Category: Tips and Techniques

The Ins and Outs of the Death Wobble

The Ins and Outs of the Death Wobble

It may be a dramatic term but if you are a tetherer you’ve probably seen a death wobble. It is problem which afflicts quad skis (a.k.a dual ski with pontoons / fixed outriggers) when traveling straight down the hill on flat terrain. The sequence goes something like this:

  1. The ski starts to lose momentum
  2. The ski tips randomly (to the right in this case) and the right pontoon touches the snow.
  3. This causes a braking on the right side of the rig, and the skis twist 15 degrees off the direction of travel.
  4. But the skier’s momentum is still straight forward, now 15 degrees left of where the skis are pointing, so the rig flops over to the left side
  5. Now the left tide pontoon touches down on the snow
  6. This causes a braking on the left side of the rig and the skis twist to point 15 degrees left of the directing of travel.
  7. Now the ski flops to the right and the whole cycle continues, etc.

Continue reading “The Ins and Outs of the Death Wobble”

Going off Leash

Going off Leash

Skiing is cancelled today due to rain & warm temperatures, so time for a blog. We rarely use the bunny hill with sit skis at the Edelweiss program, it is too full of small children on the days our program runs. So, our sit skier progression is mainly about running a green trial top to bottom repeatedly on tethers. The first run is 99% tetherer controlled with the skier as a passenger, then slowly responsibility for speed control, turn initiation and route planning are transferred to the sit skier. Continue reading “Going off Leash”

Thumbing, just how evil is it?

Thumbing, just how evil is it?

First let me define “Thumbing”. Thumbing is controlling a sit ski by standing behind it and holding on to the back of the seat (also known as the “Bucket”). It’s called Thumbing because a common grip is to place the hands palm forward, with the fingers outside the bucket and the thumbs inside. These days a growing number of sit skis have a handle attached, so the natural grip is more like pushing a shopping trolley, but I still call it thumbing.

Nobody objects to thumbing to push the sit ski across flat ground, such as from the chalet to the chair lift. It becomes more controversial when you mean Thumbing a sit ski to control it while descending hill. In my home program it’s frowned on, A sit skier who is being thumbed isn’t controlling, or even contributing to, their direction or balance. So they aren’t learning anything, they should be on tethers instead. Continue reading “Thumbing, just how evil is it?”

Sit Skiing: One Discipline or Two?

Sit Skiing: One Discipline or Two?

I’m old enough to remember when the term “Monoski” meant something like the above.

But these days it usually means a sitski mounted on a single ski, the alternative term is “Bi-ski” for a sitski mounted on 2 skis. At the Edelweiss program we tend to think of a monoski like a sports car, and the bi-ski like the family station wagon (I guess that’s a minivan these days). Continue reading “Sit Skiing: One Discipline or Two?”

Catch and Release

Catch and Release

It’s been said that the two riskiest days in a human life are the day you are born and the day you die. A tethering run is bit like that, the first few seconds and the last few seconds are the hardest. At the beginning of a run you have to transition from holding the “bucket” to having the sitski at the end of the tethers, with some tension, allowing you to control (or at least influence) the skier. Both those states are stable, but between them is an unstable phase of loose tethers and no control. Continue reading “Catch and Release”