Speed control on "pure" carving ?

PMTS Forum

Postby piggyslayer » Tue Feb 17, 2004 11:29 am

My 2 cents (I hope 95% correct or more) and a question:

As Hobbit and others have pointed out: to slow down carved turns the skis must be bent more.
The way to do that is to pull the skis back with hamstrings and keep them pulled back in the upper part of ?C?.
This bends the ski and (unfortunately) puts more pressure on the front of the ski and unweights ski tails. As a result the top of the ?C? turn has tendency to be smeared and not carved (the tails are smearing it).
I believe the way to resolve this issue it to establish solid edge before smear happens. This is what "showing the bases to the mountain? is about.

Unfortunately, putting this all together is not that easy to accomplish, but we all know some skiers who can do that in front of our eyes, don?t we.

I think the trick is to achieve very fine balance, if you pull skis back hard and the egde is not firmly set, you will smear (I do most of the time), if you pull the skis only lightly you will not achieve speed control.
I am guilty of smearing the C tops to control the speed, for now I decided that I will smear if I want to control the speed. I would appreciate more comments on drills, which lead to "showing the bases to the mountain?
and avoiding the "smear" of the upper C.

Piggyslayer.
Last edited by piggyslayer on Tue Feb 17, 2004 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby tommy » Tue Feb 17, 2004 12:49 pm

Quote: [I am guilty of smearing the C tops to control the speed, for now I decided that I will smear if I want to control the speed. I would appreciate more comments on drills, which lead to "showing the bases to the mountain”.]

Hi Piggyslayer,

I think I recall a post by Harald on the topic of showing the bases to the mountain - the exercise was to stand still in a traverse on a gentle slope, and getting from uphill edges to downhill one's,by rolling the skis, using the poles for support.

I've practiced this to some extent, and got it to work, but I have not experienced it easy to put in practice during "non-static" runs.

The only "exercise" that I've been sometimes successful with to "show the bases to the mountain" is to use the weighted release in combination with a very quick "collapsing" of the stance leg; if done properly, it "throws" the body down the fall line so that you get quite a lot of edges early in the high-C part of the turn.

Cheers,
Tommy
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Postby piggyslayer » Tue Feb 17, 2004 1:41 pm

Thanks Tommy.
I have seen Harald post.

The only "exercise" that I've been sometimes successful with to "show the bases to the mountain" is to use the weighted release in combination with a very quick "collapsing" of the stance leg; if done properly, it "throws" the body down the fall line so that you get quite a lot of edges early in the high-C part of the turn.


This looks like a brut approach.

I believe some early counter achieved by nothing else as foot tipping is big part of doing the "showing ski bases" movement slow.
What I do (as advised last year by Harald) is: I think of an invisible line between my knee and pole. Each time pole is planted knees need to roll dowhill pulled by this line. Preferably knee is moved there by foot tipping action.
Still, as I said, I smear the C top so what do I know.

I would love to see a DVD or at least some pictures on how the drill from Harald post is done (how is the upper body behaving- I bet is in the counter, is the upper body facing still bit downhill- that where it normally is at the end of the turn, etc).

Returning to the point of this thread: I truly believe there is a tradeoff between achieving pure carved turn and speed control on steep fast snow, no matter how good the skier. Just the better the skier the higher this threshold is.
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Postby tommy » Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:52 pm

I've spent quite some time thinking about the physics of a "pure" carved turn, and an awful lot of time trying to achieve it on the slopes, while trying to keep my speed in control. T

This morning I spent on the slopes, in favorable conditions, and sure, the shorter I managed to make the turns, the less speed I gained (I know, pretty obvious, but anyway....! ;-)

Tonight, after rereading the posts re. this topic, I tried to remember some of the mathematics needed to take a *very theoretical* stab at the problem. If I managed to get my calculus & mechanics allright, (no guarantees for that, what so ever...!! ;-) then, by looking at the work/energy done by gravity on a skier, in direction of the ski, while completing a full 180 degree "C" turn, one can notice a very clear relationship between turn radius and "final speed at end of the C": as many of you have stated, the shorter the radius, the less speed you gain during the turn. But what to me is quite interesting, is that the "final speed" can be kept in a fairly reasonable range, even on a moderately pitched slope, if the turn radius is *very* short: some examples:

on a 25 degree slope, a 5m radius "C" turn would (theoretically!!) result in appx. 11m/s "final speed", while a 15m radius turn on the same slope would be appx. 20m/s. For me, maybe I would be able to go 11m/s without dieing of fear, but I'm convinced that I'd never dare getting
even close to 20m/s. So, if I could "perform" a 5m radius turn e.g by bending the ski, I might be able to "survive" doing pure carved turns on a 25 degree pitch, while a 15m radius turn would result in total fear.

