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A Tale of Three Turns - Page 15

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 In the first series the subject(Bob ) seems to be in the center of his skis. With no upper body rotation involved as he follow his skis . In the lower pictures the seam on the coat seems to be entering the turn previous to the skis path. I'm not sure this is truth or illusion. My point is when we teach young people ,say a 6-7 year old when we ask them to turn their feet to define the path of a gliding wedge they will nearly always match with their upper body the suggested path they are telling their feet to go. This bilateral movement would also reinforce and implant a non desired rotary movement right from our first instruction of a gliding wedge turn. Wouldn't it be better to have both skis on edge and then ask them to roll a knee into the hill thereby flattenning the inside ski and the pressure and direction of the outside ski would generate the turn. The inside ski would naturally enter into a christy without much ,if any ,coaching. It seems this would reinforce edging and pressure as turn tools and not put such a demand on the use of rotation that might get abused or used incorrectly through new habits. My experience with this is drawn from a clinic by an Alpine Team member demonstrating a proper gliding wedge turn and christy. This seems to be one place where introduction of rotary movement presents a slippery slope that can take students in a direction they would be better served not to go . Is this a misinterpretation on my part or something that should be handled very carefully as a stepping stone and not a means to a parallel turn in that the rotary aspect seems to be enforced intead of diminished ?
Great post there, too, Garry (sorry--hadn't noticed it before).

Regarding the relationship of the upper and lower body, I suggest that this simple-sounding concept actually needs some clarification. What, exactly, is the "upper body," and where is the separation (pivot point, stretch zone, whatever) between "it" and the "lower body"? It's actually the main differentiation between "leg rotation" and the upper-body-based rotary mechanisms (rotation, counter-rotation, and blocking pole plants). In leg rotation, the pelvis is part of the upper body, and pivot point(s) are the hip sockets. In the other mechanisms, the entire lower body works as a unit against the upper body, with the hips moving typically more as part of the lower body and the pivot point (or zone) generally in the abdomen and lower spine.

Keep this thought in mind as you look at these illustrations, which show primarily leg rotation. (Note that one clear sign of leg rotation is that lines across the ski tips and across any two sides of the body--knees, hips, shoulders, hands, etc.--remain parallel. This relationship is clearly shown by the parallel lines across ski tips and hands in the basic turns illustrations. In this respect, with leg rotation, "tip lead" equates to "counter.") The legs rotate independently of each other in the hip sockets beneath the pelvis, very similar to the steering movements of the front wheels of a car as they pivot in the wheel wells beneath the chassis.

So, at the moment the turn begins--I call this the "neutral point," the moment the edge(s) release allowing the new arc to begin--the skier remains still somewhat countered (facing downhill) from the previous turn. This gives the illusion that the skier has rotated the upper body into the new turn. In fact, though, the legs and skis are rotating beneath the pelvis (and upper body) as I described. This "steering" activity (whether active--muscular--or passive is irrelevant to this discussion) began way back in the previous turn, resulting in the counter of the upper body decreasing--but not disappearing--by the neutral point. It continues through that point and into the new turn, causing the skis and body to become "square" and then developing new counter as the turn progresses.

In other words, what matters is not the position at any moment--countered, square, rotated--but the movement that is happening at that moment. We can counter-rotate from a rotated position, for example, just as we can steer our feet (or allow them to turn, if you prefer) from a rotated position. And that is what is happening in these turns. The turn begins from a slightly rotated position with respect to the new turn (still countered from the old turn), but the legs are turning beneath the pelvis, in a movement that will eventually result in a new countered position (upper body facing toward the outside of the turn) in the new turn.

The point that may be of contention remains the question of exactly where and when the skier becomes "square," or the equivalent--where and when does the lead change from one ski to the other. I contend that it is generally ("by default") after the turn begins, as I have shown in these illustrations. This not intended to be a directive either--it is an effect of sound movements, and should not become a goal or an end in itself. I don't advise trying to assume any particular position at the transition--situations will cause variations--but it is very important at least to give yourself permission to move in these ways.

---

Now to your second point ("Wouldn't it be better to have both skis on edge and then ask them to roll a knee into the hill thereby flattenning the inside ski and the pressure and direction of the outside ski would generate the turn")--also a great point! My answer is "yes," although I'm tempted to inquire, "better than what"? You have described movements I would advocate teaching as fundamentals of basic turns at any level. And as an exercise, it's a fine focus to play with at some point in a beginner lesson.

However, (there's always one of those, isn't there?) as you have described it, you will make a turn whose shape is dictated by your ski, not necessarily by you. That's fine, until you need to make a smaller turn than your skis can carve, especially likely with the limited edging skills and minimal pressure (force) involved in most beginners' turns. What if your skis aren't taking you where you want to go? As you wrote, the "direction" of the ski is part of the equation, and the rotary skill is nothing more than how you control that!

