Originally Posted by tdk6
Bud, thanks for asking. Sorry Ghost, here we go..... IMO its quite simple. AWT is when you redistribute the pressure between your skis by muscle and body movements. For example by leaning sideways with your upper body from above your hips. PWT is when your skis start to turn and turn forces kick in allowing pressure to shift to the outside ski.
I find the AWT to be very useful in many situations. For example when I initiate a carved turn I flex my inside foot and actively shift weight to the outside ski. This causes me to tip into the turn. TIMBER..... My whole body falls to the inside of the turn, usually down the hill since Im in an upside down position. A more sofisticated term would be inclination. Anyway, when my skis are tipped on edge they start turning. This causes turn forces to build up and PWT to happen. When this happens my inclination or inside the turn falling or projecting slows down and hopefully stops before I reach the snow. At the same time I lean my upper body to the outside of the turn if I did not do that earlier to level out my shoulders. A big difference between AWT and PWT is that AWT does not need any speed. PWT does. For example if I stand still on my feet without moving forwards I can shift my weight sideways between my feet really easily. So when speed is low or I want quick reactions at any speed AWT comes in handy. It blends in with other movements such as angulation and upper body counter. It also blends in with forwards aft movements. They are all dynamic movements. Trying eliminate the AWT is like trying to eliminate upper body balancing movements. Everybody calls for dynamic movements. The AWT is part of that formula.
Great! TDK6! I can see where we agree for the most part and differ only in small details.
I totally concur with your description of AWT. It is how we think of Passive Weight Transfer that gets a little fuzzy.
I prefer taking away resistance to turning rather than moving something to overcome resistance. That said, in your second paragraph you said, "When I initiate a carved turn I flex my inside foot to "actively" shift the weight...". Here is where it is perhaps a little fuzzy because I would classify this movement as a passive weight shift, because you are taking away the resistance or releasing the platform of your old turn, which instantly shifts weight to the new outside ski.
I hope you can see the difference between the movements you describe in your beginner turns vs. your carved turns? In your description of the wedge turns your upper body is moving out and away from the turn direction, while in your carved turns there is no negative or defensive or braking movement occurring. You are moving everything into the direction of your turns.
The passive weight shift occurs simultaneously, in my mind, with the release of pressure or weight from the inside ski. It has to! Now at the beginner level we do not want to move as aggressively into inclination as the speeds are slow, but a very slight movement is all that is needed to release the edge and load the outside ski, yet we are mimicking the exact movements of a good parallel turn.
So to your statement that said we have to be moving forward to use a passive weight shift, I agree. Standing in a wedge, if you simply decrease the angle of one ski or the other without trying to hinder or help any other action in your body, you will see a slight movement of your hips in that direction. This creates a passive weight shift, provided there is forward movement of the skis over the snow. From releasing this edge, with only slight forward movement, a turn will ensue. After all skiing is moving, yes?
You said, "A big difference between AWT and PWT is that AWT does not need any speed." and I agree though I would replace speed with forward momentum, which as soon as we slide on skis, we create. I had never thought of this comparison between the two before but it makes perfect sense that in a static environment AWT makes sense for demonstration purposes but I would argue it sets up negative movements before we even slide on skis. This is where I see instructors (too many) using the torso to lean out over the outside ski to set up the weight bias. It is very demonstrable and very easy to get instant results! Albeit, those results can create other impediments to progress. Teaching the subtle movements consistent with parallel turns to first time turners is not as easily demonstrated or explained for the instructor, hence the tendency to rush to the default AWT method. BUT, that doesn't make it the best choice for the student's progress! Perhaps we as trainers, need to provide a multitude of options for instructors to use when they meet common problems when trying to explain and demonstrate this movement.
Perhaps my understanding is wrong? I am open to being convinced otherwise because I do not believe I am dogmatic or closed minded.
Edited by bud heishman - 11/9/10 at 8:51am