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Parallel Skiing 101 (video's inside)

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 

I guess the definition of parallel skiing is that both skis are parallel through out the whole turn. No wedging and no stemming allowed. There are offcourse many ways of initiating a parllel turn so lets start off by discussing different techniques. In order to make this thread a bit different from others I ask everyone to post a video link to the porposed technique. This way readers that are looking for sound advice can watch for themselves. Ok, here we go....

 

1. The up-unweighting technique

Let me start off with one of the most common ways of initiating a parallel turn, the up-unweighting technique. Check out this great video below. Smooth and elegant.

 

post #2 of 67

The essence of parallel turns is simultaneous edge changing.  On modern equipment, "unweighting" is unnecessary extra movement.  Extension and flexing are used to complement edge change and steering, not to reduce weight on the skis.

post #3 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

On modern equipment, "unweighting" is unnecessary extra movement.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say "less necessary".
There are still situations where the skis leave the ground, like here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R34UkGzzJrc
And if you look carefully, Svindal's skis are a few millimeters off the ground every transition:
http://www.vimeo.com/14430888
If the skis leave the ground, surely they have been "unweighted"?
 

post #4 of 67

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell View Post

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say "less necessary".
There are still situations where the skis leave the ground, like here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R34UkGzzJrc
And if you look carefully, Svindal's skis are a few millimeters off the ground every transition:
http://www.vimeo.com/14430888
   If the skis leave the ground, surely they have been "unweighted"?
 


These are two extremes of skiing with probably not much more than a couple % of recreational skiers making these runs.

 

The title is Parallel Skiing 101 - implying an intro and not the extreme.

 

In the first video, I see someone surviving the run and not skiing it.  Yes the skis are mostly parallel but they are struggling the entire time.  I'm not saying I or anyone else could do better than the skier in the first video (I wouldn't even attempt it).  What I am saying is that Kneales answer, he's referring to better than > 95% of skiers and yours the balance.

 

In the Svindal video, I don't think he is unweighting as much as he's picking his skis up, kicking them to the side so he doesn't die! In some of the transitions I almost think his skis leaving the ground are because of the terrain and speed more than technique.
 

"  If the skis leave the ground, surely they have been "unweighted"?
 
 If the skis leave the ground, surely they have been "unweighted"?"

 

Is this unweighting an intent or a result?

 

We should first agree on a technique that is correct for 95% of skiers and then talk about the rest or we will never agree.

 

So, going back to tdk6's OP, on a groomed green run (like in the video), do you think it is necessary for the skier in the video to unweight his skis?  If so why?

 

Ken
 

post #5 of 67
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

The essence of parallel turns is simultaneous edge changing.  On modern equipment, "unweighting" is unnecessary extra movement.  Extension and flexing are used to complement edge change and steering, not to reduce weight on the skis.


Nice, now please post a video of it!
 

post #6 of 67

That guy in the couloire is not really a good example of necessary air; it doesn't show what is beyond that right turn that he has to ski so slowly for.

 

However, there are times when you need to lighten you skis: when they sudenly need to be somewhere else, when you want to straighten your skis in deep snow, just to name a couple.

 

To turn right tip skis on their right edges; to turn left tip left, tip skis on their left edges.   That and balance is all there is to it.  You don't need to unweight skis to tip them, but you do need to do something.  That something could start with a tip of the head, a movement of an arm, a muscle retraction attempting to tip the feet, a shortening of one leg, a lengthing of another leg, leaning, moving your hip into the turn, moving your knees into the turn, pushing preferentially onto one set of edges so it sinks into the snow, lifting the other set of edges of the hardpack.....

 

 

I'm not really a video guy, but I did happen to see this earlier.

A couple of turns at 1:36 and just past 2:00 a few flips and jumps thrown in for free.  Who's the guy on guitar?

 

post #7 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

We should first agree on a technique that is correct for 95% of skiers and then talk about the rest or we will never agree.

 

So, going back to tdk6's OP, on a groomed green run (like in the video), do you think it is necessary for the skier in the video to unweight his skis?  If so why?