So, to make that smaller-than-your-skis-can-carve turn, you will need to actively steer your skis, in addition to (not instead of) the tipping and pressuring movements you've described. It's this active (muscular) rotary input that makes wedge christies tend to happen at low speeds and skill levels. They're not a goal, and the turns are certainly not "wedge-based." No one says you "have" to make turns smaller than your skis can carve, but the ability to do so when needed is, I would argue, critical! Certainly, there is plenty of time in most beginner lessons to explore the effects of pure edging and pressuring movements, to "ride the arc" of tipped skis, and so on--and I suspect that most good instructors play with these movements a lot, when appropriate. They're just not all there is to it. Adding accurate rotary movements to the mix and blending all the movements together surely is more difficult than just "tipping and ripping." But real control, versatility, and expertise demand it--and taking shortcuts to "easy" is not always a sign of a great instructor!

In conclusion, it is important to note that good ski instruction--as advocated by all national instructor organizations that I'm familiar with worldwide--emphasizes teaching a balanced blend of skills and movements, whatever is needed to get the job done (whatever "the job" may be). It would be a specific violation of good teaching principles to over-emphasize, or to ignore, any particular skill. Rotary, as I've said before, is not a directive. But it is an essential skill!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
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Originally Posted by weems
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 Originally Posted by cgeib That's about the best I can splain dat, Weems. Whadda ya think?
I think I follow, but I'm still struggling a bit as this is not a concept I pay much attention to. I see what Bob is saying, but it's still hard for me to grasp as I have a sense of turns either flowing through to the next or artificially stopping somewhere. So neutral is a strange place, if only because it's so momentary.

Gotta burn some more brain cells on this one. Or not.
Weems,

I'm with you 100% on the "flowing through to the next..."

What I found instructive was exploring that strange neutral place, to find out where you need to be in order to stay there for more than that moment. I think it's the same place you need to be when you flow thru to make that "perfect edge-change" - I didn't even have to take the book out from under the coffee table leg for that quote

Best,

Chris
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 Originally Posted by BigE Bob, you can't be serious. You're suggesting we should turn the foot the opposite direction using the strength of the ankle to counteract the torque from the tipping effort? DavidM would have a field day with the biomechanical disadvantages you're suggesting that high level skiers should learn to employ. Please clarify.
Well BigE, remember we have two feet, and those two feet will tip in different directions (anatomicly) when we want both skis to go onto their respective edges (big toe, little toe). One foot (outside) everts, and the other (inside) foot inverts. Of course we know that this movement is severely limited and "supported" by the ski boot. We also know that we can feel the pressure on the respective sides of the boot at our ankles too. We know also that an everted foot rotates away from the hill so we need to counter this with counter rotation at the hip joint which is rotation between the pelvis and the femur. Now using the femur foot and ski as reference we could say that the pelvis is moving counter to the direction happening down lower, but if we use the pelvis and core as reference, we could also say that the femur is rotating in the direction of the turn. One persons femur rotation is another persons pelvic counter rotation. Both will deliver a person into a "countered position". For the pelvis and core to counter act the feet rotating away from the hill requires both femurs to rotate in the hip socket relative to the pelvis, independantly of each other, but in the same direction of the turn, no matter which way you look at from above or below.

In my book, the ankle is no stronger in tipping movements than it is in steering movements. Both movements need support from the strong kinetic chain above. Certainly the little toe foot needs this support from above as we all know the little toe side of the foot is by far the weaker side of the foot.

Truth is DavidM wasn't too big on the little toe edge of the foot. It was almost an after thought for him. Alignment through the big toe edge of the outside foot was key for him. The steering and tipping subtleties of the inside foot were never really addressed by him in my memory. In gait mechanics the unweighted foot does suponate to a degree, but it will not suponate enough to change the skis edge relative to the snow,,,,this happens from recruitment of the kinetic of the kinetic chain above through femur rotation (leg flexed) and abduction (leg straight), or a blending of the two (circumduction) in most real world situations.

To me it boils down to which end of the kinetic chain is anchoring the movements,,,,the pelvis and the core anchoring short "brushed carves", or the skis, feet and legs, anchoring arced turns. In other words, which end of the kinetic chain is providing the needed stability, and which is providing the mobility. To say that the anchor is the same in both turns doesn't jibe with me. I think this speaks to the heart of this whole mess of passive versus active.
Thanks Bob for your kind response.

