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Tips From the Aspen ESA

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
These are some of the main points covered by Jim Schanzenbaker with our group at Aspen. SSH and Bong were also in the group and I hope they'll add their recollections. Since returning to Copper, I've been incorporating these focuses into my own skiing and using many of them with my students, and they lead to some very dramatic changes! So, for your edification...

In Jim's experience, there has been an overemphasis recently on the tipping skill in that people are attempting to create high edge angles too early in the turn without being solidly balanced on their skis first.

Our group in the ESA focused on standing solidly over the skis at all times throughout the turn, following the direction of ski travel with the feet, striving to maintain a perpendicular relationship of the skier to the skis, and maximizing the design of the skis.

Some suggestions:

As you cross the fall line and the tips of the skis start moving up the hill, cock your feet back firmly under you and let your center of mass move ahead toward the tips of your skis. Simultaneously bend your lower/middle spine laterally to place your relaxed upper body out over your new support foot before starting down the hill into the new turn. Stand strong on that new support foot and keep moving your center of mass ahead, toward the tips, and up the hill, following the direction of travel, as the skis flatten. With ankles cocked and strong, feel the new edges engage in the snow before thinking of turning. Once engaged, focus on bending the tip of the new support ski and keep bending it down into the snow all the away through the turn. The wide tip flowing into the narrow waist of the ski turns it. Simultaneously at the start, shorten the new inside knee and thigh and rotate that femur open in the hip socket in the direction you want to go. Try to feel the outside edge of the tip of that newly rolled over, short inside ski in the snow and drive your hips forward and ahead in the direction of the turn throughout. Never let the hips drop down or back!

On groomers and to maximize a carve, resist the tip of the support ski turning in the direction of travel to engage the entire length of the ski and help bend it.

Keep rotating the femurs, pulling up and rotating the inside thigh open as needed to go where you want to go.

Let your legs circle out, above, around, and further from you as the turn begins moving down the hill. Let your body fall toward the inside of the turn away from the arc being traced by your skis, but still be standing strong on your support foot.

Always “move to the future”! If you are thinking of where you have just been or where you are now in a turn, it will be too late to create continuous movement and flow. Always be thinking and moving to what comes NEXT!

Feel like you’re skiing through and beyond your boot cuffs, rather than just into them.

Use long leg/short leg as needed to match the slope of the hill.

Misc. keys:

1. PATIENT BEGINNINGS. Your skis will seek the fall line by themselves after you flatten them. Let them start down the hill in a turn by themselves, THEN add active turning forces.

2. IN BUMPS: Focus your eyes and hips at a point straight down the hill as a target at all times. Keep your hands pointing straight down the hill. Use a patient beginning approaching the crest as you move forward over the skis and pull your feet back under you just before you reach the crest. To maintain a perpendicular relationship to the skis, you have to feel your feet moving ahead as they slide up the bump, and back under you as your body moves over them going down the back. Keep your body constantly falling/sliding down the hill ahead of your skis, feet keeping constant supple contact with the snow. Feel like your body is constantly losing altitude out over your downhill foot. Constantly keep your pole baskets moving and touching down the hill. In bumps and short-radius turns, keep your elbows in close to the body and make the pole touch back toward your binding as opposed to reaching out and ahead toward the tips. Focus on rolling open and pointing the new inside knee and thigh. Add a strong, sharp, counter of the feet and body, with the tips facing up the hill, at the end of the turn to check speed, but keep the forward motion of the body down the hill. The feet feel like they are sliding/smearing the turn rather than using engaged edges.

Hope this is of some interest. If you try some of these ideas, I'll be interested in your results!

All the best!
Mike
post #2 of 53
Good stuff Mike, Shanzy can really turnum and I heard similar suggestions around some of the other groups.

Arcmeister had a great little ditty I would like to share. He suggested that when transitioning from turn to turn in higher speed carving that rather than extending the short leg to match the long leg, the skier should flex the long leg to match the short leg. This eliminates the up and over syndrome and faciltates a very smooth and connected transition between turns. This was one of the simplest explanations I have ever heard for a retraction or crossunder type turn.

