Originally Posted by LewBob
Warren Witherall (sp?) says most skiers are in the back seat and need more forward lean and ramp angle (I am one of them).
Fun exercise: Watch a pretty woman (or man, if thats your thing) stand in high heels. This is an excellent example of lots of ramp angle. Note that the woman doesn't fall over. Clearly, her body adjusts to keep the CG in the appropriate range. This means that the most interesting body parts move further from the center of the foot.
Some people have a very limited amount of ankle flexion, or a very aft CG. If that person attempts to squat while keeping their feet flat on the floor, they may fall over backwards. If you lift that person's heel a half inch, they will be able to squat farther without having their CG go aft of their foot. This is because the reduced angle of the lower leg to the floor brings the knee forward. As a result the rest of the body has no choice but to come forward for a given angle of the femur to the ground.
No matter how much forward lean/ramp you add, the CG always stays underfoot. The increased forward lean gives you a powerful platform to leverage the tail of the ski at the end of turns. This is the best reason for aggressive forward lean IMHO. I don't believe forward lean alone helps people move their CG forward.
The ramp angle/FL combo may help some get their CG forward because it allows their body geometry to work better in an aggressive athletic position. It is not a magic bullet that magically pushes the CG forward. In some cases, aggressive ramp angle can make the situation worse. If the CG goes aft of the foot with a lot of ramp angle/FL, it is more difficult to bring back into the appropriate range. I believe this is because it makes it more difficult to return to an upright and centered stance.
Try this: Stand with your feet flat on the ground, a foot from a wall. Sit on the wall. Stand up. Now try the same thing with a book under each foot and your ankles flexed as hard as you can to get your knees forward (as per aggressive forward lean). I think you'll find the latter to be much more difficult.
High forward lean/ramp angle combos are unforgiving, IMO. Suggesting them to people that have a hard time with CG placement already is frought with peril, IMO.
|HH says we need to be more upright. We are all built so differently that there is no one size fits all.
The last part is critical. People are all built differently. What might be a cant "correction" for one guy may have the opposite effect on the alignment of another guy, even if they both originally tested at 3 degrees out.
"More upright" is a claim I'd be skeptical of. The whole point of skiing is to be better, faster, more athletic. That doesn't happen standing up straight. However, forcing someone into an "athletic stance" at the foot/lower leg might be just as misguided.