Sorry, is miswrote -- The WHO WHAT, WHERE WHY & HOW! I guess I need to study a lot more!!!
post #61 of 84
8/8/07 at 6:54pm
I'm currently studying for my Level III exam Weems, so anything that I can read that helps me understand the WHO, WHAT, WHERE WHEN & HOW is a great help to me at this point. Thanks for the wealth of information that you provide on this forum!
(By George I think she's got it! ).
This is a real key to understanding the idea of "nurturing" the platform. On hard snow it is razor thin and very delicate. On soft groomed, it is broader, but can also give way to too much penetration. It varies on each turn, and it is an art. The edges are sculpting tools.
When you climb, run across boulders. Then run across a loose scree slope. Same difference.
|Exactly. And I'm looking for the way to help skiers "get it". It's not so obvious, even to good skiers. I constantly hear examiners say things like "get more angles". Jeeesshhhh. I understand this, but kids come back from exams with a pretty vague idea about the what and WHY here.|
What comes to mind here is Ron LeMaster's demo of carving using a marble in a bowl (the old Schwietzers here in New Glarus use a coin in the bowl). The "platform" is the edge of the bowl. We create it with our skis in the snow. The concept of "toppling" from one platform to another is also consistant with my understanding of Ron's ideas. Racers who form a platform to move into a new turn from are SLOW! Phil Mahre said the best "tip" he ever recieved was to "fall" into his turns.
Harald, in his "Essentials" book, talks about "pressing the sides of the skis into the snow".
This whole concept makes sense to me.
Don't forget Wilhelm Tell on Labor Day weekend Also, they're building a new brewery up on the hill above town.
I do not post very often in this forum but thought an article I wrote several years ago for Central's newletter fit in. I had to cut out the images (I could not figure out how to paste them into the article.), plus the formatting does not transfer with the document. However, the meaning does transfer.—Dave
What Platform Do You Use?
A report form the January 2005, PSIA Mini-Academy at Wild Mountain, MN
David A. Cook
In late January of 2005, I had the opportunity to spend two days skiing with Bobby Murphy, a first term member of our PSIA Alpine Demonstration Team. Bobby is currently the Ski School Director at Telluride, CO and was a Midwest instructor; getting his level III certification at our own Welch Village.
One concept presented that made a lasting impression for many of us was Bobby’s question about the difference between a “stationary” platform and a “moving” platform. Which one do we use and which one do we want to develop? He described a platform as something from which we move from, to change course or direction. A platform is something that could either stop the momentum of the old turn to allow us to redirect into the new turn; it facilitates movements that end the old and start the new turn—it’s everything about our turn transition.
With a stationary platform you hold onto the edges to stop the old turn, and then push or step away to change direction into the new turn. An example of this would be the rotary push off movements in the classic stem christy. From a parallel finish of the old turn, the downhill ski remains edged while the uphill ski is rolled to its inside edge. The new turn does not develop until the weight transfers onto the stemmed ski, allowing the release of the downhill ski’s edge.
In a moving platform, instead of holding onto the old turn, you let go and move with the platform. This movement is in the classic wedge christy. From a parallel finish of the old turn, the downhill ski’s edge is released and both ski tips are directed towards the fall line. The uphill ski is displaced more in the tail than the tip, creating a slight wedge entry. The new turn develops before the transfer of weight onto the outside wedged ski as the tips are directed towards the fall line.
Many skiers will flop their body from one turn to the other with little finesses. They go from firm engagement of two parallel edges in one turn to firm engagement of two parallel edges of the next turn in a rapid transition. They stay with the old turn and push off of their skis directly onto the new edges of the new turn. This is moving from a static platform.
The moving platform encourages the skier to finesse through the transition with all four edges simultaneously on the snow for a longer time. During this time, the skier is better able to be re-centered over their skis, be stacked skeletally over both feet and to display the “five sames.”
To reiterate, with a stationary platform, the turning movements are started for the new turn before the feet release the skis into the new turn. With a moving platform, you let go of the old turn from the feet as the turning movements are directed to the new turn. It’s either continue to create a platform before the turn or learn to turn with the platform.
Develop a Moving Platform
To develop a moving platform, first try doing some “release” garlands. From a slow two-footed traverse on a moderate slope, release both edges to a forward side slip, standing firmly over the flattened skis. Move with the skis, showing a balanced, centered stance as they drift down and across the hill in that forward side slip. Be sure to stay over your feet. Experiment with this moving platform and seek a “neutral” with both feet that results in a 50/50 weight distribution between the feet.
