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Ski skipping sideways at bottom of turn

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
At the bottom of powerful short turns on very hard snow I often have problems with the ski “skipping” sideways. The same effect can be seen when doing a hockey stop under similar conditions.

Apart from what I feel, looking at the tracks in the snow shows a series of “smiles”, gouged out of the snow across the fall line as the edge bites and releases.

Can anyone offer suggestions as to why this is happening, or more importantly, what I can do about it? I’ve mainly been skiing my Bandit XX lately, and this seems to be far more prone to this effect than my P50 SL.

I was wondering if the problem wasn’t caused by the relative lack of torsional rigidity in the wider ski, causing the ski to twist and un-twist in a series of oscillations; the edge biting, twisting and then releasing. Am I simply over-powering the ski, or is it (as I suspect) just a case of learning better technique during this phase of the turn?

Cheers,

Pete
post #2 of 29
Pete, think about keeping your feet underneath you, instead of pushing your downhill foot away from you to set the edge. As you start your pivot, remember to keep the edge angle low when the pressure is low and progressively add edge angle as you add pressure. Setting a high edge angle before the pressure is added can cause what you are describing. Doing one footed hockey stops (lift the uphill foot off the snow) as practice helps to keep that outside foot under you. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #3 of 29
There may be other things going on. First, check your tune. If you have a 0 degree base bevel, especially at the tail, the ski will be too grabby outside of a pure carve. If so, have the base bevel reset at 1/2 or 1 degree. Second, you might be throwing your skis a bit sideways at the end of the turn and forcing the direction change against gravity. Tip the ski on edge, press the edged ski through the carved turn, and flatten across the fall line to release. It sounds like you are a good skier, so it is probably your tune.

[ February 15, 2003, 06:50 AM: Message edited by: TJazz ]
post #4 of 29
Pete you are probably doing what 97% of all skiers are doing. Being too impatient at the top of your turns. Over turning in a sense. Using upper body rotation, pushing the tails out , pivoting, what have you, to get the skis turning fast. I'm guessing that you're skis have done all the necessary turning before you even start moving down the hill. The result is 90% of the distance you travel through the turn is turn finish. Whala, scrap, scrap, scrap, scrap, Z turns not round turns.

If I am traveling in a car on ice and suddenly turn the steering wheel in order to turn the car, the car will skid. Sammy same on skis. Have some patience at the top of your turn and wait for the skis to do the work. Don't rush em, don't twist em, don't step em and don't beat on them. Shift some weight towards the tips and down the hill and WAIT for the skis to seek the fall line. Just guide them around you're short turns and little else.

The result will be better timing, solid even edge and better rhythm. You likely posses all the skills necessary for good short turns. The key is using them smoothly. I could get way technical here with all the proper movements but I want to give my esteemed colleges opportunity to add to this fine thread.


As for the Bandit X, I would swear that this ski was shipped from the factory without a core. The ski is deader than a door nail from day one. The're lousy for high energy short turns but respond well to traditional pivot style bump skiing. The bandit X and the Xscream Series are both mirror images of one another and both excellent pivot-skid, back seat driver skis.

[ February 15, 2003, 08:19 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #5 of 29
I sort of found a solution for this problem on my first day of skiing this year. I like to make short turns with a very gentle start followed by an aggressive end. So I tried getting a higher edge earlier in the turn and steering hard at the apex, and thus I was able to increase the radius at the end of the turn. This lessened the forces at the end of the turn, which let the skis hold on the hard snow. In short, put more intensity into the start of the turn and less at the end. But it's easy to over do it. Also, you won't get as much momentum into the next turn, so the turn initiation takes a little "extra something". Keep in mind that I'm a layperson, so feel free to : .

[ February 15, 2003, 05:40 PM: Message edited by: milesb ]
post #6 of 29
Great analogy, Pierre. My thoughts exactly.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments, I thought I should elaborate on a few things.

