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Why we need to be progressive about our movements

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

In an other thread arm movements are being discussed but I would like to expand the topic a little. When carving an edge locked turn we have two components that needs to be balanced against each other, edge angles and placement of CoM.


Ok, lets look at it in a static environment.


For example if we are standing still on flat ground and tip our feet and angulate at the hip to increase edge angles one way we need to lean in the opposite direction with our upper body to compensate for the mass in the leggs and hip shifting the other way. This is actually a very natural balancing movement and most people would not even notise they were doing it. Sticking our arms out to each side help balancing.


Ok, lets look what changes when we add forward motion. 


If we were moving forward at very very slow speed the same would hold true, we would stay balanced even if we started to turn as the skis were tipped. However, increasing speed adds a new componet to our formula, turn forces. This is best felt if we glide forward on flat skis and then tip our skis on edge. If we use the exact same ammount of tipping movements as when standing still we are going to be pulled outwards by the turn forces that kick in and eventually vault over. Not to do so we need to compensate. One way to compensate would be not to angulate as much when skis are being tipped. This would offset our CoM and put us out of balance if it were not for the turnforces kicking in. The more we add speed and the more we tip our skis the less we need to compensate by leaning the other way, angulation in this case. Leaning in without angulation is sometimes what we sometimes call inclination.


Ok, lets look at what changes when we add gravity.


Very seldome we ski on a totally horisontally flat surface. Most of the time we ski on a surface that has a pitch. A slope. The higher the pitch the harder it is to resist turn forces that seem to build up more and more in the belly of the turn. The reason is the gravitational force that is pulling on our CoM straight down towards earths center and in the high C of the turn gravity and turn forces are pulling in opposite directions cancelling each other out to a various extent. As you come through apex gravity swings arround, the skier is the frame of reference here, and starts to pull on your CoM in the same direction the turn forces are. This is the reason we feel so much pull shortly after crossing the fall line. Moments later when we are ending up in a traverse, holding that edge is not a problem anymore because we stopped turning and the turn forces whent away and left us with gravity alone.


Conclusion and Task

So the least ammount of pressure we feel in a turn is at the initiation and the most comming out of apex and turning across the hill. It could be usefull for us to make a list of what movements increase edgehold, strengthens the centripetal force, and try to figure out when to use what and how much of it.


Anybody care to help me out?

post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 5

A start:


Edgehold on ice:

 Properly aligned boots

 tuned skis

 higher edge angles, feet, hip, inclination

 Weight on the outside ski

 Big unweighting in transition so that you are more weighted when you need edge hold

 Good for aft balance

 avoid too much rotation input in the wrong direction.


Centripetal force:

 Edge angles and pressure management are the dominant factors.

post #4 of 5

Just like cutting with a knife, the blade has to travel a ways to make a cut deep enough to withstand the lateral force applied.

Skis don't sink into ice far enough to pressure until they have travelled on edge a bit.

Big unweighting which allows delayed pressure after edge angle is achieved (less then a ski length) gives them something to bite.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Lets not limit ourself to ice even though same things hold true. Ok, we have a good start here. Sure you need well tuned skis and good alignment. Lets pretend we have all that fixed. Lets focus on movements and the effect they have.


Positive aspects for edge hold:

Tipping would increase edge angles.

Angulation would give us a strong position.

Counter helps us position our hips into the turn while still keeping our upper body upright and shoulders level.

Outside ski pressure gives us better leverage and a stronger position.

Up-unweighted transitions increases pressure during the turn.


Negative aspects for edge hold:

Square stance lends itself to inclination and hip rotation.

Hip rotation is usually a result of inclination.

Inclination can result in low edge angles and the habbit of standing on the inside ski.


Any thoughts?

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