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# Deconstructing the A-Frame - Page 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1

The concept is a little difficult to describe on paper, but I'll give it a shot.  An expert skier already in motion has a number of forces in play. Momentum, centripetal force, gravity, all interplaying off of one another. At speed these forces are plentiful.  A ski will turn as it is edged in the snow and moves forward, needing only a limited amount of pressure to get the ski to turn. Expert skiers typically don't add pressure, it's already there,  but MANAGE it. That management is done through flexion and extension.

I'd like to learn how to manage the pressure since that's what many suggest I (we)  should be doing.  What exactly does it mean to manage the pressure?   How do I do it?  What is the outcome of managing the pressure correctly?   What happens if I do not manage the pressure?  How do I know if I am managing the pressure correctly?  As for adding pressure or doing anything else with pressure,  I have not used that term in my text.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1

So by your statement you're suggesting that you cannot make a turn solely on your inside ski? While that may not (usually) be the optimal option I'm sure you can do it. Now instead of thinking solely outside ski think of a blend. Then think of how the blend might be used in transition.

And I'm glad you mentioned the "get over it" drill.  Mikaela is the perfect example for perfect dynamic balance. The drill is a practical drill for SOME things buyt I believe highly misunderstood, overused and abused. While we can ski like that, in practicality she does not. The prefect example is her Olympic Slalom Gold Medal run.  If you look at that one gate where her outside ski didn't hold and she did a spontaneous WPT  and did most of that turn on her inside. She could not have done that had she placed her CoM solidly and exclusively over the outside ski. The fact that her CoM was perfectly placed so she could extend and pressure EITHER ski is the perfect illustration of my point.

Edit: Again, look at J.F. Beaulieu. While he does get to his outside ski early in the turn, his inside ski, while ever so briefly gets pressured first in most of his turns.

You keep mentioning pressure and adding pressure and managing pressure.  I have only spoken of balancing.  I also mentioned balancing on the LTE which will be found on the inside ski.     YM

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogaman

I'd like to learn how to manage the pressure since that's what many suggest I (we)  should be doing.  What exactly does it mean to manage the pressure?   How do I do it?  What is the outcome of managing the pressure correctly?   What happens if I do not manage the pressure?  How do I know if I am managing the pressure correctly?  As for adding pressure or doing anything else with pressure,  I have not used that term in my text.

Quote:
You keep mentioning pressure and adding pressure and managing pressure

.  I have only spoken of balancing.  I also mentioned balancing on the LTE which will be found on the inside ski.     YM

Let's examine this a step at a time.

Quote:
I have only spoken of balancing

I want to make sure I understand the context in which you use the word "balancing" and why you choose to "balance" over the outside ski. Is it related to actively applying pressure on that outside ski?  I tend to think of the CoM in terms of positioning which ALLOWS for balance as the forces are applied.

Quote:
You keep mentioning pressure and adding pressure and managing pressure

If I spoke of "adding" pressure it was purely contextual.  Managing pressure has to do with how much pressure you allow to be put on the skis and when it is applied.  If you wanted to increase the amount of pressure DISTRIBUTED to the outside ski, how you do it is largely dependent on how your CoM is positioned dynamically. If the arc of the turn is still diverging from your CoM then the obvious answer is to extend the outside leg. But if that leg is already fully extended if you need to allow the pressure to increase on your outside you probably have to retract your inside leg, assuming there is some pressure being exerted on it. If you are solely dependent on the outside leg for balance and consequently pressure,  then the travel of your CoM becomes more critical because you have given up the ability to adjust it by inside leg retraction. If all is traveling properly in sync and the pressure builds up as it does in higher speed turns, then you can moderate the excess pressure with retraction of both legs.

There are a lot of ways to make effective turns. What I strive for is flow and smoothness. I tend to be very active with my inside ski. It helps regulate pressure, but active snow contact snow contact with the inside helps direct my CoM and upper body travel and provides most of the resistance needed to get good upper/lower body separation. Solely "balancing" on the outside ski as one system promote requires other adjustments to accommodate that method.

I don't know what else to say. YMMV

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogaman

As the skier you can not tell the difference between the forces you are trying to balance as they change in proportion to one another.

I know Vindabona1 took a shot at responding to the above but allow me to take another.

In the end, the forces we deal with are directly related to our commitments. If we are trying to travel in a circle, then by definition, you are dealing with the creation and building of centripetal force.

When I am skiing, I am never thinking about where I am, I am always thinking about where I am going and where I need to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1

Let's examine this a step at a time.

