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Independent Leg Steering and High Edge Angles...

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 
...and maybe not so high edge angles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
...LEG STEERING!...

...Leg steering describes the rotation of each leg, independently of the other, beneath the pelvis, femurs rotating in the hip sockets. Leg steering is one of several options ("rotary mechanisms") available for using muscles to control, or change, the direction the skis point, along with "rotation," "counter-rotation," and "blocking pole plants." Of these options, leg steering is the only one that gives us the ability to turn each leg independently, powerfully or subtly (or even passively, as in a pure carved turn), abruptly, to pivot the skis, or continuously, to guide them along the desired path. It is the only one that does not involve the upper body in any way, freeing it to do other things. Leg rotation, skillfully blended with balance, pressure control, and edging movements, allows us to pivot the skis about any point along their length--twisting the tails out into a skid, or steering the tips in, to shape a gliding or carved turn. Like any of the "rotary mechanisms," leg steering can produce the twisting needed for a hockey stop. But it alone can also produce the precise turning of each foot involved in "thousand steps." Leg steering is the only rotary mechanism that can allow us to make the "right tip right to go right" move that is my "mantra" thought for all basic offensive turns, from the beginner's wedge turn to the expert's dynamic, highly carved, high performance turn.

I would also say that "independent leg steering" is among the least intuitive, least likely moves for many skiers to discover on their own--and therefore one of the most essential things for an instructor to teach. Very short skis have helped here--a lot. New skiers on snow blades are much more likely to naturally turn their feet than on full-length skis--especially "traditional" length skis. The longer the skis, the more likely a beginner is to try to force them around with gross movements of his/her upper body, especially when in a defensive ("I don't want to go that way") state of mind.

And independent leg steering may be among the least commonly understood--and therefore most controversial--fundamental movements in all of skiing. While, as I described above, it CAN be used to pivot the skis, twist them into a skid, and brake, its use--and my suggestion that it is an essential, basic fundamental--definitely does not REQUIRE that. As I have often described, independent leg steering is very much like using the steering wheel of a car. You really should do it! Steering a car does not mean pivoting harshly, throwing the car into a skid, or even turning the wheel at all sometimes--although it CAN mean any of these things. We even steer a car when we are going straight. Many instructors and others badmouth leg steering on the basis of just SOME of the things you can do with it, which may not be appropriate for most turns. Many instructors associate leg steering with wedges and snowplows (and it is, of course, the tool we use to turn those two skis in opposite directions), and with stem christie "pushoff" turn initiations and other defensive, intentionally skidded turns. Many instructors will tell you that steering a ski is the antithesis of carving--and indeed, it can be! (Think hockey stops.)

But steering the skis independently is also fundamental to "thousand steps" which, done correctly, involves no skidding whatsoever. It is the reason that, with each step, you put the ski down pointing a slightly different direction than when you picked it up. "Thousand steps" is, in fact, one of the very best drills going to develop the skill of independent leg steering.

And independent leg steering--or at least, passive independent leg rotation (same movement, different impetus)--must occur even in pure-carved turns, like "railroad tracks." We don't have to turn them ourselves, but we do have to ALLOW the exact same movement to happen as the carving skis turn beneath us, creating the "counter" that is the main subject of another popular thread at the moment ("Pressuring front boot cuffs and Counter."

So, that's it--if you must force me to identify one movement pattern that I truly believe is fundamental and essential to good skiing, without which a skier would be severely handicapped in almost any situation, "independent leg steering" is the one.

Let the objections fly!

Best regards,

Bob Barnes
Bob's posting in the "Most Basic Ski Movement Patterns" thread, got me to thinking again about the effect of independent leg steering at high edge angles - or otherwise when the skis hookup solidly and resist or stop this rotation of the feet.

Since being introduced to Pivot Slips, I've tried to gain a better understanding of this fulcrum mechanism as described in Bob's Encyclopedia. I'm getting better at and can pull off a decent pivot slip and I understand the "each leg supports/counteracts the others movement" interaction while doing what I'll say (for comparative purposes) is essentially flat ski work. Likewise, I can bring this steering into play with turns using shallow edge angles to crank the skis into the turn to varying degrees. In these cases though, the edge angles are low and the skis/legs can rotate (at least to some extent) upon/across the surface under the skier.



