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Pressure Control

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
If i want to exert more pressure on my ski edges at the apex of a turn to prevent skidding what is the movement that will most help? Is it increasing fore/aft pressure in the front of the boot or rolling the edges more into the turn? I tend to cheat by extending my outside leg actively which results in a push/skid. I've found references in other threads but no definitive answer. Any help that you can offer will be sincerely appreciated, because this is a vexing problem for me.
post #2 of 18
Try combining increasing edging of the inside ski with the extending. Be sure the ankle bone projection of the outside foot is in its pocket in the liner of that boot.
post #3 of 18
Leveraging the front of your boot will promote skidding. Steer with the inside ski and balance on the middle of your skis. Have a level II or III PSIA instructor look at your skiing and examine your stance.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 18, 2002 08:02 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Rusty Guy ]</font>
post #4 of 18
Good advice above, while you work on it also watch out for adrupt edging and/or over edging. If you are driving on an icy road and start sliding while turning, trying to turn the wheel even harder in the direction you want to go will just create more skidding - you have to decrease the wheels angle to the slide until they reengage and then you can try smoothly guiding again. This analogy goes over pretty exactly into ski carving.
post #5 of 18
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> If i want to exert more pressure on my ski edges at the apex of a turn to prevent skidding what is the movement that will most help? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


I believe that you are right on the movement pattern. The one you suggested will allow for an early edge in the new turn.


I don't think controlling edge pressure will stop or prevent skidding at the apex of the turn. The problem is that you may be in a skid from the inititation of your turn. I may be wrong but no amount of edge pressure will cure this.

I think you need to bring your focus earlier in the turn and prevent the skid before it happens. Kneale has hit the nail on the head. Once you get that early edge you should be able to fully extend on that turn and hold your edge and carve it through.

Oh well, my $.02

post #6 of 18
Try for a change in understanding of the concept.

Pressure "control" is different than pressure "exertion". In skiing, we flex to absorb pressure, not to apply pressure.

Trying to exert more pressure is like trying to slice a ripe tomato with a dull knife. Push too hard, and all you're left with is a squished tomato.

Of course, we don't normally ski on fields of tomatoes.

Pressure control in it's execution calls for an understanding of the relationship between the center of mass and the base of support. (yer feet)

The center of mass remains stable... not immobile, but stable. Nearly all of the active movement in skiing happens below the center of mass, in the joints of the hips, knees and ankles.

Instead of trying to exert more pressure by "pushing" the base of support downward, try to absorb pressure by "pulling" the base of support upward through the apex of your turns. This is often referred to as "retraction" of the legs.

Simpler? Lie on your back and raise your legs just slightly off the floor. Try to pull your knees toward your chest. That's roughly how the "move" feels.

You can slice a ripe tomato if you operate the knife gently and let the sharpness of the blade do the work. You can develop stronger edging if you let the sharpness of your edges work in the same way. Overpower it, and you squash the tomato!

Give it a whirl.
post #7 of 18
My thinking is more along the lines of ihavethesecret. Just to be different I will call it flexing rather than retracting at the apex of the turn. How does flexing change pressure? Well it doesn't reduce the total pressure to any measurable degree if one were to use a weight scales under the entire ski. What it does change is the pressure patterns on the ski. Flexing moves the pressure patterns from the tip of the ski to the sweet spot or maybe even a little to the rear of the sweet spot. Mind you this pressure change is all done with the shins in full contact with the boot tongues. As soon as the pressure moves to the sweet spot the skis quit chattering.
All movements need to originate in the feet as banking of turns, is also a big cause of chatter. Banking is tipping the shoulders into the turn and carrying too much pressure on the inside ski.
To feel the correct patterns of extend and flex try this exercise from a side slip. Extend by rolling the downhill ski towards the little toe edge with the resultant diagaonal extension. The ski tips move down the fall line and tip lead reduces. Now flex and roll the downhill foot back. Flexing should be the opposite direction from extension, from diagonally forward back to neutral. Tip lead will naturally increase and the tips will move back uphill. Make sure you have shin contact with both boot tongues the entire time. This extend and flex pattern is the same pattern you need in all turns. Hope this helps.
post #8 of 18
I had and still have the problem of over pressuring the ski. Classic example when more is not better. All you will get is more chatter. So, set your edges early and manage the pressure throughout the entire turn.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
The comments made so far are great. I need to give them more thought and then take them to the hill. I'd like to explore the retraction concept further. If I retract the inside leg more at the apex of the turn, keeping the outside leg long, would this be useful? It would seem that retracting both legs at the apex would be premature, or am I misunderstanding?
post #10 of 18
Well, I think of it as something softer than retraction, more like relaxation or a REST, and yes, this BEGINS at the apex of the turn. What happens to that point I liken to a stroke in swimming: stroke, rest, stroke, rest. It's tied to tempo, so the rest could also be likened to a rest in music.
post #11 of 18
One last little detail?

