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Pianta su - The good, the bad, and the ugly - Page 2

post #31 of 51
VEEEIGHT,

Awesome format above! give us more of this in other thread topics, I think it is great to offer the visuals with your dialogue! Great point you make too.

You Canuks got it goin on!

b
post #32 of 51
Thread Starter 
BACK TO THE FUTURE (continued from post 26)


We now leave the 70's and Ingemar far behind, and quantum leap to a sunny day on the side of a race course in the mid 90's. It's the JI&II Eastern Finals, and as I stand there on my 207 GS boards watching my racers negotiate the course a buzz begins to grow on my radio. Coaches are furiously relaying messages across the mountain of how a kid named Bode Miller just blew away the entire Junior Olympic field on a pair of short, recreational K2's. Much to our unknowing, the world of skiing is about to change forever.

Over the next summer ski companies sense the coming mania and scramble to develop their own version of the new boards. Parents preparing to make their seasonal selections for junior's race equipment contact me to ask if these funny looking new skis are for real, and if they should get on board or just stick with the tried and true. I tell them they're the real deal, and to pony up or be left in the dust. I share my belief that it's going to change how people ski and how race courses are set, and I tell them that the old instructional models will be quickly going out the window.

Well, as we all now know, the prophecy proved true. Shape skis have transformed the way we ski. While the principles of carving have not changed, the parameters of the turn shapes those carves can produce have exploded, and the technicals and body positions required to support those turns have transformed.



SO WHERE HAS THIS TRANSFORMATION LEFT US? (coming next)
post #33 of 51
A few ideas here.

I don't want anybody to think I mean "up" is an unweighting move for what I'm discussing here. I consider "up" to be any move when your head gains distance from the snow at the transition from one turn to another.

I think there is a big difference in what "up" is in a long radius turn and a short radius turn. Short Radius more of a vertical move (no matter how you may weight or unweight) and Long Radius more of a lateral move. Both moves fit my (personal) feeling on what "up" is....with different movements and results.

A quick note on the "touch-up" thing. It is not natural to use a touch to BEGIN the extension. In fact only the best skiers can contrive the move enough to actually do it. The touch happens during or at the end of whatever type extension you may use and really can't be used at the begining of any extension.......don't believe me?....put yourself on video and run it frame by frame you will find yourself rising (vertically or laterally) at the point of the touch.
post #34 of 51
Hmmmm, I always thought (and taught) the pole plant/touch as the trigger.
You are finishing your last turn and nothing active happens toward the new turn until you pull the trigger. Especially in short turns on the steep where the turn is finished in a low body position with the skis almost crosswise to the fall line, the reaching poleplant down the fall line triggers, for me at least, the body crossover and edge change for the new turn...

Or mayby it's just me....

....Ott
post #35 of 51
I think the whole pole plant issue gets more and more complex (?needlessly) all the time. Here, we discuss pole plant vs up/down motion. Often we discuss poleplant vis a vis edge change (just before, concurrent or just after).

Can we put these together? Presumably, the purpose of the unweighting, wether up or down is to facilitate edge and direction change and may include varying amounts of carving and rotary motion. So let's play the kinetic chain game...What starts it all off, the plant, the weight shift, the unweighting, the edge change.

I suppose the answer could be "any of them", depending on the teniques the skier chooses. "New Style": more edging, less poleplant, start lower in the ankles, less rotary, less up/down". "Old School": definitive pole plant, more up/down, more rotary etc.

Anyone with more insight want to help tie this all together? And any comments on choice of these various techniques in terms of deveoping effective tactics (for various intents/snow conditions etc.)
post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiDeC58 View Post
I think the whole pole plant issue gets more and more complex (?needlessly) all the time. Here, we discuss pole plant vs up/down motion. Often we discuss poleplant vis a vis edge change (just before, concurrent or just after).

Can we put these together? Presumably, the purpose of the unweighting, wether up or down is to facilitate edge and direction change and may include varying amounts of carving and rotary motion. So let's play the kinetic chain game...What starts it all off, the plant, the weight shift, the unweighting, the edge change.

I suppose the answer could be "any of them", depending on the teniques the skier chooses. "New Style": more edging, less poleplant, start lower in the ankles, less rotary, less up/down". "Old School": definitive pole plant, more up/down, more rotary etc.

Anyone with more insight want to help tie this all together? And any comments on choice of these various techniques in terms of deveoping effective tactics (for various intents/snow conditions etc.)
I totally agree...this is all about making something that is simple, really complicated. Up/Down unweighting etc, has nothing to do with your legs and everythign to do with the path your COM travels...if it is higher in the transition then in the body of the turn...upunweighting.....if it is lower in the transition downunweighting.

