Carving turns - ski technique
Carving technique – Putting pressure on ski edges in a turn
Innovation in skiing techniques when making a turn is exclusively related to competition skiing. The experience of top skiers is of crucial importance for the improvement of ski equipment technology. New carving skis provide greater opportunities in terms of conductivity, the making of a precise turn without skidding, annulling the introductory part of a turn, providing that way a greater speed and its maintenance throughout the whole turn.
We will analyze one segment of a turn, the so-called edge pressure. If we analyze the slope movements and actions during a turn, whilst bearing in mind only the pressure on ski edges we conclude the following:
Additional pressure pushes skis “deeper” into the snow and as skis are pushed “deeper” into the snow they create greater resistance.
The surface onto which body weight is transferred is reduced by tilting the skis. The more we lean, the more are our skis “pushed into” the snow.
Pressure in lateral direction
The more the skis are inclined, the more the base and ski edges create lateral pressure on the snow. This is because the force of the ski base and edge acts perpendicularly on the snow. The more the ski is inclined, the greater the lateral component of the force, so the ski will be able to create lateral pressure onto the snow.
When we want to change direction or slow down, we push the edges into the snow, so that, the more the ski is inclined, the faster we make the turn or slow down. This is very important for carving turns and stopping.
Tilting of skis creates pressure on ski edges and enables their side setting. However, we should bear in mind the following: if the skis are too inclined, the snow may not be firm enough to “hold” the edges. The top layer of snow may be pushed away by a ski and a ski may lose support.
The effect of the edges
There are four different effects that the ski edge can produce during skiing.
The effects depend on:
The force that is transmitted to the edge,
The angle of the edge and
The quality of snow.
Simply speaking, the effects are the following:
Skis speed down the slope,
Skis move down the slope with a constant speed,
Skis slow down whilst moving down the slope and
When competitors ski, they want to move as quickly as possible and they do not want to use any resistance in slope direction, as it would slow them down. All they want is to make resistance in lateral direction, so that they can ski down the slope and through the gates. That is why they use techniques that push most to the side, by transferring body weight to the centre of gravity above the furthest lateral part of the ski. Performing competitive slalom turns takes more dynamics, i.e. greater speed of movement and execution of elements of a turn. Oscillations of gravity are minimal and the range of motion (body inclination) during the turn is up to a maximum. There is maximum optimization of movement aimed at achieving higher speed, minimal energy consumption and the expression of optimal force at different stages of a turn. This way at the end of a turn we acquire all conditions to use compressed energy in skis to its maximum for a faster and more effective relief…
Note: The turn in skiing can be defined as a change in direction of skis along a curved line or a path. On the bases of the definition it is clear that there are a great number of different turns, depending on the intention and knowledge of a skier, or rather the off-road conditions.
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Ski technique - carving ski turns
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Carving turns - ski technique