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Outside ankle flex?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Sorry I don't have a video to provide but I'm working on the whole keeping pressure on the tongue of the boot thing when I've gone up in ski size. I had no problems at 165cm but at 180cm I've found myself slipping too far aft during runs. So I've been thinking a lot of closing my ankle joints, and it's easy for me to do this with my inside ankle and bring my foot back a bit, but my outside leg seems to want to refuse to do anything but the lightest of shin contact with the tongue as most of my weight is being placed on it. Is this normal? If I'm wrong how do I go about correcting this?

post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikoras View Post
 

Sorry I don't have a video to provide but I'm working on the whole keeping pressure on the tongue of the boot thing when I've gone up in ski size. I had no problems at 165cm but at 180cm I've found myself slipping too far aft during runs. So I've been thinking a lot of closing my ankle joints, and it's easy for me to do this with my inside ankle and bring my foot back a bit, but my outside leg seems to want to refuse to do anything but the lightest of shin contact with the tongue as most of my weight is being placed on it. Is this normal? If I'm wrong how do I go about correcting this?

 

Maybe think of it in terms of ski radius vs. length.  I would bet the 185 has a radius of closer to 19-23 and the 165 is probably between 12-16.  So, be a little more patient and set up a little more to stand on the outside ski.  Although, without video I'm sort of throwing this out there. 

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Spot on, the 180 is 20m the 165 is 14m radius. The 180 does take it's damn time to initiate for sure (it's also wider), I'm not sure how this helps me flex my outside ankle though. I've heard it's supposed to be MORE flexed than my inside but I'm finding it much more difficult to get forward on. Maybe that drill where I lift my inside leg and ski on just the outside would help with this?

 

The longer ski is definitely helping me to correct some issues that I get away with on the shorties and making them more fun to ski.

post #4 of 14

You are probably moving your body inside too quickly without establishing pressure first.  On the shorter ski you may have gotten away with it more because when you do find outside ski pressure it come back under you quicker.  The longer radius ski won't do that so if you go inside too quickly then the ski will run straight and you'll fall to your inside ski (which means your outside ankle will be open).  Make sense?

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikoras View Post
 

Sorry I don't have a video to provide but I'm working on the whole keeping pressure on the tongue of the boot thing when I've gone up in ski size. I had no problems at 165cm but at 180cm I've found myself slipping too far aft during runs. So I've been thinking a lot of closing my ankle joints, and it's easy for me to do this with my inside ankle and bring my foot back a bit, but my outside leg seems to want to refuse to do anything but the lightest of shin contact with the tongue as most of my weight is being placed on it. Is this normal? If I'm wrong how do I go about correcting this?

 

This is definitely not normal. By weighting your ski you are able to apply pressure to the shin of the boot. So if you can flex your inside boot more than your outside boot then I would say that you have more weight on your inside ski than on your outside ski. Note that if you pull your inside ski back to get it more engaged you automatically also shift more weight to it. Why are you pulling your inside ski back? Who told you to do so? Are you carving or steering your turns?

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
 

 

This is definitely not normal. By weighting your ski you are able to apply pressure to the shin of the boot. So if you can flex your inside boot more than your outside boot then I would say that you have more weight on your inside ski than on your outside ski. Note that if you pull your inside ski back to get it more engaged you automatically also shift more weight to it. Why are you pulling your inside ski back? Who told you to do so? Are you carving or steering your turns?

My weight is most certainly towards my outside ski, if anything too much of it. It really feels like I'm bracing myself with my outside ski and limiting my mobility. For whatever reason I can really flex the crap out of my inside ski (it seems to drift forward), but my range of motion only allows me to touch the tongue of the outside ski instead of a good hard flex like my inside. No one told me to pull my inside ski back but because I was getting pushed into the back seat my natural reaction was to try to flex both ankles, this is where I noticed the difference between the two legs. 90% sure it's a carve, doesn't feel like I'm pivoting although I've been guilty in the past of using it as a crutch to initiate turns, and I left behind nice sine wave tracks no Z shapes. Although sometimes I feel like I'm not conserving momentum as much as some of the really good skiers I see, but I might chalk that up to a lot of other little factors adding up to a bigger difference (better stance/timing/more perfected movements).


Edited by Nikoras - 12/18/13 at 11:46pm
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikoras View Post
 

My weight is most certainly towards my outside ski, if anything too much of it. It really feels like I'm bracing myself with my outside ski and limiting my mobility. For whatever reason I can really flex the crap out of my inside ski (it seems to drift forward), but my range of motion only allows me to touch the tongue of the outside ski instead of a good hard flex like my inside. No one told me to pull my inside ski back but because I was getting pushed into the back seat my natural reaction was to try to flex both ankles, this is where I noticed the difference between the two legs. 90% sure it's a carve, doesn't feel like I'm pivoting although I've been guilty in the past of using it as a crutch to initiate turns, and I left behind nice sine wave tracks no Z shapes. Although sometimes I feel like I'm not conserving momentum as much as some of the really good skiers I see, but I might chalk that up to a lot of other little factors adding up to a bigger difference (better stance/timing/more perfected movements).