This pretty much concurs with my actual skiing experience: I'm doing ok carving on greens and european blues (which I think are less than 25 degrees), but somewhere around 30 degrees pitch my carving goes to pieces, because the speed I gain, which sends me to the zone of fear....

I'm sorry if I've polluted the forum with a bunch of unqualified theoretical ramblings, but to me, this does explain to some extent what I actually do experience on the slopes....

cheers,
Tommy
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Speed and Carving

Postby John » Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:09 pm

Reviewing all the threads a few thoughts come to mind.

Skidding in a technical sense refers to the tail skidding through the turn faster than the front of the skis. Think pure hockey stop for the extreme picture of this. Skidding a turn is to be avoided as it's just not as fun and is usually a result of a stem entry to a turn.

However, Drifting a turn will bleed off speed and yet the whole ski will turn as a unit.

As an example, in PMTS we have all probably done the drill where you are 90 degrees to the fall line and tip the lower ski towards it's little toe edge to accelerate and the upper ski's little toe edge as the break. This side slip drill lets you get a feel for edge engagement. What this drill should also let you get the feel of is partial edge engagement.

You can carve a turn with high edge engagement (show your bases) but you can also carve a true with less engagement where the turn will still be sortof carved but you will drift sideways at the same time bleeding off speed. Think of a balanced sports car drifting slightly sideways in a high speed turn. You have not skided out the rear end but the whole car in a balanced way drifted a bit without losing control. It can be the same in a carved turn by lowering your edge engagement angle.

Think of a butter knife spreading butter on bread. At a low angle the butter spreads nice, but at a high angle you would not spread any more but carve up the bread.

This is what Lito is referring to in his book that all turns skid to some extent. I think that was a bad choice of words and I don't agree with it either because you can see two distinct lines in a pure carved turn back on the snow. The term drift though is appropriate and can be used to control speed.

Some skis are dificult to drift. You can play with the sideslip drill to see this difference. I have a pair of really awesome carving skis that are almost impossible to do the side slip drill with. They go to edge grip to actually oppisite edge grip with no butter smooth adjustable release area at all. My other ski's are mid fats all mountain ski's. These are night and day in the side slip drill. They are easy to control over a wide spectrum full edge grip to releasing and sliding sideways down the hill.

On the slopes the pure carving skis are a joy. They do like to pile on the speed. But if you got the room and the inclination they go love to go till the wind resistance reaches a balance. You do get the feeling with these skis that the are not losing much speed as your carve turns.

On the mid-fat's, however, you can still carve an efficient and speed increasing turn, but you must be very "showing your bases" to get them to do this compared to the pure carving ski. On the other hand, these mid-fat's are very easy to lesson the edge angle in a carved turn and drift some allowing very predictable speed bleed off.

On the pure carving ski's when it is steep, very short radius turns, less than the built in turning radius will create resistance and also control speed. Check your ski's native turning radius and mark this out for a test run and turn tighter than this native turning radius. Tighter turns than this will slow you down without taking your turn back uphill.

If you are on a pure carving ski and are not able to allow for any drift and find the side slip drill hard to do with your ski's, try some mid-fats like the "ski of the year" and you'll see a huge difference and a whole new repertoire of varying edge engagement to play with.
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steep carving

Postby h.harb » Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:19 pm

Wow! Since I left, this forum has really picked up, congratulations to you all. From what I can see the discussion is friendly, civil and helpful. I hope it continues this way.

The issue of pure carving on steeps that Tommy brought up is indeed a serious challenge and requires concentrated effort to perform consistently. In my own skiing I strive to make pure carved turns on steeps, while also controlling speed. After a certain terminal velocity, control can be achieved. Terminal velocity is dependant on the steepness of the slope, the size of the arc, (therefore the ski shape), and the skier?s ability to achieve maximal body and ski angles and pressure.

I am motivated by this type of skiing as it raises the bar, and it is a measure of excellence. I applaud the effort and suggestions you are making to understand the technique required, as with this kind of goal you raise your standard.

