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Flexion/extension, lateral or vertical? - Page 2

post #31 of 59
Thread Starter 

Pierre,  This discussion is more about working with instructors and improving our demos rather than what we teach a student.  

 

JASP,  I agree with your observations and think I have said more than once, these movements are subtle and consequential to the turning forces rather than arbitrary and contrived, just like going around a turn on a bicycle.

 

Again, many instructors I see actively flex the outside leg and consequently rotate the hip over that ski when a more functional movement is to keep that leg longer and move the hip laterally.

post #32 of 59

Depends on your speed and the pitch of the slope. Flexion/extention, Lateral or Vertical? The answer is both. If you involve angulation how else are you going to get the BOS to cross under the COM and contiunue into the next ARC? Tell me that.......

post #33 of 59
Thread Starter 

We are talking wedge turns Tek Head.  Up through basic parallel turns we are dealing mostly with slower speeds and lighter forces where inside leg extension is more appropriate 

 

Of course when the turning forces are in excess of what we need or want in higher speed turns, our flexion extention movements change to include absorption movements too!  I think of my lateral movements to balance against turning forces which leaves the full length of my outside leg as my suspension travel for absorption of terrain, virtual bumps, and releasing to edge change.

 

In general:

lateral movements for centrifugal forces (mostly hips)

vertical movements for absorption of terrain and transitions (mostly ankles, knees, hips)

post #34 of 59
Quote:
We must understand "edge release" does not mean a flat ski rather moving toward a flat ski, and is not an edge change by any stretch. The edge release is a movement which releases the edge's grip in the old turn allowing our inertia to begin moving, unaffected by the edge's grip. So when linking wedge turns the skis should remain on opposing edges, since this is the definition of a wedge, even though the edge angles vary throughout the turns. Ron LeMaster discusses in his book "Ultimate Skiing" chapter 2, pg.18, Platform Angle. "The angle between the force exerted on the ski and the platform the ski cuts into the snow - determines whether the ski holds or slips." When we decrease the angle of the ski (release the edge) to less than a right angle to the force we are exerting on it, it will slip. This does not necessitate a "flat" ski to the snow, merely a reduced angle to permit the ski to slip.

This being said, we must also keep in mind the goal is to create a christie with accurate movements in the wedge turns, therefore the movement to release the edge is the beginning of the christie. In teaching a student we want them to christie, conversely in an exam, the task of linking wedge turns should not show any christies yet demonstrate the accurate movements which will elicit said christie. The candidate must be careful to remain in a wedge yet demonstrate effective edge release to begin the turns allowing the tips to seek the fall line.

Really excellent points, Bud. I think you and I see these turns in exactly the same way. Optimal wedge turn demonstrations should not need to be faked, made up, dumbed down, or exaggerated in any way. They are the embryonic form of the fundamental turns of expert skiers, and demonstrating them requires skiing as well as you possibly can--using tactics (speed, turn radius, terrain, and so on) appropriate for first-day beginning skiers.

The only difference between the wedge turns of beginning skiers and the wedge turn demos of instructors is that for students, the wedge is not intentional. They aren't trying to make wedge turns--they're just trying to make "good" turns, as well as they can. The line they ski, the (very low) speed they go, the (very gentle) terrain they're on, and the rudimentary level of their skill makes the wedge happen naturally and unintentionally. And when it doesn't happen (when they "match" and become "parallel") they've moved on to the next milestone of skill level--by definition.

For instructors, though, we need to demonstrate wedge turns on demand, simply so that our demonstrations show movements that are accessible to our students at that level. When they do everything "right" at that low speed and skill level, they should feel rightly successful. But if their turns look dramatically different from those their instructor demonstrates, they'll feel like they have failed.

Wedge turns are not "theory," and they do not represent any sort of philosophy of ski teaching, other than the nearly universally-approved idea of "teaching for transfer"--teaching techniques and tactics today that will continue to help our students in the future and will not need to be "untaught" later. I have often said that "we don't teach beginning skiing--we introduce beginners to the techniques and tactics of experts." And at the most introductory level, those techniques almost invariably involve a wedge. It's not a choice--it's a reality. Indeed, even advanced and expert skiers, including instructors, will find it extremely difficult at best to make a genuine offensive parallel turn at the very low speeds and very small radius typical of beginning skiers. Even the principals of some better-known "direct to parallel" teaching progressions acknowledge that, in fact, "wedges happen."

Of course, none of this is to suggest that good instructors never teach other forms of wedge (or parallel) turns at times too--including defensive braking moves and intentional wedges when it's appropriate. The key is to know the difference, and to make sure our students know the difference as well. If we're teaching braking, it's a completely different technique, for an intent that is the polar opposite of the intent of good turns. Whether it's to maneuver through the lift maze, or to maintain cautious speed control on an intimidating pitch, or simply to brake to a stop for convenience or necessity, braking is an important ability to acquire. But it has nothing to do with "basic wedge turns."

