What's your recipe for a traditional short radius non-carved turn

François Pugh

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Improving my traditional short radius non-carved turn has been a pet project of mine for the last few years, albeit one that I rarely pay attention to because I'm having too much fun slicing grooves in the snow, but improve I must. I'm sure there are others who want to improve their traditional short radius turns too.

By carve I mean pure arc-2-arc no-sideways-skiing; non-carved means the opposite, i.e. the kind of turn most folks were taught to use in order to control their speed and to make the skis turn tighter than they could make a clean pure arc-2-arc turn by tipping the ski way up on edge.

So have at it. What must be done to make one of these turns properly, according to your recipe? What do you do or teach in order to produce a bullet-proof traditional short radius turn.
 

geepers

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These types of short turns are an important prt of CSIA L3 and something I've been working hard on the last few seasons. (Working? Shooooot, it's sking "...having a good time on...") Mastery is still elusive and on any given day I may do decent shorts :cool: or they may be a sad disappointment :(.

If they haven't been part of a skier's repertoire it will take a while before they look like Benni Walsh.



The 1st thing was getting an idea of what is supposed to happen. So basically the skis are steered from the top of the arc and then, just after the fall line, grip is rapidly increased leading to a spike in GRF providing redirection across the hill and rebound into the next turn. In CSIA L3 they are typically done on a steep, black, groomed run at an advanced speed with a tempo about 1 second per turn.


This vid from Paul Lorenz shows turns at a much higher proficiency and discusses his objectives for shorts in various snow conditions.


The importance of that rapid increase in grip/GRF is discussed here. Can't overstate the need for this. Without it shorts are very, very hard work.


There's quite a bit of advice available. Most recently I've followed the ideas of Big Picture Skiing. There's a good overview in this CARV clip of his main points. More details on BPS web site in the short turns vids.


Anyone familiar with Sun Peak's Headwall - pretty good skiing. Not to mention that top part of Silverstar's Caliper Ridge.


Also found useful tips on the Projected Production vids. One from Paul Lorenz who says he imagines a short turn pitch as two columns of trampolines on their sides redirecting him back and forth across the hill between the columns. Found that a very useful image.

Richie knows a thing or two about short turns. The ski-in-boots only drill at 0:38 is revealing for how far back centered actually is. Try that one a bit forward to find out...


Keys for me are:
  • Being particularly active in ankles and knees - important for working pressure along the length of the ski through the turn. Dolphin turns on the flat one of the best ways of getting mobile. Doesn't actually matter if the dolphins hardly occur - it will wake up the ankles!
  • Disciplined upper body
  • Allowing the femurs to rotate in the hip sockets - if the hips come around after the fall line it'll cost grip.
Also - it helps to be fit. A long, steep pitch of swing shorts is going to get the blood pumping. OTOH great way to keep warm on a cold day.

Have fun.

And a bonus vid comparing different ski organisations ideas on shorts. For no particular reason.

 

markojp

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Great clips and info, but I thought FP was asking about easy open parallel short turns, no?

" Improving my traditional short radius non-carved turn has been a pet project of mine for the last few years, albeit one that I rarely pay attention to because I'm having too much fun slicing grooves in the snow."
 

Jamt

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There is no big difference technique wise to a carved turn IMO. Same basic movements, different DIRT
-Less tipping of outside foot, in particular initially
-Less angulation (hero snow allows more)
-More counter movement at tend of turn
-Much more fore at beginning of pressure phase gradually moving back (will make skis self-rotate), stronger pullback and tipping of inside foot
-more distinctive pole plant
 

LiquidFeet

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.... More counter movement at tend of turn
.... stronger pullback and tipping of inside foot
At slow easy speeds on somewhat flat skis, these two above act strongly to get the skis to turn the skier.
--The countered body unwinds as the turn proceeds and helps rotate the low-edged skis.
--The strong pullback of the inside ski creates drag on that side, so the freely moving outside ski pivots around the inside ski.
--Rotating the inside thigh to point that knee into the new turn shortens it dramatically. But it's not on @Jamt's list because one would never do this when carving.
--A major contributor to slower speed with short radius turns is turn completion. Very few groomer cruisers complete their turns. Watch your back!
 