If you can make this type of turn you can make any turn anywhere. It is an expression of superb technique, power, courage and athleticism. I freely admit I don?t just go out and get it right away. I have to practice, concentrate and work hard to make these turns. I measure the quality of my performance by the ski edge tracks in the snow. I can evaluate my performance by checking the tracks after each run. The tracks tell the story. I have used track analysis, since I was a junior racer, as I didn?t have a coach. From the tracks I can determine where I first pressured the ski, whether it was on edge or skidded, and how the arc progressed into the falline. I adjust my technique and approach accordingly. Tommy, you will remember the day we skied in the fog on the T-bar run in Hintertux. We were working on ?high C? turns arc to arc.

Many good suggestions were offered about how to achieve this pure carved turn on steeps. Here are the reminders and movements I focus on when I am being less than athletic. I have to really exaggerate flexing, as Jeff suggested. Stay flexed through the edge change. This does have a tendency to lower the hips and get the ski out front of the centered position, but only for a moment.

Here is the crux of the whole turn, the skis continue forward as the body or CM (center of Mass) moves downhill. The skis don?t just go straight forward, they remain in the arc, meaning they actually move up hill as the CM moves across the skis. I have had people tell me when they ski behind me, they notice that when I release, my CM crosses the skis, but the skis actually continue the arc during the releasing and they finish the carve while heading uphill. I feel this sensation of the skis continuing the turn even as my body is moving out of the arc to the next turn only when my timing is perfect. It is easier to achieve on medium to flat slopes.

Next, I haul the feet back under my body, while I tilt the skis to the new angles. In this phase the skis are light, yet you should be preparing them for the angles for the turn and get them there before pressure is applied. Now you stretch your legs continuing to pull the feet back. Even if you body is tilted downhill (up-side-down) you should continue to pull and tilt the feet. Since the Cm is taking the shorter line to the next turn, the hips catch up and end up forward of the boots, this makes the ski tips engage. Now, this skill of pressuring the tips is an old straight ski skill that few straight ski skiers ever achieved, but on short shaped ski you have to be more subtle. You can?t over pressure the tips or you will lose the tails. A soon as the tips start cutting you have to center yourself on the skis. Now the focus changes to increasing the body angles. Tilt the free (inside) ski, relax the inside leg and flex it so the hips move into the center of the turn. You must always stay aware of the ski, pressure, snow connection to the body. Let the inside hip fall inside the turn, but tilt the boots and stay balanced and pressured on the big toe edge. Now find heel pressure to finish the turn. Don?t release the turn until you feel the ski coming back into or across the falline. If you release too soon your ski will accelerate so fast you won?t be able to keep up to it.

You have to bend the ski into a deep arc keeping the tip strongly engaged even when you are standing on the heel of the foot. Skis will do this if you begin the turn properly. The tip will continue to feed the carving arc as long as you don?t flatten the tail.

Someone suggested that the upper body must tilt uphill during the transition (edge change) to keep your balance and prepare for angulation of the next turn. This is correct, when learning and practicing this turn, but once you have the turn under control you can begin to relax and let the upper body take a lean to the turn during the transition. This is a risky move. Bode does this and often gets caught leaning when he should already be agulating and pressuring. This early body lean is a matter of timing, if you are late getting the body set for pressuring you will lose the turn. Use the safe approach when learning.

A word about pressuring, you don?t want heavy pressure on the outside ski during the ?High C? part of the turn. When observing skiers it looks like the ski is angled and pressured, but the stance ski really only has enough pressure on it to keep it tracking. Once the ski is aiming straight down the falline it can take the full leg extension and pressure. Keep building pressure through the end of the turn.

One last piece of advice ?don?t push you body into the turn by trying to extend the uphill new stance leg. This widely adhered to misunderstanding of skiing technique will surly screw up your turns.

Good luck! Keep up the dialogue, here on the PMTS forum skiers are learning and speaking a language everyone can understand. Thanks. HH
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Postby jclayton » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:43 am

Harald,
I can't wait to try these hints out on the slopes , meanwhile , can they be tried on the Harb Carvers.
Jeremy
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Postby h.harb » Fri Feb 20, 2004 7:41 am

To some extent yes, but since there is less lever you can't let the Carvers out front from under the body as far as you can skis. But the flexing activities are identical.
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Postby tommy » Fri Feb 20, 2004 10:06 am

Here is the crux of the whole turn, the skis continue forward as the body or CM (center of Mass) moves downhill. The skis don’t just go straight forward, they remain in the arc, meaning they actually move up hill as the CM moves across the skis.

