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Should the inside ski be the center of attention? (spinoff from angulation thread)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Think about this quote from the angulation thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Where the vector intersects the snow dictates the point of balance, and therefor the amount of pressure on each foot. a resultant force vector ground intersection point (balance point) exactly half way between the feet would result in equal pressure on each foot. The closer the vector intersection point (balance point) moves towards one foot the greater the pressure becomes biased on that foot. That is why we can tell that the resultant force vector ground intersection point (balance point) in the Herman picture is not directly under his outside foot, but is instead somewhere between his feet, very close to his outside foot. We know this by observing the amount of bend in each ski, and then assigning pressure levels to each foot according to those observations.
In this quotation, Rick hits on something I've been noodling on a bunch recently. The statement implicitly addresses two things I've been thinking about:

1) If you want to carve RR tracks, and you assume similar ski angles, you need to weight the inside ski more than the outside ski. This must be so because to carve parallel arcs, you need to flex the inside ski more than the outside ski. And taking this a step further, I suspect the force needed for a given amount of flex is a non-linear function - which makes the case even stronger. So that in well carved RR tracks, given what Rick said above, it seems your balance point needs to be closer to the inside ski...

I have not run across any discussions that have focused on the little toe edge of the inside ski as the primary weight (force) bearing surface. Yet for two footed carving, it seems to me that the emphasis should be on weighting that very edge - and making sure that the outside ski has enought weight on it to do its part as well. This is just the opposite of most instruction I have run across - where the focus is on tipping onto and weighting the big toe edge of the outside ski.

2) Rick's description captures why I have felt an unusual level of stability on "good days" when I actually pull off decent two footed carves with any regularity. They hold on steeper slopes, crud, various textures, etc, etc... It is that old "triangle" thing. If the resultant you are creating lives, let's say one third to halfway, between your skis - you get a huge boost in recoverability. You get many degrees of swing of the vector before you are thrown off balance in either direction. In this case, degrees translates to time. Time to shift weight or time to change angles. Or time just to ride out whatever caused the shift. If you have all your force on just the outside ski, any swing to the outside and you are all but doomed. Any swing to the inside and you must engage the inside ski as an emergency recovery tool -- not simply use it as part of the standard turning machinery.

So, why is it that so much focus is placed on the outside ski when the tracks everyone seems to want to leave demand extensive, even dominant, use of the inside ski? Especially when it seems easier for most of us to weight the outside ski anyway? Why is there not more instructional focus on weighting and managing the inside ski?

Have I missed discussions here (very possible, although I did several searches...)? When my Lemaster books show up, will all be revealed? Have I somehow missed something in my interpretation of what I've seen online from either the PMTS or PSIA crowds? Or anyone else?

I'm curious what everyone thinks?

BTW- my use of terms is because they seem most descriptive to me. I am neither taking sides nor trying to use any camp's terminology in a taking sides sort of way - or even a "blessed" sort of way. I am simply a consumer of information and instruction.

If the discussion is interesting enough & the abuse I get high quality enough, I'll throw out my second hypothesis regarding this exact topic and yet another recent highly polarized gear/technique thread
post #2 of 16
We had a warm day with heavy corn on Sunday. I frequently found my outside foot "dragging behind". That meant I needed to pick it up out of the heavy snow and re place it next to the only other foot I have.

Have I taken this inside foot weighting thing a bit too far? ;-)

CalG
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy
We had a warm day with heavy corn on Sunday. I frequently found my outside foot "dragging behind". That meant I needed to pick it up out of the heavy snow and re place it next to the only other foot I have.

Have I taken this inside foot weighting thing a bit too far? ;-)

CalG
YES
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift
Have I missed discussions here (very possible, although I did several searches...)? When my Lemaster books show up, will all be revealed? Have I somehow missed something in my interpretation of what I've seen online from either the PMTS or PSIA crowds? Or anyone else?
I'm looking forward to hearing from you after reading LeMaster.

A couple other comments. Why do you care if your arcs in the snow are parallel? Whoever told you they should be exactly parallel was wrong.

Weighting the outside ski is the ticket to carving paradise. The Angulation thread has more on this I won't repeat again here. LeMaster isn't the only one to say this. Lito, HH and many others. My recent research into PMTS encouraged me to go up on the hill and try some things and much to my surprise, I didn't even realize just how much I was NOT standing on my outside ski. Somehow I had picked up the habit of not only tipping my inside ski onto the LTE, but also standing on it. Ok.. fine. I thought that was good, using both skis to carve. But often times my outside ski would float away from me. Just to experiment I started really forcefully lightening the inside ski...even lifting it a bit if I have to sometimes...and HOLY COW. The outside ski came alive as a carving machine. Its like I felt a motor turn on under my outside ski and press up under my foot with double the G forces. And magically, my outside ski is not slipping away anymore. I was having real problems with that in the past year or two. Subtle stuff...but bugging me a lot. Simply standing on the outside ski was the simple answer to everything.

