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why lean forward still when going backwards?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am learning and practicing going backwards. My instructor has me still putting my weight slightly forward (which when going backwards is now leaning slightly uphill). I didn't really question it because it felt much easier than leaning down hill while going backwards, but in retrospect it makes me wonder how the physics works. Aren't you being 'backseat' when you lean forward when going backwards?
post #2 of 8

I believe it is due to the way your skis are designed.  A typical ski is longer in the tip than it is in the tail, which means that when you lean on the edge, there is more influence to your turn from the edge towards the tip.  It also keeps you in a more aggressive position.  

 

If you want, try leaning towards the back of your skis sometime while skiing backwards.  It will be harder to turn, and you will feel very uncomfortable.

post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeFiter View Post
 

I believe it is due to the way your skis are designed.  A typical ski is longer in the tip than it is in the tail, which means that when you lean on the edge, there is more influence to your turn from the edge towards the tip.  It also keeps you in a more aggressive position.  

 

If you want, try leaning towards the back of your skis sometime while skiing backwards.  It will be harder to turn, and you will feel very uncomfortable.

It's also the way your feet, ankles, shins and boots are designed. You've got a big lever at the front, which lets you put pressure on the tips of your skis, but no such mechanical advantage on the tail end. In fact, your whole body is set up to press forward, not to fall back.

 

BTW, is skiing backwards a beginner topic? I have enough trouble going forward.:)

post #4 of 8

All kinds of things are different when you ski backwards.  

 

Your knees are folding in the opposite direction than when you go forwards.  All your leg joints are folding in the opposite direction.  

Your arms are on the "behind" side of your body as you go downhill.  The tails of your skis, which are now leading, are shorter than the shovels of your skis, so your feet are situated on the skis farther ahead than when you are skiing forwards. 

When you ski backwards, your outside ski slides ahead of your inside ski; when you ski forwards your inside ski slides ahead.  

 

Some things stay the same.  Your weight still is concentrated on the outside ski.  Flex your new inside knee and you'll start a new turn.  

The inside ski serves as the "guide" ski and the outside ski is the "ride" ski.

Those important things don't change.


Edited by LiquidFeet - 2/23/14 at 6:42pm
post #5 of 8

I have my student lean back and move with their skis.....I am teaching balance not a position

 

the ability to stay centered/neutral going forward or backwacks comes from the ability to dynamically move with our skis. If your slammed into the front of you boots while skiing backwards its exactly the same problem you have when your ass is over your tails skiing forwards. 

 

Learning to move with your skis should not stop just because we change direction

 

to anyone who says that leaning into the front of your boots is the way to go while skiing backward I would love for them to demo these things while skiing backwards.

 

backwards skating

backwards 1000 steps

backwards white pass turns

backward RailRoad Track turns

backwards outside foot outside to foot skiing

backward pivot slips(aka backside pivot slips)

 

and the grand daddy of all backward tasks backward single foot skiing AKA LTE to BTE with out changing feet.

 

trust me when I say this all of the above are impossible while leaning up the hill, but can be done by skilled skiers if they are actually moving with their skis and pressure the back of their boot. 

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeFiter View Post
 

 

 

If you want, try leaning towards the back of your skis sometime while skiing backwards.  It will be harder to turn, and you will feel very uncomfortable.

 

 

if this were true even accounting ski tips being longer then may i ask can you ski one footed backwards while making turns? or any of the above task I listed..

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

 

 

if this were true even accounting ski tips being longer then may i ask can you ski one footed backwards while making turns? or any of the above task I listed..

Honestly, I haven't tried, and as I read your post, I was trying to imagine how they would feel.  I might have to try out a few things next time I'm out.  

 

In my experience, my skis don't like to carve unless my weight is towards the front of my skis, but then again, I don't spend a lot of time skiing backwards.  I guess its something to play around with.

post #8 of 8

Skis are designed with a "sweet spot."  They work best when the skier's weight is over the sweet spot.  This spot or area is somewhere between the toe bindings and the name on the front of the ski.  We talk about skis with a big sweet spot that are easy to ski and skis with a small sweet spot that ski great when he are right on the spot.  It doesn't matter which way you go, you need your weight over the sweet spot for the skis to work their best.  Some experimentation will allow you to find how far forward to get your body's center of mass to make your skis work really well.

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