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"Tipping" breakthrough?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yesterday at Sugarloaf the conditions were pretty good given the lack of snow like forever. Hard packed with dust on top. With a fresh tune edge-hold was pretty good.Perfect conditions to experiment with carving technique.

I can do it, but not as efficiently as I would like. It seems that I am not able to engage the edges high enough in the turn life-cycle to avoid skidding out first, and this is particularly so as the slope steepens. As I was playing around on a more gradual slope at speed, and paying attention, I consciously attempting to push my ankle bones (talus on inside and distal fib on outside)  against the boot liner. And when I did, I felt a tipping sensation at the ankle. That was different that what I seem to do, which has been to keep the entire leg rigid when I go into a carve, without any articulation at the ankle joint - keeping that rigid too. And that seemed to tighten up the turn radius and provide a sturdier carved platform. I had this possible epiphany on the last run of the day so was not able to explore it further.

The movement is certainly more intellectual than in muscle memory at this point. And before I learn another bad habit that I will have to unlearn, just want to know if this sensation is consistent with the tipping concept, and result. If so, drills for reinforcement and muscle memory?

Tx

D1

post #2 of 10

   Here's a quick and easy drill to help ingrain the feel for this: Find a relatively flat (a nice green), wide, empty groomer and start out on a straight run until you have a little speed. With your skis comfortably apart (but not overly wide) begin to make railroads while just focusing on ankle tipping. To turn to the left, roll your left ankle (your soon to be inside ski) laterally towards its little toe. You'll find that the outside ski will roll towards it's big toe almost immediately. Allow the skis to create their own arcs while resisting the urge to steer or twist with the feet. Rinse and repeat for a turn to the right.

 

  Of course the knee and hip will follow with these ankle tipping movements and for some the movements of all three may seem indistinguishable from one another as they all will happen nearly, or completely simultaneously...but some people (perhaps such as yourself) find better results by zeroing in on the ankle. This has a lot to do with physiological and proprioceptive differences (among other things) from person to person, imho.

 

  zenny

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that. I have actually done that drill and thought I had it, but probably didn't. Simply using the term "ankle tipping" has never resonated with me because I probably have never done it. Again, the eureka moment for me yesterday was the actual sensation of my ankles actually pressuring the inside of the boot up to the cuff. It was the physiologic reinforcement that struck me as unique and bought the experience to my consciousness, and what I tried to replicate.

D1

post #4 of 10

  Well then, go out and revisit this with your new found sensations in mind! :) Often, I will suggest to people to "put their brain in their feet", another way to accentuate feeling/feedback from the snow. 

 

  P.s. gotta go but I will say that as the speeds incresease, so does the fun!!!

 

    zenny

post #5 of 10

A favorite task of mine for working on a number of things is to ski on only the outside ski. Obviously there is a switching from foot to foot from turn to turn. Things to look for;

 

Keeping the in the air ski either level or, purposely, tip on the snow. This will give you an idea of fore/aft balance.

With practice, lifting the new inside ski before you roll over onto the new inside edge of the outside ski. This will encourage good shaping at the top of the turn.

What brings the up ski back to the snow? Are you extending the leg (which is fine) or can you get the skis far enough away from you that the ski naturally reconnects with the snow.

 

Putting all you weight on the outside ski forces balance against the outside ski. You'll still be able to rotate to adjust turn shape. If someone is typically inclined through the whole turn, having them stand against the outside ski will force an amount of body angulation in the bottom half of the turn.

 

Just a thought.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nateteachski View Post
 

A favorite task of mine for working on a number of things is to ski on only the outside ski. Obviously there is a switching from foot to foot from turn to turn.

 

 

Obliged for that. I have done that drill before and believe that I have fairly decent distribution of weight throughout the turn - or at least I feel it when I don't, which is just as helpful.

D1

post #7 of 10

   If you try the ankle rolling railroads I suggested, be sure to progressively add just a smidgen of angulation over the outside ski as the edges begin to carve (a smidgen because it would be on a flatish run and the speeds will be lower)--add a small amount of counter as well to compliment this. Shortening (flexing) the new inside leg progressively will be key as well as you move through your turn(s). Play with this over and over, gradually increasing the speed/slope angles as you feel more comfortable with these movements. 

 

  Let us know how it goes :) 

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Zen, thanks again.

Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but when you "roll" the ankle" to do this drill, I assume that you begin with straight legs, skis flat, weight evenly distributed. The "roll" happens by pressuring the inside of the boot with the talus and distal fib in ankle to put the ski on edge. There is no movement in the leg above the ankle.

The next step, as you say, is to add a bit of angulation with the femur/hip which has the effect of increasing the base angle beyond the one produced by the ankle alone.

Then add counter for balance and pressure on outside leg.

Yes? No? Maybe?

D1

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post

Zen, thanks again.
Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but when you "roll" the ankle" to do this drill, I assume that you begin with straight legs, skis flat, weight evenly distributed. The "roll" happens by pressuring the inside of the boot with the talus and distal fib in ankle to put the ski on edge. There is no movement in the leg above the ankle.
The next step, as you say, is to add a bit of angulation with the femur/hip which has the effect of increasing the base angle beyond the one produced by the ankle alone.
Then add counter for balance and pressure on outside leg.
Yes? No? Maybe?
D1

Legs not straight, but rather slightly flexed--the proverbial "athletic stance", where shin angle matches spine angle. Since you will be on a flattish slope to start, this won't seem like much as it is a perpendicular attitude you want to assume with the slopes angle. But yes, start on a straight run (more or less down the fall line), skis flat. You can think of rolling the inside ankle as pressing into the lateral side of the boot, or by lifting the arch of the foot (it shouldn't really lift much, if at all), or both. As the ankle moves, the rest of the leg (tibia, femur) will follow. Again, this will be virtually simultaneous...

The slight and progressive angulation of the knee/hip will help you to balance on the (hopefully) now carving outside ski and the slight counter compliments the angulation by engaging more core muscles and facilitating a "strong inside half" while at the same time preparing you for the turn which will follow.

zenny
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Nice imagery. Thanks for that.

D1

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