Next increase the difficulty by directing both ski tips towards the fall line and maintain the releasing effort with both skis parallel, equally weighted and flat until you reach the fall line. Then direct both tips back uphill to a traverse and repeat the garland across the hill. This will force you to move with the platform as you pass through the upper half of the turn in a more upright stance. Resist the urge to engage the new edges, keep the skis flat to the slope as you ride with the release.
Repeat the garland while trying to feel all four edges on the snow simultaneously (“four on the floor!”). Stay on all four edges as long as you can. You might be pleased with how much of the turn you can accomplish by staying released longer and resisting the urge to go from the edges of one turn directly to opposite edges of the next turn. We practiced starting with two edges on the snow, then releasing to four edges on the snow and re-engaging the other two edges to the snow. When using this four on the floor movement, we found our moving platform promoted a more balanced, athletic stance that in turn, allowed more foot tipping initiation while it discouraged banking.
You continue developing the moving platform by using cowboy turns to reinforce the tipping from the feet. Start in the fall line with as wide of a stance that you can, and still have all four edges on the snow. Have your weight equally distributed (50/50) between both feet. As you link turns, let the weight naturally redistribute to the outside foot, don’t force it. Create the highest edge angles near the fall line, then release to four edges to the snow after the fall line. Finding four edges is where the new turn begins and when you are neutral with your weight equally distributed between both feet. The tipping activity initiates from the feet.
Evolve these cowboy turns into cowboy rails, tipping from the feet, finding the moving platform of all four edges on the floor. Increase the speed and dynamics adding more of the hip and upper body as needed to stay in balance.
Narrow the focus from two feet to one, to develop a “mono” rail. Start with a great static exercise. Lay your ski pole on the snow and stepping on it with one ski. Have the pole basket near your tail and the handle near your tip. Balance on the pole with one foot; feel the tipping activity from the ankle to remain in balance while teetering on the pole. Photograph #4 shows this pole exercise. ( Can you load an image into the body of the text in this forum?)
Take the ankle activity from this exercise and do some mono-rails on flat, easy terrain. On one ski, go from an engaged carving edge to the flat moving platform and then to the other engaged carving edge. Use just the one foot to create all of the edging activity of engaging and releasing the edges.
Lifting the Toes and Edges
All of these small and powerful ankle movements are difficult if you’re not centered. Focus next on feeling a slight resistance against the tongue of the boot cuff. To feel the tongue of the boots, many skiers tend to flop their upper body forward and park against the boot tongue. This is neither subtle nor effective. These same skiers then flop their upper bodies from one turn to the other while staying in back seat. A more effective technique to stay forward without parking hard against the boot tongue is to just raise the toes up, placing the shin against the boot tongue. Next, try to raise the edge that is in the air further from the snow by flexing the foot.
The concept of “lifting” the edge to stay forward will help those who have very little foot activity learn to finesse the edge. Lift all of the toes lightly to stay against the front of the boot. Lift the right edges up to go left, lift the left edges up to go right, just like an airplane lifting its outside wing in a turn. Then leave all four edges on the snow long enough to stay ahead of the moving platform.
With the concept of lifting of the edges as an active foot movement, repeat the tasks in this article. Your performance will improve and you will be smiling just like these instructors on the chair!
Article and photography by David A. Cook
Level III Alpine Instructor, Clinician for Skijammers Ski School and Examiner Emeritus for PSIA-C
Demonstrator in photographs is Bobby Murphy
PSIA Alpine Demonstration Team Member and Ski School Director, Telluride CO.
1. Cook, DA. Count on these 5 “sames” of effective parallel skiing. TPS. Spring 2005.
Weems, I see now exactly what you mean by "platform". This is quite far from Base of Support,since it really does not include the ski or the skier.
The problem is that a "platform" is created regardless of how the skier moves. Some "platforms" are just more effective than others. It is starting to sound like "platforming" is moving into the tactical realm, and away from technique -- more line management than anything.
adjust my body position so that I feel like I am stacking up. I don't care about the angles or edging anymore. but my feet tells me if i m clean or not. .
Stacking is way cool.
For me, this is the key. I think the sensations you describe are really excellent. And I particularly like it that you describe it from the point of view of Touch.
As for neutral, as I've said before, I know people go through this and have a strong sense of this. However, for me, it's as if the awareness of it at all makes it last too long. I really try to "break on through to the other side". And I don't even like the Doors.
I cut the platform with my edges and meanwhile try to keep my ski soles flat against it .
..and to keep my my legs more or less perpendicular to the decks (the tops) of my skis.