How sharp are your edges? Sometimes a "mid-season" tune can do a world of good.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
I sharpen my edges myself and just recently did so. They carve fine initially, but then they skid just before crossing over the fall line. I want to get started in Nastar, but want to solve this problem first. On Wednesday I'll take all the suggestions to the slope and report back as to what works. The skis get professional tunes at year end and if needed, before that. I take care of interim edge sharpening and waxing. I've had a lot of good advice here.
post #13 of 18
Hi Harvey--

Some very good replies above! I think your original question contains the main issue:

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> If I want to exert more pressure on my ski edges at the apex of a turn to prevent skidding what is the movement that will most help? Is it increasing fore/aft pressure in the front of the boot or rolling the edges more into the turn? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

More pressure on the ski edges will not prevent skidding, but less skidding will result in more pressure on the ski edges (all else being equal). Remember, as I have often said, we don't get pressure on our skis by pushing on them, but by allowing them to push on us. (Actually, I first heard this statement from Bill Sloatman, one of Keystone's top instructors.)

What will make your skis hold better? They must be sharp enough to cut into the snow surface. You must tip them sufficiently to create the "critical edge angle" that we have discussed in the past. You must not twist them into a skid. And you must flex and extend to absorb shock and vibration that can cause them to bounce out of their "groove" and skid. See to these things, and your skis WILL NOT skid!

And when they don't skid--when they grip tenaciously throughout the turn--you will be able to hold a tighter turn and maintain maximum speed through the turn, which will increase the "g-forces" of the turn, which will thus increase the pressure on your skis.

Increasing forward pressure on the boot shifts the pressure center forward on the ski, which can cause the tail to wash out. Forward pressure on an edged ski causes the tip to bend more tightly, while straightening out the tail. The ski bends into a non-round shape, which cannot then, of course, carve a smooth, round turn.

Rolling the edges more into the turn MAY help them hold better, but only if they were not sufficiently tipped (critical edge angle) in the first place.

Patience is really the key. Avoid harsh or sudden movements. Steer the skis gently, "tips in" to the turn, rather than pushing the tails out. Remain supple to even out the pressure on the edges. Let the skis do their thing--don't try to force them. TRUST them! And most of all--don't push on them--just let them push on you!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #14 of 18

as I mentioned before I am working on the same problem in my skiing and this part of Bob's message is what I am currently focusing on:

"And you must flex and extend to absorb shock and vibration that can cause them to bounce out of their "groove" and skid."

You have mentioned longer outside leg, that is true but it can't be stiff/static. Make sure that you are managing the forces that build up throughout the turn and not just setting skis on edge in the beginning and then sitting there waiting for next transition.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 20, 2002 04:57 AM: Message edited 1 time, by eug ]</font>
post #15 of 18
Set up the turn by rolling the feet/skis and as they engage their arc will bring the pressure to you. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to manage that pressure as it comes on. Effecient management means not trying to cause what you should allow.

Relaxing/retracting legs reduces/absorbs pressure, lengthening/stiffening legs increases it. Chattering is too much pressure being applied ACROSS the ski/arc. Usually not enough leg flexion as skis come around the arc and head back under the body.

Set up. Manage. Grin!
post #16 of 18
Hi there,
I have a couple of thoughts on pressure control. First off, I the word apex isn't entirely clear. I would interpret that word as the moment whent the skis are facing almost straight down the hill in many turns.
Anyway, some other thoughts.
bob barnes is right on as usual. His statement about dealing with terrain by aborbing excess pressure and extending to create pressure is right on, as is EUG's version of it above. That is pressure control, contrary to what IHTS said:

"Pressure "control" is different than pressure "exertion""

Pressure control is doing what's needed to either absorb or create pressure depending on your needs at the moment.

It is the key to slicing up difficult snow agressively.

That said,
I don't think pressure control is your problem here, harvey.
Your symptoms (starting in a clean carve, then pushing the skis into a skid at the apex) sound a lot more like some sort of rotational issue to me. Could be excess upper body rotation. Or maybe you drop your knee too far inside and let your femur rotate internally at that point which creates too much rotational force so the ski turns out of the carve. Anyway, without seeing you ski, or knowing your level, that is my first thought on your recurring problem. If you problem was just pressure control in the apex, it probably wouldn't be as evident all the time. On friendly snow and smooth groomers you could hold a carve with sub par pressure control skills, but not with the problems I mentioned above.
Hope this is clear and maybe it helps,
Cheers, Holiday
post #17 of 18
HarveyD- Some great thoughts from others as always. I wrote a piece called "learn to move away" Did not get alot of response but speaks to what you are trying to do if your interested you can do a search and read it but it is along the lines of BobB post that to get more pressure to the edges we need to move away from them and allow it to build vs what many try to do is create pressure by pushing on them!

tip early and allow pressure to build and keep flexing the inside leg to acomidate terrain as you lenghten the outside leg and allow the ski to ski back to you buy steering and tipping your tips in. Give that post a read it has some activity's I think would be helpful for you. Good luck!
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
I didn't get a chance to report back on my progress with the above suggestions due to the arrival of my two month old grandson, but they left yesterday so I went out today. Here's what I discovered. The most frequent suggestion was about flexion/retraction. I found that I wasn't retracting enough into the turn. When that was corrected, with adequate edging, the smearing cleared up and was replaced with arcing. I also found that I wasn't doing a good job of extending at the end of the turn. My timing was off and frequently this lead to extending off the uphill ski to start my turns. Fortunately, by the time I came to this realization, the great Kostelic had done her GS thing and copying this and watching it in slow motion straightened out this latter problem. I also believe that I try too hard to fix my hips facing downhill. Tomorrow's project will be to focus on countering the hips to get better initial rolling of the feet with improved angulation.

Thanks to everyone who helped me here. It's been a real eye opener. :
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