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Keeping shin against boot on a turn

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@kitenski, sorry, guess I missed the point - thought the op was sharing the vid to help an instrutee rather than an instructor.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Scamper, yeah you are probably right
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@Old Fartbag, Nice. Ta v much.
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AL9000 wrote:
@oui4ski, link pls
It's the one that Old Fartbag provided
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Return to old drills.
Hold pole out horizontally in front of you with two hands. Keep the imagine the pole is a steering wheel and try to keep it steady and level. Try not to rotate shoulders or twist above waist.
Make sure you are moving up and down in turn.
Practice on a gentle slope and see if you can keep your weight forward. This will help you get the feel of knowing what you are supposed to do before you get onto steeper slopes.
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Amazing to me that so much ski instruction misunderstands the difference between effects & causes, (as evidenced by much of the discussion & video footage above) & teaches EFFECTS as CAUSES. If you watch a good skier making turns down a slope you will see an up & down motion (bigger in powder) & weight mostly on the outside ski. Most instructors will therefore tell you that you need to jump/bounce & focus on weighting the outside ski, however both of these are EFFECTS not causes.

Watch a car make a sudden hard turn, the weight goes to the outside. Does that mean that to make a car turn you need your passengers to jump to one side of the car? For the vast majority of skiers they DO NOT need to think about weight on the outside ski, it will naturally end up there & trying force it simply makes things more difficult & has the added problem of doing different things to each ski (remember they're symmetric, do the same to both & you'll get the same result from both), increasing the chances of crossing tips etc.

The bouncing motion is the same; if you simply tip the ski on its edge it will bend & turn, left edges to go left, right edges to turn right. When you change edge to change direction the elastic properties of the ski will naturally spring back, to an extent bouncing you up; again an EFFECT not a cause. Do the same thing in powder, where your skis are 'in' the snow rather than 'on' the snow & for the same ski edge angle & speed the ski will bend more. Now change edges & guess what, the ski springs back harder. That's why a good skier is going up & down, with the movement greater in powder. Again, EFFECT not cause.

To pick up another misconception; if you are sliding on something or skidding a turn, you are always fighting for balance hence many people ending up on the backs of their skis; I know i sound like a broken record but mostly this is an effect not a cause & should be treated as such. If you are carving your turns (by simply tipping them on their edges) your balance is now coming from some relatively predictable forces & your body, to a large extent, will react appropriately. you will find that you're now more centred on your skis & that you are angulating. These movements are a natural result of your body reacting to the forces of going round a corner. Have you ever wondered why carving skiers' decrease in performance when the visibility is bad is so much less than poorer skiers? It's because their bodies are reacting to a carving ski making predictable forces on them, rather than a skidding ski moving unpredictably over terrain that they now can't see.

The main issue, unfortunately, comes from ski teaching. It's historically taught that unweighting, & therefore skidding, is how beginners must be taught. For most people that means they never learn edge control & spend their skiing life doing fundamentally the wrong thing, limiting both their ability to improve & their ability to respond as conditions change. In reality, if you teach beginners to carve from day 1, in snowploughs, they create the right movements naturally & when required they can skid because their bodies have learned edge control. This however requires that the basic movement of turn initiation is movement ACROSS the ski rather than up & down.

Jeez, don't I have better things things to do than write long posts that nobody will ever read Smile Smile
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@marko, Welcome to Snowheads.

Lots of interesting stuff in there.

I say a skiers ability to carve does depend on their ability to maintain fore\aft balance, and a beginner may struggle to control their speed through turn shape alone while 'carving'.

That said, I recall back in the day a guy here was given a hard time over what he described as sort of 'rough carving' but I think he meant grippy arcs.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@AndAnotherThing.. "I say a skiers ability to carve does depend on their ability to maintain fore\aft balance" Hmm, there's no black & white answer, clearly if someone has really poor natural balance they will have a problem. However for the vast majority of people once the ski is on an edge their fore-aft balance miraculously largely fixes itself. You need to see it to believe it (as I have with many people).

Again, as I said previously, the 'picture' of a good skier is, to large extent, the body's natural reaction to a carving ski. I've worked with numerous people who think their biggest problem is leaning back. We don't discuss that at all during the session, simply work on getting them to initiate the turn moving across the ski rather than up & down & playing with carving exercises. When videoed again at the end of the session, the difference in position is astonishing to them, the before & after videos are dramatically different. The 'after' video usually shows a nicely balanced skier with weight on their instep neither pressing against the shin nor leaning back.

