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Where's Waldo?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Sometimes seeing the detail hidden within the big picture of expert ski technique, as demonstrated by World Cup racers, can be a tough nut to crack.  Things happen so quickly, and are performed so precisely and effortlessly,  it can trick the eye, to the point of even becoming virtually invisible.  

 

It's for that reason, when I created this montage:

 

HirscherSL,Montage,Web.jpg

Photo courtesy of www.YourSkiCoach.com

 

I also created the following one, from the same turn, not only to show a great display of the classic retraction transition, but also to better show the pivoting of the skis that was somewhat lost in the full montage.  As I've said before, retractions and pivots are common bed partners.  When you see a retraction like this, watch for an accompanying pivot.  9 times out of 10 it's going to be there.  

 

HirscherSL,Retraction,Montage,Web.jpg

 

By removing the final image from the full montage, suddenly the rapid downhill redirection of the skis between images 3 and 4 jumps out into view.  Probably in the vicinity of a 45 degree pivot happens there in the blink of an eye, all while the skis were still unweighted.  Hello Waldo!  

 

Well, it's come to my attention that some people are still not able to see the pivot in this montage, even with this isolated version. They still think what they're seeing above is arc to arc carving, with no pivot involved.  I know, it can be hard to pick out, even with a frame by frame presentation like this.  

 

Keep in mind, this was taken with a camera that has a 6.5 frames per second burst rate, so what you're seeing in this montage all took place in less than 1/2 a second.   It's no wonder that it's so hard for people to take in the fine detail of what's happening.  In yet another attempt to help people see it, I'm providing a video clip of the same turn.  I've put it in slow motion, and isolated just the pivot portion.  Hopefully this will help those who couldn't see the pivot happen before, come to see it now.  

 

http://www.yourskicoach.com/YourSkiCoach/Racing_Videos_2010.html

 

A couple things will help you see the pivot.  One is how quickly the skis change directions.  In that regard, pivoting does for the racer what carving wont.  

 

Second, notice that this rapid redirection happens during the transition, while the ski's edges are disengaged from the snow.  This is evidenced by the lack of snow flying while the skis are being redirected downhill.  Skis won't carve when their edges are not engaged.  

 

Third, you can see the skis being actively twisted.  The tails project sideways, and cease following the path of the tips.  

 

What you're seeing here is a very skillfully executed pivot.  It's only what is needed to maintain a tight line, but still engage the edges above the gate and carve the majority of the turn.  This allows him to feather from pivot to carve almost instantly, with virtually no skid or loss of speed.  All gain, no sacrifice.  

 

For those instructors, coaches and technicians among us, it's important to develop an eye to see pivots happen, even small ones, so you can guide your students towards eliminating them, when arc to arc is desired.  It's also important to be able to differentiate between high quality pivots, and not so great ones, when they are actually the goal.  

 

And, It's important for students who want to self coach themselves, to be able to know when they're pivoting, and when they're not.  Many people who think they're carving arc to arc actually have a bit of pivot in the mix.  Knowing how to identify it is the first step towards learning to eliminate it.  

post #2 of 22

Sorry Rick-I still don't see it. Why doesn't someone just ask Marcel? Me thinks one side of this argument might be surprised. It might even be mesmile.gif

post #3 of 22

More slowmo pivoting visible here:  http://vimeo.com/14430888
(Yes I know this video has been rather over-used, but it is extremely good quality.)
Like Hirscher, Svindal is usually slightly airborne when he pivots. (But, by definition, not when he stivots.)
 

post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post

 

 

 

http://www.yourskicoach.com/YourSkiCoach/Racing_Videos_2010.html

 

A couple things will help you see the pivot.  One is how quickly the skis change directions.  In that regard, pivoting does for the racer what carving wont.  

 

Second, notice that this rapid redirection happens during the transition, while the ski's edges are disengaged from the snow.  This is evidenced by the lack of snow flying while the skis are being redirected downhill.  Skis won't carve when their edges are not engaged.  

 

Third, you can see the skis being actively twisted.  The tails project sideways, and cease following the path of the tips.  

 

 

... eliminating them (pivots, my notes in parenthesis), when arc to arc is desired. 

 

 Many people who think they're carving arc to arc actually have a bit of pivot.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell View Post

More slowmo pivoting visible here:  http://vimeo.com/14430888
(Yes I know this video has been rather over-used, but it is extremely good quality.)
Like Hirscher, Svindal is usually slightly airborne when he pivots. (But, by definition, not when he stivots.)
 