Pivot Slips --Ric Reiter (VailSnoPro)




What I'm struggling to understand is, what happens at high edge angles, if you employ leg steering? Say, for example, the skis are up on a high edge and locked in a carve (skier is showing angulation/inclination, to match turn dynamics.) It would appear that you would now be attempting to "steer" the skis down into the slope rather than across the surface into the turn. Additionally, aren't the skis essentially "locked" in place in regards to this plane of rotation? In Bob's bar stool example, wouldn't it be like the freely rotating tops became seized in place? So in this sense it would seem that it would be futile to try and steer a railed carve. Yet, it sure seems (to me anyway) in practice to make a difference. Am I wrong thinking it makes a difference? If I'm right, help me understand how this torque applies and/or how it manifests itself during a carved turn.



Dynamic Parallel Turn - Bob Barnes

What happens to the torque if Bob (above) starts to crank independent leg steering into the turn with the edge angles shown in this image (or otherwise sufficient angles to secure the edges from allowing the skis to rotate)? If the inside ski is light, will it diverge into the turn rotating against the heavily loaded outside ski or will the rotation stall as the ski attempts to drive 'into' the slope (would this be a sometimes)? If it stalls, what are the effects of the torque? If there is sufficient weight on both skis and both are locked into a carve will this essentially stop the feet from rotating under the skier (again stalling the rotation of the feet/skis)? Where does the torque go? With the skis/feet locked on this "rail" (if you will), does a real fulcrum and lever become available for the skier to use to influence the movements of their core? ...would the fulcrum change throughout the turn (depending on fore/aft balance and relation of the core to the feet in the turn, or depending on the alignment or angles/flex of the legs)? Would the lever be the ski with 'adjustable' pivot points along its length or the femur pivoting upon the axis of the lower leg...or a combination thereof? Does the (can the) rotary mechanism of independent leg steering help to fine tune the movement of the core into and out of the turn (given the stability of the feet or their relative stability), acting to use the skis/legs as levers against the slope, such that the movement/flow of CM is influenced by it; or is it only used to rotate/steer the feet/skis under the skier or otherwise effect how the feet/skis move in relation to the (more or less) stable core?

"The Slow Line Fast"--Bob Barnes; very complete (nearly 180 degrees) basic parallel turns on smooth blue terrain.

Clearly the plane ride out to CA was much too long today, eh! Anyway, it seems that I always see independent leg steering referring to its effect on the feet/skis and how they move in relation to the core. Is that in fact the case, or does the "equal and opposite reaction" rule apply here as well. If a force is acting to bring the feet into the turn, is an opposing force acting to bring the core out of it at the same time as well (or vice versa)?????

Your thoughts?

Chris

post #2 of 76
Nice presentation Chris. I'll leave the mechanics to some of the others.
post #3 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib



...what happens at high edge angles, if you employ leg steering? Say, for example, the skis are up on a high edge and locked in a carve (skier is showing angulation/inclination, to match turn dynamics.) It would appear that you would now be attempting to "steer" the skis down into the slope rather than across the surface into the turn. Additionally, aren't the skis essentially "locked" in place in regards to this plane of rotation? In Bob's bar stool example, wouldn't it be like the freely rotating tops became seized in place? So in this sense it would seem that it would be futile to try and steer a railed carve. Yet, it sure seems (to me anyway) in practice to make a difference. Am I wrong thinking it makes a difference? If I'm right, help me understand how this torque applies and/or how it manifests itself during a carved turn.

One answer is that, as the turn progresses, the skis turn under the body, and the legs need to rotate in the hip sockets to maintain balance over the skis. That's what Bob B referred to as "passive" steering, but I think of it as an active movement to maintain balance. In either case, the leg is rotating in the hip socket, and the motion needs to be controlled.

Another answer is that the whole idea of a "pure carved turn" is a little of an exageration. The typical explanation that the turn is determined by sidecut and edge angle alone is a useful simplification to explain some effects, but it's not the whole story. No ski always perfectly engages the edge from tip to tail, and when it doesn't (which is most of the time) you need another way to control the movement of the ski. If you look at slow motion video of real turns, you'll often see most of the ski bouncing on and off the snow. In that case, active steering is not only possible, it's necessary to maintain an accurate line.