Best regards,
Bob
post #35 of 59

Yup, the wedge is a consequence of several factors and almost impossible to avoid at very slow speeds. It's also the biggest epiphany for cert training. Try to do a parallel turn at less than 1/4 mph and on the shallowest terrain available and the most likely result is a nice wedge christie.

 

I still remember working on the two bar stools stuff while wedging. The inside half preceeding the outside half into the turn, the appropriate lead, the passive leg length changes, and the active leg steering all occur when we guide the skis through the turn.

 

Tek, angulation in a wedge? Sounds like the dreaded peanut butter and jelly turns we stopped doing a long time ago.

post #36 of 59

Coming into the thread late, my apologies if I repeat what others have said.  I think the only real reason for flexing in a wedge turn is so that you have some range of motion to extend to release.  Extending will help to flatten the new inside ski.  It doesn't have to be flattened all the way, but it does need to be released and flattened somewhat in order to faciliate it being steered into the next turn.  Not much flex or extension is required here.

 

The extension is both vertical and lateral.  Mainly you want a lateral extension, to release.  You're going too slow to extend dramatically lateral, so some if it will understandably be vertical, though there is no unweighting needed of course. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Interesting conversation today in a clinic with our instructors about flexion in a wedge turn.  Two different opinions with two different outcomes.  Interested to hear others thoughts as this relates directly to high level skiing and teaching the movements of expert skiing in a wedge turn.  This topic also relates to the other thread here regarding ankle flexion.

 

thoughts?



 

 

post #37 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post

Coming into the thread late, my apologies if I repeat what others have said.  I think the only real reason for flexing in a wedge turn is so that you have some range of motion to extend to release.  Extending will help to flatten the new inside ski.  It doesn't have to be flattened all the way, but it does need to be released and flattened somewhat in order to faciliate it being steered into the next turn.  Not much flex or extension is required here.

 

The extension is both vertical and lateral.  Mainly you want a lateral extension, to release.  You're going too slow to extend dramatically lateral, so some if it will understandably be vertical, though there is no unweighting needed of course. 
 



 

 


Can't we release without extending?

How do you purpose we balance against the turning forces?

You said extending helps to flatten the new inside ski but wouldn't that depend on the direction of that extension?

So why not a lateral flexion to balance against the turning forces

 

FWIW I am referring to lateral flexion as flexing the inside leg while keeping the outside leg long to move the hips laterally rather than vertically and vertical flexion as flexing the outside leg equally with the inside leg.  Contrasting the two methods highlights two different outcomes and it is these two outcomes I had hoped to contrast here.  One creates appropriate counter and a strong inside half while the other elicits rotation and edge locks and inhibits a good release to turn.

 

 

JASP,  I used your slow speed parallel turn entry in a clinic on Friday to help instructors understand the opening in an advanced christie and it worked quite well coming from a parallel turn emphasis rather than an improved basic christie!  Thanks for that idea!  They found that if they were moving correctly but going very slowly they made a nice advance christie turn entry.


Edited by bud heishman - 1/15/12 at 10:07pm
post #38 of 59

Flexion/Extension, lateral or vertical, does not create counter.  It may have an effect on tip lead but not counter. Counter, or the look of, is created by the femurs rotating in the hips or the pelvis rotating on top of the femurs.

 

 

I think JASP had it correct when he said:

 

Quote:
Balancing on an inclined slope naturally creates a bit of long leg / short leg. That changes as we turn and eventually it becomes the mirror opposite. Nothing new here but IMO that gets overlooked when we focus too much on our movements from that internal perspective. I also want to express the idea that Active flexing and extending may not be the best way to accomplish this outcome. Especially in a slow speed wedge turn where the pull of gravity is mostly a vertical vector and the resulting balance axis would be closer to vertical as well. Which leads me to the supposition that left to the genius of the body, balancing on (not against) the turning skis is fairly easy and something we would naturally do. At least as long as we relax enough to allow it to happen. Witness all the folks riding on a city bus and not actively thinking about balancing. Over thinking it will more than likely lead to artificially trying to produce balance instead of just allowing it to occur.

 

Lateral movement in a wedge is very subtle because the forces are low. Most instructors overdue their lateral and vertical movements which then puts them out of balance. Their ability to effectively steer and guide the skis is then compromised and they resort to edge/pressure or upper body rotation to turn the skis.

post #39 of 59
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Yup, the wedge is a consequence of several factors and almost impossible to avoid at very slow speeds. It's also the biggest epiphany for cert training. Try to do a parallel turn at less than 1/4 mph and on the shallowest terrain available and the most likely result is a nice wedge christie.

