Classic PSIA Medium-Radius Turn

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by Tim Hodgson, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Tim Hodgson

    Tim Hodgson Booting up Skier

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    Would someone please explain how to do/what sensations I should feel when properly doing the Classic PSIA Medium-Radius Turn?

    I mean a non-carved, flatter ski or "brushed" rounded turn on groomed slopes.

    One of the differences I have observed between the typical PSIA cert. Alpine Level II and Level III (at least it seems to apply in my case) is that the stereotypical Level II is overly active using effort to create pressure and edging (and I am all over the place about when and where to do even that) while the stereotypical Level III looks like they are skiing effortlessly and merely managing the resulting pressure and edging.

    I am a box of rocks rumbling around with no understanding of what works and how it works. Should I pull both feet back and move my hips forward? or downhill? Should I push my new outside hip and knee forward and close the ankle pressuring the tip while pulling the old outside ski back and closing the ankle and pressuring the tip? Should I push the old outside ski forward and around, etc., etc., etc.? I am pretty much clueless.

    This is really frustrating, because I am smart enough and observant enough to see the effortless skiing in Level III's (many of whom didn't start in their 30's like me but who started skiing as children), but I can't do it because I am not a natural athlete and I don't know how, when and where to do it.

    I tried to find a diagram of the anatomy of an alpine ski turn labeling the various phases of the turn so that we could all be on the same page in our descriptions, but I couldn't find one. So, if anyone has such I diagram, would you please post it up so that we can all understand what phase of the turn you are describing?
     
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  2. Magi

    Magi Instructor Instructor

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    Foolproof method: Come to Winter Park on the 4th, 5th, or 6th of May and I'll teach you. :)

    Text on the internet method:

    Level 3 skiers have better precision and accuracy in everything, relative to a cert 2 skier. You're seeing the outcome of all that as they blend movement patterns. A cert 2 skier may start the turn with a small but real upper body inclination/rotation. A cert 3 skier will (at least) be more subtle about it. A cert 2 skier may not spread the rotary of the turn over the entire turn - similarly they will tend to develop an edge angle and hold it, while a cert 3 will tend to progressively tip up to an angle then tip down. A cert 3 will better exhibit flexion and extension to aid in the management of pressure and edge release during the transition.

    A PSIA Cert 3 skier will be better at executing and blending all of the alpine fundamentals (aka everything):
    • Control the relationship of the center of mass to the base of support to direct pressure along the length of the skis.
    • Control the pressure from ski to ski and direct pressure to the outside ski.
    • Control edge angles through a combination of inclination and angulation.
    • Control the skis rotation (turning, pivoting, steering) with leg rotation, under a stable upper body.
    • Regulate the magnitude of pressure created through ski/snow interaction.

    So the simple answer is: do all of the above, and blend them in a way that you get the turn shape you want.

    More involved is:
    • The body stays over the center of the sidecut of the skis throughout the turn (possibly with a subtle but real shift toward the front of the ski at the initiation of the turn.
    • Pressure stays more to the outside ski than the inside (and the upper body is aligned to the base of support to allow that).
    • The first (and primary movement for edging) is tipping the legs.
    • The legs turn at the same rate under a stable upper body, and the legs turn *more* than the upper body does through the turn.
    • Flexion and extension are used to regulate pressure between the skis and the snow (generally you'll see the L3 flex at the transition, L2's may reverse the pattern or not use enough / time it less precisely).

    Go buy a PSIA Alpine technical manual if you want a solid reference to PSIA terms.

    Parts of the turn in a follow up.
     
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  3. Magi

    Magi Instructor Instructor

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    Level 3 skiing isn't effortless - it's a metric shit-ton of practice that seems "effortless" because the brain has automated it and/or can correct faster than your untrained eye can spot the problems in the skiing.

