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Stem

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Let's say you have an advanced skier that has a bit of a stem at the start of the turn; uphill/old-inside ski moves uphill/wedges a tad at the start of the next turn.

Probable causes?

Possible cures?

No more than about three sentences in each answer. KISS!!!!!
post #2 of 19
First let's clarify.
Is the skier?
a) moving the uphill ski and the center of mass uphill (traditional stem)
b) creating the wedge without any uphill component (modern stem)

Does the skier?
a) step to create the wedge
b) slide to create the wedge
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
First let's clarify.
Is the skier?
a) moving the uphill ski and the center of mass uphill (traditional stem)
b) creating the wedge without any uphill component (modern stem)

Does the skier?
a) step to create the wedge
b) slide to create the wedge
b) creating the wedge without any uphill component (modern stem)
b) slide to create the wedge
post #4 of 19
Probable causes? The skier holds on to the edge of the downhill ski and steps or pushes the new outside ski uphill and out to start the turn. Habit

Possible cures? Release the old outside ski by flattening it. Move diagonally to the new turn and extend. -------Wigs
post #5 of 19
Finish turn on outside edge of inside ski.

Direct tip of outside ski (new inside ski) in direction of new turn.

Tip both skis into direction of new turn while simultaneously moving hips forward.

Repeat. (oops, sorry, that's four sentences).
post #6 of 19
OF course technique is most likely the cause.

However to my surprise at the time, I had an on hill boot alignment where a shim under my outside edge eliminated a slight stem with my right ski at the initiation of left turns.
post #7 of 19
l2t,

Last year, I spent a week with Mike Rogan (if you don't know of him, he's been on the PSIA National D-Team for quite a few years, and is one of the guys who leads PSIA's direction). At this event, we spent a day talking about stems. We came to the conclusion that there were 3 possible causes of an unintentional stem.

1) Rotating the downhill leg for a variety of reasons, such as speed control (a "check") or looking for rebound out of the ski, or simply a week inside half, not finishing the turn with the inside ski

2) Over rotating the torso

3) Over countering the torso

So, until there is a visual observation, it's hard to correct the issue because you could go the wrong way and actually make it worse
post #8 of 19
HH has a lot of opinions about this. Check out realskiers.com and do a search to read what they have to say about it (just a suggestion). High level summary, this habit comes from a number of skills that have nothing to do with intentional stemming, yet cause skiers to get onto the Big Toe edge of that new outside ski in the wrong way.

I find myself doing them sometimes too when I get lazy. Too much rotary in the outside ski and not enough with the inside ski. Not enough tipping, etc.. PMTS deals with this condition directly..
post #9 of 19
Nice post Wigs.

So many people fail to release the old turn before starting the new one. Then they search for a corrective solution that includes everything but an edge release.
JASP
post #10 of 19
I have exactly the same problem and it's driving me nuts; thought of keeping my legs together by attaching a 10' elastic cord between the heel bindings.

Flattening the old inside ski didn't help me, I'm pretty sure the ski is flat yet the leg styill lags sideways opening that stem. Please people, keep posting.
post #11 of 19
Shade it is the old outside ski staying on edge (not releasing), not the old inside ski.
Stand sideways on a ski slope and flatten the uphill (old inside) ski and nothing of consequence happens. Do so with the downhill (old outside) ski and you begin moving downhill.

There are many phrases for this action,
Give yourself to gravity,
project into the new turn,
move your Cm across the skis,
finish your turn by flattening your skis,
etc...
It is like trying to turn your car to the right while the right front wheel is facing left. (opposing the intended action)
post #12 of 19
Probable cause? Lack of a crossover move.

Cure? Learn to cross over or move the body in the direction of the new turn.

Skating will help you feel the crossover move. Simple as I can put it
post #13 of 19

help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
Shade it is the old outside ski staying on edge (not releasing), not the old inside ski.
Stand sideways on a ski slope and flatten the uphill (old inside) ski and nothing of consequence happens. Do so with the downhill (old outside) ski and you begin moving downhill.

