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Basic purpose of the tip lead ?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Just looking for some clarification about the main purpose of the tip lead. Here is what I have come to understand. When a human being tries to stand sidewise on a slope and keep most of the weight on the downhill foot,( as in skiing), the most efficient way for the body to do this is to stand with the uphill foot a bit ahead of the downhill one. In other words, it is demanded by the bio-mechanics of our bodies. Yes? Thoughts?

I know that there are many other dimensions to this tip lead thing, such as the relationship to the alignment of the rest of the body, how much tip lead, etc. etc. It's just the basic purpose that I sometimes wonder about.

All responses are welcome, but it would be great to hear from dchan, or therusty, or Arcmeister, whose excellent replies to britinnyc 's thread on "anticipation" got me thinking about this.

Thanks

cdnguy
post #2 of 30
I don't think it has anything to do with putting weight on your downhill foot. I can have my hips facing across the hill, and I can pick up my uphill foot. There, now all of my weight is on the downhill foot.
post #3 of 30
I kinda know what cndguy meant. He's basically right that tip lead is caused by biomechanics of the human body in rigid ski boots trying to deal with slope and the forces in a turn. Its also not really slope but apparent slope. That is, tip lead is the result of all things combine to create and angle between the bottom of the ski and the snow. That would include slope plus inclination and angulation and such and so forth.
post #4 of 30
tip lead is only a function of hip position.

ask a different question.
post #5 of 30

form and function

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
tip lead is only a function of hip position.
when executed properly?
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
ask a different question.
how about where should tip lead originate from?

ankle?
knee?
femur?
Hip?
shoulder?
post #6 of 30
You pretty much have the right Idea. Tip lead is caused by getting your ski out of the way of the slope. One ski is higher than the other so either you contort yourself to get the skis even or you let the ski move forward a little so you can "lift" your leg (I put quotes be cause we don't really want to lift that leg).

Don't let tip lead dictate how you ski. Rather work on keeping your feet under you, pressure on the shankles (shin/ankles) Stay balanced, and get both skis working together. The tip lead should take care of itself if everything else is balanced and aligned.

That being said, Tip lead should follow hip lead. Hip lead should be dictated by intent and terrain.
post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan
The tip lead should take care of itself if everything else is balanced and aligned.
Exactly, tip lead has no "purpose" as I see it. It just happens when the other things are working right.
post #8 of 30

Different take maybe?

Tip lead is a result and happens by itself as you move from turn to turn. Two cars on a series of S curves moving at the same speed that started at the same point will shift positions at each curve with the "inside" car leading. The same thing happens in skiing. The inside ski will move ahead at each transition all by itself because it is moving the shorter distance.

Now is this good, or bad, or how can it be managed and be used.

At the race camp I attended 2 years on Mt Hood, tip lead was discouraged, but no explainations were given. Parallel shins were the goal. This year, tip lead and the ins and outs of it have been a focus in my skiing. So, I'll just share what my personal experience has been.

If you allow your inside foot to wander forward at transition, that for me worked against fore/aft balance. By shuffling it back at transisition I have found my fore/aft problems went away.

Tip Lead = Hip Lead. While this is true, the counter and additional edging a countered hip position will give to your edges is negated if that hip lead is created by tip lead. You can demonstrate this instantly by just playing with this standing up. Move your inside foot foward while edging and your edging gets less. Move your inside foot back and your fore/aft weight changes and your edging increases especially if you leave your hip in the countered position.

Bottom line for me in my skiing I have found pulling the inside foot back and maintaining parallel shins helps edging particullarly in the steeps. Any countering you might be adding for edging is much more efficient if the inside foot is brought back and disappears if that inside foot is allowed to creep forward.

This sounds a bit oppisite from the original posters question. The question implied, at least the way I read it, that tip lead was a desirable thing. I look at tip lead as an effect of linking carved turns that happens due to the gemoetry of S curves with parallel lines and that in practice keeping the shins parallel is better than allowing for tip lead to creep in.
post #9 of 30
The modern lessons I have taken have taught that tip lead is not a good thing and suggest corrections (either outside leg shuffles forward or inside leg shuffles rear).