 


JASP, Slight thread drift coming here...

 

Thanks for bringing the very slow parallel turn up in this thread.  I read the same thing being said somewhere else here on Epic, that trying to do a parallel turn at the very slowest speeds and on nearly flat terrain is quite difficult, with the additional comment that if one is having turn entry difficulties they will show up dramatically in this task.  It's become my early morning torture drill for myself every day this season.  

 

Knowing how difficult this is not just for myself but for other seasoned instructors helps me understand that asking my students to do it is also, well, quite a chore.  My mountains's beginner trails are quite flat.  

 

post #40 of 59
Thread Starter 

Hi Loki,  I agree with you and JASP, the movements are very subtle but that is my point!  At this slow speed and low anxiety level we have the opportunity to begin ingraining positive movements and skill development.  Why begin with dead end movements no matter how subtle they may be?  

 

If I move inside the turn, however slight that movement may be, to balance against the turning forces (and if I am turning, there are turning forces present) my inside ski will move toward flat, which is the way it should go if my goal is to christie somewhere down the road.  If I flex my inside or uphill knee more than my downhill or outside knee and keep my head over my outside ski, my hips WILL move into a slight counter.

 

Conversely, if I flex my outside leg to actively pressure the ski, my hips will tend to rotate in the direction of the turn, which is NOT what I want to build my skill foundation upon.

 

Can you see the difference?  Though we are talking subtleties, we are in the embryonic stages of skill development.  We can choose here at this point, the first wedge turns, to nurture the positive movements of expert skiers.  Yes there are many ways to make the skis turn in a wedge, some easier to teach but not necessarily easier to learn.  Instructors should learn to differentiate between these subtle movement differences and realize the path they are choosing.  Our job is not to make our job easier for us but to teach the proper skills for the benefit of our students.

 

Try standing on your floor in a wedge position,  now keeping your head where it is (do not allow it to move laterally), flex your right knee slightly.  You should notice your weight remains equal on both feet as there are no turning forces now, and your hips will counter slightly and your right foot will flatten.  This movement can be initiated by focusing on the sole of the right foot as well by tipping TOWARD the little toe but not ONTO the little toe edge.

post #41 of 59

What dead end movements are you talking about?  

 

First, to answer your question, in a wedge turn flexion/extension movements are mostly vertical, but are used to maintain for/aft balance.  Yes there is some long leg/short leg F/E but it is minimal considering the slope of the hill and the forces created. 

 

Pressure is directed towards the outside ski simply through the turning of the skis, at this point any lateral movement to maintain balance should occur in reaction to the forces.  Moving laterally first, in anticipation of these forces, actually puts you out of balance and has a determental effect on edge angle. Also like I said before this movement also promotes using edge and pressure as the turning forces, rather than steering the legs(femur rotation) to shape the turn.  As you have said:

 

Quote:
 At this slow speed and low anxiety level we have the opportunity to begin ingraining positive movements and skill development.

 

IMO teaching people how to steer their legs to shape the turn will allow them to become the skiers they want to be.  Not developing this skill at this level will handcuff them as the begin to want to explore the mountain environment.

 

Again there are 2 ways to show counter:

 

Legs rotate in the hip socket

Pelvis rotates on top of the femurs

 

The first is a movement that will promote versitility and expert skiing, the second, creates a false look of counter, and will promote park and ride! 

Quote:
Try standing on your floor in a wedge position,  now keeping your head where it is (do not allow it to move laterally), flex your right knee slightly.  You should notice your weight remains equal on both feet as there are no turning forces now, and your hips will counter slightly and your right foot will flatten.  This movement can be initiated by focusing on the sole of the right foot as well by tipping TOWARD the little toe but not ONTO the little toe edge.

 

If you believe that this movement creates counter.  I tried it and didn't feel it did. I do howeveer see how you think it could, but it is not the F/E that creates the "counter".

post #42 of 59
Thread Starter 

Loki,

 

I believe you and I both know the primary skill we want to emphasize in wedge turning is the rotary.  This thread however, is focused solely on the flexion extension movements and how they can aid or hinder the rotary movements. I have no argument with most of what you said above except that "we use mostly vertical flexion/extension to maintain fore/aft balance".  

 

How does flexion extension in the vertical plane aid fore/aft balance? 

 

I never said to move laterally first! In fact I believe I described this lateral movement exactly as you have as it is a reactionary movement to balance against turning forces just like going around a turn on a bicycle.

 

If this lateral movement is done by simply flexing the inside leg it will aid flattening the inside ski to move toward a christie!  If we move vertically flexing both legs, there is a tendency to square the hips or rotate the hips which prevents the inside ski from flattening to christie.  

