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Old School -v- Nu Skuwl. What Changed?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
As one of the breed who took up skiing in, I think, the early to mid 80's with group snowplough lessons and long skinny skis (stem christies and 200cm by the second week) I understand that my "style" or method is probably outdated.

But what is this new method, if I read the books and listen to advice and even take part in modern lessons, I don't see that there's much that's changed.

What am I missing?

Am I Nu Skuwl without knowing it?

Do I have to call my wife "Bitch"?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
marc gledhill wrote:
Do I have to call my wife "Bitch"?


Not to her face.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
marc gledhill, Shocked

I can certainly address technical changes in skiing, but I can't help you with that too kewl for skewl nu skuwl stuff!

Historically in skiing, turns were initiated by pushing away from the direction of the new turn in order to get the ski turning in the new direction. As an example, in a snowplough (love that spelling!), you'd push your tails out, then put your weight on the right ski to turn left. This approach continued in higher level skiing, when we'd use step turns to accelerate into the new direction, pushing off a diverging ski.

Often, we'd use lifting of the ski (especially the inside ski) and high-energy movements (up-unweighting, down-unweighting, edge sets) to aid the transition to the new turn.

Does this sound like the way you learned to ski?
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Wear The Fox Hat, you got that right! Skullie
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
So, if that sounds like how you learned to ski, how have things changed?

First off, with the technology in modern skis, they will turn you instead of you needing to turn them. All of the work of unweighting, aggressively redirecting the skis, and muscling them around is no longer necessary--and now most often counter-productive!

Instead, the inside foot and ski plays a very vital role in starting the turn, keeping the skis carving, and aiding the transition from turn to turn. Bob Barnes (a PSIA Examiner, member of the PSIA-RM Education Committee, and EpicSki contributor) says it this way: "Right tip right to go right."

To start a turn, tip your old outside/new inside ski downhill (into the new turn). Do this progressively (not suddenly), and let your skis gently flatten and engage on the new edges. Continue to tip the skis and the new edges will engage. Continue to tip and the skis will come around in the new turn. As the skis complete the turn, relax that old outside leg, tip that foot downhill, and transition to the new turn... Note that there is no sudden movement, no twisting, no forcing the turn. They just happen.

That's my initial description. How did I do? snowHead
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Oh, yeah... The stance has changed, too. Much more centered and balanced. Feet hip-width apart (as though hanging from the hip sockets). Must more foot-directed than knee directed.
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ssh, thanks as usual, yep that was how I learned to ski. In a crisis you'll still see that inside ski get lifted as the edge change comes in, and there's still a bit of unweighting going on too. But I was told to unweight by, sort of, jumping down the hill rather than up in the air.

Is that similar to the modern "movement of mass" principles?
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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!
ssh,

I must be old school and am with Marc on that. I tried to ski B2's with my technique and they were miles too slow. I put that down to the ski but I accept I may have been skiing it wrong. The new style you describe fits a skiing buddy of mine who just could not angulate well enough with old skis but now he skis things very well. Just sits in the middle of them , lets them run and pivots them with a great centre of balance. I can get as sniffy as you like about the how and whys but I have to admit he skis our routes as well as any of us.

I still favour short swings but it gets tiring these days, but at least I will go into the new season knowing that I don't have to fight them. The first thing I will do is practice big arcs on piste and see how nippy the can get.

And by the way that is how most UAIGM guys ski, that I know of, and as 'Powderhound' says these are likley to be climbers first and foremost and have come to skiing relatively late..for them, of course..!!

And as an aside, the best skier I have skied with was an old school off-piste guide, which over here is very different to a UAIGM guide.. He had a dream technique and was an inspiration to watch.

I know you teach but do you feel there is a huge difference in the way skiis are going, ie, to such a point that we will all be skiing with the modern technique because the skis with all be of that ilk. I have heard that Volkl's still lend themselves to old school and seeing as they are a Germanic ski that suits the Germanic style.

Am I making too much of this?
Skis I have used these last few years have been:
X Screams..... Do it all but maybe a tad outdated and outclassed
XX's... a fave banker ski.!!
Stockli's.....can't remember which ones but the shop recommended them and they were right...
K2's... Ditto
Ini 7he how and whys but I have to admit he skis our routes as well as any of us.

I still favour short swings but it gets tiring these days, but at least I will go into the new season knowing that I don't have to fight them. The first thing I will do is practice big arcs on piste and see how nippy the can get.

And by the way that is how most UAIGM guys ski, that I know of, and as 'Powderhound' says these are likley to be climbers first and foremost and have come to skiing relatively late..for them, of course..!!

