Turn Shape/Speed Control
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scootertig
January 22, 2009
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
Originally Posted By: Leo
Originally Posted By: JohnL


  • Speed control. Not speeding up as you go down the mountain, controlling your speed with turn shape.




Regarding turn shape, one of the better skiers I have known personally always taught me that you ought to be able to keep any constant speed on any pitch slope while making any size turn...or you really don't understand how turn shape controls speed.


I know this was in a different thread, but I wanted to start a conversation focused on this, instead of mogul skiing.

Are you suggesting that you should be able to maintain ANY speed on ANY slope while making ANY shape of turns? Or that you can maintain ANY (particular) speed on any slope by making a particular turn?

In other words,


  • to go at speed x, on a "steep" slope, make turn shape 1
  • to go at speed y, on a "not so steep" slope, make turn shape 2
  • to go at speed y on a "steep" slope, make turn shape 3


where turn shapes 1 != 2 != 3

Because if you meant the first interpretation, I'm lost. I don't know how to maintain speed y on a steep slope while making turn 1. The turn shape and the speed (for a given slope) seem to be linked.

My girlfriend and I talk about this often - how can some people make short turns and stay slow on a pitch where if I make short turns, I pick up speed? Am I making the turns wrong? Or is "right" all a question of whether they meet their intended purpose for the situation at hand (this is my guess)?

Am I even making sense? This would be easier to explain in person...

aaron
JohnL
January 22, 2009
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
I think you may be over thinking this one, especially if you start bringing out equations... smile

To *me*, turn shape has to do with how round your turns are, how continuous the curves of your turn are, how much of the circle your turn takes up, and even how much of a traverse across the hill you are making. I guess the traverse is not technically part of the turn. Easier to explain if you can draw a picture.

Again to *me*, turn radius is independent of turn shape. A short turn radius = a slalom turn, a large turn radius = a GS turn.

Quote:
where if I make short turns, I pick up speed? Am I making the turns wrong?


I'd say yes.

When you say short turns, I assume you mean short radius slalom turns? If you are picking up speed doing short slalom turns, in general this means you aren't controlling your speed properly - this is a disaster in bumps and steeps since you'll eventually hit a speed where you can't control your skis. This is not an issue for very short groomed headwalls that dominate Mid Atlantic areas.

If you are picking up speed, odds are you are not fully bringing your skis across the hill (perpendicular to the fall line.) Did I explain that one right Jimmy?

Remember that sometimes you want to be accelerating down the hill, so controlling speed is not an issue for those situations.
scootertig
January 22, 2009
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
Ok, so it at least sounds like I made myself reasonably clear, which is encouraging. And I'm almost DEFINITELY overthinking, since that's a pretty typical thing for me...

When I'm talking about "short" turns, I mean ones that look more like

(
)
(
)

Than like

(__
__)
(__
)

It's easy for me to get my skis all the way out of the fall line, and control my speed, when doing the latter. The traditional "finish your turn all the way up the hill" sort of advice plays out well. I should mention that this tends to bring my hips/shoulders away from the fall line, too...

On the other hand, on the shorter turns (the first ones I "drew"), my hips and shoulders tend to stay most fully addressing the fall line. I get faster and faster unless I bleed speed by "smearing" or "pushing" my turns, or turn all the way out of the fall line (basically linking the "short" turns to a longer one to slow down across the traverse).

Would you consider the drawn turns to be turns with different radii? Or are they (more likely to be, all other things being equal) turns of the same radius, but with different shapes? Is radius (for a given ski) determined by angulation and ski flex while in the turn?

Should I be able to do the first type of turn and stay slow without bleeding speed? Or do I slow myself down by getting the tips further out of the fall line?


aaron
Murphy
January 22, 2009
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Originally Posted By: scootertig
My girlfriend and I talk about this often - how can some people make short turns and stay slow on a pitch where if I make short turns, I pick up speed? Am I making the turns wrong?


Thanks for bringing this up. Although I snowboard I think I'm basically having the same problem, particularly on steeper terrain. I assume the answer is that our shorter turns are just truncated long radius turns rather than more complete short radius turns. Does that sound right?
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JohnL
January 22, 2009
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
We're starting to enter the territory of the Instruction Forum on Epic. And we need pictures...

Quote:
Should I be able to do the first type of turn and stay slow without bleeding speed?


I'm assuming "(" means your skis are basically pointing down the hill for the entire turn. To control your speed doing a turn like that (without using the backs of moguls to slow you down), you'd have to be doing a loooot of skidding. You wouldn't be carving much at all.

Quote:
Or do I slow myself down by getting the tips further out of the fall line?


If you do that, you're then making the second turn pattern? That is what I'm assuming you mean with your drawing. And I'm assuming your second drawing does not really have a long straight traverse across the bottom.