Finally, at high edge angles your weight will be almost entirely on the outside ski. Accurate rotary movements keep the inside ski pointed in the right direction.

Hope this helps.

John
post #4 of 76

independent leg rotation and edging

Cgeib:

I share your struggle to reconcile the leg rotation movements so clearly described by Bob Barnes with the edging movements needed to produce a carved turn. Bob deals with this by suggesting that at higher edge angles (ie. carving) the leg rotation effort is "PASSIVE" -that is we "ALLOW" the legs to be rotated independently in their hip sockets by the turning force of the carving skis beneath us. In doing so we continue to keep the upper body from exerting any turning momentum on the skis, whis is one of the most important reasons for confining the turning effort to the legs.

Ron LeManter, in his book The Skiers Edge also sheds some light on this. He points out that the knee angulation movement required in a good carved turn is biomechanically very similar to leg rotation movement. When the knees are rolled inward, the femurs turn in their hip sockets. and we want to prevent that rotation from being transmitted to the upper body. So in a very real sense, leg rotation movements and edging are essentially the same skill, at least with respect to the turning of the femur in the hip socket. Which means that if you are carving a high speed turn with high edge angles, and you are doing it well, you are employing independent leg rotation skills.

Hope this helps-it certainly clarified things for me.

cdnguy
post #5 of 76
This exact topic has been bothering me since first finding epicski and reading all of the "Perfect Turn" threads. Specifically, the right foot right to turn right mantra. This seems logical in a pivot slip, but I'm with cgeib in that I can't reconcile how edge angles allow it. I'd jotted a note to experiment with this on snow with my trainer, but since I'm east coast (no snow) and the question is posed...

I've read LeMaster's book and it didn't help. The passive rotation I don't think I get either. To me (and let me profoundly apologise for bringing this up), the passive rotation seems more like a PMTS technique. Please, if possible, can someone just explain Bob Barnes' Perfect Turn application?
post #6 of 76
Someone (probably Barnes) said something along time ago about the 1000 steps thing. Think about doing 100000000 steps while the skis are on a high edge. Or go out and run fast in a tight circle. That should give some idea of how it works.
post #7 of 76
Interesting. The 1000 steps makes sense. Just having a hard time wrapping my head around this. Might be something I just need to feel my way through (I don't think I've ever said that before). I recently got my a$$ handed to me in powder -- the coach told me I was doing way too much active leg steering.?.? Maybe we'll get a sweet white dump and someone can help me with this at ETU.
post #8 of 76
Active steering at high edge angles adds pressure to tip edges, tightening the arc of the turn. Passive steering allows the legs/feet to change relationship with the torso as needed to maintain balance.
post #9 of 76

Yes, there can be active steering/guidance in a carved turn

As Kneale just alluded to, there can be active "steering" during a highly edged turn.

The passive nature of steering is as generally thought, allowing the geometry and camber of the skis to generate the direction change, with the legs relaxed and turning under a stable torso.

But if you look at Hermann, Bode, Stephan, et al, there is nothing passive about how they shape their turns! So it obviously is happening. Because this rotary movement is so subtle, many will say it doesn't exist. But it IS there, and is extremely powerful.

From a proprioceptive point of view, it is similar in feel to an isometric exercise. Imagine putting your foot against the jamb of a door, and try to turn that foot. A great deal of force applied, with very little visible result. Because of this, it will feel as if you are not acheiving any significant amount of redirection. But try relaxing the leg/foot through one turn, then apply a rotational force to the leg/foot during another. You will undoubtedly find the stressed leg turn will be tighter than the relaxed leg turn, all other factors being equal.

The really cool thing about this type of turn is when you realize how incredibly effective it is, and how to really control the shape/arc of your turns, instead of just doing the old "park and arc".

So- is the "active steering" visible? Does something have to be visible to be active? Or can the level of activity be a muscular action, which is active, while not showing much movement on the surface?