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Skitechniek

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@François Pugh
What kind of short turns do you like to make?
Short turns for moguls are different than the one you learn for skiing in a slope e.g.
Short turns for moguls don't have as much edging.
 
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François Pugh

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Thank you @geepers . As an engineer, I especially liked Video #4. Notice how the tips are tipped and bent at the right point for the examiner. Video #5, although not specific to short turns, really helps with how the slope the ski is travelling on changes throughout the turn and affects fore-aft balance and why it might be difficult to get that pressure on the tips at the right time.
 
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François Pugh

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@Skitechniek All of them. Please, be specific in your description if you care to differentiate amongst them.
@LiquidFeet Yes. that's what I want more of, exactly what movements, inside foot pull back, shift weight to outside ski, allow skis to rotate at start, strong tipping and tip pressure by fall line, body position, that sort of thing.
 

LiquidFeet

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@François Pugh, that list I wrote can be done with flex-to-release or extend-to-release, if you like thinking that way. A skier can get very short turns using that short list, with very low edge angles, keeping feet beneath the body, not out to the side. It works on hard snow or soft. It's actually a modified pivot slip, right?

This is a formula for slow going short turns down a narrow corridor, easy-peasy skiing, not at all like the highly dynamic short turns that @geepers is chasing. But I'm not sure esy-peasy is what you are after.

Some modification of that list is needed on steeeep hard snow groomers after a thaw-freeze cycle. There is no easy-peasy here, unless you really do pivot slips all the way down. You'll need more grip from edging if you want to use super-short radius turns while keeping downhill travel slowish. Keep everything the same, use flex-to-release, and go light-heavy in each turn. Focus on early tipping to get that grip set before the fall line. Rotating the inside thigh is essential. Some aft-fore pulling of the feet, aka stroking the ski (see the Tom Gellie threads), helps, but I know at least one National Team member whose super shorts I am chasing doesn't find the stroking necessary. This last part is one of the things I'd be working on if I were on snow this season.
 
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JESinstr

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There is no big difference technique wise to a carved turn IMO. Same basic movements, different DIRT
-Less tipping of outside foot, in particular initially
-Less angulation (hero snow allows more)
-More counter movement at tend of turn
-Much more fore at beginning of pressure phase gradually moving back (will make skis self-rotate), stronger pullback and tipping of inside foot
-more distinctive pole plant
Great observations as always. And that is why I look at carving as a process not a type of turn. I know this flys in the face of traditional definitions but modern shape skis are not the skis of old.

As to counter, I go by the concept that the upper body faces the direction of intended travel. In short turns, that means the upper body is facing primarily down the fall line. The requirement for dynamic upper lower separation is ever present. The "distinctive pole plant" adds upper body discipline to this highly dynamic process. The shorter the radius, the faster I try to get my skis out and away on edge and I know it's working when I feel tension in my arch.
 

Mike B

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In the videos of Bennie vs. the CSIA L3 candidates, I see a clear difference. Bennie gets the ski to hookup and then allows them to come through and helps with a slight pull from the knees down. The majority of the csia candidates seem to use rotary and a push. Bennie is skiing the ski, the CSIA folks could probably be on any ski and still make the same turn. Neither slope is what I would consider a steep, icy black slope. If so, Benie would have a much harder time controlling his speed after a few turns and the csia folks would find that their short turns would become medium and /or slide out due to the push/rotary. Combining the two techniques would be similiar to the feeling I would use when the pitch gets turned up and icy - i.e. the rotary would be present but being soft on the snow at the finish of the turn allowing the skis to come through without a push, but a slight pull from the knees down. The CSIA skiers that do use a "pull" in that video do that with body parts above the knee. My 2 cents.
Edit: I just watched the Pual Lorenze video and he describes what I mean pretty well. I like that he mentions "a pull".
 