The 'better than' would be a singulary rotated turn and a edged pressure turn would an improvement in trying to limit the rotation of a beginner. Better yet ,from your response is to do all three. Teach them the differances and as they experience the feeling of each they would be able to blend them to guide or determine the turn shape they choose to follow.
I like to say. .. we are the boss of these skis . we will tell them where and how fast we want to go. We are not on these for a ride ,we are using them to take us where we want to go.
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 Originally Posted by nolo I stand corrected on the percentage of people who report having taken at least one lesson. How does that percentage break down when we consider that only 15% of first time skiers ever come back to be interviewed by agents of the NSAA? It sounds to me like the majority of the 15% that stuck with it took lessons. It tells me nothing about the 85% who dropped out. Do I have that right?
This whole issue of retention to me really boils down to an issue of self (teacher) importance,,,we think we should be more important than we are.

There are many sports/arts where the retention rates are no better, or less than skiing. It is about human nature, what a student wants out of a sport and how much they want to put into a sport. Martial arts have about the same retention as skiing. One could say this is the result of poor teaching methodology, or on the other hand it could be that many just don't want what the teacher is there to give. Those that want to commit to long term refinement and advancement find their teachers, those that don't won't.

Anyone may be able to be an expert skier, but not everyone will commit to being one. Buying a book or a lesson will not make us an expert skier unless we commit to the journey. Teachers can inspire and motivate, but that will only goes so far. IMHO when we point fingers at each others methodologies it is probably because we have painted ourselves into our respective corners.
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Originally Posted by Max_501
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 Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado In all three of these illustrations, note that the skier never makes any active movement intended to push the tails out.
Is the shoulder rotation into the turn intentional (a good example is shown in the top down view)?
Max, I take it your meaning is that you see shoulder rotation that is causing the tails to be pushed out, and you want clarification that this is, or is not, intentional - correct?

So I understand, can you note the movements you see in the images in the sequence below, please. Use the bottom image as 1 and count towards the top. When do the shoulders rotate into the turn, which way is the turn, which way do the shoulders rotate, and how does that cause the tail push?

Thanks,

Chris

This image shows fairly high-speed turns similar to the three turns in my original post in this thread. It’s basically a still version of the animations above.
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 I'm not even interested in the rotation or no rotation argument in high end skiing. My interest is down in the trenches.

I won't argue with those trenches, VolklSkier! I agree--carving trenches and savoring the g-forces of high-speed pure-carved turns is one of my favorite things to do on skis too. And it does involve the complete switching off of all active rotary movements that could cause the skis to twist off their lines and degrade that pure-carved arc.

The question remains, though--what do you do if you're in the middle of one of those sensuous pure-carved experiences when you suddenly find a snowcat parked in your line on the backside of a roll? Suddenly, "playing" must take a back seat, as more important needs have come up, and you must either 1) stop before you hit the thing, or 2) change your turn shape and go where it isn't. (Note that these two things are opposites--"stop" vs. "go." More on this later....) Either way, you'll need some different movements than those that would have kept you in that original clean arc. Perhaps you can modify the turn shape enough by simply tipping your skis further--if you can, that may be the best bet. But changes in pressure--specifically, moving it forward on your skis--and/or some active redirection of the skis may be needed as well. Either will degrade the "perfect" pure carve to some degree. Neither may be your (or my) first choice for our default fun turns. But I'll sure be glad I could do it there! Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. (And it's nice to know how!)

---

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 I believe that most people already have the "skill" of rotation and that they use it in a variety of physical activities everyday. However, Balancing on 2 edges while moving is something new. That's the skill that needs to be developed.
Point well-taken, VS. As a general principle, I agree that, when a student comes to a lesson with any skill well-developed, it often makes sense to focus on the weaker skills that are holding them back. And I specifically agree that new skiers need a lot of time and focus on learning to glide in balance on the edges of their skis, and on flat skis too for that matter (although there are exceptions here as well--hockey players, for instance, are usually pretty comfortable with that already).

But I disagree that most new skiers come with much real skill in the rotary department. The ability to twist and muscle things around, especially with upper body "rotation" (by far the most intuitive method, especially for athletic men) is actually the problem. They must learn not to do this, in several ways. We may not really disagree here, either, because I submit that the biggest reason most skiers twist their skis around (at any level) is because they haven't yet learned to "love gliding"--to balance comfortably on the edges of moving skis, as you put it. So they do whatever they can to twist their skis into a skid to prevent them from gliding, to regain their grip on the planet that gives them their fundamental sense of control. So, ironically, perhaps the first step in developing rotary skill is what you suggest--to learn to balance on two edges while moving (and to learn to love it).

Second is to learn more refined ways to direct the skis than just forcing them around with gross muscular exertions of the upper body. That's where leg-rotation comes in, and virtually every effective instructor develops these movements, whether they know it or not, and no matter what they call them. Leg rotation is fundamental to stepping movements and skating movements. Walking/gliding/skating around circles and figure-8's on the flats are staples of beginner lessons everywhere, and they should be! They develop both the sense of gliding in balance and the abilty to direct your skis with your legs instead of your upper body.

