What Purpose(s) do(es) a White Pass Turn Serve?

Mike King

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Ok, the Shiffrin thread has morphed into a zillion topics, so let's try to bring a theme to this thread: what do you use a White Pass turn drill to accomplish? What ski and body performance are you looking for?

@geepers posted this great video from the NZSIA with their thoughts about what a WP drill might accomplish. Looking at that video, it shows some very non-PSIA body performance: it seems to be encouraging inclination before angulation, how to bring angulation at a specific point in the turn, and how to use the upper body to initiate a turn. All great things for advanced skiing in my book, but not so much in what some (most?) examiners in PSIA-RM are looking for.


Like many drills, there are different ways to perform a drill that develop different skills. What do you use a WP turn for? And what do you look for as a result in ski and body performance?
 

Erik Timmerman

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Just posting in this important tread so I will look at it later. My quick reaction though without having viewed the video is that yes, inclination before angular ion is a nice piece of the drill and I disagree that it is non PSIA thinking. The other big piece is patience. If you are a not patient and you can get the drill started you will get dumped on your hip.
 

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I use WP turns on the flats, while in a tuck, in DH which is to say I'll engage the LTE of the new inside ski while the outside ski remains flat, or close to it. Maybe you don't consider this a WP turn, though. It is much easier to develop a touch of edge angle on the LTE of the inside ski sometimes than the BTE of the outside ski. Certainly it is more subtle and, in my experience, often fastest.

It is also useful when you are fully extended during a transition and need to get an edge into the snow to initiate a turn. Your new inside ski's LTE can (or may already be in) contact the snow before the new outside ski and is able to engage the snow sooner, thus starting the turn sooner.
 

LiquidFeet

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....@geepers posted this great video from the NZSIA with their thoughts about what a WP drill might accomplish. Looking at that video, it shows some very non-PSIA body performance: it seems to be encouraging inclination before angulation, how to bring angulation at a specific point in the turn, and how to use the upper body to initiate a turn. All great things for advanced skiing in my book, but not so much in what some (most?) examiners in PSIA-RM are looking for.....
That's what I see in this video. The guy lifts his new outside hip and at the same time he lifts and throws outward his new outside leg to initiate the turn. He does this with some oomph while moving at quite a bit of speed. The lifting and outward thrust of that leg and hip tips his whole body as a unit across the skis to get that new inside ski on it's little toe edge. And yes, he inclines as he does this.

It looked like "cheating" from my PSIA viewpoint as I watched it the first time. There are many ways to get that new inside ski on its little toe edge, and the body across it. Releasing the CoM, without releasing that old outside ski, and allowing the CoM's momentum to carry it over the skis with weight on that old outside ski, is what I've known to be PSIA's preferred initiation. The release starts the turn. And the release is from flexing the old outside leg, not extending and throwing outward the new outside leg. Nor pushing the CoM across the skis by extending the new outside leg before lifting it (the easy way to initiate a White Pass Turn), and not by slinging that leg and its hip up and out, as this guy does. Maybe I'm wrong.
 

Seldomski

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It was mentioned in the other thread that you can do a white pass turn with flexion, but watching the video in the OP makes me worry about sustaining a knee injury doing the drill in that way. If you get a bit aft and flexed like that, the result may not be pretty. Obviously solution is not to get aft...

The skier in the video probably has some well developed leg muscles that stabilize his knee more than the average recreational skier.
 
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Mike King

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Just posting in this important tread so I will look at it later. My quick reaction though without having viewed the video is that yes, inclination before angular ion is a nice piece of the drill and I disagree that it is non PSIA thinking. The other big piece is patience. If you are a not patient and you can get the drill started you will get dumped on your hip.
Here in RM, a number of examiners want to see angulation from the get go. Some do not believe in initiation with the upper body. Some of those probably are concerned about encouraging dumping the body inside (and rightfully so).

When I watch the clip that @geepers found, what I see is a drill that is focused on the very echelon of skiers. I don't think that hardly any possess the skills to perform the drill that way. I wouldn't be surprised if there are few examiners who can do so either...

Look at the difference between that video and this one, executed by Jonathan Ballou. The speed is way lower, there is far less angulation, and the upper body is nowhere near as involved as in the NZSIA video. It seems to me that there are clearly different foci between these two. And I don't think that Ballou is unable to perform like the NZSIA video -- he is an examiner in NZSIA as well (and Ballou's video was filmed at Treble Cone in NZ). I personally think that the organizations are looking for different things out of the drill.


