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

razie

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@Mike King Takao skis classic Japanese/Korean style. Awesome, but watch his short and SL turns versus his large turns, there's a marked difference in the way he skis those. When he needs the performance from the ski, he'll counter a lot in his SL turns. When he doesn't need as much ski bend (for the angles) in those detuned large instructor demo-type turns, he won't counter much, because otherwise the ski will snap around and the turn will be tighter... so when he says "follow with the hip" ask him if he does that in bumps or SL turns too ;). I've also seen many Korean skiers to create some counter early and then just park it there and ride it out following the ski, that's classic too and you'll see it in Takao's turns, although he does let some counter appear by the end of the turn and then squares up etc. Not a fan, although for sure relaxing and good-looking and I'm sure I do that when tired or just out for a stroll (albeit not as good-looking :rolleyes:).

We've touched on this before, I think @jimtransition and @markojp can comment more on that and/or kick me if I'm off the reservation :geek:

Counter is a movement, not a position, there's nothing static about it. As some may say: the femur must rotate in the hip socket... or as I like to see it: the hip socket must rotate around the femur. Whichever way you're looking at it, when the two are fused together, it's no bueno in my view, that's why I'm not a fan. What I like to do is to ski a big ski for big turns and a short ski for short turns, and I tend to ski them the same... although of course, sometimes you counter more and sometimes you counter less, depending on what you want from the ski in this or that situation.
 
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oldschoolskier

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I did a drill like this years ago (92-93’ish) and they at the time were called starfish turns, same idea slightly different position and on set (also on straight skis)

My take on it then and now is balance, initiation and completion. Benefits are how you ski using both edges vs the outside edge. Teaches you to grasp the ability of how to balance on the inside ski or outside as required. Very few actually learn this by themselves (myself included) so a drill like this helps.
 
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@TheApprentice, @razie check out this podcast where Tim Cafe, Alice Robinson's former coach, discusses her using upper body rotation (as opposed to counter) at roughly 53 minutes.


Stefano Gross uses the hip consistently in his skiing.

No doubt counter (rotational separation) is more important in short turns than medium/long turns, but IMHO it isn't what creates ski bend -- in fact, I'd argue that most WC athletes are creating ski bend through angulation and are usually with little counter at the time of maximum ski bend.
 

razie

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You'll see Alice using super-counter in most turns, on the screenshots in the previous page, at the right time. Sometimes with more angulation or less. After the ski bend is used, a lot of options are available... counter serves other purposes too and like Tim said, she may do something most skiers can't... don't miss the part where he flat out says "I'm not saying skiers should start rotating the upper body, far from it"... and as he says and we see, she does not rotate all the time. There's a time to counter more and a time to counter less ;) even in the same turn.

It's normal to use the hips... but Stefano has lots of counter all the time...



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Looking for counter at this level, you have to look at the movement of the hip in relation to what the ski is doing... that's why I normally prefer the term "counteraction". If the hips face outside on the left foot and outside on the right foot, they must have rotated somewhere. It's important where and how... that's what's creating most of the confusion around rotation, counter, hip movement etc when looking at this level skiers.
 
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You'll see Alice using super-counter in most turns, on the screenshots in the previous page, at the right time. Sometimes with more angulation or less. After the ski bend is used, a lot of options are available... counter serves other purposes too and like Tim said, she may do something most skiers can't... don't miss the part where he flat out says "I'm not saying skiers should start rotating the upper body, far from it"... and as he says and we see, she does not rotate all the time.
Yeah, the issue I take with the previous posts are a couple fold. First, it appears that some are equating separation with both ski bend and with grip. I don't understand what physics and biomechanics you guys are claiming results in these two outcomes, so might you elaborate?

Usually not too much. There's almost never any real need to have your upper body perfectly vertical in the turn, it's just too much effort for too little return. Though there are some cases where you do need as much as possible (think bulletproof ice) but at that point your grip is mostly determined by how strong your counter is, not so much your angulation. But of course you never want to be going full tree trunk in your turns, as that will reduce your ability to balance by a significant margin.
This is contrary to what WC ski coaches have coached me. They see grip as coming from angulation, not from separation. So perhaps there is something else you mean by separation than what I do? Separation to me is rotational separation -- that the lower body (femurs and below) is rotating at different rate than the upper body. Angulation is simply that there are angles in the body as it is inclined inside the turn -- it isn't straight, but laterally (to the force vector) has angles.

