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Tip lead- good, bad, why

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Of all the technique questions, I am most intrigued by this one: Why is tip lead so bad? In both slalom and gs turns i have a significant lead, and am able to angulate and turn pretty well. So what's the problem? Thanks for any input.
post #2 of 18
Tip lead isn't bad. In fact, it's really difficult and almost unnatural to have none, because you're standing on a slope. The more you tip inward, the more lead you will have because that inside leg gets squeezed.

The problem is that it easily becomes excessive, as the inside ski tends to creep ahead and bring the body way out alignment, reducing both responsiveness and power. It also tends to block the turn, much in the same way that over countering does.

Many people taught themselves to ski by shuffling the skis--shoving one forward and the other back in a sort of "reverse telemark". It was part of a whole series of interpretations of how to be "parallel". It works, but it ain't pretty.

Anyway, it's not a matter of bad and good, but rather how much, when, and wha'fo. It's something to be managed.
post #3 of 18
One more piece: if you actively keep the inside foot from creeping ahead, you will have a great and severe flex in that ankle. This will in turn allow you to keep pressure on the tip of the inside ski to supplement the outside ski. On the other hand, letting that foot travel ahead, prevents you from loading the forebody of the ski properly.
post #4 of 18
weems is correctamundo!

Lead change is an inevitable part of crossing the fall line.

When lead change becomes a problem is when it affects your skiing i.e. in a racecourse (because you are slow), steeps, pow, crud etc.

Too much lead change is usually a cause of over counter or inclination/rotation.

Just bad technique.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems
Many people taught themselves to ski by shuffling the skis--shoving one forward and the other back in a sort of "reverse telemark". It was part of a whole series of interpretations of how to be "parallel". It works, but it ain't pretty.
If telemark has the outside ski leading then the popular "getting the inside foot back" means the same movement.
I don´t understand why "reverse telemark". Wouldn´t reverse telemark be trying to achieve big inside ski lead - which, afaik, is hardly the goal?

Having seen the Spanish WC ladies practicing on telemark skis last June I wondered whether they
- just should have some fun on unsual gear
and/or
- should get used to extreme reduction of inside tip lead.
Never asked.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
If telemark has the outside ski leading then the popular "getting the inside foot back" means the same movement.
I don´t understand why "reverse telemark". Wouldn´t reverse telemark be trying to achieve big inside ski lead - which, afaik, is hardly the goal?
Exactly. That's what they did as result of the shuffle--a big inside ski lead. It was not a good turn, and we had to spend a lot of time correcting the movement pattern. Their goal was parallel and they achieved it by shoving the inside ski ahead into the turn. Some people even today confuse active inside leg work with shoving the inside ski ahead.

That must have been interesting to watch the Spanish girls. I think that it's wise for racers/learners to try all kinds of stuff like that to maintain agility, athleticism, and fun.
post #7 of 18
I see. "Taught themselves", not "were taught".

There were even better scenes to watch when some other girls (Austrian? but not the National Team) were skiing on crosscountry skis when the slope was absolutely frozen at 7 a.m.

I know some people who can ski almost anything on X-C skis. I once spent Silvester night with a former X-C national team racer who could "big jump" more than 10 yards in moonlight with almost perfect telemark landing...
post #8 of 18
That is so cool.

Actually, I think this foot shuffle was taught by ski instructors as well. I think it was a poor choice of movements. Over the years, we've all taught lots of stuff we can now look back on and say, "oops."
post #9 of 18
Weems, I have to disagree with you.

Looking back on the things I have taught over the years I have always had a reason for the movements I‘ve taught. Some of these movements may not be as appropriate today as they were ten years ago however at the time they served the purpose of developing skills or improving performance.

As equipment changes over the years it will serve the teaching community best to remember the history of how and why we taught the way we did. To look back and say “oops” only means we had no plan or reason for our actions.