Mike
 
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Mike King

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That's what I see in this video. The guy lifts his new outside hip and at the same time he lifts and throws outward his new outside leg to initiate the turn. He does this with some oomph while moving at quite a bit of speed. The lifting and outward thrust of that leg and hip tips his whole body as a unit across the skis to get that new inside ski on it's little toe edge. And yes, he inclines as he does this.

It looked like "cheating" from my PSIA viewpoint as I watched it the first time. There are many ways to get that new inside ski on its little toe edge, and the body across it. Releasing the CoM, without releasing that old outside ski, and allowing the CoM's momentum to carry it over the skis with weight on that old outside ski, is what I've known to be PSIA's preferred initiation. The release starts the turn. And the release is from flexing the old outside leg, not extending and throwing outward the new outside leg. Nor pushing the CoM across the skis by extending the new outside leg before lifting it (the easy way to initiate a White Pass Turn), and not by slinging that leg and its hip up and out, as this guy does. Maybe I'm wrong.
Yep. And the way that the timing of angulation to arrive at the apex of the turn is very consistent with what I've heard from Sam Robertson (former WC super G athlete) and his partner Tom Gellie. Sam calls it "stepping on it." The way that the NZSIA guy holds onto the angulation to move his mass inside is also consistent with one of Tom's observations -- that the purpose of angulation is to allow the upper body to be divorced from the arc while the skis continue on it...
 

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Initially the WPT was recognized as a way to shorten the distance between gates or “cut off” the line. It was first described to me during the indoor portion of a coaches training presented by Harald Schoenhaar during the time he was coaching the Mahre brothers in the early 80’s. We still see this same move often on the World Cup, whether it is pre-calculated or reactionary could be debated but I would guess we see both.

Here is a link for some history...

As for teaching the WPT as a drill I have used & taught it to instructors during training clinics. The few times I have taught it to actual client/students it has been useful in getting them an exaggerated sensation of crossover (I also like 1000 steps for this) & a late but direct edge engagement to the outside ski. It can also help develop a stronger more active “inside half” although I think there are better drills for that like 1-ski garlands or tracer turns.
The problem with teaching it to most students is that there is a prerequisite of turning on the inside ski which is a lesson on its own.
Patience & inclination have already been mentioned.
D93AABBC-F769-4596-9DF4-31C2381A1431.gif
 
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Mike King

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Well, FWIW, I used this at Dev Team tryouts this year with the focus being inclination into angular ion and the selectors who are D Team members agreed with that.
No doubt. More than a few d team members agree with that. My comment was more directed to examiners, of whom a few have disagreed with inclination before angulation. But then context matters...

Mike
 

geepers

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There's quite a bit of difference in the turn performance of the PSIA demos and the NZSIA demos. My experience of WP turns, as a drill, has been to directly increase performance both during the drill and then easing back into normal skiing. Very different from doing a drill at low performance in order to develop a skill that will then indirectly be useful in increasing performance. in normal skiing.

The older Guy Hetherington vid was in the same performant realm as this newer vid. Nearly all the other demos posted in the other WP turn thread were lower performance drills. Not to say which one is more (or less) useful for a given situation - just a comment on intent.

It was mentioned in the other thread that you can do a white pass turn with flexion, but watching the video in the OP makes me worry about sustaining a knee injury doing the drill in that way. If you get a bit aft and flexed like that, the result may not be pretty. Obviously solution is not to get aft...

The skier in the video probably has some well developed leg muscles that stabilize his knee more than the average recreational skier.
:):) Exactly my reaction when I was 1st asked to do this drill. Don't have well developed leg muscles. Aged knees felt exposed and vulnerable. Resolved never to do this again once the terrible experience had passed.

Next season we're back at it. Knees a year older... But the L4 insisted. And all the others joined in - they were in their 20s - so it was either quit or adapt.

Has become my favorite drill.

Just use a little judgement when 1st learning - nice smooth, groomer, not too steep, plenty of space, small incline to start with, day when the skiing feels good.

That's what I see in this video. The guy lifts his new outside hip and at the same time he lifts and throws outward his new outside leg to initiate the turn. He does this with some oomph while moving at quite a bit of speed. The lifting and outward thrust of that leg and hip tips his whole body as a unit across the skis to get that new inside ski on it's little toe edge. And yes, he inclines as he does this.