 

Jan 7, 2011

 

Thanks guys:

 

After reading Ricks posting (which I highlighted in red), it was not hard to spot the pivot (as well as stivots) from either video. Noting that Ricks video only displayed a pivot. 

 

As for "self coaching/correcting", how can a skier who knows he does not arc to arc but cuts the top part of the "C" in a turn by a slight pivot correct this, when he wants to arc to arc?  I've been told by two ski pros at my local moutaint that (a) I cut the top of the C too sharply (b) that I am impatient on turn initiation i.e. rushing towards the fall line.

 

Thanks,

 

Think snow,

 

CP


 

post #5 of 22

I would advise that you re-inforce the (non-pivoting) movement pattern on flatter terrain, before gradually increasing the gradient.
Oh, and track analysis is a useful part of self-coaching when learning arc-to-arc.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiteebow View Post

Sorry Rick-I still don't see it. Why doesn't someone just ask Marcel? Me thinks one side of this argument might be surprised. It might even be mesmile.gif

 


skiteebow, confirmation of the use of intentional pivoting has been established already with ranking World Cup racers.  It's really not a question anymore, except for those who are for whatever reason married to denial.  The problem is, confirmation from the guys doing it may bring you to the point of believing, but it won't do anything to actually help you see it.  

 

Being able to identify it, without external prompts, is the point I'd like people to get to.  There are times to pivot, and there are times not to.  When Arc to Arc is the goal, you have to know what even a slight pivot is, if you hope to avoid it.  

 

My suggestion for you, skiteebow, would be to review the identification items I offered at the bottom of my post, then go watch closely the video Martin Bell posted above, looking for those items.  Martin's video of Svindal contains a series of massive pivots that will be easier for you to see.  Once you can see them, go back to the smaller pivot Marcel does in my montage and video, and attempt to refine your mind/eyes ability to see it also.  

 

Good luck with this, skiteebow.  It can take some time for pivots to become apparent, but once they do, even the smallest ones will scream at you, "THAT WAS NOT ARC TO ARC".  When you get to that point, you're going to be amazed when you observe skiers from the chair, on how many are not yet able to initiate a turn cleanly, devoid of any pivoting, be it carved or steered. The contrast of when you see someone who can actually ski arc to arc carving properly, or even cleanly initiated steering skillfully, will be striking.  

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieP View Post


As for "self coaching/correcting", how can a skier who knows he does not arc to arc but cuts the top part of the "C" in a turn by a slight pivot correct this, when he wants to arc to arc?  I've been told by two ski pros at my local moutaint that (a) I cut the top of the C too sharply (b) that I am impatient on turn initiation i.e. rushing towards the fall line.

 

Thanks,

 

Think snow,

 

CP


 



Charlie, Martin's suggestions are excellent.  

 

I'll only add that while on that gentle terrain, begin with low edge angle, long radius turns.  When done properly, the time from the start of the turn to the time you reach the falline (skis pointing straight downhill) should feel very long.  Any pivoting will be easily noticeable, because it will shorten the time it takes to get to the falline.  

 

When you get that down pat, then work on gradually increasing the edge angle of your turns, thus reducing the radius of your turns, while still maintaining the same clean, non pivoted initiation you were using in the longer radius turns.

 

If you struggle, what I call HESITATION CARVES are very helpful.  Instead of rolling immediately from one set of edges to the other as you transition from turn to turn, pause in between, with your skis flat on the snow, before rolling onto your downhill edges and initiating the new turn.  For people who have a default pivot built into their skiing, the pause can disrupt the movement pattern that fosters the pivot.  It gives them a moment to talk themselves through the process of rolling cleanly on edge to begin the new turn.  "OK, that turn is done.  Now,,, ready?,,,, just roll gently on edge,,,, ahhhh that's it!"

 

And a final hint:  Roll slowly and progressively onto edge.  Try to feel the entire of edge angle growth process happen in slow motion.  As your ability to transition Arc to Arc grows, the edge angle building process can be condensed to happen faster, without compromising the quality of the Arc to Arc transition.  

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiteebow View Post

Sorry Rick-I still don't see it. Why doesn't someone just ask Marcel? Me thinks one side of this argument might be surprised. It might even be mesmile.gif



 Can you see that the tail of the inner ski in frame four is close to the tip of the outer ski in frame 3?

Or, perhaps that the tip of the inner ski in frame 3 in now way can pass through the position of the tail of the inner ski in frame 4?

