Featured You turn the skis - vs - The skis turn you

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by LiquidFeet, Sep 1, 2018.

  1. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Does this phrase resonate with you?
    Do you ever think about these two things as you ski?
    Does your teaching ever reflect anything embedded in this phrase?
    If you take lessons or take part in training sessions, do your coaches ever refer to this phrase?
    If yes, what does it mean to you and how to you deal with it?
     
  2. Wendy

    Wendy Trying not to face plant Skier

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    I am not an instructor. And it has been awhile since I have had a lot of formal instruction, so this is the perspective of an advancing intermediate:

    There are 2 ways in which to interpret this statement.

    1) You turn the skis: The skier has the skills to set the skis on edge, balance on them, and change edges smoothly, making the ski’s design work for her.

    The skis turn you: Otherwise stated as “the skis ski you,” meaning that said skier is on skis that are above her ability level due to construction, length, etc.


    2) You turn the skis: The skier is forcing the skis into the turn via pushing, skidding, twisting, etc.
    The skis turn you: The skier is allowing the ski’s design to work for them, so they can ski with the least amount of effort required.

    I would typically go with description #1 to define the OP’s statement. But I could see how a student would interpret it as #2.
     
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  3. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Well, our trainers at Snowmass spent several training days on this topic with, as far as I know, no consensus on the outcome.

    That being said, I'm starting to work on having the skis turn me. I've been a pusher for a long time and am finally making progress on taking it out of my skiing. I'm trying to find finesse in skiing. That is, rather than trying to do something to the skis, set up the turn so that the result is the skis doing something that I want.

    My coaches at Snowmass would say this all comes about in the transition. You either get the turn set up there, or you are going to start muscling the ski around to try to get ski performance.

    Mike
     
  4. Skisailor

    Skisailor Laziest Skier on the Mountain Team Gathermeister

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    Hi Wendy!!!!!

    For me, this is a simple continuum. The higher the edge angle, the more the ski turns us. The flatter the ski, the more we add the rotational force by turning our legs. It is completely a result of skier intent. All of the talk of twisting or muscling or having to "set it up" at the start makes no sense to me (unless, as we always seem to do, we are talking about the one kind of turn we always talk about). If any of the above things are happening, the skier is simply not matching intent with outcome. More practice is needed in "blending the skills".

    There is no need in my style (in which I try to emulate Ursula) to set something up at the start or all is lost. In fact we practice her "turn shape medley" where the whole goal is to start a turn one way and finish it another. And to use a large diversity of turns literally from turn to turn. Minor sidebar - and no. I cannot even imagine mastering that diversity of turns with a static dorsiflexed ankle.

    Within the teaching context, I talk with students about their 3 choices:
    1) In a pure slideslip, the hill or pitch of the slope controls the rate and direction of their descent.
    2) In a pure carve, the ski controls our descent (we have a very minor ability to tighten the arc by aggressive bending)
    3) Steering - everything in between those two extremes. Where WE are in control of our descent, which we manage by changing the ratio of edging to rotation to go wherever we want to go at whatever speed we want.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  5. Uke

    Uke Who am I now Skier

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    LF,

    My basic idea of skiing is that I ride my skis where I want to go by using the ski to generate the force to move me there. This puts me strongly in the 'the ski turns me camp'. I was teaching 'ride ski guide ski' back in the pre-shape days.

    Can I turn my skis? You bet, in several different ways and I use that turning of the skis to position them to best take me where I want to go given the present circumstances.

    I teach this to my students all the time. Not in these particular ski specific words but 'go there' is embedded in everything I ever teach.

    The Idea has shown up at clinics in the last few seasons.

    uke
     
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  6. Fishbowl

    Fishbowl A Parallel Universe Skier

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    When I am skiing at my best, with good separation and counter, it feels like my skis are turning me. It's effortless. When I am out of sync, I feel like I have to turn my skis, and that's hard work.
     
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  7. Skisailor

    Skisailor Laziest Skier on the Mountain Team Gathermeister

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    It can be work, but IMHO, that would be an indication that you have too much "edge on" while you are trying to add that rotation - not the proper skill bend for "going there" (love that Uke).

