Pure PMTS Carving

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Pure PMTS Carving

Postby Harald » Mon May 03, 2004 9:30 pm

Pure Carver Turns

This weekend I observed the difference between a pure carved turn and a side cut turn. Here in lies the discrepancy between what we discuss and describe in PMTS and what TTS instructors talk about and try to defend. Since we have different standards and outcomes for turns we are surely going to have difficulty discussing technique. When two parties are in discussion and they have different understanding of an outcome there is sure to be a large misunderstanding about what should be discussed and how or why it works.

What I saw, I believe was a PSIA training group, I know one of the participants. I don?t know what they were working on, but I saw them skiing one or two runs on a steeper Blue slope. It looked like they were skiing on carving skis (not all Mountain ski). They were obviously trying to carve, but they performed what I call side cut turns. This is different from a PMTS pure carve turn which, has a bent ski and has pressure loaded on the ski to create an arc. In the PMTS definition, a series of turns where the arc is either the same size or actually decreases in size, near the bottom or end.

What I saw from the ski instructors was a side cut turn, which has very little or no pressure and shape added to the turn. In a side cut turn the skier merely tilts the skis and rides the side cut. This kind of carving has a very static or parked look and can be used effectively only Green or moderate Blue terrain to show double tracks. When it is used on Blue toward Black terrain the turns increase in size as the skier progresses and excessive speed becomes a real problem. In other words, to answer one of the questions on an earlier thread, how do you control speed on steeps with pure carved turns? My answer was; create enough pressure by leg extension in the middle of the arc to bend the whole ski. Early engagement of the skis allows this to happen.

The difference between the PMTS turn and the turns I saw from the training group was the attention to ski performance. PMTS carved turns include pressuring the ski with leg extension from, just before the middle of the arc, to just before the end of the turn. In the turns I saw from the training group there was no pressuring of the ski except the pressure that developed from the falline. This approach causes larger and larger turns to develop, with increasing and out of control speed. So there was no speed control.

You can create pure carved arcs in tight radii if the skis are properly pressured and tipped. There is no deliberate steering, but for the untrained observer the legs look like they are steering because they follow the ski tilting and inclination. Because the skis are tipping so quickly and at such extreme angles the legs look like they are steering the skis. This is where the difference in understanding and interpretation arises. The group that was not controlling speed and not tipping the skis early enough, looked like they were not steering. I can also see why they were probably trying to have steering input because the successful approach, which Diana was using, looked like it required steering. What they were in fact not doing was tipping aggressively enough, high enough in the arc, to create a ?High C? turn. Diana on the other hand was not steering, but looked like she was steering because of the tipping action. She was completely in control of her speed and she was carving tight connected arcs on steeps. It is a beautiful thing to watch. Diana exhibited the powerful and graceful movements and perfect use of the tool on slippery steep slopes. There is a paradox here. I understand why those who are untrained in the movements of pure carving as we understand them in PMTS would say that really good skiers steer their skis, while in fact really good skiers are not applying any steering input. In this case steering would only made matters worst, as not carving at all would result.

I truly hope this is not again perceived by the PSIA side as an attack, as my intent as always is to educate and inform. If the unsuccessful skier, trying to carve on steeps will pursue this successful approach, they will see great benefits. I, as well as the best coaches in the US, have seen the results of PMTS techniques in Diana?s racing. For a skier with no racing background and only a handful of days in gates this year, Diana was only two and a half seconds off the best college racers in the country, (many former US Ski Team development skiers) this spring at an FIS slalom. She did this with virtually no training and while being exhausted after a winter of working in our alignment center and coaching at camps. Today I spent a full day reviewing US Ski Team coaching philosophy with one of the US Ski Team staff. He was in complete agreement with the PMTS approach.
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Interesting

Postby John Mason » Mon May 03, 2004 10:02 pm

I just had a back and forth discussion on Epic where people were proposing that there is no way to pressure a ski throughout a turn. I presented 3 ways:

1. tip more by tipping the free foot more which tightens the arc which requires more pressure
2. extend the leg which bends the ski - tightens the arc, which keeps the pressure high
3. move to one ski balance

One of the arguments I got back was that a carving ski can not be bent more once it's in a carve. They proposed the mental excerise that stand on a bent ski in the snow, press more, it just makes a deeper impression but can't bend more because it's in the firm snow already. Basically what it seemed like what was being proposed was that there is no way to increase pressure by any means to tighten the arc. I replied that this would be true if the ski was standing still, but it's not. A moving ski will indeed carve a tighter arc in response to pressure.

I used the example of a given pair of skis for a person that was 100 pounds vs the same ski for a person that was 200 pounds. The 200 pound person for a given amount of tip will bend the ski more and create a tighter arc. Well, changing from a 70 30 weight distribution to 100 0 will also bend the ski more.

It does sound like many don't understand the idea of pressure or reject it outright on false logical grounds. Thus they do not accept it as a way to shape the bottom of a turn and control speed. I don't want to class all the posters on Epic in a bad light as there are lots of people there with lots of correct ski understanding. I do wonder by the comments and the fact I had to respond to correct the "no pressure is possible to shape a turn" statement myself. No one else had corrected it yet.

Might I guess from your description of the lesson you saw that the stance was a tad too wide? It seems that a wide stance where you just tip your edges while your feet stay more or less under you is in vogue. This style makes people look like they are waddling down the hill. The feet are not going out to one side of the body and the weight is certainly not on one ski.

When I was at nubs nob on their last weekend there was a guy going down the hill with this style all morning. I see this wide stance, tip the edges but leave the legs under you style everywhere I ski. It might work well on groomers, but in crud or bumps this style will mess people up. I believe people doing it are emulating what they think racers are doing. But as you pointed out with your US ski team coach converstation, this is a false impression. (Thanks RL)
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Postby Harald » Tue May 04, 2004 8:23 am

The side cut turn is fun at times, but it is not a versatile turn. A skier has to have more skills than just tilting and riding in a wide stance. This is a static one dimensional turn that isn?t even effective on steeper groomed runs. One of the racing clubs in Colorado is know for teaching this way. The US team coaches now notice how limited the skiers are coming out of this program, as the skiers in it lack ability to adapt to most of the conditions encountered in everyday racing. I call what they are doing arena skiing. Everything has to be perfect, the slope, the grooming, the turns and it should also be fenced off so no one can get in your way. Unfortunately this isn?t reality in ski racing or skiing.

PMTS has some very clear performance and teaching guidelines and they do not limit growth, they are a foundation that produces versatility in skiing. I get accused of being dogmatic all the time. I take being called dogmatic as a compliment. But if a coach is to be dogmatic he has to be dogmatic with the right approach; it means he can not compromise his values or the quality of the turn.

I relish being called dogmatic, (Almost as much as being accused of having a big ego) because I know what kind of skier my dogmatic approach produces. If all those that call me dogmatic could ski like Diana they would be very happy. She didn?t find that my dogmatic approach hindered her improvement in the least. She realized that the previous coaching and instruction she received didn?t lead her to her skiing goals. Diana is a very coachable athlete, she learns very quickly, yet the training she was given for five years didn?t produce performance in her skiing.

There are many ways to approach ski teaching. There are many instructors and they use many different methods. In the end it?s about the skiing. All the talk on the forums doesn?t represent the end result. I can see the results of the different approaches as they are represented by the skiing of those who profess to have the knowledge and the system. Watching the outcome of these systems is what drove me to create PMTS. After many years of observing the skiing level that the other systems produce, I?ll continue to choose PMTS, thank you.
Harald
 

Postby Guest » Tue May 04, 2004 10:00 am

[quote="Harald"]


All the talk on the forums doesn’t represent the end result.