 

By focusing on lateral flexion rather than vertical we aid steering the skis by reducing the edge angle on the inside ski!  This is key to an effortless wedge turn initiation.  Rather than fight to overcome the resistance of the inside ski's edge angle to turn by adding weight to the outside ski, or creating a bigger steering angle on the outside ski, or creating higher edge angle on the outside ski,.... We simply remove the resistance to turning by reducing the resistance on the inside ski!!!   This permits the outside ski to steer with very low edge angles and the inside ski to steer with very low edge angles.

 

Rotary is the primary skill in a wedge turn but how we think about and use any flexion in the turns can aid or detract from our abilities to steer and guide the skis effectively!

 

Again, this conversation is aimed primarily at instructors rather than students and describes the images we would like to see instructors demonstrate and nurture in their students to teach the movements of a parallel turn.

post #43 of 59

So here's a different thought LOKI...

...in a wedge, abducting the knee just enough to allow that edge release, actually shortens that leg without any flexing or extending of the knee. Through the last third of the turn, Gravity is the primary motive force we are resisting, at least until we release that edge. At that instant the new turn begins. Mind you the weight is still very much on that downhill  but now inside) ski until the body's linear momentum and the skis angular momentum combine to shift our weight to that outside ski. Performed this way there actually is no need for any vertical or lateral flexing of the leg joints to produce a change in the effective inside leg length. As the turn progresses and the effective slope angle increases, a very small and mostly passive change in inside leg length allows the long and mostly un-changed outside leg length to serve as the primary weight bearing limb. At least until we start seeking neutral and the inside leg lengthens to return to equal with the outside leg. Assuming the slope is mostly flat means the need for flexing the inside leg and shortening it is relatively less important than the abduction of the knee. Again it goes back to the idea of a brushed, or if you prefer skidded, turn. What's interesting is while in ski boots our heels are lifted and the knees and hips are slightly flexed when we are in a "ready" position. So moving the knee laterally away from center involved rotation of the leg without the foot turning quite as much. Thus it could be seen as a tipping activity but to be clear we are using leg steering to produce an edge angle change. Then after the release continuing to rotate that leg produces less redirecting than what is occurring with the less weighted outside ski. As the weight naturally shifts to that outside ski, maintaining that wedged stance means not twisting the inside ski as strongly once the weight has shifted off of it. Producing a consistent wedged stance as opposed to a Wedge Christie where the rotary effort is more consistent throughout the turn. Of course in the wedge christie we get the inside ski onto it's little toe edge as well.

It's this expanding on a theme and increasing the RoM of a fundamental movement that is the basis of the ski like an expert from the very first day saying.

 

So even though I wrote earlier about vertical flexing to manage the effective slope angle, in a wedge the stronger focus needs to be on circumduction and steering with the legs to change the edge angles through the transition. Followed by steering to guide the skidding skis through the rest of the turn. Hope that makes sense...

post #44 of 59
Thread Starter 

Thanks, JASP!  I like your different angle to explain the same theme.

 

This is good because it get us thinking about what exact movements create offensive positive outcomes and which are less efficient.  Again, though these movements are subtle they are the embryonic movements of expert skiing.  Hopefully we can create some epiphanies here where many instructors never give the mechanics much thought.  I still see some of our examiner staff who do not get it.  Accuracy breeds performance!

post #45 of 59

I Think of flexing and extending both legs, but not necessarily at the same time and not vertically.  Any slight lengthening of the body should be perpendicular to the ski, not plumb and promoting diagonal movement across the skis (in the direction of the new turn) during the transition.  Wedge turns are beginner's parallel and the movements are quite similar to open track parallel.

 

RW

post #46 of 59

I guess i'm just stupid.  But how does abduction shorten or lengthen your leg?  I guess I missed that day in Biomechanics class.  

 

Other than that I totally agree with you JASP!  Edge change is leg(femur rotation) steering, not F/E.  F/E may happen at the same time, either/or, but it is femur rotation that changes the edges, not F/E.

 

As for your comments Bud:

 

First:

 

Quote:
Again, this conversation is aimed primarily at instructors rather than students and describes the images we would like to see instructors demonstrate and nurture in their students to teach the movements of a parallel turn.

 

If this conversation is aimed at instructors they should know, or be informed by knowledgable trainers, of the cause and effect relationships that relate to the desired outcome. Again, flexion and extension movements do not create counter!!!!!!!!!!!!  Also you said:

 

Quote:
By focusing on lateral flexion rather than vertical we aid steering the skis by reducing the edge angle on the inside ski!  This is key to an effortless wedge turn initiation.  Rather than fight to overcome the resistance of the inside ski's edge angle to turn by adding weight to the outside ski, or creating a bigger steering angle on the outside ski, or creating higher edge angle on the outside ski,.... We simply remove the resistance to turning by reducing the resistance on the inside ski!!!   This permits the outside ski to steer with very low edge angles and the inside ski to steer with very low edge angles.