 

Ken
 



Thank you Ken. Brilliant posting icon14.gif. Yes, lets go back to the drawingboard, the green groomed run. If you have any good ides of how to ski that kind of run differently (but in parallel) post a video of it with some explanation to go with it or forever hold your peace.

post #8 of 67
post #9 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell View Post

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say "less necessary".
There are still situations where the skis leave the ground, like here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R34UkGzzJrc
And if you look carefully, Svindal's skis are a few millimeters off the ground every transition:
http://www.vimeo.com/14430888
If the skis leave the ground, surely they have been "unweighted"?
 


What Ken said. Extreme skiing is not in the scope this time. But since you were nice enough to back me up a bit and also post some videos I might as well comment briefly. The hop turns in the first video are example of very exterme up-unweighting. They fall under the # 1. headding in the first posting. The skier extends explosively, enough to get air born and twist the skis arround. In the second video Axel is carving. The primary techinque is rolling onto his new edges. The up-force is not a result of traditional up-unweighting but a result of turn forces and relesed energy. The pist kicks back. If nobody else comes up with anything more mortal Im going to qualify it as carving. Thanks Martin icon14.gif.

post #10 of 67
Thread Starter 
post #11 of 67

Ghost: neat video! (The jumps over what look to be tiny rollers, 2:27)

post #12 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

Ghost: neat video! (The jumps over what look to be tiny rollers, 2:27)



More of that in tomorrows Levi SL race.....

post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post

1. The up-unweighting technique

Let me start off with one of the most common ways of initiating a parallel turn, the up-unweighting technique. Check out this great video below. Smooth and elegant.

 


I would not call these turns up-unweighted.  I would say that the demonstrator is using an extension movement to release the edges & guiding the shape of the turn by steering with his feet & legs.

 

JF

post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post

1. The up-unweighting technique

Let me start off with one of the most common ways of initiating a parallel turn, the up-unweighting technique. Check out this great video below. Smooth and elegant.

 


I would not call these turns up-unweighted.  I would say that the demonstrator is using an extension movement to release the edges & guiding the shape of the turn by steering with his feet & legs.

 

JF



Funny...at or about 0:22 the voice over even explains it...flatten the skis before turning them, up and down movments "accompny and aid this to help smooth etc etc".

 

Pretty much bang on.  Up and down is a critical tool...but not what makes the turn, just what makes the turns "better".

 

Just noticed also the title..."steered parallel" not "up-unweighted parallel".

 

This is a good video TDK, but it does not demonstrate what you claim.  Yes in my book this is up-unweighting...but so what?  We only have two options, Up-unweight or Down-unweight...Up-unweight is 99% of all turns.

 

Up-unweight...COM rises

Down-unweight..COM lowers

 

Even with cross under, our COM still rises.

 

 

 

 

post #15 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post

1. The up-unweighting technique

Let me start off with one of the most common ways of initiating a parallel turn, the up-unweighting technique. Check out this great video below. Smooth and elegant.

 


I would not call these turns up-unweighted.  I would say that the demonstrator is using an extension movement to release the edges & guiding the shape of the turn by steering with his feet & legs.

 

JF


I would agree with 4ster on this one!  

 

To me releasing edges and consequently pressure/weight/deflection, whatever we want to call it, is not classic unweighting.  Classically unweighting has been defined as doing something to reduce our body's weight on the skis.  This could be done in one of four ways: up unweighting, down unweighting, terrain unweighting, and rebound unweighting.  My how times have apparently changed?

 

In fact watching this video, it could be argued the demonstrator can be seen making a weight shift.

post #16 of 67
So... tell me again.... Why does the skier in the video need to make abrupt up & down movements between turns...? Not sure I understand that.

As I understand skiing on a mild blue slope like that, there isn't any need for up & down movements. The skier could simply have moved across the skis instead of bounding up & over them, right? biggrin.gif

.ma
post #17 of 67


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

 


In the Svindal video, I don't think he is unweighting as much as he's picking his skis up, kicking them to the side so he doesn't die! In some of the transitions I almost think his skis leaving the ground are because of the terrain and speed more than technique.
 

Is this unweighting an intent or a result?