It looked like "cheating" from my PSIA viewpoint as I watched it the first time. There are many ways to get that new inside ski on its little toe edge, and the body across it. Releasing the CoM, without releasing that old outside ski, and allowing the CoM's momentum to carry it over the skis with weight on that old outside ski, is what I've known to be PSIA's preferred initiation. The release starts the turn. And the release is from flexing the old outside leg, not extending and throwing outward the new outside leg. Nor pushing the CoM across the skis by extending the new outside leg before lifting it (the easy way to initiate a White Pass Turn), and not by slinging that leg and its hip up and out, as this guy does. Maybe I'm wrong.
See the initiation somewhat differently. (And also based on experience of doing these damn things under the watchfall eyes of CSIA L4s.)

He increases his angulation during the last phase of the previous turn to the point that he biases balance to the outside and begins to topple out of the turn.
1621978580854.png

1621978608281.png

He mostly retains this old angulation into transition and begins to lift his new outside leg up. (Don't see a push off to raise that leg but happy to entertain the thought if there's vid evidence.)
1621978744547.png

1621978780898.png

The leg goes vertically rather than being thrown out as his body is still moving out of the old turn and into the new from the toppling initiated earlier. The topple now becomes inclination into the new turn.
1621978870581.png

1621979170425.png

As the inclination increases the outside leg is used for lateral balance until it is placed back on the snow.
1621979269843.png


Incline 1st (with a small amount of angulation) and then increase angulation through the turn is there in the CSIA.



WP turns help bring that out.
 

LiquidFeet

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....The skier in the video probably has some well developed leg muscles that stabilize his knee more than the average recreational skier.
I wondered how many Gs his inside leg was sustaining in those big fast turns. It looks like a lot of pressure. His knee was pointing the wrong way.

Geepers, I agree. He is not pushing himself over the skis by extending that new outside leg. He's lifting his new outside hip up (others are talking about angulation, and yes, he's holding onto that as he lifts his hip), which tilts his upper body and moves his whole self across the skis to edge the new inside ski on its LTE. He's also lifting that leg up and dramatically moving that lifted foot outward, which helps propel his CoM into the turn with more speed.

It hurts my eyes to look at that inside knee in your last frameshot.
 
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Mike King

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I wondered how many Gs his inside leg was sustaining in those big fast turns. It looks like a lot of pressure. His knee was pointing the wrong way.

Geepers, I agree. He is not pushing himself over the skis by extending that new outside leg. He's lifting his new outside hip up (others are talking about angulation, and yes, he's holding onto that as he lifts his hip), which tilts his upper body and moves his whole self across the skis to edge the new inside ski on its LTE. He's also lifting that leg up and dramatically moving that lifted foot outward, which helps propel his CoM into the turn with more speed.

It hurts my eyes to look at that inside knee in your last frameshot.
So, I have no idea whether this is true or not for that video, but @tomgellie talks about the float through the transition. As a result of being light or even weightless, there is little or no pressure on the skis through transition into as late as the apex of the turn. So, perhaps there is little pressure where you are concerned about his knee...
 

Erik Timmerman

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There's quite a bit of difference in the turn performance of the PSIA demos and the NZSIA demos. My experience of WP turns, as a drill, has been to directly increase performance both during the drill and then easing back into normal skiing. Very different from doing a drill at low performance in order to develop a skill that will then indirectly be useful in increasing performance. in normal skiing.

The older Guy Hetherington vid was in the same performant realm as this newer vid. Nearly all the other demos posted in the other WP turn thread were lower performance drills. Not to say which one is more (or less) useful for a given situation - just a comment on intent.



:):) Exactly my reaction when I was 1st asked to do this drill. Don't have well developed leg muscles. Aged knees felt exposed and vulnerable. Resolved never to do this again once the terrible experience had passed.

Next season we're back at it. Knees a year older... But the L4 insisted. And all the others joined in - they were in their 20s - so it was either quit or adapt.

Has become my favorite drill.

Just use a little judgement when 1st learning - nice smooth, groomer, not too steep, plenty of space, small incline to start with, day when the skiing feels good.



See the initiation somewhat differently. (And also based on experience of doing these damn things under the watchfall eyes of CSIA L4s.)