 

The background to this thread is the same as the "tail follows tip=carving?" thread I started. You could argue forever whether the rotation of the ski prior to loading is pivoting or carving. when the tail follows the tip It sure looks like carving but in my book it is pivoting. However, in this case the tail is not even following the tip, which should make it clear that there is pivoting going on.

post #9 of 22



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieP View Post

 

 

Jan 7, 2011

 

Thanks guys:

 

After reading Ricks posting (which I highlighted in red), it was not hard to spot the pivot (as well as stivots) from either video. Noting that Ricks video only displayed a pivot. 

 

As for "self coaching/correcting", how can a skier who knows he does not arc to arc but cuts the top part of the "C" in a turn by a slight pivot correct this, when he wants to arc to arc?  I've been told by two ski pros at my local moutaint that (a) I cut the top of the C too sharply (b) that I am impatient on turn initiation i.e. rushing towards the fall line.

 

Thanks,

 

Think snow,

 

CP


 


Charlie,

 

Something you might consider trying is 'earlier counter' in the new turn. This would be a more active movement than the movement of 'skiing into counter' would be.

As Rick discusses on his website maintaining 'counter' at the end of a turn, a position of 'anticipation', will cause the skis when flattened to the snow or unweighted, to twist or 'pivot' in the direction of the new turn.

You may find that with a focus on 'early counter' in the 'new' turn the tendency of the skis to 'pivot' upon entry into that turn will be diminished.  This may help with the two problems you have been made aware of " (a) I cut the top of the C too sharply (b) that I am impatient on turn initiation i.e. rushing towards the fall line.

 

 

For some information that might be helpful I would refer you to Chapter 3 (min. 4:50), Chapter 5 (min. 5:00 -7:05) and Chapter 7 (min. 6:52 -9:30) at the following website:

 

http://skiherenow.blogspot.com/p/chapters-1-to-6_27.html 

 

Let me know your thoughts or if you have any questions,

 

Ray

  


 

post #10 of 22

Rick-thanks for the response. I need no convincing that pivoting exists on the World Cup. Even my relatively untrained eye can see it. I also see it in many of Svindal's turns (in the video provided). But, I think it is a mistake to assume that since pivoting exists at the highest levels of skiing, that it always is present. Still don't see it in Marcel's montage-looks like simple tipping to me.

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

Your welcome, skiteebow.  I completely agree with this statement:

I think it is a mistake to assume that since pivoting exists at the highest levels of skiing, that it always is present.

and it's certainly not what I'm saying.  Arc to Arc and pivots are of course both used with great skill and effectiveness on the World Cup.  

 

I'm glad you were able to see the pivots in Martin Bell's video.  The one in my montage of Marcel is smaller, so harder to see.  Here, it's more visible.  This is the turn immediately before the turn shown in my "RETRACTION" montage of Marcel.  

 

HirscherSL,Pivot,Montage,Web.jpg

Photo courtesy of www.YourSkiCoach.com

 

I suppose I have an advantage seeing smaller pivots, because as a race coach I spent about 25 years having to spot sloppy arc to arc initiations, and rid them from my budding racer's default skiing.  My hope with this thread was to help others develop a similar ability to identify them.  

 

For the average recreational skier, elimination of a default pivot is generally the first order of business.  When we get to the level of skiing shown in the above montages, the finely exectuted pivot becomes an invaluable tool.  

 

Even the small pivot Marcel used in the RETRACTION montage is a crucial component of his success execution of that turn.  If he'd come into the gate on that same straight line, and tried to execute the turn with a pure arc to arc transition, he'd never have been able to make the turn and still come out of it in good position for the next gate.  He would have ended up late and low.   The subtle pivot allowed him to come in straight, delay the engagement of the carve, and still make the turn and maintain his line.  The result: a straighter line and faster turn.  

 

post #12 of 22

Jan 7, 2011

 

Hi Rick, Martin Bell and Ray Cantu:

 

Thanks to all of you for your suggestions and guidance.  I will certainly try it out, although, I think that today I might have started on the path of fixing cutting the top of the "C" via a pivot.  TOG, in another thread said: "It's like swinging, one smooth movement".  And I tried that while being patient on our (Ski Liberty) best training trail (gentle gradient) making long turns and being patient.  But the crux was that I tried to make it smooth and not force anything and just let the turn develop.  Wa la, it happened.  I'll have to ask my ski pro to watch and see if I'm on the road to correcting this pivot move (when I don't want it).  I think that "smooth movement" has slowed things down so that I am prone to "roll slowly and progressively onto edge".