And as an aside, the best skier I have skied with was an old school off-piste guide, which over here is very different to a UAIGM guide.. He had a dream technique and was an inspiration to watch.

I know you teach but do you feel there is a huge difference in the way skiis are going, ie, to such a point that we will all be skiing with the modern technique because the skis with all be of that ilk. I have heard that Volkl's still lend themselves to old school and seeing as they are a Germanic ski that suits the Germanic style.

Am I making too much of this?
Skis I have used these last few years have been:
X Screams..... Do it all but maybe a tad outdated and outclassed
XX's... a fave banker ski.!!
Stockli's.....can't remember which ones but the shop recommended them and they were right...
K2's... Ditto
Ini 74's... No problems...suit me fine..!
Rossi B2's..... No no no....very planky in 182. Might have been too long but I can't forget they have the turning characteristics of an Oil tanker..!!!
Various Solomons....Crossmax 10's..ok but Salomon don't have a monoploy anymore.
but the Superforce 3's was great and the had a waist of 61mm, how long ago was that....!!! and they got me skiing off piste on the Grand Montets the very first time in '94
And I doubt any have a waist greater the 74 mm or so

All of the above are all mountain skis by my definition. In that they make a good fist of everything.
The compromise ALWAYS is between ice grip and powder and moguls...pretty much what I end up skiing through the week. I am sure you know that ice is a big thing over here, we always get ice..!!!
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First, allow me to give my normal disclaimer: if you're having fun, that's all that really matters. Recently, during a guiding clinic at Copper, one of the long-term guides wrote F.I.S. on the snow, pointed at it, and asked us what it meant. After the usual comments about the international governing body of "amateur" skiing, he smiled and said, "No. Fun. Improvement. Safety." These are what we seek.

My crystal is probably as good (or as poor!) as anybody's, but I certainly see skis moving in the direction of "modern" technique. It is easier to ski that way, easier to teach, and makes more of the mountain available to more people. It helps conserve energy that can then be used to ski more, longer, steeper, or deeper.

In this technique, there is no unweighting. While certainly on very steep terrain one is still likely to use a "pedal hop" technique of one kind or another, on most terrain is just not necessary. Stay balanced in the center of the ski, use the new inside foot tipping to engage the edges very early in the new turn, and allow your center of mass (CoM) to flow down hill consistently.

To get an idea of what's possible, visit the PSIman thread on EpicSki. It's amazing that an inanimate object can carve like that! While it is not the be-all and end-all of skiing, it does show what is possible with far less energy expended than most of us do.

Hopefully, this gives you some grist for further thought and discussion...
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JT, not sure why your posts duplicate like that. Do you know?

I am unfamiliar with many of the acronyms you use (sorry, I'm very much a US skier, although I have done business in other parts of the world). None of this is wrong or bad, but some of it may be less optimal than others. I have found that modern technique allows me to ski more longer than I could before. That's why I'm sold on working to continue the change I began last year.
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ssh, we have a problem with any posts over 2048 characters at the moment. There's a thread in Suggestions / Requests. If you have a long post split it into smaller chunks for now.
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Pete Horn, thanks. I had missed that...
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ssh, that PSIman video is great.

But I hate it when a bag of bolts can ski better than I can!!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
ssh,

Well, that told me! my posts waffle too much and duplicate themelves, it doesn't look like that in preview.
Anyway, hopefully not my fault.

My goal for this year, thanks to this MB is to get as fit as I can, go as short as I can, albeit heavy, and just ride them using the hill to kick them up if need be. As I will be looking to be off the back of something as much as poss' maybe 172 may be a better floater, don't know, I'm open. It doesn't sound like the 162 is too easy to overpower and I'm not a 'heavy' skier anyway.

Like the video....!

To unweigh in steeper stuff, I do a double pole plant to throw me forward if need be, drop down and pick up my feet up, or commit to the turn and kick up the heels. Whatever is needed to get up and round. Old school seems to have a tendency to ski over the problem rather than bash through it. Maybe that is why the skis are so damn heavy theses days. The good thing about that may be that it will be easier to crash through breakable crust. Still have a problem with that, but I am going loking for it this year..!!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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marc gledhill, I did a carving lesson at Castleford cost £24.00 for the hour and I was the only person on the lesson so got an hour of intensive carving. Definitely worth it I have not completely got rid of old school style but carving is now more natural. Its almost like letting the skis run and not forcing the turns now.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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In old school skiing on the piste there is a technique described something like knee crossover or thigh crossover. Apparently there is a difference between knee crossover and thigh crossover but I am not sure of the details.