Ric, the problem is right at the end of the turn, when the pressure is highest. Given the shortness of the turn some degree of pivoting is inevitable, however as a rule I do try to carve as much of the turn as is possible. As such, the edge is not “set” as such, rather rolled onto its edge with progressively more edge angle used as the turn progresses. I tend to ski by edging through angulation then getting more edge at the end of the turns by rolling my knees increasingly into the turn. One footed hockey stops are precisely the type of situation when this type of “scalloping” occurs if it’s real hard snow.

TJ, one thing I can say with confidence is that it’s not the tune. I’m a bit crazy about my tunes [img]smile.gif[/img] I use the factory standard tune of 1 degree base and 1 degree side for this ski.

Pierre, maybe on to something but looking at the tracks in the snow they are pretty round. They aren’t skidded turns as I think you’re describing (indeed during my instructor program last week the thing I had most trouble with was pivoting to create a skidded turn … hard to go against years of instructors hitting me over the head with their stocks telling me to be patient and use my edges!!). BTW it’s actually the XX and not the X.

Miles, do you mean a very aggressive start followed by a more gentle finish? That could be a way of working around the problem if it’s the ski as I think Pierre is somewhat suggesting. I tend to ski the opposite way, by increasing edge angle throughout the turn. This increases pressure even more than what would naturally occur anyway as the turn progresses.

Cheers,

Pete

[ February 15, 2003, 04:59 PM: Message edited by: Pete ]
post #8 of 29
Whoops! I misworded my post, see the edit.
Yes, Pete that's what I meant. I too enjoy creating as much force as possible at the end of the turn, but on very hard snow, it's just too much. At least for my level of expertise.

[ February 15, 2003, 05:43 PM: Message edited by: milesb ]
post #9 of 29
Pete:
Quote:
Pierre, maybe on to something but looking at the tracks in the snow they are pretty round. They aren’t skidded turns as I think you’re describing (indeed during my instructor program last week the thing I had most trouble with was pivoting to create a skidded turn … hard to go against years of instructors hitting me over the head with their stocks telling me to be patient and use my edges!!). BTW it’s actually the XX and not the X.
Sammy same. Too quick at the top of the turn results in throwing the edges onto a high angle in the bottom of the turn to stop the skid, and rotation that was started during turn initiation. Its indeed not good pivoting. The tracks may indeed seem round as the tails arc a round turn. You can't really see where the tips went. Thats where the Z occurs. Pivot slips is good practice for edging and patience at turn initiation.
post #10 of 29
Pete, sounds to me that you are hanging onto the edges too long. You should release the moment you feel your edges starting to chatter, actually before they chatter.

If you can't that means that your body is too far inside the turn and you need to ride out the chatter until it braked enough for your body to catch up and allow you to move over the skis for the next turn.

My suggestion would be, at the end of the turn, instead of bracing against the edged skis to simply take the weight off the downhill ski and let the body flow over the skis tips and into the next turn. When you chatter as you described your skis are moving sideways not longways and are crossways to the path your body travels. Not a good thing.

......Ott
post #11 of 29
During the morning of the second day of the 2003 EpicSki Academy, nolo had our group on snow blades. Among other characteristics, these snow blades were not best suited for "hockey stops" - if you tried that, they would skitter mercilessly. That could be reduced with reduced edge angle, but it was still present, unless moving VERY slowly.

While any model of ski can skitter or chatter when moving sideways, some seem more prone to that than others. It seems to me that chattering in the manner described above is a combination of technique and ski bevel and ski stiffness . . . or am I out in left field here?
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Ott, what you are suggesting sounds very similar to that suggested by the level 4 instructor that was taking our course (man could this guy ski!). I approached him with the problem and he suggested easing up on the edge and letting the ski slip a little. Is that what you are also saying?

