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Induced Tip Lead

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
One of the things I have been trying, in the process of learning to ski better is to induce some tip lead by unweightening my inside ski and trying to push it ahead a little bit. It seems to help the grip of the outside ski and seems to improve my weight distribution. It somehow, also seems to limit how much pressure I can get onto the tounge of my outside boot. The outside leg also seems to get a bit straighter, not all the way but straighter than in a neutral stance.

Before I experiment further with this, am I doing something plain wrong?..
Thanks,
-Coug
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by coug View Post
One of the things I have been trying, in the process of learning to ski better is to induce some tip lead by unweightening my inside ski and trying to push it ahead a little bit. It seems to help the grip of the outside ski and seems to improve my weight distribution. It somehow, also seems to limit how much pressure I can get onto the tounge of my outside boot. The outside leg also seems to get a bit straighter, not all the way but straighter than in a neutral stance.

Before I experiment further with this, am I doing something plain wrong?..
Thanks,
-Coug
I think you answered your own question. It seems to limit how much pressure......That would be a bad thing.
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Before I experiment further with this, am I doing something plain wrong?..
Perhaps not, coug, but it is probably worth exploring the issue of tip lead a little to help you make that judgment yourself.

First, some amount of inside tip lead is characteristic of all good skiers in most turns, and it is usually a sign of some technical error when there is none. (It's usually a sign of turns based on upper body rotation, that pulls the outside shoulder and hip and outside ski around and forward, often causing excessive skidding.) If you had no tip lead, then perhaps pushing that inside ski forward a little has helped realign your body to a more functional arrangement and also helped eliminate upper body rotation.

Inside tip lead is not, in itself, important. But it is the inevitable result of some critical, essential movements, so giving yourself permission to have some tip lead is very important.

Too much inside tip lead is perhaps even more detrimental than too little, for several reasons. It "uses up" the rotation available in the hip sockets, which interferes with effective edge control and prevents the leg (femur) rotation needed for steering and for pressure control when your skis are tipped to high angles.

So what is "just right" tip lead? It helps to understand its causes. There are basically three causes of tip lead:

1) Rotation of both legs independently in the hip sockets, beneath a stable pelvis. If you hold both arms straight out in front of you with your palms forward and your fingers pointing up, then twist each arm to point your fingers to the right, your right hand will now be "ahead" of your left--there will be (finger)tip lead. The same thing happens when you turn your legs, which is an essential movement in skiing. So you must allow tip lead and lead change from turn to turn.

2) Flexing (bending) one knee more than the other. If you stand up and lift one knee high, that knee and, obviously, the foot below it, move forward. Right? So when you're skiing a steep traverse or inclined into a turn, and your uphill (in traverse) or inside (in turn) leg is more flexed than the other, this too will cause tip lead, and we must allow it.

3) Consciously pushing or shuffling one foot ahead or pulling one back. Unless compensating for an error (which does not necessary correct the error!), this is almost always a mistake.

Does that make sense?

So you really should not need to push that ski ahead. But if you don't find yourself developing some tip lead spontaneously, there could well be other issues that need attention.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #4 of 13
One additional item worth mentioning. Excess tip lead at the end of a turn can put you in the back seat for the next turn.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado View Post
Perhaps not, coug, but it is probably worth exploring the issue of tip lead a little to help you make that judgment yourself.

First, some amount of inside tip lead is characteristic of all good skiers in most turns, and it is usually a sign of some technical error when there is none. (It's usually a sign of turns based on upper body rotation, that pulls the outside shoulder and hip and outside ski around and forward, often causing excessive skidding.) If you had no tip lead, then perhaps pushing that inside ski forward a little has helped realign your body to a more functional arrangement and also helped eliminate upper body rotation.

Inside tip lead is not, in itself, important. But it is the inevitable result of some critical, essential movements, so giving yourself permission to have some tip lead is very important.