One last attempt at splaning what I'm thinking. Poor turn shape for speed control: skis go from 10 to 8 o'clock around the circle. Good turn shape for speed control, skis go from 12 to 6 o'clock around the circle. That make any sense? Is that what you were talking about Murphy?

Jimmy, Bushwack, Otto and others need to jump in on this one.
Murphy
January 22, 2009
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Originally Posted By: JohnL
One last attempt at splaning what I'm thinking. Poor turn shape for speed control: skis go from 10 to 8 o'clock around the circle. Good turn shape for speed control, skis go from 12 to 6 o'clock around the circle. That make any sense? Is that what you were talking about Murphy?


Yep.

S


edit: OK so the Comic Sans MS font overturns slightly but that's the best I could do without out bust out the CAD software wink (must control inner-nerd)
Tucker
January 22, 2009
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
Turn shape is crucial in Speed Control. A nice round/complete turn shape allows you to scrub/increase speed in more places throughout the turn. If you have a large radius turn then you have more time/space do to this and the opposite is true for smaller raidus turns. Completing the turn shape for a snowboarder would mean your board is traveling perpindicular to the fall line at the top and bottom of your turns...

A lot of people who complain about chatter are skidding/overpressuring their equipment in the bottom of the turn or making hockey stop/like turns. They are fighting gravity instead of using in in their favor.

I have done tons of exercises with folks who wanted to control their speed on steeper terrain without chadder. When they wanted to control speed they meant slow down...so with the premise that skidding slowed us down, and when we skid we throw/push snow this is what we would do...

1. Go to moderate terrain and practice round/completed turns

2. Practice pressuring the equipment so when skidding we were able to push/throw snow around...fluid not choppy motion...like spreading peanut butter on bread...

3. Still on moderat terrain...practice skidding/throwing snow during different parts in the round turn-- throw snow uphill and to the side of the hill(not downhill because we already got that dialed.)

4. Go to steeper terrain and try to make round turns and throw snow uphill/to side but not downhill.


..Turn shape is crucial in the bumps... you can pressure equipment in different parts of the turn to get different responses from your equipment but you can also turn up a bump to slow down...

Leo
January 22, 2009
Member since 11/15/2005 🔗
278 posts
Originally Posted By: scootertig


(
)
(
)

Than like

(__
__)
(__
)



I would also add...in your graphics above, while we have to be a little imaginative due to the fact that you were making them with characters on a key board, what you want to think about is making any radius turn look more like the lower graphic. Then you would be "finishing your turns." And you can have a turn shape like that with both short or long radius turns and anything in between.
BushwackerinPA
January 22, 2009
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
Originally Posted By: scootertig
Originally Posted By: Leo
Originally Posted By: JohnL


  • Speed control. Not speeding up as you go down the mountain, controlling your speed with turn shape.




Regarding turn shape, one of the better skiers I have known personally always taught me that you ought to be able to keep any constant speed on any pitch slope while making any size turn...or you really don't understand how turn shape controls speed.


I know this was in a different thread, but I wanted to start a conversation focused on this, instead of mogul skiing.

Are you suggesting that you should be able to maintain ANY speed on ANY slope while making ANY shape of turns? Or that you can maintain ANY (particular) speed on any slope by making a particular turn?

In other words,


  • to go at speed x, on a "steep" slope, make turn shape 1
  • to go at speed y, on a "not so steep" slope, make turn shape 2
  • to go at speed y on a "steep" slope, make turn shape 3


where turn shapes 1 != 2 != 3

Because if you meant the first interpretation, I'm lost. I don't know how to maintain speed y on a steep slope while making turn 1. The turn shape and the speed (for a given slope) seem to be linked.

My girlfriend and I talk about this often - how can some people make short turns and stay slow on a pitch where if I make short turns, I pick up speed? Am I making the turns wrong? Or is "right" all a question of whether they meet their intended purpose for the situation at hand (this is my guess)?

Am I even making sense? This would be easier to explain in person...

aaron


some facts

there are 3 ways to control speed

listing from easiest to do to to hardest to do

turn shape
slip angle(skidding)
deflection - ie how much force you can carry across the hill

also realize we turn to change direction, that change of direction can speed us up, or slow us down. Its up to you once your good enough. the main point is here we do not always turns to slow down.