Point really hit home a few weekends ago. Skiing fast-ish in deep, chunky snow - my friend kept wiping out - his outside leg was too far back and it kept getting away from him. I realized that in my turns I was making constant, minor adjustments to the position of my outside leg and it stayed with me in the snow.
post #10 of 30
Conditions determined where your tip lead was and his was too far ahead which created his problems...conditions in a less resistance snow would reflect tip lead as a resultant of the forces discussed previously....You would have tip lead in those conditions of a few inches ahead +/-....more or less
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason
Tip lead is a result and happens by itself as you move from turn to turn. Two cars on a series of S curves moving at the same speed that started at the same point will shift positions at each curve with the "inside" car leading. The same thing happens in skiing. The inside ski will move ahead at each transition all by itself because it is moving the shorter distance.

Now is this good, or bad, or how can it be managed and be used.

At the race camp I attended 2 years on Mt Hood, tip lead was discouraged, but no explainations were given. Parallel shins were the goal. This year, tip lead and the ins and outs of it have been a focus in my skiing. So, I'll just share what my personal experience has been.

If you allow your inside foot to wander forward at transition, that for me worked against fore/aft balance. By shuffling it back at transisition I have found my fore/aft problems went away.

Tip Lead = Hip Lead. While this is true, the counter and additional edging a countered hip position will give to your edges is negated if that hip lead is created by tip lead. You can demonstrate this instantly by just playing with this standing up. Move your inside foot foward while edging and your edging gets less. Move your inside foot back and your fore/aft weight changes and your edging increases especially if you leave your hip in the countered position.

Bottom line for me in my skiing I have found pulling the inside foot back and maintaining parallel shins helps edging particullarly in the steeps. Any countering you might be adding for edging is much more efficient if the inside foot is brought back and disappears if that inside foot is allowed to creep forward.

This sounds a bit oppisite from the original posters question. The question implied, at least the way I read it, that tip lead was a desirable thing. I look at tip lead as an effect of linking carved turns that happens due to the gemoetry of S curves with parallel lines and that in practice keeping the shins parallel is better than allowing for tip lead to creep in.
John you are absolutely awesome. It is so obvious to me that you inside ski must travel a shorter distance in any given arc, and to keep your your skis parallel(no diverging) and lower legs parallel you must force your inside ski to make a tighter than your outside ski. Pulling your inside footback allows more edge pressure & edge angle thus a tighter arc and less tip lead!

I have been trying to get this very idea across to folks on the forum for months only to be constantly challenged and discredited.

I agree with what you have said and have repeated this over & over with examples from reputable coaches and sking technicians.

Thanks you for a very good explanation. I agree with you 100%!
post #12 of 30
Should have been at the 2001 coaches acadamy when I was trying to explain this to the USST coaches.(inside ski turn has a smaller radius)
I hear from one of my coaches who went to a level 200 clinic this December that they still haven't got it figured out. Seems they were advocating tip lead and that pulling the inside foot back was "wrong". Obviously they haven't been watching the vidios they're putting out.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLATZ
Should have been at the 2001 coaches acadamy when I was trying to explain this to the USST coaches.(inside ski turn has a smaller radius)
I hear from one of my coaches who went to a level 200 clinic this December that they still haven't got it figured out. Seems they were advocating tip lead and that pulling the inside foot back was "wrong". Obviously they haven't been watching the vidios they're putting out.
Wow, maybe it is a good thing I'm not a coach or instructor.
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason
Tip lead is a result and happens by itself as you move from turn to turn. Two cars on a series of S curves moving at the same speed that started at the same point will shift positions at each curve with the "inside" car leading. The same thing happens in skiing. The inside ski will move ahead at each transition all by itself because it is moving the shorter distance.
John I am not going to disagree with much of what you advocated above as a means of corrective exercises but this statment is a gross over simplification. Although the inside ski is traveling a smaller arc the assumption that the skis are going the same speed is bunk. There is one over riding issue going on that creates tip lead.

You can see it easily by taking two ski poles and gripping them in the middle and extending your arms out in front of you with the ski poles shoulder width apart. Keep the poles parallel with the tips pointed at the ground. Keep your fists in the same spot and rotate your arms at the shoulder socket. You will notice that your fists stay in the same spot but the distance between the poles decreases and a substantial tip lead results that is roughly the same length as the distance between the poles. If you rotate 90 degrees the poles will touch each other. This is the fulcrum effect of independent leg steering and has nothing to do with one ski traveling faster. You can see that because your fists stayed in the same place. The tip lead is a result of your feet not being in the same lateral plane.

