Help! I’ve found most of the posts on this topic fascinating and enlightening but alas, also occasionally very confusing.
I thought Nolo’s question started out focusing on whether hop turns should be one of the exam tasks for a Level III candidate and if so, how the task should be set up in an exam to measure or evaluate the skill or skills involved, or whatever it is the examiner is legitimately seeking to measure. There, Ott and FastMan focused on the hop turn as defined and tested in an exam and both, I thought, found the exam task to be inappropriately designed to measure the skills involved in a hop turn. It was my understanding that both Ott and FastMan thought the exam task was being administered on terrain that was too flat and that a hop turn on flat terrain is far harder than a hop turn performed on steeper terrain.
It was also my understanding that others of those posting here agreed that as administered the task was more of a measure of stamina than of skills mastery. As I understood matters, however, some of the comments concluded that stamina or "athleticism" is something that was to be tested.
Is stamina something that examiners are testing? If they are, why is that task, hop turns, the task that seems to be chosen when it probably has more “age bias” in it than other exam tasks, and as a tactic, depending upon definition, is something rarely used outside of narrow chutes or emergencies? That is, why would a long string of hop turns on the flats, without a break, be a task that should be used to measure stamina when it clearly has a bias that other exam tasks don't? In a recent exam, according to a count by one of Ott’s colleagues, on one day we did 30 runs of one ski skiing on blue and black terrain. Even here, in the vertically challenged Midwest, that is a fair amount of one ski skiing. Clearly other tasks could be used to measure stamina, or aerobic capacity, if that is what that aspect of the exam is supposed to measure.
If stamina is not what is being measured, how many hop turns, as FastMan defined them, in a row on flat terrain, would an examiner need to observe to see if a candidate has the skills to perform the task, if, that is, it is the skills that are being tested?
* * * * *
Having thought that was what Nolo was driving at, I am confused by several of the comments pertaining to the use of “hop turns” in a non-exam setting, including some of Nolo's. I think this may be a problem of nomenclature, and I disavow any real knowledge of the terms used in skiing steep chutes, but, the “hop turn” used in the exam setting seems to me to be a far different maneuver than at least I have utilized in skiing steep chutes – except very rarely. The “hop turn” used in exam settings, in my very limited experience involves simultaneously hopping from BOTH feet (or very nearly so), i.e., simultaneous extension, to up-unweight, followed with a simultaneous retraction and rotary to land 180° across the slope on edged skis. On very steep terrain, by contrast, the downhill leg is almost fully extended. Consequently, there is very little extension, or “hop” that can come from the downhill leg. Accordingly, a pedaling action is used: while the uphill leg is pedaling down, extending, i.e., “up-unweighting,” the downhill leg is pedaling up and starting to turn across the slope. The up-unweighted uphill ski then begins to turn across the slope and “catches-up” with the earlier turning downhill ski so that both end up directly across the slope.
My description is probably a very bad one. But the hop/pedal turn, or whatever its proper name is, that I use, and have seen others use in steep chutes is generally very sequential, with a great deal of independent leg action rather than the simultaneous “hop” of the exam task. I seek enlightenment here. Is this correct, or have I missed something pretty fundamental? Spare no words, I can even learn from sarcasm. If what I have described for skiing steep terrains, is an apt description of a "hop turn," and that is the value of a "hop turn," why do the examiners test using such a radically different task? If what I have described for skiing steeps is commonly referred to as a “hop turn” then I am at a loss to understand the following point that Nolo made:
|“On the other hand, skiing at Bridger I see a lot of hopping. I think they should learn the Lazy Woman's Way to Ski. I'd love to teach this low impact technique to you and Si some time. It's the secret of my success.”
If the term "hop turn" when applied to skiing includes what I have described, What is the “low impact technique” that she is referring to? Why won't she share the secret of her success?