Why Horton is wrong about "Smear"

SystemSystem Posts: 3 New Baller
This discussion was created from comments split from: D3 NRG Review.
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  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,496 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @horton you think "over steer" is going to help more skiers? How many drive hard and understand the concepts of over/under steer and also happen to be skiers?

    I full well understand smear at the ball (which in driving terms I'd call over steer), but to over steer off the second wake??? I have no clue what you just said.

    Doesn't mean it's wrong, just needs some clarity.

    There is a fin whispering book (excellent) that uses the term smear a lot and not over steer...smear being a turn concept not a concept off the second wake.

    Smear makes a lot of sense in my head for skiing...over and under steer make a lot of sense in my head driving. Common terminology and understanding for all in order to improve is pretty important.

    Not trying to be a crabby dude here...full respect...just think this terminology (smear vs. steer) has the potential to muddy the water of understanding.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,681 Administrator
    edited November 30
    @6balls
    My irritation with the term "Smear" is because the first time I really understood it, my understanding of slalom as a whole changed. Then Ballers started using "Smear" in different ways and the original meaning was lost - at least for me.

    The original definition of smear as I understood it was, anytime the tail of the ski is traveling in an arc wider than the path of the skier and / or the arc of the tail of the ski is changing at a greater rate than the arc of the skier. This is specifically from the second wake to apex.

    When skiers started talking about smear after apex and through the wakes and the term became synonymous with "slide" it means something totally different. Maybe those skiers were trying to express a correct idea but it is not what the term means to me.

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  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,681 Administrator
    edited November 30
    @6balls so to answer another part of your post. When the skier stays more connected they are more apt end up in a state where the back end of the car is starting to step out just a little right after edge change. This allows the car to stay balanced and just finish rotating at apex as opposed to driving straight into the corner and trying to rotate all at once. ;-)

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  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,209 Crazy Baller
    i don't think i have ever seen anyone discuss ' smear ' with more clear understanding than @jayski so i would like to see him weigh in on this and i would consider anything he writes about teh subject pretty much carved in granite. just my opinion of course. don't shoot the messenger.
    6balls
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,496 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'm not sure we are in disagreement.

    Sure you smear before the apex to some degree (in the pre-turn in old school terms), but if you are on top of your ski and the fin is more vertical you are smearing a whole lot less than when you go deeply on edge and make your turn. START smearing sure...just like the back end of the car stepping out a bit well before your apex.

    As for smear moving toward the wake--would also call that slide and not use smear there as a term.

    Everyone should read Fin Whispering and take notes...if nothing else we may then all speak the same language.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
    Lake3
  • jayskijayski Posts: 520 Crazy Baller
    @mwetskier you want @SkiJay I assume, since he wrote the book...and you assume he is all knowing

    Just teasing @SkiJay ;)
  • DWDW Posts: 1,554 Crazy Baller
    To add some physics - at any time there is a load on a ski and it is moving, it will have a slip angle, or in the lingo being adopted for this sport, be slipping, sliding or in a smear condition. The degree to which it is doing it will change depending on how the load is applied. That means that when the ski is crossing the wake, there is some slip or yaw angle relative to the direction of travel. Same applies for pre turn and rounding the buoy. As this forum is comprised of niche skiers delving in to the details and the description of ski performance is evolving, several cooks are providing input as to what terms to use to describe behavior, thus some confusion will ensue for a time until the terms take hold. Fin Whispering appears to be the first stake in the ground to define the lingo.
    Bruce_ButterfieldWish6balls
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,681 Administrator
    @6balls I think you missed why I think the concept is so interesting (to me) and needs a specific term to describe it. Forget the word "smear". Stop thinking about how you tune your ski (for a second). Have you contemplated how the tail the ski "drifts" approaching apex and how that can change how far you have to turn the ski to finish?

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  • DavidNDavidN Posts: 80 Baller
    I like the term “over steering”, but I consider myself pretty technical inclined, so I fully understand what Horton is describing.
  • skisprayskispray Posts: 102 Baller
    edited November 30
    @Horton unless I misunderstand you, I think you just said it: smear = drift. It's when the tail or the ski travels an arc wider than the path of the skier, and in general this happens when we are not under load from the boat. When we are in our cut the boat is pulling the tip and tall down course at roughly the same rate, so that's "slip" or "slide," not smear/drift. Do you agree?
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,496 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited November 30
    @horton sure...if you don't have to finish so far you don't scrub as much speed and are faster to the next turn. Wish I was better at it.
    What technical changes do you think about when considering this concept?
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • AdamCordAdamCord Posts: 484 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @6balls pondering that exact question is what initially lead Caldwell and me down that rabbit hole that lead to the GUT theory.

    In short, there isn't a simple answer to that question!
    6ballsBruce_Butterfield
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 1,849 Crazy Baller
    edited November 30
    @skispray - I would not refer to smear as drift. A drift to me would have to be the difference between the "set" of the ski and the "path" of the skier - ie the difference between where the ski was aimed and where the skier ended up.


    Luckily the fin whispering website has provided the ultimate in reference.

