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Pull back little toe foot?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm a 58 yr old intermediate skiier who took up the sport later in life. I ski most of the mountain and try to improve wth an occasional lesson and reading. During the off season I read both of Harb's books and watched the video. He talks about pulling back the little toe side ski to improve turns. I understad that to be something kin to the foot position of the old mono ski. I spent my first four days out this year trying to do it. On very easy runs it seemed like an alternative way to initiate a turn but also seemed unnatural and strained my muscles. It worked OK on smooth runs with fresh snow but I saw no benefit. When I really needed to set an edge it put the uphill ski a position that kept weight on that ski's outside edge. The exact opposite technique seems to me to work better for me. If the uphill ski is ahead of the downhill ski it's less of a strain and it seems to allow me to keep my feet together and get onto my uphill ski more quickly. I re-read Harb and still don't understand what I'm doing wrong (?). I know I'm something in the translation. Any suggestions.
post #2 of 23
Here's a search I did for you on the subject. As you will see, there are many threads that address this issue.

http://forums.epicski.com/search.php...3&pp=25&page=2
post #3 of 23
Steve,

You might be taking it a bit too far. When we ski, and are moving across the fall line (about 2/3rds of the way through the turn), our uphill (inside) ski should have a bit of tip lead. The amount of tip lead should be equal to the amount of hip lead that our inside/uphill hip has. That's a counter rotated position in which our body faces slightly down the hill more than our skis.

What happens with a lot of people is that they let the inside ski lead too much, putting the calf muscle in contact with the back of the cuff of the boot. If you think about it, if you were to immediately pressure that ski from the position you're in, your weight will be behind your foot, and it will be very difficult to turn.

What you need to do, is, as you are finishing a turn, take that uphill/inside foot, and pull it back enough that your shin makes fairly firm contact with the tongue of the boot (don't try to bend the boot). Then, as the pressure moves to that new turning ski (now considered the outside ski of the new turn), you'll be properly balanced over it and the skis will turn much more easily and go where you want them to go. When you pull that uphill/inside foot back, it will still have some tip lead. You don't want to try to pull it back so much that it doesn't lead the other foot.
post #4 of 23

Pull back little toe foot? Yes!!!

By pulling your inside foot back you are doing several things. You allow your ankle to flex more. If the inside ski gets too far ahead, you end up in the back seat which then you have to compensate for this when initiating your next turn.

Try keeping your feet a little further apart - six to eight inches - and rolling both knees up the hill to get you on your inside edges. With your feet too close together you might be locking yourself on the edge angle that you can achieve.

Give it a try and see if you can feel a difference.
post #5 of 23
It is not pulling back, but instead HOLDING back. Pulling back is a 1 2 movement that wastes time and robs you of flow. Holding back can be accomplished by focusing on dorsi-flection, the flexing of the ankle.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Steve,

You might be taking it a bit too far. When we ski, and are moving across the fall line (about 2/3rds of the way through the turn), our uphill (inside) ski should have a bit of tip lead. The amount of tip lead should be equal to the amount of hip lead that our inside/uphill hip has. That's a counter rotated position in which our body faces slightly down the hill more than our skis.

What happens with a lot of people is that they let the inside ski lead too much, putting the calf muscle in contact with the back of the cuff of the boot. If you think about it, if you were to immediately pressure that ski from the position you're in, your weight will be behind your foot, and it will be very difficult to turn.

What you need to do, is, as you are finishing a turn, take that uphill/inside foot, and pull it back enough that your shin makes fairly firm contact with the tongue of the boot (don't try to bend the boot). Then, as the pressure moves to that new turning ski (now considered the outside ski of the new turn), you'll be properly balanced over it and the skis will turn much more easily and go where you want them to go. When you pull that uphill/inside foot back, it will still have some tip lead. You don't want to try to pull it back so much that it doesn't lead the other foot.
You're first paragraph confused me, after rereading 4-5 times I think I understand what you are trying to communicate and if I do then I agree with you.

However to improve what you are trying to say in your first paragraph if you would have said "When we ski and are moving out of the fall line... " instead of across the fall line I would have understood you the first time I read it. You see, when you said "moving across the fall line" I thought transition between turns, hence the confusion, then you said at 2/3 through the turn and this seemed to be you arguing with yourself and added more confusion, I finally decided you meant 2/3 through the turn after the skis leave the fall line. I agree once I understand what you meant.

Steve Turner,

Try half of your normal ski lead at first, do not make it go to zero as would be the case in the old monoski. I find most folks have too much ski lead in their turns and that includes myself often enough but when I become conscious of it I cut my lead in half and that will come really close to putting it where it needs to be.

