Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
Perhaps it is worth mentioning that over simplification often leads to misunderstanding. The abbreviated term Counter is a prime example of this. Counter rotation, a countered stance, or angulation being a form of counter balancing all describe specific things that the two syllable word alone cannot.
+1 More words are good!
Originally Posted by Ghost
Well at least Harald has the decency to add a noun to the adjective. Counter what? It appears that most here automatically use the word as an abbreviation for counter rotation, which is fine for folks steeped in ski instruction that historically used the term counter rotation. That is, unless they are engineers (or German) in which case inaccurate wording is abhorrent to them. Most normal people are more familiar with the term used in the sense of a counter balance, or an opposing motion. I bet the word is not used much because it is not effective in clearly communicating what is meant, or that using the word hasn't been all that good at achieving the teaching goal. It seems to work for some people when used with nouns that more clearly define it though.
"counter-rotation", was used to refer in the really old days for a specific technique, which is now pretty much out dated. That was a technique whereby someone really aggressively twisted their upper body in the opposite direction they wanted their skis to twist. Very old school brute force way to turn z skis.
If you really think about what is going on when your skis turn under a stable core, there are counter-acting movements in the hip sockets happening. In a sense you could say that the pelvis is counter-rotating on top...but due to the history of that specific term "counter-rotation", its probably best to avoid that particular variation because in the old days it was an actual turn type. Generally today when we talk about countering movements we are talking about specific joints of the body...not referring to an actual overall turn method. At the micro level of what is happening with joints in our body, counter-rotation is absolutely part of it! But due to the historical use of "counter-rotation" as a turn method, I myself try to avoid using that phrase.
That is one reason people freak out when they hear the word "counter", if they are under the false impression that someone is actually trying to teach that old stuff by using this word. I hear plenty of people in PSIA circles, including higher ups, use the word counter by way, I don't think its a fair assessment to say that nobody in PSIA does. its a perfectly legitimate word to use as long as its accompanied by sufficient additional content to avoid any confusion about the meaning, if its obvious from the discussion that the other person knows exactly what you're talking about; and plenty do.
That is, I suspect one reason the above mentioned person decided to author his books with the term counter-action. Adding "action" to the end gives some inference that we are not talking about a body position now, but we're talking about a movement....action...a verb. and its an action in the opposite direction from the direction the skis are turning.
You have to read the context to determine if someone is using the word counter as a verb or adjective. "skiing into counter", is obviously using it as an adjective. If you were to tell someone to "establish some counter", it would be an adjective. Saying someone is "countered", adjective. If you say someone is not "countering", then its being used more like a verb. Harald eliminated the guess work by using "counter-action". Its a verb, that's it, and not to be confused with any old school techniques. and its referring to specific muscle activations and movements that happen at a micro level, not referring to an overall turning technique.
Establishing counter for certain things is a crucial component to skiing and should not be overlooked by trying to erase the word from existence.
borntoski, your ideas are interesting. I haven't heard this concept before. What do you mean by anchor point? And can you describe why you feel this is the case?
You cannot twist your femurs one way without simultaneously twisting your pelvis the other way on top of it, unless your pelvis is anchored to something that you can push against.
If you're standing on an ice rink in slippery shoes and try to leap forward, your feet will go back, your head will go forward and you fall straight down. On ground your feet have an anchor point of friction on the ground and so you as you push back (in order to leap forward), your feet stay still and stabilized and your body leaps forward.
Like wise if your legs are turning under your stable upper body, what is stabilizing it? There is no anchor point, no friction for it. You can't rotate your femurs in the hip socket without your pelvis twisting in the opposite direction (and using the muscle activations to do so). That can be subtle or exaggerated.
If you do pivot slips and listen to your muscles while you do it, you will discover that you are activating all sorts of muscles above the legs to counter-act the aggressive pivoting you're trying to do with your feet. You are in fact twisting the two parts of your body in opposite directions, you are just doing it with just the right intensity to match all the forces of friction on the ground, etc...such that it appears like your upper body is attached to an invisible anchor point and your feet are turning underneath it. But there is no anchor point.
If you do some park and ride turns...your femurs are not really rotating in the hip sockets, so no counter-action muscle activations or movements are in play.
If you do some "ski into counter" turns,.your femurs are very slowly and gradually turning in the hip sockets, but make no mistake, in order to make that happen your pelvis has to be turned the opposite direction with counter-acting movements and muscle use. It only appears like its stable in space, but without something to anchor it, the truth is that you're just rotating the femurs and counter-acting with the pelvis with just the right amount to match the turn shape, so that there is an appearance as if something is holding the pelvis in a nice stable position.
Those counter-acting muscle activations and movements have to be there, whether you realize you are doing it or not.