I was trying to avoid letting the ski slip (not sure if this is the correct term, indeed I just made it up. What I mean is not a skid, just not applying enough edge such that the ski “slips” out on a tangent a little. However I sometimes want to avoid doing this as I may really want to hold the line, for example on a steep to make it around an obstacle. Hence why I posted the question again here.

Oboe, I’ve never skied the blades so can’t speak from person experience, but what you’re saying makes sense. If the skipping is caused by excess pressure then it would stand to reason that the problem would be accentuated by less area on the snow ie either very hard conditions or short skis.

Cheers,

Pete
post #13 of 29
Pete, this last bit sounds as though you're edging with too much tension in your stance leg. You're trying too hard to edge at the point the outside ski is carrying the maximum amount of force from your speed and turn shape on that steep a hill. Partly this comes from trying to slow your speed after entering the turn too fast. Try turning just a bit farther higher up on the same terrain, before you reach the point where the skipping commences. Or accept the speed :~).
post #14 of 29
Pete, from your first description I took it that you were talking about short swing turns, a turn with a braking edge set at the end. As the others have said, a carvier, short radius turn needs much different blend of pressure and edge management. If you feel that your upperbody is quite, then it may simply mean you need to ease the edge angle and pressure at the end of the turn, instead of addng to it as you desribed, allowing the ski to finish the turn more across the falline, and in a position to move right into the next turn with earlier edge engagement. Play with making turns with more consisten pressure throughout the turn, even to the point of keeping it the same all the time. This might help develope better awareness of the relationship between edge angle and pressure. Good luck and have fun. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #15 of 29
I like the car analogy. Edge/pressure at the start of the turn,then steer through it and gas it as you finish the turn. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #16 of 29
So, again, can anyone offer some insight about the roles of edge bevel and ski stiffness in chatter? [see my post above]
post #17 of 29
I get the impression that Pete is a better skier than he may let on to be. I also think that if this is so, then Pete probably doesn’t do what many suggest that he does.

IMHO, I think that Ott and Ric B are on the trail of Pete’s problem. The reason I’m leaning in this direction is that sometimes I have the same problem with a pair of new Volkl’s I got this year. I have found that reducing the edge angle or releasing the tips a bit stops the chattering. : ------------Wigs
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Wigs, having skied with a few instructors in Canada I think my level of skiing is between a CSIA level 2 -3. Comfortable 2, maybe not quite a 3, if that helps at all. Know how hard it is to judge based on posts.

Cheers,

Pete

Oh, not sure if this means anything either, but did a NASTAR race while there. Hope this link will work http://www.nastar.com/index.jsp?pagename=results&page=comp&compid=207583 &year=2003 maybe it means more to somebody else than it does to me [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ February 16, 2003, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: Pete ]
post #19 of 29
Suprising that alignment has not been mentioned.

I am "no expert" but.....

You are "over edged" at the end of your turns. That is YOU are overedged!. I don't know about your ski.

Chatter is the result of too much edge for the available "strength", or leg stability.
I must assume that your leg is chattering along with the ski.
If the knee/ leg/ all of you is not stacked up in a straight line, chatter will be more likely.
Wide skis underfoot give greater leverage against your strength and alignment. The XX's will be worse than the P50's in this regard.

read "The Athletic Skier" and play with your angles.

I'm the other way, and tend to washout at turn's end unless I "open up"

'Just another point of consideration to add to the other GOOD stuff offered.

CalG
post #20 of 29
Suprising that alignment has not been mentioned.

I am "no expert" but.....

You are "over edged" at the end of your turns. That is YOU are overedged!. I don't know about your ski.

Chatter is the result of too much edge for the available "strength", or leg stability.
I must assume that your leg is chattering along with the ski.
If the knee/ leg/ all of you is not stacked up in a straight line, chatter will be more likely.
Wide skis underfoot give greater leverage against your strength and alignment. The XX's will be worse than the P50's in this regard.

read "The Athletic Skier" and play with your angles.

I'm the other way, and tend to washout at turn's end unless I "open up"

'Just another point of consideration to add to the other GOOD stuff offered.