 

 

In the past 4 years, Aksel has won 4 World Championship medals, 3 Olympic medals and 2 Overall World Cup titles. He spends 10 months a year on snow, with every movement analyzed on video. He chose this footage to put up on his own Vimeo page - presumably as a valid representation of his GS technique. I think the chances are pretty good that every movement on this clip is intentional.
However, I do agree with L&AirC that he is un-weighting his skis by "picking them up" - or in other words using retraction.

I also agree with everyone that 95% of skiers making turns on groomed blue runs on modern equipment have no immediate need to use "unweighting" (or "pressure management", or "extension/retraction" - all just semantics.) In fact it looks rather contrived and old-fashioned - although as tdk6 says it can also be "elegant" - like an antique wooden table is elegant. Lateral movements, simultaneous edge release, cross under, etc, those are all good buzz words for those 95%.

I really just posted those two examples to show that it is not 100% true that "un-weighting" is no longer necessary; in certain "extreme" situations (e.g. jump turns in couloirs, skiing GS on 27m radius skis - and others), it is still necessary to be able to fully "un-weight" the ski (i.e. momentarily remove any downward force from it - sorry I am not a physicist) in order to pivot it freely.

Therefore, any skiers who have aspirations to master such extreme examples would be well advised to try to learn as many different ways of initiating turns as possible, including "un-weighting".
 

post #18 of 67


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

These are two extremes of skiing with probably not much more than a couple % of recreational skiers making these runs.


 


Very true, but some lucky resorts have terrain like that as part of their in-bounds area biggrin.gif: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgFEza5YY7A

post #19 of 67
Thread Starter 

 If you look at the skier you can see him extend at every transition and then drop back again during the turn. The extention is there to unweight the skis and to make it possible for the skier to turn them.

 

Lets listen to what the commentator is saying:
Both skis need to be flattend before turning. Therefore this smooth up and down movement will accompany the strong leg turning and aids skiing into a solid basic position. Proggressive edging helps with gripp and a rhytmical pole plant is needed.

 

Lets take a closer look at what he is saying:

Both skis need to be flattend before turning - The skis will not pivot/twist/turn if they are not flat.

 

Therefore this smooth up and down movement will accompany the strong leg turning.... - In order for the skis to pivot/twist/turn easily you need to take some weight off of them. The extention is therefore closely coupled to the turning of the feet.

 

...and aids skiing into a solid basic position. - The extention is a good re-centering movement.

 

Proggressive edging helps with gripp and a rhytmical pole plant is needed. - As the skis are turned they are at the same time tipped. The slope pitch is also swinging arround and adds to proggressive edging. Its all part of a very natural proggression.

 

If you do not agree that this is categorized under up-unweighting then you must not agree to what the commentator is saying. And you do not see the movements explainded.

 

  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

I would not call these turns up-unweighted.  I would say that the demonstrator is using an extension movement to release the edges & guiding the shape of the turn by steering with his feet & legs.

 

JF


In the bolded part you clearly say that the extention is done to relese the edges. Its funny that you defined what up-extention is without understanding what you said.

post #20 of 67

If we agree that unweighting is: the removal of pressure from the ski, nearly every turn has to be unweighted.  Skis don't have to be removed from the snow to be unweighted.   Just by changing edges a skier disperses the concentrated pressure on the skis, creating an unweighted state.  At the end of a turn our skier has normally built up more centripetal force by flexing the ski, the moment of changing edges our friend releases the energy and unweighted the skis.  So unless you are gliding on a flat ski is it even possible to do a parallel turn without unweighting? 

 

We can talk about retraction and extension but aren't they just way to facilitate an edge change, and/or terrain absorption, and create an unweighted ski?  Wouldn't this be especially true here in 'parallel turns 101'?

post #21 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Funny...at or about 0:22 the voice over even explains it...flatten the skis before turning them, up and down movments "accompny and aid this to help smooth etc etc".

 

Pretty much bang on.  Up and down is a critical tool...but not what makes the turn, just what makes the turns "better".

 

Just noticed also the title..."steered parallel" not "up-unweighted parallel".

 

This is a good video TDK, but it does not demonstrate what you claim.  Yes in my book this is up-unweighting...but so what?  We only have two options, Up-unweight or Down-unweight...Up-unweight is 99% of all turns.