By the way, Chris, are you going to make me do pivot slips as long as Ott has been doing his Wedeln? My legs are going to get really tired!
post #10 of 76
Fallline:
I share your pain! Or at least I remember the struggle to get this idea of leg rotation vs edging. Consider the following. Sit at your computer with both feet on the floor, about 1 foot apart. Make sure you are not in a swivel chair. Hold the edge of your desk with both hands.Now slowly try to turn both legs WITHOUT turning your feet!
Make sure that you don`t swivel your bum or hips( holding the edge of the table helps.) You will notice that the knees roll inward and the feet roll on to their sides but they do not have to pivot. What you may not notice is that while you are making this movement, the top of your femur is rotating in your pelvis. You can`t see this in the same way that you see the knees rolling inward, but believe it. If you can accept that this is happening-that the femur can rotate without the feet rotating then the you are almost home. Remember that "leg steering, or leg rotation" is by definition, the ability to rotate the top of the femur in the hip socket. If we prevent the foot from rotating by our own muscular effort and at the same time rotate the femur, then the knees roll in, the feet roll up on their edges and we have angulated and produced edging-away we carve!

SO-leg steering can easily produce pivoting- ie turning the femur can certainly turn the foot-if we let it. Most people understand this intuitively.

But leg steering can also produce knee angulation if the foot is not allowed to turn. This results in edging which produces carving.

cdnguy
post #11 of 76
Just be careful doing this, as it can be very dangerous to the knees. A little goes a long way.
post #12 of 76
VSP, I'm ruminating on your reply. There may be an AHA moment soon.

cdnguy your post actually confounds my confusion, but I'll explain. I have centuries of ballet/dance and martial arts training. When we turn out -- rotate the femur in the hip socket, in ballet, but don't allow the foot to follow, we blow out knees. I thought I understood that in skiing the knees rolling inward, which sounds like angulation, created a weakened position which left the knee vulnerable. Maybe that's where I've hit this wall with the passive steering. From my background I can't fathom why we'd want to do this.

VSP's isometric exercise is interesting. I think his actuator is the foot v. the femur which seems to not risk the knee. I think?

Sorry to be a problem child. I really appreciate everyone's help.
post #13 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallLine
I have centuries of ballet/dance and martial arts training. When we turn out -- rotate the femur in the hip socket, in ballet, but don't allow the foot to follow, we blow out knees. I thought I understood that in skiing the knees rolling inward, which sounds like angulation, created a weakened position which left the knee vulnerable. Maybe that's where I've hit this wall with the passive steering. From my background I can't fathom why we'd want to do this.
Maybe that's where you've gone wrong. In ballet, as most dry land activities, your foot needs to be firmly planted to the ground without sliding. Skiing is obviously all about sliding. Try standing with all your weight on your right foot, and slide your left foot in an arc with its center at the arch of the right foot. Then slide your left foot in an arc with its center somewhere to the left of the foot. Either way, your femur will rotate in its socket, and your foot will move ahead and behind your center of mass as you make the arc. Your knee never needs to be in a weak position as you do that. Those are just 2 of the rotary movements that help maintain fore and aft balance.

Whether that's "active" or "passive" is a matter of interpretation. As a coach, I've noticed that different skiers interpret and respond to directions differently. If I tell one skier to be passive or less active-to allow something to happen without deliberately causing it- he may respond with a better movement pattern, but the next skier may respond to the same direction with a worse movement. In the end, "active" or "passive" are just imperfect descriptions of what we feel as we ski. Most coaches recognize the same effective movements, but no coach knows what any other skier feels.

John
post #14 of 76
Great discussion here, everyone--this is probably one of the most complex issues in skiing. And great thread starter, Chris. You've clearly put some thought into this!

A few points, most of which have already been brought up, but I'll just add another viewpoint:

First, it is very interesting what happens in movements when we tip the skis up and the legs over. "Rotary" movements, that change the direction the skis point when they're flat, become "pressure control" movements at high angles, distributing pressure fore and aft (as Kneale described). And vice-versa--movements that lift the tip of the ski up when you're upright--pulling the thigh up, flexing at the hip, and/or flexing (dorsiflexing) the ankle--act more like steering movements at high angles, pulling the tip into the turn. So the distinction between some “rotary” and “pressure control” movements blurs as skis tip to higher angles, with the effects actually reversing at 90 degrees, vs. flat skis.