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SSSdave

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Thanks geepers. A lot more to short turns than I ever knew. Recognized my own undisciplined short turn bag of tricks in parts of these videos. On average, I keep my upper body forward more than is ideal for making beautiful turns because I have more options tactically on uneven terrain to control turn starts with directed hops. Especially liked the Paul Lorentz video. For this person, short turns are a way to viscerally get more enjoyment out of slopes like easily bouncing on a trampoline.
 

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Back in the day I watched a really good Austrian drive himself up the hill with short swing turns.
Trampoline effect in spades.
 

Skitechniek

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@François Pugh

This is what I meant by mogul short turns, from the 1 minute mark. Versus what you see the projected productions guys doing. Mogul short turns have less edging/deflection.

Learning both seems like the way to go. :)

I personally like a very quiet upper body, little flailing around with the arms and lots of edge angle/deflection with short pressure points and lots of upper/lower body seperation. That is what I would teach.
____________________________________________
As to shaped ski's and short turns, imo you don't need much shape to make short turns. Even if you don't use much rotary.


^These ski's have less shape than Tomba's ski's in the 80's. Slope is around 28-30 degrees and I don't see a whole lot of rotary. As long as the ski has a bit of shape it will work. Sidecut is less important than reverse camber once the ski has been tipped on edge.
 

geepers

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Great clips and info, but I thought FP was asking about easy open parallel short turns, no?
OP wrote about non-carved shorts so the turns in the clips is what came to mind. Hopefully he'll advise if wide of the mark.

If you have a turn a short turn in mind that is easy then love to hear about it. Love that word...

In the videos of Bennie vs. the CSIA L3 candidates, I see a clear difference. Bennie gets the ski to hookup and then allows them to come through and helps with a slight pull from the knees down. The majority of the csia candidates seem to use rotary and a push. Bennie is skiing the ski, the CSIA folks could probably be on any ski and still make the same turn. Neither slope is what I would consider a steep, icy black slope. If so, Benie would have a much harder time controlling his speed after a few turns and the csia folks would find that their short turns would become medium and /or slide out due to the push/rotary. Combining the two techniques would be similiar to the feeling I would use when the pitch gets turned up and icy - i.e. the rotary would be present but being soft on the snow at the finish of the turn allowing the skis to come through without a push, but a slight pull from the knees down. The CSIA skiers that do use a "pull" in that video do that with body parts above the knee. My 2 cents.
Edit: I just watched the Pual Lorenze video and he describes what I mean pretty well. I like that he mentions "a pull".
Yeah, there's like a chasm of difference in proficiency between a CSIA L3 candidate - even a successful one - and Bennie Walsh. A better comparison would be with Russ Woods, a CSIA L4 Examiner, who is the left side skier in the side by side comparison.

With regard to pitch generally very hard to tell from vid as that tends to make everything look flatter. Can only speak from my own experience - practically every L3 workshops I've been to we do it on steep pitches. In our case they are always scraped back to base by the tail sliders. The L4's have no trouble controlling their speed and us lesser mortals do our best to keep it under the sound barrier. The vid of TG skiing Headwall at Sun Peaks and the top of section of Caliper Ridge at Silverstar are typical of the type of terrain we are normally subjected to.

Absolutely agree on the 'pull'. It's vital to keep the feet coming through, especially on the outside. The CARV vid covers that and there's more in Big Picture Skiing.

It also helps to be counter-torqueing the body - when the legs start to go one way the body is torqueing the other. Helps with grip and with unwinding to start the new turn.

There is no big difference technique wise to a carved turn IMO. Same basic movements, different DIRT
-Less tipping of outside foot, in particular initially
-Less angulation (hero snow allows more)
-More counter movement at tend of turn
-Much more fore at beginning of pressure phase gradually moving back (will make skis self-rotate), stronger pullback and tipping of inside foot
-more distinctive pole plant
Lot to said for this pov. The point about same movements made in this vid.