Anyway - this technique involves changing edges and appears to me to be roughly the same as new school carving. Maybe new school uses a slower and/or smoother crossover but it is essentially the same movement.

Would one of the experts explain for me.
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JT, pedal turns are still used in steep situations, but are a bit different then in the old days (more of a "pedal carve"). Hop on your new outside (old inside) ski while taking most of the weight off your old outside/new inside ski (like skipping). Pull the heels up to the butt and let the new inside ski lead the turn by tipping into the new turn, onto the new edge.
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john wells, if you're talking about crossover and crossunder, these still exist in the technique. The major difference is the absence of unweighting. There isn't any!
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marc gledhill, It's very simple: Old skis were sliding machines and new (carving) skis are turning machines. Therefore as ssh, says the ski turns you - you don't turn the ski, and I should like to point out that Ali Ross was saying this in 1973 or 4.

If you've skied for a long time the up-unweighting to start your turn (usually preceded by a downsink and pole plant) followed by a pushing out of the heels is fairly automatic, and most people do need one or two lessons to get the hang of how not to do it. It just seems wrong at first to pressure the ski right at the beginning of the turn and then leave it to get on with it! However, once you do get the hang of it you'll find that it's more fun, you can ski for longer with less effort and more enjoyment. It's all in the biomechanics.

NB that Nu Skool is specifically freestyle manoevres in jumps, half pipe and so on. Using carving skis properly is just called ski-ing properly!!!! Little Angel
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easiski, snowHead Laughing !

Remember down-unweighting? Same purpose, but a bit more subtle.

I have to keep reminding myself to be patient in the early part of my turns, letting them develop naturally instead of pushing and twisting to get the turn going. You may find that useful, too. It helps to drop down to terrain that you consider very comfortable, since that "being patient" part is a real challenge!
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ssh,

Know what you mean about pedal turns and that works for me, just didn't know that is what they were called.

I also know what you mean by waiting for the ski. This is how I felt about the B2...waiting, waiting...too slow..so I pushed and it was not responsive enough. But at least I will go back this year and try the M:b5.
It appears the same as an powder turn without the bounce in that you don't fight those..!!
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I have come to the conclusion that there isn't a great deal between the two camps after all. All red run carvers aspire to do is sweep down the mountain in big wide turns, which is ok if the thing hasn't been mogulled. The initiation of the turn may have changed but as your doing big turns all skis will turn when edged. No effort required here in either camp.
When the terrain gets so you have to be picky where you turn you just roll the edges, again, no real effort here, you just have to be a bit quicker and be centre-balanced. When the terrian gets steep, you need to force the turn by a jump or whatever. This is always going to be the case as if you wnat to turn within the natural turning circle you are going to have to 'help' the ski .

So all in all, no change here. The newer skis make skiing a bit easier and less tiring. The principle is the same; how are going to get the ski on its edge..?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ssh, Oh yes - and I still occasionally do a down unweighting turn just for the hell of it! The patience is the thing though - I always think it's like hanging in the air waiting for the ski to turn. Actually I love this bit of a turn, especially on a steepish pitch.

JT, Everything changes and everything stays the same, but in the early 70's only the very best skiers in the world could truly carve an entire turn from start to finish - now most people can with enough tuition (including elderly ski teachers!)
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JT, exactly. The getting the ski on edge and the amount of edge needed are the big changes. You can easily get onto your new edges very early in the turn (while the new edges are actually the downhill edges! Fun, fun, fun! snowHead

I'll be trying some of these tomorrow, hopefully in some new fluff! snowHead snowHead
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easiski, being patient has been the key for me. Not expecting to turn on the spot, but wait for the ski to do it's stuff (with long cruisy turns on blues/reds as well as short turns on steeper terrain). While you might like this phase of the turn, for me it's still an anxious time for me while I'm waiting for things to happen! An instructor last season suggested I should leave enough time "to make a sandwich" at the start of each turn as I was constantly forcing the ski to work - for some reason that mental image really worked for me and I've tried to be more patient with the skis since then!
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rob@rar.org.uk, I hope he wasn't suggesting you were one sandwich short of a picnic! I know what you mean though, I'm exactly the same.
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rob@rar.org.uk, I worked through this the first time I got on snow this year... And this is my 34th season (not sure how to translate that to "weeks", but I've probably been on snow more than 1000 days)! I know exactly what you mean... Patience is a real challenge during the first part of the turn... Will the skis hold? Will they come around? Will someone hit me from behind?!?! Shocked
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