It's all about good transitions! linked transitions.

b
post #3 of 53
The first progressions Shanzy had us experience was very similar to the one that Nick Herrin did with his group the first day of the PSIA-RM Academy. IIRC, it went like this:
  1. At the transition, lift the new inside foot. Angle the leg into the new turn (tipping the ski while it's in the air). Move into the new turn.
  2. Lift the tail of the new inside ski off the snow at transition, bending the tip and tipping it into the new turn. Bending the tip is key. This moves the hips forward and into proper position for the new turn.
  3. (Nick next moved us to bending the ski at the toepiece. Shanzy did not do this.)
I think I'm missing something more, but I don't remember it. Anyone else?

I'll add more over the weekend...
post #4 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
  1. At the transition, lift the new inside foot. Angle the leg into the new turn (tipping the ski while it's in the air). Move into the new turn.
Isn't this the phantom move?
post #5 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
Isn't this the phantom move?
Exactly the question I was going to ask...
post #6 of 53
Thread Starter 
A PMTS skier should answer this definitively, but my understanding is that it differs in that in translating this exercise to actual skiing (as explained in my original post), we had already moved toward a flat ski, shifted our weight and stepped strong onto the new support foot, bending its tip. I believe in PMTS this move of the new inside foot initiates the entire transition independent of the other components we used in conjunction. Also, as demonstated by Schanzy, I believe this was an exercise to enable us to feel an extremely active inside foot, forward movement of the CM, plus an actively rotating femur, an activity that PMTS considers anathema. Any PMTS skiers care to contribute?
post #7 of 53
Why? so folks can go into denial about PMTS and feel better?

(don't rise to this post )
post #8 of 53
There are a lot of pros who work with ideas concerning the best way to get the inside ski involved with the turn, so it doesn't block the flow of the outside ski.

This is not new, and many brands and individuals put a special nuances and names to it in their own metaphorical and marketing search.

It has always been so that parallel mechanics require the release of BOTH uphill edges as nearly simultaneously as possible. It has also always been so that the movement of the downhill inside leg towards the turn helps the new outside ski work itself into the turn.

So is it that phantom move? Sure. I guess. If that suits you.
post #9 of 53
Weems, I think, demonstrates perfectly the difference between learning and catechism. One leads to understanding the principles and rules underlying the subject and the other to dependency on an intermediary between the learner and subject. To my way of thinking, good teaching assists disintermediation between learner and subject.
post #10 of 53
I like to keep in mind a number of things as I'm learning:
  1. Drills are not skiing
  2. A progression guides us through a series of exaggerated movements to help us feel various things--many of which may very well not be obvious to the learners
  3. Drills in progressions build on one another
In the case of the progression that I outlined, I think these ideas are important. For me, this progression really clicked when I work on bending the inside ski at the toepiece. To do it, I have to move my body in a way that helps with the rest of my skiing.
post #11 of 53
A better question might be, "isn't this the sequence that Harald has termed the Phantom Move?" It could just as easily, in this case, be called the "Schanzy Move." Whether it is what Harald calls the Phantom Move or not, or whether it even resembles it, would be up to Harald to say. In any case, it is certain that the movement pattern predates the name!

Regardless, it is very common to see the downhill/new inside ski come off the snow in the transition in steeps, with skiers of all levels. The important question is, "does that make it right?" In other words, is lifting (or even just lightening) the downhill ski a fundamental, basic, "default" movement to focus on for good turns, in steeps or otherwise?

Or is it simply an effect, rather than a primary cause? Or could it even represent an error?

Lifting/lightening that downhill ski (especially its tail), whether by retracting the downhill leg or extending the uphill leg, can "force" your body to move downhill, across your skis and into the new turn. As such, it is an important skill and movement option for any situation when you need to force your body to cross over. It is certainly a great exercise for developing this skill, well worth practicing--which, I'm sure, is why Schanzy spent time focusing on it. As Mike said, it is also a great way to develop important activity of the inside leg to both tip and guide the inside ski as needed.

[Sidebar warning:] As I have described before, this exercise can also, inadvertently, produce the opposite effect, and it often does. If the focus is to balance on the uphill ski prior to intitiating the turn, it entails a movement uphill, quite counterproductive to the goal of crossing over. Beware of this potential backfire! [/sidebar off!]

But most of the time, if you find that you need to force that crossover to initiate the turn, it betrays an error in the previous turn--the error commonly called "park and ride." If you move accurately through the finish of the turn, your body is already moving across your skis toward the next turn as you exit the turn. You don't have to "do" anything but let the flow of motion already in play continue. The need to force this movement to start the turn suggests that you've stopped moving, "parking" inside the previous turn. Retracting the downhill leg, or extending the uphill leg (either of which may result in the downhill ski coming off the snow), will patch the error, but it won't eliminate it!