 

Up-unweight...COM rises

Down-unweight..COM lowers

 

Even with cross under, our COM still rises.

 


Yes, bang on! Bulls eye! But he used the word "smooth" slightly differently than you did. He talked about a smooth up and down movement, not an up and down movement to make the turn smoother. There is a big difference. Unweighting that is in this case done by a leg extention is in fact a critical component that you cannot be without. Not one that helps make the turn better. The up and down movement causing unweighting is not what turns the skier. The skier turns the skis by turning his feet. Establishes a skidding angle between the skis and the snow. The increased friction of the scraping edges then steers the skier into the turn. Unweighting is done so that you can turn your skis. You can test it where you are right at the computer desk. Stand up and try to turn your feet to eather side. Kind of hard. Now make a jump and try to do the same. In a nut shell, that is what up-unweighting is all about. It helps you turn your feet. Helps you establishe a skidding angle.

 

Also, its correct that when you UUW you rise the COM. But thats not the whole truth. Rising your COM will not unweight your skis. It will do the complete opposite. It will weighten them. Add pressure. The unweighing is taking place when the rising COM starts to slow down becaue thats when pressure starts to diminish from under your skis even if you have more weight on them than your own mass. Then as your COM stops completely and starts to drop down if the extention was aggressive enough you are completely unweighted.

 

Its a myth that you can intiate a turn by down-unweighting. DUW and UUW is infact the same thing. In both cases unweighting takes place when the COM dropps down. Even though in UUW there is an additional moment of unweighting as your upward movement starts to de-accellerate. Sure you can argue that your feet get unweighted if you flex from an extended position but that gives you so short time that you dont have time to turn your feet. Try it. Stand up and try to flex and turn your feet. By extending and jumping up you can easily turn 180deg. Even 360. But by only flexing you will not go past 90deg.

 

Cross under and COM rising!? Yes, sure. But that is a different thing. Its not only a leg extention that can cause unweighting. Terrain and rebound can give you the same effect. Remember what the task in this thread was? Video and explanation for the novice.....

post #22 of 67

220px-Mickjones2009.jpg

mick jones

post #23 of 67

I can quite easily standing with my full weight on my skis simply roll them onto their edges with no unweighting what so ever and turn. Ergo, unweighting is not needed.  I can, while maintianing the resistance to the full gravity force component into the slope so my centre of mass's distance does not change from the slope,  shorten the outside leg and come across the skis switching edges and transition into a new turn. No unweighting is required what so ever. 

Sorry, no video; ghosts aren't photogenic wink.gif

post #24 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post

I guess the definition of parallel skiing is that both skis are parallel through out the whole turn. No wedging and no stemming allowed. There are offcourse many ways of initiating a parllel turn so lets start off by discussing different techniques. In order to make this thread a bit different from others I ask everyone to post a video link to the porposed technique. This way readers that are looking for sound advice can watch for themselves. Ok, here we go....

 



How does the skiing at 3:45 of this video fit into this discussion?

 

http://tinyurl.com/374hpyk
 

post #25 of 67

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

I would not call these turns up-unweighted.  I would say that the demonstrator is using an extension movement to release the edges & guiding the shape of the turn by steering with his feet & legs.

 

JF


In the bolded part you clearly say that the extention is done to relese the edges. Its funny that you defined what up-extention is without understanding what you said.

 

TDK6,  I will admit that I did not have the audio on the first time I watched the video.  Now that I have gone back & listened to the description, at no time does he say anything about up unweighting.  In fact, he says the same thing that I said!  One can either change edges on a flexion or extension, in this case he is flattening/un-edging the skis through an extension movement.

 

I understand exactly what I said, but I am having difficulty understanding what you are saying!  All I am saying is that extension is not necessarily up unweighting...  but whatever.

 

I don't believe you need to up unweight to make a turn, I think you need to release/change edges.  Even though some pressure will be released, merely tipping the feet from one direction to the other can accomplish this.  For the turn to be parallel the edges need to be changed simultaneously, that is all.

 

I keep coming back & editing: 

In the gray box I have highlighted your use of "up-extension" do they use that term in the video, because I never said it?  I agree that extension can be in different directions (to the side, down the hill, etc., or even "up"), but I think "up" would be away from the direction of the turn.  I do not believe that is what is being demonstrated in the video.