I doubt that Mr. Harb believes that statement. That statement could mean that the written statements on forums like these fail to accurately describe the way people ski or that it's impossible to accurately describe the way people ski. To be the former, Mr. Harb would have to mean that all the posters are bad writers. Not likely.

So Mr. Harb probably means the latter. To be the latter, Mr. Harb probably would mean that skiing technique is the type of thing that just can't be written about, something like "Describe the color red without using examples (like a cherry)." More, Mr. Harb could also mean that, aside from the inability to describe the way people actually ski, forums can't describe the way the people should ski. But since he refers to "represent the end result," I won't put words in his mouth.

What to make of the statement? Well, it reminds me of what a logic professor once called a "self-referentially false" statement or a statement that is false by its own terms. Prime examples include "I can't write a word of English" and "All sentences have six words."

But it is probably a better example of the "self-excepting fallacy," assuming that Mr. Harb believes what he writes here is true. That's a proposition claiming a statement holds for all exept the speaker. Kind of like the Canadian saying "Everything Canadians say is a lie."

I would find hard to swallow if Mr. Harb didn't believe what he writes here is true. Most dogmatic people do. :wink: If it's not possible to "represent the end result," why even bother? And if he hasn't been representing the end result, what has he been doing here?

A technical point, yes. But what is this forum, and others, but a place for technical points.

Rob
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Postby jbotti » Tue May 04, 2004 10:28 am

Hey Rob, you have an obvious love of philosophy. You might want to read B. Brecht's: Galileo. This is a play that deals with the impact that a new world view had on the minds of academia at that time. It is also about the propensity to fall into denial when evidence disproves a perceived truth. This denial resulted in persecution of Galileo and other believers in the new order of the universe which went starkly against the views of the Catholic church.
When I listen to commentary like yours I realize that this in many ways is a religious battle for you and you are desperately trying to defend the old world order of TTS. All I can say to you about this is that the PMTS Forum is filled with people like myself who were not progressing with traditional teaching (and I skied regularly with a level 3 examiner who is an awesome skier) and have made huge progress in a short amount of time working with PMTS. I believe that if you approached it with a truly open mind, you would reach the same conclusion (regardless of whether Harald is an egomaniac which I find not to be the case).
The toughest thing in life is to give up something that is getting marginal results for soemthing new, different and unfamiliar. Try it; you might like it.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
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Postby Guest » Tue May 04, 2004 10:55 am

jbotti wrote:When I listen to commentary like yours I realize that this in many ways is a religious battle for you and you are desperately trying to defend the old world order of TTS.

I believe that if you approached it with a truly open mind, you would reach the same conclusion (regardless of whether Harald is an egomaniac which I find not to be the case).
The toughest thing in life is to give up something that is getting marginal results for soemthing new, different and unfamiliar. Try it; you might like it.


Now what did I write that would lead you to that conclusion? I don't think I mentioned anything about my skiing let alone what religious demonination I belong to. I merely pointed what I see to be a logical flaw in Mr. Harb's post. You don't have to take a contrary view to point out that sort of error; any good editor would do that. In fact, if I made one I would want someone to point that out to me. And it was just a small point. You can't write on a forum that writing on forums is useless without making a thinking person scratch her head.

But to counter your ad hominen attack on me -yet another logical flaw - , I will respond. For the last year I have been receiving skiing instruction from someone who is a blue level instructor under PMST. He also has PSIA buttons on his lapel too. As far as I know, he still sleeps at night. In any case, I know my skiing has improved. Dramatically. What system led to this, I do not know. And not being familar with any system, I didn't have to give anything up at all.

Cheers.