So it is a great exercise. But I would encourage anyone to follow it up with some focus on simply releasing the edge of the downhill ski without removing pressure from it--by simply tipping (flattening) it until it lets go. Of course, you'll have to be in balance and moving accurately down the hill with that ski as it releases. Otherwise the ski will just slip out from underneath you like a pulled rug. This followup focus will help you find what I call "neutral," which is simply the position/attitude/sensation of readiness to release the edge and start the turn with no further action needed. This is a magical sensation! And finding it at the end of the previous turn is the key to smoothly linking turns, flowing through the transition effortlessly, with continuous motion and no "stop and go." If you wait until the beginning of the new turn to make this move, it is likely already too late!

The drill known as "pivot slips" is a great way to work on this followup focus. Pivot slips involve sideslipping fast, directly downhill--in balance mostly over the downhill ski--then guiding both tips down the hill, into a smooth pivot 180 degrees to another sideslip. (Do it on nice, groomed terrain to minimize the likelihood of catching an edge and falling hard.) In the pivot, focus on guiding the downhill (inside) tip--pull it all the way through the pivot, from start to finish. The goal is to guide the tips down the hill without first setting the edge and "pushing off," and without any pushing of either tail up the hill. Experiment with fore-aft pressure until you find the necessary balance point--not too forward! Note that the movements here, especially of the inside ski and leg, are very similar to the exercise SSH described for intiating a turn in the first place, other than the lifted ski: tip the downhill ski downhill (to release the edge), move down the hill, and guide the tip of the downhill ski down the hill. The "lift" isn't needed here, because you're already moving down the hill.

To summarize, I love the exercise that Schanzy was working on. It's a great way to develop skill, create important sensations, and get things moving in the right direction when needed. Certainly, getting things moving downhill becomes an important focus whenever it starts feeling "steep." "Steep" is a relative term--what's steep to one person may be flat to the next--but it represents that state of mind when we start to lose our desire to go downhill, so anything that gets it going again is good! The downhill ski certainly does lift off the snow frequently in the transition for skiers of all levels, especially when it gets "steep."

But it is an exercise. When in performance mode, it is not something I prefer to think about. It often happens--the ski often leaves the snow--but I rarely do it "on purpose." As SSH points out, "Drills are not skiing." Or as I often put it, "every exercise has something wrong with it. Otherwise it would be skiing!"

Ultimately, I prefer to look at it as an outcome, rather than an activity or intentional focus--an effect, rather than a cause. And if it is chronic and extreme, it often suggests a technical error. In steeps, it may simply reflect defensiveness--the lack of will to "go that way" (downhill).

Explore it. Play with it. Don't worship it!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #12 of 53
mike_m thanks for the great tips.

I cannot help but to see more and more overlap between PMTS concepts and PSIA teaching. I think this is a good thing, since there is plenty of good stuff in PMTS that should not be ignored.

BTW, the lifting of the new inside ski is definitely the phantom move. Of course there are a thousand places where you can begin lifting (or lightening) the old outside foot and they all depend on the circumstances. You can start the "phantom move" long before your skis hit neutral if you so wish. Of course, skiers lifted the new inside ski long before PMTS was heard of.

Bud, I do remember when Arcmeister mentioned the flexing of the long leg to match the short leg. That is classic PMTS. What is missing in that description is that you have finish the turn with an extended stance leg (unlike the more traditional absorbtion of the turn that CSIA (and I) like so much ) so that you actually have something to retract/flex.

The one thing that I question (I question everything actually ) is the fact that PSIA seems to have lost favor for angulation in carved turns. The stacked look that Megan showed in her persentation is now in favor. That is all fine, but at the speed we ski, the lack of angulation gives up higher edge angles that would help you carve some very short tight turns with less speed. Anyone care to respond to this?
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems View Post
There are a lot of pros who work with ideas concerning the best way to get the inside ski involved with the turn, so it doesn't block the flow of the outside ski.

This is not new, and many brands and individuals put a special nuances and names to it in their own metaphorical and marketing search.

It has always been so that parallel mechanics require the release of BOTH uphill edges as nearly simultaneously as possible. It has also always been so that the movement of the downhill inside leg towards the turn helps the new outside ski work itself into the turn.

