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Carving

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This area was looking a bit quiet, so I thought I'd try to use it to catch up u brain in the number of posts stakes!

I'm a '5 week' skier and have pretty much got the hang of the old parallel turning thing. No one has really tried to teach me carving yet, although I've discovered that if a roll my skis onto their edges as I traverse I do the carving thing - what do I do next?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
That's about it - just let the skis run. I had a carving lesson with New Gen last year and my friend asked how to carve on black runs....the answer - "only a lunatic would attempt it" rolling eyes

You need a nice wide blue slope, and just roll your knees, letting the skis take their natural course. When you are going straight across the slope roll them again in the other direction Cool
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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?
On that nice wide blue, control your speed by how much you curve back uphill before you change edges again. Go faster by changing edges sooner before you are traversing across the slope.

Works on reds also if you are a speed merchant like u brain.
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On my new skis, you just need the slightest turn and you start carving. Its a bit disconcerting; if you over do it (ie. put the same effort in as I used to on my atomic beta-carves) you end up carving up hill!

They also accelerate out of the turn which gives you the willies if you are going down a tricky or crowded bit! I feel that I've gone backwards a bit at the moment, I've lost a bit of confidence. I suppose its just a matter of sticking with it and getting used to them.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
What are your new skis?
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Nordika SUV's
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Are those the big 4x4 jobbies that block the the roads around primary schools?
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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!
I kept getting told off by my instructor for trying to 'turn' a carve. Just shift the weight to the inside edge of the ski and hey presto - it starts turning all on its own!
Great thing to do on flat blue slopes that are used for connecting different areas of the mountain - which were starting to feel a bit boring - now I do lovely sweeping curves down them...
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When you look to put in your turn, get your pressure on early and you'll just turn - it's sooooooo cool!

Ian, I was at the same level when in Tignes last Dec - 4th week. Slowplough and I took a 2 hour lesson with Evolution2 and heh presto! We were executing carved turns. Since then had another 2.5 hours, and I can't believe the difference - ski=ing to Ski Sunday theme tune!! Wink
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I think I'm having a conceptual problem here and really I need a blackboard and maybe nested numbered points to do it justice wink

All my carving does for me so far is give my traverse an uphill curve (my tranverses being almost at right angles to the fall line). Is the idea that to make the turn at the end of the traverse I need to roll my skis over onto the other edge?

We're hoping to get some private lessons in VT when we go in April, so proper carving can be our target Smile
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
You can't turn before you change edge Ian!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
OK, here we go:-

THIS POST DELETED FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS

Alan Craggs
lemon sqeezy Cool


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Tue 10-02-04 0:20; edited 2 times in total
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Alan - what are you, an instructor or something! wink
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I will print this out and clutch it in my sweaty glove as I plummet down the mountain Smile
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Sounds like I went and bought a lively pair!!!!!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
While this site appears to have been having a few tech problems this evening I had a quick look at j2ski - I see The Mac Daddy is over there Elizabeth - and a contributor Davidof who is quite articulate refers to certain of the old Club forum posts containing "cuts and pastes" from other sites and that this is a breach of copyright. I freely admit that the above quote is from Bob Barnes of epicski.com, as were some of my posts on SCGB. As such I suppose I should delete it asap, but for more in the same vein Ian I suggest you look at Bob's posts. In the meantime I shall try and paraphrase but not plagiarise... rolling eyes
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
You'll probably find that if you put a link to the relevant site, or properly credit the quote, then you'll be okay to quote. It's when you try and pass it off as your own that it becomes plagiarism.
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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?
Elizabeth has it spot on!
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
Or as Tom Lehrer sang:

Plagiarize,
Let no one else's work evade your eyes,
Remember why the good Lord made your eyes,
So don't shade your eyes,
But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize -
Only be sure always to call it please 'research'.

