Originally Posted by BigE
If the ankle manages the process, does it also not start it?
In my view, nope. I see them as separate ideas entirely. I’m not trying to critique the use of any particular joint or appendage as being the preferred guidance mechanism - just introduce the idea that directional guidance itself is simply management of ongoing momentum. (BTW: I realize you fellows all get the whole inertia thing - I’m just exploring the idea to clarify things, not ‘explaining it’ to anyone in particular.
If a large beach-ball is rolling down a mild slope and I reach down to guide where it’s going I’m ‘managing’ its direction - even though I didn’t ‘start’ it rolling nor did I direct where it was initially going. I just intervened
and applied my own preferential guidance at some point. I could ‘guide’ it with my finger, my hand, or my elbow - doesn’t really matter; the act of guiding
is being introduced at a given point. That is how I perceive my own skiing: Guiding (sometimes forcibly) my ongoing momentum into whatever direction I choose to go. It just happens to be a much more continuous management process than the beach ball example.
Remember all those past debates related to “where a turn begins”? Some people describe the start of a turn as being from Transition, onward. Others describe the start as being the moment a skier ‘gives up’ on the old turn. Some define the meaningful start of a new turn as being at old-turn Apex. Still others focus on the edge-change event regardless whether this occurs actively or passively. We move our thinking preference around so easily because it’s an ongoing, integrated process to begin with.
Take the sequence . . . T k P z T k P z T k P z . . .
This is an ongoing sequence so we can pick any arbitrary letter as our starting point. Our selected point of ‘start’ is simply preferential. So long as we describe the sequence accurately our cyclical description remains correct. We can take the letter ‘z’ and discuss its merits, its contribution to the cycle, its flaws and its relationship to neighboring letters. ‘z’ may be wholly practical and useful as a starting point since we need to start somewhere
in describing our sequence, right?
Inertia/momentum is another ongoing
thing. There is no start nor stop to it from one turn to the next. All we do is intervene (periodically or continuously) to guide our momentum in one direction or another. Managing ski tilt, rotation and pressure uses the snow to redirect our momentum. I absolutely agree with the statement that managing momentum
is the key to nicely linked turns. I’m simply directing attention to the separate nature
of ongoing momentum vs. the control/guidance mechanisms that manage the ongoing momentum.
BigE mentions ‘loss of snow contact’ and I think that’s a good way to disassociate the two.
Crossover momentum will continue despite momentary loss of snow contact (picture a jump-entry turn) and directional control
returns only when we touch down. We may therefore perceive the ‘start’ of our new turn to be the moment we’re able to start our guidance
of the new turn. If we continuously
manage our directional momentum right through Transition it gets fuzzier. There would be no ‘start’ of guidance because there was no ‘end’ to earlier guidance. This gets us back to the debates mentioned above: where does the process really begin
? I say it begins the moment we push off from standstill, leaving us only with continuous (cyclical) guidance thereafter.
Originally Posted by BigE
If inertia is placed at the top of the food chain, then our leg and foot movements become recovery moves, no matter how smoothly you can make them.
think they are! By labeling them “Recovery Moves” you paint them a nasty color but the fact is we’re always
“recovering” our balance while skiing - we’re doing so continuously. It’s just a matter of degree between ‘Guidance’ and ‘Recovery’ (though perhaps quite a big one at times
Replace the word Recovery
in your quote above with the word Guidance
and re-read it. It will then say exactly what I’m saying.
So when does a movement cross the line from Guidance to Recovery?
I normally associate a 'big imbalance' being corrected to a lesser state of 'imbalance' as a Recovery Move but since we’re never actually in perfect balance anyway I know this is merely a judgmental decision about what “big” means on my part.
Better skiers are more consistent and maintain a tighter tolerance with respect to balance deviations while less skilled skiers endure less consistency and a looser tolerance. When guidance corrections to momentum are small it takes a practiced eye to see and analyze the smaller magnitude of ongoing errors. When guidance corrections to momentum get big enough, everyone can see and recognize them easily.
BigE, I’m not suggesting your perspective is ‘wrong’ in any way. I often teach from that very same perspective after deliberately selecting some ‘z’ as my starting point in a movement pattern or technique to explore. I’m just trying to describe the larger (continuous) picture within which we necessarily select smaller sub-segments to describe, discuss and define techniques as we teach them. I think you (and everyone else) will agree that the effectiveness of ankle articulation at new-turn entry
is highly dependant on the magnitude and direction or our overall momentum going into & coming out of Transition. We are merely snatching a preferential selected segment of the ongoing process to elaborate our ideas with during discussion.
During any given run, I perceive my linked turns as continuous cyclical transformations in Fore/Aft & Lateral momentums as well as continuous cyclical rotations about all three axes… but then, my own brain may well be bwoken...