Second, rotary movements, like most movements, can be either active or passive, with a whole spectrum in between. "Active," as I use the term here, means that it's a result of your muscular effort--you twist your skis with your feet and legs. "Passive" means something ELSE does the work, and you just let it happen--carving causes your skis to turn, and they turn your feet and legs. The movements themselves can be identical. In good skiing, ACTIVE rotary movements supplement the skis' built-in ability to turn by themselves, as needed.

As we learn to carve better, our steering movements can become less and less active, as the skis do more and more of the work. But all turns, no matter how dynamic, START with nearly flat skis and little pressure (much of the pressure on skis in carved turns comes from resisting centrifugal force. Since there is no centrifugal force at the moment of transition, there will be little pressure as well.) So, unless we just want to make a completely passive "patience turn," we usually need to steer the skis actively into the new turn at first. As the edge angle and pressure increase, the skis start carving more effectively, and muscular steering effort can decrease.

In many turns, that active steering at initiation applies primarily to the inside ski--"right tip right to go right." This movement not only steers the tip of the right ski to the right, it also involves tipping of the ski toward its outside ("little toe") edge, along with a movement of the whole body (CM) into the turn. These movements contribute to the outside (uphill) ski rolling to its INSIDE ("big toe") edge, enabling it to start carving.

So we can clearly steer one foot actively and let the other steer passively at the same time. Whenever you carve a turn 100% balanced on one foot, this is exactly what must happen. The outside ski carves and turns itself. But the only thing that turns the inside ski is ... YOU! Only two-footed carves can take place with no active steering of either foot.

Many carved turns, especially those we make "just for fun," involve no active steering movements whatsoever. But such "passive turns" (a very old race coaches' term, by the way) are of limited use when you need to control your line precisely, as in a race course. Yes, you can change the carving radius of today's skis quite dramatically by just changing the edge angle, providing you can get enough pressure to fully bend the ski(s) into reverse camber (meaning "not usually in the earliest parts of the turn"). But active steering plays a vital role as well.

Look at that photograph of the "dynamic parallel" turn. I was probably just having fun there, so I probably didn't do much active steering in that turn. But imagine that I needed to tighten the radius of that turn, at that moment, for some reason. What would I do? I would start by more actively steering the inside (right) ski--pulling its tip more aggressively into the turn. This movement, as described above, would involve a combination of simple "leg rotation" and pulling the tip toward my body, along with inversion of the foot (tipping toward the little toe). You would see my knee move actively into the turn, perhaps even appearing a little bowlegged, as my whole body moved more actively to its right (our left in the picture). This movement would increase the edge angle of my inside ski (outside, "little toe" edge), and the edge angle of the outside ski would increase too. (Remember--steering and tipping movements are biomechanically almost identical.) This would tighten the carving radius of that ski and tighten the turn. Mission accomplished! The active rotary, in this case, would apply to the INSIDE ski only, but its effects would ripple through the "kinetic chain," creating some complex effects, ultimately leading to a tighter carved turn.

What if that wasn't enough, and I needed to tighten the radius even more? In that case, where I need to turn more abruptly than my skis can carve, I would actively twist BOTH legs. Yes, this would result in some pivoting of the outside ski, sacrificing the "pure carve." But sometimes you've just got to do that.

Clearly, when skiing gets dynamic, its movements become highly complex and sophisticated. Rotary, edging, and pressure control movements blend together, and the distinction between them blurs. Muscular activity and the skis' ability to carve turns blend seamlessly to respond to the needs, desires, and whims of the skier, at any moment. Forces and angles ebb and flow, and movements flow in cycles, with no clear stops and starts, no beginnings, and no ends.

Great topic, Chris!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

PS--Miles's mention of "Thousand Steps" is highly appropriate here--and explanatory. I often use that exercise not only to develop specific skills, but to help develop understanding as well. The continuous, or at least repetitive, activity of both skis all the way through the turn in Thousand Steps, along with the continuous movement of the body through the turn to keep the feet from "walking out from beneath you," is exactly what must happen in highly dynamic turns. I sometimes describe great turns as "infinite steps."
post #15 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdowling
One answer is that, as the turn progresses, the skis turn under the body, and the legs need to rotate in the hip sockets to maintain balance over the skis. That's what Bob B referred to as "passive" steering, but I think of it as an active movement to maintain balance. In either case, the leg is rotating in the hip socket, and the motion needs to be controlled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdowling

Another answer is that the whole idea of a "pure carved turn" is a little of an exageration. The typical explanation that the turn is determined by sidecut and edge angle alone is a useful simplification to explain some effects, but it's not the whole story. No ski always perfectly engages the edge from tip to tail, and when it doesn't (which is most of the time) you need another way to control the movement of the ski. If you look at slow motion video of real turns, you'll often see most of the ski bouncing on and off the snow. In that case, active steering is not only possible, it's necessary to maintain an accurate line.