CalG
post #21 of 29
Here is my 2 cents (let me know if it is nothing but babble, but it worked for me, even though I am still working on it):

It seems logical that if you load the tails instead of just pushing on them then the skis will not be flexed as much, and then your edge will be better aligned with the critical edge for this snow.

Short turns kind of force you to load your tails at the end of the turn, because you need to use the springboard rebound action in order to make the turn short. If you are just pressing your heels while the body CM is still over the front halves of the skis, then you will create an extra torque that is not aligned with the torque already acting upon your body by the turning forces. This misalignment will cause the tails to skip and chatter.

If, however, you let your skis catch up with your CM for an instant at the end of the turn, then these two torques will be in alignment, and, instead of skipping, you will be launched into the next turn by the rebound in your skis just by firmly planting your pole. Some even exaggerate this movement by letting the skis go in front of them for the moment just prior to pole plant, but it takes a lot of mid-body strength and reflexes to catch up at the initiation of the next turn. The body CM does catch up if done correctly, because it rides a shorter line than the skis.

This movement is what the French called avalement in the 1970s (absorption) and what you see most bump skiers do when they are racing.

[ February 17, 2003, 02:47 PM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hmm, ok interesting. However just a reminder that one of the times, indeed the worst time, chatter was encountered, was during hockey stops on hard snow. At this time the ski isn't actually turning at all.
post #23 of 29
Pete, I would be surprised if you didn't chatter making a hockey stop on hard snow: even ice-skaters chatter and skid on ice when making the "hockey stop" - look at any hockey or figure skating event.

You are carrying a lot of kinetic energy into the hockey stop; you have to dissipate it, and you use friction and friction-initiated tail vibration (chatter) to do that, just because tip vibration would take you out of control.

[ February 17, 2003, 03:38 PM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #24 of 29
. . . so maybe in some situations we should just ignore the chatter? hm?
post #25 of 29
Just to clarify for other readers: Pressuring the tails of the skis IS NOT AVALEMENT. Avalement literally means to swallow, and its application in skiing terminology means to absorb terrain changes with flexion and extension.

Initiating turns off the tails of the skis was a misunderstanding of the French jet turn from the 1960's. The appropriate jetting action used to great success by the French racers at the time was toward the fall line, not perpendicular to it, after absorbing the bump at the end of a race rut. The absorbing action resulted in the feet being pushed forward so they could be sucked up by the legs, which APPEARED in action photographs to be sitting on the tails of the skis. What the pictures failed to portray was the forward momentum of the racer's center of mass that allowed the body to go toward downhill and pull the skis into the fall line when the edges were released.
post #26 of 29
Kneale, thank you : Avalement is a technique requiring a lot of mid-body strength and constituting, just as you said (I don't think we are contradicting each other),

"jetting action used to great success by the French racers at the time was toward the fall line, not perpendicular to it, after absorbing the bump at the end of a race rut. The absorbing action resulted in the feet being pushed forward so they could be sucked up by the legs, which APPEARED in action photographs to be sitting on the tails of the skis. What the pictures failed to portray was the forward momentum of the racer's center of mass that allowed the body to go toward downhill and pull the skis into the fall line when the edges were released. " [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

A huge misunderstanding of this action by the ski industry and a large percentage of instructors and coaches around the world caused lots of recreational skiers (who did not have the strength or ability of World Cup racers) to ride their tails and created a boom in production of stiff near-vertical ski boots which were supposed to make avalement "easier". : In reality, these boots made everything, including avalement, a lot harder and forced some to even move the bindings on recreational skis slightly forward, to create a more stable riding platform behind (considering the length of the skis of the time, it was easy to do and therefore did not promote a shift to shorter, more manageable skis). The industry "forgot" or failed to include into the analysis the fact that the French racers were using the flexibility and forward lean of the boot to make avalement possible.

