Why can't I carve?

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by Captain Furious, Dec 29, 2018.

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  1. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    wouldnt a 90 be a 1 and 2?
     
  2. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

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    90 degrees would be a 1/1, or 2/2, or 3/3, etc.
     
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  3. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator Pugski Ski Tester

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    We used to do flat across the base (0) and straight up the side (90). Square.
     
  4. tromano

    tromano Goin' the way they're pointed... Skier

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    I had a similar story about 7 years ago. I bought some very old SL skis from @ScotsSkier and took three lessons an instructor who I liked. After the second session where we worked on crab walks and tuck turns I got the feeling of pressuring an edged ski.

    From there I would practice those drills independently for about 20-30min each ski day. After a season doing this I noticed such an improvement with my skiing that I never stopped this habbit. I also adding more drills just to mix it up.
     
  5. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    wow brain fart....
     
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  6. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    @Captain Furious, most people get frustrated learning to carve on too steep a slope.

    Start on a green slope, where the beautiful speed of a purely carved turn will not intimidate.

    Empty cat tracks are a great place to goof around doing pure carved arcs.

    EMPTY!
     
  7. Bill Miles

    Bill Miles Getting off the lift Skier

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    I'm sorry, but I just couln't resist:

    It's not that you can't carve.

    It's that you can't ski and the inability to carve proves it.
     
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  8. Magi

    Magi Instructor Instructor

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    You need to be *over* the skis while you tip them. Tip from the feet/legs (motion of the ankles and femurs in the hip socket). to create edging movements that effectively "grip" the snow.

    Whether your ski slips or grips is determined by the angle between your skis and your center of mass (COM), and I'll refer to that as platform angle. If you want the ski to grip more - you need to have an angle between the ski and the COM greater than 90 degrees (the photo below measures the angle on the other side of my preferred reference frame, and therefore uses < 90) The angle between the ski and the slope/snow (aka edge angle) controls the radius of the turn (by controlling how much the ski can bend), NOT if/how much the ski grips. Edge angle and platform angle are two separate levers that are manipulated as part of good skiing.



    [​IMG]
     
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  9. mister moose

    mister moose Instigator Skier

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    A 1/2 tune is not 90 degrees. It is 89 degrees. A 1/3 tune is a sharper, more acute edge at 88 degrees, that's why higher performing front side skis use it. Racers at ½°/3°
    are on a 87.5° edge.
     
  10. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    yeah I know..not sure what I was thinking when I posted that
     
  11. mdf

    mdf entering the Big Couloir Skier

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    Here is a mantra that helped me when I was remaking my skiing a dozzzen years ago: "first, we have to unlearn how to ski."
    Good carving is easy, but very difficult to let happen.
     
  12. Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    I resembled this quote when I resumed racing in 2002 after a 25 year hiatus. Unlearning my old racing techniques, which took me far back in the 70s, was a real challenge. I thought to myself 'has skiing changed that much?' and answered a resounding 'YES'
     
  13. markojp

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

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    Aaaaaand, old boots with a crap ton(ne) of forward lean and crazy high boot board angles, especially combined with a big calf, modern skis, and the common assumptions about 'getting forward' to pressure the front of the ski, and the opposite will happen. Matter of fact, you may never be balanced well over your feet fore and aft, and you can kiss carving (or simply skiing in effective dynamic balance) goodbye.
     
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  14. Seldomski

    Seldomski Paralysis by analysis Skier

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    Warning: below post is total speculation, since OP posted no video... so I am projecting some of myself here...

    With about 300 days of skiing in last 6 years, I think you will need to commit to multiple lessons or better yet, a multi-day ski camp/clinic(s). You will need to unlearn some stuff and relearn on greens. If the lesson doesn't make skiing feel weird and unnatural, then the lesson was probably a failure.

    The key is having an instructor (and/or video) tell you that the weirdness coincides with better skiing. If skiing doesn't feel different, did you actually change something?

    Then you need to do the weird thing enough that it becomes the new natural. That takes discipline and motivation.

    Good news is you sound motivated. Without that you won't get anywhere. The rest is straightforward... assuming you have some $funds$ to dedicate to the task.

    YMMV!
     
  15. mister moose

    mister moose Instigator Skier

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    I disagree. The ability of the ski to grip is entirely a function of edge angle, the stress modulus of the snow, or how "hard" it is, and the amount of force pressing the edge into the snow, normal to the surface. The position of the center of mass is determined by the rate of change of the direction the center of mass is moving, ie the rotational velocity.

    In plainer language, the more weight is on the ski and the higher the edge angle, the more grip. The angle of the COM and the skis is solely determined by where the centripetal and gravitational forces balance. How you position the parts as depicted in A, B &C matters little to edge hold for equal edge angles and turn rates.