I want to make sure I understand the context in which you use the word "balancing" and why you choose to "balance" over the outside ski. Is it related to actively applying pressure on that outside ski?  I tend to think of the CoM in terms of positioning which ALLOWS for balance as the forces are applied.

If I spoke of "adding" pressure it was purely contextual.  Managing pressure has to do with how much pressure you allow to be put on the skis and when it is applied.  If you wanted to increase the amount of pressure DISTRIBUTED to the outside ski, how you do it is largely dependent on how your CoM is positioned dynamically. If the arc of the turn is still diverging from your CoM then the obvious answer is to extend the outside leg. But if that leg is already fully extended if you need to allow the pressure to increase on your outside you probably have to retract your inside leg, assuming there is some pressure being exerted on it. If you are solely dependent on the outside leg for balance and consequently pressure,  then the travel of your CoM becomes more critical because you have given up the ability to adjust it by inside leg retraction. If all is traveling properly in sync and the pressure builds up as it does in higher speed turns, then you can moderate the excess pressure with retraction of both legs.

There are a lot of ways to make effective turns. What I strive for is flow and smoothness. I tend to be very active with my inside ski. It helps regulate pressure, but active snow contact snow contact with the inside helps direct my CoM and upper body travel and provides most of the resistance needed to get good upper/lower body separation. Solely "balancing" on the outside ski as one system promote requires other adjustments to accommodate that method.

I don't know what else to say. YMMV

I guess the system you refer to that suggests that we balance over the outside ski is the majority of the racing community.   If I am balancing on the outside ski the force applied to that ski is in direct proportion to edge angle and not velocity.   30 degrees equals 1.2G,  45 degrees 1.4 G and 60 degrees 2 G's.  What does being active with the inside ski mean?  How does the inside ski provide resistance needed to get good upper/lower body separation.   And what is good, as opposed "bad" upper and lower body separation?  YM

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogaman

What does being active with the inside ski mean?  How does the inside ski provide resistance needed to get good upper/lower body separation.   And what is good, as opposed "bad" upper and lower body separation?  YM

I'm going to try to be pretty basic here to keep this short.  The inside ski has several functions. It helps in pressure distribution. Its contact with the snow provides torque which stabilizes the hips which provide transferred torque to the outside ski.  It also helps direct the CoM. Here's a simplistic illustration:

Imagine you're completing a turn. NATURALLY the forces will build on the outside ski. You need to release the old turn. In doing so you begin to roll that old outside ski onto the new edge and try to direct it into the new turn.  In doing so the edge roll does not happen in isolation. As you roll the ski to the new edge your body has to come along with it if the action of rolling is decisive enough and timed properly (hence my comments on "synchronicity").  The rolling action of the inside will create torque which can help direct the CoM.  If your skills are refined you can transfer pressure to the new outside ski within a fairly wide window of the turn timeline by a combination of RETRACTING THE INSIDE SKI and extending the outside.  But I'm sure you realize that you have to keep the extension of the outside ski in reserve until it nears the apex of the turn. The retraction of the inside allows keeping the extension in reserve. Because you allow the inside ski to take on the function as the "decider" it provides many tactical options that just getting to the outside ski does not. It doesn't mean that you can't put pressure on the outside ski early, it's that you don't necessarily have to.   IMO it allows for more versatility, security and spontaneity.

Balanced on 2 different radiuses.

Bad use of inside ski    ≈ inside ski is used as crutch and prevents edge angles and dynamic skiing.

Good use of inside ski ≈ inside ski is used to allow higher edge angles than what would be possible with outside ski alone.

IMO it is very important to learn outside ski dominance, but when you have it dialed there is nothing inherently wrong with inside ski usage. Even the system that should not be mentioned has different use of the inside ski, one-footed release, two-footed release and weighted release (≈WP)

In racing you see inside ski pressure in the order of 1G quite often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt

Bad use of inside ski    ≈ inside ski is used as crutch and prevents edge angles and dynamic skiing.

Good use of inside ski ≈ inside ski is used to allow higher edge angles than what would be possible with outside ski alone.

IMO it is very important to learn outside ski dominance, but when you have it dialed there is nothing inherently wrong with inside ski usage. Even the system that should not be mentioned has different use of the inside ski, one-footed release, two-footed release and weighted release (≈WP)

In racing you see inside ski pressure in the order of 1G quite often.

Well Put Jamt. Here is a non-ski analogy (for what it's worth) that might line up with what you wrote.