 

On really cold days I sometimes feel what you are trying to describe.  Perhaps your boots are a little too stiff? 

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrudBuster View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikoras View Post

 
My weight is most certainly towards my outside ski, if anything too much of it. It really feels like I'm bracing myself with my outside ski and limiting my mobility. For whatever reason I can really flex the crap out of my inside ski (it seems to drift forward), but my range of motion only allows me to touch the tongue of the outside ski instead of a good hard flex like my inside. No one told me to pull my inside ski back but because I was getting pushed into the back seat my natural reaction was to try to flex both ankles, this is where I noticed the difference between the two legs. 90% sure it's a carve, doesn't feel like I'm pivoting although I've been guilty in the past of using it as a crutch to initiate turns, and I left behind nice sine wave tracks no Z shapes. Although sometimes I feel like I'm not conserving momentum as much as some of the really good skiers I see, but I might chalk that up to a lot of other little factors adding up to a bigger difference (better stance/timing/more perfected movements).

On really cold days I sometimes feel what you are trying to describe.  Perhaps your boots are a little too stiff? 


If it feels like your same boots become like a wall in front of you when going to the other skis, then maybe check the delta angle change from one ski to another as a possible factor. Measure from the base of the ski to where your toe and heel register on the bindings when you are clicked in.
post #9 of 14
Two things you can try
Chill in the start of the turn to find your timing better.Whit short skis you can cheat a bit and get away whit it, its harder on longer skies.
If you really want pushing you shins hard in to your boot and still feel that you can move on your skis, maybe you can tray to get your outsideski more out to the side. Sometimes good skier's who need to push hard forward at the boot keeps there skis a bit to much underneath there body. it happened s for me sometimes when I go from my sl skis to my gs skis. But after a couple of runs were I ski a bit wider and whit more speed im on track a gen
But my question to you is why do you want to put so much pressure forward with your shins?
Some people think that speed + angle in balance is the trick for new school skiing because the most effect we cant from our skis are closer to the center of the ski then we think . So they meen that we only need a lighter touch forward (if we don't race) to make great carved turns. Can they be right? why mot try and se what YOU THINK
post #10 of 14

So you changed to skis that are longer (and likely stiffer), wider (more difficult to get up on edge), and bigger turn radius (harder to turn).  And likely different bindings that may have your heel higher relative to the toe than before.  You must like a challenge....

 

Here's the problem with the high heel.  If the lower leg is tipped to far forward we need to bend at the knees and waist to balance.  This makes it much easier to get our center of gravity back as well as being tiring.  If this is the case, sometimes a shop can raise the toe or lower the heel.  And sometimes they can't.

 

So...without changing the bindings, and try this at home, just stand tall and lean forward against your firmly buckled boots, hinging at your ankles.  Can you get as far forward as you like, supported on the fronts of the boots?   If not, you need different equipment.  If so, when you ski, at the end of each turn, pull both feet strongly back, then immediately start the next turn.  It'll all be one smooth motion.  Pull both feet way back behind you.  The steeper the hill or the tighter the desired turn, the farther you need to pull your feet behind you.  There are few and small muscles to "close the ankle."  We have strong hamstring muscles to pull our feet back.  When moving the result is the same, but the action is stronger and quicker when the hamstrings are used.

 

Here's how I pick skis....Within any model line of skis, as they are made longer, they are also made stiffer to accommodate bigger, stronger, faster skiers.  Some models of skis are made stiffer and more demanding than other models to better suit the needs of the stronger skiers.  Width relates to the floatation needed on deep snow.  Turn radius used to relate to stability, but this is not the case as much with modern ski construction materials and technique.  I ski as fast as I've ever skied, and and straight & steady as fast as I ever want to ski, on my 13 meter skis.  So, when I pick skis for my size (6' 200#) and ability (very good) and speed (pretty fast) and the amount of energy I put into the skis, I buy a top line ski one size below the maximum (which is made for the biggest, strongest skier on the mountain).  I like a tight turn radius.  Even my Icelantic Shaman big mountain powder skis have a turn radius of 15 m with their 110 mm waist.  My packed snow skis, Head Icon TT800, are 170 cm long (177 is the longest made), 66 mm wide under foot, with a 13.6 meter turn radius.  And each feels just right for me in the suitable snow conditions.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

…  And likely different bindings that may have your heel higher relative to the toe than before… 


IF the issue even relates to the binding, I would have guessed as a result of less delta, not more. But who knows, really a good place for some video and the help of a good boot fitter.

Experiment with it at home in your boots. Start adding more and more shim material (books, magazines, brochures, trail maps, etc make good experimental shims) under the toe of your boots while standing on a hard level surface and see what the effect it has while you flex and extend. Then do the same under the heel and again see what the effect is while flexing and extending. Experiment with flexing and extending while maintaining cuff neutral and while trying to "flex" the boot and/or apply pressure to the front of the boot cuff, as many think that is important for some reason. Go way too much to each extreme while experimenting.