(Yes, it is shameful that we still do see, in epidemic numbers, instructors who play with these exercises for a moment, then immediately hike their students way up on the hill or the "magic carpet" to where all those students want to do is stop. So much for love of gliding! The teaching of rotary is not the problem here--the problem is putting the students in a defensive mindset where they need that rotary to put the brakes on again. I suspect we agree here!)

In any case, there are very few sports or activities besides skiing (and skating) where it makes much difference which direction our feet point. Some people walk like ducks, others are pigeon-toed, but they all get where they need to go. In skiing, our lives may depend on the direction our feet point! Rotary skill involves both developing awareness of our feet and their direction, and refining our ability to control that direction--or to change it when necessary.

In addition to edging and balancing skills, skaters obviously have developed both the awareneness of and the ability to control their feet's direction with simple, refined leg movements. THAT is rotary skill--and with it, they can glide, turn, and do hockey stops, as needed. So new skiers with skating experience are way ahead of the game compared with most people, in many ways.

Other new skiing students come with any variety of skills and experiences, and it is up to the instructor to determine where to begin, and what to focus on.

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 Once you open the door to steering, it's a pandoras box that never closes and instead of leading to versatility as is often the claim here it instead leads to a dead end. How many skiers sit inside on a powder day or in any type of crud or chowder cursing the conditions? Many. They are stuck because they are making a turn where the tail is not following the tip
If you will allow me to change your word "steering" to "pivoting" or "braking" (which I believe are actually what you mean when you say "steering"), I will agree with all the rest here. "Steering" does not mean these things to me, as I have described above. Quite the contrary--among other things, it means learning not to pivot and brake (usually).

Even here, though, I submit that judiciously teaching braking is also important. It can be a "pandora's box," but only if it becomes a habit, which it probably will if students don't first learn to love gliding, or if they don't clearly understand that braking is not skiing--and it is not turning. Turning is going where you want to go. Braking is stopping. You really can't go and stop at the same time! To me, the real cause of the dreadful "dead end" in ski teaching is defensiveness. It doesn't matter whether an instructor focuses on tipping movements (based on the likelihood that the students can already "rotate") or on rotary movements, on parallel or wedge--students who don't want to "go" will find some way to get their skis across the direction of travel and dig in to grip the planet--or fall trying. Good skiing is habitually offensive, and no one can teach offensive movements to defensive skiers!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
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 Is the shoulder rotation into the turn intentional (a good example is shown in the top down view)?
Max--as I mentioned, appearances can be deceiving. To help you answer CGeib's question to you, there is no--zero--shoulder rotation in any of my recently posted animations or illustrations. [I suppose I should define my terms here, just to be clear. "Rotation," once again, describes a specific rotary (torque-producing) mechanism involving turning first the upper body or some part of it (shoulders, in this case) to generate angular (rotational) momentum, then transferring that momentum to the lower body and skis by slowing or stopping that upper body rotation, in a "one-two" sequence. If this is what you mean, there is none in these illustrations.)

If by "shoulder rotation," you simply mean that the shoulders turn, then of course, you are right. The upper body (pelvis up) follows the skis through the turn, just as a car follows its wheels through a turn. In these illustrations and animations, the skis turn beneath the pelvis, creating a somewhat "countered" relationship, again similar to the turning of a car's front wheels beneath the chassis--which also creates "counter," as well as a lead change.

On the other hand, Sequence 3 of the original "Three Turns" sequences most definitely does show upper body--including shoulder--rotation. That is actually its most distinguishing characteristic.

Best regards,
Bob
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 Yes, in an effort to enter the turn with no twist.
Thanks for the clarification, Bolter. I just wanted to be sure.

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 Bob, simply put... are you suggesting to tip 'em left and turn the feet right?
That simply put, yes. Although as you know, I often get uncomfortable when descriptions of what happens, or even what must happen, get couched in the terms of a directive. I'm not sure that it's something most of us should focus on "doing," but it certainly is something that happens, dictated by the biomechanics of the foot and ankle, and something that must be controlled for accuracy and consistency, as I described earlier.

Best regards,
Bob
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 The 'better than' would be a singulary rotated turn and a edged pressure turn would an improvement in trying to limit the rotation of a beginner. Better yet ,from your response is to do all three. Teach them the differances and as they experience the feeling of each they would be able to blend them to guide or determine the turn shape they choose to follow. I like to say. .. we are the boss of these skis . we will tell them where and how fast we want to go. We are not on these for a ride ,we are using them to take us where we want to go.

Well said, Garry! Your first paragraph here, to me, really describes what good teaching is all about.