So is it that phantom move? Sure. I guess. If that suits you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Weems, I think, demonstrates perfectly the difference between learning and catechism. One leads to understanding the principles and rules underlying the subject and the other to dependency on an intermediary between the learner and subject. To my way of thinking, good teaching assists disintermediation between learner and subject.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado View Post
A better question might be, "isn't this the sequence that Harald has termed the Phantom Move?" It could just as easily, in this case, be called the "Schanzy Move." Whether it is what Harald calls the Phantom Move or not, or whether it even resembles it, would be up to Harald to say. In any case, it is certain that the movement pattern predates the name!
Ya gotta laugh sometimes. Why this group is so determined to deny Harb anything? I dont know if this is the Phantom move or not but if it is then let's agree on a few things.

1. The concept was being articulated by Harb in print as of 2001.

2. We can be sure he was talking about it and teaching it before then.

3. To Weems and Bobs point. It may in fact predate his naming it but there was no one more vocal about it as a predominant movement pattern.

4. The phantom move and the lifting was not an end but a step along the way

5. To Nolo's point let's remember that actually Harb's methodology frees students from ski teachers. Essentials is a very easy to follow plan. PSIA on the other hand does not even address the skiing public.
post #14 of 53
I don't get it...

Who cares what it's called? Who cares who did it first or when? What difference does any of that make?

Here's the real issue for skiers: What does it do? What does it help? What can it hinder? How do expert coaches use it to guide skiers to new discoveries?

The other aspects of this conversation are academic and not of a lot of use to most skiers.
post #15 of 53
Volklskier, maintaining an active and strong inside half is a principle of good skiing that was emphasized by both PSIA and USSA since at least the early 80s (when I went through basic training as an instructor and coach) and continues to be emphasized today. This is what bugs me about proprietary claims about commonplace exercises: the proprietary argument only works on those with short memories or short histories in the sport.
post #16 of 53
Frankly, VS, I fail to see why discussing Harb is even relevent in a thread about the EpicSki Academy, in the first place. But you brought him up.

Since you did, why are you so sensitive about this? No one has denied that Harb introduced the term "phantom move" to skiing, or that he described this same movement pattern we're discussing here (presumably--as I have said, he remains the ultimate word on that and may well disagree) in his books.

But if you think he invented the move itself, here's a little history. 2001, you say? PSIA officially jumped on the already-running bandwagon of releasing the edge of the downhill ski to initiate a turn in the 1980's, with the Center Line (TM) concept. That was way late! If you can find a copy of it, check out page 69 of The Book of American Skiing, (1963, by Ezra Bowen, J.B. Lippincott Company), regarding the "Schrittbogen," "in which the racer stepped onto the outside ski and swung through his turn carrying all but the tip of the inside ski in the air." The following photograph accompanies the description:

1963, The Book of American Skiing, by Ezra Bowen, J.B. Lippincott Company, pg 69

Looks pretty lifted and tipped to me! This same book discusses walking movements, stepping off from the outside ski, as a great introduction to the movements of ski turns--another "modern" concept that has been around for a while!

Want more written history of this movement? Ski Pointers by the Experts, 1951, by the editors of Ski Life Magazine, Universal Publishing and Distributing, pp 92-93: Describing a parallel turn, "Your body rises from the hips and knees, and most of your weight is transferred to the uphill ski. With the aid of your pole and a steering action of the feet and knees, the skis begin to move laterally across the slope in the opposite direction." Admittedly, this description describes some different movements, as it is clearly intended to get the skis skidding to start the turn--pretty much required in those days. The "up" movement, combined with the weight transfer, was what I call a "negative movement" (away from the direction of the turn), which will cause skidding to this day. The real significance of this passage is that it describes exactly what happens when the "lift" is done wrong today, as I described in my previous post. Here's a photograph that accompanied the text. Again, look familiar?

1951, Ski Pointers by the Experts, Universal Publishing and Distributing, pg 93

(There are some very similar photographs throughout Harb's works. From a casual flip through, see pages 75, 86, 101 frame b, center card #9 3rd frame, 104 frame c, 124 frame c, and so on, in "Expert 1." Given fifty years of evolution, it's remarkable how similar these pictures are!)

These are just the first two "old" books I picked up from my collection. There are many more.

