Originally Posted by RicB
As I have said any times before 50-50 is not a way to ski. It is ineffective and leads to many problems, but so does always being 90-10. Skiing is constant change and movement between one dominate balance focus to another. It is the movements that we make that connects the postures that we briefly visit that are important, and not the postures themselves. By the time we get to the respective posture, weight, or counter, the work is already done and we should be reversing and moving on through the next series of connecting movements.
And, as has been said by people of a variety of "systems" or disciplines, movement is key and constant. We ski to balance, but we also ski through it. We don't ski 50-50, but we do move through it (except those who actively step from one foot to the other - and we all do that when required, too). We don't ski 90-10, either, but good skiers are perfectly capable of moving to it or through it and back again in the process of managing and using the forces in the turn.
Is my balance point always exactly halfway between my skis so that I can balance on either ski without any additional movement? Hardly - and even if it was, I'd have to move my COM over one ski or the other (where "over" is defined by the instantaneous forces of the turn) to balance on one ski or the other. Still, if one ski goes away for one reason or another, if I'm skiing well, the remaining ski can take up the slack, at least long enough to bring the errant board back into the game. This doesn't happen without movement, however. Let the path of the COM deviate from the original intention, suck a ski up, extend a ski out. Both skis work, they're both useable, and I don't want to be stuck halfway between.
Regarding counter - well, do I want to pose, or do I want to go skiing?? I might start with some "base" idea of counter (i.e., line up my pelvis with a line drawn between my toepieces), but I'm certainly not going to lock myself in there. The "base" idea might help me teach others and orient myself, but we don't get stuck there, any more than we get stuck at any particular balance position. The idea that we allow the sockets of our femurs to rotate relative do our hips suggests that counter is neither fixed nor disallowed. This rotation, along with variations in counter, occurs whether the turn is dominated by edge or rotary. It's a matter of degree, not an absolute.
I will admit to being PSIA trained. I will also admit that I tend to ski with my feet somewhat closer together than is really effective, and I'm perfectly capable of picking up the inside ski and tipping it to its little toe edge, so HH would like that move.
In my PSIA clinics, I've never been told not to use counter. Depending on intent, there have been times when I've been told to square up a bit, and there have been times when I've been told to get more upper-lower body separation. Different turns, different clinicians, different intents, different goals. At my level, I'm supposed to understand that, and not believe that I have to maintain some particular amount of counter through all turns, or even all the way through any particular turn. As nolo sez, we ski into and out of counter. It's a moving target.
I've never been told to ski 50-50, or 90-10, although it's useful to attempt to specifically feel one or the other in certain situations.
The question has legitimately been raised: What and how do we teach, if there is no target?
Well, there is a target - but, like I said, it moves. I find the concept of a "base" or "home" position sometimes useful - with the understanding that we are hardly ever in that position!
We move through it, and we seek power, grace and economy - not position. What does the movement
feel like, and how well does it work? Does it take a lot of muscle, or is it merely a matter of guidance? Do we use gravity, or fight it? Is it smooth, or abrupt? Do we force, or allow?
Lower level skiers have trouble with this. They do want the "magic bullet" or "magic position" that will turn them into ski gods. Skiing is far more subtle than that. Magic bullets can be very useful, and some might really help you get past whatever plateau you might be on, but they are never a complete solution.
So, there you go, another opinion
that refuses to nail anything down!