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outside edge engagement

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Today as I worked on cleaning up my turn initiation I became aware that I could not get my left outside edge to engage. The best I could do was draw back my left hip while the right inside edge did all the work. When I turn right I can get the right edge to engage lightly while the left inside edge does the work but I can’t transfer even 50 % of the weight to either outside edge. I tried to do the falling leaf and failed to get substantial outside edge engagement at any point of the turn. Then I tried one foot skiing and still failed to get outside edge engagement.

Where do I go from here? How can I train my body to engage the outside edges?
post #2 of 29
Initially, it sounds like an alignment issue, but doesn't rule out technique. Depending on how physically fit you are (or are not), it could also be a strength issue. If you don't have the strength to hold an edge on the outside edge of the inside ski, you will flatten the ski and bear weigh on both legs. There could be a number of reasons for your dilemma. You need to see a good boot fitter and an instructor with a well trained eye for movement and alignment.
post #3 of 29
First, traverse using the outside edge.

Second, launch the turn by rolling the ski.

Third, get onto the uphil edge sooner and sooner. Aim for at fall-line.

You could also try roller-blade turns.

Good luck
post #4 of 29
If you are out of alignment, you can try to apply a few layers of duct tape on both inside heel pieces, It works for me. Try 6 layers on left and 3 layers on right to see the result, then do some adjustment to get it right.
post #5 of 29
Are we talking carving or not!? If you carve you cannot place all your weight at the turn initiation on your outside ski if you have a wide stance. You will have to wait for the centrifugal force to kick in later in the turn. To me it sounds like you have an angulating problem. Try leaning towards the outside of the turn when you ski slowly. This will help you balance over your outside ski and be able to even lift your inside ski off the snow.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
let me kick this out to see what it stirs up...to turn left I press my left little toe and right big toe into the ski.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryel View Post
let me kick this out to see what it stirs up...to turn left I press my left little toe and right big toe into the ski.

Here's one suggestion to try, Ryel:


To turn left, lift your left-foot arch and your right-foot "pinky-toe-side" of foot.

I was practicing and coaching many of these "foot cue" tasks this past weekend with a group of my friends. Most of us agreed that the "lifting" cues seemed to work better for us than the "pressing down" cues.

For me, what I feel is happening in my skiing when I "press down" on toes or certain sides of the foot, (like what you are describing above) --- it feels like I'm pushing the base edges (bottom surfaces) down into the snow...

...whereas if I focus on lifting the opposite sides of my feet (as I'm describing), it feels as if I'm engaging the side edges into the snow. That, for me, results in better grip, higher edge angles, and a stronger, "sharper" turn.

( I hope that makes sense.)


If you try this, please come back with some feedback of how it worked for you. (positive or negative)

Thanks!
post #8 of 29
Ryel, try stepping uphill while traversing. Do it on a wide, flatter hill first and be sure to check uphill before starting out so you don't ski into someone's path. If you can't manage to step uphill repeatedly (several times in each traverse), you need to do some strength training.

If you can manage to step uphill while traversing, then try making steeper and steeper traverses on a flat hill where you ride the uphill edge of the uphill ski. When you get to where you are riding down the fall line and then turning, say, left on the left edge of the left ski, try doing the same thing while standing equally on your feet. If you can keep equal weight on corresponding edges while turning out of the fall line, you're ready to try crossing the fall line in the same manner. When this works well on flatter terrain, gradually take it to steeper and steeper terrain.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja View Post
Here's one suggestion to try, Ryel:


To turn left, lift your left-foot arch and your right-foot "pinky-toe-side" of foot.

I was practicing and coaching many of these "foot cue" tasks this past weekend with a group of my friends. Most of us agreed that the "lifting" cues seemed to work better for us than the "pressing down" cues.

For me, what I feel is happening in my skiing when I "press down" on toes or certain sides of the foot, (like what you are describing above) --- it feels like I'm pushing the base edges (bottom surfaces) down into the snow...

...whereas if I focus on lifting the opposite sides of my feet (as I'm describing), it feels as if I'm engaging the side edges into the snow. That, for me, results in better grip, higher edge angles, and a stronger, "sharper" turn.