    "One differentiating aspect of smear is that it’s the component of a ski turn that isn’t controlled by the rocker of the ski. The rocker defines the carving component of a turn, and the way the tail drifts wide around a turn can be referred to as smear. This means smear could be differentiated from drift or slip by its rotational component."
    https://www.finwhispering.com/what-is-smear/

    Probably easiest to just run with that, I like that component in bold - by defining it as not controlled by the rocker of the ski we can compare it to downhill skiing where the radius of the ski should define the turn that the ski "carves" and past that carve the ski "smears" across the surface.
    6ballsadamhcaldwell
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 1,849 Crazy Baller
    Also from the bold I would assume it is a parameter mostly statically influenced by the edge bevels/tunnel of the ski.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,681 Administrator
    edited November 30
    To all you guys who are simply saying read @Jayski's book.... I agree either 90 or 100% with his definition*. My heartburn is with those Ballers choose to use the term in the most general "catch-all" fashion.

    What I am expressing is the need for a term that specifically represents a state where the arc of the tail is outside the arc of the bindings between the edge change and apex (maybe a few feet past apex). This is about far more than ski tuning. This about understanding what that happens from the edge change to the apex.

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  • WishWish Posts: 6,769 Mega Baller
    edited November 30
    Everytime I meet up with @SkiJay I learn something new about skis and cars. To say he knows his stuff about both is the understatement of the century despite him being humble. Haven't heard him mix car and ski terms yet but if it helped someone understand, I'm sure he wouldn't hesitate.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
    6balls
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,681 Administrator
    edited November 30
    @6balls
    If you recall how we started this conversation I said something like "being more connected off the second wake created more oversteer or smear or whatever you call it".

    This is not all about the fin. In fact, if you come off the handle earlier the ski will likely roll over faster* and the ski will be more free to side-slip but it does not because the forces applied from the bindings-skier-boat are much less.

    By being more connected you are likely taller off the water and the ski has less roll. You would think this would induce less "over steer / smear" out to the ball line because your fin is more vertical but because of the forces applied from the boat to the skier there is ample pressure to move the tail wide. (@adamcord let me know if that last sentence is the worst explanation you have ever read)


    *Actually maybe this is just me. If I come off the handle early I am more likely to fall to the inside.

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  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,193 Mega Baller
    @Horton, to your last point, coming off the handle early definitely makes you more likely to tip in and fall to the inside of the turn. If you give up the connection to the boat it is much harder if not impossible to stay in a good balanced skiing position the rest of the way to the ball.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,681 Administrator
    @SkiJay I have thought about and am not sure I can use "understeer" for a ski. To me a ski that turns in a long arc does not so much understeer as it is like a long wheelbase.

    For the record I do not race cars but I know @DW so that should be good enough.

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  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,681 Administrator
    @RazorRoss3 yea sort of. This conversation started around my D3 NRG review. My feeling about that ski was that if I had a better than average connection off the second wake I could not screw up On Side but if I was a little lazy it was erratic. My theory was that with extra connection I was inducing more smear early (maybe keeping the tail higher in the water???) and than made the On Side turns so much more consistent.

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  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 1,849 Crazy Baller
    Understeer would probably be a ski that doesn't "finish" it still is pointing down course or is so engaged that it doesn't come around as quickly as you would prefer.
    HortonSkiJay
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,193 Mega Baller
    @Horton, I think about it that when we are skiing there are 2 connection points that make everything we are doing possible
    1) connection to the water, if the ski leaves the water you're in trouble
    2) connection to the boat, without the boats pull you literally can't go anywhere

    If you give up control of the handle you are giving up control of one of the two connection points and are no longer in control. Reach to early and you are at the mercy of your pull hoping that you happen to glide to the right place and are able to turn. I've described it before as just a big controlled fall all the way to the buoy, maybe the ski comes back through in time to keep you from falling, maybe it doesn't, but it is not within your control either way.

    I have no idea what effect it does or does not have on smear but keeping with your handle longer has been to my benefit regardless of what ski I'm riding.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,063 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    edited November 30
    Ever run the course on a trick ski? It is good for your slalom form. Definitely there are transitions from carving to slipping a turn. Word definitions are easier to envision and feel since it's slower in those transitions.

    Go slippery slalom. I'm not recommending designing a slalom ski to turn like a trick ski - or am I?

    Eric
    RazorRoss3JWebSkiHorton
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,681 Administrator
    @dw that is a good point. I think of understeer as the front wheels not pulling the car around. With skis it is more often that the tail has too much grip but I like the term anyway.

    @RazorRoss3 there is a difference between total loss of connection and less pressure. I am saying the NRG does better with extra. More is almost always better. The interesting thing is how it changed the way this ski worked for me. On other skis like the 2014-15 Radar Vapor I could focus on staying tall and moving forward to get the same effect. On the NRG this did not work.

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  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,681 Administrator
    @AdamCord do you think that early oversteer impacts how deep the tail rides or do you think that any change in ski attitude is only the result of the skier moving forward?

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  • JskiJski Posts: 11 Baller
    Our club (mainly 3 of us) bought Jay's ski "Bible" & we only use Jay's terminology except we call it Shmear-lol. We have thrown all the old garbage on ski tuning as it was so incomplete. Just ordered another "Bible" because the other copy has yet to be returned from early summer.
    SkiJay
  • AdamCordAdamCord Posts: 484 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @Horton....yes and....yes? If you're getting really early shmear B) you either stayed connected and moved forward, which unweights the tail and lets it ride higher, or you're running a forward and shallow fin / forward boot setup that also lets the tail ride higher into apex.

    BTW that kind of early ultra-oversteering setup often feels great on your first pass, but becomes erratic or unforgiving as the rope gets short.
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