Interesting site.

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Harris

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Interesting site.

Postby Harris » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:31 am

After a back and forth with another TT member several months ago about how to carve alpine skis, I decided to investigate whether my technique was out of date, specifically regarding my belief that a good alpine carve is a one ski carve. I may be hard-headed but I am willing to investigate that maybe I'm wrong. I did learn my alpine turn on straight waisted boards in the 80's. And shaped skis do work/respond very differently. That said, curiosity and a mustard seed of self-doubt led me to a number of Youtube videos, which revealed little, but I eventually found the attached waist steering youtube link, which breaks down alpine waist steering technique, which as it turns out is in fact a two ski carve, albeit with significant subtleties. Armed with this new insight, first I applied the technique on my alpines (it works amazingly well, like power steering well), and then decided to try and apply the concept to telemarking.

In a way the telemark turn is in parts a waist steered turn (edging the inside ski and driving the outside ski forward), and the waist steered alpine technique is partially a telemark turn (uses the inside ski and drives the outside ski forward around the inside), so it seems like some finer points of the alpine technique might also be cross applicable to hone a telemark carve. I don't have much in the way of the kinda consistent pitch groomers to work with that one would need to really put good practice/experiment time in, but I'm playing with it when and where I can. At any rate, being one to always be hunting, besides the alpiner vids I also stumbled into the telemark site shared below. It is a pretty interesting site, covering a lot of telemark technique aspects. And although the telemark link doesn't go into the finer points of waist steering per se, nor does it have videos, it does in fact show that there are efforts to apply aspects of the alpine racing world's waist steer carve to the modern telemark carve. Possibly the most obvious clue is that the website tutorial promotes the idea of performing the edge exchange before the lead exchange, followed by a slow lead change after the turn has been initiated. I can attest that this is not easily done when one has spent years turning telemark skis traditionally, whereby the lead exchange and edge exchange happen simutaniously. Regardless, other's might also find the below attachments useful, interesting and/or informative.


http://www.telemarktracks.com/telemark_ ... drill.html





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Woodserson

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Re: Interesting site.

Postby Woodserson » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:55 pm

I'm a big counter-rotation guy, not in philosophy but in technique. I also like how it feels. I'm looking forward to trying this and seeing what frustrating things will happen to keep me up at night staring at the ceiling.

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lowangle al

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Re: Interesting site.

Postby lowangle al » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:47 pm

I've been doing turns where I intentionally don't counter rotate, I refer to it as "leading with my shoulder". It's usually for longer radius turns. It makes my usual centered stance a little more biased toward the lead ski which makes it carve better, especially helpful in rough snow or at speed. I started doing it on "heavy" gear and when I do it on light gear I get even more benefits as far as control goes, and it's FUN. I picked this turn up from watching Powder Whore videos and noticing that they weren't counter rotating.

I lead with my shoulder and my body follows, is it waste steering? I'm not that technically savy to know. I do know that it is another way to make a turn and it may save my ass someday.

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lilcliffy

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Re: Interesting site.

Postby lilcliffy » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:49 am

This is fascinating, interesting, and very helpful stuff Harris- thank you for sharing it.

The description on "carving" a Telemark turn, and the sequence of concentrating first on edge changes, followed by a smooth lead change- EXCELLENT. I focused on this yesterday, and I feel that it improved my Telemark "carving" greatly- it most certainly smoothed out my turn transitions, which have always been too quick, jerky, and skiddy- I "see" now probably due to focusing too much on a quick lead change, then focusing on edging...

The waist-steering piece is super cool too. And Ted continues to blow me away!
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Re: Interesting site.

Postby anemic » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:56 pm

Thank you for the technical tele discussion Harris. I love it. I will get waisted on snow asap.

that video of the guy who invented waisted carving looks insanely like Ligety!!!! That is so cool.

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Woodserson

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Re: Interesting site.

Postby Woodserson » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:49 pm

I tried this today- both with a standard turn and also waiting to transition and waiting to roll the edge a la British-school website, separately and together. Also parallel and tele. Actually I only tried it once in a tele turn and decided to come back another day with softer snow.

I need to try it all over again.

I am so memory-muscled into counter-rotation that when I attempted it my outside ski hooked around so strongly I almost went into the woods while flying over and out over my downhill ski. Body and brain were screaming, "this is bad, bro! wtf you doin'!"

Tough stuff, for me.

But I think I see the potential. Maybe.

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Re: Interesting site.

Postby Rock_Doc » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:40 pm

Hey Now Harris,

Thanks for posting this info, link, and video. One of the cool things from the old T-tips site was the "instructional" videos with Urmas - I used to watch those over and over to glean some good visuals. Mitch's videos featuring Big Tim were pretty awesome as well!

I look forward to further study!

cheers,
JT

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Re: Interesting site.

Postby teleclub » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:05 am

Interesting, thanks for posting.