My good friend Reid Sarver, who was hired to teach with me in Breckenridge in 1979, used to advocate--and personify--lifting the inside ski. I used to tell him he looked like an old mongrel slaloming around fire hydrants. But he was a darned good skier! About the same time at Breckenridge there was an instructor named "Greg" (I forget his last name), who taught tipping to what he called the "little toe edge" of the inside ski to start a turn. Since skiing was very outside-ski dominant at the time, and few of us even considered the role of the inside ski, I thought this was heresy. Turns out, it was profound, and prophetic!

Lito Tejada-Flores was a big advocate of active weight transfer prior to initiating a turn, way prior to 2001. He may not have described all the elements of what Harald later called the "phantom move," but it seems that he and Harald pretty much saw eye-to-eye on it.

Phil and Steve Mahre, in Keystone's Mahre Training Center in the 80's and early '90's, often advocated lifting the downhill/new inside tail (keeping the tip on the snow) while tipping that leg and ski toward the new turn, and pulling that boot in toward the other boot top. They worked with me on that move, quite a bit.

What's the point? All these skiers, authors, and instructors, Harald Harb included, deserve credit for describing these and other movements. I don't think any of them would claim to have "invented" them. It is, after all, a basic, fundamental movement of walking, modified only slightly for the timing, mechanics, and needs of skiing. It is a worthy accomplishment to put any movement of skiing into words, and Harb deserves much credit for having done that. If any skier or instructor learns from Harb's writing, that is a very good thing!

For any student of skiing history, though, suggesting that any basic skiing "move" is proprietary to an individual or teaching progression is simply preposterous. And this statement is no dishonor to anyone!

So volklskier--and others--PLEASE stop being so over-sensitive to things like this. This is a thread about the EpicSki Academy and something one of its top-level instructors taught. It is not about Harald Harb, and that is not an insult to him!

Now, can we please get back to what was a great discussion of skiing and teaching?

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #17 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thank you, Bob and others. I think we've explored and, perhaps, clarified one aspect of the progression Schanzy suggested we try. Perhaps folks could try some of the other focuses in my first post and report what they experience? Or perhaps we might open discussion on some of the other points?
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado View Post
About the same time at Breckenridge there was an instructor named "Greg" (I forget his last name), who taught tipping to what he called the "little toe edge" of the inside ski to start a turn. Since skiing was very outside-ski dominant at the time, and few of us even considered the role of the inside ski, I thought this was heresy. Turns out, it was profound, and prophetic!
I am glad that we have so many great coaches at the ESA and here on the site. Too bad you don't remember his name... I'd love to hear what he has to say about this stuff...
post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_m View Post
As you cross the fall line and the tips of the skis start moving up the hill, cock your feet back firmly under you and let your center of mass move ahead toward the tips of your skis. Simultaneously bend your lower/middle spine laterally to place your relaxed upper body out over your new support foot before starting down the hill into the new turn. Stand strong on that new support foot and keep moving your center of mass ahead, toward the tips, and up the hill, following the direction of travel, as the skis flatten. With ankles cocked and strong, feel the new edges engage in the snow before thinking of turning. Once engaged, focus on bending the tip of the new support ski and keep bending it down into the snow all the away through the turn. The wide tip flowing into the narrow waist of the ski turns it. Simultaneously at the start, shorten the new inside knee and thigh and rotate that femur open in the hip socket in the direction you want to go. Try to feel the outside edge of the tip of that newly rolled over, short inside ski in the snow and drive your hips forward and ahead in the direction of the turn throughout. Never let the hips drop down or back!
I find your interpretations here really interesting. I remember you talking with Shanzy about the femur rotation stuff. I don't remember him mentioning that to the group in general, but may have missed it when I was focused elsewhere.

The cock of the ankles was a key idea that Megan discussed in her presentation, and we covered that with Shanzy the next day. The key (as has been stated by so many, and as takes me back to Ron LeMaster's presentation in Boulder on the common elements of World Cup racers) is to get the tips engaged early in the turn to pull us into the fall line. To do that, we have to move forward in the right way (I started a new thread on this and would love comments on it over there), and get those tips working for us. The drills of the progression help us learn movements to do this. Moving in a way to bend the tip of the new inside ski while the ski is lifted with only the tip on the snow is an amazing drill for doing this. I find it difficult to find the strong position for this.

Have you ever done this? Got thoughts on how to get the body moving appropriately?
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado View Post

About the same time at Breckenridge there was an instructor named "Greg" (I forget his last name), who taught tipping to what he called the "little toe edge" of the inside ski to start a turn. Since skiing was very outside-ski dominant at the time, and few of us even considered the role of the inside ski, I thought this was heresy. Turns out, it was profound, and prophetic!

