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Knuckle dragging: becoming the norm?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Check out the photos from the GS: All three US skiers have the inside hand on the snow. What next, waxing the gloves?


http://www.usskiteam.com/public/news...&sN=1&aId=2716
post #2 of 17
Slide plates
post #3 of 17
It's the third ski.
post #4 of 17
i have been doing that for years when free skiing, glad to see its not just me.

has to do with losing balance and sliding out when i do it.

it looks like none of those guys were near the gate.

they are probalby experianceing the same problem.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
What next, waxing the gloves?
15-page Thumbsteering threads.




as soon as someone pulls their...
post #6 of 17
Read this: http://youcanski.com/en/coaching/incline-to-win.htm

It's not a loss of balance, nor is it a recovery. Inclination is part of the game, now. They are not supporting themselves with that hand, but reaching inside to move weight inside the arc, the same way you lean inside when rounding a sharp corner on a bike.
post #7 of 17

I don't know

Quote:
Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
Read this: http://youcanski.com/en/coaching/incline-to-win.htm

It's not a loss of balance, nor is it a recovery. Inclination is part of the game, now. They are not supporting themselves with that hand, but reaching inside to move weight inside the arc, the same way you lean inside when rounding a sharp corner on a bike.
Hmm.. When you do it on a bike it moves your COM inwards countering the centrifugal (sp?) forces, thus allowing your wheels to stay flatter on the surface-> more tire surface on the ground -> more grip.
With skiing, you don't want your COM moved inwards. You don't want your ski to be flat like when riding a bike, but on its edge. Right?

Or do I miss something?

[Yeah, I am gonna read the article next]
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by iareweasel View Post
Hmm.. When you do it on a bike it moves your COM inwards countering the centrifugal (sp?) forces, thus allowing your wheels to stay flatter on the surface-> more tire surface on the ground -> more grip.
With skiing, you don't want your COM moved inwards. You don't want your ski to be flat like when riding a bike, but on its edge. Right?

Or do I miss something?

[Yeah, I am gonna read the article next]
My take on leaning in with a bike is to counteract the forces wanting to pull you to the outside of the arc.

Today's skis, if set properly at the top of the turn, grip like a set of railroad tracks and allow the skier to throw everything inside to contribute to bending them and skiing a tighter arc. But the key is to to be forward and on the outside ski at the top of the turn to establish a good edge. But read the article. It's very good...
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by iareweasel View Post
With skiing, you don't want your COM moved inwards. You don't want your ski to be flat like when riding a bike, but on its edge. Right?
I think you're right, for what that's worth.

The idea of moving weight inside is anti-angulation or negative angulation. While -- in some situations anyway -- skiers might angulate less than they used to, I don't think they're anti-angulating. Indeed, in the linked photo of Ligety, he is quite obviously angulating, mostly from the hip. His head and shoulders are tipped the opposite way from how someone on a bike (or motorcycle) tips in a corner.

In the few quotations I've seen from the actual racers talking about the "hand on the snow" move, they've said that they do it for reference: basically, so to feel exactly how close to the snow they are so they don't do something like (for example) drop the hip all the way until it hits the snow.

They're not catching a "slide-out," either. If a racer put weight on the hand at GS speed, it would yank his upper body so out a line he'd have trouble making the next turn.
post #10 of 17
Another note: inclination (the angle at which the center of mass is tipped toward the inside of the turn) depends pretty nearly exactly on the path you travel and the speed you move at. When following a given path at a given speed, there's no choice of how much to incline: you either incline the amount required by physics or you tip over toward the outside of the turn or toward the inside.*

Angulation allows you to vary the angle of the skis relative to the angle of inclination. In skiing, you generally want a higher edge angle; in biking you often want a lower "tire angle."