Originally Posted By: scootertig

My girlfriend and I talk about this often - how can some people make short turns and stay slow on a pitch where if I make short turns, I pick up speed? Am I making the turns wrong? Or is "right" all a question of whether they meet their intended purpose for the situation at hand (this is my guess)?


simply put if you in the fall line doing short turn, you are either not completing your turns enough or your are not skidding enough.

an intermediate skier with intermediate skills will have the easiest time controlling speed using a skidded round turn. this turns use more rotary movements. there is a tendency to finish with a strong edge set at this stage of learning. believe it or not a strong edge set at the bottom will actually cause you to go fast overall. In this type of turn the shape looks like a "J" and max edging and pressure happen well after the fall line.

an advance skier will use less rotary, with more edging, and pressure. The edging and pressure will happen more in the fall line then the intermediate skier. The turn will be nice and round. the directional movement into the turn will be stronger than intermediate skier which allows them to get a higher edge angle higher in the turn. This type of turn can take you nearly anywhere locally. this turn is carved or nearly carved.

despite the term 'basic" in the video this is Level 8 skiing.



lastly expert skiers, an expert skier doing short radius turns use very little active rotary movement if any at all. the turn shape comes mostly from pressure and edging movements with a strong diagonal movement that allows them to get high edge angles very quickly. Speed control comes from turn shape and from deflection across the hill. In reality their legs are traveling very fast, but with a slower overall speed down the hill. this is the less than one percentile of skiers IMO.

at :33 second is the best example I can find of this on the net.



notice the strong cross under diagonal movement that follows with high edge angle before the fallline, this causes the skis to bend and deflect out to the next turn.


so which one are you?

if you want to go slow and your not then yes you are doing something wrong. whats going wrong? thats hard to say with out seeing you in person.


Originally Posted By: scootertig
Ok, so it at least sounds like I made myself reasonably clear, which is encouraging. And I'm almost DEFINITELY overthinking, since that's a pretty typical thing for me...

When I'm talking about "short" turns, I mean ones that look more like

(
)
(
)

Than like

(__
__)
(__
)

It's easy for me to get my skis all the way out of the fall line, and control my speed, when doing the latter. The traditional "finish your turn all the way up the hill" sort of advice plays out well. I should mention that this tends to bring my hips/shoulders away from the fall line, too...

On the other hand, on the shorter turns (the first ones I "drew"), my hips and shoulders tend to stay most fully addressing the fall line. I get faster and faster unless I bleed speed by "smearing" or "pushing" my turns, or turn all the way out of the fall line (basically linking the "short" turns to a longer one to slow down across the traverse).

Would you consider the drawn turns to be turns with different radii? Or are they (more likely to be, all other things being equal) turns of the same radius, but with different shapes? Is radius (for a given ski) determined by angulation and ski flex while in the turn?

Should I be able to do the first type of turn and stay slow without bleeding speed? Or do I slow myself down by getting the tips further out of the fall line?


aaron


you ask alot of questions

judging by your short turns sketch it would be very hard to control speed with those turns, unless you were skidding top to bottom. skidding without a round turn shape actually makes you go fast, I know that sounds counterintuitve buts its true.

read my post come back with better informed questions.

simply to many questions to truly answer untill you understand some of the basics yourself.

where do you normally ski at? this would be way easier in person.







comprex
January 22, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Originally Posted By: BushwackerinPA




notice the strong cross under diagonal movement that follows with high edge angle before the fallline, this causes the skis to bend and deflect out to the next turn.



That diagonal movement is where the freefall "off a diving board" sensation triggers a fair bit of fear in lower level skiers, so they fight it and ruin it.
BushwackerinPA
January 22, 2009
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
yep, you knew I knew that and I totally agree.

but what worse falling a couple times or sucking for the rest of you life?

the chance of falling are pretty slim FYI
comprex
January 22, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts

Ah, but it was only after I knew how to do it that someone told me what it was supposed to feel like.

I'm hoping the readers of this thread are a bit luckier.
camp
January 22, 2009
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
596 posts
Great thread.
I'm a tele skier, and have often wondered why I ski so much faster than good skiers. I see tele skiers skiing straight down the fall line at Whitetail going nice and slow.

I have learned that quick turns do not necessarily equal short-radius turns. There's a saying in the telemark world that "speed hides flaws".

I'm trying to get past this point so that I can scrub more speed from each turn, or take a bigger bite of the snow on each carve. When I do get it right, I can noticeably feel both skis staying on the snow all the way through both sided turns. I also notice immediately, that I'm going a lot slower when I do this correctly
comprex
January 22, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Originally Posted By: camp
I also notice immediately, that I'm going a lot slower when I do this correctly


do you notice a lot of speed difference between you and your skis?
skier219
January 22, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
I am going to deviate from the focus on turns and suggest emphasis on the line you ski. I am amazed how few skiers pick an appropriate line for the terrain, yet that is 100% of how I get down a trail. If you use the terrain to guide your line, turn shape is practically dictated and speed control is nearly automatic. Short, medium, long turns, they all get used. When people talk about skiing the "slow line fast" that means using the terrain. And this method of skiing is a lot more fun in my opinion. Not only does it involve some thinking and scouting while you ski, I think it actually enhances the skiing and makes it more lively and dynamic. I love looking down a trail and scoping out the right line on the fly.
therusty
January 22, 2009
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
The rounder the turn shape, the more able you will be to choose to use turn shape as a component of speed control instead of skidding as a component of speed control.

