Originally Posted by fatoldman
Is it necessary for the new outside ski to be pressured/engaged for the inside tipping to be effective?
If you answer yes to the above do you establish that pressure/engagement before, after or at edge change?
How do you describe establishing and maintaining that pressure/engagement to yourself and your students?
Thanks for any input. I'm trying to clarify my thoughts on what may be a change in my teaching concerning how we change direction.
FOM, what are you considering changing in your teaching? Just curious.
the question is a bit tricky. do the skis need to be pressured and engaged for tipping to be effective? No, not strictly the way the question is expressed. there is still advantage to getting the skis tipped, even if they are not YET pressured. However, the skis themselves are not at all effective for anything until they are in fact pressured. So sooner or later you will need to allow pressure to come to your skis and that is when they will be fully effective. But tipping them before that time is still a very useful thing to do, so the tipping is effective yes, but the skis themselves won't be effective until they are pressured/engaged.
My view about when to apply pressure is, as soon as possible. Sometimes we go airborne, like the photos zenny provided. That skier is not making any turns yet. They will be soon when the skis finally touch down and have engagement and they are already tipped and ready to rail when they do, because of the effective tipping. But in the air, they aren't doing much good for making an actual turn. So yes...I think pressure as soon as I can is good. I am nearly always trying to eliminate any unweighting, in other words I want to always have pressure. I won't always have it, but I'm trying to do everything I can to keep it always. The only time when not, is when I might be doing an intentional aggressive pivot, which isn't often anymore, and even pivots don't strictly need to be unweighted. I want pressure, through gravity and/or centripetal forces...because that means engagement and engagement means I'm skiing! It means control. In my view, ideal pressure management is by manipulating balance states and extension/flexion movements in such a way as to maintain as close to constant pressure as I can.
As far as teaching students, I spend a good deal of time with skiers talking about the "sweet spot" of the ski. I point to this area on the inside of the outside ski just in front of the toe piece and describe it to them as the secret sweet spot and we do various things where I get them to really focus on trying to feel that part of the ski and feel themselves manipulate their balance both fore-aft and laterally, so that they feel the pressure located right there at that sweet spot. is it actually a sweet spot? Probably not, but getting them to think about it and try to feel it there gets them to start embracing pressure under the inside edge of their outside ski with good fore-aft balance. Basically focusing on the pressure aspect, gets them to fine tun their balance skills....which in my view is the MAIN way to manage pressure too...
The ski doesn't do what its designed to do until its pressured. Pressure is our friend in skiing.
That being said, trying to push on the skis to create pressure, rather then allowing centripetal forces to create the pressure, is a common mistake made and taught by many. So... If you are overly focused on the pressure aspect and trying to push on the skis to pressurize them, bad things can happen. Is early pressure the big buzzword of late? yes it is and I think its being overly used, overly emphasized, and its being used to justify outside leg pushing, which is a problem. So obviously, pressure is not the only thing that needs to happen, and how we go about establishing pressure under that outside ski matters a lot. But yes...generally, you want it as soon as you can get it...just don't get it the wrong way, there are unintended consequences.