Counter = ca = separation, cb = angulation. Counter should be held as early as possible, for as long as possible, as hard as possible. It's one of the most important movements in the turn, and your technique will fall apart without it. Angulation I apply more freely, as it's rare that I'll actually need to use excessive amounts of it, but it's still useful for balance
This is contrary to @razie's quote above.

I agree that rotational separation does develop through the turn. I would disagree that Alice Robinson and Stefano Gross are countered as early as possible. I find it very difficult to use Facebook videos, so I've gone back to Stefano's winning run and pulled out frame by frame stills from one of his turns. Let's look at the progression.

Initiation of the left footer -- notice how square his pelvis is to the skis.

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Watch how the left hip moves forward into the next turn.
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Now he is developing angulation to "step on the ski" and get deflection across the hill:

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Point of maximum pressure -- see how aligned his hips are with the direction of his skis?

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And now counter (rotational separation) starts to develop.

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The more you want to bend a ski and sharpen up a turn, the more counter is going to become a very large mainstay in your technical model.
Agree completely. Hard, injected courses are a great teacher. Instead of agonizing over still frames of WC skiers and quoting this or that internet teacher, I’ll reiterate a suggestion I made in an earlier thread. Find a steepish, firm pitch; in one series of turns actively create strong early counter, increase it progressively and hold it through transition into the next turn; in another series allow your pelvis to remain square through the fall line and “ski into counter” in the latter part of the turn. See which works better wrt ski grip and performance.
 

razie

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@Mike King - that's the problem with thinking in terms of separation and angulation. It's much easier when you think counterbalance and counteraction. Think about it this way: as you counter/counteract, the forward bend at the hip takes the place of counterbalance i.e. the lateral bend at the hip. I think the CSIA used to call this separation creates angulation. That's just one aspect of counter, not everything, but it may help explain why those WC coaches were wrong :geek: to say grip doesn't come from counter... maybe they're the course cycling kind, not tech coaches... some tend to have simple blunt models and use imprecise terminology very loosely but still be able to guide athletes to good results. If your definition of angulation includes the forward bend at the hip when countered, then what good is that, to distinguish what the skier is doing? There's several other more subtle ways that counter helps grip, which is why it's used so much at the high levels.

To be fair, I know a few top coaches that still coach angulation with less counter, i.e. "square" but that's not what we see and not what really works... and I'm fine to agree to disagree :ogcool:

Watch again Alice's stills. That's counter so hard that her hips point to the outside of the skis' direction, before the apex i.e. at the top of the turn. Hard to be earlier than that and harder than that ;)...
 
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geepers

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First, it appears that some are equating separation with both ski bend and with grip. I don't understand what physics and biomechanics you guys are claiming results in these two outcomes, so might you elaborate?
As @razie has pointed out in CSIA's former model Tech Ref #3 was "Upper and lower body separation allows for angulation to provide grip". Basically if we have that separation and some flex at the hips the upper body is positioned towards the outside ski. Also covered in a BPS vid with the demo of crane effect using lego pieces - can't recall which vid specifically but it will be one of the angulation vids.

In terms of hips that gets added to any lateral angulation we are able to get. (What I'm getting from the BPS Ski Moves sessions is the need for more flexibility in the hips to allow for that initial lateral angulation. Angulation from separation and flex seems a good deal easier to come by and used to further increase angulation as the turn proceeds.)

Moving mass to the outside of the turn (or at least above the natural balance line) gives us platform angle <90 degrees and hence grip - assuming sharp enough edges, decent fore/aft balance, etc.

As for bending the ski don't see a direct connection. Bending is dependent on edge angle. Although we won't get much bending if we don't have grip.


Recalling one of the points made by @TheApprentice - all depends on our goals. Be damned doing stuff on snow that hurts. Feeling strange, pushing the envelope, some discomfort by day's end because muscles worked hard - that's fine. But a lot of pain - no way. Sustainability is an essential, not just a goal. Youngsters - anyone <50 - will make their own choices.

in one series of turns actively create strong early counter, increase it progressively and hold it through transition into the next turn
Does this mean you are holding that counter (hips facing outside of the old turn) when entering the new turn? So at the start of that new turn the hips are facing inside the new turn? Does this require an active movement to get the hips to face outside of that turn or do we just wait for the skis to come around towards the fall line?
 
