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Deb Armstrong

post #1 of 201
Thread Starter 
Check out Deb Armstrong's website.

To me, she is one of the true greats in skiing. Hope you enjoy here thoughts, spirit, and insights.

http://www.debbiearmstrong.com/
post #2 of 201
Thanks for the link, Weems! I'll definitely check it out after I quit seeing the white lines from the highway everywhere I look.

Question for ya: In the top picture, on the page your link goes to, what's your take on what Deb is doing with the inside leg?

Looks to me like she's rolled the ankle to rotate those buckles toward the snow and the inside of of the cuff is plastered against the inside of her lower leg.

Or, is the leg being driven into the outside of the cuff to tip that ski???

Chris
post #3 of 201
Good grief, Chris, you have a great eye!

I think I'd agree that she's rotating the buckles towards the snow, but would love to hear from those of you with greater clue than me.
post #4 of 201
PMTS type move?
post #5 of 201

Alpental Angle

Quote:
I think I'd agree that she's rotating the buckles towards the snow, but would love to hear from those of you with greater clue than me.
That's an easy one Steve. Deb grew up skiing at Alpental, a small rainy area on the coast side of the Cascade range in Washington. About 2000' vertical the place goes straight up and straight down. All black diamond but they call some runs blue and green to try to get more people to ski it. She patented that move there - it is called the "Alpental Angle". :

- Fossil
post #6 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib

Question for ya: In the top picture, on the page your link goes to, what's your take on what Deb is doing with the inside leg?

Looks to me like she's rolled the ankle to rotate those buckles toward the snow and the inside of of the cuff is plastered against the inside of her lower leg.

Or, is the leg being driven into the outside of the cuff to tip that ski???

Chris
Sorry it took so long to get back to you Chris.
"Looks to me like she's rolled the ankle to rotate those buckles toward the snow and the inside of of the cuff is plastered against the inside of her lower leg." I don't understand this question. It seems to me that if she's rolled the ankle to rotate the buckles toward the snow, she couldn't possibly have the inside of the cuff plastered against the inside of her lower leg. I think the leg is being driven to into the front/outside of the cuff AND she's rotating rolling her ankle.

We tend to identify one part of one move, and then forget that the whole system (the whole leg from foot to hip) is doing the thang. In this case, I see both skis carving very nicely. I love the spray coming from the inside ski hitting the outside shin. When I feel that spray, it makes me think I've got my edges working well.

When the site opens you can see her ski into the final position. It is interesting that in THIS turn, the inside leg tips over after the outside leg starts to change edges. In the recent two legged tipping oppression, this would have been considered A-framish. But there are many times and many reasons to have this slightly sequential edge change. I think that the result (of both skis carving) is more important, and she clearly does that. (This is not to say both skis have equal weight/pressure.)
post #7 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems
...We tend to identify one part of one move, and then forget that the whole system...
Weems,

Hey, are you saying I'm simple!: Please, there are still a few I'm able to fool ...you don't have to give it away

I understand what you're saying; I'll try to bend my mind around this a bit and articulate better what I'm seeing.

I'd like to hear more about the sequential edge change stuff ...maybe a good thread for the summer...

Thanks,

Chris
post #8 of 201
Thread Starter 
You're not simple, Chris. I'm the one who didn't understand the question!

All I'm saying about the part/whole polarity is something that I get trapped in while ski teaching all the time: I give about ten movement triggers relating to ten different parts of the body and forget to mention that they all work together, and the whole body in concert makes the move.

Whether folks call this pmts or alpental angle or whatever, depends on your history, interests, and point of view. I tend to call it the "sound of two skis carving". The point is that this is just good solid fundamental skiing, where the dynamic capacities of both skis are being used very well by an amazing skier. It's also an example of one of the wonderful things about modern skis--both skis can be active in the snow (which does't mean--but can mean--evenly weighted skis).
post #9 of 201
I noticed the big movement of the inside knee toward the inside as well. It stuck out like a soar thumb. Seems to me that the picture was put there to support and demonstrate the current technique dogma. Because it is so obvious, she is guilty of a very good demonstration.

ST
post #10 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sir turnalot
I noticed the big movement of the inside knee toward the inside as well. It stuck out like a soar thumb. Seems to me that the picture was put there to support and demonstrate the current technique dogma. Because it is so obvious, she is guilty of a very good demonstration.

ST
Perfect.

However, in this case the "dogma" is more about functional, practical, effective, efficient, and versatile skiing--a few of my favorite things (qualities) in skiing.
post #11 of 201
C'mon, Weems, she can't be about those things, can she? I mean, after all, she was a racer.
post #12 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems
Sorry it took so long to get back to you Chris.
"Looks to me like she's rolled the ankle to rotate those buckles toward the snow and the inside of of the cuff is plastered against the inside of her lower leg." I don't understand this question. It seems to me that if she's rolled the ankle to rotate the buckles toward the snow, she couldn't possibly have the inside of the cuff plastered against the inside of her lower leg. I think the leg is being driven to into the front/outside of the cuff AND she's rotating rolling her ankle.