Lateral flexion will move the COM to the inside of the turn.  It will decrease the edge angle of the inside ski, as you have said.  And this may aid the ability to steer the inside ski.  But, this will increase the edge angle of the outside ski, not decrease it as you have said!(see words in red)  Increasing the edge angle on the outside ski makes it harder to steer rather than easier.

 

You still haven't answered the question about dead end moves?  What dead end moves are you talking about?

 

 

Quote:
Why begin with dead end movements no matter how subtle they may be?

 

To answer your question about lateral vs. vertical. Like I said mostly vertical but with a For/Aft focus.  When instructors or students flex whether laterally or vertically they tend to end up moving aft, because most people flex more from the knee to the hip, than they do with the ankles or the pelvis(spine angle). We have a very limited range of motion in our ankles because of the forward lean and stiffness of oour boots. Most people will flex to account for the percieved increase of pressure, whether real or not.  By extending from the knee to the hip at the start of the turn it moves your COM forward, there it is easier to steer your legs(femurs).  That is why IMO F/E is mostly vertical but with a For/Aft outcome.  

 

Finally, if you are training instructors to do wedge turns, why are you focusing on what moves will bring them to a wedge christie result?  I can see this focus with a student but not an instructor that is being trained by an experienced trainer.  The instructors need to understand why they are teaching what they are teaching at that level.  IMO opinion we teach wedges so that we can isolate for/aft balnce moves at the beginning, without having to deal with lateral balance issues until the for/aft has been sorted.   So focusing on lateral movements in a wedge turn with or with out an instructor focus is against the idea of a wedge. 

 

 

post #47 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by loki1 View Post

I guess i'm just stupid.  But how does abduction shorten or lengthen your leg?  I guess I missed that day in Biomechanics class.  

 

Other than that I totally agree with you JASP!  Edge change is leg(femur rotation) steering, not F/E.  F/E may happen at the same time, either/or, but it is femur rotation that changes the edges, not F/E.

 

As for your comments Bud:

 

First:

 

 

If this conversation is aimed at instructors they should know, or be informed by knowledgable trainers, of the cause and effect relationships that relate to the desired outcome. Again, flexion and extension movements do not create counter!!!!!!!!!!!!  Also you said:

 

Lateral flexion will move the COM to the inside of the turn.  It will decrease the edge angle of the inside ski, as you have said.  And this may aid the ability to steer the inside ski.  But, this will increase the edge angle of the outside ski, not decrease it as you have said!(see words in red)  Increasing the edge angle on the outside ski makes it harder to steer rather than easier.

 

You still haven't answered the question about dead end moves?  What dead end moves are you talking about?

 

 

 

To answer your question about lateral vs. vertical. Like I said mostly vertical but with a For/Aft focus.  When instructors or students flex whether laterally or vertically they tend to end up moving aft, because most people flex more from the knee to the hip, than they do with the ankles or the pelvis(spine angle). We have a very limited range of motion in our ankles because of the forward lean and stiffness of oour boots. Most people will flex to account for the percieved increase of pressure, whether real or not.  By extending from the knee to the hip at the start of the turn it moves your COM forward, there it is easier to steer your legs(femurs).  That is why IMO F/E is mostly vertical but with a For/Aft outcome.  

 

Finally, if you are training instructors to do wedge turns, why are you focusing on what moves will bring them to a wedge christie result?  I can see this focus with a student but not an instructor that is being trained by an experienced trainer.  The instructors need to understand why they are teaching what they are teaching at that level.  IMO opinion we teach wedges so that we can isolate for/aft balnce moves at the beginning, without having to deal with lateral balance issues until the for/aft has been sorted.   So focusing on lateral movements in a wedge turn with or with out an instructor focus is against the idea of a wedge. 

 

 



Well Loki1,  I will argue that if we are moving forward in a gliding wedge and release the edge grip of one ski it will tend to move ahead of the other ski consequently creating counter and help move pressure toward the shovel of the opposite ski.  But then you probably know this if you are a knowledgeable trainer?

 

Your second critique is a bit inaccurate if you go back an read what you highlited in red you will see I did not say is would "decrease" the edge angle! I said, "This permits the outside ski to steer with very low edge angles".  Perhaps I should have been more specific by saying because we are releasing the inside ski's deflection, it is not necessary to increase the deflection from the outside ski to overcome an edged inside ski.  This means the outside ski needs to create less deflection to cause a turn because we simply reduce the deflection from the inside ski.  But then a knowledgeable ski instructor or trainer would understand this fact.

