|Originally Posted by Rick
When needed, you can juice up the speed of the transition by using a leveraging of the inside leg against the outside cuff of the inside boot to help drive the CM quickly over the skis and into the new turn. Really, it's the same tactic that can be used during a relaxation of the outside leg transition to speed up the edge change.
Originally Posted by michaelA
Rick, people here usually pester you so well for details on everything that I'm content to lurk in the shrubberies but on the statement below no one asked the obvious, so...
All earlier discussion was on how pressure is directed/managed to drive our CM into a new direction. The statement above seems to imply an inward boot-tilting effort designed to quickly and sharply decrease the Old-Inside ski's turn radius at the last moment, not at pressure management.
The effect of that move (if the old inside-ski is well-engaged) would be to quickly shift our Base-of-Support further uphill rather than actively 'driving' the CM downhill. True, the CM would then be in a better relationship with our BoS to be driven more quickly downhill (by gravity, or by effort) but it seems like yanking the carpet out from under someone isn't quite the same thing as pushing them over.
I also don't see it as the "...Same tactic that can be used during a relaxation of the outside leg..." since that tactic provides no active shift of either the CM or BoS.
You're very correct, the discussions you referred to were all about pressure management being used as the tool that commanded lateral/downhill movement of the CM into the new turn. Upper level skiing is all about efficiency of action and economy of movement and effort. The more we can harness and use to our benefit the power of the natural external forces we encounter while skiing, the more we begin experience that sought after harmony of man and mountain that we see being exhibited by expert skier who seem to flow effortless down the slope.
In the recent discussion of ILE I discussed at length the methodology this transition technique uses to manage the forces of gravity and momentum to facilitate the movement of the CM across the skis and into the new turn. With just a simple, subtle extension of the inside leg the CM is sent into motion, powered by those external forces. All we need to do is passively let it happen.
Same thing can be done with a relaxation of the outside leg. Just so everyone is clear as to how this works, I'll explain it in detail. To do that I'll have to explain the concept of the Point of Balance.
Gravity and momentum combine to attempt to drive our CM in a particular direction, to a particular point on the ground. That point is referred to as the Point of Balance. To be in some state of balance while skiing, the Point of Balance must be located somewhere at or between our feet. We can adjust where our Point of Balance is by simply moving our CM laterally toward the direction we want to move our Point of Balance. When we make a turn we resist the external forces. If we were to relax our leg resistance to those forces our CM is not driven across our skis, it's driven to the ground location of our Point of Balance somewhere between our feet.
So,,, if relaxation of the legs drives our CM toward the ground between our feet, what moves our CM across our feet and into the new turn when we relax our outside leg? Very simple. When we relax the outside leg the inside leg takes over and bears the entirety of the force load. The resistance from the inside leg is what keeps our CM from being driven into the snow between our feet.
But this creates a balance problem. By removing the outside foot from the picture we've reduced our base of support from both our feet and everywhere in between, to only the inside foot,,, and it does not correspond with the Point of Balance, which resides somewhere between our feet. Presto, we've created the state of imbalance we need to drive our CM across our feet. By maintaining inside leg resistance to the external forces we deflect the intent of the forces. Rather than driving the CM straight to the ground the inside leg simply tips toward (and past) the Point of Balance and pulls the CM into the new turn. Timberrrrrrrr.
Does the process sound familiar? It should, it's the same formula that takes place in ILE. Just a different initiation tool. With ILE the extension of the inside leg transfers total pressure to the inside ski. Outside leg relaxation creates the same transfer. Then, after the pressure transfer has taken place, the process is the same.
So,,, those are ideal situations that involve little muscular input to facilitate the transition. They're primarily powered by gravity and momentum. But what if the speed at which that force driven transition takes place is not what we desire? Do we have a means to modify our transition speed to suit a particular desire or need? You bet we do. We engage the power of our ankles.
In my response to Greg I introduced this idea. Greg shared with us his trouble with using ILE in a course, feeling pressed for time. I suggested ankle involvement to help power the CM across his skis at a faster rate than Gravity and momentum can do by themselves, and thus get the new turn initiated quicker.
It's really pretty simple. By aggressively driving off the outside aspect of the inside foot and rolling the ankle toward the big ball of that foot the CM can be quickly driven across the skis and into the new turn. As this is done the tipping of the foot and shin will lead the movement of the CM. This puts pressure on the outside of the inside boot cuff, which can be used as a lever to help pull the CM across the skis.
Through this method we have introduced extra muscle involvement to accomplish something gravity and momentum can't do by themselves. Often when freeskiing this ankle driving tactic is unnecessary, and we have the flexibility to just wait for the external forces to do their thing. But when the situation calls for it, when we have to make things happen on schedule, we have the option to crank up the muscle involvement and speed up the process via this ankle driving tactic.
In fact this can be a transition technique all its own. With no leg extension or relaxation at all we can simply ankle drive our CM across our skis and into the new turn. A very quick option, but more muscle involvement intensive. While effective, it doesn't provide that effortless flow sensation of the external force driven transitions.
So,,, can we do the opposite of speeding up the transition process? Can we slow things down? Sometimes we want to do that too. Well, you bet we can.
If our Point of Balance is way towards the outside ski, transferring total pressure to the inside ski through the use of ILE or outside leg relaxation (I should use OLR for that term) can create a pretty severe state of imbalance that may create a rate of tipping that's faster than we desire. In those cases the ankles can be used to move the CM closer to the inside ski before extension or relaxation begins. Doing that brings the CM and inside foot more into alignment, which slows the rate of tip, and thus the rate of CM cross over. It's like a tree falling; if it's standing pretty straight and it's cut it will start it's fall very slowly, and will speed up as it gets more tipped. If its very tipped before cutting starts it will fall rapidly and aggressively once severed.
As we become more experienced at this tip rate reduction skill we start to instinctively know where we need to locate the CM to produce the tip rate we desire for any particular transition, and we employ that needed CM location without even thinking about it.