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Timing Of Foot To Foot Weight Distribution

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I posted this in another thread but got no response so I wanted to see if I can get anyone else thinking about this.

I was playing around with White Pass turns last season and started thinking... (always a dangerous thing)



What about initiating the new turn with a dominant amount of weight on the inside leg (much like White Pass turns), the outside ski is weighted but is not the dominant force in shaping the new turn at this time.

Then, from initiation to apex of the turn, more weight is shifted from inside to outside resulting in 50/50 distribution while crossing through the apex.

Then, from apex to finish, weight is continuing to shift to the outside ski and it is now the dominantly weighted ski, which finishes the shape of the turn as the skier then initiates the new turn on that leg (new inside). And so on...

It's different but is it any more effective?

I ask, because of gravity.

Gravity is always pulling us downhill, so it seems that the only time when gravity does not have more influence from one foot to the other is when pointing straight down (apex).

Traditionally, we shift weight to the new outside ski before the apex which is essential to engaging the outside ski for the turn, but seems contrary to the direction that gravity is pulling us.


I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel here, but just wanted to see what you all thought about it, or :.

Thanks.


-nerd
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_nerd13 View Post
Traditionally, we shift weight to the new outside ski before the apex which is essential to engaging the outside ski for the turn, but seems contrary to the direction that gravity is pulling us.
-nerd
Nerd - Way to resist the tyranny of tradition!

I see weight shift as simply a function of which foot you choose to predominantly stand on. I'd suggest thinking in terms of managing the pressure the skis produce rather that shifting weight to them.

If I progressively roll modern skis cleanly onto it's edge, they are going to progressively bend (reverse camber), and by doing so create a progressively decreasing radius, and by doing so create, and direct back to me, all the pressure needed (sometimes more) to produce any desired turn shape. Based on how much I stiffen or soften each of my leg(s) I will create (and feel) more or less pressure (interpreted as weight) on one ski or the other so I can manage their respective arcs.

I seldom if ever think of deliberately 'weighting' one ski by shifting weight toward it. This perspective tends to invoke a pushing foot to foot movement to move the CM laterally toward the ski to become 'weighted' and ends up creating an 'against or across the skis' relationship. And is usually a movement in the opposite direction of where I intend to go and not what I usually want to do. :

I will however often choose to make one leg 'softer' (usually inside). While intuitively this orients my primary balancing and stance to the stronger leg it also enables my CM to move toward the softened leg, where I am going, in a 'with the skis' movements flow.

Playing with the timing of how much, how soon, and how quick, you soften your new inside leg from transition thru apex can lead to producing really smooth and flowing turn entries from transition to apex.

Playing with the timing of how much, how soon, and how quick, you soften your outside leg from apex thru transition can lead to producing really smooth and seamless turn connections as that old outside leg becomes the new inside leg of the next turn. This is the 'key' to the timing of releasing the CM to flow seamlessly into the next turn (instead if too late because you are stuck 'weighted against' the old outside ski ).
post #3 of 10
I had to look at your location there on your profile, because this is exactly the stuff a colleague of mine last season was playing with. 50/50, different weightings through the turn and what effects these had. He knew all the good routes through the trees but before you could get to the good stuff, you had to do these bloody weighting experiments.
post #4 of 10
What you described is a drill from a USSA coach a few years back. A weighted release, followed by progressively taking pressure off the inside ski. Although putting 100% weight on one ski is only part of the drill. It usually ends with two footed turns.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcmeister View Post
Nerd - Way to resist the tyranny of tradition!

I see weight shift as simply a function of which foot you choose to predominantly stand on. I'd suggest thinking in terms of managing the pressure the skis produce rather that shifting weight to them.

I really dig that way of describing it. Like you I hate using "shift weight" for the same reasons you said, same negative connotation as "push".

But more specifically what do you think about the rammifications of gravity and/or centrifugal force upon managing pressure the way I described versus what we teach normally?