As SSG indicates though, bindings would only be one of a number of things contributing if they are a factor at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

…  And likely different bindings that may have your heel higher relative to the toe than before… 

Here's the problem with the high heel.  If the lower leg is tipped to far forward we need to bend at the knees and waist to balance.  This makes it much easier to get our center of gravity back as well as being tiring.  If this is the case, sometimes a shop can raise the toe or lower the heel.  And sometimes they can't.

So...without changing the bindings, and try this at home, just stand tall and lean forward against your firmly buckled boots, hinging at your ankles.  Can you get as far forward as you like, supported on the fronts of the boots?   If not, you need different equipment.  If so, when you ski, at the end of each turn, pull both feet strongly back, then immediately start the next turn.  It'll all be one smooth motion.  Pull both feet way back behind you.  The steeper the hill or the tighter the desired turn, the farther you need to pull your feet behind you.  There are few and small muscles to "close the ankle."  We have strong hamstring muscles to pull our feet back.  When moving the result is the same, but the action is stronger and quicker when the hamstrings are used….

Notice all the "If's". Bindings often have a higher heel piece compared to the toe piece. This in and of itself is not necessarily an issue. It can be, but not always. We are all unique and would be best served to seek the help of an experienced boot fitter; or explore, experiment and learn what setup is best for us - with the help/guidance of an experienced boot fitter- so we know how to setup the next pair of skis/boots/bindings for repeatable alignment.

I know many people that ski their boot/bindings just the way they are - often with a preference for the same binding (hmmm). Others require additional lift under their heels (under the boot heel or under the binding), while some (like myself) have lift under the toe of the boot plus a lift under the toe piece when necessary depending on the binding/ski combination. Of course none of this takes into account all the angles in the boot the boot fitter has addressed first!

Anyway, it is not universally bad that your bindings might have a higher heel than the toe …it might be good for: you …it might not. Experiment with it as well as the mounting point.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikoras View Post

My weight is most certainly towards my outside ski, if anything too much of it. It really feels like I'm bracing myself with my outside ski and limiting my mobility. For whatever reason I can really flex the crap out of my inside ski (it seems to drift forward), but my range of motion only allows me to touch the tongue of the outside ski instead of a good hard flex like my inside. No one told me to pull my inside ski back but because I was getting pushed into the back seat my natural reaction was to try to flex both ankles, this is where I noticed the difference between the two legs. 90% sure it's a carve, doesn't feel like I'm pivoting although I've been guilty in the past of using it as a crutch to initiate turns, and I left behind nice sine wave tracks no Z shapes. Although sometimes I feel like I'm not conserving momentum as much as some of the really good skiers I see, but I might chalk that up to a lot of other little factors adding up to a bigger difference (better stance/timing/more perfected movements).

Is your pelvis level with the snow surface? I'm guessing it's not, and you're back and inside a bit as a result making it difficult to release the old turn and enter the new.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

I think you guys might be spot on in that my body isn't doing the C shape to get my upper body more stacked over the outside ski. I was thinking about it today, and maybe I was fooling myself by feeling lateral centrifugal force that my weight was on the outside ski, when in reality the downward force from my body weight is more over my inside ski. Because the downward force feels "normal" and the lateral force is something unique to skiing, my brain is registering pressure on the outside ski. I'll try to use my knees and hip angulation to get more over my outside ski next time and see if that solves the problem.

post #14 of 14


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikoras View Post
 

Sorry I don't have a video to provide but I'm working on the whole keeping pressure on the tongue of the boot thing when I've gone up in ski size. I had no problems at 165cm but at 180cm I've found myself slipping too far aft during runs. So I've been thinking a lot of closing my ankle joints, and it's easy for me to do this with my inside ankle and bring my foot back a bit, but my outside leg seems to want to refuse to do anything but the lightest of shin contact with the tongue as most of my weight is being placed on it. Is this normal? If I'm wrong how do I go about correcting this?


Hi agen. First of all there is nothing wrong whit your new equipment, of Couse you need time to adapt.

Read what I said earlier and  this is the reason why you end up back and have problem to power up your outside ski.

 

if I try to understand what you are experience whit the new equipment.

A lot of skiers have there skis to much underneath there body, when they try to push forward on a longer radius ski, there but comes back and the end up in the backseat. its logical The ski is to long and stiff in front of the binding, when you push forward it feels like the boot is in your way and it is,,,,,,,  what skiers often do is to rotate there heel out  and get a slightly a frame at the end of the turn to compensate..  The fundamentals of skiing lays in balance on your outside ski, and create enough of angels between snow and ski at the same time as you stay in balance.

 

So you lack ether speed or angulation or both, you need more speed then you are use to (force to lean on) to get your new skis to turn. or you have to skid in the beginning of the turn.

I am 90% certain you need more speed and move your skis more to the side. You also need to be careful when you read advise on tis site,

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