For short radius turns in the fall line, the more you can get your skis pointing out of the fall line during the turn and the higher edge angles you can develop on average through the whole turn, the slower you will go. And also, coincidentally, the rounder your turns will become.

In bumps, extension and absorption can also contribute to speed control.
scootertig
January 23, 2009
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
First, thanks to everyone for jumping in. I know that there's not often lots of technical talk here, and that EpicSki has sort of cornered the market on that sort of discussion, but I wanted to do it here to see what this group had to say. You haven't disappointed!

FWIW, this year I've been skiing mostly at Liberty, but it looks like I'll be at Whitetail tomorrow night (have the NCC thing, so most of my "days" this year have been nights). I am hoping to jump into a group lesson, but we'll see how things are going. The thing is, when the instructor asks "what are you hoping to work on," I don't really know what to say, other than "improving".

I mean, I'd like to learn something about skiing more effectively in bumps, since I will probably encounter a few on my trip to Utah in March. I'd like to work on skiing steeper runs with good form, so that I can tackle more of a big mountain. I'd like to work on being better able to handle variable conditions, so that after a thaw/freeze cycle I'm not beating myself up all the way down the mountain...

In other words, I just want to be a better skier, all the way 'round.

Originally Posted By: camp

I have learned that quick turns do not necessarily equal short-radius turns. There's a saying in the telemark world that "speed hides flaws".


That is the story of my life. For instance, I don't bowl particularly well, so I take the heaviest ball I can handle, and throw it as hard as I can. Momentum counts for a lot... I seem to approach a number of physical activities the same way. I want to be a graceful skier, not just a functional one, and a lot of that will come from mastering these sorts of skills. Sure, I can hurl myself down a mountain without the skill, but I will never improve (much) by doing that.

Originally Posted By: therusty

For short radius turns in the fall line, the more you can get your skis pointing out of the fall line during the turn and the higher edge angles you can develop on average through the whole turn, the slower you will go. And also, coincidentally, the rounder your turns will become.


I'm guessing that variations in edge angle alone won't give me the full range of available (or necessary) turn radii, right? It seems it might work to get "some range" of radii, but to get beyond those, what can I do? Or, are there just turn radii that a particular ski CANNOT make while on edge?



aaron
Jimski
January 23, 2009
Member since 03/5/2008 🔗
44 posts
A while back someone on the Epic site said (I'm paraphrasing here): don't use turns to control speed, use turns to choose direction, use direction to control speed.

I have tried to implement this idea, but am still working on it. Do you all agree or disagree with this? Is it something that can be attained, or more like an ideal -- that is, to strive for even if never always reached?
jimmy
January 23, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Aaron, lucky for you i slept thru this last nite you got some really good replies. Having made turns with you I think you are close to a breakthru. Take a lesson, tell the instructor.....

"I mean, I'd like to learn something about skiing more effectively in bumps, since I will probably encounter a few on my trip to Utah in March. I'd like to work on skiing steeper runs with good form, so that I can tackle more of a big mountain. I'd like to work on being better able to handle variable conditions, so that after a thaw/freeze cycle I'm not beating myself up all the way down the mountain..."

and then don't be offended if you end up on a blue or heaven forbid a green trail working on learning to edge and pressure your skis in many different ways.

Controlling your speed is something you do at the top of the turn as well as the bottom, if you are adjusting your speed at the bottom of the turn that's not really controlling it. Try finishing your turns uphill a bit, turn to 5 or 7 o'clock instead of traversing or skidding, just keep turning.

It's time for you to learn how your body can keep up/ahead of your skis. Comprex and BWPA talked a bit about the feeling of free falling, try this tomorrow night. Take your skis off, face up the fall line on a gentle pitch and get in a neutral stance, feel that; then step around 180deg so that your toes are in your old heelprints, hold your poles out in front like you're going to make a double pole plant, take the same neutral stance and tell us what happened.
skier219
January 23, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Originally Posted By: Jimski
A while back someone on the Epic site said (I'm paraphrasing here): don't use turns to control speed, use turns to choose direction, use direction to control speed.

I have tried to implement this idea, but am still working on it. Do you all agree or disagree with this? Is it something that can be attained, or more like an ideal -- that is, to strive for even if never always reached?


And extend that to "use terrain to drive the choice of direction, etc...". From that, the right turns will necessarily follow.
David
January 23, 2009
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Originally Posted By: jimmy
Take your skis off, face up the fall line on a gentle pitch and get in a neutral stance, feel that; then step around 180deg so that your toes are in your old heelprints, hold your poles out in front like you're going to make a double pole plant, take the same neutral stance and tell us what happened.


Hmmm, that sounds familiar! smile smile

Aaron, as Jimmy said, take a lesson. It is amazing the things you can gain in a short amount of time with a good instructor.
therusty
January 23, 2009
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
Originally Posted By: scootertig
I'm guessing that variations in edge angle alone won't give me the full range of available (or necessary) turn radii, right? It seems it might work to get "some range" of radii, but to get beyond those, what can I do? Or, are there just turn radii that a particular ski CANNOT make while on edge?