 

Dead end moves are movements which must be unlearned later in the skier's development and replaced with offensive functional movements of expert skiing.

 

Loki1 said:

 

"To answer your question about lateral vs. vertical. Like I said mostly vertical but with a For/Aft focus.  When instructors or students flex whether laterally or vertically they tend to end up moving aft, because most people flex more from the knee to the hip, than they do with the ankles or the pelvis(spine angle). We have a very limited range of motion in our ankles because of the forward lean and stiffness of oour boots. Most people will flex to account for the percieved increase of pressure, whether real or not.  By extending from the knee to the hip at the start of the turn it moves your COM forward, there it is easier to steer your legs(femurs).  That is why IMO F/E is mostly vertical but with a For/Aft outcome."

 

If most skiers end up moving aft when they flex, why would you have them flex?  I think if you stepped back from your preconceptions there is a learning opportunity here for you?  You are certainly entitled to your opinion but at least make a good argument for your beliefs.  Why would we encourage a skier to flex to "account for a perceived increase of pressure"?  Your last statement actually makes some sense though, "By extending from the knee to the hip at the start of the turn it moves your COM forward, there it is easier to steer your legs(femurs)."  This reinforces what I said above, when we flex laterally to balance against the turning forces the inside leg flexes more than the outside and facilitates counter, then the first move for the new turn is to simultaneously extend the uphill leg to re-center and release the downhill ski edge permitting both tips to turn down hill.

 

 

 

"Finally, if you are training instructors to do wedge turns, why are you focusing on what moves will bring them to a wedge christie result?  I can see this focus with a student but not an instructor that is being trained by an experienced trainer.  The instructors need to understand why they are teaching what they are teaching at that level.  IMO opinion we teach wedges so that we can isolate for/aft balnce moves at the beginning, without having to deal with lateral balance issues until the for/aft has been sorted.   So focusing on lateral movements in a wedge turn with or with out an instructor focus is against the idea of a wedge."

 

You don't seem to understand the purpose of a wedge my friend.  Again, you insist on insinuating I am not an "experienced trainer"?  Are you and experienced trainer yourself Loki!?  If so I would think you would have a better grasp on the purpose of using a wedge.  I don't teach wedge turns!  I use a wedge to teach expert movements!  My goal is not to improve a wedge it is to use accurate movements which will elicit a christie and a parallel turn!   I don't know what you are teaching but good luck with that!

 
post #48 of 59

Edited for content and clarity...

 

Loki, stand up and place your feet into a wedge about 18 inches apart. Assume a ready position similar to what you would use while skiing. Now slightly abduct the knee while keeping the foot in place. The sole of the foot will flatten a bit to the ground and the leg length will shorten enough to let gravity pull us towards the abducting knee. Why? Well the leg no longer is straight (at least not in the lateral plane, it's bent and since the bones cannot change length the effective distance between the heel and the glute is what changes. Mind you it's not a big move, or big result but it does represent a third option that works very well in the transition phase. Beyond that slight flexing and extending of the legs does occur due to the body lining up along the dynamic balance axis and doing so on the inclined surface we are standing upon.

 

Bud,

I have a comment about the return to equal leg length and actively extending the inside leg to accomplish that. If we're abducting the outside knee to release that edge and our body is allowed to follow that knee as I just described, the less weighted (currently uphill) outside ski can passively (at least mostly passive as in repleoitment like) extend to maintain contact with the snow just like we would see in more dynamic parallel turns. Granted the RoM is minuscule in comparison but the concept is still valid even at that embryonic level. I would call that letting gravity do it's thing and pull us into the new turn while the feet turn across the hill a bit longer (hang onto thecurrent turn a bit longer). A very expert move done at a very low ability level and with a very slight RoM. It's how I explain a wedge demo to cert 3 candidates. Our movements don't force the wedged outcome as much as allow it to occur. In contrast contrived and forced wedges create the need for the additional movements you described so well.

 

 


Edited by justanotherskipro - 1/19/12 at 11:15am
post #49 of 59

So the question is, how do you teach this release of the inside ski to new beginners that are often in boots 2 sizes too big?

Are you telling them to tip that foot, direct the inside knee, extend into the turn?

Arguing about the minutae won't get them to ski anybetter.

 

The biggest problem is impatience. When nothing happens in that first fraction of a second, the body tends to get inovolved. Esp. if it's nor very flat terrain.

Ideally, it should be very gentle terrain with an upslope at the end, but this is not always the case for many beginners.

post #50 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Edited for content and clarity...