As for the pole plant stuff...it works like this....as you leave a turn and your body begins to incline less and move over your skis, your COM is rising...in HP skiing the rise comes from the reduction in inclination...upunweighting. At the moment your COM is over your feet your edge angle is 0...your skis are flat on the snow. It is at this exact split second your pole should be planted, as it is at this exact second you also begin steering the skis below you into the next turn.

Hence it is that split second that your skis are flat, that you start to impart the steering effort on them...the ski pole acts as a "block" preventing your upper body from turning in the oppostie direction. The ski pole also acts as a stopper preventing your upper body from coming too far over top of the skis, again aiding balance. You dont want to plant after this, as then you are inclining into the new turn, and the pole plant would just get in the way.

Now with modern skis, the amount of steering that happens into the next turn, varies, but generally it is less then before, thus the pole plant is less important, especailly in longer turns, where there is very little or no pivot. However, even when there is steering, the fact we now ski 2 footed means that as we steer both legs, that in effect also acts to stablise the upper body, thus further reducing the need for the pole plant.

So having said that...longer turns, or easier terrain where moving too far over the skis, and turn have little or no pivot the pole plant is less important...ie gs turns on blue groomer. Where turns still have a good pivot and the terrain makes the possiblity of coming too far over the top of the skis a real concern, the pole plant is crucial..ie bumps, or real steep terrain....
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiDeC58 View Post
Anyone with more insight want to help tie this all together? And any comments on choice of these various techniques in terms of deveoping effective tactics (for various intents/snow conditions etc.)
Maybe a better understanding of this is the crucial missing link in my skiing? I've honestly never given my poleplant as much thought as you put into that post, and I feel a bit naughty for my oversight.

Or maybe it is all needlessly complicated, and a pole plant isn't something to be analyzed with great concern?

If Rick keeps it up with these great cliffhangers, he's going to need to start a blog...I want to see what the winter of '97 has in store for us!
post #38 of 51
Thread Starter 
SO WHERE HAS THIS TRANSFORMATION LEFT US?
(continued from post 32)

So here we are, a decade has passed since that brash kid from New Hampshire shocked the skiing world, and the slopes have acquired a very foreign look. Most of us now ride on skis whose length would have years ago cast serious question on the state of our manhood, and of a shape that upon their introduction immediately drew the respectable label of "clown feet".

Well, teasing be damned, these new skis are great. By merely tipping them on edge we can produce a myriad of turn shapes that has made arc to arc carving an everyday technique available to the masses. Now the average Joe and Jill have within their grasp the capacity to ski blue groomers with the grace and efficiency arc to arc skiing provides, while keeping their speed at very tolerable levels. For those proficient at this new form of skiing, top of the turn pivoting and steering has been reduced to tactics only needed on limited occasion and in special situations, and the end of the turn diverging step has become an endangered species skill.

In addition,,, while executing those carved turns we can now, to a large degree, discard the old knee angulation stuff and enjoy the luxury of skiing with a very laterally aligned and strong outside leg. Our old straight skis didn't allow for this because the centrifugal forces they produced were sufficient to sustain balance with the CM perpendicular to the tip angle of the ski only when the skier was traveling at extreme speeds. Now the reduction in injury risk a structurally aligned outside leg provides is an available option at all speeds. Thank you Mr. shape ski!

And what impact did all of this have on the up move, you ask? It had a huge impact. With the need to pivot the top of a carved turn greatly reduced, the up unweighting used in days of old to facilitate those rotary turn entries has likewise become a lesser needed tool. Similarly, with low edge angle steerers steadily converting to the church of carve, the old technique of flexing through the body of the turn, then extending at the end so as to lighten the skis and pivot them into a feathered direction changing steer is becoming a rare commodity.

Finally, with balance requirements no longer dictating that the Center of Mass be kept so vertically over the top of the skis through the heart of the turn, a recovery up move to re-center the CM over the feet for the start of a new turn is going the way of the dinosaur. Even when pivot entries are used, the CM can now be projected across the feet and well inside the skis for the start of the coming turn with confidence that as soon as they're engaged the skis will provide the counter force needed to establish balance. This is something our old straight skis simply did not possess the same capability to do.

So we can clearly see that the new boards have redefined the art of skiing. That they've very much reduced the need for the up move. This is not a ground breaking revelation. The world of profession instruction is well aware of this technical evolutionary fact, and they've been spreading the word for some time now. But as it is with many newfound pieces of knowledge, the sharing of the message and concepts can become over zealous and exaggerated. Realistic recognition of the new can lead to sweeping condemnation of the old, and still valuable movement patterns can end up painted ugly by the same broad brush as those of the same family that are no longer as appropriate. The next part of this little story will deal with that subject.


