EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Survey on fore/aft ski balance
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Survey on fore/aft ski balance

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Can you help with this short survey? It's to discover where skiers believe they should focus fore/aft balance - in other words, the center of pressure on the sole of the foot (or ski boot) while skiing. 

 


To the best of our knowledge, this hasn't been researched before. The plan is to present the findings at the International Science and Skiing Congress In St Anton this December. We'll make the results public after the meeting. 

 

We plan to post the survey on a number of English-speaking ski forums, in the USA and internationally. We would like to get as many responses as possible, from skiers of every standard.


There are 3 questions to answer, and 3 optional questions (age, gender and country). It shouldn't take more than a minute or so to complete. No personally identifiable data is collected

The link to the survey is www.surveymonkey.com/s/BDTCJR7 

 

If you can encourage your skiing friends to complete the survey too, that would be great!

 

Many thanks for your time and help with this

post #2 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone who's completed the survey so far. Looking very interesting. Responses are currently running at 95% advanced/expert skiers - so if you are a beginner or an intermediate, this survey is for you too!
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Again, thanks everyone who has completed the survey so far, and for comments here and on the survey site itself

For the purposes of the survey assume that it's alpine skiing, not telemark or cross- country (sorry guys!), and also that it relates to skiing fairly comfortably within your limits - not top-velocity aggressive skiing or particularly complex terrain.
post #4 of 24

Just FYI, if you havent already done so, and are looking for more responses from beginners and intermediates, you might want to post this in "General Skiing Discussion" and "Beginner Zone".

post #5 of 24

IMO I balance along my whole foot. Not a, not be, not C.

 

I think more about boot cuff pressure for feedback on how I am balancing. Also I think most expert skiers will tell you that the boots pushed against them, instead of pushing against the boot.

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

I think more about boot cuff pressure for feedback on how I am balancing. Also I think most expert skiers will tell you that the boots pushed against them, instead of pushing against the boot.

 

How much racing do you do?

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

 

How much racing do you do?

 

 

 

 

being in balance is being balance whether its on a groomer, powder, tree, race course , bumps, park what ever. Its about how we move and not about what part of the foot we balance on.

post #8 of 24

At first glance I suspect the survey to be flawed. As Ron LeMaster says: (skiing is) "Standing and balancing on a moving 

platform, whose motion is always changing" so there is no single answer, balance must be continually adjusted in order to stay in balance. Circumstances vary, the need to manage pressure on the ski varies so there is no single case.
 
Having said that though feeling the forces acting on you requires some feedback mechanism so the boot's ability (especially the tongue as regards fore and aft balancing) to main contact and signal feedback is critical. Ideally the boot would be glued to your foot so that its contact would provide constant feedback as to the forces acting against you and as to your relative fore and aft position. 
post #9 of 24

By the way, as a postscript to my comments above, I believe it may be possible to re-design the ski boot fit interface to improve and enhance feedback. That is something which has been somewhat neglected. Most attention has been on the issue of fit itself and not on ways that the bot and or liner could provide more information back to the skier.

post #10 of 24

Does any body know of any physical research on this topic?  With today's micro-sensors it would not be difficult  (for somebody with the savey) to physically monitor the pressures under the foot-bed or around the cuffs.  Send that data back to a computer and link it with video and you get science.  Pressure sensors can be as small as a wire today so it should be fairly unobtrusive to a skier.  You could do this with a number of different levels of skiers and learn a lot about skill differences. 

 

Nose over knees over toes came from electricians tape and VCR hand held cameras; this should be a piece of cake.  There must be a bio-mechanics grad student out there someplace who needs a project.

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

IMO I balance along my whole foot. Not a, not be, not C.

 

I think more about boot cuff pressure for feedback on how I am balancing. Also I think most expert skiers will tell you that the boots pushed against them, instead of pushing against the boot.

I would agree about cuff pressure being more of a focus for me than foot pressure. Obviously it depends a little on the turn, but in most high performance turns I would say a early on, b in the pressure phase and then c entering into the transition. Think about skiing bumps, or the virtual bump, can you still balance along the whole foot then?

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim. View Post

I would agree about cuff pressure being more of a focus for me than foot pressure. Obviously it depends a little on the turn, but in most high performance turns I would say a early on, b in the pressure phase and then c entering into the transition. Think about skiing bumps, or the virtual bump, can you still balance along the whole foot then?

 

I was skiing some bumps at 7 to 8 th of of what I could do today and IMO my balance is along my whole foot. I think at 100 percent it would be the same.