Aaron,

A ski has a natural turning radius. This is for a circle that results from a carved turn when the ski is not bent. The more the ski decambers due to pressure and edge angle, the more that the effective turning radius will be reduced from the natural turning radius. Obviously, a ski can only be bent so much. So, a pure carved turn can only be performed at the natural turning radius or smaller, but not much smaller. If you want to make turns outside of this range (i.e. very small or large to very large turns), they must be skidded turns. You can cause skidded turns by any number of means including reducing edge angle, steering with the the feet and overloading pressure. As far as turns that can not be made, the mathemeticians might argue that a 0m radius or an infinite radius are at least practically impossible. Alas, we see all too many people trying to disprove the latter theory.
comprex
January 23, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Originally Posted By: scootertig


I mean, I'd like to learn something about skiing more effectively in bumps, since I will probably encounter a few on my trip to Utah in March.


FWIW, Utah bumps are completely different than bumps here.

Those will be significantly easier to practice on, unless you rent a honking stiff uber-fat ski or unless you find yourself in steeps beyond what you're used to.
Crush
January 23, 2009
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,016 posts
Originally Posted By: scootertig
.. Am I even making sense? This would be easier to explain in person...


... huh? i don't get it - i look where i want to go and i end up there at some certain speed. if it's really steep and narrow then put a hop and crank your skis across and carve the finish, unless it's so narrow you have to straightline it. if you want to make short radius turns and slow down hold on to the turns longer so they go up-hill unless you are in some damn slalom race and doing a hairpin and then i guess you want speed.

- eh, that wasn't that useful -

i'll be skiing at liberty this weekend ! that's gooood!
SCWVA
January 23, 2009
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
Originally Posted By: jimmy
Aaron, lucky for you i slept thru this last nite...................

.......try this tomorrow night. Take your skis off, face up the fall line on a gentle pitch and get in a neutral stance, feel that; then step around 180deg so that your toes are in your old heelprints, hold your poles out in front like you're going to make a double pole plant, take the same neutral stance and tell us what happened.



Jimmy - Whats this? Some type of slopeside sobriety test? grin
jimmy
January 24, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Ha Scott while we wait for aaron to tell us what happened, maybe he thought i was jst fooloin around, i must say that new pursuits have severely limited my abilities to attend safety meetings. Risky, i know. That drill, while not intended as such would be lot's of fun to try on skiers returning to the piste from the forest.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
January 24, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Originally Posted By: comprex
Originally Posted By: camp
I also notice immediately, that I'm going a lot slower when I do this correctly


do you notice a lot of speed difference between you and your skis?


If you go faster or slower than your skis, there will be a "yard sale".
The Colonel smile
skier219
January 24, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Originally Posted By: therusty

A ski has a natural turning radius. This is for a circle that results from a carved turn when the ski is not bent. The more the ski decambers due to pressure and edge angle, the more that the effective turning radius will be reduced from the natural turning radius. Obviously, a ski can only be bent so much. So, a pure carved turn can only be performed at the natural turning radius or smaller, but not much smaller. If you want to make turns outside of this range (i.e. very small or large to very large turns), they must be skidded turns. You can cause skidded turns by any number of means including reducing edge angle, steering with the the feet and overloading pressure. As far as turns that can not be made, the mathemeticians might argue that a 0m radius or an infinite radius are at least practically impossible. Alas, we see all too many people trying to disprove the latter theory.


Great post rusty. I would add that evaluating that "design" turning radius is important when choosing a ski. There is a range plus/minus a few meters within the design turning radius where the ski will still be in the groove and only minor skidding is needed. So a good versatile ski is one that has a design turning radius that is in the middle of the range or turn radii you're going to ski. I tend to be happy on skis with an 18-22m radius; on the shorter end for local skiing, and on the longer end for big-mountain western skiing. Any of those skis can be made to do 15-25m radius turns easily.

What's interesting about some skis like PMgear's BRO models with a longish 32+ meter turning radius, is that almost all the turns you make will be shorter than the ski's design radius, and involve skidding. This is very much like old school skis that had minimal sidecut and long turning radii. This turns out to be very versatile for off-piste skiing, where skid turns are the norm (rarely see carving there).
Tucker
January 24, 2009
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
If I'm going to drop 1000 bucks on equipment I want to learn how to use all the technology that I payed for. It is amazing the perfomances equipment can deliver, yet I have never bought a snowboard that came with directions on turn shape or that explained how to achieve rebound in the bottom of turn or discussed For/Aft movements. I guess that might put AASI/PSIA out of business?(joking)

A lot of folks I have seen riding/skiing are simply kicking the back of their equipment around to control speed. Which is fine. If you ask me it is all about having fun. But it comes a point for many(I know it did for me) when this method doesn't work in steeps,trees, bumps... kicking the tails of the equipment around isn't going to work as well as it did on the groomed greens and blues.