Consider the traditional aircraft design.  It contains 2 sets of wings. The forward wings (outside ski)  + velocity produce the vast majority of the generated lift force.  The rear wings (inside ski) + velocity also generate a small amount of lift.  But the rear wings (via the elevators) provide the vertical axis guidance. With increased velocity, the plane will gain altitude solely off the lift of the main wings but doing it this way is not as efficient and effective as using the elevators on the rear wings to control angle of attack.

Edited by JESINSTR - 2/28/16 at 7:07am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt

IMO it is very important to learn outside ski dominance, but when you have it dialed there is nothing inherently wrong with inside ski usage.

I agree, but we all have a different idea of what "dominance" is.  It will, particularly at higher speeds and edge angles naturally have more pressure distributed to it.  In fact, if your experience is anything like mine there are times when I have to actively push down on the inside ski to keep it on the snow.

FWIW, one of the BIG mistakes that I was making as a trainee was trying to put TOO MUCH pressure on the outside ski. Being totally outside ski dominant put my CoM out of position and locked up my feet. Consequently I was a big, powerful clod on skis, essentially making linked recoveries.

Since y'all like analogies I'll throw one at you.

It's a lot like the Mad Max character "Master Blaster".  Master (the little guy on top= inside ski) makes the decisions. Blaster (outside) is the strength.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JESINSTR

I know Vindabona1 took a shot at responding to the above but allow me to take another.

In the end, the forces we deal with are directly related to our commitments. If we are trying to travel in a circle, then by definition, you are dealing with the creation and building of centripetal force.

When I am skiing, I am never thinking about where I am, I am always thinking about where I am going and where I need to be.

Your post has some very good advice.  The ol'- "shut up and ski by intent" has a lot going for it in terms of being able to sense and blend movements.  I no longer ski by thinking about my skiing at all and find it cumbersome to ski movement based drills within a clinic.

For YM I can add a bit about setting intent and commitment when it comes to defaulting efficient rotary, edging and pressure management.  Always work towards a state of perfect balance and achieve flow.  Perfect balance is no accident and is achieved through good skeletal stacking.  Set yourself up for success in learning how to manage edging and pressure.

• Pick fairly easy terrain (green/blue)
• Keep your edge angles fairly low
• Stick closer to the fall line at first
• Before you start to move get yourself into a powerful athletic stance and bounce a bit. Find and athletic stance similar to waiting for a tennis serve or waiting to catch a fast basketball or line drive in baseball.  Low, powerful with good fore/aft and lateral suspension.
• Don't look very far ahead but far enough you don't fall.  By not looking very far ahead the slope appears flat and you will subconsciously level to the slope both fore/aft and laterally.  Do look around before taking off as you are probably not seeing far enough ahead to avoid conflict.  Don't ski this way for long periods without looking around.
• Plan and pick a line you want your head and body to take, not a line for your skis.  Forget about foot movements just let your feet draw circles.  Sick to the line,  look for the next apex when you feel your new edges.
• Do not use pole touches or if you do touch the pole, make sure you  touch the pole when the skis go flat at edge change. Get shorter poles.
• Edge and sense pressure by pushing back against all forces until the muscular tension in the right and left core muscles around the hips feels the same. Level visually and especially keep your head level.   Just allow short leg/long leg to accomplish this.  Don't think just sense, you are looking for flow.  Equal muscular tension is sensed as perfect balance fore/aft and laterally.
• Again, don't let your athletic stance go by getting to high, don't look too far ahead, don't think, forget about your feet and your edge change, push back against the forces and JUST FLOW.  Everything including perfect upper and lower body separation happens by default.   Turn on the squirrels in your brain and you will fail this exercise.   When asked at the bottom of the run what you perception of the run was,  " I tried too" or "My focus was" better not come out of your mouth.  Your should not even be aware of your turn transitions, just flow.
• Learn perfect balance and flow first before screwing up your skiing with emphasis on rotary, edging and pressure management. Don't learn and teach to the friggin test.

I have heard of the hypnosis method of teaching where flow is not dependent on the fundamentals but rather, a severe brandishing of controlled mindlessness. Don't look, don't listen, don't speak, don't think and don't reflect. It is, though, typically instilled with a swinging pocket watch in the pipe tobacco stench ridden office of an aging bow tied psychiatrist who has yet to experience the internet. Personally, I don't use hypnosis, often referred to as the method of mindless learning with which to learn skiing in a manner that allows all movements to happen by default, otherwise referred to as magic. Though, it has proven very effective in remaining to appear cognizant while being trapped on the chair and spoken to by my gf about frequently surfacing outspoken matters of frivolous irrelativity while I ponder my next run and how long I will have to, again, wait at the bottom watching hoards pass me by on their way to the chair where my ass is supposed to be, the result of which, satisfies both parties ... I think.

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