Wedge Christie feedback

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by karlo, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    I recently took the Level II teaching exam and got the following feedback from the MA portion.

    "...show more effective movements in the wedge christie where the wedge happens as a result of the downhill ski release and not a push of the outside ski up and around."

    I was definitely pressuring my new outside ski, and intentionally pushing it out into a wedge. I now think it should have been a rotation of my new outside foot, rather than a push out. But, what does that mean, "the wedge happens as a result of the downhill ski release"?
     
  2. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    For that exam you are forbidden to push the new outside ski's tail out. No no no.
    Don't even think about the new outside ski. Do not "pressure" it. Do not "rotary" it. Do not "edge" it. Do not move your body over it to "balance" on it.

    Focus instead, in isolation, on the new inside ski. That's the downhill ski when you complete the turn. Flatten it. Flatten it by allowing the leg attached to it to shorten, the ankle to roll, the body to move ever-so-slightly over that flattening ski. When you do this, the new outside ski, still consciously unchanged from a moment ago because you haven't done anything to it, will have more edge angle than your flattened new inside ski. Now you'll have one edged ski and one flat ski. The edged ski will make the turn.

    But how to avoid this being a parallel turn when you the instructor know how to ski parallel?

    Delay that new inside ski's desire to turn along with the new outside ski. You as an instructor know how to ski parallel, but you need to let that inside ski do nothing for a bit, delay its turning, so that you get the wedge entry. Your beginners will have this happening because they don't have enough available RAM to manage two legs/feet doing two different things. Flattening that new inside ski is all they can do. Their outside ski will take over and they'll get a turn with a wedge entry. Because it's edged and the inside ski isn't, the outside ski will dominate and make the turn happen.

    To get the two skis to match at the end of the wedge christie, you need to continue to focus ONLY on the inside ski. As the wedged skis point downhill and start to go across the hill, PROGRESSIVELY rotate the inside foot/leg so that that ski SLOWLY -- S. L. O. W. L. Y. -- comes to match the outside ski. Don't do it fast. I speak from experience in exams here.

    That's it. It's the wedge christie that shows examiners that instructors have not absorbed the idea that starting turns needs to happen with a new inside ski focus, also called a release. It also points out that PSIA is ineffective in teaching its members that releasing is the first thing to do to start a turn, and that allowing pressure to accumulate under the outside foot is the rule, not "PRESSURING" the outside ski. Pressure, in BERP, should not be understood as a verb. PSIA National has for years chosen not to make this clear. Thus the reputation of the wedge christie as the turn that fails people at the LII exam.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  3. epic

    epic Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    That pretty much defines exactly a stem christie. You do want to establish balance on the outside foot at the top of the turn, but instead of moving it away from your body to create the wedge, move your body down the hill and away from the ski that you are now standing on. The edge of the inside ski is released so that it can steer freely, you are extending your outside leg and flexing the inside leg. The distance between your feet should remain pretty much the same all the way through the turn.
     
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  4. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    this^^, OP what you did was actually a Stem Christy not a wedge(spontaneous) christy. Stem christies are sometimes used as exam task in agility and versatility. I do however think you can and should steer your outside ski in a wedge christie.

    In fact I think the easy way to do a good wedge christy is go down the hill in very narrow wedge and steer the outside ski. Balance will transfer to the outside ski(stop trying to press on your skis, pressing does nothing in any type of turn including wedge christies). On green terrain just turning your outside foot a very narrow wedge will almost guarantee your insides ski will flatten with almost no effort. On blue terrain work long leg, short leg and do a delayed but deliberate inside leg shorten at the fall line.
     
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  5. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    What Josh just described works if the pivot point is under the foot, under the arch to be specific.

    Manually turning the new outside ski with the pivot point under the arch is a waaay more powerful way to make a wedge christie work than just releasing the new inside ski. So that should be good, right?

    When all you do is release, on a beginner pitch, at a snail's pace, there is very little momentum. It takes FOREVER for that turn to happen, and in the meantime your poor beginners are falling over because they can't balance very well. Manually rotating the new outside ski speeds the turn up. It shortens the turn.

    The problem is rotating that new outside ski with the pivot point under the arch, not in front of the toe piece of your binding. Good luck on having your back-seat beginners do this, and good luck for many LII cert candidates doing this properly during the exam. If done with the pivot point in front of the toes (because you are slightly aft even though you don't think you are) makes it a stem entry, the thing that fails you.
     
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  6. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    I would contend that if someone isnt able to rotate their ski under their foot they should learn that before attempting their L2.
     
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  7. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Well, yeah.
     
  8. T-Square

    T-Square Terry Moderator Instructor

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    Here’s an old quote of mine from EpicSki: (open it up to see it.)