    When you are balanced in a turn (at a given speed and turn rate), the angle of your COM to your edge to the snow surface is the same, regardless of your stance shape.
     
  16. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

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    I remember watching Steve and Phil Maher's instruction video long ago. One of the line that is stuck forever in my mind was "If it doesn't feel strange, you are not changing."
     
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  17. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    Try this. On an uncrowded green run, point your skis straight down the fall line and when they start moving don't try to turn them; just tip them onto their left edges. Tip them to as high an edge angle as you can. The skis will carve if you get them tipped. Your task is to stay on them without falling as they carve a turn. Start with that. Then do the same thing, but tip them on their right edges. I repeat, don't try to turn the skis; let them go where they will, and stay on them.
    Tip the skis; five dollars please. ;)
     
  18. skier

    skier Getting on the lift Inactive Pass Pulled

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    Carving doesn't have that much to do with stance width. You can carve with your feet close together or with your feet apart. I know some instructor's first advice to skiers like you is to pull apart the feet, but there's a number of complicated reasons for this, some of which those instructors may not even understand, but the main reason is just to keep the edges from catching on each other. With high edge angles, the feet will separate at least vertically for all, but not horizontally for some (relative to the legs).

    Some of the best carvers carve on just the outside ski. With weight on one ski it doesn't matter that much where the other ski rides. It's kind of like saying, I have to carve with my hand on my chest. If my hand is in front of me then carving is impossible. Of course that's not true, you can carve no matter where your hands are, though some placements have advantages. Likewise, a narrow stance helps with rapid edge changes, a wide stance helps some instructors feel like they are doing the right thing, or gives great stability in a tuck bombing down the hill.... There are many threads where people argue narrow stance vs. wide stance. I'm just trolling the wide stance contingent. They're a very testy group.
     
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  19. ScotsSkier

    ScotsSkier USSA Coach Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    Repeat after me: stein Ericsson is dead....and so is his style....:eek:

    The issue is nothing to do with edge angles/ tuning. If you are also trying to use a 20 year old boot as marko pointed out then you also need to change that out pronto. Josh makes some great points, particularly about the weight distribution . And, while there are lots of recommendations to take lessons, ypu would need to select an instructor very carefully. No offense, some very good ones here who get it, but, you say, you want to be able to carve like your son who is in a race program, there are some important differences between what a race coach will get you doing and what some instructors will show you, as we have some different objectives. (And No doubt this will upset lots of people here :eek: )
    The good news is that this is not a new issue, as a masters coach I see this on a regular basis . However, as has been pointed out earlier, you need to be prepared to make the effort to change your style and build it in to muscle memory. This will also involve changes in areas where you think it is currently working. Like a golfer rebuilding his swing you need to use the new one consistently, you cannot just switch back and forth.
     
  20. oldschoolskier

    oldschoolskier Out on the slopes Skier

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    I’m going to answer as one who switched relatively recently (about 6-7 years ago) from straights (205 GS race) to modern GS (new year old) GS race at the time.

    1. If I you could carve skis from 20-30 years ago the new stuff will feel heaven sent.
    2. Second, are you on a soft boot or stiff boot? I’m betting boots are on the soft side and not transmitting the directions you are giving.
    3. To really rip new skis all technique is similar, just the timing and sequence has changed slightly. It can be enough that if you didn’t have it nailed before, you can be in for hard time trying to get it now as you’ll be completely out of wack.

    Stance, don’t let the width fool you, the width is not what it appears to be in terms of side to side spacing, but clearance for boot/binding/skis. As angulation increases apparent width increases to allow clearance. Don’t mistake this for stance width. There is a fine difference between wider and too wide. See @razie avitar, narrow stance, wide separation due to angulation.

    If you want a lesson on transition find an good old instructor that learned in straights first, new instructors don’t understand the difference.

    Easiest advice is roll on to the edge with a little forward tip pressure and roll off. Whatever you do, don’t sit back as inside trailing edge catch can cause serious injury (phantom foot/ACL look it up). This is an old habit from straights that is something you should avoid and skill you should lose (it was fun but bad then, now it’s just a serious injury waiting to happen and it doesn’t take much).

    Figure 16 to 40 dedicated hours of transition time (how this translates in to days skiing any where between 2 to 80 days, for me it was about 4-5 days slope time).

    Go out have fun don’t over think it. Ski it old school and let the change happen, roll on, roll off grasshopper. You’ll be ripping it in no time.

    Finally, @ScotsSkier, @Josh Matta and maybe a few others not yet posted (@bud heishman) will give the best guide towards to the transition.

    My 2 cents.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
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