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Is carving more tiring than skidding?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@GrahamN Tiring and fatigue isn't only a function of the total (time-integrated) amount of force you're having to face. If I'm skidding over slightly rough snow then I find that the weaker stabilising muscles in the legs have to do a lot of work and quickly get tired, whereas if I was carving through that same snow at the same speed I'd be doing more work - strictly speaking - but it'd be being done by some of my strongest and most endurant muscles.
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I am in the camp that believes there is a bit too much focus on carving these days. It is absolutely a skill that all advanced and expert skiers should have in their armoury but developing this skill should not be at the expense of others. I also think there is an increasing safety issue with the obsession with carving. I see many intermediate skiers who manage to get their skis on edge, albeit normally starting the turn with divergent skis or a bit of skidding, pick up an inordinate amount of speed, and are then "locked" into the turn and unable to transition to a new turn at will. In short, not able to actively pilot the ski, change the turn shape, or make instantaneous speed or direction changes at any point of the turn (to avoid something unexpected/unseen). Many of these skiers have convinced themselves they are advanced skiers because they can carve and can ski faster, but it is inherently dangerous to themselves and others. IME experience the vast majority of "carvers" fall in to this category.

That being said, on moderate terrain carving can be very efficient. There is a simple way to increase that efficiency, using hip angulation - rather than primarily using ankles and knees to generate the edge angle focus more of dropping the hip to the inside of the turn. Of course all 3 joints should always be part of the equation, it is a question of degree. More hip angulation will mean the pressures are absorbed by the larger muscle groups (including the core) and the skeletal structure. When done properly, and in balance, it is incredibly efficient and much more so than skidding.

Carving on steeper terrain is something beyond the capabilities of the intermediate skier and will also be more tiring. I do see quite a lot of skiers attempting to carve on steeper terrain, and I say attempting advisedly. What actually happens in general is they manage one or two carved turns then start skidding more and more at the start of each turn as they get beaten up by the forces and struggle to control their speed. A recipe for disaster in my view as you now have an increasingly tired skier travelling at great speed and locked into the turn, cutting across the slope as the edges bite in the middle part of the turn. I do wonder if those same skiers could make elegant skidded turns keeping a constant speed down the fall line, and am sure it would be more efficient if they could (and safer). Being able to transition at any point of any turn between carving and skidding is the hallmark of an advanced skier, adapting to the terrain, conditions and other people.
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@zikomo, some good points. +1
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What a breath of fresh air it has been to read some of these comments - here I was with the impression side slipping and skid turns were things I should be aspiring to get rid of and that the ultimate goal was to be able to carve down any slope and skip down mogul fields.
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IMO. There's skidding...and then there's skidding.

If you do a big skid, removing most of your speed, giving Z-Shaped turns...this is not good.

If you skid because you have to, rather than because it is sensible to do so, then that is where improvement is needed.

Blending skidding and carving (especially in the one turn), is a pretty advanced skill.

Knowing when to skid, or when to carve, or when to blend, only comes with a lot of experience and being guided by a good instructor.

People who learned before the whole Carving phenomenon, have had to adapt their technique to carve more; people who have learned in recent times, have to learn some old-school skills.
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Old Fartbag wrote:
... People who learned before the whole Carving phenomenon, have had to adapt their technique to carve more; people who have learned in recent times, have to learn some old-school skills.
It depends what you mean.

Carving wasn't invented recently: Ali Ross was teaching it in the 1970s as I'm sure were other enlightened people. I'd say if you learned to carve before "carving skis" were invented then you'll find that gear just makes it all easier and allows you to do more things.
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Quote:
wasn't invented recently


Ha ! It depends what you mean by not recently. I love this video with Didier Cuche skiing a FIS prepared course using kit predating ski boots let alone 'carving'. Look at the ankle wobble at 1m30s Toofy Grin


http://youtube.com/v/lFllPxLEEd0
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philwig wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
... People who learned before the whole Carving phenomenon, have had to adapt their technique to carve more; people who have learned in recent times, have to learn some old-school skills.
It depends what you mean.

Carving wasn't invented recently: Ali Ross was teaching it in the 1970s as I'm sure were other enlightened people. I'd say if you learned to carve before "carving skis" were invented then you'll find that gear just makes it all easier and allows you to do more things.

Yes, I was a big fan of Ali Ross..imo. what he taught was using the ski's design more in the turning process...but it wasn't carving in the truest sense of the word...for that you had to be travelling very fast, with all the weight on one ski and doing fairly long turns. Only expert skiers could achieve it.

Back then, short carved turns were impossible, so there was a fair amount of two footed steering involved.

As someone who learned in the 70s and 80s, I had to be taught/shown how to do "less" and allow the skis to do "more" - while keeping vertical movement to a minimum (especially on short turns). I also had to learn to be more 2 footed (with the uphill ski mirroring the downhill one and not just an outrigger); keep my feet a bit wider apart and ski more "stacked" on longer turns ie. not have everything u/hill ahead of everything d/hill, as used to be the case .