 

Loki, stand up and place your feet into a wedge about 18 inches apart. Assume a ready position similar to what you would use while skiing. Now slightly abduct the knee while keeping the foot in place. The sole of the foot will flatten a bit to the ground and the leg length will shorten enough to let gravity pull us towards the abducting knee. Why? Well the leg no longer is straight (at least not in the lateral plane, it's bent and since the bones cannot change length the effective distance between the heel and the glute is what changes. Mind you it's not a big move, or big result but it does represent a third option that works very well in the transition phase. Beyond that slight flexing and extending of the legs does occur due to the body lining up along the dynamic balance axis and doing so on the inclined surface we are standing upon.

 

Bud,

I have a comment about the return to equal leg length and actively extending the inside leg to accomplish that. If we're abducting the outside knee to release that edge and our body is allowed to follow that knee as I just described, the less weighted (currently uphill) outside ski can passively (at least mostly passive as in repleoitment like) extend to maintain contact with the snow just like we would see in more dynamic parallel turns. Granted the RoM is minuscule in comparison but the concept is still valid even at that embryonic level. I would call that letting gravity do it's thing and pull us into the new turn while the feet turn across the hill a bit longer (hang onto thecurrent turn a bit longer). A very expert move done at a very low ability level and with a very slight RoM. It's how I explain a wedge demo to cert 3 candidates. Our movements don't force the wedged outcome as much as allow it to occur. In contrast contrived and forced wedges create the need for the additional movements you described so well.

 

 

Good post JASP.  I agree, and in actuality this is probably more accurately what we do, I was just trying to keep the concept very simplistic and easy to digest.

 

 

 

Tog, I understand your point and in this case the student would have to make larger movements to get the same results and perhaps we move up the chain to talking about the knee and/or femur rotation?  Certainly, as soon as the student attempts their first turns the lesson turns into error detection & correction.  Understanding the movements they try to use and redirecting those movements is the bulk of the lesson.  The goal for the instructor should be to understand the goal and the most efficient means to get them there.  Teach the expert moves rather than take the easy way out or instant gratification by using active weight shifts from the days of wooden skis and long thongs.

 


Edited by bud heishman - 1/19/12 at 10:19pm
post #51 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

So the question is, how do you teach this release of the inside ski to new beginners that are often in boots 2 sizes too big?

Are you telling them to tip that foot, direct the inside knee, extend into the turn?

Arguing about the minutae won't get them to ski anybetter.

 

The biggest problem is impatience. When nothing happens in that first fraction of a second, the body tends to get inovolved. Esp. if it's nor very flat terrain.

Ideally, it should be very gentle terrain with an upslope at the end, but this is not always the case for many beginners.



Tog,

 

I teach release of the ski by showing the student how I can flatten the ski and then ask them to do it. Every student I have ever had has been able to accomplish this and I really don't care at that point how they accomplish it. Once they have the idea that to go right they start by flattening the right ski and flatten the left ski to start going left I can refine the movement, add in active guiding of the ski tips, whatever I think will lead to the student further down the road to better skiing. At the end of the lesson I can also recommend getting a better fitting boot.

 

fom

 

post #52 of 59

Wow! Tog, the minute details add up and in many cases they are very much part of the root causes of movement errors and the compensatory work around moves being used to over come those errors. Flexing and extending while wedging was a clinic topic Bud chose to introduce the idea of different flex / extend options creating different outcomes. Giving only two options (vertical and lateral) is a jumping off point for the learning segment he was introducing to that clinic. My comments were expressed in an effort to suggest more than two options exist and by looking at the minute details we can better understand the outcomes as direct consequences of the sum of these small but significant options.

 

As far as the details presented to my students, that subject has been discussed many times here a Epic and I see it as irrelevent to this thread. KISS as much as possible during a lesson but don't assume that means you should stop sweating the minutia and exploring those details outside of those lessons. It's that wide eyed curiousity that makes mastery of the subject matter possible. Barnes in particular is very much a student of the sport and having worked with him for a few years I got to see his inquisitive nature up close. Details that bore some excite guys like Bob, myself and Bud. If only more folks understood that mastery requires that level of understanding and knowledge. That doesn't mean good skiing can't occur without it, it means that teaching how vertical and lateral flexing / extending directly and indirectly affect the turns we make is impossible without understanding all that minutia.  


Edited by justanotherskipro - 1/19/12 at 1:32pm
post #53 of 59

Yes, Jasp, I agree. I've kept Bob and cgeib up many nights at esa with "So Bob, ...."

 

Perhaps this thread for some reason has seemed more divorced from experience. It may be lack of photos, diagrams, etc.