That doesn't mean just letting the inside ski float around uselessly either. I still tip it onto edge and it still carves a tiny bit, but I'm standing on my outside ski so much more and getting edge grip I didn't even think possible.

Stand on the outside ski.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
dewdman, my reaction is just the opposite of yours. Both with respect to theory and results. As I have gotten better at two-footed skiing, I have found my skis to be more stable and more reliable under almost all circumstances. They hook up more reliably. It is easier to manage turn radius - especially when skiing fast (for me anyway). Minor snow or terrain disruptions are more readilly absorbed.

I am not advocating skiing entirely on the inside ski. However, skiing well on both skis seems to demand weighting the inside ski a bit more than the outside ski. And part of that is indeed scribing parallel arcs -- because if you are not doing this, you must either drag or lift a ski, or else they will run away from, or toward, one another... I like the parallel arc approach...
post #6 of 16
You're where I was 2 years ago when I started skiing on both skis.. That path has led me back to here. It will you too also... ;-)
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Anything is possible, but this seems very unlikely
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift
Think about this quote from the angulation thread:

In this quotation, Rick hits on something I've been noodling on a bunch recently. The statement implicitly addresses two things I've been thinking about:

1) If you want to carve RR tracks, and you assume similar ski angles, you need to weight the inside ski more than the outside ski. This must be so because to carve parallel arcs, you need to flex the inside ski more than the outside ski. And taking this a step further, I suspect the force needed for a given amount of flex is a non-linear function - which makes the case even stronger. So that in well carved RR tracks, given what Rick said above, it seems your balance point needs to be closer to the inside ski...

I have not run across any discussions that have focused on the little toe edge of the inside ski as the primary weight (force) bearing surface. Yet for two footed carving, it seems to me that the emphasis should be on weighting that very edge - and making sure that the outside ski has enought weight on it to do its part as well. This is just the opposite of most instruction I have run across - where the focus is on tipping onto and weighting the big toe edge of the outside ski.

2) Rick's description captures why I have felt an unusual level of stability on "good days" when I actually pull off decent two footed carves with any regularity. They hold on steeper slopes, crud, various textures, etc, etc... It is that old "triangle" thing. If the resultant you are creating lives, let's say one third to halfway, between your skis - you get a huge boost in recoverability. You get many degrees of swing of the vector before you are thrown off balance in either direction. In this case, degrees translates to time. Time to shift weight or time to change angles. Or time just to ride out whatever caused the shift. If you have all your force on just the outside ski, any swing to the outside and you are all but doomed. Any swing to the inside and you must engage the inside ski as an emergency recovery tool -- not simply use it as part of the standard turning machinery.

So, why is it that so much focus is placed on the outside ski when the tracks everyone seems to want to leave demand extensive, even dominant, use of the inside ski? Especially when it seems easier for most of us to weight the outside ski anyway? Why is there not more instructional focus on weighting and managing the inside ski?

Have I missed discussions here (very possible, although I did several searches...)? When my Lemaster books show up, will all be revealed? Have I somehow missed something in my interpretation of what I've seen online from either the PMTS or PSIA crowds? Or anyone else?

I'm curious what everyone thinks?

BTW- my use of terms is because they seem most descriptive to me. I am neither taking sides nor trying to use any camp's terminology in a taking sides sort of way - or even a "blessed" sort of way. I am simply a consumer of information and instruction.

If the discussion is interesting enough & the abuse I get high quality enough, I'll throw out my second hypothesis regarding this exact topic and yet another recent highly polarized gear/technique thread
Grab one of your skis and flex it deeply into reverse camber. You should be able to feel that it takes a lot less than 1/2 your body weight to bend it as far as you ever will need to engage the edge when skiing. Given that, also consider that the key element of gaining enough reverse camber for the (inside or outside) ski to carve the arc you want on hard snow will be more a function simply achieving the necessary edge angle than applying extra weight to any fixed edge angle. If I stand against on the sweet spot (tip to tail pressure distribution) of my 12 meter SL skis at 23 degrees of edge angle on firm snow, whether I have 50/50 25/75 or 75/25 weight distribution is going to for all practicle purposes produce an 11-meter radius from both, that is a function of ski geometry. Any weight beyond the minimum required to bend it to the point the full edge is engaged will not signifigantly change the radius unless the snow is soft or for/aft distribution is manipulated.

