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Butterfly Turns - Page 2

post #31 of 38


For World Cup racers, those arms go up, down, fore, aft, and out -- in order to help get the body tilted into angles faster than gravity and momentum would bring about on their own.  Try throwing your arm up as you tilt/bank/inclinate into a turn - you'll get inclined fast!  However, if you are a recreational skier things will go wrong.  This picture is of Bode Miller, for whom things are going right.  

post #32 of 38
Thread Starter 

I think Plato said "A fool can ask more questions in a minute than a wise man can answer in his life."

I'm proving that with this thread.

Some great discussion here.


I sure don't know the physics or technique that has changed to produce the butterfly arm movement that has evolved over the last few years,

But you sure can see the best flapping their way down a course in what looks like linked recoveries.

I do believe it is linked to the pole plant or phantom pole plant move used to get you out of the back seat at the end of a turn.

I see it more in the more difficult sections of the course.

It is easier to see from behind when I see the arm drop back just as the turn is finished and before reaching forward to re-center and plant again.

It is a little like a classic XC skier doing a double pole plant and skate step in maximum acdeleration mode.

The best GS racers have to make a huge recenter move; some of them are damn near sitting on the tails at the end of a hi G turn with their hand behind their COM.

Unless you can squat about three times your body weight this wouldn't work.

One more reminder that professional athletes are not like ordinary humans.


Ligety flapping furiously as he stivots..

Maybe the flap and the stivot are linked????


post #33 of 38

His moves his right arm out and UP in frame 4 at the exact same time he moves his right leg out.  Compare to frame 3.

This helps move his torso into a more dramatic tilt than if he had just allowed it to fall inside the turn.

At frame 5 he's powerfully driving that same arm forward to help get his torso more upright, to make his angulation happen...

...which is evident in frame 6.  Hips are down; shoulders are up.


The arm has weight and mass; slinging it up or driving it forward can have an important impact the movement of the much larger torso. 

post #34 of 38

Yeah, flapping arms can be used to create momentum and help you in and out of different situations and positions. Mostly they are balancing movements like the one of Bode.

post #35 of 38

The way I describe it to my son, and especially the adult athletes I coach is: "I don't mind (and sometimes even encourage for overly stiff skiers) a little chaos with your hands at the beginning of the turn, if they're disciplined at the end."  In other words be loose and not overly rigid at the beginning of the turn, but once your skis enter the fall line/apex of the turn your arms need to be forward, low, strong and discipline!  The looseness at the top of the turn is especially important for those first learning or having trouble with stivots.  To loosely paraphrase Phil McNicol, "Sacrifice at the top of the turn, in order to be clean, perfect and FAST at the end of the turn!"

post #36 of 38

That sounds good^.

This "flapping" if that's what you want to call it, appears to be a balancing, focus move for going sideways at high speed. If you found yourself doing that, you probably would do that with the arms.



post #37 of 38
Thread Starter 

If I found myself doing that I would fill my pants!

It sure isn't classical pretty skiing but it works.

They will probably have to levitate with 35m skis.

If Ted stays on form I'll bet the Euros driving the 35m thing are going to learn to hate it.

post #38 of 38
Originally Posted by JimGrossman View Post


But, I am seeing this move an awful lot recently, and not just with WC skiers.  Here's an example of a first year J5 skier doing a more moderate version of it just yesterday,


and this racer I have a lot more invested interest in as he's my son and I spend a great deal of time skiing and coaching him.  And I know that I haven't taught him this, nor even talked about it, nor even pointed it out as something of interest in watching videos.  And let me tell you, watching him ski like this, and not just on this turn, but on a number of turns was not a pleasant experience:  All I could think, (or more likely say out loud) was FORWARD!  GET YOUR HANDS FORWARD!  And in talking with him after the run, he confirmed what I said above, which is that he felt like he was on the 'edge' most of the run and that he could have just as easily blown up as finished.  He said, quote, "I felt like I was skiing just like Bode when he's been beat on the first run..."  But, it was effective.  Kids that he had been skiing equal to in a previous slalom just weeks ago, he beat by 3 seconds on a 30 second course...



Jim, I think that your boy has been independently discovering and using the Korean upper body anticipation.  I have been exploring this at ski.com.au    forums  snowtalk    . You might be interested in looking at it from that angle, which is a bit oblique..

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