The key is to have the ability to do whatever the terrain calls for. Sometimes it is skided turns, sometimes carving is the way to go. Sometimes a basic turn while shooting a rooster tail of pow is cool, sometimes dynamic turns are needed to get through bumps or trees. The key is having the ability and know how to pressure the equipment in order to get the perfomance when or where it is desired/needed.


As far as different side-cuts go it really is amazing how much difference a meter or two in turning radius and a couple cm in lenght can make with equipment and performance. Generally speaking the sidecut in skis is much larger and models/types of ski vary more than snowboards.

I am about 6'2" and 200 lbs. I snowboard and my set up is as follows:

1. East coast/hard pack - snappy/responsive board - 164 cm, 8 meter radius sudecut

2. West coast/deep snow,lift access- soft/wide board - 168 cm, 9 meter radius sidecut

3. Backcountry/Pow board - soft nose/stiff tale splitboard - 171 cm, 11 meter radius sidecut

The performance of all these boards is incredibly different even in deep powder, sometimes especially in deep powder, each have their pros and cons.


Since the conversation has occaionaly turned to equipment technology, perfomance and laws of physics here are two questions:

What is faster- skis/snowboard traveling on edge or flat on their base?

Besides steering uphill/across hill- can skis/boards be pressured to decelarate/scrub speed while making a true carved/edged turn(not skidding or sliding on edge)?

Any takers?
Bumps
January 25, 2009
Member since 12/29/2004 🔗
538 posts
Great thread! TheRusty has it right and well said. However, I find that understanding this is sometimes about finding the right terminology/analogy. So I will add my way of thinking to see if it helps. I think of it by applying pressure to bend the ski and shorten the turn radius. For even shorter turns I think of it ad aggressive edging with pressure on the toes to steer the ski up the hill. It looks like skidding, but you don't want weight on back of skis like a hockey stop. I think when people think of skidding their mind focuses on the back of the ski when it really should be focusing on the front. In my mind the real trick to controlling speed on stepp terrain is how you initiate the next turn. This is where the leap of faith comes in. You have to transfer your weight to the new edges. This is where many (myself included-I work on this a lot) tend to get back on their skis. When this happens your skis can shoot right out from under you or cause you to pick up speed and go shooting across the hill. Very embarrassing and makes you look very uncool. So probably the most important part of short radius turns on steep slopes is committing to the next turn. This leap of faith is that fraction of a second that your weight transfer onto the new edges gives you a feeling of falling forward. Also as you go steeper and shorter your equipment plays a larger role. If you don't have a solid base in your boots with a snug fit that allows for crisp transfer of shin and toe pressure to your skis, your transfers will be slow and skis will tend to catch an edge that goes at an angle slightly different then you wanted/need for speed control. Therefore you tend to ski a slightly more toward the natural turning radius of the ski and pick up speed. Another interesting point is the more you are controlling your speed on a steep slope with shorter turns the faster your feet and legs are moving. When you move to bumps you will start adding the shortening and extension as mentioned elsewhere in this thread. But I will add the need for maintaining contact with the snow. As you are looking forward your mind will remember the terrain and the feedback you get from your skis/feet/legs lets you know where you are and how to react. Of course we all like the occasional bump jump, but once you land it is the same as before and when you land that feedback will let you know where you are on the hill. I get all of this right about 30-40% of the time. I have been working to improve my consistency but is difficult to do consistently without a lot of time on slopes.
comprex
January 26, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Originally Posted By: The Colonel
Originally Posted By: comprex
Originally Posted By: camp
I also notice immediately, that I'm going a lot slower when I do this correctly


do you notice a lot of speed difference between you and your skis?


If you go faster or slower than your skis, there will be a "yard sale".
The Colonel smile


A funny myth. smile
camp
January 26, 2009
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
596 posts
Originally Posted By: comprex
Originally Posted By: camp
I also notice immediately, that I'm going a lot slower when I do this correctly


do you notice a lot of speed difference between you and your skis?


I don't know...Should I? Are you saying that my body movement is now faster? Like I'm working harder but skiing slower (more controlled)?
comprex
January 26, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Imagine that the skis are actually going just as fast as a tucking sample of straighline beginnerbutt, except they are doing it in an S shape. Your body moves along a shorter line. The speed difference is taken up by your body coiling up and unwinding.

Pics courtesy of Veeeight on epic, the inner arc being the body, the outer arc being the skis.



The shorter-radius the turn, the bigger the difference between ski speed and body speed:

snowslider
January 27, 2009
Member since 06/21/2004 🔗
42 posts
Originally Posted By: Murphy
Originally Posted By: scootertig
My girlfriend and I talk about this often - how can some people make short turns and stay slow on a pitch where if I make short turns, I pick up speed? Am I making the turns wrong?