Finally, at high edge angles your weight will be almost entirely on the outside ski. Accurate rotary movements keep the inside ski pointed in the right direction.

Hope this helps.

John
John,

Your statement "...I think of it as an active movement to maintain balance." seems to be a YES answer to my question of using steering to influence the flow of your core.

As to the whole idea of a "pure carved turn". Yeah, certainly in practice ya never see the 100% pure theoretical carve; I tried to make it clear that wasn't really the point, and that I was really looking at the angle that would create resistance to or stop the rotation (guess I failed in that regard). Good points on the ski/snow interaction. Varying conditions and situations will certainly require different application of skills to suit!

Yep, likely you will be mostly on the outside ski at high edge angles ...at some points in the turn, not all. I used that photo of Bob because I thought the angle it was taken would make it easy to see which way the ski would try to go if rotated. There is a lot of turn before and after that point, where the weight distribution wont be so exclusive to the outside leg. I guess I'm thinking that the bottom of the turn looks like a place where a lot of torque can be dialed in, and even while the edge angle is decreasing still see a minimal amount of slipping/skidding? (Thats not to say it's the only place I think it would effective.)

Thanks for your comments!

Chris
post #16 of 76
Bob, I am flabbergasted.

Everyone here is used to you writing exceptionally clear, insightful explanations, but, IMHO, your last post was one of your all time masterpieces on Epic. There is so much meat, so much clarity, and so much new material, I hardly know where to begin.

For example, you point out that "...the distinction between some “rotary” and “pressure control” movements blurs as skis tip to higher angles, with the effects actually reversing at 90 degrees, vs. flat skis...." I have never heard this concept articulated before this. That's an amazing insight, and like most insights, quite obvious in retrospect.

Congrats, and thank you very much for the time you freely give to helping everyone on Epic understand and enjoy skiing.

Tom / PM

PS - Forget teaching me to ski ... Some day, would you just teach me to write so concisely and clearly
post #17 of 76
Thread Starter 
VSP,

Your description of the isometric is exactly what I feel when I step off the bar stools and apply the same movement on a 'sticky' surface. Likewise, going from pivot slips to a more solid edge. Just trying to figure exactly what's going on with it!

Nah, I imagine it doesn't have to be visible to work. The best skiers make it appear they aren't doing anything, eh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vail snopro
By the way, Chris, are you going to make me do pivot slips as long as Ott has been doing his Wedeln? My legs are going to get really tired!


Naw, not at all, I have slightly modified Bob's original animation ....so it will quit as soon as you catch that leading edge
post #18 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhysicsMan
Bob, I am flabbergasted.

Everyone here is used to you writing exceptionally clear, insightful explanations, but, IMHO, your last post was one of your all time masterpieces on Epic. There is so much meat, so much clarity, and so much new material, I hardly know where to begin.

For example, you point out that "...the distinction between some “rotary” and “pressure control” movements blurs as skis tip to higher angles, with the effects actually reversing at 90 degrees, vs. flat skis...." I have never heard this concept articulated before this. That's an amazing insight, and like most insights, quite obvious in retrospect.

Congrats, and thank you very much for the time you freely give to helping everyone on Epic understand and enjoy skiing.

Tom / PM

PS - Forget teaching me to ski ... Some day, would you just teach me to write so concisely and clearly
Ditto for me, well...I still want to learn to ski

Thanks for the clear response, Bob! Seems maybe you've thought about this before:

Lots to think on for the moment ....
post #19 of 76
Bob,

I want to comment about the point p-man was so blown away by. "the distinction between some “rotary” and “pressure control” movements blurs as skis tip to higher angles, with the effects actually reversing at 90 degrees, vs. flat skis."

