Why Does This Keep Coming Up?
|Originally Posted By Rick
On the 50-50 thing. Of course you can distribute weight 50-50, or any other ratio for that matter. Can you know for sure to the percentage point? I doubt it. But you for sure can do 100 percent on either leg, and a multitude of variations in between, simply by moving the CM laterally. This is not a hard thing for skiers who've refined their balance skills.
Check out these images I've borrowed from Ron Lemaster's site. They're the best he had of current images for clearly illustrating lateral pressure distribution. I hope everyone can see the dominant outside ski pressure in these shots, it's very apparent (look at the amount of bend in each ski). These guys may not have studied physics, or done the math, but they know instinctively that trying to resist the mega forces acting on them predominantly with their bent inside leg just won't fly.
Due to the speed and angulation of race turns the outside ski MUST get the majority of the weight. How much? I don't know for sure, but it is WAY above 50/50, or even 60/40. If there is anyone out there that thinks they should be skiing with a 50/50 distribution I would CRINGE to see their skiing. A lot of weight on one edge holds better than a little weight on two edges. I am not saying that distribution can't change due to terrain or trying to change the shape of your turn of course, but in the middle half of the turn (1/4 turn - apex - 1/4 turn), excluding the half you are in transition, the MAJORITY of the weight is on the outside ski. Why is this so hard for people?
Any real skier can play around with this distribution to tailor the turn to the shape they need to make. The simple fact remains that you are not going to make race turns with 50/50 distribution. Now, I can carve entirely on my inside ski (no weight on the outside), but it requires you to get your CM VERY far inside the turn to make it work. This is not really that fast when talking about racing unless you have a nasty rut to contend with.
Now we can throw around credentials all day, but the fact will remain that most turns are far from 50/50 weight distribution. Maybe compared to what you used to do on straight skis it feels like 50/50, but it isn't equal. Sometimes I would just love to put some of those believers on a steep, glare ice, eastern GS course and watch you use 50/50 weight distribution down something like the head wall. There would have to be nets to catch you at the bottom you'd be sliding on your hip/back so fast. With luck you would have a coach standing where you finally stopped saying: "Do you know why you fell? ...You weighted your inside ski too much; do it again."
Anyhow, you can believe it or not. I don't really care that much, but I get annoyed to watch instructors mislead people into thinking that a 50/50 weight distribution is the ideal way to ski. I know many will probably state that I too am confused about skiing and racing and what is actually going on, and will probably question my ability to ski and teach (which I do not teach), and question the quality of my coaching over the years (which may offend some), but it won't change what is actually happening in real skiing/racing.