The fulcrum effect is the reason most skiers have a problem with skiing any stance width they want. They end up to narrow for the same reason your poles touched. Its also the reason why ski track vary in width throughout most advanced skiers turns. This is also the reason that Harald Harb does not like rotary. He completely eliminates the fulcrum effect by putting a student on one ski.

The amount of correct tip lead will be different for each skier. Skiers with inflexable ankes will naturally carry more tip lead as a result of not being able to flex the inside ankle. If a skier has a short leg the tip lead will be less when the short leg is on the inside and more when the short leg is on the outside. An inch difference in leg length will produce as much as an 8 inch difference between right and left turns. This is the correct compensation for leg length differences.

Pulling back the inside ski is one way to compensate for the fulcrum effect. Try it with your ski pole demo and you will see how it works and have a way of explaining it to someone else.
post #15 of 30
If a skier keeps his hips square in the turn would tip lead be excessive?
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider
If a skier keeps his hips square in the turn would tip lead be excessive?
Maybe and maybe not. In any case the skier would have a tough time angulating and would revert to banking.

If the hips are squared and the inside ankle is still allowed to relax, the inside foot will move forward and the skier would have to much tip lead.

With all of our push to reduce tip lead, this is what many students have done. Pulled the whole inside half back, including the hips while at the same time still allowing the inside ankle to still remain open. This is tip lead reduction through rotation. Visual tip lead is reduced but the reason for reducing tip lead is still ever present. We have only introduced rotation and divergence to add to the problems. Now we don't have excessive tail pushers we have robots.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic
Exactly, tip lead has no "purpose" as I see it. It just happens when the other things are working right.
I agree!

Functional tip lead is an allowed effect, not something to be caused on "purpose". Any intentional increase in tip lead is usually going to create too much. If this is the focus, other more important movements are most likely being missed.

In 35 years of teaching and coaching I have yet to encounter a skier with problems resulting from having too little tip lead. I'd even venture that to cross the line from where pulling the inside foot back has positive benifits, to where it creates negative ones, is both hard to do and a learning excursion most skiers would greatly benifit from to better understand the causes and effects of this issue.
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcmeister
In 35 years of teaching and coaching I have yet to encounter a skier with problems resulting from having too little tip lead. I'd even venture that to cross the line from where pulling the inside foot back has positive benifits, to where it creates negative ones, is both hard to do and a learning excursion most skiers would greatly benifit from to better understand the causes and effects of this issue.
You are right that pulling the inside foot back creates more positive benefits than any negative ones but pulling the whole inside half back with the foot (rotation) is not what we want and is a likely result without some input from a coach.
post #19 of 30
Thread Starter 
WOW! We are now seriously involved in technical "stuff". As the originator of this thread may I briefly outline the advancements in my knowledge gleaned from your responses?

Tip lead should be viewed as a part of the adjustments the body makes to perform ski movements efficiently on a sloped surface. Specifically, it all works best when the inside half if the body is slightly ahead of the outside half, that is:-tip lead=toe lead=knee lead=hip lead=shoulder lead=arm lead, more or less.

It is better to consider it as a result of other good ski movements rather than pursued as an end in itself.

Last, but not least, attempts to alter the role of tip lead, and any other fundamental aspects of technique should be approached conservatively. I would be very wary of advice which states that tip lead is undesireble or should be eliminated. There are many examples of techniques which fall out of favour with various teaching/coaching federations only to be resurrected later. I see signs, for example, that the much maligned "A- frame " is beginning to get a bit more respect with the CSIA. I predict that within a year or two, it will no longer have its wicked, evil thing status. It will, gasp, be permitted. The technical committees will glom on to a new enemy to be eradicated. Meanwhile, all the coaches and instructers who have been driven nuts trying not to A-frame for the last five years will, after a sigh of relief, get pissed off with their organizations for the "technique du jour", superficial approach to managing change in their technical models. Gotta love it, though!

P.S. Thanks to everyone who responded. It was very helpull. Hope my last point was not too rant-like!

cdnguy
post #20 of 30
cdnguy you are very perceptive. You nailed it.
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
You are right that pulling the inside foot back creates more positive benefits than any negative ones but pulling the whole inside half back with the foot (rotation) is not what we want and is a likely result without some input from a coach.
Pierre,
How did you interprit that from my post? : I have never even heard of much less ever made any sugestion, implied or otherwise, that to keep that foot where it needs to be requires using rotation and pulling the inside half back?

