your head crossed over the skis and down hill before your feet head down the hill, and keep your feet pulled back behind your body.  Keep pulling the inside foot back hard all the way through the turn.  If you let your feet get out in front of you, you're doomed.  Forget ankle flexion.  Pull your feet back with the strong hamstrings.  Of course, good angulation (not inclination) and good counter, and all the other good movements.

 

(Ankle flexion is talked about by the skiers who are correctly balanced over their feet in the first place.  Ankle flexion is an indicator of correct balance.  It is not an effective movement.  Try pulling your feet strongly back as you start a turn or crest over a mogul or drop off.  You'll like the result.)

post #38 of 45

I agree with some of what you are saying, but you really don't want to lead with your head.  You should be initiating your turns from your feet.  Your feet are the closest body part to the snow.  I start my move from my feet and the impulse travels up to my CM.  I was getting dinged a few seasons ago for telegraphing my turn from my head.  I'm not doing it anymore and my skiing is stronger for it.  You won't be balanced over your feet enough to enjoy ankle flexion if you are initiating your turns from your head.  IMO there is no need to pull your feet back if you project your CM into the turn.  It's about commitment not recovery. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

OK, early edge angle; engage the edges before the middle of the turn...but how?

 

This is the tough part.  Your head has to be the first thing down the hill (well, maybe hands).  The top third of the turn is where speed control is accomplished.  If you don't get your inside edges engaged in the top third, you'll be chattering over the bottom third every time.

 

You need to get the front half of the inside edge of your outside ski engaged in the snow before you reach the fall line.  And the earlier the better speed control you'll have.  Whether you have all or most of half of your weight on the outside ski is your preference, but never heavy on the new inside ski.  You gott'a get your head crossed over the skis and down hill before your feet head down the hill, and keep your feet pulled back behind your body.  Keep pulling the inside foot back hard all the way through the turn.  If you let your feet get out in front of you, you're doomed.  Forget ankle flexion.  Pull your feet back with the strong hamstrings.  Of course, good angulation (not inclination) and good counter, and all the other good movements.

 

(Ankle flexion is talked about by the skiers who are correctly balanced over their feet in the first place.  Ankle flexion is an indicator of correct balance.  It is not an effective movement.  Try pulling your feet strongly back as you start a turn or crest over a mogul or drop off.  You'll like the result.)

post #39 of 45

TPJ, are you sure that you and SSG are referring to the same thing?     

 

I read your description as "the head should not initiate the motion" and I read his as "the head or hands are  likely to be the furthest point of the body down the hill".  

 

As I see it, the two can easily coexist?

post #40 of 45

I see your point.  At some point in the turn the head "might" be the furthest thing down the hill.  I don't think however that it should be the first thing down the hill.  I don't disagree with everything SSG is saying.  He is dead on about the top third of the turn setting the tone for what comes after.  I am a little bothered with his description of the front half of the inside edge getting engaged.  IMO getting to much of the tip engaged can lead to oversteering.  The tip is important, but I like to think of pressuring the whole edge early or at least the part under my foot well before the fall line.  It's likely that if we spent time together on the snow we might find that we are talking about the same thing with a different emphasis.  I prefer to think about tipping my feet and directing my CM.  I've seen lots of skiers who concentrate on their hand position assume some strange body positions.  I couldn't say this is the case with SSG...  It's probably not.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post

TPJ, are you sure that you and SSG are referring to the same thing?     

 

I read your description as "the head should not initiate the motion" and I read his as "the head or hands are  likely to be the furthest point of the body down the hill".  

 

As I see it, the two can easily coexist?

post #41 of 45

Quote:

Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

Thinking about a good, fast MTB turn in tight singletrack helps me here. In both cases, I'm looking way ahead and setting up the direction of the approach, laying the bike (ski) over earlier than might seem really necessary, while keeping everything above the belly button as upright as possible and focusing on the next turn. There's even an analogy with hand and arm movement: While of course the bars are going to tip with the bike, the subtle little counter-intuitive pressure you give to the INSIDE grip when rolling around that corner is very much like remembering to keep your inside hand pressing forward during a ski turn. Everything is hanging off that one row of outside knobs. It's improbable, but it's enough, if you just stay with it calmly. The final parallel: Once you've started the turn, stay off the brakes! 