Best regards,
Bob
RicB--awesome post (#423)! I especially like the line:

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 One persons femur rotation is another persons pelvic counter rotation
As you say, the key lies in where in the kinetic chain the movements are anchored. As motion, it's all relative, I suppose, but if the femur doesn't (can't) move, the motion is counter-rotation of the pelvis. If the pelvis doesn't move, the same motion is rotation of the femur.

And this point is critical to this discussion. The hips and pelvis are a relatively massive part of the body, so whenever they move (to be technically accurate in case anyone wants to get picky, I should say, "whenever they accelerate"), there will be a large counterforce--somewhere. What we do with that, how we use it, and whether we need it, are the issue!

Best regards,
Bob
Wow, this is actually turning into a terrific thread!

RicB, what you say about the inherent nature of humans approaching new things is so very true. The list of my lapsed enthusiasms is far longer than that of those I keep doing today, just because of time poverty. We can't blame anything but their disaffection. Certainly we can't hold instructors 100% responsible for creating the necessary positive affect to carry a person all the way along the learning curve.

Also, good point about DavidM and the inside foot. From the archives of the SkiBalance forum:
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 When we walk and when we ski we have a stance foot and a swing foot. When you lift your foot to take a step the movement comes from the inertia of the movement of COG, but support from the stance foot makes the movement possible. If you look at a skier in the middle of a turn the inside leg exaggerates the characteristics of the swing leg in walking. When walking, as you swing the unweighted leg forward, the foot naturally inverts. This is the same movement of release of the stance foot in skiing. Even when constrained by the ski boot the foot will always try to invert when unloaded.
However, he also implies that the tendency of the inside foot is to pronate.
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 The sequence of events is critical. The process is started by relaxing the downhill leg. This opens the door figuratively speaking for the forces to pull CM downhill (Baumrock shows this). But this action also removes the biomechanical 'block' across the pelvis that stops the uphill foot from pronating. You may not be able to visualize this yet, but applying vertical force to the uphill foot will tend to cause it to pronate. It is the stability of the stance foot acting to stabilize the pelvis that resists pronation of the uphill foot. Harold Harb promotes the idea of starting a new turn by lifting the downhill ski. This is different than relaxing the leg because lifting the ski involves muscle activity that opposes pronation of the new stance foot. Instead of creating an automated 'flow' of the joints driven by pronation of the stance foot one must now orchestrate a series of actions to position the legs. For this reason I do not see Harb's method as effective.
Thanks to Bob Barnes for pointing out the tendency of the foot to twist with inversion and the necessity to exert some opposing effort to keep the ski tracking parallel. This is great information, in with a wealth of it.
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RicB--awesome post (#423)! I especially like the line:

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 One persons femur rotation is another persons pelvic counter rotation

As you say, the key lies in where in the kinetic chain the movements are anchored. As motion, it's all relative, I suppose, but if the femur doesn't (can't) move, the motion is counter-rotation of the pelvis. If the pelvis doesn't move, the same motion is rotation of the femur.

And this point is critical to this discussion. The hips and pelvis are a relatively massive part of the body, so whenever they move (to be technically accurate in case anyone wants to get picky, I should say, "whenever they accelerate"), there will be a large counterforce--somewhere. What we do with that, how we use it, and whether we need it, are the issue!

Best regards,
Bob
Well, it seems to me there is more than just which frame of reference you choose going on here, but maybe I'm mistaken. I can certainly understand RicB's statement when observing Ric's pivot slips below: I can be the feet watching the pelvis rotate back and forth above me or be the pelvis seeing feet rotate below me.

Similarly, couldn't I have essentially the same two perspectives if I had Ric ski straight down the fall-line (skis point straight down the hill the entire time) while rotating his pelvis to point left and right?

These are two very different things, are they not? The latter being my understanding of counter movements Bolter presents as necessary to mitigate unwanted torque during transition. However, does this motion not create the angular momentum Bob refers to? ...and what happens with it? Would it not also start with a counter effect of the skis being rotated into the turn (as an opposite reaction to the torso being turned out), despite being presented as a solution to mitigate a torque into the turn created by tipping?

Pivot Slips --Ric Reiter (VailSnoPro)
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 Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado So, how does this apply to the question at hand—namely, keeping the skis on track through the transition, when the edges are disengaged, as the skier actively rolls the skis toward their new edges? Stand up now, and find something to support yourself with (ski poles would be perfect). Lift one foot and invert it (tip it toward the little toe side). Now your unrestricted femur rotates out, right? Focus on the movements you must make to keep your foot pointing in the same direction as it tips to its little toe. This is not easy! But what will accomplish it is the “perfect” blend of inversion, external rotation of the femur, and internal rotation of the foot and lower leg. It is just this refined movement blend that must occur as we transition from edge to edge in “railroad tracks” and other pure-carved turns.
Bob, the short post from which I lifted the "objectionable" quote lacked this context. My objections stem from using this move to "resist the twist" during initiation ( with forces building ). As that is not the context you intended, then I apologize for jumping so quickly. (at least it cleared this up.)