( I hope that makes sense.)


If you try this, please come back with some feedback of how it worked for you. (positive or negative)

Thanks!
I've been using this approach for years. I feel that trying to press "down" on the sides of my feet results in tensing up leg muscles, making the legs more stiff, less able to flex with terrain changes. By raising the opposite edges of my feet, I involve muscles that don't seem to stiffen the legs so much. I got this idea from Sean Warman, former PSIA D-team member, who says you can strengthen your feet by doing the edge "lifting" movements repeatedly in your stockingfeet without weight. He says he has his racer kids do this 100 times a day before starting to ski.
post #10 of 29
As well as strength or technique, as several people have mentioned this might be an alignment issue. There's no substitute for on-snow assesment, but the most likely alignment issue is that you tend to ski knock-kneed, so you tend to have your weight on the inside edges of your feet, and your skis tipped somewhat towards those edges. Three possible clues to watch for that indicate this is the case:

1. When standing around in street shoes, your feet tend to point away from one another.
2. When standing in skis, if you bend your knees, your knees tend to move towards one another.
3. You find it easier and more natural to ski with your feet very close together (less than hip width).
4. Your knees ache at the end of a day skiing (although this will be equally true if you ski bow-legged).
post #11 of 29
Ryel, I found it much easier to learn to use the outside edge by learning the move on skates (either inlines or ice skates will work). On skis it takes quite a bit of confidence to use that edge because if you engage it a bit too much there is no saving yourself by stepping across like you can on skates. A few sessions of doing crossovers on skates will do wonders for your skiing. Good luck.
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'll work on stepping uphill but sounds awkward. we'll see
thanks all
post #13 of 29
Ryel, are you carving or skidding?
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Ryel, are you carving or skidding?
Trying to improve edge and balance in the carve. I still skid when I get to hooked up.
post #15 of 29

You're getting a lot of good stuff in this thread...

...but I'll give you two further suggestions:

(1) Go get the USSA F2 DVD and study it carefully. It's been a long time since I got my PSIA L3, so I dunno what the technical foundations of PSIA are any more. I just got my USSA coaching L1 certification, and the F1/F2 DVDs are the source for that knowledge. They're incredibly thorough but to the point, and very, very well produced. If you wanna know how to carve, this is the inside track...excuse me, outside track:

http://shop.usskiteam.com/store/prod...cat=251&page=1

(2) Get some video going so people can do an MA.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryel View Post
Trying to improve edge and balance in the carve. I still skid when I get to hooked up.
From what you have been telling us here I suspect that you have a slight problem with banking but in order to know for shure we need a video like SkiRacer55 so well pointed out.

I would suggest practising wedging at slow speed and practice weight transfer and angulation. I just had a student last week that had a similair problem; he could not make his skis carve and he was falling to the inside at the beginning of each turn. The negative aspects of not learning how to angulate and position the upper body are really a show stopper at intermediate level.
post #17 of 29
had a similar problem last season, felt I was doing everything but that OE wasn't engaging. Try

if you're turning left, lift up left ski tail as high as you can (and vice versa), if done right, it'll give you the feeling of setting the left OE, it actually works better on a little steeper terrain as the feeling is more immediate. Eventually work your way into keeping the ski on the snow and translating the movements you were feeling....


ym .000002 cents
post #18 of 29
Correction:

Sorry for the confusion, The duct tape should be apply to the outside edge of both heel pieces.
post #19 of 29
jhy1,

For allignment issues (or even a check), go to a qualified shop and deal with it from the boot and not "doctoring the binding". Tape can change not only the ramp angle, but now the bindings are not indemified.

Ryel,
Is this something that has receintly happened in your skiing, or is it something you have noticed for quite a while? Is your stance through the turn very wide (more than hip width)? Where on the sole of your ski boots is worn more (inside or outside, most easially noticed on heel area)?
The answer to these questions can help us determine a possible cause and maybe a cure.

