Hard pressure on tips while on steeper terrain (Carved short turns?)

Skisolo

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Greetings.
I've been trying to better control my speed going down steeper groomed terrain. I'm not comfortable carving anything steeper than a European red because I hit warp speed too quickly.
So far my technique is mostly just slamming my chin in to my downhill ski boot and all my weight forward to produce a very sharp and hard turn that make my tails brush out at the end, and just keep doing this until I can comfortably transition in to carved turns.

Looking at other skiers and videos they don't seem to be doing it this way but doing a more traditional carved turn where they lean more and edge with some brush at the end or they just go edge to edge at warp speed. Instruction videos also don't seem to mention pressuring the tips hard.

So I guess my question is: Is driving the tip of the skis hard, bad form and am I picking up bad habits doing it?

I mostly like to ski when there is powder or off piste but have been skiing with the family more lately which means groomers so might as well try to make the most out of it.
 

scott43

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Carving on steeper will quickly lead to warp speed. I don't typically truly carve on anything over intermediate for very long or the speed becomes uncomfortable for me. So I typically dump speed at the end of the turn and transition. Remember to complete your turns as well.

As far as pushing the tips, I'm not an instructor but have been told by one that I shouldn't be pressuring the front too much. Focus should be on edge not shovel. Hopefully an instructor can tell us why?
 

François Pugh

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We have two separate issues going on. First you only have so much down force to go around. If you put it all on the tips, there is none left to get the tails to grip. I learned that in my second ski lesson (note: I did not follow the typical lesson progression, skipping the lessons for about 2 decades). You can put it all on the front momentarily, so long as you are quick enough to move as much as needed to the back when it's needed there, and good enough to not take too much away from the front. Use as much forward pressure as needed for the turn you want to make and no more. Perfecting the turn is how to make even green groomers fun again.

Second, pure carving is the most efficient way to turn potential energy due to elevation into kinetic energy. Unless your turns are taking you a good distance up hill or at least not downhill you will not take long to reach terminal velocity (due to air friction) for the slope, a speed beyond the pure carving ability of most skis on most slopes, exceptions being some racing DH skis and old school SG skis that have very long turn radius.
If you want to carve pure clean turn on a steep run, you will need one of the exceptional skis, an open line, and some skill.
Anyone who tells you you can control speed with pure carved turns is either gas lighting you or does not know what a pure carved turn is.
Edit : you can reduce your speed to some degree, by timing when you release the centre of mass from the turn, and how directly downhill you go, but there is only so much you can do.
 
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Tony Storaro

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Shape your turns to develop your line. Allow your line to control your speed.*

*Translation: Ski the slow line fast.

Indeed. It is amazing how far a little patience in shaping the turn can get you when skiing steeps.I only truly embraced this last season when I decided to ski slow and it was a true revelation.

To the OP: you cannot clean carve steeps, it is just not possible, the speed gets out of control incredibly quickly.
 

Henry

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Try for a brushed carve turn where you make the movements of a pure carved turn but don't let the edges lock into the snow. There is some sideways drift which scrubs off speed. The skis still turn you; you don't turn your skis.

One big help is to get over on the new edges far earlier than is usual. That gets the turn starter sooner in the "S" shape of the rounded turn and avoids a straight-ish run at transition where speed is picked up. Look for youtube videos of skiers toppling into the new turn or creating early edge angles.
 

geepers

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What everybody else posted about carving not being a very effective way of controlling speed as it gets steeper.

So far my technique is mostly just slamming my chin in to my downhill ski boot and all my weight forward to produce a very sharp and hard turn that make my tails brush out at the end

How would you describe the shape of the turns you are currently making - a relatively rounded shape or more of a zig zag shape where the skis do a big change of the direction they are pointing before your body changes the direction it is travelling and starts to head where the skis are pointed?

That technique of "slamming the shin in to the ski boot" with "all weight forward" does make it hard to achieve this especially to prevent the tails of the ski washing out. See Reilly's #2 - the boot crusher at 18 seconds.