(If you don't know him Lorraine he also did the periodic table song)
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Well I always felt it was cheating to copy and paste but I'm a lazy git so I did. Here's a way to get carving Ian in my own words. If you want pictures that'll take a bit more time Wink

a) get yourself some tidy skis as we say here in Cardiff
b) find a nice long open run, not too steep
c) make sure you have lots of patience - this is the key ingredient
d) get into a WIDE snowplough with a larger than usual gap at the front - say 12 - 15 " instead of 5-6.
e) set off down the fall line in a good athletic balanced stance with your legs flexed.
f) put one ski as much on edge as you can (ie almost vertical to the snow) whilst flattening the other one.
g) feel the edged ski bite into the snow and start to run along its edge. You should not be moving quickly (wide plough remember and gentle slope) so if you have PATIENCE the ski will take you around a long curve if you just stand on it (same as your long traverse but this time you are heading down the hill)
h) when you have gone far enough on that ski, flatten it and edge the other one just as dramatically.
i)if you have got this right that ski will run along its edge and take you in a curve the other way - NO turning, pivoting or other bodily movements please, keep the faith.
j) try and get into a rhythmic series of these curves from one direction to the other
k) if you get into the rhythm try making the time between changes of direction shorter, but do NOT change the way you are doing it - ie still rely only on the edged ski to turn you, no naughty turning of the ski by you.
l) if, having picked up a little speed and found a nice rhythm, for some strange reason you find that both skis want to edge and go the same way, then let them (you may find that a little "encouraging" pivoting of the inside ski with your leg will assist here, but it should feel as though it's what the skis want to do naturally)

There you are, put myself out of a job.
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Alan - I think it is much better in your own words! I now have a clear picture of what I'm trying to do and it makes physical sense (apart from the bit about me looking athletic)

I will give this a go in April and report on progress Smile
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Alan

Thanks for that and the other contributors - we're hiring some carvers when we go in March and although worried that the print outs might get soggy on the slopes!

But at least we may be able to progress a bit ourselves prior to a lesson.

Lawrence Very Happy
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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!
I'll try and post some pics if I can do so without infringing copyrights and I can find the time. Cool
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
"Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research."
- Wilson Mizner (1876-1933)
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Thinking about this I reckon some videos might be in order. No copyright issues if they are mine. I shall see what the weekend weather is like and what can be done. Watch this space rolling eyes
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Carry on at this rate Alan and we'll have to come down to Cardiff for some lessons!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I should have some video of me practicing some basic carving turns soon. It was recorded in Snowbird a couple of weeks ago.
Two turns to try are "Patience Turns" and "Cowboy Turns".
Patience turns:
On a blue run, roll your skis onto edge and let them carve you round a turn. Keep the turn going until you are going uphill, and just as you are about to stall, release the edges, i.e. roll the skis from one edge to flat, and then over to the other edge.

Cowboy turns:
(OK, it's the American name for them)
Once you get the hang of carving a turn, then the thing is to lead with your inside knee. This will engage your edges more effectively. (It's called a "Cowboy turn", cause when you move your knee, you are briefly bow legged, like a cowboy). What I mean is, if you are wanting to turn to the right, move your right knee out to the right. This will put the inside ski onto edge, and also helps get the inside leg out of the way.
Whatever you do, don't try it with the old-style narrow stance, you need to be in a neutral stance, feet about hip width apart.

If you want a quick way to pick up carving, and also a good way to find your balance, get a pair of skiboards (snowblades). These things aren't designed to be skiied flat, so force you to ski on edge.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
WTFH - you need a shorter name! Thanks for the post, it says in 2 paragraphs what my "censored" post did in 2 pages (but then Bob Barnes does enjoy a good natter). I checked on epic ski and can't find anything which says you can't copy and paste - they seem to consider posts as being in the public domain.