Harald,

I'm trying to picture in my head what's going on in the sequence of events above. Would it be somewhat correct to read it as in the following:

at the end of the turn ("low-C"), just before releasing, you (mentally ! :-) ) "grab hold of a fixed pole or tree standing downhill and slightly forward in the fall line" with your downhill hand, thus using the imaginary pole as a pivoting point ? This appears to me to achieve that the skis will continue for a while in their current track, while CM "is pulled" toward the fall line.

I guess an other way to "picture" this would be the type of turns that a water skier would make if he/she would change hands holding the pulling rope, from inside to outside hand, when crossing the wake...?

cheers,
Tommy
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Postby piggyslayer » Fri Feb 20, 2004 2:51 pm

Harald,

Next book's DVD, could we see what you have described in slow motion with annotation of what is happening and when is happening.

PLEASE!!!!

A series of stills in the book would also be VERY APRECIATED.
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Postby Guest » Sun Feb 22, 2004 9:58 am

Subject: C-Turns Fast in steeps- I've had great sucess with early edge engagement at the top of a c turn , but relize that leg strength plays the most important role. Also the ability to know where your balance lies while weightless at the top of the turn. Much like a surfer turning off the top of a breaking wave crest. While actually freefalling try pressure increase to the stance leg.
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Postby milesb » Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:09 pm

A hack's view on this:
1. The biggest benefit for me of tightly carving the top of the turn is that I can make the end of the turn bigger and still get some decent speed control from my line. It's much easier to keep the edges gripping at the end.
2. This is definitely a confidence turn when done on the steeps. The more speed you carry across the hill, the easier it is to carve the top. If I don't have alot of speed, I can agressively extend my new stance foot to artificially pressure the ski right away, but this is also a risky move, as it's easy to overdo it, and then it can make the rest of the turn static. Better to bite the bullet and go into the turn hot.
3. I have done this in a 40-45 degree chute that was 25 feet wide. But it was perfect windpack, I had my mojo on, and it was one of the scariest things I have ever done. I managed to do about 6 of these before I chickened out.
4. #3 made it easier for me to do everywhere else! I'll need to try it in the bumps a bit.
5. What's the point of carving the top of the turn on the steeps? Mostly style points, I'd say, but even carving/scarving PART of the turn before the skis reach the fall line gives much more control than pivoting the skis into the fall line. I'm not good enough yet to not frequently rely on the latter (traditional) option.
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Postby Guest » Tue Feb 24, 2004 8:36 am

tommy wrote:
Here is the crux of the whole turn, the skis continue forward as the body or CM (center of Mass) moves downhill. The skis don?t just go straight forward, they remain in the arc, meaning they actually move up hill as the CM moves across the skis.

Harald,

I'm trying to picture in my head what's going on in the sequence of events above. Would it be somewhat correct to read it as in the following:

at the end of the turn ("low-C"), just before releasing, you (mentally ! :-) ) "grab hold of a fixed pole or tree standing downhill and slightly forward in the fall line" with your downhill hand, thus using the imaginary pole as a pivoting point ? This appears to me to achieve that the skis will continue for a while in their current track, while CM "is pulled" toward the fall line.

I guess an other way to "picture" this would be the type of turns that a water skier would make if he/she would change hands holding the pulling rope, from inside to outside hand, when crossing the wake...?

cheers,
Tommy


Yes.

The simplest way to think about it is with the clock face. The low 'C' part of the turn is at 6 o'clock -- "normal" turn completion. If you want to go faster, don't go all the way to 6, make the transition at say, 5 o-clock. To slow down, make the transition at 7 o-clock -- you are skiing somewhat uphill at that point.

Showing the bases to the hill at 7 o-clock then gives large edge angle at the start fo the turn, so the turn has short radius. A longer radius turn would not have such a huge edge angle at the beginning, rather edge angle starts small and increases to it's max (whatever that is).

Hope this helps.
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Postby tommy » Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:56 am

Thanks for the clarification! Now I'm eager to hit the slopes to try all the advice out!

Meanwhile, since we have been discussing edging and bending the ski in this thread: check out the two images in the URL's attached: apparently they know already in the 80ies how to achive severe edging:

http://www.ski-and-ski.com/work/Gallery/StenmarkKitz82.htm

and Herman surelely knows how to bend a ski:

http://www.ski-and-ski.com/work/Gallery/HermanShigaGS1.jpg

cheers,
Tommy
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Postby piggyslayer » Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:29 pm

... And they don't even keep their skis on the snow! :)
Carving the air, cool pictures.
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