The body has a remarkable ability to try to keep itself in "naturally" strong/safe positions - stacked and balanced. The torque on the foot that occurs as the femur is rotated outwards is natural in that sense. The subtle muscular movement that you propose here is not, regardless of the foots ability to assume that position. The position in which this movement places the foot is simply not strong.

Of course once you assign a context of transition, ie. minimal pressure, the strength of the position is not relevant -- you can do all sorts of things without major repercussions. (Including knee angulation.)

FYI-1, my preference when creating very anticipated positions is while still edged, not with skis flat.

FYI-2: The "neutral" you describe is "completion" as taught by the CSIA. It is the moment at which the CM is released from it's arc. Our turn phases are (in order):

1) completion to neutral
2) neutral to fall-line
3) fall-line to completion.

The key notion of this arrangement is that phase 1 of the turn starts at completion, not at neutral.

Thanks.
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 Originally Posted by RicB Well BigE, remember we have two feet, and those two feet will tip in different directions (anatomicly) when we want both skis to go onto their respective edges (big toe, little toe). One foot (outside) everts, and the other (inside) foot inverts. Of course we know that this movement is severely limited and "supported" by the ski boot. We also know that we can feel the pressure on the respective sides of the boot at our ankles too. We know also that an everted foot rotates away from the hill so we need to counter this with counter rotation at the hip joint which is rotation between the pelvis and the femur. Now using the femur foot and ski as reference we could say that the pelvis is moving counter to the direction happening down lower, but if we use the pelvis and core as reference, we could also say that the femur is rotating in the direction of the turn. One persons femur rotation is another persons pelvic counter rotation. Both will deliver a person into a "countered position". For the pelvis and core to counter act the feet rotating away from the hill requires both femurs to rotate in the hip socket relative to the pelvis, independantly of each other, but in the same direction of the turn, no matter which way you look at from above or below. In my book, the ankle is no stronger in tipping movements than it is in steering movements. Both movements need support from the strong kinetic chain above. Certainly the little toe foot needs this support from above as we all know the little toe side of the foot is by far the weaker side of the foot. Truth is DavidM wasn't too big on the little toe edge of the foot. It was almost an after thought for him. Alignment through the big toe edge of the outside foot was key for him. The steering and tipping subtleties of the inside foot were never really addressed by him in my memory. In gait mechanics the unweighted foot does suponate to a degree, but it will not suponate enough to change the skis edge relative to the snow,,,,this happens from recruitment of the kinetic of the kinetic chain above through femur rotation (leg flexed) and abduction (leg straight), or a blending of the two (circumduction) in most real world situations. To me it boils down to which end of the kinetic chain is anchoring the movements,,,,the pelvis and the core anchoring short "brushed carves", or the skis, feet and legs, anchoring arced turns. In other words, which end of the kinetic chain is providing the needed stability, and which is providing the mobility. To say that the anchor is the same in both turns doesn't jibe with me. I think this speaks to the heart of this whole mess of passive versus active.
Excellent post RicB.

I was going to post some of these notions, (femur vs pelvis rotaion) but you went a bit further ad I think you've really shed some light on the active/passive debate.

As for the supination, it is a key feature in gait mechanics. As the foot is loaded towards the rear on LTE, with CM back and inside, it is natural for the foot to remain supinated. (OBS -- Seeking this strong position is probably one reason why many racers fall-back and inside. If a continual problem, I'd check boots, especially cuff size -- too tight and the skier must force the leg into the boot to feel this early loading, and artificially adopt an extreme back & inside position. Unbuckle the cuff as a test and it should go away.)

As you recall, once this pressure is avalable to establish this strong supinated position the weight transfer may begin. As the CM moves fowards and across, the vault of the foot is created, and huge loads can now be carried.

