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# Ski Nov Instruction article - Page 2

Quote:
 Originally Posted by trekchick In my 'uneducated' view, I see stance as total body alignment, and foot separation as just that(how far apart your feet are, or should be during a given moment)
You have it right. Foot separation is just how far apart the feet are. How open one's stance is refers to how laterally far apart their legs are. The same amount of foot separation can result in different degrees of stance openness, depending on how tipped into the turn the skier is. With a constant amount of foot separation, as the legs tip the stance will close.
Thanks.
OK,,, here's something for you guys (and gals) to chew on.

It may sound contradictory to what you've heard from some, but an open/wide stance will actually necessitate less lateral CM movement during the transition to engage the new outside ski than a narrow stance. It will also produce a faster edge change.

Can anyone explain why?
I'm listening
Could that be because if you move the top of a pendulum your movement must move more than moving the point of a triangle that still has it's base
BornToSki, I'll explain if I have to, but I'm hoping someone will get this.

Garry, I think you're on to it (in regard to the amount of lateral CM movement aspect of my statement), but I'm not sure if how you've explained it will make the reason clear to everyone reading. Try a second draft.

Anyone else?
From a slightly different viewpoint, if I'm skiing straight down the fall line and have to turn NOW, I have to exert considerable sideways force. If my outside edge is already to the side of my cm, I can already exert some force. If my cm is directly over my edge I have to first get my cm into postion before I can exert any force. That initial force helps get my cm into a position where I can exert more force.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Rick OK,,, here's something for you guys (and gals) to chew on. It may sound contradictory to what you've heard from some, but an open/wide stance will actually necessitate less lateral CM movement during the transition to engage the new outside ski than a narrow stance. It will also produce a faster edge change. Can anyone explain why?
Would it be cheating if I answered?
Your cm only has to pass over the new outside ski, which is a shorter distance if you have a wider stance.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ghost Your cm only has to pass over the new outside ski, which is a shorter distance if you have a wider stance.
The discussion is interesting. The only question I have is if the wide stance Rogan is exhibiting on the groomed is so much easier adn quicker how come he can't get both skis on edge at the same time?
A few things happen with a wide stance (wide meaning wider than hip width). One is that the CM falls between the legs, versus to one side or the other - putting you in a very strong - but static position. The other key element to this is that you are standing on the inside edges of both skis - meaning the new outside ski is already on edge. In a traditional cross-under you actually use this scenario to snap/force the skis onto their new edge. For a fast transition this is great and allows you to stay in balance without moving your CM too far into the turn. The reason that this method often falls short in slalom has to do with the significantly wider line that the outside ski ends up traveling. It also poses balance issues at very high edge anlges if you do not close your stance as your vertical separation increases (which for the racers out there means that you slide down a head wall on your hip ). Basically it is faster because the CM does not have to move inside of the turn (or really does not have to move at all) in order for the new outside ski to begin turning. A skier with any remote amount of skill can usually make these kinds of turns almost from a stand still - much like one would do on inline skates or ice skates.

Later

GREG
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Sidecut The discussion is interesting. The only question I have is if the wide stance Rogan is exhibiting on the groomed is so much easier adn quicker how come he can't get both skis on edge at the same time?
Thats just a personal problem.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by GarryZ Could that be because if you move the top of a pendulum your movement must move more than moving the point of a triangle that still has it's base
In any stance your cm ,your stance and the third part of the equation is gravity. If your stance is close you need to swing (move)your mass more to balance the forces of gravity than if in a wider stance.
In a wider stance your outside leg provides better support and therefore less movement is needed to fine tune your balance
I said pendulum because that is what a close stance is. You need to rock back and forth to counteract gravity. In a widerstance you use a triangulation of the support of your cm and the stability it offers makes using the forces of gravity easier by keeping your upper body quieter.
We use both but the question was about movement.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier Thats just a personal problem.
I will elaborate on that a little more. In a wide-stance transition - just like any other transition - if you are not actively tipping the inside leg your skis are going to end up at different edge angles. I would even argue that this happens MORE with a wide stance as a result of skiers on being 'two footed' - having both legs working together. If you think about it, if you start the new turn with the outside leg, you are first moving your CM over the inside ski. The inside ski is then flat, but the outside ski (because of the wide stance) has been on edge for quite a while. If you do not actively tip the inside leg you end up a-framed and - you guessed it - out of balance... And of course that is putting aside any further outside ski balance issues that are brought into the equation by using an overly wide stance. [More on that later]
Later
GREG