 

Agree with the MTB analogy and would add that, as others have said in this thread, sometimes you can't fight gravity too much.  Like riding wet, greasy steeps on the bike, the whole secret is being relaxed, confident, attacking the hill in an active fashion (rather than leaning back and being a passenger on the bike) and accepting that you may have to go a little faster than the timid part of your brain really wants.  Grab a big handful of brakes and you're done for sure, stay off, and you'll probably ride it out.  One of the best DH racers in terrible conditions, Sam Hill, says he rides the wet and the dry exactly the same way.  When I fall on the ice it's cause I was being a wuss and decided I wanted to stop NOW, or because I'm nervous and not skiing the way I can.

 

Great thread, lots of good advice for me to work on.

post #42 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Skiing on ice is a lot like driving on ice.

1) You need good grip.  Sharp and acute edges are like good winter tires.

[snip]


 

Okay, I'm going to come out and say something that no one ever says, because no one wants to hear it who doesn't already know it: In order to ski ice well, you have to learn to tune your own skis.

 

Everyone seems to agree that skis need to be sharp to ski on ice. I certainly do. But what does it really take for your skis to be sharp? It takes sharpening. Often. REALLY often. I live and ski in northern New England, as I have my whole adult life. For me, anyway, if conditions are hard - which is most of the time - I feel like I need to sharpen my edges every couple of ski days. At a minimum I need to touch them up with a diamond stone in a file guide. Sometimes I do it after each and every ski day, especially if my beer league race times were even lousier than usual and I feel like placing the blame on something other than my technique.   I am not at all an expert tuner, but I do it just well enough to keep me solid on the ice. (I have a good shop do a base grind and reset the angles once a year, to erase my cumulative mistakes, remove the deep nicks that my work doesn't really touch, and generally get me back to a solid foundation.)

 

What does this sharpening frequency imply? It implies that you have to tune your own skis. Almost no one can afford the expense or hassle of having someone else tune his/her skis that often.

 

After talking with probably hundreds of skiers - friends and strangers - over the years about this topic, and observing their real-world behavior, I believe that extraordinarily few people actually do this. Yes, of course hard-core racer-from-birth types do it. I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to the 99.5% of recreational skiers out there, including very avid skiers who put in a lot of days. Even here in the ice East, most of these folks take their skis to a shop once, twice, at most three times a season for a tune. I know this because I talk to them and I check out their skis. Yikes, what a horror show. A few of them tune their own skis, but they are ineffectual or do it too infrequently or both. None of this cuts it. To ski ice well - at least if you're a normal human - you have to have really good edges. To have to have good edges, they have to be sharpened frequently, for the same reason a chef has to sharpen his/her knife frequently. As a practical matter, to get them sharpened that frequently, you have to invest the substantial time, energy, and money in doing it yourself.

 

Q.E.D.

post #43 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post




 

Okay, I'm going to come out and say something that no one ever says, because no one wants to hear it who doesn't already know it: In order to ski ice well, you have to learn to tune your own skis...


 

If I still lived back east, I would tune once a week.

post #44 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

 

If I still lived back east, I would tune once a week.

 

I sharpen my edges about every 7 days of skiing, depending oh how hard the snow is.  You don't need sharp edges for eh soft stuff, and the soft stuff doesn't dull the edges as quickly as the firm. 

 

Or I should say I have my edges sharpened - after years of trying, I just can't get as good a tune by hand as what I get form the Wintersteiger.  So I just take 'em in for a wax and tune - my home hill does this for $15 while I have lunch, so it's conveinent and at ~$2/day fairly cheap.  Like me.  (c:

post #45 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post To have to have good edges, they have to be sharpened frequently, for the same reason a chef has to sharpen his/her knife frequently. As a practical matter, to get them sharpened that frequently, you have to invest the substantial time, energy, and money in doing it yourself.

 

Q.E.D.



Couldn't agree more.  Virtually all of my skiing is on the Ice Coast and I sharpen (OK, not file/grind etc) but I at least diamond stone my edges every time I ski them.  Literally, every time.  There is no substitute for sharp edges on ice and around here, very few days without at least some ice.  Definitely, keep them sharp.

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