    A new driver who can barely steer while shifting the clutch that thinks it's magic that someone else can drive while listening to the radio, holding a conversation, and eating a snack. Beginning driver = can barely cope with cognitive load of straight road. Experienced driver = risks falling asleep because everything is almost automatic. A L3 skier is an experienced driver

    L3 will take you a few hundred days of focused practice to reach - and it doesn't matter what age you're starting at as long as you have a body that still works (and even then - adaptive is a discipline that I deeply respect as well).

    L3 Skiing isn't a natural gift handed to a select few. (You want to be a WC champion we're gonna talk genetics, L3 is decidedly human). I have yet to meet someone that couldn't reach L2 cert with enough effort and training. I feel pretty similarly about anyone under the age of 50 for the L3, and ski regularly with folks in their 50's 60's and 70's who are at or *will* reach the L3 standard. You can't do it without time, effort, and guidance.

    Go read the book "ultimate skiing" by Ron LeMaster that I recommended to you in my lengthy response to the PM you sent me a week or two back. Go Read the "alpine technical manual" from PSIA. No one can do this work for you - if you want it - get involved in a ski school with a good training program and get what you want.

    Ask someone who can do what you want to do if you can go ski with them for a bit. failing that - buy a private lesson with an L3 or examiner.

    ====================================================

    Turn parts:
    Some references in the turn are completely clear: "Skis most Across the fall line" and "skis most down the fall line".

    I like to use those to talk about turns. The "initiating, shaping and finishing" or the "beginning, middle, and end" of the turn are all slightly different depending on the intent, terrain, speed, etc...

    The "initiation" of most turns starts when you are decreasing your current edge angle, in order to get to the new edge. This usually happens in between "most down" and "the new "most across" for the skis.

    The "transition" is generally the time just before the skis go flat, the period the skis are flat, and the period just after the skis engage on the new edge. Roughly just before and just after a "most across" for the skis.

    The "Shaping" phase is the period where you're determining how high to tip the skis and how much to rotate them to change how much they bend/steer in order change the radius of the turn. Generally from after "most across" in one direction till you start initiating the next turn.

    The "finish" of a turn is basically a shorthand for the "end" of a turn, and I don't find it super useful when you're talking about linked turns.
     
  4. Doby Man

    Doby Man Chasing the Dragon Skier

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    The turn finish or end is as important as any other part of the turn. A ski turn is a single organism that is wholly, universally, reliant upon itself. One turn is one movement cycle, one crack of the whip, one “snap” of the kinetic chain, one stomp, one good poor of a single malt into the rounded bottom of a shot glass. Referring to this last turn stage as the turn “completion” gives it the essence of its importance. This is where the results of the direction the skis are facing at the point of disengagement bleeds through transition and feeds directly into the next initiation. What we do in turn completion IS what happens in transition. What we do in transition IS what happens in turn initiation and so on. It determines how we manage our momentum right before the one and only point in the turn (transition) where we give up its control. This is the stage where correctly timing edge disengagement will determine how much ground force reaction we can produce from the turn.

    Turn completion could be said to have more influence on actual turn shaping than the “turn shaping” phase (2) itself since it is more about how long we hold onto the high tipping we strike at phase two at the end of the turn in phase three. It is as important where the CoM is located in relation to the BoS in this phase as it is everywhere else because it is a relationship that is constantly on the move in all three planes. Think “finishiation” and especially now where the transition in high end technical freeskiing is very quick. That said, I feel that for a number of reasons and especially that people tend to place too much specificity to a term based on their “personal” language usage habits, that turn phases 1 - 3 and transition are best overall. Otherwise there are many terms we could use in describing/labeling the three turn phases.

    The benefit to breaking a turn down into chronological divisions is helpful to provide a structure of identification to aid in the communication of technique from one to another. However, that is not to say that the tun must be kinesthetically conceived in such a way, as pieces and parts. When we think about the flow state we wish to achieve, there is only one piece, one part, to a turn. Technically, flow is not even described in terms of a single turn but rather a “set” of turns. To me, a “turn set” is a set of linked turns that all share the same duration otherwise referred to as rhythm. A good turn set that has good flow has little or no “shift” in the flow aesthetic, no “kink” in the kinetic chain, no junction in the function as one turn seamlessly blends into the next.

