[Solved] The Flat Ski
I'm getting a bit confused. When I was taking a few clinics in Alberta last season, there was a regular theme about being on a flat ski and making a move from the flat ski to make some kind of initial steering motion.
I didn't really get it to be honest and didn't have the opportunity to really question exactly what was meant.
Of course, the ski has to move through flat in a turn and being aware of the rolling across flat from one edge to the other is useful. To my thinking the rate of this rolling varies with the type of turn; I get that.
A friend of mine is now teaching a season in Alberta and is messaging me to say how he is being coached in a way that suggests it is more than just an awareness of the flat ski. It seems it's something that may have entered CSIA thinking. Can you maybe clarify this Skinerd as I don't really understand it? If it's just as I assumed it was, becoming aware of the movement across the ski then I'm fine with it, but it if it's something else, I can't grasp the concept and feel it contradicts pretty much what everyone else is doing and advocating.
Has anyone else come across this and perhaps, hopefully, understood it better than my rapidly diminishing brain cells have been able to?
Ignore the above. I think my friend misunderstood my understanding and there doesn't seem to be anything new.
I have no idea what they could be trying to get at. Can you elaborate a little more on what steering move they wanted from a flat ski?
I certainly think having fine edge control is an important skill and having the ability to flatten the ski and drift comes in handy in certain situations... but a 'flat ski' doesn't create a direction change. So if the objective is linked turns with a round shape (which is typical for the CSIA), then your concept of 'rolling through flat' makes sense, but any sort of twisting a flat ski doesn't.
That was exactly my thinking Tobin, but there was definitely a mention of creating a steering angle from a flat ski before engaging the new edges at some point in at least one clinic. I'm thinking I must have misunderstood as to my thinking this would immediately rule out any kind of performance turn.
I've certainly heard course conductors say things like that in the past, infact, I may have used that tactic myself... but usually as part of a drill to isolate pivoting or fine tune edge control or something.
My understanding is the pivot on the flat ski is for IP turns and allows separation. Once the skis are slightly across the path of travel then apply as much edge as desired for the turn.
It was the very 1st drill we did in the CSIA L2 Training module in 2017 by an instructor who went on to the 2019 Interski demo team. His method was to lift toes using the TA muscle to make sure the heel is engaged and to maintain light contact with the boot tongue to prevent going too fat back. Center of foot pressure should now be just in front of the heel and, when flat, the skis can be readily pivoted around that zone prior to edging.
There are other ways to achieve it - vertical extension perpendicular to the pitch for example.
This is distinct from an AP turn where the aim is pure carving and separation comes from inside/outside foot lead.
If I understand correctly, in order to make a gate, WC racers often use a large pivot at the top of the turn then bring in edge to carve to the next gate.
Gees, I sure hope my understanding is not too far off. 😕
It could be that's what they were getting at. If so, I have a slight issue. I really love a video from Luc Neron where he starts by saying something like, the same technique, every kind of turn and then proceeds to do IP, AP and shorts in all forms using the same movements, only adjusting rate, duration, intensity. This is what I love about CSIA, that we learn and teach the same stuff all the way through from early days to expert.
I think it's something I'm not going to look too much at unless I get a really convincing reason to try. It wasn't mentioned at all on the L3 training and advanced teaching modules I did before the exam at the end of last season.