Too much inside tip lead is perhaps even more detrimental than too little, for several reasons. It "uses up" the rotation available in the hip sockets, which interferes with effective edge control and prevents the leg (femur) rotation needed for steering and for pressure control when your skis are tipped to high angles.

So what is "just right" tip lead? It helps to understand its causes. There are basically three causes of tip lead:

1) Rotation of both legs independently in the hip sockets, beneath a stable pelvis. If you hold both arms straight out in front of you with your palms forward and your fingers pointing up, then twist each arm to point your fingers to the right, your right hand will now be "ahead" of your left--there will be (finger)tip lead. The same thing happens when you turn your legs, which is an essential movement in skiing. So you must allow tip lead and lead change from turn to turn.

2) Flexing (bending) one knee more than the other. If you stand up and lift one knee high, that knee and, obviously, the foot below it, move forward. Right? So when you're skiing a steep traverse or inclined into a turn, and your uphill (in traverse) or inside (in turn) leg is more flexed than the other, this too will cause tip lead, and we must allow it.

3) Consciously pushing or shuffling one foot ahead or pulling one back. Unless compensating for an error (which does not necessary correct the error!), this is almost always a mistake.

Does that make sense?

So you really should not need to push that ski ahead. But if you don't find yourself developing some tip lead spontaneously, there could well be other issues that need attention.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
Thanks for the explanation Bob .. I think I might be trying to get too much inside tip lead.

I do have some tip lead in my regular turns. What I feel is what you highlighted in point 2 above. I flex my inside knee and its closer to my upperbody and thus (the way I feel it) shifting my center of mass to the front and a bit closer to the inside of the turn (further right in a right =hand turn and vice versa).

Max, I noticed that a couple of times.

I will try to observe a bit more tomorrow and also try and adjust how much I bend the inside knee..Thanks for pointing me in the right direction gentlemen.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
One additional item worth mentioning. Excess tip lead at the end of a turn can put you in the back seat for the next turn.
Max:

This doesn't feel right to me.

Seems to me you're identifying the effect as the cause here?

Is your tip lead causing you to end your turn out of position? ...or is the fact you didn't move thru the turn effectively, indicated by your position at the end of the turn (that happens to result in excess tip lead)?

Chris
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post
Is your tip lead causing you to end your turn out of position? ...or is the fact you didn't move thru the turn effectively, indicated by your position at the end of the turn (that happens to result in excess tip lead)?
I'm talking about excess tip lead here. As you move through the turn what happens to the pressure? For me it starts centered, moves towards the ball of my foot and then as I finish the turn it moves towards my heel. Now, if I combine that with excess tip lead I end up in the backseat on the new turn. I solve this by pulling my free (inside) foot back and then at transition I'm in a strong position for the new turn.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes
3) Consciously pushing or shuffling one foot ahead or pulling one back. Unless compensating for an error (which does not necessary correct the error!), this is almost always a mistake
Would you consider a modification to this one?

I frequently teach students with Fore/Aft balance issues to ‘drive the New Outside-Foot down & back’ or to ‘Lift & Slide the New Inside-Foot forward’ via pelvic reorientation *very* early in the New Turn or even during transition (creating a form of early Hip Lead). Of course, I ask for a mild rather than extreme movement and also that it be somewhat progressive.

Specifically, I ask this of them for several interrelated reasons:

First, because it helps the skier quickly adjust their Fore/Aft balance situation. As they come out of the turn they may have retained a too much Tip Lead thru the finish. Stepping onto (or permitting a centrifugal weight transfer onto) that Old Inside Foot while it remains too far forward drops them immediately into the back seat. Asking for the New Outside-Foot to be drawn back or the New Inside-Foot to be slid forward properly corrects their balance situation on the fly.

Second, either directive creates some initial pelvic-counter placing the skier in an ideal position to more readily tip their skis. By slightly rotating our pelvis in this manner we beneficially change our edge-angles immediately and cause our Outside-Foot to pronate while the Inside-Foot supinates a bit.

