Originally Posted by disski
I don't ski particularly narrow stance... and (for a girl) I have little Q angle... I skied a few weeks ago with an ex-wc racer and he was quite insistent I widen it a little.... he did not seem to be of the opinion it was just a fad.... he seemed quite convinced I needed to ba a tad wider to make use of my skis better....
round and round we go.....
Its hard to know how and why that ex-wc guy would be telling you to widen your stance. So I'm not going to take that story to mean wide stance = good. Perhaps you weren't allowing your skis to vertically seperate when they needed to be.
Secondly...there seems to be a lot of confusion about what exactly a wide or narrow "stance" is. Its my opinion that many people are saying wide, when they really mean narrow with vertical seperation. Meanwhile some other people are saying narrow, yet they have vertical seperation that gives off the appearance of wide to some... Lots of confusion all the way around.
Can we start by defining "stance" to be the amount of distance between the legs as opposed to the distance between the skis? Maybe we need a new definition for the ski track width to avoid this constant confusion.
I have looked at a lot of pictures of WC guys racing..and by far overall...I do not see what I consider to be wide stances. I do see skis wide apart on the snow at certain parts of the turn where inclination forces vertical seperation. The only time I see WC guys and girls with wide actual stances are SOMETIMES during the transition. There are a lot of reasons why they might be having a wide stance there, none of which has anything to do with the main part of the turn. I'll let the qualified race coaches comment on that.. But during the release/transition, they are unloading lots of G forces, they are quite light at that instant of time, they are changing which ski they stand on, they are preparing their line for the next gate, etc.. Personally, I think they look quite uncomfortable like that...and to me that looks like MORE athleticism being used for better course times, as opposed to comfortable, solid skiing for the general masses.
Then I look at the photos of Rocca and watch him ski. he doesn't do that. he looks comfortable and relaxed, his legs almost never get wide apart.
Please don't post any photos from LeMaster's site showing a WC guy with a wide stance. That is a waste of our time. For every one of those I could dig up 100 other photos showing narrow "stances" as defined above. Even WC guys have to adapt to terrain and deal with whatever comes up...if that means going wide one time or other extreme measures... In fact, we all have to adapt and be ABLE to do the same. That, however, does not make wide stanced skiing the best ideal mental model.