MHO non-carving turns should be more of a rounded shape with grip achieved at least through the end (or earlier) of the turn. It provides effective speed control whether done with longer, medium or shorter radius turns as it uses both friction (the skis have a steering angle to the direction of travel early in the turn so more drag) and line (plenty of control to complete the turn without feeling like the ski tails are headed for the valley without us).

Whilst some change to fore aft balance may be required it shouldn't be a slam with all weight forward. Whatever goes forward has to go back in order to establish grip later in the turn. Would suggest trying to achieve rounded turn shapes with grip later in the turn on milder terrain with more subtle for aft movements.
 

Zirbl

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Looking at other skiers and videos they don't seem to be doing it this way but doing a more traditional carved turn where they lean more and edge with some brush at the end or they just go edge to edge at warp speed.
 

Tony Storaro

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See to me he's spraying a fair bit and also he's going mach schnell. He's doing much cleaner turns in the flatter bits. So is he simply dumping speed by skidding during the turn?

Looks to me that”s what he is doing yes. Too bad we cannot have an idea how steep this really is.
 

David Chaus

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Pressure the tip-to-tail length of the new outside ski early (earlier than you think), get it on edge early (earlier than you think) without any sudden movement. If you do this the top of your turn will control your speed. It doesn’t need to be a “hard” pressure, rather even pressure. You’re looking for a smooth flow in which your speed stays the same throughout the turn.

Also, keep your body low throughout the turn, no popping up in transition.
 

AmyPJ

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We have two separate issues going on. First you only have so much down force to go around. If you put it all on the tips, there is none left to get the tails to grip. I learned that in my second ski lesson (note: I did not follow the typical lesson progression, skipping the lessons for about 2 decades). You can put it all on the front momentarily, so long as you are quick enough to move as much as needed to the back when it's needed there, and good enough to not take too much away from the front. Use as much forward pressure as needed for the turn you want to make and no more. Perfecting the turn is how to make even green groomers fun again.

Second, pure carving is the most efficient way to turn potential energy due to elevation into kinetic energy. Unless your turns are taking you a good distance up hill or at least not downhill you will not take long to reach terminal velocity (due to air friction) for the slope, a speed beyond the pure carving ability of most skis on most slopes, exceptions being some racing DH skis and old school SG skis that have very long turn radius.
If you want to carve pure clean turn on a steep run, you will need one of the exceptional skis, an open line, and some skill.
Anyone who tells you you can control speed with pure carved turns is either gas lighting you or does not know what a pure carved turn is.
Edit : you can reduce your speed to some degree, by timing when you release the centre of mass from the turn, and how directly downhill you go, but there is only so much you can do.
This is what I have been working on after spending some time with a DECL a few weeks ago. I am a boot crusher. All those years of being told to have shin/tongue contact really set in, and not in a good way. This is a very hard habit to break.
 

scott43

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This is what I have been working on after spending some time with a DECL a few weeks ago. I am a boot crusher. All those years of being told to have shin/tongue contact really set in, and not in a good way. This is a very hard habit to break.
Yeah my instructor buddy kept saying don't push on the tongue so much. I think this is a bad habit of mine.
 

Tony S

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See to me he's spraying a fair bit and also he's going mach schnell. He's doing much cleaner turns in the flatter bits. So is he simply dumping speed by skidding during the turn?
To my eye, he's sliding in and carving out, pretty much the opposite of "some brush at the end".

Observation, not advice.

Caveat: Watched on phone with sound off.

The camera angle makes it difficult or impossible to see exactly what's happening here. As a learning tool it's fairly useless for that reason. In any case it's clearly NOT what the OP is looking for.

What I THINK is being illustrated is carving uphill as a speed control mechanism. (Notice how the camera skier closes in quickly on his subject late in the turn.) This is a fun trick. However it requires great snow, a wide run, good light, and no one else on the hill, all of which magically have been provided in the video. As a PRACTICAL method of speed control it's not very useful.
 

Andy Mink

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It also helps to have a ski with a strong forebody. If you stand flat/straight up and down, the ski is already at an angle relative to the slope. The steeper the slope, the bigger the angle. When you drive the tip it needs to have enough meat to hang on to the initial angle plus whatever you add to it. That said, pure carving steep is likely not going to happen.
 
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