Yeah....I remember him....I can't remember his last name either.
post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Louie View Post
Yeah....I remember him....I can't remember his last name either.
He must be really old by now. Wonder if he's still skiing. Or skiing well...
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

Here's the real issue for skiers: What does it do? What does it help? What can it hinder?
Well, seeing as you asked.

The movement of the inside ski first does several things. It helps to not "block" the outside ski as Weems already pointed out.

Making that ski "light" as your first movement also allows the CM to move toward the direction of the new turn. If you don't prevent this action, the CM crosses over the skis and your body mass is instantly on the inside of the new turn creating edge angle instantly and smoothly. It elimates the need to unweight anything.

I don't think "the move" hinders anything.

Now....try this one....mix a little PMTS and PSIA the next time y'all go out skiing. Try the "Phantom Move" and ADD a little leg rotation to the inside ski. Go ahead and POINT your inside knee in the direction of the next turn (and hang on)(I'm officially calling this the Magic Move......just in case this whole who's first topic comes up again)
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
He must be really old by now. Wonder if he's still skiing. Or skiing well...
Oh yeah....he has to be really old....I was around 27/28 then and he looked ancient.....heck by now, I bet even he can't remember his own last name.

But what I remember of what he showed/told me is in the post above.
post #24 of 53
Lift and tip.

A worthwhile method for introducing early pressure transfer from old outside to old inside ski, getting the hip moving into the new turn, and removing the blocking effect a non tipping inside foot can create. Not the only method, but a worthwhile one to have at ones disposal.

As to the harm:
It's a non efficient movement pattern. It requires a muscular lifting of the old outside ski that is not really necessary in high level arc to arc skiing. No lightening and tipping of the old outside foot takes place by lifting that foot that can't take place just as well with the old outside foot left on the ground. ILE (inside leg extension), or OLR (outside leg relaxation) is all that's needed to lighten the old outside foot, transfer pressure to the old inside foot, and set the Center of Mass in motion across the skis and into the new turn.
post #25 of 53
Rick, is it a requirement to lighten the old outside foot? I think that an alternative is to just tip that old outside foot, even if it continues to have pressure applied to it (the so-called weighted release). Right?
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Rick, is it a requirement to lighten the old outside foot? I think that an alternative is to just tip that old outside foot, even if it continues to have pressure applied to it (the so-called weighted release). Right?
Wrong.

Tipping the old outside foot downhill reduces edge angle. Reducing edge angle lowers the amount of centrifugal force acting on the CM. At that moment the skier becomes out of balance, and unless pressure is intentionally transferred away from the old outside foot and onto the old inside foot via old inside leg contraction, the skier will swiftly find him/herself grooming the snow with their inside hip.

And no to this being weighted release. Can't be, because in weighted release the old inside/new outside ski never feels pressure until CM crossing has occurred. Weighted release requires muscular involvement in making CM crossing take place.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post

As to the harm:
It's a non efficient movement pattern. It requires a muscular lifting of the old outside ski that is not really necessary in high level arc to arc skiing. No lightening and tipping of the old outside foot takes place by lifting that foot that can't take place just as well with the old outside foot left on the ground. ILE (inside leg extension), or OLR (outside leg relaxation) is all that's needed to lighten the old outside foot, transfer pressure to the old inside foot, and set the Center of Mass in motion across the skis and into the new turn.
Well, yes...and no....depending on what you are trying to do. I agree that in truely high level skiing (our own free skiing) the above is correct. The lighten and tip (I don't really agree with lifting) is a highly efficient move for the Instructor who must demonstrate this move at a slow rate of speed so students can see all the other elements of the turn when there isn't enough outside forces to allow things to happen as you explained above.

In short....sometimes you got to fake it, and the student can't see the muscular movement....just the result

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
And no to this being weighted release. Can't be, because in weighted release the old inside/new outside ski never feels pressure until CM crossing has occurred. Weighted release requires muscular involvement in making CM crossing take place.
I don't think that "weighted release" means what we have commonly thought about weighting & releasing. Having begun to dive into one of HH's books I think I may understand what he means with this term. I am of the belief that weighted release means at the transition into the new turn there is no "classic" unweighting. We do not need to extend (or flex for that matter) to lighten the skis in order to turn them.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Wrong.

