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# Pressure Control and Turn size

I understand three of the four fundamentals pretty well:
balance-fore/aft, neutral etc
edgeing- via tipping of boots
rotary-rotation of boot/ski done by opening femur etc etc

Pressure is what I'm having a hard time trying to figure out properly.
A
I know that flexing of the ankle joint will cause loading of the tips to in a manner where the greater the flexing of the ankles, the greater the forward tip pressure.
B
I'm also confused as to if, in a purely carved turn that is smaller than the native sidecut of the ski (i.e. the ski is bending to achieve this), whether pressure control is primarily what is determining the new turn size(radius).
To my understanding, steering should be at best a very miniscule part of the turning mechanics of this type of turn.

First of all, is A a valid statement. And if so, does it correlate to correct/incorrect B?

any thoughts are appreciated...
Cuff pressure from the shin with a flexed ankle will increase the bend in a modern ski and affect the turn shape. The addition of steering to an edged ski will contribute to the bite the tip gets in the snow and also further bend the ski. Too much of either/both will break the tails loose.

A. Getting more weight to the front of the ski will pressure the tips - you get this by flexing/bending the body in several different ways, one being by flexing the ankle forward against the front of your boot. This may help to begin the turn, but if you keep this pressure on the tips or increase, the tails will wash out through the completion of the turn.

B. In theory, if you can bend the ski more, the turn radius will become shorter; and by bending the ski less, the turn radius can be made larger.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by steering (depends where you got your training - everyone seems to have a different definition), but I find that if you get on the edge of the ski (carving the turn) and try to steer the legs or feet to change the radius, you can end up fighting against the edge that is already locked in a turn radius. This can lead (in some) to rotation and twisting and excessive pressure on the front of the boot to try to change the turn of the ski - so be careful. I think bending the ski is the way to go.

That's my two cents and thanks for listening
Adding leg steering to an edged ski creates more tip pressure without flexing the ankle. If well pressured already the result is a pretty clean carve and a shorter radius than you can acheive by flexing the ankle to pressure the tip.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by justanotherskipro Adding leg steering to an edged ski creates more tip pressure without flexing the ankle. If well pressured already the result is a pretty clean carve and a shorter radius than you can acheive by flexing the ankle to pressure the tip.
Interesting ... can you elaborate on this?

I'm not sure what exactly is meant by leg steering and how it creates tip pressure. Thanks.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by makwendo99 First of all, is A a valid statement. And if so, does it correlate to correct/incorrect B? any thoughts are appreciated...
A is not necessarily so. You can also flex the ankles to load the tails. I believe what you are refering to is flexing the ankle by applying pressure to the ball of the foot and leveraging the boot tongue. There is also dosiflexing the ankle to move pressure to the tail while at the same time remaining forward.

As far as B goes, fore and aft pressure is effective but also the hardest method to control for decreasing the turn size. The most effective method is foot to foot pressure with a resulting short leg/long leg that increases edge angle. The second most effective is bringing the outside hand down and forward, holding back the inside foot and flexing the outside ankle to create a rotary force into the tips. This rotary increases drag on the tips which increases pressure on the front of the skis. This more passive method of pressuring the front of the skis is easier to control.

Pressure control is what separates the advanced skiers from great all mountain skiers. Pressure control is also the last skill that any skier is likely to master. Most advanced skiers show some level of fore/aft pressure control and some foot to foot pressure control but neither are well blended.

To really learn foot to foot pressure control you first have to master releasing the old outside ski and initiating with the new inside ski and removing all upper body rotation from your turns. I think its important to point out that I did not say going through a good neutral and finding the front seat (fore/aft pressure control). I see plenty of racers in the race course that have effective carving and foot to foot that are still in the back seat. Very few skiers achieve both fore/aft/front seat and effective foot to foot pressure control. Most skiers will favor fore/aft or foot to foot pressure control without ever learning to blend the two well.
Imagine a three dimensional view of the ski in space. If the ski is tipped (rotated about it's long axis) then steered (rotated along it's vertical axis) the tip moves downward. If the ski is already in contact with the snow the tip load is increased even though the whole edge is engaged (in contact with the snow and pressured). Much like cutting your food with the side of your fork. The force is added from the sidewall side of the ski tip.
BTW Pierre raising the toes/forefoot and standing on the heel also includes moving the hip aft. If you do not do this the hips will project forward because you stop resisting gravity and fall forward.
Why we call it leg steering is because the femur is rotating in the hip joint and the whole leg pivots around it's long axis. Producing what some would call knee angulation. Or adduction of one leg and abduction of the other.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by justanotherskipro BTW Pierre raising the toes/forefoot and standing on the heel also includes moving the hip aft. If you do not do this the hips will project forward because you stop resisting gravity and fall forward.
JASP that is exactly what I do to move the hips forward but also pressure the tails. It works fine if I am slowing down in the second half of the turn where you would normally fall into the back seat. I probably do this far more than most skiers as I have a telemark background.
I view gross pressure control as helping to determine the 1)turn completion, to 2) transition to new turn 3) initiation and through the 4)shaping phase back to 1)finishing or completion of the turn.

For 1) if I maintain the pressure, then I maintain the turn, arguably this would be an extentsion of the shaping phase. But by progressively giving in to the pressure with progressive flexion of Ankle, Knees, Hips and spine, I allow the skis to cross under me and because the centripital force is being reduced the bend, arcing ski begins to straighten.

For 2) as the ski straightens and I roll off one edge and extend all my joints into the new turn and onto the new edge, the extension is now adding pressure to the new edge and forward part of the ski. Which is arguably now part of 3) Turn initiation.

For 3) I continue to extend (Speed and turnshape dependent) progressively to initiate a bend to the ski and a arc to the path of the ski which in turn induces centripital forces that must be resisted but replaced the pressure initially created by extending into the new turn. This centripital force create pressure transmitted from my CM through my body legs Joints and feet to induce bending of an edged ski. How I manage this pressure will to a large degree determine turn shape. Which leads to 4) Shaping phase.

For 4) shaping the turn if I resist the pressure and force it all to the ski then the ski bends the most and tightens the turn. If I absorb some of the pressure then the ski does not load up as much and not bend as much increasing the radius of the turn.

I hope my description helps. My steering of the skis when making RR tracks on groomers comes mostly in phases 2 or 3 as I described above depending on desired results to either get to the falline quicker or induce bend sooner.
you need to turn early. If you can turn right under the lift so that you can see your turns on the way up the lift, you should see that the small ruts left from your skis should be about shoulder width apart, and should be deeper on the top half of the C shape than on the bottom half.
The bottom half should be where you are releasing your ski's and moving your upper body down the hill.
You are way to concentrated on how much pressure and this and that, all that you need to do is move you're upper body down the hill and turn early hence finishing your turn early, so that you can turn in much smaller radius turns.
Pierre, I was only pointing out that to pressure the tail you need to be slightly back in your stance. Otherwise when you dorsiflex you would move further downhill and lever the tips. Not that being slightly back is wrong in any way. It is a very good description of how to execute a tail carve. However, since all new skis have a much wider tail (comparatively) you risk ACL injuries when you tail carve. It is much harder to release a shaped ski from that position.
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