"and a beginner may struggle to control their speed through turn shape alone while 'carving'." Totally agree. I'm not suggesting at all that every turn should be carved, far from it. The approach however for someone that understands edge control, even an almost total beginner, is to 'feather' the edges to create a carve/skid to control speed and/or modify turn shape. The issue is that someone who has learned the traditional way (unweighting etc) can only do a skid/carve & it's pretty random & uncontrolled. Note the order; carve/skid implies a carving skier who chooses to modify the turn shape by skidding to a lesser or greater extent whereas skid/carve is a skidder who thinks that they can carve sometimes but it's random.

As mentioned previously the biggest issue is turn initiation; across vs up/down. The former is correct the latter is wrong, unfortunately the latter is what most people were taught & have ingrained in their skiing... Sad


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 26-03-19 22:57; edited 2 times in total
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@marko, agree with much of what you say, but curious about your comments on traditional teaching (unweighting, etc). That's very dated now, and has played zero part of my instructor training (over the last 12+ years).
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rob@rar I don't doubt that you're right about modern teaching, I'm well out of date wrt what's going on in ESF, BASI, PSIA etc etc. A point & a question; point - there are a hell of a lot of skiers on the hill that were evidently taught that way! Question - how do the modern systems teach turn initiation from the beginning? I see lots of lessons being given & there still seems to be most emphasis on sliding skis as the base teaching method.

I've never seen (although it may exist obviously!) a lesson being given to beginner/low intermediates where there is a clear focus on using the edges & teaching carving as the basic turning method. My beef is (unless I'm mistaken on modern methods) that nobody seems to teach carving as the base method & i'm totally convinced that's wrong. An ESF instructor, when discussing this in a bar a few years ago, said "you can't teach beginners how to carve". He's just plain, flat-out wrong, & what's worse is that given that most people don't ski very often & therefore progress is relatively slow, they get these 'wrong' messages all the time as even though 'carving' might be in the curriculum, many people never progress far enough to get there. The 'wrong' behaviours get embedded & most people never get out of them. All you have to do is look around the slopes & you see that ~85% of people ski 'wrongly'. No issue if they are happy, but most people I talk to are frustrated that they can't improve...
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@marko, as far as I can tell all national systems generally start with turns which have a rotational component and an edged component blended together (as do most turns on the hill) in order to control speed to a level which the a new skier is comfortable with.
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@marko, how do you stop if you can't skid/slide your skis?
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@marko, I don't think I've ever taught beginners to actively rotate rotate their skis, unless for a specific drill. However, I don't focus on super cleanly carved arcs, rather encourage grippy ones.

Certainly one UK governing body doesn't talk about rotation to introduce arcs, while another other does (or did). That's not to say it isn't taught.

All the steering elements have a place and for me its more a question of helping the skier choose the effective blend for the tactical problem they face.
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@marko, But I don't think we are really disagreeing here.
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AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
All the steering elements have a place and for me its more a question of helping the skier choose the effective blend for the tactical problem they face.
This.
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marko wrote:
I've worked with numerous people who think their biggest problem is leaning back. We don't discuss that at all during the session, simply work on getting them to initiate the turn moving across the ski rather than up & down & playing with carving exercises. When videoed again at the end of the session, the difference in position is astonishing to them, the before & after videos are dramatically different. The 'after' video usually shows a nicely balanced skier with weight on their instep neither pressing against the shin nor leaning back.
Hi Marko, where do you teach?
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@Sack the Juggler: I don't now, I help friends occasionally.
@stewart woodward: I never said you can't skid/slide
@AndAnotherThing rob@rar: My fundamental issue is the teaching of rotation as the base technique rather than carving. Once you can carve, even after just a couple of lessons, you can steer rotationally as well (as your body has learned the edge control to allow it. Rotation is a natural movement anyway which is just inhibited by edges in the snow), but not vice versa.

I totally agree that all the steering elements have a place in a capable skier BUT edge control has to come first. This implies that the CORE movement in turn transition/initiation is ACROSS the skis. And that doesn't seem to be taught, at least not based on the vast majority of skiers I see. My beef really boils down to this.

If we teach people to move across the skis to initiate turns (having explained how skis turn bla bla) then we set them up for a much better progression which will only then be limited by their practice, innate ability etc. If we teach rotation as the base technique WE are limiting their progression by the technique we teach.