Efficiently and effectively keeping the inside foot under it's hip is not a function of rotation, but of (dorsi) flexing the ankle and engaging the (normally lazy) muscles of the leg to maintain a functional stance relationship of the inside body half to the inside foot/ski.

Conversly, the concept of skiing with a strong inside half does not imply or suggest that the inside foot should be pushed forward into excessive tip lead.

Functional tip lead from strong ankle flexion and a strong inside half are inclusive, not exclusive concepts. :
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcmeister
Pierre,
How did you interprit that from my post? :
I didn't interperet that at all from your post. You carry a lot of weight here and others may interperate you to be commenting on my post as well as to Epic. I just wanted a clarification and you gave a fantastic response. The kind I know you are capable of.
post #23 of 30
I have always understood that correcting the tip lead just before turn transition will square up the hips which is most desirable at the moment of transition. Further, that tip lead happens more (dramatically?) when skiing medium to long-radius turns (when your hips are flowing as part of the legs and not the trunk).
post #24 of 30

Tip Lead vs. Excessive Tip Lead

As a hack in the trenches (or rather gates and ruts) I have a simplified view of tip lead:

1. Tip lead happens, and modest inside tip lead is fine. If you have your outside leg almost straight, inside leg deeply flexed, and less than astonishing flexibility, your inside tip will get a little ahead to accommodate the position. (Try this at your computer. It hurts the groin less to have a little tip lead than eliminating tip lead. And it's even harder to eliminate tip lead with stiff ski boots.) Deeply flexed inside knee means, most of the time, some modest inside tip lead.

2. Excessive tip lead, though, is a problem. (Ron LeMaster doesn't say no tip lead, he says hips and feet don't line up anymore, which I take to mean that if you use lots of counter you'd better pull the inside foot back to avoid excessive tip lead.) In my skiing, and in my experience, excessive tip lead (A) degrades lateral balance; (B) makes it hard to stay forward enough to pressure the shovels of both skis to decamber them ideally; and (C) if the outside ski skips out, the inside foot is too far forward to allow me to save the turn with an inside ski recovery. (This last, it turns out, is why I crashed in a GS race three weeks ago. My brother noted the excessive tip lead shortly before the equipment shedding snow explosion...) Although I don't know this for certain, I assume that excessive tip lead would also complicate fast transitions, since it adds that much more to change between turns and would seem to make rolling quickly onto the new edge more difficult (or insert your own favorite phrase here from the threads on transition.)

3. What's "excessive" tip lead? Obviously (see crash referenced in 2(C) above) I don't know, at least at the level of constant application. But more than a modest amount is suspect, and if you use occasional extreme counter (ahem, periodically guilty) you have to pull that inside foot back or you will get excessive inside tip lead. If you think about the problems in 2 above, that should provide a rough guide to how much is WAY too much.

My 2 cents.

BTW, saw Daron Rahlves make an awesome inside ski save at this weekend's Nastar national championships, where he ran as a pacesetter on a rutted course. His outside ski skipped out, but he saved it on the inside ski seeming effortlessly. Great balance and that...guy...can...ski.

SfDean

(Who finally, after four tries, yesterday got his own shiny neck ornament from the Nastar championships, bronze in a slower-older-guy category, but proud of it anyway, thanks to avoiding excessive tip lead and the absolute gift of a course set on Friday that let me run almost all of the course in high tuck turns. )
post #25 of 30
Pierre
Harold Harb defines "rotary" differently than PSIA. His definition is, "anything that causes the ski to twist". It took me quite awhile to get that out of him and in the process he went through the whole "internal rotary" thing.
My observation of tip lead in WC athletes, whose hips are usually pretty square, is that it is caused when the inside leg is shortened(raised) due to being laid over in the turn. Usually the foot is as far back under the hips as is possible though.
I also observe that when athletes allow the foot to advance(usually as they cross in the turn) that the hips and shoulders are no longer parallel with the lines through the ankles and knees. The resultant is that they are in the backseat and lose pressure on their outside ski.
Another Harb definition, "brushed carve" = 4 wheel drift in a race car as compared to oversteer which is a skid caused by rotation. Makes sense to me that way at least.
post #26 of 30
sfdean,

Nice post! I am sure rahlves body position was part of his recovery, but that SOB is as strong as an OX and buff! I'm sure that had some bearing on it!
post #27 of 30
Congrats sfdean
The year I went I was 4th (worst place to be) by a few hundreds. Should of had that burrito for lunch
post #28 of 30
While there seems to be a consensus on „excessive“ tip lead I can´t imagine the contrary: not enough tip lead = to overdo the tip lead reduction resulting in "negative“ tip lead (outside ski leading) unless with telemark gear.