 

th_dunno-1[1].gif

JF


 


Edited by 4ster - 11/14/10 at 8:13am
post #26 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

I can quite easily standing with my full weight on my skis simply roll them onto their edges with no unweighting what so ever and turn. Ergo, unweighting is not needed.  I can, while maintianing the resistance to the full gravity force component into the slope so my centre of mass's distance does not change from the slope,  shorten the outside leg and come across the skis switching edges and transition into a new turn. No unweighting is required what so ever. 

Sorry, no video; ghosts aren't photogenic wink.gif


Maybe I have been a bit unclear. You dont have to post your own skiing smile.gif

 

Ok, so your advice would be to just roll the skis onto their edges. I think that qualifies as a valid technique in this thread. Lets call it technique #2. No up-unweighting required. Also no active turning of legs. No skidding angle. Skis carving edge locked.

 

2. The Carving Technique

Use the skis as they are designed and let them turn you insted of you turning the skis. This is a good way of skiing parallel but it has some limitations since you are heavily depending on your skis side cut.

 

 

 

And here:

http://tinyurl.com/374hpyk
 

And here:

http://www.thesnowpros.org/index.php/PSIA-AASI/video-gallery/turning-with-your-tips

 

 

 

 


Edited by tdk6 - 11/14/10 at 11:52am
post #27 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayCantu View Post



How does the skiing at 3:45 of this video fit into this discussion?

 

http://tinyurl.com/374hpyk
 



Sorry I did not see your posting. Great carving. Fits right in with this topic. Thanks. Look at posting # 26.

post #28 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

TDK6,  I will admit that I did not have the audio on the first time I watched the video.  Now that I have gone back & listened to the description, at no time does he say anything about up unweighting.  In fact, he says the same thing that I said!  One can either change edges on a flexion or extension, in this case he is flattening/un-edging the skis through an extension movement.

 

I understand exactly what I said, but I am having difficulty understanding what you are saying!  All I am saying is that extension is not necessarily up unweighting...  but whatever.

 

I don't believe you need to up unweight to make a turn, I think you need to release/change edges.  Even though some pressure will be released, merely tipping the feet from one direction to the other can accomplish this.  For the turn to be parallel the edges need to be changed simultaneously, that is all.

 

I keep coming back & editing: 

In the gray box I have highlighted your use of "up-extension" do they use that term in the video, because I never said it?  I agree that extension can be in different directions (to the side, down the hill, etc., or even "up"), but I think "up" would be away from the direction of the turn.  I do not believe that is what is being demonstrated in the video.

 

th_dunno-1[1].gif

JF


 


I dont know why he did not use the word up-unweight. Maybe he did now want to assosiate himself with a polished mahogany table wink.gif. But every skier should know that such an extention results in unweighting. Its the good old up-unweighing movement that has been used for ever and ever. Still valid IMO. You are right. An extention is not necessarily up-unweighting. Actually its the total opposite. But it results in unweighting once the up-move stops. I tried to explain that earlier. Look at my earlier postings. So all up-movements that are fast enough ends up unweighting you.

 

You dont need to be unweighted at turn initiation since you can just roll your skis onto their new edges and carve away but if you dont want to carve you need to establishe that skidding angle. And that you cannot do if you are not unweighted. You talk about a relese. That is correct but you are forgetting one thing. If you are skiing across the slope in a traverse and "relese" the edges. What happens?

 

post #29 of 67

Actually if you just roll onto your 13-m turn radius edges while going 35 to 40 mph you will initiate non-edge-locked (skidded to folks who don't associated "out of control" with the word skid) parallel turn.  The edges are not locked, but the motions to initiate the turn are the same.

 

Add some unweighting at the right moment at any speed and you have a skidded turn.  Add a sideways push and you have a skidded turn.  Add a twist and you have a skidded turn.  Add any combination of the above and you have a skidded turn.

post #30 of 67

OK not the best video, but I'm going to post it again here.  I had no idea my friend was filming.  Enjoy.  I ski like that quite a bit.

 

 

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