Originally Posted by ssh
My primary concern is whether or not the movements develop habits that later cause issues in terms of either roadblocks to improvement or create habits that are inefficient in higher-level skiing. Or, indeed, if what is being taught in the movements stops working at some level of skiing (which is really the topic that I've been wrestling in this thread the most).
While I can't answer this with the certainty I would like to as I am not at the highest levels in skiing, I really believe that what is at the core foundation of PMTS is present in all the higher level skiing I have seen. We can debate forever about what role active rotary plays a part in high level skiing as an addition to or enhancement of the movements, but I think the core PMTS ideas still form the foundation.
Stance foot balance: Learning to balance on the outside ski is a good foundation skill. Because of turn dynamics you weight and balance is always going to want to move to the outside ski. This exists in every turn, even if you are skiing 100% on the inside ski with the outside foot in the air.
Free foot tipping: Tipping the foot to recruit the muscles and skeleton into the proper structure to support ones skiing is a positive effect. Even if you later add in extra rotation of the femur to enhance the carve, I would think you still want to lead the action with foot tipping for this benefit. As we discussed earlier, rotating the femur does not recruit the foot into supporting the edge. Tipping the foot will recruit the rest of the leg though. I am still working on keeping my inside foot actively tipping and not letting it get lazy with the outside big toe taking over. The moment that happens symmetrical shins go right out the door, the inside ski goes flat, and I A-frame.
Flexing to release: By learning to flex the stance leg to release the old turn, one can smoothly move their center into the next turn without the need to redirect their center upward and lose the skis stored energy. Also, the flexed position through transition present less blocking in the kinetic chain and enhance the action of the free foot tipping. I think this is a huge breakthrough for people that have never skied this way before. It was a major eye-opener for me after I felt the power of these turns versus skiing with a cross-over transition.
These 3 elements make up the basics of the release/transfer/engage mantra of PMTS skiing. Thanks to Rick H. for reminding me of that guiding principle. Every two footed turn I make on skis has those 3 elements, any turn which doesn't is either a drill, an emergency, or performed poorly.
Then you have the supporting PMTS ideas such as a functional stance. A narrower functional stance allows the center to be easily supported by either foot and enhances the ability of free foot tipping. Counter-balancing allows one to adjust and maintain their balance on the stance foot. Counter-acting provides a stronger skeletal position for high edge angle carving.
As I have gained increasing skill with each of these movements or concepts my skiing has improved. As my skiing improved I started to integrate the roles of the stance foot and free foot, so that now I am starting to share the roles of the feet. I can ski weighted 100% on either foot. I can ski carved, drifted, or skidded turns. The only time I have had instruction to rotate anything was to stop rotating my upper body to turn my skis.
I can't ski it all well yet. Like I said earlier, I am not an expert skier. I'm not an instructor either so I get some things wrong or confused too. Even still, I am looking forward to skiing with you at the ESA. I'll offer up my skiing for your evaluation and we can talk about what we see on the video.