UP,,,, THE G, B, AND U (coming soon)
post #39 of 51
>>>.if it is higher in the transition then in the body of the turn...upunweighting.....if it is lower in the transition downunweighting.<<<

Being higher or lower in the transition has nothing to do with unweighting.

....Ott
post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ott Gangl View Post
>>>.if it is higher in the transition then in the body of the turn...upunweighting.....if it is lower in the transition downunweighting.<<<

Being higher or lower in the transition has nothing to do with unweighting.

....Ott
Try again.

Unweighting has nothing to do with making the skis "light"....it is about releasing the pressure generated from the turning forces..when the edge angle is 0..ie skis flat on the snow...the skis are "unweighted".

Now if you your COM goes "up" RELATIVE to where it was in the turn...that is "up" unweighting....if it goes down "RELATIVE" to where it was in the body of the turn...that is "down" unweighting.

Now...what it has NOTHING to do with...and this is what confuses people...is the length of your legs...for example in a high speed GS turn, you may be fully extended when you skis are in the fall-line, and legs flexed in the transition, but still "up" unweighting due to the reduction of inclination from turn body to the full release of the skis or put another way the skis "unweighting".
post #41 of 51
Thread Starter 
Dude, you're right in what you're saying about turn force diminishing in association with edge angle. From that perspective, neutral is always characterized by turn forces lower than those present at the apex, regardless of the vertical direction the CM moves on it's way to neutral. No arguments.

Ott is simply using the terms (up and down unweighting) by their tradition ski lingo definition, which does in fact refer to an active and intentional lightening of the skis, removing both the gravity weight and turn momentum (centrifugal force) weight impacting the snow. You're both right.

More on this in my coming post.
post #42 of 51
Thread Starter 
UP,,,, THE G, B, AND U (continued from post #38)

So just what's the deal with this UP thing? It's gotten a pretty bad wrap lately. Is an up motion at the end of the turn really such a bad thing?

Well, the answer has to do with the nature of the up move taking place, and the situation in which it's used. Lets kick the topic off by first discussing what an up move is, and the different categories of up move we may see out on the slopes.

In the broadest definition, an up move is any rise of the Center of Mass (CM) in relation to the snow during the process of transitioning from one turn into the next. In simple terms, your belly button gets higher off the ground. Typically, that CM rise reaches a peak midway through the transition, midway being the point at which the bases of the skis are flat on the snow. We also call this point NEUTRAL.

There are a few categories of methods for producing such a CM rise. 1) Skiers can execute an extension of the legs. 2) Skiers can harness the forces of the prior turn to facilitate a pendulum shaped CM cross-over. 3) Skiers can harness the rebound power of the skis, Within each of these categories lie a number of distinct variations. So let's talk about each.

I'll start with the extension category. Within this category dwells the critter most deserving of the pervasive bad press directed at transitional up moves; the aggressive outside leg extension. This movement pattern was used pervasively in straight ski days to unweight the skis, thus allowing them to be easily pivoted into the new turn. At times, when weight was not solidly centered on the outside ski going in to the transition, the skier would also solicit the inside leg to assist in the unweighting process.

It worked quite well back then, and there are situations even today when it represents a best choice option. However, carving arc to arc turns is not that situation. Arc to arc skiing is not a favorable environment for this movement pattern. The reasons? Unweighting is unneeded in arc to arc skiing,,, the muscular recruitment needed to produce this type of unweighting represents wasted energy,,, the extra movement resulting from this move is wasted movement,,, the unweighting delays the engagement of the new turn,,, the extension causes an uphill relocation of the CM,,, and the uphill travel of the CM interrupts the smooth downhill flow of the CM. During arc to arc skiing the use of this form of extension is a clear indication of a low level skier; a neophyte carver. It's very deserving of the BAD and UGLY labels.

Also with in the extension category of up-moves are more subtle forms of extension. They do not create significant unweighting, they create very little uphill movement of the CM, and they don't delay the initiation of the new turn. In these the extension occurs at a much slower rate. They work very well for transitions that link into a new turn that will employ a low edge angle, and therefor need a tall body position at turn initiation. They're also useful when transitioning out of very high edge angle turns. Here, some extension rise is needed to provide a comfortable and functional transition. In essence, subtle extensions provide extension rise when it's needed, but avoids the negative aspects of aggressive unweighting extensions.