    Edited because I didn't say that right at first. What I meant is to say is that steered turns feel effortless to me in their whole range from high to low edge angles as long as I've got the skill blend right.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  8. Rod9301

    Rod9301 Getting off the lift Skier

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    In a pure carve, the ski controls our descent (we have a very minor ability to tighten the arc by aggressive bending



    Actually, you can turntig the radius a lot in a carved turn by pressuring the tips, and pulling the get back.

    Otherwise, it would be park and ride.
     
  9. 4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    Too me it's all about giving the proper input for the desired outcome... & I agree with @Mike King that the key to accuracy happens mostly in the transition. The skis are designed to help you but it is a cop out to think that they will turn you.
    "the skis turn you" makes me think "Park & ride" or very mechanical skiing.

    Does this phrase resonate with you?
    Yes but in more than one way.

    Do you ever think about these two things as you ski?
    Not specifically but I am conscious of the DIRT of my movements.

    Does your teaching ever reflect anything embedded in this phrase?
    Yes, in that I want my students/athletes to have an understanding of physics, bio-mechanics, equipment design & their relationship.
    JF snowshoe.jpg
     
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  10. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    There is no better feeling than riding the side cut in a pure carve.....but it can put you into all kinds of trouble. Park and ride is not a good idea. I'm with Skisailor on this one.
     
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  11. ToddW

    ToddW Outa Here ... No Longer Active on Pugski Skier

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    It makes me think Marcel Hirscher.
     
  12. Uke

    Uke Who am I now Skier

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    If not the skis, what turns you?

    uke
     
  13. Thread Starter
    TS
    LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    I take it that some (maybe not all, though) posting in this thread believe that the only way a ski "can turn you" is in an arc-to-arc carved turn.
    Have I got that right?
     
  14. 4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    If the topic is dynamic skiing, then Marcel Hirscher is a good thought ;) .

    The skis are merely tools. It is how I manipulate the tools, to harness the forces that turns me.
    E5D880F4-8098-472F-8F98-806747097CD3.jpeg
     
  15. Karl B

    Karl B USSA L100 Skier

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    I don't agree with this statement. I teach my students that skis are tools and we want to use them in the most efficient manner. Let's start with a fundamental maneuver, the Wedge turn. I know there are several schools of thought on how to perform this move, but think about this; simple wedge down the fall line and without any other movements in the body, you flex your right ankle applying pressure to the cuff of the boot. Have you turned the skis or have the skis turned you? Without applying any rotary movements I have made the skis turn me. This same movement can be applied to a direct parallel (skidded) turn as well. My skis are turning me w/o any rotary forces. Let the fun begin...

    Karl
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
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  16. 4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    I believe that all you need is for the Ski to deflect in some way for it to turn you. I believe there are a multitude of ways for that to happen. Some are more efficient than others.
     
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  17. Skisailor

    Skisailor Laziest Skier on the Mountain Team Gathermeister

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    I disagree that only in a pure carve are the skis turning us.

    I stand by my continuum concept. The more edge we employ relative to rotary, the more the ski will deflect away from the fall line with the result of causing the skier to turn.

    That said, I also agree with 4ster that it is our intention that causes this to happen - the application of movements designed to increase the edge angle, for example - How we use the tools. But even when we recogniize that our intention is the root cause, a ski on edge which results in more turning force can be said to be turning us, IMO.

    I also stand by my earlier concept that steered turns of any type can be effortless as long as we use the correct skill blend ratio for our intended turn. So I don't think of a highly edged turn as more efficient necessarily (from a muscular effort standpoint) than a highly rotated turn.
     
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  18. Bill Miles

    Bill Miles Getting on the lift Skier

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    Point your skis where you want to go.

    If that doesn't work, go where your skis are pointed.
     
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  19. tinymoose

    tinymoose Getting on the lift Skier

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    As a student, who has a history of Z turns that is perpetually trying to fix that, I would tend to think of the skis turning me as a good thing. You still have to create the movement and setup to have the skis turn you but in my mind me turning my skis is me forcing them around. Which is needed and works in certain circumstances and is totally a useful tool to have, but given my focus of not rushing my turns.... for me now, it's a bad thing.
     
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  20. Fishbowl

    Fishbowl A Parallel Universe Skier

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    The intention of my post was to describe the feeling of skiing rather than the mechanics. To put it simply, when I'm skiing at my best, in that state of unconscious competence, I feel like I am just along for the ride. Hence the feeling that my skis are turning me, regardless of the actual technique employed. And no, it doesn't have to be a pure carved turn.
     

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