Be sure to have fun with it though!
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiDogNW
However to improve what you are trying to say in your first paragraph if you would have said "When we ski and are moving out of the fall line... " instead of across the fall line I would have understood you the first time I read it.
Yeah, you figured out what I meant to say. Good thing teaching on the hill doesn't involve the written word!
post #8 of 23

Pull back/Hold back, whatever

You have to becareful. Upon turn initiation, one needs to accelerate the inside half of the body in order to stay balanced over the outside ski. Believe it or not, this is still the ski that matters. If you try to pull back the new inside foot at this point, you will find yourself in the backseat on any steep terrain.

- Paul
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzard
It is not pulling back, but instead HOLDING back. Pulling back is a 1 2 movement that wastes time and robs you of flow. Holding back can be accomplished by focusing on dorsi-flection, the flexing of the ankle.
Agree, pulling it back is compensation for being lazy with it and allowing it to get out front where it never should have been.

You can not use the inside foot/ski efficiently unless it is in an effictive stance relationship to the inside half of the body. Getting it back where it should be does not count as effictivly using it, just like getting "forward" out of the back seat is only undoing negative aft pressure, not yet creating positive forward pressure.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierpaul
You have to becareful. Upon turn initiation, one needs to accelerate the inside half of the body in order to stay balanced over the outside ski. Believe it or not, this is still the ski that matters. If you try to pull back the new inside foot at this point, you will find yourself in the backseat on any steep terrain.

- Paul
Please explain.-----Wigs
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierpaul
You have to becareful. Upon turn initiation, one needs to accelerate the inside half of the body in order to stay balanced over the outside ski. Believe it or not, this is still the ski that matters. If you try to pull back the new inside foot at this point, you will find yourself in the backseat on any steep terrain.

- Paul

Not sure I'm following this. To get in the backseat your feet have to get out in front of your hips. If you pull your inside foot back its going to be under your hips.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierpaul
You have to becareful. Upon turn initiation, one needs to accelerate the inside half of the body in order to stay balanced over the outside ski. Believe it or not, this is still the ski that matters. If you try to pull back the new inside foot at this point, you will find yourself in the backseat on any steep terrain.

- Paul
I don't get it either. Accelerate the body in relation to what? The feet? If so, I'd rather close my ankle joint a bit to pull the inside foot back an inch or two rather than try to accelerate my entire CM forward. If I did that in short radius turns, I'd look like I was on a see-saw, or making linked recoveries the whole way down.

BTW, I agree that if you maintain constant shin/boot-tongue contact, you will stay centered, and there will be no need to move or pull the inside foot back. However, if you extend during the controlling phase of the turn (belly of the turn), as you move closer to your skis when you start the transition to the new turn, (for me) there is a feeling of keeping that inside foot back, because I feel like it easier to bend the knee/hip joints than the ankle/knee joints, so it requires a conscious effort which feels suspiciously like pulling the inside foot back even though I'm just maintaining shin contact.
post #13 of 23
Maybe I've been skiing too long but when I have to start thinking about my "LITTLE TOE" while skiing I know I've jumped the shark
post #14 of 23
At neutral (when doing a modern cross under turn) the feet get slightly ahead of the CM (vs where they are at Apex)(no?). A simple extension of the outside leg (and complimentary shortening of the inside leg) will help move the CM back over the outside foot somewhat, but in steep terrain one has likewise move the inside half of the body (pelvis &shoulders) forward of the ouside half in order to get pressure evenly distributed over the outside ski. Why the outside ski? Because you're skiing in steep terrain. In steep high speed turns, you ski with a proportionally larger amount of pressure over the outside ski, vs the inside. So you want to be balanced fore/aft over the outside ski regardless of where you decide to put the inside one. If you pull the inside ski back at turn initiation, it is extremely difficult to get you CM completely centered back over either one of your feet inside or out. (This is however much easier to do on a flat run and thus its not necessary to accelerate the inside half much at all - its all proportional to how steep the run is and how fast you're skiing).

- Paul
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcmeister
Agree, pulling it back is compensation for being lazy with it and allowing it to get out front where it never should have been.

You can not use the inside foot/ski efficiently unless it is in an effictive stance relationship to the inside half of the body. Getting it back where it should be does not count as effictivly using it, just like getting "forward" out of the back seat is only undoing negative aft pressure, not yet creating positive forward pressure.
Good point Arc and I agree with you totally.

As much as I hate to, I have to ask. I take it that this is one area where you and Harb disagree, as he's a big proponent of pulling the inside foot back? I think in his verbage, he refers to this as "managing the free foot".
post #16 of 23
I do not disagree with the concept of managing the free (inside) foot. It is and important component for all level skiers.

I consider that outside and inside feet/legs have different roles, each with a different movement focus. More distinctly different for developing skiers or those trying to change old habits that evolves to become a more coordinated and synergistic relationship in upper skill level skers.

The outside foot/leg provides support, stance and balance, reflecting a range of functional tension to provide pressure control that is predominantly in the extension mode.