### Wide Stance vs Angulation

Wide stance â‰  high edge angles. This keeps getting tossed around this thread and it is one of the biggest misconceptions (IMO) in modern skiing. In fact - because of the balance consequences that a wide stance has I would go so far as to say that a wide stance HINDERS edge angles. Why? Someone else (possibly Borntoski and Rick?) mentioned this above. When skiing with a wide stance in transition - that stance actually narrows as the turn develops and your vertical separation increases. If you were to keep it constant you would end up having your inside leg be "in the way" of the turn - ending in too much of your weight being put on the inside ski toward the apex of the turn - leaving the outside ski with no other option than to break loose... I don't think that anyone here is advocating skiing with your feet locked together - but the differences perhaps should be discussed else where.

FWIW, there may be an article coming in the permuium articles section dealing with this topic within a week or so.

Later

GREG
You guys are doing well.

Greg, Ghost and Garry,,, you got the idea. The further apart the feet are, the less the CM needs to move to get inside the old inside foot. And as Greg pointed out, in some instances it will be inside the old inside ski to begin with, and all that is necessary start the new turn is a pressure transfer and slight knee articulation. Once the CM is inside the old inside foot the old inside ski can be engaged and become the new outside ski.

To illustrate, lets look at an extreme example;

Imagine a low edge angle (say 30 degree) turn with the feet locked together. The CM in this instance is inclinated to both the inside and outside feet at close to 30 degrees. To engage the inside ski and begin a new turn the CM will first have to move laterally until the 30 degrees of inclination to the inside foot is eliminated.

Now imagine the same turn, but this time move the inside foot over 2 feet. The CM is still inclinated 30 degrees to the outside foot (the balance point), but the CM is not inclinated at all to the inside foot. Rather, it's directly over the inside foot. The CM will not need to move laterally at all to engage the old inside ski and begin a new turn. All that needs to be done is to transfer pressure from the outside foot to the inside foot.

Absorb that while I work on part 2,,,, speed of engagement.

### An aside from the main thread

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ghost ... as alleged below: 1827 11/02/2006 3:30:28 PM 1383 ft 65 ft 0:00:01 44 mph 76ÌŠ mag 17 T 535297 4915105 1828 11/02/2006 3:30:29 PM 1376 ft 77 ft 0:00:01 52 mph 77ÌŠ mag 17 T 535315 4915113 1829 11/02/2006 3:30:30 PM 1363 ft 79 ft 0:00:01 54 mph 75ÌŠ mag 17 T 535337 4915123 1830 11/02/2006 3:30:31 PM 1344 ft 247 ft 0:00:03 56 mph 77ÌŠ mag 17 T 535359 4915133 1831 11/02/2006 3:30:34 PM 1275 ft 89 ft 0:00:01 61 mph 80ÌŠ mag 17 T 535428 4915163 1832 11/02/2006 3:30:35 PM 1253 ft 173 ft 0:00:02 59 mph 82ÌŠ mag 17 T 535453 4915172 1833 11/02/2006 3:30:37 PM 1216 ft 88 ft 0:00:01 60 mph 84ÌŠ mag 17 T 535503 4915189 1834 11/02/2006 3:30:38 PM 1204 ft 77 ft 0:00:01 53 mph 85ÌŠ mag 17 T 535529 4915196
If you are skiing with a recording GPS, here's a tip (in case you haven't discovered it already for yourself): www.gpsvisualizer.com -- it makes great maps from your gps records. (Here's a thumbnail example

(I added the labels afterward) -- see http://home.comcast.net/~mdf_ski_web.../speed_map.jpg
for the full size image). I've had good results from "gps trackmaker" and "g7towin" for reading out my garmin gecko.

As you can see, I don't ski as fast as you do.
Very interesting and explains a lot of WC photos I've seen and wondered about. Can you elaborate at some point on tactics? When is this an appropriate move to use as opposed to a narrow stance cross over? What I gather thus far from Helluva is that if I think I'm going to need to generate big edge angles then I need to prepare for it ahead of time by doing what it takes to get my CM way inside of the new turn. A narrower stance will allow me to let it topple into there and hit the big edge angles.

I guess I could see this wide stance thing being effective if I need to make a quick turn that won't require the big edge angles. I'm going to play with this for sure when the snow flies, but I would be very interested in related tactics.