People who have learned more recently, often have to learn how to hover their hips between the skis (as "a" means of control on steeper slopes), to allow short swing turns and high checking angles.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Sat 17-03-18 19:30; edited 1 time in total
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@moffatross, great video - I can now say in all honesty that I ski like Didier Cuche!
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Daft question. Skiing hard (carving or skidding) is tiring. Skiing gently (skidding or carving) is not. Simple Toofy Grin
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“what he taught was using the ski's design more in the turning process...” ... as did any good instructor

“but it wasn't carving in the truest sense of the word...” ... yes, it was. It just wasn’t carving in the current sense of the word. On the phone here so a detailed explanation may have to wait till after skiing but think J shape with maybe some intermediate steering rather than C shaped with little steering.

“for that you had to be travelling very fast, with all the weight on one ski and doing fairly long turns.” Not quite. All weight on one ski, yes. Very fast and long turns only not a requirement.

“Only expert skiers could achieve it.”... hardly! I can remember carving my first turn as a callow youth on an Easter Uni ski trip in 1983. I was far from expert. But I can remember the sensation clearly today.

“Back then, short carved turns were impossible, so there was a fair amount of two footed steering involved.” Again, have to partially disagree. There was a lot of two footed steering but that’s because most skiers couldn’t carve. Also, it was in fairness, pretty normal not to carve all the time or all the turn, even if you could.

But I also remember a day, late season 1990, on my new Rossi 7Ss (cherry red look ZRs !) when I looked back up at a perfectly etched set of short turn arcs I’d carved down a blue-ice frozen river. (Blue slope somewhat off piste back then into Morgins.)
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Carved short turns
http://youtube.com/v/1G0JL9tuTXc Twisted Evil

Yes, there is pivoting between turns, and yes, about as fast as anyone would do it, but clearly the main element of the turn is carved.
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@Old Fartbag,
Quote:


Blending skidding and carving (especially in the one turn), is a pretty advanced skill.

Knowing when to skid, or when to carve, or when to blend, only comes with a lot of experience and being guided by a good instructor.

A+ ,very true. And that's why to me is utterly pointless whole skid vs carve discussion.
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@under a new name,
Quote:

“what he taught was using the ski's design more in the turning process...”

THAT!
Same ski edge and same ski technique was used from the dawn of skiing and the only thing that changed in the meantime are boots,bindings and skies.....and how to use them,to our advantage.
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@under a new name,
And Ingemar's records are still not excelled. Wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@under a new name, These are what I called Carved Short Turns (and Long Turns)


http://youtube.com/v/cWUskCSH6V8
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@Old Fartbag, that’s current technique and kit though. I could do similar on my 7Ss.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sun 18-03-18 9:42; edited 1 time in total
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The epitome of late stage old school short turns.
http://youtube.com/v/E2VOCKmAtOk
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@Old Fartbag,
Quote:

These are what I called Carved Short Turns (and Long Turns)

You're spot on about long turns.
But look at any short turn, slalom promo video from 80's and you'll se exactly same body posture and legwork,only edge hold is better in current one......on flat slope.
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@zikomo,
Very well said 👍
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under a new name wrote:
@Old Fartbag, that’s current technique and kit though.

Exactly my point. You can do carved short turns if you have a ski with 11-12m radius

under a new name wrote:


I could do similar on my 7Ss.

Then I salute you, given they had a radius of 46m.
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RAdius is not everything.
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Indeed, I remember seeing an ESF instructor producing perfectly carved 2-3m radius turns by stamping heavily on his skis so that they bent like a bow.
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http://youtube.com/v/nfZ12UGiisM

Toofy Grin Puzzled
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under a new name wrote:
RAdius is not everything.
Well yes, both ski and boot construction has come a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG way in the last decade or two. What we might call 'punter' skis are designed to be able to carve with much lower physical input from our lardy, unfit carcases. It's an interesting OP. 20 or more years ago it was a real effort and skill to repeatedly carve a clean turn. Today, even mass produced Chinese planks will settle into clean tracks with minimal input and minimal skills and this has essentially made carving and skidding of roughly equal effort . . . Where this changes is at what speed and hill steepness this is attempted.

Whilst you may be able carve sweet tram tracks on a blue, try the same on a lumpy red and you may well find that your skills are over powering your ski construction or your ski construction is far more able than your skills.

As far as the OP's question is posited, that answer is both 'yes' and 'no' depending on the variables of your strength and stamina, the quality of your equipment and your ability to utilise both equally rolling eyes
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I find skidding turns tiring. Generally, I will carve turns on a well bashed piste which is blue or red rated. It does not tire me out with the exception that when I am on blue or red runs which are well bashed, I will be going faster and longer than I would off piste or narrow areas.

I do side slip when it is narrow and exposed, and have been working on jump turns for such narrow conditions which are also steep.

Skidding implies that you are trying to do parallel turns, but have not yet progressed fully to parallel turning (from a snowplough). Sounds like a lesson or two is required as it is much easier just to do the turn. Maybe it is just the terminology, and you mean something else.

