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# Tail divergence

I occasionally have a problem where my right tail will diverge, come in toward the left ski.  My right ski is an issue at times I a railroad track, although I have corrected it there.  But in open parallel, 20% of the time there is right tail divergence.  I have tried to thing of a small wedge while skiing to keep the tails continually apart. Does anyone out there who coaches have an idea on how I can correct this problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoAngel

I occasionally have a problem where my right tail will diverge, come in toward the left ski.  My right ski is an issue at times I a railroad track, although I have corrected it there.  But in open parallel, 20% of the time there is right tail divergence.  I have tried to thing of a small wedge while skiing to keep the tails continually apart. Does anyone out there who coaches have an idea on how I can correct this problem?

I'm slightly confused by your description.  When the right tail diverges I think it would be moving away from the left ski.  Please clarify.  YM

@SnoAngel, if your tails diverge, you'll be in a wedge.  If your tips diverge, that's the opposite.

I think you are talking about unwanted tip divergence, but I'm not sure.

When you say right tail divergence, your readers see your right ski tail opening up into a wedge, or a stem.

understand your diagram but I do mean that one tail the right only drifts in toward the left tail, thus the tail diverges as it is closer than the tips.  My tried correction is to converge and think of skiing in a small wedge to keep the tails consistently apart.

I appreciate your diagram.  I have edge and rotary well on my left but not as well on my right ski.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoAngel

understand your diagram but I do mean that one tail the right only drifts in toward the left tail, thus the tail diverges as it is closer than the tips.  My tried correction is to converge and think of skiing in a small wedge to keep the tails consistently apart.

I appreciate your diagram.  I have edge and rotary well on my left but not as well on my right ski.

When different sides do different things, my first thought is always alignment issues, boot set.   With out seeing some pictures or video, it's a little useless to speculate.  YM

Sno...

I think you meant convergence. Based on the sentence structure it sounds to me as if English is not your first language. What is your native language?

Three questions:

1)  Have your skis been tuned recently by a professional?

2) Have your boots been set up by a professional?

3) Are your legs the same length?

When you have asymmetry with your skiing it could very well be in your movements, but what you are describing (assuming the description is correct)  isn't something one sees regularly. I would suggest first have your equipment inspected and adjusted just to make certain.

I think my diagram was not so helpful.

When two things come together, it's called convergence.  They converge.

@SnoAngel, when does the right tail come in towards the left tail?

At start of "right" turns?

At end of "right" turns?

Both?

Edited by LiquidFeet - 3/31/15 at 6:03pm

Whenever I suggest anything even remotely related to tail divergence to my girlfriend, she gets nervous. I think she may need lessons. Or at least a good drill. Any suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoAngel

understand your diagram but I do mean that one tail the right only drifts in toward the left tail, thus the tail diverges as it is closer than the tips.  My tried correction is to converge and think of skiing in a small wedge to keep the tails consistently apart.

I appreciate your diagram.  I have edge and rotary well on my left but not as well on my right ski.

Your wording is still confusing. It sounds like you mean that the tails end up closer together than the tips (because "the right only drifts in toward the left tail"). Thus, even if you think it is caused by the tails drifting closer together, we usually say that the tips diverge, not the tails. If you prefer, you can say that the skis diverge. Since the word "diverge" is associated with things getting farther apart, we can't see how the tails "diverge" if they're getting closer together.

Is this happening on your right turns only? Or on your left turns only? What about when you're just skiing straight?

Suggestion: Let's all stop using the words "diverge" and "converge" in this one thread, since they are causing huge confusion (notwithstanding the fact that normally they are perfectly clear and useful terms). Let's just say "move away from each other" or "move towards each other."

Thank you for your assessment.  I do have a slight leg length discrepancy on the right.

The right tail drifts toward the left on turn initiation.

SnoAngel, it sounds to me like you may have a significant alignment issue in your right foot, and how it's interacting with your ski boot.  You need to get to a skilled boot fitter and have him/her take a look.  Talk to ski instructors or race coaches at your local resort and ask them for recommendations of who to go to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich666

Whenever I suggest anything even remotely related to tail divergence to my girlfriend, she gets nervous. I think she may need lessons. Or at least a good drill. Any suggestions?

Yet, it's the divergent amongst us who will save the world.

I see what you did there

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoAngel

I occasionally have a problem where my right tail will diverge, come in toward the left ski.  My right ski is an issue at times I a railroad track, although I have corrected it there.  But in open parallel, 20% of the time there is right tail divergence.  I have tried to thing of a small wedge while skiing to keep the tails continually apart. Does anyone out there who coaches have an idea on how I can correct this problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoAngel

Thank you for your assessment.  I do have a slight leg length discrepancy on the right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoAngel

The right tail drifts toward the left on turn initiation.