Anyway, if you want to post a video for general viewing I have a video site http://www.skicardiff.com/videos/ here but given the number of people on this forum gawd knows what it'll do to my bandwidth. Email me if you want to know how to get one on there.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Alan, I'm glad you liked it.
Basically, it's a summary of what Joan Rostad taught me 2 weeks ago, and is based on a teaching plan drawn up in conjunction with Bob, who is a great man to ski with.
Sorry about the name, it was WTFH, but I was asked to lengthen it for the sake of decorum.
I'm waiting for the video to be posted to me (prolly on CD), then I'll contact you for hosting.
As for copying posts from epic, there's no rules on epic to say you can't, BUT, the posts are property of the posters, so you'd need to contact BB to copy his post.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Thanks w - it's probably shorter to link to them anyway if that can be done, I must try it and see. Looking forward to the video.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Following the advice above should definitely help. The only problem you may have, once you've found the right piste to try it on, is the fact that you end up going FAST! Basically when your skis are skidding, you are dumping speed all the time, whereas when your skis are tracking cleanly on edge, the speed control comes more from your turning across or even slightly up the hill, before changing edges and going into the next turn. The excess speed may be scary at first, but you should find that you are actually much more stable when your skis are on edge, and this confidence should allow you to gradually carve on steeper runs - yes, sometimes even blacks, when they're covered in nice packed powder or soft corduroy!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Well you should know Glen Cool That's why I suggested the nice gentle slope to Ian, no need to turn uphill therefore much easier to make the transition. Ian - please note that this is an exercise to get the feel of carving. For speed control on steeper slopes you need to add a steering element, which is the part that gives people grief.
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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?
Hope you don't mind a Yank on the list! Cool

Think of carving as something you do with both skis/feet at the same time. You may even want to get the sense that you are edging the same on both skis. I've got a number of drills that I can suggest, but I want to browse a bit before I get too effusive; it may be too much for ya'll! Wink
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All welcome on SnowHeads, Steve Smile
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hi Steve
We are not parochial over here even former colonials are welcome.

Slowplough
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To make sure your edges are nicely cutting into the hill reach down and put your hand on your lower boot, this will force your knees into the hill (assuming you've not got long, floppy gorilla arms).

As for going up the hill - surely this proves i) you're carving properly and ii) you're finishing your turns properly! Wink
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
It's always difficult to say everything you want to say on these matters and remain succinct - hence my failure to stress speed control in the first post. Alexandra, you're right that some reaching exercises can produce knee and maybe hip angulation, but reaching down / dropping shoulders actions are generally frowned upon these days so maybe you should also stress that this is an exercise to give you the feel of something, not the way you would actually ski Question

Similarly, my "edge lock" exercise as above uses excessive knee angulation, at least in the plough phase since it's difficult to move your hips in a plough Wink
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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!
I found the warren smith (or is it miller? i get confused Laughing ) ski academy 1 very good at explaining and showing the theory behind carving. The first time you do a carved turn it feels good, oh yes Wink
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
As a selftaught carver and parraller? here are my thoughts for what ther'e worth:
Speed,you must embrace it.I have seen many stumble & edge trip from the lack of it?IMHO you cant do either effectivly without building up a bit of speed?Nice wide blue,set off across fall line and feel for the edge.Avoid holding a plough(easy to say I know)The longer you do plough,the harder to break.Early pressure to the uphill ski will initiate the turn(imagine you are on a bike and push down on the ski just before you turn)Roll into the turn,edges.You must be dynamic and relax.Stiffness is the enemy.Think positive.Whats the worst that can happen?you fall over.So what,everyone does.Try not to anaylise too much.Feel,feel,feel.You will know when its right.Make sure you have the right kit.You will really struggle with the wrong skis or boots that cripple you!!Most important thing I ever learnt;
just go for it.You are the one that has got to ski the mountain,no one can do it for you.You can do it and the rewards are fantastic.The reds & blacks are waiting for you.Just remember;never say "I can't".
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The best help that I have had to get to grips on carving was from a video made by Alistair Scott for the Sunday Times in 1989. In the video you meet a bunch of rather ungainly skiers with stiff legs doing less than confident "stem christies". Our teacher tells the folks to forget about the poles for the time being and to ski the fall line and gradually make the turn by hard downwards and inwards pressure from your hand on your knee of the downhill ski. No sudden movement of the legs - just roll and with your hand apply pressure your downhill knee. This also helps getting the body in the right position over your skis. In the beginning it takes a bit nerve as you gather speed through the fall line. Just hold on and keep the pressure downwards and inwards with your hand on the downhill knee, and as you pull out of the fall line into the traverse and slow down by turning gently towards the uphill direction. Just reverse the pressure on the other leg to turn in the other direction. Once you have got the drift remember what to do with your legs and start to plant your poles rising a little at the begining of the turn to help the unweighting and then pushing down, rolling the skis through the arc of the turn.
I can honestly say that careful watching of this video more than anything else gave me increased confidence and got me going, having been on the plateau of mediocrity for 15 years. Hope this helps.
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