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Thread: What is "Smearing"

  1. #1
    Know all the neighbours by name Senior Citizen Representative
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    What is "Smearing"

    (from another thread, I wrote): Maybe the comments in this postscript should go into the equipment thread, but I understand that one of the big benefits of the fat, reverse camber, reverse side-cut rocker skis, was the ability to almost stop on a dime or change one's path by pressuring the tails of the skis and "smearing" (see 0.52:0.53 for a clear demonstration as well as 0.58:1.00, 1:02:1.04). Especially the section around 3:38, where Molly is coming down with a head of steam and stops in a split second right where Zack is standing. I understand that this characteristic of full rocker skis is what will make fast steep tight tree skiing much more available for the average "advanced" skier.

    (The above relates to time in seconds from a video, A Downhill Affair, provided by SMJ)


    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post

    Hi Charlie,

    What is Smearing? Is that another word for controlled skidding? And if not how are the two different?

    Thanks,

    Toby

    Oct 10, 2011

    Hi Toby:

    Well, this will teach me a lesson for using terminology which I'm not really all that sure of. But I will try to give you a brief "more or less" correct description. If you review the video in question, you will note that:

    0:48 Molly appears on the horizon with a sheet of virgin snow before her.

    0:52 During the course of this whole second, you will (a) first see her butt sinking to her tail and an instant later, the tips of her skis rising out of the snow, due to rocker ski design but probably aided by the weighting of the tails as well. (b) second, right at the end of this second (0.52) due to dropping of her hips and rising tips, she experiences a "slight" hesitancy in her speed.

    0.55 Observe the tracks which she has left in the virgin snow. Her right ski (inside ski) leaves a track which is "ski width" wide, while her left ski (outside ski), "smears/butters" a track which is at least 10 "ski width" wide.

    The smearing/buttering of her outside ski, is what caused her slight hesitancy in speed. If she had smeared both the left (inside) and right (outside) ski, you can see how she would be able to come to a stop in very short order. Probably similar to "hockey stops". In the other sections which I point out, the video does not allow us to see her "pressuring" her tails, but you will note the "slight" hesitiancy in her speed and I attribute that to "pressuring" her tails. This hesitancy is especially apparent at 1:02 and I think she used this time to check out the approach to the jump which happens at 1:04. Note that her upper body is quite countered. I think that the reason you can get away with this move, at speed, on steeps is that for some reason (rocker design?), it is not as easy to go over the "handlebars" as it is with just regular fat skis (Is this correct?).

    I think that in WC GS racing, this move is use, by (a) upper body countered to fall line (b) an down unweighting move and extraction of skis off the snow by bringing the knees towards one's body trunk, (c) and the twisting of the skis in mid air, so when they come into contact with the snow, a "smear" happens so that the racer can make the next gate, due to the quick change in ski travel direction. The only thing is that as soon as the smear happens, the racer tries to get back onto his/her edges as soon as possible. CR has a clear video and "very clear" explanation of this move.

    So if what you mean by a controlled skidding is similar to the above, than yes, they would be more or less the same moves.

    First, if this explanation is incorrect or not complete, I hope more experienced Village Residents will correct/modify what I've just said.

    My question is that I was always told that the "tails" of the ski are the "accelerators" and that the skier milks more speed by pressure on the heels at the end of a turn. Is it because of the design of full rocker skis and that fact that the skis are "tossed/pivoted" slightly to the sides that the braking occurs due to the friction of the skidded skis with the snow?

    Think snow,

    SCR
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    Last edited by CharlieP; October 11th, 2011 at 07:40 AM.
    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it ~ George Santayana

  2. #2
    HI Charlie,

    Hey Thanks for the explanation. Sounds to me that smearing and controlled skidding (steering) are the same thing. I remember hearing the word Smearing from years ago. Maybe smearing is the new steering now? Kind of like how they used to say, uphill, downhill ski, and now they say inside and outside ski.




    Toby
    Last edited by Toby; October 10th, 2011 at 09:46 PM.

  3. #3
    I have my own seat in the pub Skier Village Coach Coach Rick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieP View Post
    My question is that I was always told that the "tails" of the ski are the "accelerators" and that the skier milks more speed by pressure on the heels at the end of a turn. Is it because of the design of full rocker skis and that fact that the skis are "tossed/pivoted" slightly to the sides that the braking occurs due to the friction of the skidded skis with the snow?

    Think snow,

    SCR
    =====
    | SOAP |
    =====

    Think of steering as the act of using muscular effort to twist the skis into a change of direction, and smearing as the skid angle you use as you do it. See description of skid angle: http://www.yourskicoach.com/SkiGlossary/Skid_Angle.html

    The bigger the skid angle, the more you smear the turn, and the slower you go. You can change your skid (smear) angle at any point in the turn, to adjust your speed as desired.

    Yes, the tails are the accelerators, but only if in using them you maintain the same skid angle. If you brush them out into a bigger skid angle as you move weight back to them, then you will actually dump speed. Rockered skis simple make it easier to quickly increase skid angle, thus making it easier to smear.
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  4. #4

    Smearing

    Think of steering as the act of using muscular effort to twist the skis into a change of direction, and smearing as the skid angle
    HI Rick,

    I get it now, thanks! So is the word smearing an actual technical term, or is it just slang? Just curious.

    toby

  5. #5
    Know all the neighbours by name Senior Citizen Representative
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    Oct 11, 2011

    Hi CR and Village Residents:

    Thanks for the clear explanation of why increasing the skid angle while pressuring the tails of the skis, does not result in an acceleration move. It was killing me that maybe I had remembered it incorrectly. Even worse is that I had also understood it incorrectly.

    Think snow,

    SCR
    =====
    | SOAP |
    =====
    Last edited by CharlieP; October 11th, 2011 at 07:53 PM.
    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it ~ George Santayana

  6. #6
    Furnished the apartment Skier Village Coach
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    Smear, brush, pivot,drift ,all involve some movement across the length of the ski. Carving implies you ride on the edges of the ski with no such sideward displacement.

  7. #7

    What is the term for a power or slush turn?

    Quote Originally Posted by garryz View Post
    Smear, brush, pivot,drift ,all involve some movement across the length of the ski. Carving implies you ride on the edges of the ski with no such sideward displacement.
    Hi, Sorry to bother you about such an old thread. I was doing a Google search for the name of a powder/slush turn. I assume there has to be such a term and was once told by a PSIA instructor there was, but he couldn't remember.

    I don't believe that a power turn can be called a carved turn, because it's not "carved" by your edges, but is pressed by the entire base of your ski (that is not in the air).

    So is there such a term?

    Thanks

  8. #8
    I'd like to know that too. TIA

  9. #9
    This has confused me too. Any kind of clarification would help greatly.

  10. #10
    Did not know that thank you for explaining this!

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