Play with "feeling" 50/50 from transition to falline and then simply "allowing" turn dynamics to move any extra "G-forces" to the outside ski where you will be more effective standing and balancing (which is naturally stronger on the inside edge of that foot). If you force excess 'weight' onto the inside ski/leg it will greatly hamper the flexability that leg requires to continue to manage edging with your inside foot and and lateral movements with the flexing of that inside leg. The most efficient way to to effectivly bend the inside ski enough is to progressivly edge it with just enough 'weight' for it to engage and push back with the 'pressure' it requires.

From Falline to transition use progressive relaxization of that strong outside leg to return to 50/50 as you hit 4-edges-flat in the transition. repeat...............
post #9 of 16

Start Reading

Who is Carving: Perception vs. Reality
Carving On Ice: Technique or Gear or What?
I need to learn to carve at the top of my turns, any suggestions?
Please, Help Me Stop Tipping!
"NEW School" v "OLD School"???
How To Teach Angulation

I actually post those threads quite often. I just added the teaching angulation thread to the mix, as it is a good carving resource. Each of those threads has some excellent information in them.

Basically, I will echo what dewdman42 went over in his post. I will also touch on what Arcmeister talked about toward the end of his post. Carving/arcing (we are using the two synonymously here) is actually far different than what it looks like - in practice. Many have argued the physics of it here in the past, but I will assure you that the outside ski crowd always wins that one, especially if we are talking about pressure building and then lessening as you move from one turn to the next, as Arc described. Read the above threads and see what you come up with. If you want to see it in action check out some of the carving I have posted in the videos thread. If you want, you can pull it in here for analysis or discussion, and the experts can point out what might be contributing to your mis-conceptions. I assure you though that there is little inside ski dominance in those turns - especially when you consider the g-force.

Later

GREG
post #10 of 16
I can't think of many situations where you want much weight on the inside ski at all. Even in my experience of carving, I find I can get higher edge angles and tighter turns the more I lighten the inside ski. That's possibly somewhat to do with pressure (although as arcmeister says, there's a limit to how much a ski will flex and you won't get it past that), but also your CM has more leverage over that ski, so it's stronger and easier to hold the edge angle. In powder you want to ski on both skis to lessen the load and avoid sinking. In chopped up snow, you may want to for reasons of stability, since you can't guarantee the skis will stay where you put them. If you really want to leave RR tracks (not sure I see the point myself, except as an exercise), you do need to weight the inside ski a little (maybe 80/20) to make it flex, but unless your skis are hugely stiff, not much.

Ron LeMaster's take on this, by the way, is that we balance on the outside ski because the snow is exerting a force on our CM towards the outside of the turn, and biomechanically we're better at resisting such forces using the inside of the outside foot. If you lean heavily on a wall, this is instinctively what you do. If you jump from side to side, you jump from outside foot to outside foot. On hard snow and ice, also, to make your edge hold, you must maximise the component of your weight acting through it at 90 degrees to the slope of the hill. To do that, you must commit all the available pressure to one ski.

Depending on where you look, there's a lot of instructional focus on managing the inside ski, but very little on weighting it, for the reasons described above - it's only useful when you can't commit the weight to the outside ski because it would cause you to lose balance or sink. Sinking is unavoidable (except through speed maybe), but to me most of improving at skiing is about developing ways to stay in balance without compromising control over the skis. Moving weight to the inside ski compromises control.

As a matter of interest, if you try to ski on your outside ski on groomed snow, with the same speed, edge angles, etc, as you do otherwise, what goes wrong?
post #11 of 16
Spinner, as in most aspects of ski technique there are few simple, one size fits all answers. That's why I'm sure sometimes when people read my comments here they probably wish I'd get off the dang fence and just pick a side.

Ahhhh, if life and skiing were only that simple. I'm going to give you some ideas to think about, and let you decide how you want to fit them into your own technical application puzzle. Some may seem contradictory, but believe me, there is a way to fit them together so they produce a comprehendible picture.

* Carving both skis simultaneously requires concentric arcs of different radi, inside ski being the lesser.

* On soft snow a smaller radius carve on the inside ski can be done by maintaining equal edge angles and concentrating pressure bias on the inside ski. On hard snow extra pressure produces little extra ski bend. Here, extra bend (smaller radius) must be attained via extra edge angle. Translation; inside ski must be put on a higher edge angle.

* The more a leg is flexed, the lower drops its capacity to bear load.

* The higher the edge angle employed, the more the inside leg must be flexed.

* The higher the edge angle employed, the stronger the turn forces which need to be resisted become.

* The sensation of load levels is distorted by the amount flexion in the leg.

* The higher the edge angle, the more contorted the inside leg must become to put the inside ski on a higher edge angle.

* WC racers typically do not display higher inside edge angles when executing big edge angle turns.

* The higher the load on a ski, the greater the edge purchase in hard snow,

* The higher the load on a ski, the greater the chance on soft snow of over-powering (collapsing) the platform the ski has cut in the snow.