Based on the above, Rick and Vindibona1 got it right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick

SnoAngel, it sounds to me like you may have a significant alignment issue in your right foot, and how it's interacting with your ski boot.  You need to get to a skilled boot fitter and have him/her take a look.  Talk to ski instructors or race coaches at your local resort and ask them for recommendations of who to go to.

I would just add that there might also be some flexibility issues, possibly in your hips, that are contributing to this.  If you have a leg length discrepancy, you can correct for that with boot alignment/fit etc.  HOWEVER, your work might not be done as there is a pretty good chance the discrepancy you have has also caused compensation of other joints.  Especially if the discrepancy isn't corrected in your street shoes.

Having a great boot fit and alignment makes sure your gear isn't holding you back.  Your body might still be holding you back.  You need to address this too.

I learned this the hard way.  I've been struggling with muscle spazms in my neck and shoulders since last October and have gone down every avenue; medication, yoga, physical therapy, massage, chiropractor, trigger point injections, meditation and more of all of it.  All focusing on my back, neck and shoulders (where all the pain was).  My massage therapist, also my yoga instructor, peeled back the onion, she checked out my psoas and we are all pretty sure that was the culprit.  Showed up in my skiing too.

Remember, when you drain the swamp (of issues), more things are revealed.

Ken

Ken Yes there is a flexibility issue in the right hip - that I am working on. My boot alignment is fine. I have recently had correction in the boot. That is not the issue. I am working with a coach/trainer and National Examiner at my home Mtn. English is my first language, one of the prior responses suggested otherwise. Ken It appears to be as you mentioned that my body or pre-existing issues is causing the right ski tail to drift to meet the left tail on occasions. It sounds like your own issues with your neck and shoulder caused journey in both your rehabilitation and your skiing. I look forward to my further work on this issue. Thank you all for your thoughtful input.

Based on the above, Rick and Vindibona1 got it right.

I would just add that there might also be some flexibility issues, possibly in your hips, that are contributing to this.  If you have a leg length discrepancy, you can correct for that with boot alignment/fit etc.  HOWEVER, your work might not be done as there is a pretty good chance the discrepancy you have has also caused compensation of other joints.  Especially if the discrepancy isn't corrected in your street shoes.

Having a great boot fit and alignment makes sure your gear isn't holding you back.  Your body might still be holding you back.  You need to address this too.

I learned this the hard way.  I've been struggling with muscle spazms in my neck and shoulders since last October and have gone down every avenue; medication, yoga, physical therapy, massage, chiropractor, trigger point injections, meditation and more of all of it.  All focusing on my back, neck and shoulders (where all the pain was).  My massage therapist, also my yoga instructor, peeled back the onion, she checked out my psoas and we are all pretty sure that was the culprit.  Showed up in my skiing too.

Remember, when you drain the swamp (of issues), more things are revealed.

Ken
[/quote]

SnoAngel, i'll just leave you with one last thing to consider.

All boot fitters are not created equal.  I've seen it many times, where boot fitters have botched a job, to the point their work had to be corrected so the skier could balance and edge efficiently.  I've seen the work of a highly regarded, and widely known boot fitter in Colorado completely screw up the skiing of a student of mine, making it impossible for him to execute proper skiing movements.  The bad fitting job had his joints locked up, and made it impossible for him to articulate his legs and hips properly, or fore balance.  Upon correction of that abomination of a boot fit job my student was able to ski ten fold better, and master skills he didn't have a chance in hell of coming close to performing prior.

Message being, no matter how nice or competent you feel your boot fitter is, second opinions are often needed.  Boot fittings are intended to correct natural misalignments most person's body have, which just don't jive with skiing.  If the issue still exists after the fitting has been done, it could be it just can't be corrected, or it could be that the proper correction has not yet been made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoAngel

The right tail drifts toward the left on turn initiation.

I'm guessing this is most noticeable when you're making a turn to the left, probably with most of your weight on the right ski? Or does it happen with turns both ways, left and right?

Regardless, when the right tail drifts toward the left does the tip of the right ski feel somewhat light, not fully engaged with the snow?

Can you move the bindings on your skis fore and aft, or do they have a fixed mount? If you can move them try moving the right ski binding slightly forward and see what happens.

If you can't move the bindings, try pulling the liner out of the right ski boot and adding a small amount of padding (1/8") under the toe of the liner, or under the toe of your footbed if you have one.

I had a similar problem, only it was my left tail would tend to "wash out", move away from the right ski during turns. I was able to largely correct this by adding a small amount of padding under the heel of the footbed in my left ski boot. This helped put a little more weight on the heel and keep it engaged. Still not perfect, but better. Playing with binding mount and adding padding are easily reversible ways to check some things out.