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@Mike King - that's the problem with thinking in terms of separation and angulation. It's much easier when you think counterbalance and counteraction. Think about it this way: as you counter/counteract, the forward bend at the hip takes the place of counterbalance i.e. the lateral bend at the hip. I think the CSIA used to call this separation creates angulation. That's just one aspect of counter, not everything, but it may help explain why those WC coaches were wrong :geek: to say grip doesn't come from counter... maybe they're the course cycling kind, not tech coaches... some tend to have simple blunt models and use imprecise terminology very loosely but still be able to guide athletes to good results. If your definition of angulation includes the forward bend at the hip when countered, then what good is that, to distinguish what the skier is doing? There's several other more subtle ways that counter helps grip, which is why it's used so much at the high levels.

To be fair, I know a few top coaches that still coach angulation with less counter, i.e. "square" but that's not what we see and not what really works... and I'm fine to agree to disagree :ogcool:

Watch again Alice's stills. That's counter so hard that her hips point to the outside of the skis' direction, before the apex i.e. at the top of the turn. Hard to be earlier than that and harder than that ;)...
Well, I don't think that describes what Alice is doing. Here's another frame by frame capture of her turn. Watch how square her pelvis is to her skis UNTIL the point of maximum pressure. As the skis are redirected from that that point, rotational separation develops, but not really before.

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Maximum pressure is somewhere around here...

and still pretty square to the skis...
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Rod9301

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Well, I don't think that describes what Alice is doing. Here's another frame by frame capture of her turn. Watch how square her pelvis is to her skis UNTIL the point of maximum pressure. As the skis are redirected from that that point, rotational separation develops, but not really before.

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Maximum pressure is somewhere around here...

and still pretty square to the skis...
View attachment 135611 View attachment 135612 View attachment 135613 View attachment 135614 View attachment 135616 View attachment 135618 View attachment 135619 .
She's pretty countered. It maybe hard to see though.
 

geepers

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It requires an active movement
Like #1 in this vid?



Seems like an extra movement with a list of things to watch out for.
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#2 seems to be closest to what I've been taught by the CSIA - assuming I understand it correctly. Tip lead determines the amount of separation (~counter) and the greater the CoM inclination the greater the tip lead. But use the minimum necessary. Advantage of stable platform.
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#3, especially the last part on driving forward with the outside arm, seems to be Alice Robinson.
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#4.... :huh:
 

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No, tip lead is maintained to a minimum by pulling get back strongly with the hamstrings.

How much tip lead is determined by the angle of the ski to the snow
 

razie

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@Mike King on pressure, the ski tends to bend and turns. If it glides in the same direction between frames, there is likely minimum or no pressure on it. Pressure there comes in the last frame. Granted, you found one turn where she looks like she counters late ogsmile let's not disregard all the others where she counters early ;). Think of it in terms of movements and when the counteracting starts, even in that turn. The average matters, not the "one turn" where tactics dictated different timing, given the line - look again, she's just drifting into that apex, not trying to carve the high line. Tons of counter kept from the previous turn, held even as the skis drift into the new turn... she never squares up, or anything like that - not saying that there may be turns where she does, of course. Not there.

@geepers there's no counter there that I can see, lots of rotation though :geek: . I don't personally like equating tip lead with counter - that's what I call "the weak counter" or "fake counter". They are separate things, related but different: one's a hip action, the other a leg action. It is really funky working on these, as they do tend to conflict in terms of body movements: pushing the inside hip forward while keeping the inside foot back is always funky initially ;)
 
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@razie, I picked that turn at random and it is, I believe, typical of her skiing rather than the exception. Here's another sequence I picked at random that shows the same thing. Watch how she is pretty square to her skis until she "steps on it", develops the big angulation (where to create space for her inside leg the inside hip has to move a bit forward) and the counter really develops after this point.