I have sooo much to learn about racing.
Now,,, speed of edge change.

Obviously, because the CM does not need to move as far laterally in a wide stance to begin old inside ski engagement, the edge change will be faster. But there's more to it than that.

How fast the CM moves over the feet and into a new turn during the transition is dependant on how far out of balance we cause the CM to become during the transition. We create that state of imbalance on purpose so that the forces of the old turn will tip our CM over our ski and into the new turn. In essence we recruit the forces of the old turn to do the work of cross-over for us.

We create that state of imbalance by separating the point of balance and the point of pressure. When we are balanced the point of balance and the point of pressure are located at the same place. Lets say for the sake of discussion, that point is the outside ski.

The further apart you separate the point of pressure from the point of balance, the more out of balance the CM will become, and the faster it will tip across the skis. You separate them by transferring pressure from the old outside foot to the old inside foot,,, either by relaxing the old outside leg, or by pressing down on the old inside leg.

Here's a quick little exercise you can do right now to understand this. Stand with your feet close together (touching) and equal weight on each foot. Now pick up one foot, and notice how slowly you begin to tip over. Notice how long you can hold the lifted foot up before having to put it back down to save yourself from a fall.

Next, stand with you feet about 3 ft. apart. Again, equal weight on each foot, lift one foot up and notice how aggressively your body is getting slammed toward the ground. Notice how quickly you need to put your foot back down to save yourself from a hard fall.

That is the influence of stance width on the speed of CM cross-over and edge change. Do understand,,, a overly wide stance does have specific drawbacks. It's just that excessive lateral CM movement and slowness of edge change are not on the list.
Quote:
I associate it with a cross-under because of the nature of a cross under. You would use this when you need a fast edge change. Essentially that is what a cross under is. It is a transition where you force the edge change to happen faster than it might on its own via a cross through or similar transition. It happens faster than a normal transition because of where your CM is in relation to the outside ski when you begin to tip toward the inside. This will happen with any 'wide stance' transition, but I associate it with a cross-under because the other transitions are not always best performed with a wide stance (although some arguement can be made for a cross through with arc-to-arc skiing). Although, using a wide stance in a cross under is not a cookie cutter transition either - it is just a tool to use if you need a very fast edge change (watch for it when GS gates start coming fast).
Later
GREG
Wow. Great stuff. Makes total and complete sense. Seems to me that in essence what you're doing is as you finish the last turn, you come out of the fall line with a wide track and you just maintain the wider width as the skiis begin to reduce edge angle which will widen the stance. So in effect the cross over/under is beginning earlier and at the transition point its already halfway crossed. I will definitely be working on this when the snow comes. I don't race(yet), but I wanna be able to do this move. I could definitely see it coming in handy.

To me it seems, as I visualize this in my head, that the most difficult or athletic part of this is the finish of the previous turn...remaining balanced on that outside ski...keeping the pressure there, while allowing the skiis to track wider and keeping that inside foot under the CM and also beginning to reduce the edge angles. If you're coming out of a big edge angle turn, the skis are already wide so its a matter of holding them wide, but making sure to stand on the outside ski the whole time and not let the inside foot get ahead of you.

Helluva I always thought cross-under was when I had more sideways zip in my skis from finishing the last turn where I do a release and active retraction of the legs so that the skiis zip across to the other side faster than my CM is moving down the hill. Are we saying the same thing?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by borntoski683 Very interesting and explains a lot of WC photos I've seen and wondered about. Can you elaborate at some point on tactics? When is this an appropriate move to use as opposed to a narrow stance cross over? I guess I could see this wide stance thing being effective if I need to make a quick turn that won't require the big edge angles. I'm going to play with this for sure when the snow flies, but I would be very interested in related tactics.
The thing to remember is that the wider the stance the shorter your inside leg will have to get as you tip. But that is true only to a point. Eventually (if you keep your stance width constant) as you continue to tip, your stance closes and whatever shorting of the inside leg is present is what's needed. If you continue to widen the stance as you tip, it will not close and will eventually hit the inside leg flexion capacity threshold and block you from further edge angle creation.

It's OK to hold the foot separation through the transition, and capture the benefits we discussed above, but you don't want to get blocked as you tip by opening the stance even further as you tip into the new turn.