I've been playing with this concept for about three seasons now. It all started with a comment I made in a clinic that whatever I want my ride ski to do I can accomplish by making my guide foot perform that action inside my boot. At the time I was refering to tipping and actively steering the ride ski through the actions of the guide foot but later on when I was free skiing I decided to see just how far I could push that idea. So I started to ski with the feel of gentley arcing my foot as I want the outside ski to be bent into an arc. Instantly, I felt a difference in my turns, a more connected cleaner feel to the arc. After skiing around with a stupid grin on my face for a while just wollowing in the joy of something new, fun and effective I thought that if I wanted to tighten a turn I would want to bring the tips of the skis around just a little sharper. I lifted my toes to tighten the arc of my fore foot. The skis came around and under me so fast that I nearly did a superman down the hill. After regaining my balance and taking a few moments to think about what just happened I continued the run playing cautiously with what I had just discovered. After about ten turns I was laughing out loud and whooping like I was skiing three feet of white smoke. The effects of subtle arcing and lifting movements of the guide foot inside the boot on the actions of the outside ski were just astounding.

After skiing and teaching for as long as I have real "WOW" moments are rare in my own skiing development but this was definatly one of them.

yd
post #20 of 76
This is a thought-provoking thread.
Quote:
thought that if I wanted to tighten a turn I would want to bring the tips of the skis around just a little sharper. I lifted my toes to tighten the arc of my fore foot. The skis came around and under me so fast that I nearly did a superman down the hill.
As my goals for this year are to tighten my turn radius without sacrificing turn shape, I'll be thinking about this as early as I'm able, Yd. Knowing me, of course, I will actually end up taking a flyer down the hill : . But you've got to make sacrifices, yes?
post #21 of 76
"So I started to ski with the feel of gentley arcing my foot as I want the outside ski to be bent into an arc. Instantly, I felt a difference in my turns, a more connected cleaner feel to the arc. After skiing around with a stupid grin on my face for a while just wollowing in the joy of something new, fun and effective I thought that if I wanted to tighten a turn I would want to bring the tips of the skis around just a little sharper. I lifted my toes to tighten the arc of my fore foot."


ydnar, what do you mean by arcing the foot? And were you doing it to the inside or outside foot?
post #22 of 76
Quote:
Rotary, edging, and pressure control movements blend together, and the distinction between them blurs.
The skills concept is almost ancient in our technology-driven sport, having been formulated in the late Sixties by the godlike PSIA Education Director Horst Abraham, who held sway over the organization's technical content for (an unprecedented) 15 years.

Bob's explanation of the interdependent skills and how they are mixed and remixed into "skill blends" that are uniquely appropriate to circumstances or intents is indeed masterful, but let's throw a kudo to Horst as well for originating the skills concept and using the Venn diagram to graphically illustrate how a skier's development leads to a blending of the skills, and that at any developmental level, skills applications are all secondary to the skier's foundation of balance.

So, kudos to Horst for inventing a classic and to Bob for contemporizing it.
post #23 of 76
FallLine,

I'm talking about actions of the inside foot. More years ago than I would like to think about I coined the terms ride ski for the outside ski because that is the one I am predominately riding on when I ski and guide ski for the inside ski because it is the actions of that ski that shaped and guided my turns. Another way to think of it is that actions my left foot guide my left turns and actions of the right foot guide my right turns.

yd
post #24 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by ydnar quotes Bob

"the distinction between some “rotary” and “pressure control” movements blurs as skis tip to higher angles," yd
That reminds me of an analysis I saw elsewhere of Von Gruenigan's GS technique, a key pointer about this "rotary" and "pressure control" once you start skiing with big edge angles:

"Most aspiring racers forget one important element to create the pressure on the outside ski, even if you get yourself in this general position [e.g., big edge angles with a deeply flexed inside knee]: once you are fully into the new turn, your outside leg is extended, but most aspiring racers do not realize that they have to rotate their femur in their hip socket to create knee angulation (knee flexed forward and in) to continue to create forward pressure on the front inside of your outside foot/boot. Without this dynamic, skiers tend to get inside ski dominant and tend to lose pressure on their outside ski. You can see Von Gruenigan rolling his femur toward the inside of the turn very clearly in this picture. "

You can see the picture, and the discussion, at:

http://nastar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=322&start=45

(The link is to page 4 of a thread, the Von Gruenigan pic is about half-way down the page, with the text immediately follows it.) Seems dead-on to me. (Now, if I could just get my body on the hill to look like that picture.)