*Okay, it's not completely precise, since you've got two feet and can thus alter the base of support ... but close.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post
Another note: inclination (the angle at which the center of mass is tipped toward the inside of the turn) depends pretty nearly exactly on the path you travel and the speed you move at. When following a given path at a given speed, there's no choice of how much to incline: you either incline the amount required by physics or you tip over toward the outside of the turn or toward the inside.*

Angulation allows you to vary the angle of the skis relative to the angle of inclination. In skiing, you generally want a higher edge angle; in biking you often want a lower "tire angle."
post #12 of 17
1. This is new school skiing (although Joel Chenal has been doing it for years), with its tight lines and radical inclination. 3 (?)years ago, after Bode Miller won the opening GS at Soelden by a huge margin, one of the Austrians complained "if he keeps winning, soon all the teenaged Austrian racers will be doing 'snowboarder turns'."

2. The inside hand near the snow (A) acts as an additional balance aid (you can even use the inside pole as a "cat's whisker" brushing the snow as Chenal does, and you can use it to push your body upright--Chenal apparently derives enough of a benefit to justify to himself the increased drag); (B) gives the racer confidence to crank that extra inclination for most effective use of the sidecut to carve a tighter racing turn; and (C) acts as a safety valve, as you can use an inside hand snow punch to stay upright in the event of boot out.

There are a couple of disadvantages:

3. If you are not going fast enough to support that inclination in balance, dropping your inside hand makes you fall inside, and bad things happen very fast. (Been there, Biffed that.)

4. You really don't want to take a GS gate in that position with most of your body inside the gate. (Ah, yes, Biff appears to be trying to pull the course prematurely in the midst of his run. Pity they don't award style points for that multiple summersault rag doll thing in this league...)

Because of #3 above, for a lot of us hacks, putting the inside hand down is often the sign of a consistent technique flaw (coach yelling from two gates away "Shoulders LEVEL!") rather than a hallmark of WC-like skiing.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdean View Post
1. (coach yelling from two gates away "Shoulders LEVEL!") .
Good point! Ligity looks best, skied the fastest, and has the only level shoulders.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
Good point! Ligity looks best, skied the fastest, and has the only level shoulders.
Look at the Austrians, same positions. There's a still of Maier in yesterday's NYT, but video captures the dynamic much better.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog
Good point! Ligity looks best, skied the fastest, and has the only level shoulders.

Yes. In addition to level shoulders, Ligety has considerably more counter rotation than the other racers. My coaches keep telling me to avoid counter, but I find it is helpful especially as snow becomes harder and the slope steeper.

What are your opinions on benefits and drawbacks of increased counter?
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainsport500 View Post
My coaches keep telling me to avoid counter, but I find it is helpful especially as snow becomes harder and the slope steeper.

What are your opinions on benefits and drawbacks of increased counter?

I remember one steep icy GS training session where a friend told me to push my inside arm forward and get some counter. I said the coach didn't want us doing that. He said just do it anyway,I did, and I finally got a grip on the snow. There is still plenty of counter on the WC.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainsport500 View Post
What are your opinions on benefits and drawbacks of increased counter?
There are prior threads on this topic. Ron LeMaster said this Fall that counter varies among top WC racers, some fast ones using a considerable amount of it, some fast ones not.

Some benefits: Increases edge angle, in a tuck directs the weight to the front of the outside ski (a good thing), reduces drag at GS gate impact with inside shoulder forward, helps to create a break at the hip comma shape of your body to use angulation as well as inclination to distribute your weight to the outside ski when you're not going fast enought for a pure inclination turn. I think counter is especially helpful in an effective tuck turn.

Some drawbacks: It leads very easily to excessive inside tip lead, which in turn leads to LOTS of bad things, including getting inside ski dominant when you try to get optimally forward to carve a tighter turn (a really bad thing). Some have written that early counter maintained throughout the turn leads to a "park and ride" turn, but that whole discussion was a little beyond me. It's one way to create edge angle and load up the outside ski, and in specific situations it may not be the best way to do that or may increase edge angle beyond that which is optimal for the ideal fast turn.

I'm sure others can chime in on other drawbacks, but for me the big one is that inside tip lead problem, which leads to a whole series of problems (inside ski dominant, scissored legs, not getting forward enough, weird independent leg action transitions) that plague my entire family of racers. (I've got issues with it, my brother's got issues with it, and my 13-year-old son has issues with it. It's like we're under some kind of bizarre ski technique family curse, transmitted by skiing behind each other...)
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