We tend to identify one part of one move, and then forget that the whole system (the whole leg from foot to hip) is doing the thang. In this case, I see both skis carving very nicely. I love the spray coming from the inside ski hitting the outside shin. When I feel that spray, it makes me think I've got my edges working well.

When the site opens you can see her ski into the final position. It is interesting that in THIS turn, the inside leg tips over after the outside leg starts to change edges. In the recent two legged tipping oppression, this would have been considered A-framish. But there are many times and many reasons to have this slightly sequential edge change. I think that the result (of both skis carving) is more important, and she clearly does that. (This is not to say both skis have equal weight/pressure.)
Hi Weems,

Just funnin about the simple thing ...I knew what you meant, and I'm guilty all to often. I agree, we need it all working; still, good to focus the individual elements now and then, eh!

RicB wrote a great description of what I'm seeing (to Bonni in another thread) that I've copied below. In Deb's animation on the site (it's possible to step thru it frame by frame) I agree with you about the sequence of edgechange. I also think what RicB has described works really great starting before (clear thru and after) edgechange. I also like the stabilizing tension it creates.

Anyway, I think everything is (as Bob would say) moving right to go right, but I don't necessarily think that means the lower leg 'has to' move against the outside of the cuff at the top. I thought I saw this ankle roll here, and that was my question - which you've answered!


Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB
Rolling the ankles is a great exercise to do in our fitness rountines. Marv Marinovich describes it very well in his book "ProBodX", an excellent read.

Try it stting in front of your computer in bare feet. Sit nice and erect wiht your hands gently resting on your knees wiiht your feet hip width apart. Wiht your feet flat on the floor just raise the little toe side of one foot at the same time you raise the big toe side of the other. This movement should originate and happen mainly from the ankles, so try to keep your knees from moving side to side very much. You can feel this knee movement through your hands, and should result from the ankles pulling the knees t othe side and not your knee and leg pulling the foot side to side. I do this exercise while sitting on an exercise ball every time I work out, along with several other foot and ankle exercises. Great transfer to skiing.

In a ski boot you can do this movement also, but the range of movement will be inhibited by the boot to some degree. When I roll or tip my feet inside my ski boot, I feel my ankle pressinng against the side of my boot on the side I'm tipping to. I will also feel the to of boot cuff tip against the other side of my leg where it enters the top of the boot. In my opinion, this movement should originate first in the ankle, and then be acompanied by leg movement. I do also use the headlight on the knee focus sometimes to help people get some effective steering going, but they are really two different things. ...
Not having much luck attaching a picture ...if is shows up yellow lines are meant to show the angle of the boot and red showing the angle of the leg..
525x525px-LL-vbattach587.jpg
post #13 of 201
Ok gang, I guess it is time I chime in here - Ski racer, yes - dogma, don't like it but if the verbiage works then fine with me, - Alpental angle, now I like that.

As for the technique discussed from my website - love the dialogue! In reference to the "rolling of the ankles to rotate the buckles to the snow" it looks like this is happening. I do think of this as a fine tuning mechanism but this is not my power move. I think of movements coming out of the core. This movement allows for larger muscle groups to be involved and thus more structural - from there I fine tune my edge angles with some knee and ankle. Above I said "from there", these movements are not sequencial. Of course movements work together as Weems stated in his notes. To keep to the initial question however, I do think of my ankles a lot. For me I don't think of tipping the buckles into the snow, of the uphill/inside foot, as much as I think of rolling the arch of that foot to the sky. Then of course, I am always striving to maintain the tension in that ankle joint for ankle felxion.
post #14 of 201

Wow!!

Alpental angle,

Welcome to EpicSki!

Thanks for the first hand feedback

I like this thought too:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpental angle
...I think of rolling the arch of that foot to the sky...
post #15 of 201
From RicB: "When I roll or tip my feet inside my ski boot, I feel my ankle pressing against the side of my boot on the side I'm tipping to. I will also feel the top of boot cuff tip against the other side of my leg where it enters the top of the boot. "

This is a great representation of using efficient foot movements to tip the ski which causes the boot to tip the leg vs. inefficiently tipping the the leg to tip the boot to tip the ski. This reflects having an intent and purpose to work the ski/tool from where you hold it, with the foot. When initial movements start with the feet, the rest of the body will respond as needed, recruited, in support of the intent for the feet.
post #16 of 201
Thread Starter 
I was talking to Ron LeMaster yesterday, and he feels from his observations and interviews that the there is an emphasis on both knees going into the edge change.

For me again, as we can all see from the picture of Deb above, the whole system participates, in tipping the skis to the edges--even the torso, with the leveling of the shoulders occuring as the turn progresses. All this is quite purposeful: in order to line up the pressures from both extension and centrifugal force to cut a platform with the edge, and bend the ski into the arc. It's very simple, clean, beautiful, and exciting--both to do and watch.