No matter how we try if on a steeper slope and wearing other than extremely soft boots there still will be some tip lead. I don´t think it´s realistic to reduce it completely: the anatomy and boots take care of that. (You can eliminate tip lead on flats like cat tracks or some bunny hills but that´s not upper level realistic skiing.)

I´m also rather sceptical as to the danger of rotating the hips "into“ the turn.
Just an example:

many of the few remaining fans of trench carving (mostly called “funcarving“ or "extreme carving“) over here advocate inside ski turns using rotation. A group of such Czech enthusiasts made an instructional CD where they tried to perform turns that way corresponding to the theory they had posted earlier.
They had good conditions on a well-groomed slope, used very to fairly short skis with radical sidecuts and „carving“ boots (Dalbello Carvex) allowing for maximum flex.
In spite of all this and all efforts they didn´t succeed in showing what they teach. Inside tip lead and counter were present in almost all of their turns shown.
They are no pros but the better of them are definitely above-the-average skiers.

IMHO, the result of efforts to eliminate inside tip lead will normally be some lesser but still existent lead. Similarly, the hips will be square but hardly more.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdean



.

SfDean

(Who finally, after four tries, yesterday got his own shiny neck ornament from the Nastar championships, bronze in a slower-older-guy category, but proud of it anyway, thanks to avoiding excessive tip lead and the absolute gift of a course set on Friday that let me run almost all of the course in high tuck turns. )
Dean: Did you attend the MSRT clinic ?
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biowolf
Dean: Did you attend the MSRT clinic ?
No, I didn't make it to the clinic. (Family in tow, including two other racers, weather, and work schedules.) But I have to say I did put to use something Gary Dranow posted patiently just over a year ago in response to my ignorant babble on the Nastar forum, when he explained the advantages of "high tuck" turns on the Heckler and Payday courses over "hands down" turns when the course set is right for it.

Friday's course on Heckler was set in blowing wet heavy snow and--I guess to avoid giant semi-invisible ruts or to preserve a semblance of racing speed despite the slow snow conditions--the course setters responded with not very offset gates. It was, absolutely, the best possible course setting and conditions for me, in any race, ever, since:

1. The one thing I can do is make turns in a tuck.

2. The utterly goofy way I ski (hitting all the gates, but going too direct and not early enough on the line to make the impact at gate clear the back of the shoulder brushing at turn completion) isn't the fastest way to ski that course, but it's a LOT faster than a wider line favored by most of my competitors. And their ruts weren't in my line.

3. Wretched visibility meant that, for once, all you real ski racers who consistently look 3 gates ahead didn't have an advantage over me.

So I laid down two blistering runs, which put me .27 and .25 seconds behind the two fastest guys on the green course in my division (despite that I ran it in their ruts, on my second run) and gave me the fastest time, period, on the yellow course in my division.*

Reality set in Saturday, with a "real" GS course set and actual turns, when 8 guys in my division skied faster than me, and I (barely) stayed in the course. (Thank you, balance training.) So I hung on for third.

So while I didn't go to the MSRT clinic (and neither know where the illiopsoas is nor how to spell it) I definitely got a huge benefit from Gary Dranow's online contributions, even as dumbed down in application through my primitive technique.**

*Embarrasing full disclosure footnote: This was not the expert division. Sigh. But in those runs I beat most of the guys in the expert division--only 4 experts were faster than me that day on the yellow course.

**I've got an enthusiastic, yet cerebral, approach to ski racing. That tension leaves me with a painful awareness of some of the deficiencies in my current technique (as does the bruising on the front of the left shoulder today.) But when I get out there with the waxed skis and see the poles with flags, I get very caveman about it: There isn't much room for an internal monologue in the gates, so the default is a nonverbal, primal channeling for Biff: "Must...whack...gate..." Going to put a nice thick coat of travel/storage wax on the racing skis this week, but next year, I promise, I really am going to get this line thing figured out.
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