Edited by justanotherskipro - 8/30/15 at 9:51am
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Edited by justanotherskipro - 8/30/15 at 9:51am
Nicely put. I would think and agree that the only outcomes of both technique and skill that really matter at all are the ones that are conveyed directly through the ski to the snow surface and ultimately resulting in the direction, speed and control we seek.
I will say that Ghost's description of oversteering sounds like more work and less efficiency: added effort of rotary boot torque resulting in a controlled disengagement. Maybe good for skiing in terrain too difficult to let the ski carry the loin's share of the work. Modern sidecuts allow for tipping and pressure alone to steer the ski allowing the leg to maintain alignment with the ski from the top of the femur down (or from the foot to the top of the femur for the bottom-up school of thinkers). This femur socket rotation, as BTS points out. is a "passive" move requiring no effort.
I agree that the ability for masterful control of infinite blends of skid and carve can be an aesthetically pleasurable thing to watch and offer a "heightened" sense of control to the skillfully dedicated. However, the ability to create the solid platform a carving ski can provide allows for attention to be taken away from such nuances of ski disengagement and re-applied to more outwardly important things such as direction of line from tipping, absorption from flexion, pressure from extension and leaving rotary to a higher level of competency with the larger joints such as the hips and waist. Of course there will always be the need for fine tuned (small) movements/adjustments in the ankle and knee to aid ongoing alignment.
Pure arc-2-arc carving is more efficient, and preferable to over-steering/understeering to adjust steering angle in a smeared turn.
Still even in pure carving, there is occasion to vary fore-aft weight distribution and if the ski is tipped on edge, and having more down force on the front of the ski than at the back of the ski (or vise-versa), by the laws of physics (force times distance = torque) you will have a net torque at the boot-ski interface.
Modern sidecuts allow for tipping and pressure alone to steer the ski allowing the leg to maintain alignment with the ski from the top of the femur down (or from the foot to the top of the femur for the bottom-up school of thinkers). This femur socket rotation, as BTS points out. is a "passive" move requiring no effort.
Just to clarify what I said earlier... Many on this forum have referred to this as "passive" rotary. So I used bit of that language. "Passive" in so much that the leg is not turning the ski... The ski's rotary is bio mechanically passive, but the bio mechanical rotary aspect is normally not absent or effortless.
Rotary skills include counter development. Whether you are talking bout twisting the femurs to create it, or use counter-rotation of the pelvis to accomplish it, its not completely passive. And it could be a little of both.
There is a certain amount of bio mechanical motor skill used even to just stay out of the way and work in concert with the ski's self steering effects, to create upper/lower separation as it proceeds. Skill development in this area does not mean more more more. It means refinement.
I assume by "us" and "we" you mean ski instructors, coaches of ski athletes, or technical enthusiasts since you posted in this forum. That doesn't sound like the ski instructors that I respect.
The first two steps of other pedestrians are to analyze gait and alignment issues. Anteversion? Tibial varum? Trendelenberg gait from dead glute meds that will block a pedestrian from balancing over a ski? Are their hips squeezed into a knot to avoid rotation? Shoes that lock the ankles? Better off snowboarding due to alignment? Aren't you analyzing an entire storeful of walkers each time you go to the grocery store? After the first two steps, isn't there a part of your mind which predicts each step, compares the prediction to the outcome, and points out predictive shortcomings to your conscious mind? Don't you recognize your coworkers by the rhythm of their gait behind you or its appearance when inside your field of view?
Aren't you fully kinaesthetically aware of every step you yourself personally take? Are you not adjusting your balance and gait each step in response to the last?
If you operate your skiing machine (body) open loop for thousands of hours without scrutinizing performance, how can you expect the most refined of performance when you encounter snow.
This reminds me of back in the day when I used to sell skis. Especially in the first few seasons when shaped skis were the new thing. I wasn't so much selling the ski as much as I was selling the new techniques and creatively proposed experience that would come with them. I would often back that up with the offer to meet on the hill for a few runs their first day on them and help with orientation. It was amazing how quickly some learned to lay it over. It was so easy and fun to sell a person their first pair of carving skis. Like selling crack to a baby. :) Just joking ... babies don't have money.
Might take some issues with that. Flex/extend does not modify edge angles unless you're in a static frame of reference where you let your moving body drag the skis on edge - big fail as a racer, since you loose the edges while waiting (no carving at the top). Use feet/ankles to tip the skis on edge, flex/extend just maintain and allow hips/skis separation through the arc.