Thanks for bringing this up. Although I snowboard I think I'm basically having the same problem, particularly on steeper terrain. I assume the answer is that our shorter turns are just truncated long radius turns rather than more complete short radius turns. Does that sound right?


Greetings fellow single planker!
If your short turns are simply "truncated long radius turns" Then you will surely be making little turns in a narrow corridor (basically rocking edge to edge) and yes, shooting right down the fall-line. To control speed in a narrow radi, or a narrow corridor down the hill you must still complete the turn. To complete the turn means that the board should go from one side-slipping position, say heel-edge, to the other side-slipping position, say toe-edge. this is completing the turn, the board will make a 180, essentially.
Consider that range of motion of the board when making large radius turns, it does a 180 right? so should it with narrow turns where you want to control your speed.

It was said in one of the earlier posts here, that you should utilize as much of the turn to scrub speed. It was also mentioned that you should keep the board (or ski) NOT pointing down the fall-line for longer duration of the turn than it is pointing down the fall-line. These are good comments.

Here is my snowboarding specific application: (and I dont know if it applies to skiing or not)------
Consider what mechanism you are using that initiates your turn so that the turn can happen quickly and the board in not pointing down the fall-line. lower that body movement so that it a body movement that is close to the board, this will create a faster response. Next distribute your weight throughout the turn in a fashion that utilizes the FULL edge of the board. starting with more weight distributed toward the front of the board, and ending with more of your weight distributed toward the tail of the board. This allows you to apply pressure to not the full edge all at once, but the more important part of the edge at different parts of the turn. Do this by moving the board underneath you, rather than moving your body over the board.

A lot to think about in all this.
Personally these are the most advanced skidded turns, and very difficult to accomplish. I am unable to perform it consistently myself, and often find myself just side-slipping in between my turns like a beginner. yuck.
Talking it through helps.


***Excellent topic!***
Tucker
January 27, 2009
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
Yeah there is a lot to think about and it is hard for me to explain without using my hands.... Snowslider you are talking about the For/AFt movement right???...this is crucial? I like to think about it as pressuring/engaging the front of the board in the start of the turn with the front foot and then pressuring back of the board with the back foot as the rider moves through the c shaped turn. I visualize it as pressure moving from tip to tail throughout the turn. This allows you to control speed/turn shape early then achieve rebound at the end of the turn. Sometimes I like to exagerate these turns and actually hop from edge to edge at the turn beginning/end by pressuring the back of the board to produce a rebound then hop into the next turn with the new edge and front foot. Don't know if that makes sense or how applies to 2 plankers.
Murphy
January 27, 2009
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Snowslider/Tucker,

Thanks for the advice. Last time I was out I was thinking I needed to try something different with the back of my board. Some times it seems like my back foot is just along for the ride and only used as an emergency brake when I have to skid to scrub speed.

Hopefully this will help reduce sliding on ice/hardpack as well.

-M
snowslider
January 27, 2009
Member since 06/21/2004 🔗
42 posts
Originally Posted By: Tucker
Yeah there is a lot to think about and it is hard for me to explain without using my hands.... Snowslider you are talking about the For/AFt movement right???...this is crucial? I like to think about it as pressuring/engaging the front of the board in the start of the turn with the front foot and then pressuring back of the board with the back foot as the rider moves through the c shaped turn. I visualize it as pressure moving from tip to tail throughout the turn. This allows you to control speed/turn shape early then achieve rebound at the end of the turn. Sometimes I like to exagerate these turns and actually hop from edge to edge at the turn beginning/end by pressuring the back of the board to produce a rebound then hop into the next turn with the new edge and front foot. Don't know if that makes sense or how applies to 2 plankers.


Yes Tucker, I think we are speaking of the same thing. pressuring the edge along it's length as the turn progresses.
but to do this, I added, by moving the board underneath you rather than moving yourself over the board. Therefore it may be seen as a more effective movement tostill stand upright, but have the nose of the board underyou, rather than to bend your body toward the nose - in order to get more weight or pressure toward the nose.... and the same for the tail.... This is what I mean by moving the board underneath you.
Tucker
January 27, 2009
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
Yes, the center mass of riders body is a crucial component. When making any turn it is crucial where the center mass of the rider is. I know you are speaking of center mass(cm) in reference to tip and tail and the ability to be in position to pressure the front or back of equipment, and this is critical and when I do this with front foot it reminds me of dropping in on a half pipe on skateboard...this plays big role in bumps.

But thinkng of the cm over edge to edge is also critical. Ideally the riders cm is directly(relative to pitch of slope) over the edge of the board and tilt of the board is achieved with the ankles and pressure is achieved with legs like pistons. I think about it as the shape of my body...sitting in a chair in my heelside turn and pushing my belt buckle out in my toeside turn. This way the cm of rider is directed down through the edge to the snow. If the rider tilts the board by leaning then the board tends to want to push out from underneath the rider. This can easily show itself when conditions are icy or slick or steep.