Notice Deb also wears a helmet--always.

And she smiles and has fun on her skis--always.
post #17 of 201
Continuious movement, continuious movement. A continuious building of angles or decreasing of angles. After spending many recent years striving to achieve equal edge angle for both skis (following a lifetime of an outside ski bias) I find the focus for me working back up the body. Subtle ankle moves intitially while the core drives along the line of momentium but as that edge angle increases and the inside leg shortens as if I am stepping up onto a box, the upper torsoe strives to level out the shoulders as Weems stated above. This has been my primary focus this season because I tend to get a bit to the inside through the turn. There has been a point in the middle of the turn when I stop moving, or developing angles, and I become a bit static and out of balance.

That is what I see when I look at the website. I would like to see three more photos in the sequence and see how the angles continue to develope through the apex of the turn.

Wow, this is fun!
post #18 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpental angle
I am always striving to maintain the tension in that ankle joint for ankle felxion.
I like this description
post #19 of 201
Welcome to the forum, "Alpental Angle". When you get caught up, soon, in discussions of "countering" and "tip lead", then you'll know you're hooked!
post #20 of 201
She's been already been over the coals once here:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...mstrong+square
post #21 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems
Check out Deb Armstrong's website.

To me, she is one of the true greats in skiing. Hope you enjoy here thoughts, spirit, and insights.

http://www.debbiearmstrong.com/
'One of the true greats' had better apply to her teaching....she only won one international race in her entire career.
post #22 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog
'One of the true greats' had better apply to her teaching....she only won one international race in her entire career.
one of the truely stupid posts
post #23 of 201
Ouch!, a gold medal no longer is good enough. Debbie may have only won one "huge" race, but she was on the US Ski Team for a long time and had the results and FIS points to be a first seed GS WC level skier. Not sure why that alone does not deserve an awful lot of respect. What I also think is great about Debbie is her dedcation to the sport, as a racer, fan, ambassodor and instructor. She has spent a lot of time working on getting the most our of todays equipment and teach herself to pass that on to others.
post #24 of 201
Guys, I don't know why all of the sudden negative posts in this thread but I want to remind you all of something: A world class coach and racer has joined EpicSki with the potential of sharing her knowledge with you. Making rude/disrespectful comments is no way to welcome someone who has so much knowledge and involvement in the sport. This does not just apply to Deb, but any pro who takes the time to enrich the environment of EpicSki.
Later
GREG
post #25 of 201
post #26 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog
'One of the true greats' had better apply to her teaching....she only won one international race in her entire career.
It applies to everything she does. Teaching, skiing, racing, and especially being a person.

Very few of the top level racers have become great teachers as well. Martin is one. Deb is another. I remember working with Diane Culver from Canada years ago in New Zealand. In the old, old days, this was fairly common. I think it's really useful for us all.

And Greg, thanks. I'm all over creating a more welcoming atmosphere, and the putdowns are just ridiculous.
post #27 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems
It applies to everything she does. Teaching, skiing, racing, and especially being a person.
.
Yeah, I'm sure you are right, I just was reading the thread on the great skiers of the Demo team and she is always held up as the ultimate skier, so out of curiousity I checked the FIS records and found only two podium results, one being by good fortune in the Olympics. Not quite a Stenmark or Proell, but a consistant top seed for a few years. So I apologize to anyone I offended but I stand by the "stupid statement" that if she is considered an "all time great", racing alone won't get her to that status.
post #28 of 201
i think the term "all time great" is often applied to folks along the same lines as;

true gentleman
nice guy/girl
heck of a person
ambassador
etc.

there are many folks here who are in that category.
post #29 of 201
Thread Starter 
I'm given to hyperbole. Especially when I run into special people who are contributing to other people at such a high level. There are many factors that bring people into greatness. But I understand also about sports fans. We're cruel when it comes to competitive results. Look at the bashing Bode Miller took this year. No Olympic medal?!!! What a loser!
post #30 of 201
I'll start by saying I think Deb is a fantastic skier, a helluva person, and motivated teacher. I've skied with her on a few occasions when I was slumming in New Mexico, and went trhough the Trainer's Exam with her in Durango somewhere around the turn of the century. (I like saying that 'cuz I can pretend I'm old and distinguished!) She creates a group dynamic around her that makes it impossible not to learn something.

I think she falls short in the skiing world simply because she's a real hero amongst those who have been in her presence, but is virtually unkown amongst those who haven't. And that stinks. "All-time Great"? I don't know about any of that. Firtst person I think of is Stenmark... second one is Plake (Oddly enough. Sheer charisma, I guess). I just know what I know, and I try to spread the good word when I can.

I always feel a little sorry for anyone writing an article these days. There are certainly points that don't gel with other skiers. I can't say I agree with everything that is typed up. (Anyone who remembers my heady EpicSki days a couple years ago will tell you that!) But at least these people are trying to share the things that they really believe in... whether the still-photo that accompanies the article shows off their incredible talents, or fails at doing so.
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