Advice needed Intermediate learning to carve

maurice101

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This is a follow up post from my private instructor post a few weeks ago. I got to do a few more days working on my carved turns at Mt Hutt.
For those intermediate skiers that slide all their turns, some might be interested to know what I did to learn to carve a turn without any lessons. Carving turns is very addictive and is a great feeling. Its taught me to edge my skis much more and have more control even when I do some sliding in turns on steeper slopes.
First I practiced going from one edge to the other edge as much as possible with ski boots on at home and balancing on the new edges. Then I practiced this on flat snow with skis. Then on a slight slope. This was challenging as the downhill ski would want to slide out. If I went fast from edge to edge it would dig in rather than slide.
Then a slight downhill traverse, put the ski on edge while holding poles to stop sliding and then carve up to stop. Then a steeper run. Then straight down the fall line. So this taught me what it was like to ride a carved turn with no sliding at all and to use the upper body to balance with a ski on a higher edge angle. I expect many intermediates have never felt what it feels like to ride a carved ski edge.
Next I worked on the first part of the turn. What worked for me was to transfer all the weight from the stance ski to the other ski still on the little toe edge. Ones body needed to face up the hill in a sense to do this. Then use the new light foot knee to move out by tipping the foot in the boot. (phantom move). This caused the stance ski to start to edge and a carved turn resulted.
I found a narrow stance worked best for this move.
So I was doing long radius pure carved turns on easy slopes. I wanted to learn to have higher edge angles.
I found flexing (or going down) by relaxing the stance ski leg worked much better than rising on transition from between one turn to another. This allowed a much smother turn as I could get on a new edge much sooner compared to rising on transition. I did boot touching exercises when turning to learn how to flex lower in a turn.
Next I found that flexing allowed the new stance foot to extend and arc out and that my body flowed down inside the turn. My hip was already lower to the snow from the flexing. This allowed a much higher edge angle to result much earlier in the turn allowing more speed control, and a tighter carved turn resulted. I could let the light ski arc up wider to help this. I was just working out how to handle the huge increase of pressure from the carved turn and the correct amount of upper body bend and hip rotation to balance when I had to go home.
Another breakthrough for me was realizing that I had to hold the big toe edge of the stance ski as I flexed before the phantom move. This allowed the energy in the turn to flow into the transition which allowed a floating feeling when fully flexed.
My next challenge is how to increase the edge angle during the turn and be balanced on the stance ski as the pressure build up. Any tips to achieve this are welcome.
 

maurice101

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[QUOTECarve both skis.][/QUOTE]

When I look at downhill racers a lot of time they have pressure on one ski and not the other. What is the advantage of carving both skis with equal pressure on both? The way I am getting higher edge angles is the phantom move on the light ski. If I was pressuring this ski I think this move would be more difficult. I would have to try this though.
 

crackson

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Twice as much edge grip available. Inside ski carve steers in symmetry with outside ski for smooth style. Easier on the legs to ski with both.

Dh skis are f1. Very specific. Forget about their ragged style and watch this. About 50+ times.

 

bawbawbel

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The tip to tail pressure change tightens the radius more than the edge angle.
One ski at a time tightens it even more.
Or just buy some skis with your preferred radius. No strain. 'Ski like a girl' unless you really insist on macho :)
 
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DPS Driver

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Firstly, keep it simple and don't try to over analyse, save that for when you're a good skier and you want to fine tune.
I would say keep working on your downhill leg pressure. Looking at Marcel Hirscher and trying to ski like him will do your head in. There's a reason why in slalom they're skiing "two legged" which doesn't need to translate to an intermediate progressing their carved turn.
As BBB says above forget about edge angle. Work on tip to tail pressure, drive all of your weight through that downhill ski and leave the uphill as an outrigger so to speak. (Your drive should be forward and down) Once you progress further then you can start to bring the uphill leg in a bit more.
This is where your ski selection starts to become paramount, if you want to carve turns get on to a ski that's built to do it. Otherwise it's like trying to win the Tour de France on a mountain bike.
 