When it is pow conditions the rider can get away with tilting the entire body to control tilt of board becuase effectively the surface is shaped by the degree of tilt of board and board is always flat on surface. I am always reminded of this when I return from pow to groomers out west. When in pow I tend to ride lazy and tilt my body to tilt my board and in pow I get away with it and these turns are fun when terrain allows. When I return to hardpack or icy surface and ride like this I find my board wanting to push out from underneath me, especially on steep terrain. Also if the rider tilts the body to tilt the board usually the legs are straight and unable to act like pistons and pressure the board.

Last year I was fortunate to ride lots, lots, and lots of pow and I concentrated on using my ankles to tilt the board and keep my cm over my edges in the pow. I was able to make turns through pow that felt like a dolphin swimming throught the surf. When I watched it on video my upper body was rather quite while my lower body was dancin through the pow all over the place...I would crank the I-pod and "seek and destroy" all the freah pow I could find...ah the pow...
snowslider
January 27, 2009
Member since 06/21/2004 🔗
42 posts
Tucker it took me a long time to read that, and I enjoyed processing every word.
Thank you for writing that out. I've not contemplated the differences of movements on groom vs pow, but I am right with you and it clicks in my head when I read your words.
Perhaps it is because I've not been able to ride pow very much... I gotta work on that.
Murphy
January 27, 2009
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Couldn't agree with you more Tucker. Getting a good tilt with out leaning over is something I'm trying to work on, particularly heelside. But leaning into a turn on powder or spring snow is a lot of fun.
scootertig
January 28, 2009
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
Well, yesterday was my first chance to really try any of this on for size (since last Saturday's night at Whitetail was more about survival than improvement).

Originally Posted By: jimmy
Take your skis off, face up the fall line on a gentle pitch and get in a neutral stance, feel that; then step around 180deg so that your toes are in your old heelprints, hold your poles out in front like you're going to make a double pole plant, take the same neutral stance and tell us what happened.


Jimmy, I would've tried this, but the responses to it made me a little worried. I trust this was intended to let me feel the "falling forward" motion you and other have referenced. I think I have found that feeling without the drill, but if you can assure me that this isn't a fast track to a broken nose, I'll give it a go...

Originally Posted By: Bumps
I think of it by applying pressure to bend the ski and shorten the turn radius. For even shorter turns I think of it ad aggressive edging with pressure on the toes to steer the ski up the hill. It looks like skidding, but you don't want weight on back of skis like a hockey stop. I think when people think of skidding their mind focuses on the back of the ski when it really should be focusing on the front. In my mind the real trick to controlling speed on stepp terrain is how you initiate the next turn.


This was very helpful to me. I found that as I worked on these short (complete!) turns, I tended to push my tails out. Instead, I focused very hard on staying forward and letting my toes lead me. It made a HUGE difference in what I felt and in what the result was. Obviously, I haven't had an objective eye critique me on this, but I felt MUCH more effective. I was able to link 8-10 turns without picking up speed at all, which is what I was going for (I stopped after 10 or so, but not because I was picking up speed... I just felt like speeding up!)

Originally Posted By: Bumps

So probably the most important part of short radius turns on steep slopes is committing to the next turn. This leap of faith is that fraction of a second that your weight transfer onto the new edges gives you a feeling of falling forward.


This is what I think Jimmy was trying to get me to feel. I definitely sensed it, and can see where it comes in handy.

It's interesting how these things CAN work together to make it "simple" or they can be out of sync with one another to make it hard. In theory, if I'm committed to my next turn, I'm getting over the outside ski, and I'm completing my turns, I should also be in proper position (shins into the boot, etc). On the other hand, if I don't see/feel the big picture, I can think I'm doing all of those things, and not be anywhere close to where I should be.

(I should mention - I spent 10 years or so coaching gymnastics and competitive cheerleading, and as a coach, I was always looking for the "big picture" so that I could devise drills that would allow my kids to reinforce the overall goal, rather than develop bad habits by drilling one aspect at the expense of others. This, coupled with my natural learning style, is probably why I'm asking a bazillion questions... I really do want to understand all of it, including what comes next, so that I can fit the pieces of the puzzle together.

Originally Posted By: comprex
Pics courtesy of Veeeight on epic, the inner arc being the body, the outer arc being the skis.



The shorter-radius the turn, the bigger the difference between ski speed and body speed:



This was also very helpful. Being able to see what it should look like helped me sync it all up. I definitely sensed the "skis going faster while my body's going slower" bit. It is a lot more tiring than just banging out huge arcs, for sure!

Thanks to all for their inputs. Everyone's help contributed to my finally (i hope) "getting it".

I'll try to grab a few video clips on the next trip out for MA, so we can see if I really do get it after all...


aaron
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