RW
post #20 of 29
Ron,
The permanent fix is from the boot , but don't you agreed the duct tape will be a fast and easy way to check the allignment ? I know you had much more experience and knowledge than I do, I just see thing from different angle, Sometimes. I always learned from this forums.
Most people dosen't had allignment problem won't know how it feel, If anyone like to feel it just put 8 layers of duct tape on either side of one binding, then try to do some railroad track or pure carving, please give a try and come back post a report.
Thanks everyone who read this, hope I did not waste your time.
post #21 of 29
Ron's point is that if you put tape on your binding, you've relieved the binding manufacturer from any responsibility if the binding fails and you get injured. Even if there was something wrong with the binding before you put the tape there. Applying tape very well also could interfere with binding release should you need it. Don't the folks who make on-snow alignment evaluations use a more slippery substance than duct tape?
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
Ron's point is that if you put tape on your binding, you've relieved the binding manufacturer from any responsibility if the binding fails and you get injured. Even if there was something wrong with the binding before you put the tape there. Applying tape very well also could interfere with binding release should you need it. Don't the folks who make on-snow alignment evaluations use a more slippery substance than duct tape?
Not to mention that 8 layers is way too much. Common rule of thumb is that 1 layer of compressed duct tape = approx 1/4 degree. So with 8 leayers, you are at least 2 full degrees. IF you are going to try this, use 4 layers, not 8. And it would need to be under the toe and heel, and putting it under the toe would screw up the DIN height of the boot, affecting the toe release. So if you do it, ski on an easy hill with no traffic. But I don't recommend it.
post #23 of 29
8 layers is way too much, It is about 2 degrees. The point is : If some one's alignment is 2 degrees off, how can you correct that with different technique ?

My question is : Is that a effective way to do a quick check with few layers of duct tape ? If you can't find any good boot fitter around, or you don't know anyone had good knowledge like most instructor post here, or you just by you self and have some duct tape with you ? ( Plus, you never think about to sue the binding manufactory)
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhy1 View Post
8 layers is way too much, It is about 2 degrees. The point is : If some one's alignment is 2 degrees off, how can you correct that with different technique ?

My question is : Is that a effective way to do a quick check with few layers of duct tape ? If you can't find any good boot fitter around, or you don't know anyone had good knowledge like most instructor post here, or you just by you self and have some duct tape with you ? ( Plus, you never think about to sue the binding manufactory)
It's only effective if you have very good self awareness on the hill or have someone to watch you who knows what they are looking at/for. If not, no matter what you do, even if it were, by some fluke, 100% correct, it'll just feel weird and probably wrong because the skis are going to do strange things that you aren't used to.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
I had alignment checked at Snowbird ESA and was told it was good so I'm pretty sure it's me, not the equipment, that is in need of change.
thanks for all the ideas
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhy1 View Post
8 layers is way too much, It is about 2 degrees. The point is : If some one's alignment is 2 degrees off, how can you correct that with different technique ?
Alignment check in our part of the world is a very unusual thing and I have personally never been confronted with it. I have had foam boots made since the early 80's and bought boots for 40 years and had 3 brothers and loads of friends and co-racers all through my jr years and after so what you are telling me is that all of us that became excellent skiers had perfect alignment!

Ryel had his alignment checked and it was ok so all of you epic members suggesting an alignment check as a remedy for problem motioned better think again!
post #27 of 29
tdk6,
I know you are an expert skier and a great instructor, but why not give a try ? Wear your racing boots, apply 8 layers of duct tape on your right binding out side edge, Find a flat run and do some slow carving or railroad track, Please come back and post a report. I really like to know that will make any different or not ? Maybe the expert skier can handle anything, even 2 or 3 degrees out of alignment!!!! Please give it a try !!
post #28 of 29
Even given the idea of alignment experiments, I've never understood the duct tape thing. It seems like a strange material to shim with. Wouldnt it make more sense to cut a piece of thin hard plastic (like expensive playing cards), and have someone hold it in place during insertion (so you don't need adhesive)?
post #29 of 29
It always have better way to do things. I'm sure there are so many different materials would work better than duct tape, if you can get them easily. It just easy to find the duct tape and you can use different layer to do some fine tunning. Of course duct tape is not the permanent fix, you will need a boot expert to do some fitting or grinding.
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