Anyway -- this ALL stems from the supination. The weight transfer will not be as effective if the supinated position is minimized.
cgeib says..
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 Bolter and BigE, I guess I do not follow where it is inherent that tipping our skis on edge automatically creates this HUGE torque that is so difficult to manage, without employing these countering/counteracting/Preparation(abunchofwordsIcantremember)... movements. If it were not possible to simultaneously manage tipping and rotation without these countering movements, then Ric would not be able to do these pivot slips, right?
Please, don't assign an exaggerated magnitude to this torque as a means of disproving it's existence or relevance, in an effort to support your view. OK?
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 Originally Posted by RicB This whole issue of retention to me really boils down to an issue of self (teacher) importance,,,we think we should be more important than we are. There are many sports/arts where the retention rates are no better, or less than skiing. It is about human nature, what a student wants out of a sport and how much they want to put into a sport. Martial arts have about the same retention as skiing. One could say this is the result of poor teaching methodology, or on the other hand it could be that many just don't want what the teacher is there to give. Those that want to commit to long term refinement and advancement find their teachers, those that don't won't. Anyone may be able to be an expert skier, but not everyone will commit to being one. Buying a book or a lesson will not make us an expert skier unless we commit to the journey. Teachers can inspire and motivate, but that will only goes so far. IMHO when we point fingers at each others methodologies it is probably because we have painted ourselves into our respective corners.
Exactly!
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 Originally Posted by cgeib Well, it seems to me there is more than just which frame of reference you choose going on here, but maybe I'm mistaken. I can certainly understand RicB's statement when observing Ric's pivot slips below: I can be the feet watching the pelvis rotate back and forth above me or be the pelvis seeing feet rotate below me. Similarly, couldn't I have essentially the same two perspectives if I had Ric ski straight down the fall-line (skis point straight down the hill the entire time) while rotating his pelvis to point left and right? These are two very different things, are they not? The latter being my understanding of counter movements Bolter presents as necessary to mitigate unwanted torque during transition. However, does this motion not create the angular momentum Bob refers to? ...and what happens with it? Would it not also start with a counter effect of the skis being rotated into the turn (as an opposite reaction to the torso being turned out), despite being presented as a solution to mitigate a torque into the turn created by tipping? Pivot Slips --Ric Reiter (VailSnoPro)
Yes! Probably! Whatever! Now stop posting this video! It's like a bad song getting stuck in your head!
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 Originally Posted by cgeib Would it not also start with a counter effect of the skis being rotated into the turn (as an opposite reaction to the torso being turned out), despite being presented as a solution to mitigate a torque into the turn created by tipping?
IMO, The counter move (inside half lead) does or assists in the following:
-edging/engagement of the entire skis length
-skeletal alignment for balance and stability
-outside ski dominance
-opposes upper body rotation
-to lift inside hip (raised) for balance and outside ski dominance
-negate the unwanted torque due to rotation of the thighs applied to skis through tipping movements

It is because of the entire above (short not complete) list, that I have posted my concern for lack of "early" counter.

The amount of torque from counter should equal the amount from the twisting influence of the legs to the skis. How the heck a body can tell how much counter is needed, I don't know. I do know that it is fairly easy to meter out. Some "see" it as corresponding angles.
I think it is important to repeat- this torque influence is low edge angle dependent, thus the emphasis on transition, neutral and early engagement.
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 Originally Posted by Bolter Please, don't assign an exaggerated magnitude to this torque as a means of disproving it's existence or relevance, in an effort to support your view. OK?
OK!

To be clear, I do think torque is real and relevant; I do not think the magnitude is such that it cannot be managed/controlled as we transition from one turn to another.

What I do not follow is the need to rotate towards the outside of a turn while initiating. I do not see where rotating left to turn right adds up. Once I start the upper body in that motion, don't I then have to stop it so it can follow the feet thru the turn? I guess I am just not envisioning or feeling what you are.
Bolter, I see you posted while I was typing. I'll try to get back to this later, but gotta run now for a while.
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 Originally Posted by weems Now stop posting this video! It's like a bad song getting stuck in your head!
Can't be too bad ...you quoted it!!!!!

Ok, I'll quit, ....well, maybe
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 To be clear, I do think torque is real and relevant; I do not think the magnitude is such that it cannot be managed/controlled as we transition from one turn to another.
How?
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 What I do not follow is the need to rotate toward the outside of a turn while initiating. I do not see where rotating left to turn right adds up. Once I start the upper body in that motion, don't I then have to stop it so it can follow the feet thru the turn? I guess I am just not envisioning or feeling what you are
Maybe when you answer my above question (how) I can answer more. It is really funny/curious that your question to me regarding counter, as a means to negate unwanted torque, is so close to the questions I have for BB about using your feet/ankles to do it.