Some modification of that list is needed on steeeep hard snow groomers after a thaw-freeze cycle. There is no easy-peasy here, unless you really do pivot slips all the way down. You'll need more grip from edging if you want to use super-short radius turns while keeping downhill travel slowish. Keep everything the same, use flex-to-release, and go light-heavy in each turn. Focus on early tipping to get that grip set before the fall line. Rotating the inside thigh is essential.
As it gets steeper more needs be done to prevent vertical rise as this disconnects the skis from the snow for too long. I try to move my knees down the hill through transition. Also shorten my poles (about 3cm) so the body continues to flow downhill with the pole plant.
 
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François Pugh

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OP wrote about non-carved shorts so the turns in the clips is what came to mind. Hopefully he'll advise if wide of the mark.
No worries. I'm very happy with what I got. I didn't really have any particular speed or slope in mind when I asked the question. It's all good, and I need to improve all of them. Speed is not something that concerns me all that much, unless I'm following someone and want to stay behind him. I was reminded of how bad my SR turns are the other day, my first half-day of the season, when I decided for the first time in a long time to use them. I used them to stay behind a friend I had dragged out skiing (his first time skiing in two years), a friend who absolutely wanted to ski slowly.

Just for background, I never learned those turns when I started out; I could do a hockey stop to slow down and didn't give a rat's adz about looking good and collecting style points, so I concentrated on carving cleaner turns and going faster. Instead of learning to slow down when skis became unstable I got longer GS skis and when that didn't work, I got SGs. Seeing me carve, folks think I'm an expert; I've had folks come up to me on the hill and ask for "an opinion from an expert". When I do short radius turns I see me as a first year skier with maybe 30 days under his belt, whether I'm in bumps with a fairly flat ski or on steeps with well tipped skis - inside leg undisciplined, not smooth, pressure control off, etc.

I used to want to ski faster all the time, but now I don't care. Fast is good. Slow is good. It's all good for me now.
 

Scruffy

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OP wrote about non-carved shorts so the turns in the clips is what came to mind. Hopefully he'll advise if wide of the mark.

If you have a turn a short turn in mind that is easy then love to hear about it. Love that word...



Yeah, there's like a chasm of difference in proficiency between a CSIA L3 candidate - even a successful one - and Bennie Walsh. A better comparison would be with Russ Woods, a CSIA L4 Examiner, who is the left side skier in the side by side comparison.

With regard to pitch generally very hard to tell from vid as that tends to make everything look flatter. Can only speak from my own experience - practically every L3 workshops I've been to we do it on steep pitches. In our case they are always scraped back to base by the tail sliders. The L4's have no trouble controlling their speed and us lesser mortals do our best to keep it under the sound barrier. The vid of TG skiing Headwall at Sun Peaks and the top of section of Caliper Ridge at Silverstar are typical of the type of terrain we are normally subjected to.

Absolutely agree on the 'pull'. It's vital to keep the feet coming through, especially on the outside. The CARV vid covers that and there's more in Big Picture Skiing.

It also helps to be counter-torqueing the body - when the legs start to go one way the body is torqueing the other. Helps with grip and with unwinding to start the new turn.



Lot to said for this pov. The point about same movements made in this vid.




As it gets steeper more needs be done to prevent vertical rise as this disconnects the skis from the snow for too long. I try to move my knees down the hill through transition. Also shorten my poles (about 3cm) so the body continues to flow downhill with the pole plant.
Nice extension releases in the beginning of the video - on the steep pitch.

Nice comparison here on Sofa ski on the extension vs flex to release for short turns at interski
 

oldschoolskier

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You need 2 types of skis. GS and SL. Ski both the same with the big difference being speed and radius.

Then ski the SL’s fast and rapid turns slowly widening the path and decreasing the radius.

Changes timing and application.
 

mdf

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I used them to stay behind a friend
I'd forgotten about that...
I enjoy meeting other skiers from the forum, and will take a few runs with just about anyone. That means sometimes you need to keep yourself entertained on blue or green runs. One game I sometimes play is to see how long I can stay behind them without "cheating" with sideways skids or long traverses.

I can't do it forever -- have to throw in a brake now and then -- maybe some of you can.
 
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