The intended audience of this idea is experts only, not for beginner consumption I don't think. Imagine that one, white pass turns on the magic carpet. :

**DISCLAIMER - I KNOW NOTHING OF PHYSICS, BUT AM OPEN TO IDEAS**



-nerd
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant View Post
I had to look at your location there on your profile, because this is exactly the stuff a colleague of mine last season was playing with. 50/50, different weightings through the turn and what effects these had. He knew all the good routes through the trees but before you could get to the good stuff, you had to do these bloody weighting experiments.
I just dig asking the question and playing through hypothetical scenarios to see how far my mind's eye will go. Not trying to revolutionize anything, but just challenging what we think.

I think the other thing that spurred me thinking about 50/50 is a short article in TPS a while back with Nick Herrin (i think?). The title used the term apex, of that I'm sure. Then while doing white pass turns my curiosity got going.

Interesting that a few of you have done similar drills, again no matter how weird, someone else has already been there and gotten the t-shirt.



-nerd
post #7 of 10
Good discussion, I would just point out an observation that my skis will tend to diverge if the new outside ski is not sufficiently weighted at the start of the turn.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiDeC58 View Post
Good discussion, I would just point out an observation that my skis will tend to diverge if the new outside ski is not sufficiently weighted at the start of the turn.

Interesting, but you might consider that issue as being a problem of over-steering the inside leg or under-steering the outside leg. I think that this has more of an effect on divergence than weight distribution.



-nerd
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_nerd13 View Post
What about initiating the new turn with a dominant amount of weight on the inside leg (much like White Pass turns), the outside ski is weighted but is not the dominant force in shaping the new turn at this time.

Then, from initiation to apex of the turn, more weight is shifted from inside to outside resulting in 50/50 distribution while crossing through the apex.

Then, from apex to finish, weight is continuing to shift to the outside ski and it is now the dominantly weighted ski, which finishes the shape of the turn as the skier then initiates the new turn on that leg (new inside). And so on...
It sounds to me like you are describing a weighted release, which is used by both PSIA and HH, so we shouldn't have any ideological battles. Like the White Pass turn, it's been around for a while.

It can be extremely useful. It's an excellent way to eliminate any tendency to stem or step, it tends to reduce abrupt movements, it makes your pressure change from one foot to the other more progressive, it helps make your skiing more two-footed, it smooths transition/edge change, it helps reduce excessive rotary before the new edges are engaged, etc. As you tip the old outside ski toward its downhill (little toe) edge, it will release, even if you still have most or all of your weight on it.

It requires positive downhill movement of the CM in order to work. This is a Good Thing, but it will feel risky to many skiers. It works best if the CM is allowed to move smoothly and continuously down the hill. The skier rolls the weighted (old outside) ski to its little toe edge quite naturally as the CM crosses over the ski (or the ski crosses under the CM). If the skier has executed a negative move to put on the brakes and keep the CM uphill of the skis, it's much more difficult to initiate with a weighted release, although it can still be done.

The timing at which the pressure is allowed to move to the new outside ski depends entirely on the goals for the turn. Smooth terrain and longer turns may allow the skier to delay pressure transfer arbitrarily, to the point of completing the entire turn on one ski. During much easy, relaxed skiing, centrifugal force will cause a natural pressure transfer to the new outside foot as the force builds through the turn. Other kinds of skiing (e.g. bumps) will call for an earlier, active, but still progressive, pressure transfer. Even in bumps and powder, weighted release is highly effective.

The weighted release makes it clear that turns are not started by stepping on the new outside ski and pushing yourself to the inside of the next turn. Turns are started, as many others have said in other threads, by progressively tipping the skis to their new edges. If the skier is balanced with the CM moving in the right direction and all that good stuff, the new turn will start nicely, even with all the weight on the new inside ski.
post #10 of 10
Perception is a funny thing. The whole maneuver is from one of the most traditional sources, racing. I think it was Phil Mc Nichols who did an article in ski racing five years ago about this maneuver/progression. It is still in their archives if you want to read how he puts together all the pieces.

The diverging inside ski can certainly happen from active steering but a weighted ski will also scribe a tighter arc. Somewhere in the performance you need to either leave more weight on the outside ski, or guide the outside ski into an alway parallel relationship. Ironically, racers worry less about parallel skis than instructors. If the diverging skis create enough drag it will slow them down but if you have been watching the WC you would notice parallel skis are not a big focus. Whatever gets them down the hill the fastest is their main focus.
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