 

In fact in every turn I did today I stood with IMO equal pressure along my whole foot. side to side changes IMO from one big toe side of the foot(big toe, ball of the foot, inner part of the heel)

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

 

 

 

 

being in balance is being balance whether its on a groomer, powder, tree, race course , bumps, park what ever. Its about how we move and not about what part of the foot we balance on.

 

josh, I'm asking if you race as that would influence your thought that you are pushed by the boot, rather than vice-versa. One component of racing technique is applying force against the ski after establishing your platform, rather than crumpling (and feeling you're just pushed by the boot). 

 

I'm also surprised you don't feel there's a standard focal point on your foot you're aiming to balance over -- there definitely is among CSIA teaching. That point varies by turn phase, from one turn to the next, and based on a whole whack of factors. However, to say you're balancing over the whole foot seems to be deliberately obfuscating the issue (unless you honestly believe your COM should be driving right through a center line all the time, in a static position with weight stacked directly through that center line). Or am I missing something about what you're intending?

 

I understand that you're a good instructor--I'm just confused by your statement.

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

 

josh, I'm asking if you race as that would influence your thought that you are pushed by the boot, rather than vice-versa. One component of racing technique is applying force against the ski after establishing your platform, rather than crumpling (and feeling you're just pushed by the boot). 

 

I'm also surprised you don't feel there's a standard focal point on your foot you're aiming to balance over -- there definitely is among CSIA teaching. That point varies by turn phase, from one turn to the next, and based on a whole whack of factors. However, to say you're balancing over the whole foot seems to be deliberately obfuscating the issue (unless you honestly believe your COM should be driving right through a center line all the time, in a static position with weight stacked directly through that center line). Or am I missing something about what you're intending?

 

I understand that you're a good instructor--I'm just confused by your statement.

 

 

if your balance on your whole foot all the time, you could not be static. you would have to be constantly moving to maintain that balance.

 

the only instance where I truly think about anything about my foot is in some kinds of powder(but not all kinds) I drive me heels down as I lift my toes creating a 'rudder" affect very very different move than 'leaning back".

 

I am also skiing in a cabrio which may let me use more ankle flex vs foot pressure points to maintain for and aft balance.

post #15 of 24

IMHO Josh Killed it!!!!!

 

icon14.gif

post #16 of 24

   I will at times use a progression...ball of foot to arch to heel depending on the turn shape I desire whilst carving or skarving. I can clearly feel the transfer of pressure on the bottom of my foot. Other times, as Josh notes, I employ a "whole foot" tactic (like in the pow).

 

   zenny

post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

 

josh, I'm asking if you race as that would influence your thought that you are pushed by the boot, rather than vice-versa. One component of racing technique is applying force against the ski after establishing your platform, rather than crumpling (and feeling you're just pushed by the boot). 

 

I'm also surprised you don't feel there's a standard focal point on your foot you're aiming to balance over -- there definitely is among CSIA teaching. That point varies by turn phase, from one turn to the next, and based on a whole whack of factors. However, to say you're balancing over the whole foot seems to be deliberately obfuscating the issue (unless you honestly believe your COM should be driving right through a center line all the time, in a static position with weight stacked directly through that center line). Or am I missing something about what you're intending?

 

I understand that you're a good instructor--I'm just confused by your statement.

 

if your balance on your whole foot all the time, you could not be static. you would have to be constantly moving to maintain that balance.

 

the only instance where I truly think about anything about my foot is in some kinds of powder(but not all kinds) I drive me heels down as I lift my toes creating a 'rudder" affect very very different move than 'leaning back".

 

I am also skiing in a cabrio which may let me use more ankle flex vs foot pressure points to maintain for and aft balance.

 

 

This is the difference between advanced and experts.  Josh's approach is in effect get centered and stay there.  Works great for powder...and is good for all else.  Experts on the other hand will go further and work ball, arch, heel in all conditions except soft powder...but even in crud or bumps or especially groomed or racing, experts go ball/arch/heel.  In powder the ball/arch/heel will cause too much tip dive and that little extra bit of intation power that the technque brings doesnt really do much in such a soft surface.

post #18 of 24

A massive thing for me to learn a few seasons ago was that allowing your feet out in front of you (weight on heels) gives you a much larger range of movement than if you stay in the middle of your skis the whole time. Being back isn't always bad. Couldn't find any pics of me that back, but I did find one cool one getting forward afterwards, pretty sure my weight's on 'a' there.

 

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 

 

This is the difference between advanced and experts.  Josh's approach is in effect get centered and stay there.  Works great for powder...and is good for all else.  Experts on the other hand will go further and work ball, arch, heel in all conditions except soft powder...but even in crud or bumps or especially groomed or racing, experts go ball/arch/heel.  In powder the ball/arch/heel will cause too much tip dive and that little extra bit of intation power that the technque brings doesnt really do much in such a soft surface.

