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Short skis for carving?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
1. I'm a novice so carving is beyond my abilities.

2. I'm lazy, and prefer short skis as they weigh less when being carried, and they're easier to move around when on my feet. (5 foot 9, 13 stone).

When in Tignes this year i went to the ski hire shop and asked for short skis (got 155 i think). I apologised, saying that i prefered short skis and knew they where no good for carving, but the person serving said that short skis were BETTER for carving. Was she just schmoozing or was she correct? (I thought that long skis with a narrow centre were best for carving and that short skis where better fot slalom type skiing).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Slalom type skiing is carving too, when done correctly.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I thought slalom was about pivoting rather than carving.
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20 years ago we used to rent skis called 'Fun Carvers' for a laugh.They were around 140cm with a pronounced side cut. Great fun as long as you avoided steep / firm pistes where they would just give up owing to too little edge contact with the snow. No reason why the same formula shouldn’t work today, but better to get some lessons and some 'proper' length skis.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
marodo2712 wrote:
I thought slalom was about pivoting rather than carving.


No. Completely the reverse. Slalom is ALL about carving. Short skis with a deep sidecut (short "radius") are easier to carve than long skis or skis with less sidecut (longer "radius"). (I do wonder where you picked up your ideas here?).

Hence why racers have minimum lengths and max sidecuts available to them.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
When you watch slalom skiers doing their thing they appear to 'pop' on the turn, a kind of a jump turn, hence why i thought thry weren't carving, as carving appears as a fluid leaning turn.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
A carved turn is one done using just the side cut/natrual turn radius of the ski. It's not the quickest way to turn but it is the one with the least drag/friction so the one that loses you the least speed while changing direction.

The 'pop' is just a very fast version of the turn initiation we all do when skiing. To initiate the turn you're taught to raise up on to the balls of your feet, roll on to the (post turn) downhill ski, then press down in to the front of the boots. Crusing down a wide, empty blue that can be almost an unthinking motion over 4 or 5 seconds - you've got loads of piste, you're not in any hurry, so why rush? Hammering down a World Cup slalom course, trying to win the race you ARE in a hurry, the next gate's coming up bloody quick for a start! In that case you need to initiate the turn as fast as possible. It's the same action, just done a lost faster - and if you ever try to do a series of fast, linked turns, a lot more painful on the legs Smile


A carved turn is one where you're basically using the just the ski edge and side cut to turn. Take a modern carving ski off and place it against the piste, parallel to the mountin and tilted up on to just the inside edge, and it will just touch with the tip and tail. Slide it across the slope like that and it will go in a straight line. Now press straight down in the middle of the ski and it will bend till the whole uphill edge is touching the snow. Slide it across the piste like that and it will naturally move in a "U" shape. When you're doing a pure carve turn that's all you're using to turn. The more agressively you get up, turn, down in to your boots the faster you turn, leaving just nice "S"s in the snow behind you. Of course because there's minimal friction if you get lazy with your turns you don't turn as far so spend more time pointing down the hill and pick up more and more speed.

The alternative, and what most people do most of the time is a skid turn. Here you initiate the turn in much the same way, using the edge and side cut but you then let the tails 'oversteer', sliding down the mountain and using the base to push against the snow, much like a ski in the snowplow. You don't get a niec "S" in the snow but do get that little puff of snow behind you. You also get your skis pointing across the mountain faster, so spend less time pointing down the hill and have better control over your speed.

The most extream version of a skid turn can look quite a lot like a slalom skier's turn from the 'pop' point of view. When it's "I think I'm going to die" steep you really don't want to be pointing down the mountain, gaining speed so you have to get the turn initiated quickly with an agressive 'pop'. You don't just let the edged do the work though, you keep your body facing down the hill and skid your tails till they are at 90 degrees to the slope with a bit of urgency.
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Ditto answers that short skis carve easily. My two cents worth though -- don't ever feel intimidated or embarrassed about what skis you find work for you! If you like them that is good enough. Just get on and enjoy the skiing. I have skied for 50 years and I would never judge anybody on anything. Only losers do that. Who knows, you may even be ahead of the curve.
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