There are many phrases for this action,
Give yourself to gravity,
project into the new turn,
move your Cm across the skis,
finish your turn by flattening your skis,
etc...
It is like trying to turn your car to the right while the right front wheel is facing left. (opposing the intended action)
Coming from a 10yr intermediate stemmer I unconsciously do this as insurance to make that next turn. Can't trust them skis to do it! Slide that foot just a little out there and give it a slightly angled direction and voila! I'm into the next turn. How many times I stop skiing, correct what I'm doing, start over down a run, trying not to cheat by sliding that new outside ski out. When you run the ski flat in transistion it becomes very easy to slide it. I know this is not the best way to stop my stem, but when I notice I'm cheating I lift or un-weight that old outside ski before I truely start the new turn. With more weight on the new outside ski it makes it hard to start pivoting it! I know that this can be viewed as old school.
post #14 of 19
Possible cause: weight too far back - when the new outside ski goes flat it is levered into a wedge position

Possible cure: get weight centered over the feet before beginning the turn
post #15 of 19
This has been pretty much stated but ...

Releasing the old outside/downhill ski with concomitant movement of the body down into the fall line can and is frequently percieved as a fall.

One "reflexive" protection against the fall is to get on the big toe edge of the new nownhill ski ASAP- hence the stem.

Drilling with a traverse across a moderate slope, lightening (or even lifting) and tipping the old downhill ski and "passively" carving around on the new downhill ski can help develop experience and confidence to identify the release and its consequences as "skiing" as opposed to a fall down the fall line.
post #16 of 19
Alignment:

If a release of the old downhill ski does not produce adequate tipping of the old inside/new outside (due to alignment or other issues) there can be a natural tendency to stem that ski to get it around into the turn.

I have almost no internal rotation left on my left (hip being replaced next month) which noticably inhibits tipping to the big toe side. As a consequence, the lower leg wants to (and sometimes needs to) twist to transition into a new turn (especially in very steep terrain with various crux situations).

For the most part I have just had to just work all the rest of the "good" movements I know of to compensate and minimize this. If however, this problem is occuring from poor alignment then obviously a proper alignment with footbed, canting, and other things can be very helpful.
post #17 of 19
Ragin cajun, The question was from an advanced skier, so your self described level and your unwillingness to move into the next turn is relative but not exactly the targeted group we are talking about here. However, I want to thank you for posting your opinion because it points out how strongly we hang onto stuff even when it is inhibiting our performance. We all have self imposed boundaries that we refuse to cross.

BTW Insurance is not what you are doing. You are refusing to release the turn out of fear. Which is totally alright as long as you realize that it is a limiting factor. It takes a lot of mental effort and a lot of coaching to move past that fear and allow yourself to use a different release move.

This usually means taking a lesson or hiring a coach. IMO nothing posted here will convince you to change your mechanics or your opinion. You have to experience the change first hand before that will happen.
post #18 of 19
learn2turn,
Wigs, taylormatt and jsp have nailed it. JohnH offers some possible causes too.

RW
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
Ragin cajun, The question was from an advanced skier, so your self described level and your unwillingness to move into the next turn is relative but not exactly the targeted group we are talking about here. However, I want to thank you for posting your opinion because it points out how strongly we hang onto stuff even when it is inhibiting our performance. We all have self imposed boundaries that we refuse to cross.
Sorry to hijack the thread. Saw the word "stemming" and jumped in without looking carefully. After re-reading the first post I realized that this was from an expert's level and not that of an intermediate. The very fact that stemming does occur on the imterm. level is the one habit that keeps most out of moving forward to better skiing. Any information on how to overcome this is beneficial to intermediates as well as expert skiers wanting to advance their skills.

Quote:
BTW Insurance is not what you are doing. You are refusing to release the turn out of fear. Which is totally alright as long as you realize that it is a limiting factor. It takes a lot of mental effort and a lot of coaching to move past that fear and allow yourself to use a different release move.

This usually means taking a lesson or hiring a coach. IMO nothing posted here will convince you to change your mechanics or your opinion. You have to experience the change first hand before that will happen.
In my particular case you have hit it on the head. It is the fear factor of commiting to that new turn! You want me to leave the security of a finishing turn fairly in a traverse mode an cross over leaning my body down hill? I think this in itself keeps most interm from ever achieving expert status.

Every time I have a trip I will take at least a 1/2 day private the first day. I do see my faults and at the same time I try and work on better skiing. Thanks guys for the response.
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