* The closer to the inside ski one places their Balance Point, the more one must laterally move their Center of Mass (CM) away from center/neutral, and therefor the further the return to center and journey to the opposite side.

* The further one laterally moves their CM from center/neutral, the shorter overall distance it will travel on it's journey down the hill, and therefor the faster the journey will be.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

OK,,, now think those over and see if you can compile them with your own current thinking on this topic and formulate a comprehensive technical theory that applies to a wide array of situations. Let me know what you come up with.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
These are interesting... I need to chew on them a bit. Here are my initial reactions:


* Carving both skis simultaneously requires concentric arcs of different radi, inside ski being the lesser.
>>>>> CHECK

* On soft snow a smaller radius carve on the inside ski can be done by maintaining equal edge angles and concentrating pressure bias on the inside ski. On hard snow extra pressure produces little extra ski bend. Here, extra bend (smaller radius) must be attained via extra edge angle. Translation; inside ski must be put on a higher edge angle.
>>>>> CHECK, mostly...

* The more a leg is flexed, the lower drops its capacity to bear load.
>>>>> CHECK

* The higher the edge angle employed, the more the inside leg must be flexed.
>>>>> CHECK, mostly...gotta think about possible hip and waist compensation

* The higher the edge angle employed, the stronger the turn forces which need to be resisted become.
>>>>> CHECK

* The sensation of load levels is distorted by the amount flexion in the leg.
>>>>> CHECK

* The higher the edge angle, the more contorted the inside leg must become to put the inside ski on a higher edge angle.
>>>>> mostly CHECK, again, need to noodle on possible counter-cases

* WC racers typically do not display higher inside edge angles when executing big edge angle turns.
>>>>> you've seen more than I have on this front, but I'm gonna go with "CHECK" as this is reasonably logical given the forces they deal with and the assertions I have bought into , load bearing etc, and mostly bought into, regarding flexion...

* The higher the load on a ski, the greater the edge purchase in hard snow,
>>>>> CHECK, to a point. I suspect that there is a point of diminishing returns here. Also, there may be a tradeoff between buying more edge purchase vs buying geometric stability

* The higher the load on a ski, the greater the chance on soft snow of over-powering (collapsing) the platform the ski has cut in the snow.
>>>>> CHECK - see my post on blowing through the side wall of a tree well while doing a fairly high speed arced turn in 20" of fresh - might not be 100% the case you were thinking of, but the principle is the same

* The closer to the inside ski one places their Balance Point, the more one must laterally move their Center of Mass (CM) away from center/neutral, and therefor the further the return to center and journey to the opposite side.
>>>>> Please explain this one more. Closer in which dimensions?

* The further one laterally moves their CM from center/neutral, the shorter overall distance it will travel on it's journey down the hill, and therefor the faster the journey will be.
>>>>> Again please explain a bit more...
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift
* The closer to the inside ski one places their Balance Point, the more one must laterally move their Center of Mass (CM) away from center/neutral, and therefor the further the return to center and journey to the opposite side.
>>>>> Please explain this one more. Closer in which dimensions?
Lateral. I refer to the on snow balance point. Remember the vector diagram;

http://ronlemaster.com/images/2003-2...e-width-A.html

The angle of the green arrow does not change, so to move the ground impact point of the arrow (the balance point) from his outside foot to his inside foot Herman would have to move his CM further inside and down by reducing the amount of angulation he's using.


Quote:
* The further one laterally moves their CM from center/neutral, the shorter overall distance it will travel on it's journey down the hill, and therefor the faster the journey will be.
>>>>> Again please explain a bit more...
Sure. Simple really. The skis and the CM follow different paths of travel down the slope.

http://ronlemaster.com/images/2002-2...-1-flat-w.html

The further inside the balance point, the further in side the CM will be, so the more divergence between the path of travel of the skis and the path of travel of the CM
post #14 of 16
I am not an expert, but I have played with both approaches extensively and the more I ski (18 years) the more I realize that there isn't just one approach to use. Sometimes I like to lighten my inside ski, sometimes not. Sometimes I like to widen my stance, sometimes I keep it narrower. It's jazz baby! Improvise!

It is IMHO key to expert skiing however to be aware of what you're doing.

To get in touch with your Inner Ski.
post #15 of 16
Jazz,
Nicely put. Snow and terrain variations require a wider range of skills than would be available from a cookie cutter approach. So many people start talking about technique and they talk about a ski turn instead of a series of ski turns.

Spin, think in terms of expanding the effective range of the movements by moving your pelvis farther across and away from your skis. Logic suggests that the return movement will also be larger.
Since the pelvis is moving downhill in a more direct path the route takes less time.
post #16 of 16
Jack be nimble
Jack be quick
Jack jumped over the candlestick
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