I am not suggesting you don't see a bootfitter. My own boots are several years old and I am getting close to starting over myself. But as Rick mentioned your mileage may vary, and ideally you want to find someone capable who could see you on the snow. Barring that someone close to where you ski where you can come back in for adjustments, perhaps with several iterations to get things dialed in just right. Unless you live at a ski area that can be tough to find. Even tough unless you live in the right ski area.

Anyway, I am not a bootfitter - I haven't even stayed in a Holiday Inn Express. Just some things you might consider trying. If you do and they make a difference I'm sure a bootfitter would want to hear about it.

Good luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoAngel
The right tail drifts toward the left on turn initiation.
Originally Posted by SnoAngel

Ken Yes there is a flexibility issue in the right hip - that I am working on. My boot alignment is fine. I have recently had correction in the boot. That is not the issue. I am working with a coach/trainer and National Examiner at my home Mtn. English is my first language, one of the prior responses suggested otherwise. Ken It appears to be as you mentioned that my body or pre-existing issues is causing the right ski tail to drift to meet the left tail on occasions. It sounds like your own issues with your neck and shoulder caused journey in both your rehabilitation and your skiing. I look forward to my further work on this issue. Thank you all for your thoughtful input.

1.  The right tail drifts toward the left -- on which turn initiation?  Is that for a turn that goes right? Or left?

2.  Does the left ski sometimes lift up off the snow -- when the right ski's tail drifts in?

3.  Do you ever feel like you're going to tip over and crash onto your right side -- when the left tail drifts inward?

3.  Does the right ski feel like it's firmly gripping the snow, or is it sliding sideways -- when its tail drifts towards the left tail?

4.  Do you feel like your weight is way out over the front of that right ski -- as its tail drifts in towards the left tail?

5.  Do you feel like your weight is firmly over the left ski -- as the tail of the right ski drifts towards the left tail?

6.  You say you have a leg length discrepancy.  Which leg is shorter?  Is this a big discrepancy?  Have you had work done on your walking shoes that addresses this leg length discrepancy?

7.  Have you asked the National Examiner what he/she thinks?  That person should be able to figure this out better than us.

You know Liquid Feet you have a very good point.  I did not consider that. I have gone to highly regarded boot fitters.  Thus never second guessed their work.  So it is very interesting that you point out that although a person's reputation may be excellent, there is sill a chance of error.  I did work with my coach yesterday to correct this situation, and I was able to correct it with movements involving tip pressure - pressure management in general  - more of it, and increased edging to the goofy or outside of the ski.  Also pulling back the right leg underneath me.  I now need to consistently learn to dial into these movements as a natural part of my skiing.

I really appreciate your comment about boot fitters.  I am getting new boots for next season.  Best regards....

Liquid you asked many questions, My right tail drifts in at times when turning t either side.  My leg length discrepancy is slight, not enough for correction in street shoes.  The tail drifts on the finish of the turn, my weight is either neutral or 70/30 or at tmes 50/50.  My left ski does not come off the snow and I don't feel like I am going to tip over.  I have found that my key to correcting this is more pressure on the down hill ski.  When the right ski drifts in it is not firmly on the snow, which is why I need greater pressure on that ski.  I am working in getting my weight more over the tip of my right ski, increased pressure .  My left ski is firmly planted on the snow.  I have been so frustrated with this situation, that I thought I would put it out there to the experienced epic ski members.

The examiner is just beginning to figure this out.  Thank you Liquid for you insight and help

Originally Posted by SnoAngel

Liquid you asked many questions, My right tail drifts in at times when turning t either side.  My leg length discrepancy is slight, not enough for correction in street shoes.  The tail drifts on the finish of the turn, my weight is either neutral or 70/30 or at tmes 50/50.  My left ski does not come off the snow and I don't feel like I am going to tip over.  I have found that my key to correcting this is more pressure on the down hill ski.  When the right ski drifts in it is not firmly on the snow, which is why I need greater pressure on that ski.  I am working in getting my weight more over the tip of my right ski, increased pressure .  My left ski is firmly planted on the snow.  I have been so frustrated with this situation, that I thought I would put it out there to the experienced epic ski members.

The examiner is just beginning to figure this out.  Thank you Liquid for you insight and help

This is the key, in red.  Skiing so that it feels like your support moves from "outside ski to outside ski" is the solution.

If that tail drifts inward at the end of turns in both directions, that means you are asymmetrical in your technique.

Focus on this with your instructor.  If you can't fix it with good instruction, revisit your bootfitter.  You might need a lift under that right foot, if the right leg is the short one.

Best of luck and report back.

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