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Sandy

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In the end, if your purpose is to have a higher edge angle, you are not going to do it at slow speeds on a flat slope.
A higher edge angle means a larger tilting of the legs, and the way you do that is to be able to balance the centripetal force generated by a higher speed.
i.e. You need to go way faster, and that also means a steeper slope.
This is probably why your instructor was not showing you how to do this, because you need to learn to carve at high speed.
(You can do this at slower speeds on super stiff slalom race skis, but I doubt you have those!!! ;) )


DUMjDq6VMAAwjgO.jpg
 

rugbyskier

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Not an instructor am I.
Firstly, keep it simple and don't try to over analyse, save that for when you're a good skier and you want to fine tune.
I would say keep working on your downhill leg pressure. Looking at Marcel Hirscher and trying to ski like him will do your head in. There's a reason why in slalom they're skiing "two legged" which doesn't need to translate to an intermediate progressing their carved turn.
As BBB says above forget about edge angle. Work on tip to tail pressure, drive all of your weight through that downhill ski and leave the uphill as an outrigger so to speak. (Your drive should be forward and down) Once you progress further then you can start to bring the uphill leg in a bit more.
This is where your ski selection starts to become paramount, if you want to carve turns get on to a ski that's built to do it. Otherwise it's like trying to win the Tour de France on a mountain bike.

What do you mean by 'downhill' and 'uphill' ski? When you turn, the ski that's downhill is on the inside at the start of the turn but outside at the finish of the turn. I think that 'inside' ski and 'outside' ski is a better frame of reference as they stay the same throughout the turn - when turning to the left, the right ski is always on the outside and the left ski is always on the inside.
 
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southpaw

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Following this thread with real interest as I am trying to improve on steeper terrain and move from a series of sliding turns or mini hockey stops, to something resembling a carving technique. So I’m curious to better understand the suggestion that one should focus on tip to tail pressure. Does that mean an even weight or pressure all along the downhill ski or something else?
 

hipo

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I struggled for a long time with visualising the uphill / downhill ski and their changing relationship through the apex of the turn. When discussing this with an instructor he put me on to the inside / outside concept. My thinking and visualisation instantly became clearer and fluid regarding initiating, during and completing a turn before rolling to the new edge.
 

Marty_McSly

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I’d stop looking at ski racers, they are doing whatever they can right or wrong to make the best line through the next gate and get to the bottom in fastest possible time
There was a truism floating around one of the ski forums a few years back along the lines of, if you want to be a good skier, don't start with ski racing.
 

chrisj

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Following this thread with real interest as I am trying to improve on steeper terrain and move from a series of sliding turns or mini hockey stops, to something resembling a carving technique. So I’m curious to better understand the suggestion that one should focus on tip to tail pressure. Does that mean an even weight or pressure all along the downhill ski or something else?
I'm definitely no expert, but am starting to manage carving. I find carving is achieved by getting your weight forward, (= exerting tip pressure) and focusing on driving your tips into the turn. When you are sliding in a turn, it is with the tails of your skis and is due to your weight being back and exerting pressure on the tails. Of course, carving does little to slow you down, unless you go so far into the turn that you traverse or start to head back uphill, so on a steep run, a bit of sliding helps if you want to moderate your speed.
 
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DPS Driver

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What do you mean by 'downhill' and 'uphill' ski? When you turn, the ski that's downhill is on the inside at the start of the turn but outside at the finish of the turn. I think that 'inside' ski and 'outside' ski is a better frame of reference as they stay the same throughout the turn - when turning to the left, the right ski is always on the outside and the left ski is always on the inside.
But doesn't the outside ski become the inside ski when we turn and vice versa? :confused:
 

bawbawbel

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But doesn't the outside ski become the inside ski when we turn and vice versa? :confused:
Aha ! Apex to apex ! The transition did not slow us up because it was the middle of the turn.
No, we got to talk Harb for Maurice. He is on the edge for the whole (transition to transition) turn.
He knows Harb backwards. 12 important checks ? What are they, I wonder ?
 