Third, I ask that it be done while continuing to keep their upper body ‘over’ their skis. This allows the skier’s CM to more gradually migrate toward the inside of the new turn while their hips migrate there more quickly - producing immediate angulation at turn entry.

This allows the skis to engage properly and to ‘pull’ the skier into the turn rather than the skier diving across their skis with the upper-body followed by their hips, hoping the skis will come around. (yes, I’m ignoring all the ‘ankle discussion’ for simplicity)

Fourth, the idea of 'progressively lifting' the New Inside Hip (or pushing downward on the Outside Hip) assists the crossover acceleration that becomes necessary if we have not implemented a 'dive-over' move. In a way, it's kind of like an ILE move using the pelvis rather than the leg.

---
So in my view as long as the skier ‘induces’ an early (slight) tip-lead via hip involvement - I’m happy with it!

After last Friday I’m a believer that this ‘pelvic reorientation’ idea also helps beginners. I spent part of a day with a 70 Yr old fellow who (nearly) qualified as a never-ever. After three times skiing several years ago (and after three lessons, though I’ve no idea where) he could only do a straight snowplow.

I focused on teaching him the ‘pelvic thing’ described above and a couple hours later he was skiing a marvelous Gliding Wedge with Spontaneous Christies on mild Blue terrain. And with nicely rounded-out turns I might add.

I'd also add that the description ‘Driving the Outside-Foot forward' (even right thru transition) fits well as a concept in the realm of Waist Steering.


So… whadaya think? Could #3 either be banished - or perhaps better qualified in some way? Granted, I’m talking about moving a foot forward or aft due to an intentional pelvic event but I tend to describe it as 'pulling/pushing a foot' using my pelvis rather than just the foot itself to create a bit of (perhaps incidental) early tip lead.

.ma
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
I'm talking about excess tip lead here.
Ok, me too!

Thanks for the response.

Sounds like you have your solution all worked out.

Happy New Year!

Chris
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
Would you consider a modification to this one?

I frequently teach students with Fore/Aft balance issues to ‘drive the New Outside-Foot down & back’ or to ‘Lift & Slide the New Inside-Foot forward’ via pelvic reorientation *very* early in the New Turn or even during transition (creating a form of early Hip Lead). Of course, I ask for a mild rather than extreme movement and also that it be somewhat progressive.


.ma
Why talk about the individual foot movements at all? Why not just talk about the hip reorientations? I think your focus on sliding the inside foot forward and pushing the outside foot backward is going to lead to the inappropriate scissoring Bob described.
post #11 of 13
Purely for the sake of effective communication. I've yet to meet a new skier who can comfortably move in the manner I'd like to see right off the bat.

Those slippery things on their feet tend to keep the student very 'stiff' and nervous. Asking them to actively move their pelvis in isolation (keeping many other muscles passive) just doesn't seem to work for me.

By directing the student's attention toward moving a Foot I get the whole leg because of all that tension which comes pre-installed in most new skiers. I just need to make sure the tension goes high enough up to take the pelvis with it.

Also, I would add that I spent a good deal of time describing and practicing Independant Leg Steering (ILS) with skis off before beginning the on-skis version of the pelvic thing. Executing ILS properly produces the same kind of slight pelvic rotation described above (into a countered position) sans the 'hip-lift' component. I think this likely contributed to his immediate success with it.

.ma
post #12 of 13
Bob Barnes

Thanks for that great tip Bob. I've been wondering about this as PMTS teaches you to pull back the free, or uphill foot...especially in bumps...in order to keep your weight centered on the skiis and avoid the backseat. In doing so and in trying to keep the tips even I found myself fighting an rather uncomfortable body position. When my uphill foot leads by about 1 to 2 inches everything feels right. So are you saying that just because the uphill foot leads (a couple of inches) is not a technique error leading to backseat weighting? Does bump skiing change anything?

Jim
post #13 of 13

"Tip Lead" issues

I think to understand the implications of tip lead you have to both understand what is causing it, and imagine (logically) the implications of actively changing it while skiing. Terrain needs to be factored in as well, as well as what you are might ultimately be trying to achieve or compensate for (balance, pressure, new turn initiation, etc. etc.).