 

Again, thanks to all,

 

Think snow,

 

CP

 

ps: Rick, your most recent montage of Hirscher, really clarifies the pivoticon14.gif in that gate.

post #13 of 22

Rick-yes, easy to see the pivot in the second montage.

post #14 of 22

Do racers pivot to tighten the line more than what would result by holding the carve? Can they also shorten the radius of the carve by tipping the ski more or would that likely to result in a skid? Thanks

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckT View Post

Do racers pivot to tighten the line more than what would result by holding the carve? Can they also shorten the radius of the carve by tipping the ski more or would that likely to result in a skid? Thanks


Yes, Chuck that's exactly why they pivot; to allow for a straighter line.  To carve the same turn arc to arc would require a rounder line, if carving arc to arc would even be possible.  Sometimes the course set wont even allow it.  

 

They can't do anymore by adding more edge angle, because they've already maxed that option out.  Even when they pivot, they still hit mega edge angles in the carve phase.  The two combined, pivoting and big edge angles when they carve, allow them to straighten out the line, and cut the time.  Here are some shots of the carve phase of turns that were begun with a pivot, but then hit big edge angles during the carve.

 

Hirscher,CU,Web.jpg

photo courtesy of www.YourSkiCoach.com

 

 

Bode,Edge,Web.jpg

photo courtesy of www.YourSkiCoach.com

 

 

And here's a pivot and post pivot set of Neureuther.

 

Pivot,Neureuther,Web.jpg

photo courtesy of www.YourSkiCoach.com

 

 

Neureuther,Web.jpg

photo courtesy of www.YourSkiCoach.com

post #16 of 22

Rick

Very interested in your post.

I have just returned the questionaire for the race camp and you will note my comments on line change and speed control that I struggle with.

I believe that ski radius and skier movement speed are being more than fully challenged by course setters.

Unfortuntatly the  beauty of full edge to edge skiing has been lost. Carlo Janka may have a gold medal but he did not win the style prize.

I have been a great fan of Ted L as the best technical skier, always beautifully balanced, with apparently effortless recoveries from errors, however his latest wins have shown "pivots to the fall line " on courses where edge to edge skiing is not possible.

FIS requirements on radius are also a factor.

UBOOM

post #17 of 22


Thanks, Rick. Your point is eloquently illustrated by your beautiful photos.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post

They can't do anymore by adding more edge angle, because they've already maxed that option out.  Even when they pivot, they still hit mega edge angles in the carve phase.  

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post


Charlie, Martin's suggestions are excellent.                                                       Yes, as are yours!icon14.gif

 

When done properly, the time from the start of the turn to the time you reach the falline (skis pointing straight downhill) should feel very long.  Any pivoting will be easily noticeable, because it will shorten the time it takes to get to the falline.                                                                                      Ahh, yes Very, very long.  I almost feel like I'm going to go into the trees but at the last moment, the skis start to turn.  "Smooth" feelingicon14.gif                       

 

If you struggle, what I call HESITATION CARVES are very helpful.                  Started to do this from the beginning of the season.  The only thing was that I wasn't "being patient and slowing engaging the edges".  

 

Roll slowly and progressively onto edge.                                                             Working on this.  Hard to be so patient after so many years of "rushing".  Got to get it into my muscle memory.

Try to feel the entire of edge angle growth process happen in slow motion.    Difficult for me at my present stage although I do feel it a little.


 

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by uboom View Post

Rick

Very interested in your post.

I have just returned the questionaire for the race camp and you will note my comments on line change and speed control that I struggle with.

I believe that ski radius and skier movement speed are being more than fully challenged by course setters.

Unfortuntatly the  beauty of full edge to edge skiing has been lost. Carlo Janka may have a gold medal but he did not win the style prize.

I have been a great fan of Ted L as the best technical skier, always beautifully balanced, with apparently effortless recoveries from errors, however his latest wins have shown "pivots to the fall line " on courses where edge to edge skiing is not possible.

FIS requirements on radius are also a factor.

UBOOM


Hi, uboom.  Haven't gotten access to your camp questionnaire, but will soon.  You're right, course sets often over step the bounds of arc to arc, demanding a pivot.  And yep, the newer sidecut regulations don't help.  I too like aesthetic appeal of arc to arc, though in defense I would suggest having to pivot too expands the parameter of skills that must be mastered.  

