Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado
While rules of thumb are, like most rules, "made to be broken," one reasonably reliable and telling guideline is to look at the alignment of the shoulder, knee, and ball of foot. Typically, throughout the range of flexion and extension, these three points will align fairly closely, if the skier is moving efficiently and his or her equipment is set up well.
Consider this guideline as you look at the photo in V8's post #15, as well as the sideview in your first post, Phil. Both show deep flexion, which will inevitably move your hips back. (I am dismayed by the misinformed but current vogue among many instructors to focus on "hips over feet.") But the shoulder-knee-ball alignment holds up well, showing that your position is not as bad as you may think.
On the other hand, there's another common bit of "conventional wisdom" that I would question. That is the need to maintain forward pressure on or to "flex" your boots constantly. When you press forward on your boot tongues, where do you think they push you? Especially for those who use stiff, snug boots (like me), forward pressure on your boots means the end of forward movement. Your legs literally hit a wall, and the only thing that can happen as you flex lower from that point is that your hips and everything else gets pushed back. Efficient, full-range flexion and extension, as well as continuously unfettered free ankle motion, requires a cuff-neutral stance in your boots.
No matter what the conventional wisdom may scream!
Good post Bob,
I don't reallly have the patience any more to get into the why's of everything but you nailed it......also your post seemed a touch more diplomatic that mine!
Somthing else I noticed here.....V8,Bob, Myself...ski and teach out West, ie in conditions like in your photos, the other posters (generallly speaking)are from the east, where these conditions are rare, and the oppoturnity to teach skiers of your level in them virtually never ever happens..., Ski how you want Phil, but be careful of the advice you recieve and take....
As for ski poles....Bob inspired me here to present some real info instead of just slinging mud.....conventially ski pole lenghts where determined as per Grook's post....however with newer gear a few adjustments need to be taken into account:
First up, risers or plates etc, meant we needed to compensate and make our poles a little longer to overcome the lift.......how much is directley proportional to the riser...usually 2 to 3cm or about 1 to 1.5 inches.....now most people get that...HOWEVER
, shaped skis mean that we carve so much better then before, and the virtual bump (this is such a crucial concept to understanding modern skiing - for those who care, Ron Lemaster explains it very well with pictrues etc, in his book, the Skiers Edge), means that in the transistions (were we pole plant), we are more "crouched" then ever before, and extending into the fall line...AFTER the pole plant...the result, is poles need to made SHORTER
How much...hard to say, without seeing you ski,but to give you a guide, I used to measure my poles using the conventional method with an adjustment for risers, etc.....then my coach had me cut 5cm off (over 2 inches) to compensate for performance effects from the virtual bump!...then get this....he then said that worked well...cut off another 5cm! I did, and never looked back....Hence in total I reduced my pole lenght about 10cm or more then 4 inches! For the record I am about 5'10.
Hope that helps.