    Here’s another way to start a spontaneous christi. As you traverse at a slower speed just just move your upper body in the direction of the new turn. This will release the downhill ski and the uphill ski will start to engage the inside edge. The uphill ski will ‘hook up’ and start to turn. This will open the wedge and the turn will start. Just manage it around and twist the skis into parallel to finish the turn.

    There is no movement of the ski uphill. All movements are flowing down the hill.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    what happens when a skier moves their upper body too far?
     
  10. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    The goal of wedge christie is to promote offensive movements--those that go toward the turn direction. A stem of the uphill ski is away from the turn direction, especially if that ski becomes weighted before it reaches the fall line.

    The key is a weighted release of the new inside ski of the turn with significant steering of both.
     
  11. karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    Yes, I noticed the examiner doing that and pointed it out. I then emulated that with exactly this,

    But, having the benefit of using fully rockered skis, I was definitely doing it with most of my mass transferred over my new outside ski. So, I think this,

    is the thing to do, along with flattening the new inside ski as a focus, then allowing the new outside ski naturally turn on its edge. I'll practice that.
     
  12. Magi

    Magi Instructor Instructor

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    Totally agree with everything that @LiquidFeet @epic and @Josh Matta are saying.

    My understanding of the difference between a Stem Christie and a Wedge Christie is highlighted in the release mechanic / ordering of the movements.

    For both maneuvers:
    • Start with your skis parallel, moving slowly.
    • Finish the turn by heading so far back up the hill you *almost* stall out.
    • Speed is not your friend, but you can generally get away with more on a Stem Christie.
    At the start of a Stem Christie:
    • Your skis are parallel, and the new inside ski is on its big toe edge.
    • BEFORE YOU RELEASE (flatten) the new inside ski - you displace the outside ski.
    • After the displacement - you release the inside ski.
    • The wedge is formed because of a rotary movement, and probably a widening of the stance.
    • At/after the fall line, release/steer the inside ski to match

    Contrast that with a Wedge Christie:
    • Skis parallel at start.
    • Release (flatten) both skis. Do *NOT* try to actively tip your new inside ski. (think - "start a pivot slip" or "make a patience turn", with as small an input as possible)
    • Your new outside ski should achieve a higher edge angle than the inside ski naturally.
    • The wedge is formed because differing edge angles cause the skis to turn at different rates. (All else being equal - the ski at higher edge angle will bend more, and therefore rotate faster).
    • After you reach the fall line, you actively tip/steer the inside ski to match.

    Wedge Christies are one of my favorite maneuvers, because I feel they require a great understanding of how to do "nothing". (Travel really slow across the hill, flatten your skis, don't actively rotate either leg, and a wedge christie just kinda happens!)
     
  13. Blue Streak

    Blue Streak Behind the Epic Curtain Skier

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    At the risk of pointing out the obvious.
     
  14. T-Square

    T-Square Terry Moderator Instructor

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    Well to maintain balance the inside ski would have to move down the hill to open up the platform under the center of balance. If not then the skier falls down towards the inside of the turn. Hopefully the skier will move only enough to release the downhill ski and start the turn. However, if you are practicing you could fall over like I did on Quiksilver in Breckinridge. :philgoat: Ski patrol came over to see if I was ok. They heard the thud as I hit. :rolleyes: And they were quite a bit away. :( Yes, it hurt. :doh:
     
  15. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    maybe our COM moving as our feet tip into the turn is a better way of explain it to other instructors and students alike?
     
  16. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Pretty tough when you fall off the Quicksilver chair onto the Silverthorne slope.
     
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  17. T-Square

    T-Square Terry Moderator Instructor

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    @Kneale Brownson you are correct. I haven’t been out there for awhile. Love the Quicksilver lift. Mechanical magnificence loading 12 people at a time on a 6 Pack detachable lift. Great teaching slope. One continuous wide gentle slope that seems to go on forever. I envy the instructors that get to teach there. More time spent skiing and less time riding the lift.
     
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  18. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    I have never listened to the music for that video. A little macho for wedge christies.
    The pivoting of the new outside ski (appropriately under the arch) is clearly visible.
     
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  19. Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    Folks, please keep this discussion on topic. Karlo needs help with a test task, please help if you can or just move on. Questioning the exam itself will not help. We just moved a bunch of posts to their own discussion, but it's costly for us. Let's keep high quality discussions. Thanks!
     
  20. Magi

    Magi Instructor Instructor

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    No.

    A Wedge Christie is the skier tipping the outside ski more than the inside ski, and as a result the outside ski turns faster than the inside ski (creating a wedge or converging relationship between the skis). Inside ski goes to flat, outside ski goes to slightly tipped on edge.
     
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