Originally Posted by Skidude72
After reading post after post on tip lead I just had to write this. Tip lead is the most talked about, least understood concept on this site. So to set the record straight and to enlighten those willing here it is:
In modern ski technique (however you define it, Racer, CSIA, PSIA, PMTS, etc etc) tip lead is the RESULT of two things: Pivoting and/or Inclination.
Lets start with pivoting.
If you intiate turns with a pivot, the result will be tip lead. The more you pivot, the more tip lead you will have. Try it for yourself with some pivot slips. In the straight ski days pivoting was more promenent then today, hence we saw more tip lead at the start of the turns the we do now. Hence, as a visual tool, coaches instructors, who are trying to get their athletes students to carve more, and pivot less, will try to get them to intiate turns with as little tip lead as possible, becuase it will mean they reduced the amount of pivot. This of course should not be interpreted that pivoting is bad, it is not, in many situations especially on WC courses it is necessary...the trick is to only use a much as you need, then to complete the turn by working the ski.
The second cause of tip lead is Inclination. The more we incline, the more we need to lift our inside foot out of the way, as we bend the inside leg, the knee and foot go forward thus creating tip lead. With modern shape skis, we carve better then ever before, as such we create greater forces then ever before, thus we incline more then ever before, thus we see more tip lead in the fall line, where the amount of inclination is greatest, then ever before. So why the push to get rid of it? We DON'T.
However, with modern skiing there is a push to ski more "two footed". Not getting into that detail, lets just say modern technique (which is driven by better equipment) means we don't need to place all of our weight on the outside ski to get it to bend, we can now keep say 20% of our mass on the inside foot. Hence we go from 50/50 (in the transition) down to 20/80 (fall line to bottom third of turn) and back to 50/50 (in the new transition), where as with the old super stiff skis it was 50/50 to 0/100 back to 50/50. This ability to stay more two footed has a whole host of benefits, which I can discuss in another thread.
So to ensure that athletes get a better inside/outside weight distribution we tell them to pull the inside foot back WHEN ENTERING AND SKIING THROUGH THE FALL LINE. By pulling the foot back, or put another way, not moving it out of the way as much, ensures that the athlete is getting more weight on the inside ski then previously....obviously you can take this too far..ie no tip lead in the fall line would mean 100% weight on the inside ski!
To sum up: tip lead after the turn intiation means a pivot happened...was it too much? depends on the situation. Tip lead in the fall line, they are inclining (which of course they must)...do they have the right outside/inside weight distribution? Truthfully, you wont tell from tip lead, you need to look at the inside skis performance...if it appears to be just floating, it is possible that the athlete just needs to put more weight on it, but again would depend on the situation.
Therefore I hope this helps people understand why we have it, what causes it, and why in some cases it may be a symptom of somthing else not quiet "optimized".
As a general rule, if you find yourself doing the "shuffle" you missed the point.
I hope I explained that well, if you have any questions or if I confused you, just ask, happy to clarify.