This is not skiing like Stein ! ;-)

Very timely because I think I just taught something like this to my wife last week. She's a fearless intermediate who likes steeps and does good quick transition parallel skid turns. Switch skid switch skid switch skid. She's been stuck this way a while but goes everywhere with it and it works in the steeps. We had a week of skiing at Alta last week and she asked me for a lesson. (Believe me if I could get her to take a lesson with a real instructor I would.) She said she wanted to learn to carve. The snow was surprisingly good (for this winter) and we had great conditions for carving. I watched her a while before I decided which direction to go for the lesson. Because I'm also an old school counter-rotator skis-close-together-like-Stein kind of skier, in my mind the next thing she needed to learn was finally to counter-rotate. But I'd also been noticing that my fastest hardest-carved parallel turns included noticeably less counter-rotating; my hips follow the turn, like Liggety says in the video, and the p-turns look sorta like the "inventor of waist turning" in the second video. I decided to forget showing her how to counter-rotate and just help her get into carved arcs. Once she was no longer trying to counter-rotate, her hips followed her turn, her downhill ski lead out a little like he shows, and she was making round carved arcs. The thing she did not notice, but I did, was her speed doubled. Because she's fearless, likes steeps, and hates slowing down, I guess we both kind of thought she skied fast for an intermediate. But once she was doing these carved turns, my whole stand and wait on the hill routine didn't work. I had to book it to catch up to her. It's like her speed doubled, compared to her reliable and quick switch-skid-switch-skid. Watching her ski this new way, I was thinking, "well, it's not counter-rotated so that can't be right. But it's fast, and it's carved, and she's got great control, so it must be right."

FWIW, She's on 160 Atomic TM22 with Rottefella Freedom bindings. She does beginner teles sometimes but mostly parallels. (Yes, I've suggested alpine gear, and tried to buy her nice AT gear a couple years ago but she says she prefers freeheel even if she parallels.)

My tele turns are still fully counter-rotated and I'll have to think about what you're saying about applying waist steering to tele. I've noticed in recent years my fast parallels carves are less counter-rotated and my teles continue to counter rotate. If in fact, as I surmise, others of us are waist steering too without having had any previous exposure to the inventor's info, I wonder if carved parallels teach you to waist steer, just like they taught the inventor? It seems to me, like the first video demonstrates, that if you want to really hard-carve a fast parallel, you (naturally) make several adjustments which are the ones that end up being called waist steering.

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Re: Interesting site.

Postby TomH » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:58 am

Basically - the bigger the turn radius, the less important counter becomes, and I believe that for both alpine and tele. In large radius carves, especially where you're covering a lot of horizontal distance, too much counter ends up being a hindrance. Think of traversing across a hill at decent speed (tele or alpine); you'll likely have a small amount of counter rotation but you'll be facing more the direction of travel as it's more efficient and less taxing to the body. As the turns shorten, then you need to apply more and more counter to keep yourself moving down the fall line and to keep turn speed up.

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Re: Interesting site.

Postby Harris » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:54 pm

Okay, I had some more time today to play with it, and some things I'm noticing that might help some who are responding and experimenting, which by the way thanks to everyone taking the time: I think a key thing as far as telemark turns go, as far as incorporating waist steering is concerned (and this is mostly, sorta hypothetical; I'm just playing with adapting the concept to norpines myself), is that the issue of counter or no counter rotation of the shoulders, nor is the matter of "carving," the issues you are looking to focus on as per attempting waist steering. It is more a matter of intentionally directing the outside hip around and into the turn at initiation, and via that the outside ski naturally follows around the inside at initiation and into an apex. The upper body will follow suit to whatever degree your mobility allows. At least that is what I'm finding.

I think we (most telemarkers) waist steer without even focusing on it, but now that it is a thing I am focussing on, it really is making a difference in every type of turn I throw at it. In the old days of narrow, strait waisted skis you could get a lot of pop at the finish of turns to get the skis out and into a new turn, but with newer skis, they do the turning for you, and it is just a matter of getting good positioning to allow them to really do their thing. So as far as new skis, waist steering really brings the skis around into an arc earlier (where on old skis you would use the weightlessness of the pop) rather than edging them out tail sling style later. I'm still counter-rotating my shoulders square down the fall line when I reach for my pole plant when finishing short radius turns (otherwise you'll drive yourself into the hill). Now I really haven't had a chance to try to apply it on groom, the way things have worked out the last couple weeks is that I've only skied in powder over ice, packer powder and crud bump conditions.

I should note here that I ski with a fair bit of speed and my go to turns in most conditions are slalom (mostly) to GS radius. Waist steering would probably not be something a newer skier should play with; I think worrying about this technique would be counter-productive for those who don't have very solid, expert level feel of the equipment.

In its infantile stages I'm finding my adaptions to the theory to be working extremely well. Another TT member mentioned in an email that he struggles at times with getting back seat, and I think this waist steering almost makes back seat impossible because you end up fully committed to the ski's edge angles early in the turn. Further, getting back seat usually happens when you occasionally get called out by the skis for pushing the tails. With waist steering you don't need to push the tails, and in fact it doesn't seem like it is even possible to. If by chance you have to, you naturally release the hips from the turn. You also get a lot of more shock absorption because you are using less knee angulation. A downside I'm finding though is that it is bothering my ruptured lower back disks. I'm really looking forward to playing with this in better conditions.

As far as trying to apply this to parallel turns on tele skis... On my alpines this waist steering is like opening a magic box, and it is much easier as for burn, concerning my old-ass, beat-up thighs and knees, but I'm finding it is not really working out when I alpine on my tele boards. I'm not sure why, but I think it is because on alpines I can and do use a lot more tip pressure early in the turn, that and because the inside ski gets used (on alpines I read about 30% on the inside ski should be edged into the apex (KEY POINT: NOT AFTER THE APEX) whereas on paralleled tele skis the heel will naturally rise attempting waist steer and throw off the benefit of the effect (if not make the parallel go squirrelly).

Another key point, which is explained very well in the video with the Ken Doll model, and is a must see to truly understand the gist of waist steering, is that what you are doing is radiusing/arcing the outside ski around a semi-weighted inside ski, using the waist to facilitate the arc. It isn't a brute move; it is somewhat subtle as far as the inside ski weighting goes.

Hope this helps.
Last edited by Harris on Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:51 pm, edited 10 times in total.


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