It's a fairly simple breakdown to understand what causes the inside leg to naturally position itself leading the outside, or turning foot, leg. First and foremost, once you start to turn, the inside leg is traveling on a tighter arc, and is usually uphill. Those two factors alone account for why the inside foot must be in front of the downhill foot. Ultimately, the turn shape and the pitch of the slope will go along way towards determining leg lead.

But so does your boot. Unless you are skiing on snowboard boots or with free heel bindings (note that the inside foot of Telemark skiers is always BEHIND the outside, or turning, foot... like WAYYYYY behind), such that you can flex your ankle or withdraw your leg while still keeping the ski tracking on edge, it's physically impossible in a tight radius turn on a steep slope to have your inside leg not be leading your outside. That is, in normal skiing!!

Once you understand some of these more macro physics and geometry issues, it IS worth delving into more of the subtle issues of leg lead.

The next biggest issue, perhaps (or perhaps not) more subtle, is - as somebody mentioned - your hip alignment. Skiing today on shaped skis involves much less countering of the waist and hip than in days past. Mogul skiers are still on straight skis, so maybe this is somewhat irrelevant to that issue. But the facts are still worth pondering if you want to get better. With what I will call a more open, or countered, body position, the hips are not "square." In other words, the alignment of the hips (and torso) is facing outside of the direction of the turn. This means there is a more (shall I say "induced?") tip lead. You could say that this was almost a natural way to increase pressure and the skier's ability to "stand" on the downhill ski, to really try to dramatically increase turning forces onto a ski that really wasn't carving like today's skis are capable of.

This tendency is called "scissoring" in many circles, and many people, who have not adapted their technique to modern ski capabilities and turn turn shape, still do this.

Skiing is a different sport today, in many real ways, and the movements necessary to use the modern skiiing tools are much different. Body position - in particular everything happening at or below the waist, is totally different.

So back to induced tip lead. Imagine if your body (torso) always faced the direction of your turn... your hips would be much more "square" to the direction of travel. Your knees and feet would naturally be more "square," too. In other words, much less tip lead - except that caused by the inherent issues described above of the inside ski traveling on a different arc, and being uphill of the turning, or outside, foot. Modern skiing, especially high performance skiing, is much more "two footed" and square. One thing that many coaches emphasize is the need for many skiers who haven't yet adapted fully to the potential of the new equipment to actually retract their inside foot, or consciously pull it back so that a) the skier is stacked more squarely over the inside ski/foot; and b) so that the inside ski's uphill edge is engaged cleanly so that the inside ski tracks better; and c) the advantages of this retraction place the skier's body alignment in a more advantageous position to quickly and smoothly transition to the new turning foot (the uphill ski) when a new turn is started. "Getting to the uphill ski" quickly at the commencement of a new turn is a major goal for good skiers today.

There is a fair amount of nuance here... but it all makes perfect sense if you think about it. For short radius, quick, poppy turns such as in moguls, the "old" or historically successful strategies of countering (torso facing down the fall line while skis pivot beneath) are timeless in their effectiveness. Tip lead really is almost a non-issue because the turns come so quickly and as you probably know, really good mogul skiing involves alot of pressing and pivoting while trying to maintain as much ski/snow contact as possible. But it's a somewhat square pivot with the feet close together.

For people who are skiing on a "shaped" ski, which you probably are, the key is to get your inside foot/ankle working in the turn... not so much to provide major weighting or pressure in the turn, but so that it places you in the best position to be "stacked" over your skis, knees apart, with equal edge angles when you turn. When you advance to the point where you can see and feel yourself making clean "railroad track" turns, with your knees apart, and your turns flowing with minimal skidding, you will not want to have any scissoring going on... you'll want your inside foot to be in the best position possible to get you into the next turn quickly and smoothly.

Hope this helps.
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