My skis are genuine carving skis, and you really feel the power of them when you use the edges. However, you tend to take up a lot of room, and turning circles are pretty wide. I expect it is like the difference between running on trainers, and using blades for feet. You get an extra spring in your skis....
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@auntie masque, I think you missed my point.
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@under a new name, which was?
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Taken from Ron Le Master:

On a 35m (Modern) GS Ski:

65 deg Edge Angle -> 15m Radius
70 deg Edge Angle -> 12m Radius

So I suppose, the question is:
- What edge angles were achievable with straight skis. I don't think riser plates were used, which would limit the achievable angle before boot-out.
- With a much straighter profile and narrower tip and tail - what could you reduce the radius down to, on say a 46m radius ski.

Some specs:

Rossignol 7s: Side-cut: 82 - 63 - 72 Radius 46m Length 193
Rossignol Hero Master: Side Cut 102 - 65 - 82 Radius 27m Length 189 (Factory Plate)
Rossignol Hero FIS SL: Side Cut 116.5 - 67 - 103 Radius 13m Length 165
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Old Fartbag wrote:
I don't think riser plates were used, which would limit the achievable angle before boot-out.

Riser plates were used on straight skis.
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rjs wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
I don't think riser plates were used, which would limit the achievable angle before boot-out.

Riser plates were used on straight skis.

Interesting. Do you know what edge angles were achievable with straight skis?...I certainly don't remember angles that had the hips brushing the snow.
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moffatross wrote:
bum, I said 'most of the others'. Laughing

Do you think the majority of people on steep runs are moving down the fall line at anywhere close to 40 kph + ? Many of them are out of their depth, a lot of the ones that aren't are waiting for their pals who are out of their depth and those who aren't are often negotiating their way around those who are waiting for their pals and those that are out of their depth. The ones that are out of their depth may well be the ones moving fastest of all, i.e. head-first without their skis so maybe they're actually reaching 40 kph + down the fall-line at times Toofy Grin

I reckon that on a steepish busy piste and on sugary snow, it's no problem to sideslip on skis at around a metre to two of vertical per second. So if you're on say a 25 to 30 degree slope, your fall-line velocity will approach 2 or 3 metres per second, i.e. around jogging pace. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near a piste that's got some tadger looking at their GPS to time themselves side slipping, scarving or sliding in some other way under the illusion that they're doing it as fast as they can and in control. There's too much risk of going down at faster than 40 kph on a medic's sledge. Skullie


Really!?! you really think only those who have lost control on skis' can achieve a speed lower than Usain Bolt on spikes?
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@Old Fartbag, you are, I think, ignoring inverted camber and torsional deformation. And a certain degree of inevitable skidding, along at least part of the ski length.
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under a new name wrote:
@Old Fartbag, you are, I think, ignoring inverted camber and torsional deformation. And a certain degree of inevitable skidding, along at least part of the ski length.

I am not intentionally ignoring anything. I thought I was making a fairly incontrovertible statement ie. That (purely) carved Short Turns are not achievable on straight skis, with a radius of 46m+.
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@Old Fartbag, it has far less to do with edge angles than torsional rigidity, longitudinal flex and user skills . . . Then sidecut shape and edge angle.
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auntie masque wrote:
@Old Fartbag, it has far less to do with edge angles than torsional rigidity, longitudinal flex and user skills . . . Then sidecut shape and edge angle.

Are you saying Carved Short Turns are possible on Straight Skis?

Since you won't see a SL ski with a GS or SG sidecut, then sidecut is pretty crucial, surely.
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@Old Fartbag, no, but edge angle is not the primary turn shape control. There have not been 'straight' skis since man used an axe to make them and even then learned pretty quickly to add some sidecut. You couldn't do a short carved turn on 10m skis if they had the torsional rigidity and flex of a noodle no matter how sharp or acute the edge angle
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@Old Fartbag, we’re going in circles Happy

I’d agree that a “purely” carved turn in the modern sense wouldn’t be possible on an old straight ski.

But my argument is only that I <was> carving turns in 1983, on old straight skis.

Long, short, whatever, ... but the active element of the turn was carved by any ordinary definition.
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under a new name wrote:
@Old Fartbag, we’re going in circles Happy

I’d agree that a “purely” carved turn in the modern sense wouldn’t be possible on an old straight ski.


Thanks for clarifying...as that was the only point I was originally making.
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auntie masque wrote:
@Old Fartbag, no, but edge angle is not the primary turn shape control. There have not been 'straight' skis since man used an axe to make them and even then learned pretty quickly to add some sidecut. You couldn't do a short carved turn on 10m skis if they had the torsional rigidity and flex of a noodle no matter how sharp or acute the edge angle

I originally made the following statement - "Back then, short carved turns were impossible, so there was a fair amount of two footed steering involved". I appeared to be challenged, so I defended it.

I am reasonably aware of the factors that go into bending a ski....and have personally experienced what happens when hopping onto something that's too stiff for my weight/ability. Toofy Grin
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