This is the common flaw seen when examining instructors. The candidates tend to be too keen to rule out a movement as “BAD” when the examiner is only looking for how or where could this movement pattern be appropriate.
post #10 of 18
[quote=weems]Exactly. That's what they did as result of the shuffle--a big inside ski lead. It was not a good turn, and we
had to spend a lot of time correcting the movement pattern. Their goal was parallel and they achieved it by shoving the insid
e ski ahead into the turn. Some people even today confuse active inside leg work with shoving the inside ski ahead.

That must have been interesting to watch the Spanish girls. I think that it's wise for racers/learners to try all kinds of stuff

Yeah, you never know... you might never go back to Alpine gear
post #11 of 18
Excessive tip lead can also be a clue to hip postion. If you inside hip is back and away from the turn then you will not be able to get your inside foot back. In this case the hip positioning has much more of an effect on the skier's performance than a tip lead would.
post #12 of 18
Agree with Weems. At Snowbird, in powder last month, I realized how tip lead is an indicator of strong inside half or lack thereof. Keeping focus of tip lead allowed me to weight skis evenly -- a necessity in bottomless powder. So, yeah, Weems has it so right.
post #13 of 18

alpine tele turns

I am not an advocate of tip lead I believe the apporitate amount of lead will come naturally. I really enjoy playing w/ alpine tele turns. But I think this can be overdone and can promote the outside half to over rotate when the outside tip leads beyond the inside. It seems to me there is a fine line a sweet spot where balance and alignment are at there peak w/ the equipement. As I have been lectured on both extremes. I have come to a conclusion for my own personal skiing. I definitely feel a greater connection{power, balance, agility,}to the equipement when I begin my turn w/ my inside knee aligned under my hip{ skis tips appearing to be equal or very close.{no tip lead or very slight}
However if I continue pull back the inside leg to maintain dynamic movement. my outside half twists beyond the inside creating rotation and a weak inside half. On the other hand if I allow my inside leg to move slightly ahead{noticeible tip lead} there is no longer a balanced powerful crisp transition{because the lower leg is no longer balanced efficentally under the hip} It is very difficult to create angles w/ the hip positioned this way. With the lower leg under hip it allows you to soften or retract your inside leg and create greater angles.
So I personally have had better results trying to keep tip lead minimal and attepting to keep my tips aligned as symetric as possible through out the turn. Gravity speed and terrain will make this near impossible. But for me trying the impossible has helped my skiing greatly. So in my mind trying to maintain no tip lead through out the turn encourges dynamic movement, it will reduce over rotation and enables you to ski more skeletally aligned. IMO

Let me know your thoughts?
post #14 of 18
I agree with Weems's explanation of tip lead. Some is natural, too much is bad. As I learned from Arc at ESA (ala PMTS), you can tighten the arc of your turns by pulling back that inside ski.

How far to pull it back, I find, is key. It seems to me that pulling it back enough to create a slight tension in the leg and pressure on the boot tongue is sufficient to achieve positive results. Trying to force more than a slight tension seems to be less productive, tiring, and disruptive to terrain absorbtion.

This movement is similar to a move that I had ingrained into my skiing by Gary Berger of Mammoth Mtn.. Gary, during the conventional side cut era, had the staff working on pushing the outside ski ahead during the turn completion. This movement basically accellerated the lead change during edge change and if done correctly (keeping the outside ski weighted) would effectively pull the hips across the skis and make for the sweetest initiations. In fact when given the task of making the slowest speed parallel turn initiation you could muster, this technique yielded remarkable results.

Though some semantics exist between the two different focuses done in conjuction they work quite well!
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input. It's definitely something I need to work on, especially in gs. My slalom turns are pretty two-footed, but sometimes in gs I weight the outside such that I can lift my inside leg with no effect on the turn. More practice and instruction in both types will help me, I think.
post #16 of 18
whoops! did it again
post #17 of 18
Here's a quote from Roger Kane (Arc) in another thread regarding tip lead, that I think sums the subject up nicely from my perspective:

Quote:
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 #18 of 18
you gotta love that Roger guy!

The most read and respected PSIA endorsed ski instruction publication of the future will be written by Roger Kane! (prediction made May 13th 2005)
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