Hierarchy of releases, or when to use what ?

PMTS Forum

Hierarchy of releases, or when to use what ?

Postby tommy » Thu Mar 11, 2004 1:41 pm

In PMTS, I've found a number of different ways to release:

1) one-footed (a.k.a Super-Phantom, or Wedge Blocker Turn ?)
2) two-footed (for powder - only ?)
3) Weighted (a.k.a Von Grunigen)

First question: is there a "hierarchy" or progression within these, i.e. is some of these "more advanced"/difficult to learn/ more effective in the general case, or is each of these used in different situations by expert skiers ?

In video #2, Harald states a few things on this topic:

- "in bumps, use SP or the weighted release"
- "in powder, use the 2-footed release"

A personal goal for me (maybe unrealistic!) is to be able to do pure carved turns on all groomed slopes, including blacks, while controlling speed. A second personal goal is to be able to link short turns on steep, icy slopes.

Now, in my pursuit of the "pure carved turn", I've noticed that I prefer using the weighted release. If the steepness and overall condition of the slope is such that I "dare" to attempt pure carving, the weighted release seems to help me cutting clean tracks, getting a quick transition ("pendlum effect") and keep the turns short. If I use any other type of release, I seem to get some amount of brushing/smearing into my turns.

However, if the slope is steep enough, or even worse, steep & icy, I tend to resort to trying super-phantom, which for me results in more of brushing/smearing the turns.

So, my experience, so far, would be:

to do pure carved turns (on moderate slopes): use weighted release
to do brushed/smeared turns (e.g. because you can't control speed otherwise): use super-phantom.

I don't have much experience nor opportunities for powder, therefore no comment on two-footed release.

Any comments ?

Cheers,
Tommy
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Postby Bluey » Fri Mar 12, 2004 3:39 am

Hi Tommy,

I'll jump in early on this and simply say, in my humble limited experience, I think your observations are correct.
I would only comment that I think for the steeper slopes the Super Phantom's one footed release seems to be the one for me to practice.
On steeps, I'm looking for a touch more control during the turn.
The WR is great for getting down but I prefer not to steam roller a slope.
After the earlier threads on the SP this week I think I have finally worked out what I need to make the SP part of my repetoire.......time will tell.

I'd also be interested to know from others if there are any other variations on these releases which would make them more effective in, for example, icy conditions.....my gut feel is that it would work along the lines of controlling pressure, soft edging, quick releases/short turns and the float ......

I'd love to talk about the float but its not something I feel I have much to contribute....( lack of experience with it ).

Gotta go again...

Bluey
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Postby jclayton » Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:12 am

Hi Bluey,
you must be getting nervous , season coming up soon , ours is about to finish , see if I can get a few more days in before Easter then with luck go to Hintertux .

The float is something else , there are so many variations to play with . Lengthen it shorten it keep skis on the snow , bring them up higher ( in powder ) tip more or less as skis are floating , feel how your body mass moves over the skis and down the hill while still in the float , make it smoother , more aggressive . Float while skiing with one ski .

When it is all working you can improve your sensitivity for the snow surface . Also for me it only works really well with retraction . Coming down the backside of St Anton with hefty Stockli Stormriders on in the crud was float heaven . 45 to 50 degrees , a retraction , brief float and the crud was just murdered .

J.C.
skinut ,among other things
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Postby Bluey » Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:43 pm

Hi JC,


Yeah the cooler weather is starting to flow Down Here and we're aleady booked our ski holidays.....its excitement time for me.....can't wait to float!

Bluey
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Postby Bluey » Sat Mar 13, 2004 1:53 am

Hi Tommy,

I've beeen thinking about your question a bit more....firstly, I hope I didn't give the impression in my last post in that other thread on the Super Phantom that the Instructor Manual was implying there was a hierarchy of releases.......all I was trying to point out was that certain releases are more useful in providing control over pressuring of the ski under certain conditions....all Im trying to simply say is ...... " different strokes for different folks".......

I prefer the weighted release( WR ) 'cause the slopes I like to ski on respond best to the WR....however there are a few slopes in which the Super Phantom would be a better choice, I think, (.... & I'll let you know in June when I give them another bash...) , but if I used the Super phantom on my "WR" slopes then it would be an inefficient use of effort/energy.
PMTS is about primary movements and therefore efficient energy use. At my more senior years I'm trying to maximise the time/energy I have to spend each day I'm on the slopes and I find PMTS does this.....as you would apppreciate, in my pre PMTS days, I would be exhausted and really stiff after a day on the slopes but once I starting applying PMTS techniques suddenly skinig became all fun and not a tortuous/energy draining, ( but still "fun" ) day skiing.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that its like that game of Rock, Scissors, Paper.
my simple message is....simply pick that type of release that suits that part of the slope you're on....IMHO, there is no one ultimate Release which is best/energy efficient for all conditions.......
Which is great..... 'cause it means there is a lot of freedom as to how you might ski any particular slope twice and get two totally different experiences if the combination of releases you experiment with during that run down that slope, at that particular time of day, and under that's slopes particular condition when you go down it........ooops getting a bit long winded.....I trust you understand.


But of course the Release is not the only consideration in skiing a slope......IMHO, its all about controlling your balance so that you create the optimum pressure on the "skis" so that our fun factor is maximised......which is more log-windedness for ..... everyone has fun differently.....
JC's right..... I'm getting more and more tensioned up as my snow season gets closer and closer Down Here, otherwise I wouldn't babble on this much.....still its been a big day for me ....too much sun....too much sport....too much apres sport......

In respect to your second goal of short linked turns on icy slopes .....my best guess is to use soft edging......by this I mean that when I feel I'm "losing it" on a patch of ice I try to immediately shift balance to my uphill ski and release with a Super Phantom move....so that I can regain a grip but I try to be careful that i don't over-do the pressure which would cause meto again lose it......so the pressure can't be 100% driven by the legs...... the edging of my stance ski needs to be achieved thru a shift of body weight, Strong Arm and a conscious effort not to slam on the brakes......so far this combo seems to work for me ....but I say that with the caveat that I generally know the slopes I'm on and I know where the icy bits tend to form/be and I know to ski more to the sides of them......as such there may be others who can offer better advice on this....
that's just my 2 cents worth.......




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Postby tommy » Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:50 pm

Bluey,

no worries, I will not hold you responsible for anything...! ;-)

But your earlier post triggered the thought that the different releases might be more or less well suited to one or both below:

a) different conditions/slopes
b) different level of skier

For me, the weighted release works really well when I'm carving on moderate and well groomed slopes, but in other cases where I have to fight hard for speed control, I tend to resort to (some type of) SuperPhantom. An other way to express my experince is that I use weighted release for "pure" carving, but whenever I want/need to brush/smear my turns, typically to control speed using *very* short turns on steep/icy slopes, I use superPhantom.

I was skiing today, and will start an other thread with some questions/thoughts based on my experience today.

Cheers,
Tommy
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