(coming next: the force driven CM rise)
post #43 of 51
Thread Starter 
THE FORCE DRIVEN CM RISE (CONTINUED FROM POST #42 )

Next we'll explore the force driven CM rise. Pay attention now, because this is the meat and potatoes transition for arc to arc skiing. In this transition the centrifugal forces of the prior turn are used to drive the CM over the skis and into the new turn.

How it's done is really a simple concept. By relaxing the old outside foot and pressing down on the old inside foot, the balance equation is disrupted, resistance to the turn forces is compromised, and the CM is pushed down the hill.

But hold on, there's more. Because the old inside leg is kept contacted the forces can't push the CM straight down into the snow as they would like to. Instead the CM travels a pendulum path over the inside foot. This pendulum path causes the CM to rise on its way to neutral as the old inside leg goes from tipped to upright. The rise is not caused by leg extension,,, it's a result of the pendulum nature of the CM cross over. See link below.

http://ronlemaster.com/images/2004-2005/slides/kildow-natls-2005-gs-2-c.html (credit: Ron LeMaster)

The pendulum transition described above can be seen clearly in this montage of Kildow. As she goes from turn apex to transition the she relaxes and flexes her old outside leg while she pushes down on her old inside (uphill) leg. The old outside leg gets noticeably shorter, the old inside leg maintains its state of flexion, and the CM rises as it pendulums up over the old inside foot on its way to neutral.

As she approaches neutral she begins extending the old inside leg so she can maintain pressure on what will then be her new outside ski as she tips into the new turn. As this happens her CM begins to fall again, completing the opposite side of the pendulum swing.

Clearly, this is an up move because the CM does rise on its journey to neutral. But just as clearly, this up move is not to be painted with the same BAD/UGLY brush as extension. This is a GOOD up move. There is no uphill movement of the CM,,, there is no disruption to the downhill flow of the CM,,, there is no wasted movement,,, there is no wasted energy,,, there is no delay in new turn initiation. This is truly an efficient transition for arc to arc skiing, the one you will see used by World Cup racers when they are making arc to arc turns.

As far as variations. Some people, rather than relaxing their old outside leg to set the CM in motion (called Outside Leg Relaxation, or OLR), like to make their initiation move a downward push on the old inside foot. This is called Inside Leg Extension, or ILE. The term is rather misleading because the leg does not have to extend to set the CM into downhill (pendulum) motion. The push need only be hard enough to transfer pressure to the old inside foot. Extension is nill. There is a definite sensation contrast between OLR and ILE. Try it for yourself and pick your pleasure.

And in regard to ILE, some people like to extend their old inside leg a little more than Kildow does in her montage so they have a more erect stance as they approach neutral . That can work too. It's comfortable, but it can present issues. One is it introduces a little more energy usage and movement into the transition. A tad less efficient. The other is that it uses up some of the extension that can be employed on the opposite side of neutral to pressure the new outside ski into a carve and establish balance. Usually not a problem on moderate pitched slopes, but when pitch steepens, and turns are across the falline, initiation and balance become issues.

Now, before we leave this CM rise category lets compare this pendulum transition with one that reduces or even eliminates the pendulum, and therefor the CM rise. This is called a retraction transition, or simply retraction. In a retraction transition both legs are relaxed and flexed to initiate the downhill CM movement. The CM, rather than pendulum over a supportive old inside leg, takes a more direct lateral path over the skis via a flexing old inside leg. This can be a very useful transition for quickening a transition, or executing a cross under of the skis commonly seen in pivoted slalom turns, but for arc to arc skiing it too has some issues. First, the retraction (flexion) of both legs tends to lighten the skis and make the foot to snow sensations during new turn initiation a little vague. Second, it adds extra motion to the transition, both on the trip to neutral, where extra inside leg flexion is employed, and on the journey away from neutral where that extra flexion must be negated by means of extra extension.

Some say retraction reduces energy use because it doesn't require the old inside leg load bearing duties on the way to neutral that the pendulum transition does. But the way I see it is when you factor in the extra flexion and extension requirements of retraction the energy usage scale probably comes pretty close to balancing out.