Check out this RonLemaster montage of Schlopy. One of the premier technicians on the WC, if I do say so myself.

http://ronlemaster.com/images/2004-2005/slides/schlopy-natls-2005-gs-1.html

Notice in image 7 he has maintained much of his foot separation that he had at the apex of the turn, and is beginning to transfer pressure to his old inside (uphill) ski. By maintaining his foot separation the pressure transfer will allow him to engage his new outside (uphill) ski very early.

Notice by the next frame (8) his uphill ski is already engaged and arcing, yet his CM has not even crossed over his downhill ski. If he had allowed his old inside ski to close in on his old outside ski at the bottom of the turn, he would have lost the ability to execute this early and quick edge change.

Also notice his A-frame in images 7-9. This is a result of the wide stance transition. Because of the wide stance he would need to make some difficult contortions of the old outside leg to eliminate it and it's just not necessary. The new outside (uphill) ski is the focus here. He needs to get it engaged, arcing and building edge angle. As long as the new inside leg does not block that new outside ski and leg activity, all is fine. The edges do not need to change in absolute unison. As he continues to tip he continues to let his new inside leg passively tip too, and it never creates a block, even though it is not at an equal tip angle to the new outside leg.

Also,,, notice in image 8 how much flexion (shortening) is already occurring in his new inside (downhill) leg. This is the excessive shortening that's required in a wide stance that I discussed above. But then continue to watch. He keeps his foot separation relatively consistent and by the time he gets to the apex of the turn, his continued tipping has closed his stance and excessive inside leg flexion no longer exists.

So there you go,,, a montage explanation of the execution and benefits of a wide stance transition, mixed with some of the compromises.

And lastly, I will confirm what Greg was saying about Slalom racing. In this venue the narrower a stance you can create the better, because the closer the feet are together, the closer you can get your outside foot to the gate. The closer you can get your outside foot to the gate the further you can get your CM inside the gate, thus the shorter journey the CM will make through the course. And much of the benefits of the wide stance transition is lost in Slalom anyway because of the cross-under pivot transition that is so commonly used in that event. The edge engagement happens post pivot.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by borntoski683 Wow. Great stuff. Makes total and complete sense. Seems to me that in essence what you're doing is as you finish the last turn, you come out of the fall line with a wide track and you just maintain the wider width as the skiis begin to reduce edge angle which will widen the stance. So in effect the cross over/under is beginning earlier and at the transition point its already halfway crossed. I will definitely be working on this when the snow comes. I don't race(yet), but I wanna be able to do this move. I could definitely see it coming in handy.
Exactly,,, you've got it.
Thanks for the photo and explanation. Awesome stuff. Will the snow ever get here?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Rick http://ronlemaster.com/images/2004-2005/slides/schlopy-natls-2005-gs-1.html
You know whatthat montage tells me?

Racing is f'in cool.

### Schlopy

OK now I see what the other poster meant by vertical seperation. His feet are apart vertically but if you brought them down next to each other they would be what some refer to as "narrow stance"
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Sidecut OK now I see what the other poster meant by vertical seperation. His feet are apart vertically but if you brought them down next to each other they would be what some refer to as "narrow stance"
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Sidecut So in high edge angles you are seeing seperation at the skis/boots but not at he thighs, correct?
correct,

There is a vertical separation!
but also, if a skier on the steep were to keep their skis on the snow exactly where they were, in a functional turn, and extended perpendicular to the slope you would see a WIDE stance as evidenced by the space between the feet!

Look at a still photo of a skier during turn completion on the steep and look at the distance between his/her feet not the closeness of their legs.

Try skiing a really steep slope sometime and keeping your boots close together.... Your uphill ski will lift your downhill ski off the snow and you will go for a slide!

shallower slope to lower leg angles do not require as wide a stance.

IMO
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Rick You have it right. Foot separation is just how far apart the feet are. How open one's stance is refers to how laterally far apart their legs are. The same amount of foot separation can result in different degrees of stance openness, depending on how tipped into the turn the skier is. With a constant amount of foot separation, as the legs tip the stance will close.
Just read your post Ricb. and our views differ on this one. I am a bit more removed from current teachings and thinkings than you so maybe I need to redefine my understanding?...

Then going with your statement would we say that while linking turns down a steep slope that our stance width continually fluctuates more and less open?

b
There are still many different ways of thinking about the word "stance" and what it means, which leads to a lot of confusion. You are correct Bud to say that on steeps your feet are wider apart on the snow. Similarly, in a big edge angle turn your feet will be wide apart on the snow. However, some people feel that there is a distinction between this concept and the concept of body stance.