Rob
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Postby jbotti » Tue May 04, 2004 11:52 am

Rob, you may have to go back and read Karl Popper again (and Harald's post again). What he said is that all the talk doesn't represent the end result. Only actual skiing can represent what all the talk tries to produce. The proof is in one's skiing not in what we say about skiing. There is nothing illogical about this comment and in fact (at least to me ) it makes perfect sense.
More importantly if I took your comments (as being somehat hostile) incorrectly, let me apologize. Congrats on getting ski instruction that is producing the desired result in your skiing. That is why we are all here.
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Postby BigE » Tue May 04, 2004 11:59 am

HH wrote:

This weekend I observed the difference between a pure carved turn and a side cut turn. Here in lies the discrepancy between what we discuss and describe in PMTS and what TTS instructors talk about and try to defend.

...snipped for legibility...

I don?t know what they were working on, but I saw them skiing one or two runs on a steeper Blue slope. It looked like they were skiing on carving skis (not all Mountain ski). They were obviously trying to carve, but they performed what I call side cut turns.


Followed by much denigration of the side-cut and glorification of the carved turn.

Stuff like this makes me go hmmmm...... Mr. Harb admits that he does not know what they were doing, and so goes on to make something up to attack.

For those interested in philosophy, that is the classic "fallacy of the straw man".
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Postby jbotti » Tue May 04, 2004 1:00 pm

BigE, sticking with the Philosophy theme, we all know that our perception is colored by our beliefs. Because you believe that Harald wants to attack something (TTS and the PSIA) you immediately perceive his commentary as an attack. Because I believe that Harald is interested in helping people improve their skiing and furthering teaching techniques that accomplish that end, I perceive his commentary as anything but an attack.
More importantly, I can't do what Harald is talking about (truly carving in the steeps as a means to control speed) but I can do what he said he was seeing others practice. I aspire to do tight short radius carves in the steeps because when I do the other, I go faster and faster and I am not in control. Forgetting about the way the lesson has been conveyed (and whether someone has been attacked or not) I have just learned something about skiing from the Harald's commenatry. I really do think that this is the point.
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Postby BigE » Tue May 04, 2004 1:34 pm

jbotti wrote:BigE, sticking with the Philosophy theme, we all know that our perception is colored by our beliefs. Because you believe that Harald wants to attack something (TTS and the PSIA) you immediately perceive his commentary as an attack. Because I believe that Harald is interested in helping people improve their skiing and furthering teaching techniques that accomplish that end, I perceive his commentary as anything but an attack.


I actually don't come to the table thinking like that. I come to the table hoping that posts will not contain either the terms TTS or PSIA, because I do not find such posts contain much helpful instruction; to me they smack of politics and positioning.

I am not one to discard PMTS, as it has many good aspects. I am not one to either blindly disparage or support the PSIA either, as I am Canadian; I have no vested interest in US institutions. Consequently, I'm here for knowledge, and knowlege ONLY -- not to support either side.

Having said that, I'd like to pass on this notion. Perhaps it has some merit?

If I could hazard a guess, the reason that kids are coming out of entry level instructional programs (say up to 10 years old) without knowing how to pressure, or otherwise turn their skis, it is because the skis have too MUCH shape and are consequently doing everything themselves.

I believe that what should be of fundamental concern in the first generation of shape skiers is to avoid the "park and ride" syndrome. That is done with good edge/pressure control and fore/aft/ateral balance, and IMO, many systems are more than capable of teaching how that is done. It would surprise me, no shock me, to think that techniques to accomplish this are not already well known by the majority of instructors.
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Postby *SCSA » Tue May 04, 2004 3:38 pm

If all this ever comes down to is a few loyal Harbians,,,,,,,I'll take it.
Hey man. I never wanted to be part of a big club anyway. :lol:

What makes it so cool is that there's only a few of us. 8)
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Postby *SCSA » Tue May 04, 2004 3:40 pm

Hey Hobbit. How am I doin? Should I keep following PMTS? :)
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Some possible perspective

Postby John Mason » Tue May 04, 2004 4:10 pm

Figured this post would get lively. Let me add a few things as I particpate actively on both Epic and Realskiers. Many on Epic say that what Harold teaches is not unique. It's the same they teach, been done before, etc.