 

I remember, though, when the shape ski first made it to slalom.  Course set had not yet caught up to equipment, and WC'ers were ripping arc to arc turns pretty much all the way through.  

 

In our race camp, pivoting won't be necessary, as the course is pure arc to arc, start to finish.  It's a good thing.  Master one skill at a time.  

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieP View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post


Charlie, Martin's suggestions are excellent.                                                       Yes, as are yours!icon14.gif

 

When done properly, the time from the start of the turn to the time you reach the falline (skis pointing straight downhill) should feel very long.  Any pivoting will be easily noticeable, because it will shorten the time it takes to get to the falline.                                                                                      Ahh, yes Very, very long.  I almost feel like I'm going to go into the trees but at the last moment, the skis start to turn.  "Smooth" feelingicon14.gif                       

 

If you struggle, what I call HESITATION CARVES are very helpful.                  Started to do this from the beginning of the season.  The only thing was that I wasn't "being patient and slowing engaging the edges".  

 

Roll slowly and progressively onto edge.                                                             Working on this.  Hard to be so patient after so many years of "rushing".  Got to get it into my muscle memory.

Try to feel the entire of edge angle growth process happen in slow motion.    Difficult for me at my present stage although I do feel it a little.


 



Yes, Charlie, embedded rushing/pivoting/pushing habits, rehearsed for many years, can be a tough nut to crack.  It's great, though, that you've felt the difference now.  Awareness, with a plan for change, will get you where you want to go!  Skiing becomes so consistently effortless and smooth once you get it sorted.  

 

Thanks for the comps on the pics!  

post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayCantu View Post



Charlie,

 

Something you might consider trying is 'earlier counter' in the new turn. This would be a more active movement than the movement of 'skiing into counter' would be.

As Rick discusses on his website maintaining 'counter' at the end of a turn, a position of 'anticipation', will cause the skis when flattened to the snow or unweighted, to twist or 'pivot' in the direction of the new turn.

You may find that with a focus on 'early counter' in the 'new' turn the tendency of the skis to 'pivot' upon entry into that turn will be diminished.  This may help with the two problems you have been made aware of " (a) I cut the top of the C too sharply (b) that I am impatient on turn initiation i.e. rushing towards the fall line.

 

 

For some information that might be helpful I would refer you to Chapter 3 (min. 4:50), Chapter 5 (min. 5:00 -7:05) and Chapter 7 (min. 6:52 -9:30) at the following website:

 

http://skiherenow.blogspot.com/p/chapters-1-to-6_27.html 

 

Let me know your thoughts or if you have any questions,

 

Ray

  


 


Jan 9, 2011

 

Hi Ray:

 

This is the first day I had a chance to play with the "earlier counter" move which you mention above and which is documented in the video which the provided website points to.  I didn't remember to get into an earlier counter on every turn, but when I did, I felt that it did help with earlier and more precise edge engagement.  I'll have to have a ski pro check out if this eliminates or diminishes the pivot which I make at the top of the turn.  Since I'm also trying to be patient in the edge engagement as well as trying to "feel" the gradual edge contact, you can see that I have a lot on my plate.  So, when I practice the "earlier counter" move, I focus on that move, at the detriment of the other moves, and when I practice "patience on edge engagement and feeling the edge", it is probably at the expenses of "earlier counter".  But it is all good.  And as I get more and more comfortable with these moves (which I am), and gradually get it into my muscle memory and make it a natural thing to do, I think that this problem will be taken care of.  I have a full season to do this and I do practice a lot on easy blue slopes on movements which I am trying to master.  On the other hand, skiing is a fun relaxation sport for me, so after an hour or two of practice, I will start to just ski and if I can remember to do the moves which I am practicing, fine, if not, well it's not the end of the world.  I'll get there eventually.

 

Thanks for your guidance and help.

 

Think snow,

 

CP

post #22 of 22

Here's four racers at once doing the pivot. What exactly is the difference between a pivot and a stivot? The stivot is weighted?

 

Charlie P, try doing railroad tracks on a width limited green trail. You have to move before you get to the spot where the skis will carve the other way. If not, you will skid them as you're forced to turn. You'll be able to feel it, or if not, just have a friend look and say yes or no whether you turned without skidding or not. It's fun and relaxing to do and can be done at the end of the day if you're tired.

 

Video from 3CAConcept

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzWLBEnLQko&feature=player_embedded

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