I don't think retraction brings the feet back, on the contrary. You must pressure shins strongly/close ankles/pull boots back and tip strongly to counter the effects of the retraction or the next turn is bye bye...!!!
I don't see any redirection here, honestly - just nice SL arcs - the skis turn as much above the fall line as they do under. A little too much inclination in the middle for my taste, but ok - helps with the offset gates there.
The countered stance he maintains through the transition is awesome, helped with the great blocking plant there - it allows him the tight carve in spite of little angulation - it doesn't power a redirection, but the carving of the top of the turn! Textbook awesomeness.
ok - finally sitting down at a decent keyboard.
so from here:
if I extend I just popup like a meerkat.
if i try to extend the legs to the side by rotating the femurs in the hips, that movement will actually try to both lift my skis from the snow and flatten them and doesn't help with the edge engagement and result in a skid/pivot/steer/redirect whatever and delay edge engagement.
the only thing that I can do to engage my edges early at the top of the turn is to tip the around the edges, from the boot. this torque (maybe with teh help of some femur rotation along its long axis) will both dig the edges in, tip the skis and counter all other forces (like other femur rotation and extension) that try to lift my skis and flatten them. the "extension" is passive, just to allow the hips to move down and forward while the skis ride the edges and come around...
...reminder that I am trying... from there to get to here,
by 1) allowing the hips to travel sideways, down and forward and 2) edge the skis so they ride the arc and come around, firmly engaged by the apex. Upper body - lower body separation at it's finest. Having them color-coded helps
...of course those other things happen at the same time, to keep this accordeon playing, but all these are separate things we do - not all have 100% good effects
edit/ you can see why when you start pushing, the tipping stops... so the extension better be passive and pushing/pressure as late as possible:
This is an example of technique, right or wrong ^^^^^^
Extending the legs does not create inclination effectively. You really need to tip from the feet with relaxed legs, or you can allow the hips to drop inside, which can cause the skis to tip, even with totally dead feet.
Extending limits your options for tipping. The movement reduces and eventually eliminates lateral range of motion in the legs. The more your leg is relaxed and bent, the more you can tip from the feet, move the knee, mobilize the femur in the hip socket; to create tipping of the ski(s). More the leg is straight, this RoM is reduced, thus reducing the amount of tipping you can actually create with your feet and femurs. If your leg is completely straight, then you will be severely constrained in terms of bio-mechanically tipping the skis. At that point the only real way to tip the skis is to drop the hip inside, thus inclinating the entire leg and tipping the ski.
Extension does not create tipping..it constrains it. Much more effective tipping happens with bent and relaxed legs, not legs which are extending.
you can call that "technique" too.
This too is a very important consideration...this is more related to "skill" then "technique". Basically the bio-mechanical muscular interactions involved in extension are somewhat bio-mechanically diametrically opposite from the muscular engagements needed to tip the skis. You tip your skis bio mechanically by relaxing the leg, allowing it to bend or at least be bent..but definitely relaxed, and engage movements which abduct the inside leg at the least and possibly adduct your outside leg also. These movements are not harmonious with extension. So just in terms of the skill of tipping the skis, extension is a deal killer.
For sure we are not looking for serious edge engagement while tipping the skis on edge, initially - that would require pressure and we don't want that too early - you are right. And yes, all energetic transitions include some floating - even that one of mine above, I dare say.
I don't know that being back excludes carving? in that photo from the side you reference, the gates are not offset, so no serious coiling occurred anyways and i see carving all the way. it's slower to engage and if the gates were offset he'll end up skidding, but works fine.
Also floating - both me and the skier in the photo tries to keep the new outside ski in contact - otherwise it's easy to get it skidding and again delay edge engagement - I would't say we can't turn , it's just more biomechanics at play. Past skis flat, everyone puts the new outside ski on edge and on snow asap, for this reason.
I'm not doubting redirection or something, in gates it certainly is needed in direct proportion to the lack of skill, but pointing out that if you don't tip and rely just on extension, then edge engagement is delayed and pivoting/redirection is perhaps the only option.
yep. totally. not to mention other extreme skiing like steeps, heli drops etc - whenever we push the limits of our ability, skiing gets interesting ! one needs to make sure one has a good functional use of the fundamentals and then just roll with it !