He increases his angulation during the last phase of the previous turn to the point that he biases balance to the outside and begins to topple out of the turn.
View attachment 134587
View attachment 134588
He mostly retains this old angulation into transition and begins to lift his new outside leg up. (Don't see a push off to raise that leg but happy to entertain the thought if there's vid evidence.)
View attachment 134589
View attachment 134590
The leg goes vertically rather than being thrown out as his body is still moving out of the old turn and into the new from the toppling initiated earlier. The topple now becomes inclination into the new turn.
View attachment 134591
View attachment 134592
As the inclination increases the outside leg is used for lateral balance until it is placed back on the snow.
View attachment 134593

Incline 1st (with a small amount of angulation) and then increase angulation through the turn is there in the CSIA.



WP turns help bring that out.
Still haven't watched the vid, but those stills make me question his alignment.
 

Rod9301

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So, I have no idea whether this is true or not for that video, but @tomgellie talks about the float through the transition. As a result of being light or even weightless, there is little or no pressure on the skis through transition into as late as the apex of the turn. So, perhaps there is little pressure where you are concerned about his knee... Exactly
Exactly what i was going to say.
Until the fall line, or a bit above, there's very little pressure
 

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I wondered how many Gs his inside leg was sustaining in those big fast turns. It looks like a lot of pressure. His knee was pointing the wrong way.

Geepers, I agree. He is not pushing himself over the skis by extending that new outside leg. He's lifting his new outside hip up (others are talking about angulation, and yes, he's holding onto that as he lifts his hip), which tilts his upper body and moves his whole self across the skis to edge the new inside ski on its LTE. He's also lifting that leg up and dramatically moving that lifted foot outward, which helps propel his CoM into the turn with more speed.

It hurts my eyes to look at that inside knee in your last frameshot.
It’s completely fine for the knee to be in this position. It’s externally rotated and flexed which is all within a normal knees a range of motion. Josh has some strong legs for sure but I’d bet I could get most people to get in the same postion without any discomfort or feeling of danger for their knee.
 

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I wondered how many Gs his inside leg was sustaining in those big fast turns. It looks like a lot of pressure. His knee was pointing the wrong way.

Geepers, I agree. He is not pushing himself over the skis by extending that new outside leg. He's lifting his new outside hip up (others are talking about angulation, and yes, he's holding onto that as he lifts his hip), which tilts his upper body and moves his whole self across the skis to edge the new inside ski on its LTE. He's also lifting that leg up and dramatically moving that lifted foot outward, which helps propel his CoM into the turn with more speed.

It hurts my eyes to look at that inside knee in your last frameshot.
My take is that the old inside hip lifting is a result of his upper body inclining into the new turn and not the initiating move.

My experience with these turns (and mine would no doubt be a lot less refined and performant than NZSIA skier) is to use the forces from the old turn which projects the body across the ski. (A measure of speed helps and it's best to do a normal turn before the 1st WP turn. At low speed and on very gentle terrain it becomes a slomo balancing act on top of the new inside ski - which is not really the aim here.)

Does the moment of lifting the ski help with inclination? Perhaps in his case - and it wouldn't hinder. However moving mass further out from the pivot point (the new inside ski LTE) slows rotation. Like the ice skater popping their arms out to slow a spin. It appears to me that the outward movement comes later when he wants to stop any further inclination.


Personally I use that new outside ski to rebalance if I overcook the inclination.

I'm not sure how much the camera angle and the imperative of avoiding the camera operator played into that particular turn. Elsewhere in the vid the outside ski comes down before the fall line, before the real load comes on. Again the way WP turns have been intro-ed to me is place the outside ski down before the fall line and the load on the inside leg has not been a concern. My inclination (and hence load) would be less - then again, so are my legs!

Hopefully this image a split second later will make everyone feel more comfortable about knee positions.
1621998463999.png


Still haven't watched the vid, but those stills make me question his alignment.
Commentator is Josh Duncan-Smith, NZSIA Interski Team member. Pretty certain from gloves, boots, skis, goggles, helmet he's the demo skier. Probably be classified as not too bad a skier. (Or freakn awesome, depending on tendency to hyperbolic.)

Not to say he doesn't have alignment issues. Whatever his issues on skis I sure wish I had some of them.

 

jimtransition

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Commentator is Josh Duncan-Smith, NZSIA Interski Team member. Pretty certain from gloves, boots, skis, goggles, helmet he's the demo skier. Probably be classified as not too bad a skier. (Or freakn awesome, depending on tendency to hyperbolic.)

Not to say he doesn't have alignment issues. Whatever his issues on skis I sure wish I had some of them.

Yeah mainly Josh, but there's a few shots of Harry Mcfadden in there too (Head skis).

Agree with these guys that white pass turns are great for inclining in a high performance turn. Low speed ones don't really make sense to me.
 
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