Coming next (rebound)
post #44 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman View Post
If Rick keeps it up with these great cliffhangers, he's going to need to start a blog...I want to see what the winter of '97 has in store for us!
No not a blog....a BOOK...
post #45 of 51
Funny this came up. I just ran across my copy the other day on my bookshelf.
As I recall, the best part of that book was the physical training program that it had. Joubert and How the Racers Ski were more the "tech" manuals of that time.
Back in 84 I was introduced to the idea of lateral moves across the skis. I wrote a small coaches paper based on the idea that the shortest (fastest) way from start to finish was a straight line in both the vertical and horizontal planes. When I took these ideas (and demos) to a PSIA exam the next spring I caught a lot of criticism for "no up". A few years later Arcmeister tipped me to early engagement of the outside edge of the uphill ski that allowed a "cross under" move that didn't require much up movement of the CM. An article in The Professional Skier called "the automatic turn" sort of described it but, as I understand, caused quite a furor.
Recently I have been working on these lateral moves again. I went to an "ed credit" workshop at Marquette and it really jumped out at me that the PSIA guys were all going up, to some degree, in their transitions. Today I was looking at some V-1 videos on the PSIA-C website and pretty much noticed all of them (even the D Teamers) did the same thing. I watched Bode on the Canadian Coaches site and the difference was pretty obvious.
It certainly makes sense to me that it's efficient. Of course there are a lot of variables in every turn. I'm sure you could find tons of examples to prove either side. I'm one of those "mature skiers", though not nearly as experienced as Ott. We've had to learn many different techniques over the years. Most of them, as Ott says, have been equipment driven. There are lots of ways to "skin a cat" (all of them pretty good).
post #46 of 51
V8, would I be correct in presuming the unweighting you are eluding to above is either a passive terrain unweighting or a passive rebound from flexed skis unweighting vs. a more deliberate up or down unweighting.

"controlling" suggests a passive unweighting is occuring.
"create" suggests an active unweighting is occuring.

Your article title "up unweighting" is a little misleading. Perhaps "Passive unweighting" would be a better title for the concept that followed?

Love your presentation! Please posts more!

b
post #47 of 51
"unweighting=removing weight=no, or little weight on the skis'

If done vigerously the skis will leave the snow and edges will be changed in the air (no skis flat on the snow at neutral) resulting in a hop turn. As Bud said, this is 'creating' (up)unweighting. Downhill racers in a pre-jump create down unweighting. I still say, simply standing tall or low during a crossover transition does not unweight the skis.

Rick hinted there is a new way to actively take the weight off the skis, I'm looking forward to that. In modern everyday skiing this may be moot anyway since the rolling/tipping move has replaced unweighting, (except when needed).

.....Ott
post #48 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
V8, would I be correct in presuming the unweighting you are eluding to above is either a passive terrain unweighting or a passive rebound from flexed skis unweighting vs. a more deliberate up or down unweighting.

Your article title "up unweighting" is a little misleading. Perhaps "Passive unweighting" would be a better title for the concept that followed?
Hey B,

Good observation. Perhaps a better title would be "unweighting" The article isn't mine, I can't claim credit for it, but it is to be found on the Whistler Ski School Training site.

I guess the author of the article included the word "up" in the title as all ski teaching systems that I know of in the world have as their primary method of "returning to neutral" an "up-unweighting" manouevre, to "re-center" or re-stack all the joints. This is probably because it's by far the easiest concept to teach to an early intermediate, as opposed to a down-unweighting or terrain-unweighting concept. Later as the student progresses, this can be modified in terms of timing so that the flex/entend phase is shifted, and a more lateral flex/extend method brought into practise.

For me personally, I dislike using the word "weight" or even "unweight". I tend to teach people to "move to flatten the skis", and relieve tension in the body.

My belief is that we need all various flavours of "unweighting" in good skiing, to manage the pressure of the ski/snow interaction, and to position our joints in anticipation of the next move. And it's one of the biggest myths around today that in modern skiing we no longer need to consider return to neutral by extending our joints.
post #49 of 51
I like that "move to flatten the skis" -- outcome based allows the person to move naturally rather than interpreting directions on how to move what.
post #50 of 51
Here's Bode talking about an up-unweighting type move in the crud.

http://media.sportskool.com/media/sk...ns_400x300.wmv
post #51 of 51

I think the title of this book is un fortunate -- there is so much more to it than "Pianta Su".  The book really teaches how to use the whole ski and body, but as with most ski techniques, execution is everything. An unsophisticated reading might lead one to having "noisy" body movements, etc., but really, I thought the book did well in explaining how to use weight, angles and pitch to get the most out of the ski and skiier. It was meant for an era when skis were longer, narrower, were torsionally quite stiff and there was less ski geometry to cheat for the athlete. I like the older equipment for on piste skiing, because, at speed, there is less drag on straight runs and less overturning. Obviously, for Big Mountain skiing, on steeper inclines with more snow, different equipment and technique is called for.

For the equipment of the time (I had Rossignal STS (slalom) skis (195 CM), Nordica Grand Prix boots ,  Tyrolia diagonal bindings (just out!) and Kerma Equipe poles), "Pianta Su" was the bomb! French and Italian racers won with it in the late 70'sand early '80s.

 

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