rugbyskier

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But doesn't the outside ski become the inside ski when we turn and vice versa? :confused:

Do you consider a turn to be fall line to fall line or does a new turn begin when your skis are across the fall line? When you look at $, does the new turn begin where the line crosses the S or halfway around the ( or ) ?
 

bawbawbel

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Following this thread with real interest as I am trying to improve on steeper terrain and move from a series of sliding turns or mini hockey stops, to something resembling a carving technique. So I’m curious to better understand the suggestion that one should focus on tip to tail pressure. Does that mean an even weight or pressure all along the downhill ski or something else?
Pressure first towards toe, ending up towards heel.
But it can be counterproductive in sliding turns, much better to stay as centered as possible to keep instant response.
First things first.
Need to be able to see rounded turn shape and sharp (no sliding whatsoever) marks behind you first. Like Harb graduates, no doubt.
If you use center mounted park skis or wide, heavy skis you might as well forget it.
Anyway the PSIA says "It happens naturally".
 
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chrisj

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I find it helps if you're skiing on reasonably hard packed snow because you can hear if you are skidding and can just concentrate on stopping that sound while you are actually turning.
 
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Do you consider a turn to be fall line to fall line or does a new turn begin when your skis are across the fall line? When you look at $, does the new turn begin where the line crosses the S or halfway around the ( or ) ?
A Ha! I had written that in my last post and decided to remove it, to see if it would come up. Because one ski can never be the outside ski all the way through a turn.
So when I last had a lesson which was 1987 the turn was completed as the downhill ski moved across the fall line. Therefore the turn initiation is the beginning of the next turn. Which in my head is the correct way to approach it as you're moving from one controlled safe position to another. It also maintains focus on the fall-line.
Rider: pet subject with me. World experts over-complicating simple process to justify taking money from someone.
I understand, when at the elite level, minute adjustments can make all the difference but for learning the best way is the simplest way. Hence my point to Maurice. He or she will fill their heads with so much techno babble that they'll over complicate a simple movement and stifle the learning process. Seen it happen time and time again across many disciplines.
 

Swede

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Angle your skis and transfer your body weight until you start turning in the "right" direction, then do the same in the opposite direction, done. Might take some time to get it right but anything more technical than that and you've lost me.
 

Sandy

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A Ha! I had written that in my last post and decided to remove it, to see if it would come up. Because one ski can never be the outside ski all the way through a turn.
So when I last had a lesson which was 1987 the turn was completed as the downhill ski moved across the fall line. Therefore the turn initiation is the beginning of the next turn. Which in my head is the correct way to approach it as you're moving from one controlled safe position to another. It also maintains focus on the fall-line.
Rider: pet subject with me. World experts over-complicating simple process to justify taking money from someone.
I understand, when at the elite level, minute adjustments can make all the difference but for learning the best way is the simplest way. Hence my point to Maurice. He or she will fill their heads with so much techno babble that they'll over complicate a simple movement and stifle the learning process. Seen it happen time and time again across many disciplines.
Lito refers to the "Bomb proof" parallel turn initiation, by making the previous inside ski the new outside ski, while it's still uphill... i.e. the end of the previous turn is the start of the new turn.
 

DPS Driver

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Lito refers to the "Bomb proof" parallel turn initiation, by making the previous inside ski the new outside ski, while it's still uphill... i.e. the end of the previous turn is the start of the new turn.
See what I mean.

I'm going to have to go back to Friday Flat just to unlearn this thread. FFS
 

rugbyskier

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One ski can never be the downhill ski all the way through the turn. If you believe that the turn is initiated when the skis are perpendicular (or near enough) to the fall line, then in the new turn one ski will be on the outside radius for the turn and one ski will be on the inside radius until the skis become perpendicular to the fall line in the other direction. And has Sandy has indicated, for an instant before the skis go into the fall line you will be putting most of the foot pressure into the uphill ski which is the new outside ski for the new turn.
 