 

 

so I guess I am not an expert then, man glad we established that............

 

I for sure more my balance point from different points along my cuff, but not along my foot.

 

 

for anyone reading/posting this thread next time you skiing/standing in ski boots try to pressure your ball of foot/toes and tell me what happens? then try to stand on your heels and tell me what happens. for and aft balance starts with ramp/forward lean   then continues by how our joints flex and where we project our COM down the hill. I think most people thinking we use points on our foot to direct balance to are miss understanding what they are doing/feeling or they are indeed not in balance.

 

Jim just because you allow your feet out in front does not mean that you are pressuring your hills. Remember my dolphin turns challenge? that years later is still un met..... I have gotten better at this since the video but I clearly work a ski from tip to tail.

 

 

IMO the video above my foot was always evenly pressured though out each turn even during the hop. I am sure Jim can do these since bascially its what he is doing in his picture.....

post #20 of 24

   The fore/aft adjustments a good skier uses throughout their turns helps ensure their balance axis remains perpendicular to the slope angle. If our CoM is moved forward and our ankle is closed, this imaginary line from our Com 90* down (in relation to the slope angle) passes through our feet, at or near the ball of the foot. As the skier moves through their turn, the Bos (which is always traveling faster) starts to move to the fore, which means the Com begins to move aft. If we imagined our line from the CoM 90* to the slope angle now, midway through the turn, it would now pass through the bottom of the foot somewhere near the arch region. As we exit and move towards transition, this continues, and now our imaginary line (with a somewhat aft hips appearance) passes through the foot to the snow more towards the heel. As our feet are the closest part of our bodies to the surface (snow) which pushes back at us, we feel pressuring along this body part as we move.

 

   zenny

post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

 

 

so I guess I am not an expert then, man glad we established that............

 

I for sure more my balance point from different points along my cuff, but not along my foot.

 

 

for anyone reading/posting this thread next time you skiing/standing in ski boots try to pressure your ball of foot/toes and tell me what happens? then try to stand on your heels and tell me what happens. for and aft balance starts with ramp/forward lean   then continues by how our joints flex and where we project our COM down the hill. I think most people thinking we use points on our foot to direct balance to are miss understanding what they are doing/feeling or they are indeed not in balance.

 

Jim just because you allow your feet out in front does not mean that you are pressuring your hills. Remember my dolphin turns challenge? that years later is still un met..... I have gotten better at this since the video but I clearly work a ski from tip to tail.

 

 

IMO the video above my foot was always evenly pressured though out each turn even during the hop. I am sure Jim can do these since bascially its what he is doing in his picture.....

Ok, so lets imagine that mine or your boots are loose whilst we do a dolphin turn, as the tips go down, like in my picture, surely the heel would lift, indicating that there isn't any pressure on the heels at that point.

 

I think a more important question might be where is your balance when you feel the most pressure, and then the answer would be on the instep/middle of the foot. In the transition/float phase it doesn't matter a whole lot where your pressure is, or how you time it, as long as when you get to the pressure phase you're centred.

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim. View Post

Ok, so lets imagine that mine or your boots are loose whilst we do a dolphin turn, as the tips go down, like in my picture, surely the heel would lift, indicating that there isn't any pressure on the heels at that point.

 

I think a more important question might be where is your balance when you feel the most pressure, and then the answer would be on the instep/middle of the foot. In the transition/float phase it doesn't matter a whole lot where your pressure is, or how you time it, as long as when you get to the pressure phase you're centred.

 

I have a cabrio boot with a middle buckle tighten down alot. My heel literally does not lift or move in anything I ever do. It can un weight yes but that feeling actually puts me back....... at least on hard snow.

post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

 

I have a cabrio boot with a middle buckle tighten down alot. My heel literally does not lift or move in anything I ever do. It can un weight yes but that feeling actually puts me back....... at least on hard snow.

I asked you to 'imagine', but never mind, I don't really want to get into a debate about someones perception of pressure. 

post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 

Our survey is still active on Survey Monkey www.surveymonkey.com/s/BDTCJR7 - so if you haven't yet had a chance, we'd be grateful if you could take a minute or two to complete it

 

There's been 328 responses to date, so a big thanks to everyone who has responded. 

 

A common theme is that fore/aft balance can be complicated by many factors - terrain, conditions, intent etc. For the purposes of the survey, assume that it relates to skiing straightforward turns on uncomplicated terrain, very comfortably within your limits. 

 

All the data from the survey will be made freely available to the site in late December

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Survey on fore/aft ski balance