Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
Funnily enough, that was what I was told several times (and not always politely, which is why I stopped posting there). So, I read parts of the first book when in Vermont. (a friend had it in his library)
And now I'm more confused about PMTS than ever. In it I read that during the turn, I should bring my inside ski in so that it is touching my outside boot. Yet, when I read posts about PMTS, I read that it is not about boots touching all the time, but about having a narrower stance (and most of the descriptions are similar to what I've been taught as being a neutral stance). So, I've given up on it as a bad idea.
WTFH, I can understand this frustration. The disparity comes from introductory PMTS information being combined with higher level PMTS discussions. In some ways it would be like being taught a wedge turn and hearing discussion on here which say the skis should be at matching edge angles, and then giving up the wedge as a bad idea.
For a skier who primarilly makes turns by stemming the outside ski to transition, lifting the inside ski off the snow and bringing it to the stance boot while tipping it prevents this motion and facilitates turning by tipping the skis. It is considerably more difficult to stem a ski you are standing on than one you are not. This also gets the skier into a habit of having an active inside foot which shares a role in the skiing process.
This drawing towards the stance boot is also advocated in the moguls and crud in order to unify the snow surface the two skis are reacting against. If you are skiing with too wide a stance in these areas the difference in snow height, condition, etc... can provide a lot of leverage against you.
The goal for this movement is to develop a one-footed balance on the outside ski and tipping the foot as the primary turn mechanic for beginning and intermediate skiers. From the PMTS viewpoint, this is the foundation to build the rest of your skiing off.
As the skier progresses, particulary once they develop better balance on all four edges and the ability to manage ski pressure, the lifting action is removed. The focus shifts then from outside ski bias and lower edge angles to skiing on both feet and vertical seperation of the feet to allow higher edge angles. If you look at a picture of Harald Harb in a high edge angle turn, his inside foot is obviously not at his boot, it is at his outside knee. In order to allow the higher edge angles he has not changed the width relationship, only the vertical relationship.
I had an absolutely fantastic lesson with Arcmeister yesterday where we did not make a single outside ski biased turn for 3 hours. The snow was extremely wet and soft, so loading up the outside ski wasn't going to get you anything but skidding. Through weighted releases and skiing on the inside ski we were learning how to set up our skis and body to manage the pressure of the turn and not create more than we needed too. As a result, we could better manage the turn dynamics and allow the pressure to move to the outside ski as demanded. You aren't going to find that in the first PMTS book, but it is still a part of the teaching progression.
In all of the PMTS discussion I have read, I don't think I have ever seen tip lead mentioned. Pulling the inside foot back is used to keep the feet underneath the skier and not allow the feet to get in front of the hips. For most skiers it is virtually impossible to pull the foot back too far. Its the relationship of the feet to the hips thats important, not the ski tip lead which is just a result.
I have found that people who try and pigeon hole PMTS as being one way, one turn only have typically not taken the time to explore the upper reaches of whats on the tree. For me, utilizing PMTS concepts has helped pave the way to skiing on all four edges with both feet sharing active roles.
Probably related, my perception of what PMTS offers has continually evolved as I have progressed. I understand a lot better now what some of the instructors on here meant when they said the outside ski is not always the place to be, but it certainly doesn't mean what I thought it did the first time I heard it. In a lot of cases I think the PMTS discussion gets muddied by lower level students of which I know I am certainly guilty.