Originally Posted by The Engineer
Doesn't the power in steering a turn come from rolling the knee? And rolling the knee is done by rotating the femur?
not an expert on steering here, but rolling the knees from side to side can be done with inversion/eversion of the foot. Of course allowing the femurs to rotate is a must.
Sit down in a chair in ski boots, with the knees at 90 degrees and evert/invert strongly inside the boot while keeping the legs relaxed and allow the femurs to rotate. the knees will move side to side.
while skiing though, the leverages and forces inside the boot are quite complex, between the shin, the heel, the foot etc.
p.s. since we're here, what I do when I need to steer my skis is a combination of pivoting, heel pushing and re-directing. These are all allowed by being light on the skis or/and tipping them to less angles than those where they grab.
It all really depends on how you finished the previous turn. If you're extended, you have to wait while droping the body, while the skis must be pivoted since the legs are long and stay long - that's when the femur rotates around it's axis. if you're flexed to some extent, then you can use the knees as you describe and it is always a combination of factors, between inversion/eversion and the femur thing - they each add leverage. However, I look at the knees rolling as an outcome, not the cause. I don't move my knees, but tip my boots.
Thats scripture and all true. If my skill level doesn't allow me to carve that gate, then I might as well get good at being bad, right :)
However, do play this little mental game: Come out of the turn flexed really low, but maintain counter, so you face say down the hill while the skis face the side of the hill. Simply allowing the boots to travel to the side, they will get the legs long. as the skis are attached at 90 degrees roughly all the time, this will necessitate the skis to tip on edge a lot and turn. the more you extend the skis out to the side, the more they have to turn and the more they have to tip (the lower you are as well). See what I did? Nothing special. Of course, a thousand joints and muscles were fired, and tens of levers interacted, but I really did nothing but extend my legs. My focus in this entire ordeal was to slide my heels at snow level out to the side and back. Why the heels? Because that also keeps me forward as needed.
But here's a few ways you can decompose what went on there:
- i rotated my femurs, that rolled my knees and the boots caused the skis to tip on edge and then i extended perhaps
- i extended and let the snow leverage the tails and edges and rotate the skis
- i tipped the skis from the feet and that rolled my knees and then extended which turned the skis
- i tipped the skis and the sidecut turned them (not a lot of pressure here, so little turning effect)
- i let my body/core unwind and that's what rotated the skis
- i kept flexing and a short inside leg, pulled the boot back and then inversion was quite strong
Do you really want to see this in just one dimension? Is there one dimension in here that explains everything? Is there one thing to do? These all interact. Most cause others. Some cause other things in other situations as well, like tipping or flexing.
This stuff is so complicated to analyze and explain that I generally just leave it up to my brain, to figure it all out mid-turn I find it more effective to just focus on the stuff that matters, like good clean technique and enhance skills and muscle memory to cope with terrain and course. It's the distinction between hard skills and soft skills. How you choose to train technique versus tactics. And tactics includes connecting technique sequences in many ways, always related to terrain etc.
However, in terms of what I do focus on at the top of the turn is really tipping the skis. I pay significant attention to my boots and feet, since they feel what's going on: is there traction, is there skidding, am I rolling over. So I prefer to roll everything on edge from the feet. This is allowed by maintaining light skis and flexed legs. There you have it - that's enough to drive everything. Of course the body unwinding helps the turning effect (depending on the timing of it relative to tipping, it either pivots the skis or digs the edges of the tips).
As you pass certain thresholds, things become both more complex and simpler (since you build on existing skill).
Edited by razie - 6/24/15 at 2:33pm