The inside foot/leg drives edge control and lateral balance reflecting range of flexion that is controlled first from the foot rolling movements and ankle flex with knee and hip flexing recruited in support. When done so as to create a positive shin boot pressure, this definatly generates a perception of holding/pulling inside foot back (under inside hip).

Most skiers learn with a dominant focus of "doing" with the outside leg and ski and just keep inside out of the way as an after thought. This habit of a lazy inside foot/ankle allows disproportionate knee/hip flexion as these skiers evolve to greater lateral movements, the inside foot by default gets too far forward out from under inside hip. So when first discovered, what should have been all along is percieced as a corrective measure instead of a normal positive movement perception.

Also, I would suggest that most skiers try to manage for/aft balance and ski tip pressure by "getting forward" from a body relative to feet perspective. Expert skiers manage all that, of both outside and inside body halves, by positioning the feet under the hips to create stance and ski tip pressure desired, with far more proactive inside foot movements. Both in rolling/tipping and keeping it back in a functional stance to counteract it's tendancy to release forward as the inside leg flexes.
post #17 of 23
Arc

That's a great explanation. Thanks!
post #18 of 23
Keeping the inside ski back, or keeping tips even, was one of the things that Stu Campbell taught at ESA Stowe last year as a part of modern, shaped ski skiing, along with getting your feet far enough apart. A simple way for me to visualize it and accomplish it on the snow is to pretend I'm telemarking (not that I've ever actually telemarked). It really gets your inside ankle flexed.
post #19 of 23
Pulling that inside foot back is not the same thing as having no tip lead. There has to be tip lead as we lean into a turn since outside ski leg stays extended and the inside ski leg flexes. But by pushing our hipps forward we can increase the shin pressure on the inside ski foot if we at the same time flex our inside foot ancle and gain better controll over the inside foot and make it more active through out the turn.

Pulling that inside foot back is a good thing.
Having tip lead is a must for two legged skiers.

evansilver, if you say that you visualize it its ok with me. However, if you say you accomplish it its annother matter. If I for example say that I visualize that I can fly nobody could say I was dooing anything wrong. If I said that I could accomplishing it it would be a different matter as well. There is nothing wrong with visualizing no tip lead but fact is that there is tip lead. Sofar I have never seen a skier without tip lead. Monoski comes as close as it gets...

BTW we had a examiner teach uss about this a couple of years ago and he had us do the telemark turn with alpine gear. Total crapp I say. First of all you need telemark equipment and second you have huge ammount, lets say half a meter of tip lead in telemark. Except the other way arround, outside ski tip lead. Also if you try to do telemark turns with alpine gear you have to push the outside ski forward. This is totally wrong according to telemark techique where you flex both leggs simultaniously and keep your outside ski ancle flexed with shin contact. With alpine gear you lose the shin contact on your downhill ski, block your hipps, put your weight on your uphill ski, rotate your hipps, skidd and ski at level 2 (if you are normally level 8 or 9).
post #20 of 23
Does the position of the inside foot become purely mechanical over time?
Or (for those that have been skiing for years) do you still have to think about the position, pressure, & control of this foot?
post #21 of 23

Very good question!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayl1964
Does the position of the inside foot become purely mechanical over time?
Or (for those that have been skiing for years) do you still have to think about the position, pressure, & control of this foot?
This question applies to everything we do. I think we first think about it but after a while it becomes part of our skiing just like extending and flexing our leggs or plant our pole the way we do. It all depends on how easy it is for you to incorporate it in your skiing. Just think of other stuff you have been thaught during the years. That should give you a good pickture of how long it will take you. I myselfe think about all kind of stuff when I ski and I videotape and clinic technique all the time.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierpaul
At neutral (when doing a modern cross under turn) the feet get slightly ahead of the CM (vs where they are at Apex)(no?). A simple extension of the outside leg (and complimentary shortening of the inside leg) will help move the CM back over the outside foot somewhat, but in steep terrain one has likewise move the inside half of the body (pelvis &shoulders) forward of the ouside half in order to get pressure evenly distributed over the outside ski. Why the outside ski? Because you're skiing in steep terrain. In steep high speed turns, you ski with a proportionally larger amount of pressure over the outside ski, vs the inside. So you want to be balanced fore/aft over the outside ski regardless of where you decide to put the inside one. If you pull the inside ski back at turn initiation, it is extremely difficult to get you CM completely centered back over either one of your feet inside or out. (This is however much easier to do on a flat run and thus its not necessary to accelerate the inside half much at all - its all proportional to how steep the run is and how fast you're skiing).

- Paul
Thanks, great explanation.-----Wigs
post #23 of 23
I dont know how well this fits into this thread but I just mad a video of tiplead. Tell me what you think:

http://media.putfile.com/Verbier-2004-Tiplead
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