    I have a much longer diatribe for phase one, initiation, but I have to be able to have a touch more control of the audience in order to get all in:


    Phase One
    [​IMG]

    Phase Two
    [​IMG]

    Phase Three
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    The biggest single thing observable between an L3 (who skis strongly to standard a la ski snow interaction) and an L2 candidate is that L2's rarely ski from their feet. It's often that simple, and a truncated take on what Magi says repeated here for enphasis:

    "A cert 2 skier may start the turn with a small but real upper body inclination/rotation. A cert 3 skier will (at least) be more subtle about it. A cert 2 skier may not spread the rotary of the turn over the entire turn - similarly they will tend to develop an edge angle and hold it, while a cert 3 will tend to progressively tip up to an angle then tip down. A cert 3 will better exhibit flexion and extension to aid in the management of pressure and edge release during the transition. "
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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  6. Tim Hodgson

    Tim Hodgson Booting up Skier

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    Magi: I have honored the time you put into your posts so far in this thread and your pm to me by buying the current version of the PSIA Alpine Technical Manual in paperbook form along with digital media version. I have also purchased the 2010 edition of the Ultimate Skier directly from Ron LeMaster's website (I read his Skier's Edge 18 years ago): http://www.ronlemaster.com/

    Doby Man: Adding the concept of "flow" to the mix is very helpful. I would have missed it. Because I am not sure that I have actually ever felt it skiing.
     
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  7. skier

    skier Putting on skis Skier

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    Is there a demo video of the turn type in question?
     
  8. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Level 2:



    Level 3:

     
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  9. Tim Hodgson

    Tim Hodgson Booting up Skier

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    Mike: Thank you for the two PSIA-RM Dynamic Parallel videos. Between the two videos, the first is more like what I am describing because it shows more guided brushing and less carving.

    But really both videos show more edging that what I presently want to develop in my skiing. What I see in Level III skiers that I would like to emulate is that classic more upright, less carved, rounded "skidded/guided/steered" turn.

    When I follow a Level III on the same run, slope and conditions, who is skiing upright in the manner which I am trying to describe (and to emulate), especially at speed, I am bounced all over the place. But the Level III guides or steers his or her skis in a rounded turn without being jostled at all. I see it, so I know that it can be done, but I can't do it that way. In fact, I fall back on a lower torso, more flexed knees, and more edged turn to compensate for the bouncy-ness which I would otherwise experience trying to ski flatter like the Level III's turn which I am trying to describe.

    I guess that what I am really describing is a Basic Parallel turn. But with skis closer together. Very smooth and apparently "effortless" but at a much higher speed than in this video:



    More like this but at higher speed and much less obvious flexion extension:



    P.S. Our mountain's trainer (and others) said what was missing my personal skiing and which was previously missing in my teaching was Rotation...
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  10. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Tim, it would be most helpful to see some video of your skiing. That being said, I suspect what you are missing is the ability to move with the ski. Moving with the ski results in the tail of the ski following the same trajectory as the tip. There isn’t a push of the ski to edge or a displacement of the tail to change the trajectory of the ski. This results in a smooth(er) ride than one where the snow is traveling across the width of the ski rather than along its length.

    I’ve been working over the past three seasons to change my skiing and achieve such a result. It is not an easy thing to do, or at least has not been for me. But it opens the door for all sorts of ski performance, including carved and drifted turns. In terrain or on piste.

    Post up some video and we can take it from there.
     
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  11. Uke

    Uke Who am I now Skier

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    In another place, at a different time, as a different person I once wrote something like:

    So many of the L3 candidates I see are working hard to make things happen, the successful ones just lurk in the center and direct traffic.