Tipping the old outside foot downhill reduces edge angle. Reducing edge angle lowers the amount of centrifugal force acting on the CM. At that moment the skier becomes out of balance, and unless pressure is intentionally transferred away from the old outside foot and onto the old inside foot via old inside leg contraction, the skier will swiftly find him/herself grooming the snow with their inside hip.
That's why I do it--to release edge angle, and centrifugal force earlier in the old turn, so I can get on into the next turn without coming around too far. And yeah, begin to transfer pressure to the other ski (although much of that will happen passively while lunging forward and down the hill). This is all a process of "traveling" from edge to edge. Alternatively, you can look at it like Bob Barnes does: you really don't have to do much more besides releasing that old edge if you've been moving through the previous turn. This will take you through neutral and into the next one.

On the point of lifting/tipping. I avoid doing that in a real turn and I work hard with my students to at least maintain ski snow contact when they tip the old outside ski into the turn. I want that ski to interact with the snow right away on its new edge, rather than negotiate a landing later on. So I use the drill referred to above statically--having them stand on the flats, poles in the snow and wide apart for support. Then I have them lift what will be the new inside ski, replace it in the snow on the other edge, then pressure the new edge at the tip--to get the sense of it in simulation. Then I say, now we will ski and try the same idea/sensation with the feet apart and not losing contact with the snow.

By the way, for some students its just as easy to just push the new inside knee forward and toward the fall line while keeping the ankle flexing on that side.

Totally phantom, if you ask me. Or, yeah, Uncle Louie. The magic move. You own it!
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB View Post
The one thing that I question (I question everything actually ) is the fact that PSIA seems to have lost favor for angulation in carved turns. The stacked look that Megan showed in her persentation is now in favor. That is all fine, but at the speed we ski, the lack of angulation gives up higher edge angles that would help you carve some very short tight turns with less speed. Anyone care to respond to this?
Respectfully, I don't think so at all.

I think less angulation at the start of the turn allows us to carry more load on the skis at higher edge angles. I've been fighting for years against the tendency of instructors to overangulate, even as the new skis made it unnecessary. I'll never forget skiing with Andy Mills one day--ten or more years ago--and asking him for critique. "Why do you lean to the outside so much? You need to bank more." Cool! Another friend once said, "Now we bank because we can!"

Admittedly those are exaggerations, but I believe I see, in the skiers I admire a tendency to tip pretty much the whole body into the turn, with a tiny bit of angulation (at the neck, waist, hip, and knee), which increases towards the end, partly to rebalance, but partly to start the process of crossing over to the new turn. The most evident visual of this is that, unlike the old days, the plane of the shoulders going into the turn tips inward pretty significantly, while the plane of the shoulders at the end of the turn levels out.

Now in short turns there is less of this tipping in relative to what it is in long turns. Nevertheless, there is much less angulation than there was in the old days.

Bruce Bowlin, an old friend an examiner from Beaver Creek, gave me a great take on this. It started in a conversation about motorcycles. (He's a good rider and I suck but I'm gettin' there.) I asked him when do you hang off toward the inside (bank), and when do you counterlean the body with the bike (angulate). He said, it's just like skiing. If you anticipate that the vehicle (skis/bike) may drift, you have to counterlean to be prepared to move with it and balance on it. When it's not gonna do that you tip inside so you can work better with the suspension/alignment system of the body and the bike.

Jay Evans, former dteam star, told me once, when Bode Miller started winning, that he (Jay) felt that one of the major factors was Miller's ability to extend his suspension system up into higher points in his body--from feet to armpits. When you angulate, you lose that length of travel; it stops at the hip.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
...the difference between learning and catechism. One leads to understanding the principles and rules underlying the subject and the other to dependency on an intermediary between the learner and subject. To my way of thinking, good teaching assists disintermediation between learner and subject.

All you ski instructors, please get this: good teaching assists disintermediation between learner and subject.

(Also, very cool word, Nolo!) Marketing is the devil that is both necessary to attract the student, yet also becomes that pesky intermediary. This is why I will never make any money on my program. Marketing is almost antithetical to what I'm trying to achieve in my teaching. It isn't me, or Epicski, or PSIA, or Harb, or Lito. It's you, the student, and the sport. Our job is to help you develop your own effective and efficient and versatile tools, and then get the hell out of the way. (This is also my philosophy as a manager--hire people who have the tools, assist them in developing them, and then get out of their way.)
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