We're supposed to get 6-12" of snow in the mountains around Tahoe through this evening, says weather.com. Everyone think snow.
post #25 of 76
Great points, sfdean! Knee angulation WITHOUT femur rotation is generally painful, to say the least, and the need to maintain pressure on the ski tip through internal rotation at high edge angles is partially what I think VailSnoPro was referring to.

Knees don't (or shouldn't) bend sideways much, so knee angulation is not what many people may think it is. Proper knee angulation is a combination of the knee bending normally, with internal rotation of the femur at the hip, which moves that bent knee into the turn.

Great picture of Von Gruenigan. (Look at those Fischers!)

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #26 of 76

more on steering and edge angles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
Great points, sfdean! Knee angulation WITHOUT femur rotation is generally painful, to say the least, and the need to maintain pressure on the ski tip through internal rotation at high edge angles is partially what I think VailSnoPro was referring to.

Knees don't (or shouldn't) bend sideways much, so knee angulation is not what many people may think it is. Proper knee angulation is a combination of the knee bending normally, with internal rotation of the femur at the hip, which moves that bent knee into the turn.

Great picture of Von Gruenigan. (Look at those Fischers!)

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
Falline:
Just curious. Does this quote of B. Barnes (the part about proper knee angulation) help you? If you can see that proper knee angulation is not dangerous; that it involves rotation of the femurs in the hip sockets that tip the skis on to ever increasing edge angles which is a big part of steering carving skis; and that you could, if you wanted, have decided to do pivot slips instead of carving simply by allowing your feet to "pivot" (ie. don`t roll the knees in) rather than edge. In both instances, however the femurs
rotate. In other words rotating femurs can produce different outcomes. It can create steering that has very little edge as in a pivot slip, or it can create steering that is almost exclusively based on edging movements as in carving, AND an almost infinite number of "mixtures" of pivoting/edging that lie between the two. But the skill of being able to rotate the femur in the hip socket without involving the upper body is central to all of these turns. That is Bob Barnes point, I think.

cdnguy
post #27 of 76
Between VSP's isometric wall exercise and jdowling' insight into my mental roadblock, I think I'm getting it. Here is the pm I sheepishly sent jdowling:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm so embarrassed -- you're absolutely right -- I COMPLETELY forgot about forward motion! Thank you so much for putting that together for me. This has stumped me for 2 MONTHS. The motion I was factoring in was down the fall line which is why the pivot slips seemed logical. I couldn't figure out how to steer going down the same fall line without a flat or little-edged ski.

I knew I was missing a piece of the puzzle. Thanks for finding it. This is why there shouldn't be an off-season in skiing. I hope I would have figured this out on skis and not asked such a dumb question in a public forum...

My summer coach was absolutely anti-steering and his argument was pretty convincing. Now I think I need to figure out how he can ski without this skill that seems so critical...? He wasn't a PMTS guy but he somewhat paralleled the intents of that system.

Bob Barnes was right -- this is the least intuitive of the BERP skills.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My giving jdowling the ballet reference let him see where my logic derailed. Good point for instructors to know the student's athletic background.

As for Bob Barnes' post... wow... It was like looking into the Total Perspective Vortex! I've printed all this out and am going to have to read it many many times throughout the year. The knee angulation/femur rotation was exactly what I needed, and I understand now that it doesn't hurt as long as one is SLIDING (which is not so much emphasized in ballet).
post #28 of 76
Thread Starter 
bump ...for more on the story: A Tale of Three Turns
post #29 of 76
Wow Chris--good find. I'd forgotten that we had started a discussin of this topic a few years back. Yes, this is exactly the topic that is coming around again in the Three turns thread (starting around page 3, as your link suggests). Thanks!

Best regards,
Bob
post #30 of 76
Geez, thanks, Chris... Does this mean I have to do another few million pivot slips? lol

Could it be that though "visible" active steering is not present in the PMTS progression, that the torque I described earlier may exist?
If it does not, I'm really curious how they can make different radius turns, other than just changing edge angle and pressure/leverage.
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