So much for me writing a post that no-one will read Shocked Laughing
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@marko, just to avoid confusion, what is your definition of carving?
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rob@rar putting a ski on its edge with weight on it therefore bending it into reverse camber & letting it track along that edge leaving a narrow slice in the snow. Weight of skier, ski angle, amount of sidecut, speed & snow conditions will then determine the arc that the ski creates.
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marko wrote:
rob@rar putting a ski on its edge with weight on it therefore bending it into reverse camber & letting it track along that edge leaving a narrow slice in the snow. Weight of skier, ski angle, amount of sidecut, speed & snow conditions will then determine the arc that the ski creates.
OK, thanks. So no skidding or twisting of the skis at any point in the turn, plus a clean transition with the skis cleanly tipped from one set of edges to another?
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rob@rar wrote:
OK, thanks. So no skidding or twisting of the skis at any point in the turn, plus a clean transition with the skis cleanly tipped from one set of edges to another?


Yes that describes a perfectly carved turn & initiation. However that happens relatively rarely as you often need to change the turn shape to control speed or change direction away from the arc that the ski will create. Hence my use of the description 'carve/skid'. Once you can do a carve like that, even beginners, they can then play with changing between carving & skidding in the same turn because they now have edge control. They learn from basically day 1 however to initiate a perfect carve.

The key issue then is that they learn to go across the skis to initiate a turn rather than rotation as the basic turn movement. Obviously you can add rotation in as well, but as I've tried to explain, the base method has to be across. From there adding rotation is easy but it doesn't work the other way round for most people! So if they're taught rotation first, most never learn to be able to initiate a carved turn & that's where the problems begin. Hard snow, off-piste, low visibility etc are waaayy harder; typical intermediate skier problems.

And that's when you get uninformed instructors trying to fix the problems with 'weight on the outside ski', 'bouncing' etc. Back to my original point, effects being taught as causes instead of fixing the core issue which is a rotational initiation as opposed to a movement across the skis initiation.
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marko wrote:
rob@rar wrote:
OK, thanks. So no skidding or twisting of the skis at any point in the turn, plus a clean transition with the skis cleanly tipped from one set of edges to another?


Yes that describes a perfectly carved turn & initiation. However that happens relatively rarely as you often need to change the turn shape to control speed or change direction away from the arc that the ski will create. Hence my use of the description 'carve/skid'. Once you can do a carve like that, even beginners, they can then play with changing between carving & skidding in the same turn because they now have edge control. They learn from basically day 1 however to initiate a perfect carve.

The key issue then is that they learn to go across the skis to initiate a turn rather than rotation as the basic turn movement. Obviously you can add rotation in as well, but as I've tried to explain, the base method has to be across. From there adding rotation is easy but it doesn't work the other way round for most people! So if they're taught rotation first, most never learn to be able to initiate a carved turn & that's where the problems begin. Hard snow, off-piste, low visibility etc are waaayy harder; typical intermediate skier problems.

And that's when you get uninformed instructors trying to fix the problems with 'weight on the outside ski', 'bouncing' etc. Back to my original point, effects being taught as causes instead of fixing the core issue which is a rotational initiation as opposed to a movement across the skis initiation.
OK thanks for that. I think where I'm confused by your thoughtful comments is that I wouldn't call a "carve/skid" as a carved turn. The terminology I mostly use is "skidded/steered turn", "grippy turn" and "carved turn". From what you have described I think your carved turn is what I would call a grippy turn, and this can be a bit more grippy or a bit less grippy. My approach is to teach the three steering elements as a fairly seamless spectrum, sometimes to work on each of those skills in isolation to improve performance, and then when skiing outside of a technical development session the client should be better able to adapt the way they steer their skis to what ever conditions they happen to be skiing.

I wouldn't dream of teaching a skier with the skills typical of a near beginner to carve their turns, it's just too high speed for them. But that doesn't mean I'm not teaching edging skills, far from it.
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@rob@rar, @rob@rar, I think the discussion highlights how the use of language and terminology in teaching needs to be very carefully considered to avoid unintentional assumptions. If we are not quite agreed on the terminology, a new skier is going to find it even worse.

I often describe 'turns' as 'arcs' for this reason, so that there is no unintentional or even subliminal confusion between what I would like the skier to achieve, ie have their skis describe an arc, and how they might do it, ie by turning something.
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AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
@rob@rar, @rob@rar, I think the discussion highlights how the use of language and terminology in teaching needs to be very carefully considered to avoid unintentional assumptions. If we are not quite agreed on the terminology, a new skier is going to find it even worse.

I often describe 'turns' as 'arcs' for this reason, so that there is no unintentional or even subliminal confusion between what I would like the skier to achieve, ie have their skis describe an arc, and how they might do it, ie by turning something.
Exactly right.
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I love this stuff snowHead snowHead
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FYI @marko,
http://youtube.com/v/0gu0aYtVwCI @1:53
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