[ February 17, 2003, 06:51 PM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by CalG:
Suprising that alignment has not been mentioned.

Chatter is the result of too much edge for the available "strength", or leg stability.
I must assume that your leg is chattering along with the ski.
If the knee/ leg/ all of you is not stacked up in a straight line, chatter will be more likely.

CalG
I agree with Cal G's point and offer - I bet it happens (or is more pronounced) on one side than the other.

kiersten
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by oboe:
So, again, can anyone offer some insight about the roles of edge bevel and ski stiffness in chatter? [see my post above]
Oboe: With respect to stiffness & chatter, take a look at my post timestamped February 12, 2003 08:17 AM in the thread,
Good ski type for icy snow conditions for comments on the role of longitudinal ski stiffness in this phenomena. My comments in this thread apply most directly to relatively simple dynamical situations like one ski hockey stops where the ski has no forward velocity, rather than more complicated situations such as the end of a turn where the skier has forward velocity and the ski may be at some arbitrary angle of attack to the direction of motion (ie, not exactly 90 degrees as they are in hockey stops).

My guess is that Pete's problems arise because of *both* equipment and technique. He states that this problem is worse on his XX's compared to his p50's, and I suspect that this is because the combination of skier weight and ski stiffness of the XX is closer to optimal for promoting such oscillations, so this is clearly an equipment issue.

He also states that he experiences chattering at the ends of turns. This clearly has a strong technique component, since if he would making either purer carves, intentionally introducing more skidding, and/or making the transitions smoother (as suggested by others in this thread), these suggested techniques would all likely minimize the chattering.

With respect to base bevel, more bevel will make the transition from grabbing to skidding take place over a larger range of edge angles. If the ski is engaged in grab-then-release relaxation oscillation, it will alternately be trying to torque itself flat (when grabbing), and allow itself to go to higher edge angles (when skidding) because of the everpresent several degrees of play between the leg and the boot, between the boot and the binding, in the binding, etc. More base bevel and the consequent more gradual onset of grabbing will tend to reduce (or possibly even supress) such relaxation oscillations (but reduce the ultimate edging force you can achieve).

HTH,

Tom / PM
post #29 of 29
Quote:
You are "over edged" at the end of your turns. That is YOU are overedged!. I don't know about your ski. Chatter is the result of too much edge for the available "strength", or leg stability. I must assume that your leg is chattering along with the ski. If the knee/leg/all of you is not stacked up in a straight line, chatter will be more likely. Wide skis underfoot give greater leverage against your strength and alignment. The XX's will be worse than the P50's in this regard.
I agree with what Cal says. However, that doesn't answer what Pierre's driving at -- the source of the problem.

From my own experience receiving Yoda's instruction, I know exactly what Pierre's talking about -- I used to fall in that 97% and it made my first exchange with Yoda play out this way (roughly):

Y - You like those skis?

G - Yeah, they're really energetic on the hard snow and in carves but still slice through crud pretty well.

Well that's good that you like them that much now, because you're only using about 65% of what that ski has to offer. Look around the mountain and you'll see that only about 3-5% of skiers know how to let their ski work for them. They pay $750 or more for skis & bindings and only use about $350 worth of what they paid for. They're throwing their money away. And you know what's sad about that? These newer generation skis require even less work to unleash their potential. Would you like me to show you how to get your money's worth out of those skis?

and that is how it started. My prior turn technique resulted in many turns like Pete describes above. It wasn't a hacker's turn, but it was frustrating because just at the point where the ski loads up and will POP, your edge hold disappears and you start chattering.

Yoda's first two drills for me on this problem already have been mentioned. Pivot-slip to edgelock. One-foot hockey stops.

Fixing the failure to stack up one's bones for optimal turn power definitely helps reduce the chatter. But it still doesn't remedy the issue of WHY the bones weren't getting stacked up earlier in the turn... and if Pete's anything like I was two seasons ago, I'm willing to bet Pierre has this one dialed right in.
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