Quick thought, time crunch, sorry. Maybe some rotary momentum that is present in Rotation (the 1,2 kind) that is not present in the counter move could clear things up.
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 Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado Let’s check—here’s a call to ALL instructors out there: do any of you teach that we must twist our skis forcefully into a skid to start a turn, or anywhere else in a turn (unless we’re intentionally braking)? Do any of you advocate pushing the tails out as a fundamental movement for starting basic turns? Come on now, please, speak up! Are there ANY legitimate instructor organizations, anywhere in the world, that teach this anymore? (Only instructors active and current in those associations are qualified to answer this question.) Certainly in the USA, since the mid-1980’s, habitual or intentional pushing of the tails to initiate basic turns would fail a certification exam. Such movements would, at best, fall into the category of “lateral learning”—special movements for special situations. [/font]
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 Originally Posted by BigE Every turn that is not arced has a skidding componenent. So to answer, yes, I have been taught many times at sessions/clinics and courses to turn my feet so that the skis skid throught turns. In these skidded turns, arcing is compromised by the turning of the feet. Or, you may think of them as "high friction" sliding turns, but nevertheless, they are still skidded or drifted or scarved or brushed (or whatever word du jour you choose to hide their skidded nature) all the way around independent of turn radius. I'd be lying if I said otherwise.
Sure. But we doubt that you teach (as Bob asked) that one must twist forcefully into a skid to start a turn. And we doubt that you teach pushing the tails out as a fundamental movement to start turns.

You teach steering, you teach how to create and manage skidding, scarving, brushing, whatever. You teach how a subtle guiding is far more effective, with less effort, than a forceful twist. You teach how to stand on the skis, how to manage edging and pressure to allow low-effort foot steering.

That would be my guess, anyway. Or am I completely whack???
You are not. As has been mentioned before, skis can do three things: tip, turn, and be pressed on. Teaching students to understand and, ideally, master these skills so each can be used and combined as desired in a given turn is the crux of the discussion.
mike_m has it, although, I must admit to never having said "turn your feet" to anyone this past season.
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 Originally Posted by mike_m BigE: What about pivot slips?
I do not use them.
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 Originally Posted by BigE I do not use them (pivot slips).
I don't even like people who use them!

I hate myself when I use them.
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 Consider the large mass of the upper body in relation to the skis. Once you let the upper body turn in the direction of the turn what happens? Think about this from a physics point of view.

What happens with respect to what, exactly, Max? I have discussed the physics of upper body momentum quite thoroughly here already, so I’m not sure where you’re going with this. Rotating the upper body in the direction of the turn is the first step of the mechanism known as “rotation”—and transferring all that momentum to the skis to twist them coarsely around is the second step—a clear example of the principle of “Conservation of [angular] Momentum” at work. It is largely because of the upper body’s large mass compared with the skis that "rotation" is a bad habit. This is why it is so important to learn to turn with the legs, beneath an upper body kept as stable as possible. In the illustrations and animations, the legs rotate beneath a stable upper body, as I have described—there is none of this rotary mechanism known as “rotation.”

So perhaps you are referring simply to the fact that the entire body changes direction—ie. rotates, if you prefer to use the term this way—through the turn as it follows the skis (as opposed to leading them, which would be the case with the “rotation” mechanism I have described). Yes, it does, and yes, as a result, we must manage its rotational momentum, accurately, precisely, and constantly. It's part of skiing. Screw it up, and you’ll spin out (as many “rotators” do), or need to resort to gross, extraneous, and sometimes hopeless efforts with your edges to stop the “spin.” I suppose that it is worth pointing out that skis, with their long edges firmly engaged in the snow, are quite capable of creating the necessary torque required to change the body’s direction (to turn it, to cause “angular acceleration” if you want to get technical), as well as to stop its rotational momentum when it comes time to end one turn and begin another.

Providing the torque needed to change the direction the body faces (angular motion) is one of the two necessary jobs of the skis in turns—the other being to change the direction of linear motion of the body—in other words, to move it along the desired path.

[Sidenote—defining terms for those with limited background in physics—“angular motion” refers to motion about an axis—“spin,”—perhaps more descriptively called “rotational motion.” I use the terms “rotational” and “angular” motion interchangeably. “Linear motion” refers to movement along a path, as when the center of mass describes the arc of a turn. When a car follows a curvy road (as when a skier follows a curvy path), both types of motion occur—the car changes the direction it points, involving angular motion, and it moves along the road, involving linear motion. Both types of motion entail momentum, which is a function of the velocity and mass of the body. And when either type of motion changes—speeds up, slows down, or changes direction—“acceleration” is involved, which requires a force, and an equal and opposite counter-force. In the case of the car, this force comes from the interaction of the tires and the road—the road pushes on the tires, which must have sufficient traction to provide the necessary forces. On skis, it comes from the interaction of the skis with the snow.]

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Of course, the only way to avoid the need to deal with rotational motion of the body would be to keep it facing always the same direction. “Always keep your upper body facing directly down the fall line” is a myth that I’m certain that you do not adhere to. At least, I certainly hope you don’t. We can discuss it if need be.

Hmm, I can’t help but notice, nevertheless, that your post seems to hint that you would advise against letting the upper body turn with the turn, Max. Please clarify!

Best regards,
Bob
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