So many things from so many people to respond to. I won't bother quoting anything. I'm very happy this thread is staying civil.... B-)
- You don't angulate your "legs" per say. You angulate at your hip or you can angulate less effectively at your knees, or some combination of both.
- Based on recent posts from HH on the matter, I do not think that functional tension is what they are emphasizing. I'm not sure it can even be speculated as being the end result of tipping and angulating or not. The interesting thing is that if you are countered and angulated, I would think myself that your femurs would already be wound up kind of tight towards the end of their range of motion...meaning..they would have a tendency, based on tension alone, to want to unwind (which would make them turn less rather than more, and in terms of this discussion, that would make the inside ski cross the outside). I'm really only speculating...but PMTS does not emphasize this tension you speak of as a way of getting the inside ski to follow the hip. In a countered stance, the hip will be following the leg if anything.
- PMTS also does not emphasize rotary movements. Whether they happen or not is up to debate. I know for my part that I am using some rotary, but based on what I have read on realskiers.com, the goal is for me to work hard to eliminate those movements at-and-just-after my transition. I am used to using a bit of rotary and rushing the turn, espcially off-piste west coast big mountain skiing where I'm not cruising fast on a groomer. Actually, in those conditions and bumps I happen to think rotary is essential. But ask me in a year, maybe I'm evolving now.
The other day when I was practicing some PMTS stuff on a groomer I noticed that just past the transition I was using just a tiny bit of rotary as I went onto the new edges. Yes, I was still getting upside down and still making round arcs..but there is no question that there was a tiny bit of pivoting that occurred during the very top of the turn. (Note, even racers do this when they need to, for the sake of line selection). I was lacking faith that my skis would make the turn without that little pivot help.
However, when I was patient and really focused on NOT using any rotary..my carving was most definitely smoother, cleaner, faster, more controlled and more fun from top to bottom of the turn.
PMTS isn't just using foot tipping to get people to unconciously use rotary. They firmly believe that routine rotary use turn to turn is not a good thing and they work hard to eliminate it as much as possible. You can argue that they don't know what they are talking about and actually are leg steering even though they say they aren't..but that's a debate we'll never resolve here. The bottom line is that their theory is based on NOT rotating the legs or using rotary efforts to pivot the skis on the snow. its based on something else.
- If there is some rotory movement that takes place in the hip socket as someone is trying to angulate their knees or hips, etc..that is of course natural...our body moves in many directions, not just 2D. That is a different thing than pro-actively using rotary force to steer the skis in the direction of the turn. Personally, my impression is that some skiers who speak of using rotary are in fact meaning this subtle use of it, which happens in all skiing. The unfortunate thing is that I see MANY skiers on the mountain using pro-active rotary based leg-steering way way too much..including PSIA instructors. For this reason, I think the emphasis on rotary can be dangerous. Its a skill that is required, but if over-used in the wrong places destroys a carved turn.
- Regarding the two skis following the same path if they are closer to together..yes true..but has no place in PMTS theory. In PMTS you're either lifting your inside ski off the snow or barely touching the snow. I'm pretty sure I am riding too much on my inside ski still and I'm really lightening it a lot. They do not preach equal weight on the skiis, so that plays no factor in how the inside ski makes a tighter arc than the outside ski. The Tipping is how it all happens. Why it works biomechanically, I haven't gotten a good explanation from anyone yet of any authority. But apparantly, it does work.
- Simon, you're reading the right stuff. Keep at it. I think you can benefit from ANY ski lesson, including PSIA, USSA, PMTS, Aspen or anything else with a good reputation. If you keep an open mind, remember that none of these people has the perfect all encompassing solution, but there is good stuff from all of them. They will almost certainly spot skills you could improve upon. If you go to a PSIA clinic and they spend the whole week getting you to rotate your legs more.. Fine. Maybe you will toss that out the window when you leave the clinic, but you know what some day you'll be ripping through some bumps or something where you need more of that skill and it will come in handy. I do think USSA and PMTS have a better handle on groomed carving though, for whatever its worth. (or just about any race oriented coaching would also).
- I agree with JohnH, all this mumbo jumbo has NO PLACE in a ski lesson unless the student is inquiring deeply about it. We are all dedicated individuals spending a lot of time trying to understand these concepts and even most of us take a long time to "get it", some of us get it wrong or differently than others... How on earth do you expect to explain one of these concepts to a recreational skier in 3 minutes or less with only the snow to draw on? You can't...simply put. Even if you could, it would probably induce them into doing wrong things to try to force the concept to happen in their skiing. What works a lot better is to know what you want them to improve on and then give them drills which you know from your experience as a ski instructor will introduce new feelings to them. You identify those feelings and get them to recognize the difference and the feeling they get...sink it in, work it back into the skiing, repeat if neccessary. Don't try to explain why and I claim even if a skier starts asking a lot of questions, don't explain why too much. Focus on the skills and drills...