Harb Carver questions and techniques

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Harb Carver questions and techniques

Postby Harald » Wed May 26, 2004 1:27 pm

Latest update: these things are really taking off. The racer community is excited about this as the real deal training tool. We have a rush to buy Carvers from every group of skiers we have introduced them to, next week we are in California for a Harb Carver Weekend.

There are some comments/questions about whether the carvers would be easier for sharp turns if they had softer wheels. ?Slightly? softer wheel compounds do make a little difference in turn radius, but they also wear out very fast. We don?t like the softer wheels as they feel mushy. On steeper hills and in sharper turns they give out. Diana and I, as do many testers and users find that the Carvers turn easily and make very sharp turns without difficulty. If you still find it challenging to make sharp turns it may be technique and model related. In testing, we find experienced Harb Carver users can make the same shape turns as users of inline skates make. This takes some practice, but the angles that the skiers on Harb Carvers achieve are more like skiing angles, whereas those on inline skates can achieve only a fraction of the body angle to make the same turn. This at first will give the inline skates the edge in ease of developing turns and turn shape, but those types of turns and movements aren?t applicable to snow skiing.

Recently I have been putting emphasis on making very short sharp turns on the Comp models at relatively slow speeds and on less incline and have been very successful. I also use a garland progression of release and engaging, always moving to the little toe edge. This works very well for beginners.

One way to accelerate your learning and ability on carvers is to set slalom courses on the road with pieces of duct tape. Start with relatively easy turns. As you improve and you can negotiate the courses, make the turns rounder by moving the tape farther out. We place the tape about fifteen feet apart in vertical distance. You will find that even very easy slalom courses will help focus your movements and turns. Some beginners find the slalom courses offer targets for their turns and help them develop movements more quickly. It is likely that movements you need to make sharp turns on carvers are not available to you because you have not developed them in your snow skiing movement repertoire. A skier can cover up the lack of these movements and ?high C? engagement skills in snow skiing with skidding actions and still look like a reasonable skier, but skidding actions don?t work on carvers. Carvers will help you develop the skiing skills that are missing more quickly.

You may feel at first that there is a slight set back on Carvers compared to your snow skiing level. It is important to realize that initial proficiency on Carvers is not the goal. The goal is to learn efficient skiing movements, which are what make Carvers turn and easy to use. Even if initial Carver movements are at a lower level than you skiing movements, they maybe the very movements needed to advance your on snow performance. Skiers rarely bring the movement awareness to reach the same standards on Carvers immediately. Carver movements are more obvious and provide feedback you can?t feel from skiing on snow. The movements you develop on Carvers will transfer to better skiing movements. Also, after the initial learning curve is experienced there is real satisfaction and enjoyment felt from the turning and movement sensations of Carver.

The most important Carver techniques are of course to develop versatile balancing, tipping power, and flexing action of the legs to release, (suck your legs up and roll your feet). These strengthened and enhanced abilities culminate to raise your movement understanding and movement ability.

As in skiing during transition, your center of gravity (body) has to move across to the downhill side of the skis for a ?high C? turn. This has to be initiated by feet tipping actions. If this isn?t done on the carvers they will feel like they don?t want to turn. On snow, skiers simply apply a little twist or steering to the skis, which skids the tails into the turn. As in skiing the center of gravity moves with the little toe edge into the turn. On Harb Carvers this is mandatory as you can?t just skid the tails to get into the turns. Many seemingly ?expert skiers? were shocked when they first tried the Carvers. Their tried and true tail push didn?t work. The inside leg or foot steering will not work with carvers. This will be a real shock to those who get away with skiing that move.

Remember, even very good skiers have to practice and train to make sharp slalom turns on the Comp models of the Carvers. Harb Carvers are very similar to techniques used to make connected carving turns on snow. When you improve your Harb Carver performance you will notice a great improvement in your on snow performance. If the Harb Carvers were easy they would not be the training tools that develop higher skiing skills for all levels. Inline skates have little direct positive movement impact on your skiing development, but they feel much easier to turn.

harb carvers

Postby bejes » Wed May 26, 2004 9:28 pm

Harald, Any idea about obtaining these in Australia?
YOu talk about the High C, and while this was touched in the Fernie camp with Scott, there doesn't seem to be a lot of info in your books.
Do you have any other resources for this info?
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Postby tommy » Thu May 27, 2004 4:47 am


the High-C turn has been discussed to some extent here on the forum, have a look at:


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Postby BigE » Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:17 am

Why do the Carvers have 3 wheels per "edge" as opposed to 4? Is it because you don't need to have 4 or is it because they turn better with 3?

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Postby piggyslayer » Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:52 pm

I think asymmetric wheel placement both aids the turn and makes carvers behave more like skis (when front/back is pressured).

Some of it in answered in
So how do the inline skates turn thread.

Hobbit has asked similar question there.

Look at Harald's post (1st Harald post on second page of that thread), here is a fragment from it:
Each track left by the Harb Carvers has two lines, one from the front wheel and one from the back wheels. The front wheels describe a smaller arc; the back wheels a slightly larger arc. It?s the force developed from the front and back wheels working in unison that allows the Carvers to turn and skid through a turn

I also posted my views on this topic in that thread right after Hobbit's question.
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Asymmetrical wheel placement

Postby Jeff Markham » Tue Jun 15, 2004 6:18 pm

Here's an look at an interesting inline skate with asymmetrical wheel placement. Apparently, one of the end results is that they turn better.


Perhaps relevant to the Carvers?
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Postby BigE » Wed Jun 16, 2004 12:00 pm

Most definately relevant! The increased compression on the front wheel will cause it to turn at a snaller radius than the rear wheels, changing the arc. The larger wheels on the Comp are probably just for more speed.

I really like that Miller chassis! Thanks for the link!
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