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razie

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We can't keep this up, Mike - there's no time for many words per frame per hours of video :geek:

Look at the first one: she starts with counter from the old turn, hips point outside the new turn and never change direction until the gate, while the skis turn from across, to point downhill, i.e. more than 90 degrees. Why would you or anyone call that square or lacking counter? :huh: And yes, all this action and counteraction occurs way above the apex, i.e. as early as the end of the previous turn, which can't possibly get any earlier unless she started it two turns up? :geek:

Let's agree to disagree and leave it at that. If she hadn't counteracted, her hips would be pointing to the ski tips at the gate, i.e. straight down the hill. Which they most obviously do not... I'll likely never call it counter again, as it seems to make us look for positions instead of actions. It's counteraction, it's an actual action which as all actions, occurs in time.
 
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@Mike King Takao skis classic Japanese/Korean style. Awesome, but watch his short and SL turns versus his large turns, there's a marked difference in the way he skis those. When he needs the performance from the ski, he'll counter a lot in his SL turns. When he doesn't need as much ski bend (for the angles) in those detuned large instructor demo-type turns, he won't counter much, because otherwise the ski will snap around and the turn will be tighter... so when he says "follow with the hip" ask him if he does that in bumps or SL turns too ;). I've also seen many Korean skiers to create some counter early and then just park it there and ride it out following the ski, that's classic too and you'll see it in Takao's turns, although he does let some counter appear by the end of the turn and then squares up etc. Not a fan, although for sure relaxing and good-looking and I'm sure I do that when tired or just out for a stroll (albeit not as good-looking :rolleyes:).

We've touched on this before, I think @jimtransition and @markojp can comment more on that and/or kick me if I'm off the reservation :geek:

Counter is a movement, not a position, there's nothing static about it. As some may say: the femur must rotate in the hip socket... or as I like to see it: the hip socket must rotate around the femur. Whichever way you're looking at it, when the two are fused together, it's no bueno in my view, that's why I'm not a fan. What I like to do is to ski a big ski for big turns and a short ski for short turns, and I tend to ski them the same... although of course, sometimes you counter more and sometimes you counter less, depending on what you want from the ski in this or that situation.
I've only skied with Takao once, and a bit was lost in translation, but I think that's a pretty fair description of the difference between his short and long turns. As I think someone said, the goal in tech comps is speed down the hill and angles for show, not necessarily deflection across the hill.
 
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I'll agree we can't go on like this.
I've only skied with Takao once, and a bit was lost in translation, but I think that's a pretty fair description of the difference between his short and long turns. As I think someone said, the goal in tech comps is speed down the hill and angles for show, not necessarily deflection across the hill.
Well, you're lucky to have skied with him! But I'd say this video shows he rotates his hip into the top of the turn in pretty much all of his turns.
Here he's teaching a bump skiing lesson. What's the first thing he teaches? Hip rotation:


Step 2 is using hip rotation in a bit of a falling leaf:


Here he is teaching hip rotation in the bumps:


Watch the difference in the outside hip of the students in their before and after lesson clips here:

 

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there's no counter there that I can see, lots of rotation though :geek: . I don't personally like equating tip lead with counter - that's what I call "the weak counter" or "fake counter". They are separate things, related but different: one's a hip action, the other a leg action. It is really funky working on these, as they do tend to conflict in terms of body movements: pushing the inside hip forward while keeping the inside foot back is always funky initially ;)
No counter but rotation in the demo of style #1 in that vid? Damn - just when I think I'm getting the hang of the terminology... :rolleyes: But should check - did you watch style #1 in that vid with that exaggerated throw-back of the new outside arm?


And, yeah, it does read like it's kind of funky at the top of turn where all those things need to happen. :beercheer: May be too much pilot workload for me...

Take your point (and @Rod9301 ) that it's not a free for all re tip lead. Where that came from was an ab initio lesson on pure carving. Instructor pointed out that in an intermediate parallel turn (steered/drifted) separation starts with the initial pivot of the skis. So question posed was: where does it come from when pure carving. Still one of the most memorable lessons I ever took.

Seems to be tip lead with most of these skiers. Not a lot but enough.

 

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I only saw one, but it's not the tip lead that starts the turn. It's the old downhill ski that's now on the little toe edge
 

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