Yet these same people pretty constantly keep mis-representing key aspects of PMTS like the super-phantom is a negative move, PMTS is not versatile, etc. So at the same time they'll often say the centerline model is the same thing, you find out that often what is being taught now by people that are agreeing that steering to turn is bad and carving is good and accessible by the masses, still aren't actually teaching a PMTS style of skiing.

What we have is what Harold observed on the hill. A wide stance, lack of any even an attempt at one ski balance, no concept of pressuring the ski, etc. It's not TTS per say but its the "new way" and it's pretty goofed up stuff. I have had people on Epic say pressuring is "Old School" and that one ski balance is not needed anymore. They are serious.

So PMTS for whatevery reason, still seems to be a pretty unique system for skiing. Bit's and pieces are grabbed here and there but mix those with wide stance and no one ski balance and you don't have much that resembles PMTS style skiing on the slopes.

That's what I believe HH was trying to point out. You can talk the talk about tip to turn etc, and it may sound like the person agrees with PMTS but then you see the actual skiing and it's this new style "side cut" turn. HH was noting the forum overlap in the technique speak and then seeing the differnence in the result on the hill.

But, in carefully reviewing the "forum speak" the difference of stance and one ski balance and - even in this day and age - not having any problem with direct steering inputs results in the forum speak still predicting what you see on the hill when taken as a whole. It just looks like it's the same stuff at first read. Often the tip to turn stuff is in different posts than the posts by the same people arguing against one ski balance and a narrower stance. Add the two seperate postings themes together and you get a clearer picture of what they mean when they say tip to turn. You end up with a two footed railroad turn that becomes the main way to ski. The student or teacher stuck in this stance and two footedness never evolves into a graceful, alternating one ski, foot initiated balancing act that takes you as the master of the skis finessing your way down the slopes.

So I personally don't see the dichotomy of the resultant skiing and what people describe on the forums, once you analyze all the posts.

PMTS, still carving it's own niche (unless you're top racers then that's what your doing anyway)
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Postby Harald » Tue May 04, 2004 5:26 pm

First, BigE you are way off base.

Jbotti and JohnM, thank you, as I though I was going crazy after reading the posts before yours. It seems that the instructors, (yes they are PSIA, sorry, I said the bad word for all you sensitive souls who can?t stand a little controversy) can get away with saying anything they want about skiing and PMTS and no one calls them on it. It seems to be just fine for them to not only make utterly ridicules statements about skiing technique, PMTS and attack me personally, but if someone brings something up about them, they get offended. Sorry, I know that these people are not only wrong about what they say (on the forums) about skiing and especially about PMTS, but they can?t back it up. I see them ski and I don?t have to know what they are trying to do, (BigE) they are just not skiing the way they profess that skiing should be done even using the very methods they defend. The trainers and instructors I saw this weekend don?t ski nearly as well as they talk or write. ?Paper Gurus?. Part of my duty as Educational Director for PMTS necessitates that I inform skiers about truth and fabrication. When I see enough fabrication without responsible rebuttal, I feel driven to step up. There are now many PMTS users who can step up and they do, and for this we should all be thankful. I won?t sit back and watch complete misrepresentation be submitted time and time again without some attention brought to what these individuals write. They don?t understand PMTS, yet they feel compelled to write like they do.
I'll be in Austria tomoorow so have fun.
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Re: Some possible perspective

Postby Visitor » Tue May 04, 2004 7:41 pm

John Mason wrote:What we have is what Harold observed on the hill. A wide stance, lack of any even an attempt at one ski balance, no concept of pressuring the ski, etc. It's not TTS per say but its the "new way" and it's pretty goofed up stuff. I have had people on Epic say pressuring is "Old School" and that one ski balance is not needed anymore. They are serious.


John,

I spend a fair amount of time at epicski and I do not believe I have ever read where anyone has said pressure is old school or, in particular, that one ski balance is not needed anymore.

Can you back up either statement with evidence or are you merely making things up to ingratiate yourself to folks here?
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