    Think I'll still go with that.

    uke
     
  12. Tim Hodgson

    Tim Hodgson Booting up Skier

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    Mike: This is an obvious point which I was clueless about until you said it:
    I suspect that in my desire to learn to "brush" a round turn throughout its entire arc, that I am in fact skidding sideways too actively. I can skid a very round arc, but my body is jostled while doing so.

    Uke: Zen-like subtlety is not one of my strengths. I teach by exaggeration and I have tried to learn through exaggeration. And exaggeration is exactly the opposite of the turn which I desire to achieve and of which you speak.

    I am afraid to post up any video. but if I get my work done this week, maybe we will ski Squaw this weekend and I will have my wife take and I will post up a video of my jumbled up box of rocks poor skiing.
     
  13. Nancy Hummel

    Nancy Hummel Ski more, talk less. Instructor

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    Tim, I agree with Mike. Video will help us see what you are doing. It is hard to give suggestions without seeing the real.
     
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  14. skier

    skier Putting on skis Skier

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    If I understand which turn you're after, there's typically more steering at the top of the turn. At some point during transition the skis are flat, and it's easier to rotate the skis when they are flat. Near the bottom of the turn, there tends to be more edging and carving. It may be that you are trying to rotate the skis at the bottom of the turn, when you need to let them carve more, and then maybe not rotating enough at the top of the turn before the edges start digging in. Steering at the top of the turn and carving at the bottom of the turn should blend together, so that it's hard to tell when one begins and the other ends.
     
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  15. jimmy

    jimmy Mixmaster Skier

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    Tim I think you the turn you are working on we call open parallel in Eastern Division, slightly skidded round turn. How are your Railroad Tracks? Just a suggestion but it might be easier to learn to skid more than it is to skid less :). Start with the focus on making railroad tracks on easier terrain. You said subtlety is not one of your strengths but these moves are subtle. Focus on edgy turns and as you gain momentum let the ski skid-slide-slip, get a feel for the point where the edges release-engage-release. See how this looks on video.
     
  16. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    I'd probably take a very different tack. I'll bet most of Tim,'s movement issues can be seen clearly in gliding wedge christies and matching to parallel. I'd say to deconstruct and build fundamental movements from the feet up. Of course vid would do wonders in helping him establish a critical path forward.
     
  17. Tim Hodgson

    Tim Hodgson Booting up Skier

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    skier: Thank for stating that the skidding should start at the top and become more edged throughout the turn. I thought that rounded arcing skidding was to occur throughout the entire turn. I will try that.

    markojp: Quit watching me ski when I don't know you are around! I consistently default to a downstem when I get overwhelmed/afraid in the bumps. I believe my fundamental issue is Balance, but I don't know where, when, how and what it should feel like.

    jimmy: I would like to see a video of me doing it, because it probably is all wrong and goofy, but I can ski rounded edged turns from start to finish, retracting and "tripping" over the edge with my CoM moving down the hill rolling onto the new edges. So, although I am no heluvaskier, I can carve somewhat. Although my fundamentals are likely screwed up there too, our mountain's trainer specifically said that what was lacking in my skiing and teaching was Rotation.
     
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  18. PTskier

    PTskier Been goin' downhill for years.... Pass Pulled

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    Rotation means, to most of us, twisting the upper body in the direction of the turn. This is bad; it's a very limiting movement. You need to find what that guy meant by his use of the word "rotation." Could he mean rotary? More rotary movement to steer the skis?

    In this shot from the video above, note how his skis are turning right while his shoulders & hips are turning left. This is counter-rotation.

    upload_2018-5-1_15-45-11.png

    Are you jostled around because your knees aren't slightly flexed and acting like shock absorbers? Too heavy on your heels? If that's not it, we need video.
     
  19. James

    James Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    He meant rotary.
     
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  20. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    Tim, have you had anyone look at your boot set up?
     

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