Undies

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Yeah, I was taught to not be afraid of the transfer of weight over the fall line as the previous inside ski becomes the new outside ski well before it is the downhill ski. Effectively using the edge of the new outside ski to push you downhill, rather than simply fighting gravity with your edges all the time.
 
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rugbyskier

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Yeah, I was taught to not be afraid of the transfer of weight over the fall line as the previous inside ski becomes the new outside ski well before it is the downhill ski. Effectively using the edge of the new outside ski to push you downhill, rather than simply fighting gravity with your edges all the time.

And in addition, to carve effectively you will need to change the edges on both skis from one side to the other. If you have been turning to the left in a carve turn you have had strong edging on the left side of both skis, then when you transition to the new turn and change the pressure you will also change over to the right edges of both skis for a turn to the right.
 

DPS Driver

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And in addition, to carve effectively you will need to change the edges on both skis from one side to the other. If you have been turning to the left in a carve turn you have had strong edging on the left side of both skis, then when you transition to the new turn and change the pressure you will also change over to the right edges of both skis for a turn to the right.
Um are you trying to help me or Maurice. Potato / Potato.

Honestly, if you wish to call it inside / outside go right ahead. I think Maurice had enough grasp of the situation to understand uphill / downhill.

If it makes you happy I'll never refer to a downhill ski ever again on this forum...........................until next time.

So any advice for Maurice?
 

DPS Driver

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This was intended for the OP, not you. As you haven't had a lesson in 32 years you obviously know everything already.
Oh bollocks. Look at my opening sentence in my first post. I was trying to help someone who asked for advice.

You wanted to show off your instructor skills, at no point did you address the OP you responded to me. At least own it.
 

cold wombat

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So any advice for Maurice?

Balance, balance, balance.

Listen to your feet. The closer to the soles of your feet it happens, the better.

One of the big penny drop moments for me was skiing in flat whiteout and forcing myself to listen to my feet rather than relying on seeing the terrain.
 

Gregah

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Balance, balance, balance.

Listen to your feet. The closer to the soles of your feet it happens, the better.

One of the big penny drop moments for me was skiing in flat whiteout and forcing myself to listen to my feet rather than relying on seeing the terrain.
Agree. Best series of linked carved turns I ever did was in a whiteout on a known fall line in forgiving new snow where I convinced The Boss (brain) that I was safe, that my eyes had nothing to offer and hey why dont we give he feet a crack at this? It was essentially skiing blind but with confidence and "listening" to he feedback from my feet instead of analysing each turn with my head. I think I've been chasing that feeling ever since...
 
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rugbyskier

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Oh bollocks. Look at my opening sentence in my first post. I was trying to help someone who asked for advice.

You wanted to show off your instructor skills, at no point did you address the OP you responded to me. At least own it.

Do you work at being an Arschloch or does it come naturally? If you care to check, Undies made a statement and I was adding to it. You appear to think that everything is about you, is your narcissism learned?
 

cold wombat

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Agree. Best series of linked carved turns I ever did was in a whiteout on a known fall line in forgiving new snow where I convinced The Boss (brain) that I was safe, that my eyes had nothing to offer and hey why dont we give he feet a crack at this? It was essentially skiing blind but with confidence and "listening" to he feedback from my feet instead of analysing each turn with my head. I think I've been chasing that feeling ever since...

I've had instructors say they had trained with blindfolds but didn't understand why until I'd had that experience.
 
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cold wombat

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That would be a very good way to enhance feeling in the feet, although it would be risky on anything other than a wide and empty slope.

For sure, it's only an option in controlled conditions. Requires another set of eyes and prolly a whistle to give you a time to stop warning.
 

DPS Driver

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Do you work at being an Arschloch or does it come naturally? If you care to check, Undies made a statement and I was adding to it. You appear to think that everything is about you, is your narcissism learned?
Comes naturally.

Ah no but you addressed me in your post, so naturally..........

Narcissism, Ba ha ha bah ha ha ha. Yes that's me.

Still not owning it.
 
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