What was the result of the clinic exploration?

post #54 of 59
Thread Starter 

The clinic exploration supported my claim that absent of any arbitrary flexion movements and moving to release the inside ski of the turn to (tip right ski right to go right) the only flexion which occurred was the slight lateral movement of the hip to balance against/on the outside ski which elicited slight flexion of the inside leg.  This releasing of the inside ski's grip on the snow also promoted slight hip counter rather than rotation and facilitated steering of both feet with the least amount of effort possible.

 

The differentiation highlighted was the fact that by not focusing on an arbitrary flexion of the outside leg of the turn we could easily develop counter and the offensive movements conducive to a christie.  It was important to emphasize that the movement of the lower leg to release the inside edge grip did not involve moving the head in the same direction rather just the ankle, knee and hip which created slightly more inclination of the outside leg and the predominance of the skier's weight passively shifted instantaneously to the outside ski as a result of the turning forces and the release of the inside ski edge grip.  The skier's head remained stationary in relationship to the outside foot.

 

With this focus we simply increased the speed a bit and spontaneous christies occurred.   Increase the speed more and we were making parallel turns.  Increased the edge angle by introducing more angulation and we began carving parallel turns!

 

My conclusion was that instructors tend to do too much extraneous movements just for the sake of moving up and down than is functionally necessary.  When we develop a better understanding of functional mechanics the wedge turn becomes effortless and the next milestones come sooner and naturally.  Begin with inefficient movements and the road of progress gets bumpy and slow.

 

twist your feet but move the body is such a way to facilitate twisting the feet under a stable upper body.  Releasing the inside edge encourages the movements that facilitate steering the skis with the least amount of resistance from the skis and snow.  Don't fight the deflection of the inside ski by doing more with the outside ski, just reduce the resistance to turning from the inside ski.  Nothing new here!  Just focused up the kinetic chain of events to isolate how to effectively flex.


Edited by bud heishman - 1/20/12 at 11:56am
post #55 of 59
Thread Starter 

Just to bring this conversation into the one about ankle flexion.

 

 

I purposed here that Lateral flexion where the hips moves laterally to the inside of the arc is better suited for balancing against turning forces while vertical flexion where the hips move closer to the feet is better reserved for absorbing terrain irregularities, bumps, and VBs.

 

When discussing flexion we should differentiate between these two types to add clarity to discussion.  In lateral flexion the ankles do not necessarily flex much, but when combined with large turning forces or bumps which enlist more vertical flexion they likely do flex more.

post #56 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

 
The only difference between the wedge turns of beginning skiers and the wedge turn demos of instructors is that for students, the wedge is not intentional. They aren't trying to make wedge turns--they're just trying to make "good" turns, as well as they can. The line they ski, the (very low) speed they go, the (very gentle) terrain they're on, and the rudimentary level of their skill makes the wedge happen naturally and unintentionally. And when it doesn't happen (when they "match" and become "parallel") they've moved on to the next milestone of skill level--by definition. 
 

 

Excellent!  We as instructors are not teaching wedge turns, we are teaching parallel turning using wedges as training wheels until such time as the students can turn both feet simultaneously.  Insuring we teach the correct mechanics to facilitate parallel turns, rather than put up road blocks to success, is our job!  Understanding turn mechanics and how subtle movements create drastically different outcomes is key to our success.  Recognizing the common errors in our students and redirecting them on the correct path of efficiency will expedite their discovery of parallel turning.  Note, this may sound rudimentary but suffice it to say many level II certification candidates lack good turn mechanics and the ability to make parallel turn initiations.  This stems from ingrained inefficient movement patterns and the fact they never learned the correct turning mechanics and the fact they do not have an understanding of what are the correct mechanics.  Thus the purpose of this conversation regarding but one of the mechanics in wedge turning, flexion/extension.

 

It is more efficient, not necessarily easier, to groove accurate movements from the beginning than remediate later after inefficient patterns have been habitualized!

post #57 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

 

 Note, this may sound rudimentary but suffice it to say many level II certification candidates lack good turn mechanics and the ability to make parallel turn initiations.  This stems from ingrained inefficient movement patterns and the fact they never learned the correct turning mechanics and the fact they do not have an understanding of what are the correct mechanics.

 

More often than not, these PSIA level II cert candidates Bud speaks of have taken many training clinics with examiner-level or strong level 3 instructors.  At many mountains, the part time instructors in this pool receive such training weekly.  That's a whole lot more training that most recreational skiers get.  And, as a group, these PSIA level II candidates been bitten by the ski bug harder than the general skiing public has been.  If many of these dedicated skiers are shaky in their parallel turns (or simply can't do them), then perhaps something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

post #58 of 59
Thread Starter 

whoops, I meant to say level I candidates!

post #59 of 59

Bud,

 

Freudian slip perhaps wink.gif.

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