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Shoulder width stance for steeper terrain? - Page 2

post #31 of 55
About stance width...why shoulders? The woman with the broad pelvic structure, narrow shoulders and knock knees? She'll never get off her inside edges until she's properly aligned and has the leg bones pretty much parallel. The guy with broad shoulders and a skinny butt? He'll be OK with the wide width if he's bowlegged, but again will do better with the leg bones parallel if he's properly aligned.

The extremely wide stance and skis on edges is an effective drill. A drill, not a skiing technique. It teaches retraction of the inside leg to allow sufficient weight on the outside leg. The narrow stance with independent acting feet is superior for quick balance transfers to the new outside ski at turn transition, and makes it easier to retract that inside ski to put the desired weight on the outside ski.
post #32 of 55
Wow! Lot's of reading between the lines going on here.

First let me say, my post was directly aimed at the original question which stated the skier's first attempts at steeper terrain and was meant as a "holistic task" to offer comfort and security with the scariest part of skiing the steep....the crossover commitment.

I don't know how wide your shoulders are but mine are about 18" wide and when standing in this position it does not appear grossly wide to me.

The intent of this task is to lessen the huge movement needed with the CM to get from the inside of one turn to the inside of the new turn in steeper terrain. This is very easily demonstrated in a doorway. Place one foot against the side of the doorway and angulate in a wide stance and a narrow stance and move toward an edge change. You will see that a wider stance will facilitate engaging the new inside edge with a very small movement of the hips into the turn. This is the major inhibition where most neophyte steep skiers have issues. Call it training wheels, call it an outrigger, doesn't matter to me. A wider stance makes the movement down the hill less intimidating and helps the skier find the security of the new inside edge sooner.

Note: I encourage the skier to feel the new inside edge BEFORE any extension occurs.

Oh, and by the way this idea would eliminate the possibility of the inside boot lifting the outside boot and ski off it's edge and causing a fall as seen in the video clip posted in the thread where my original post in question was posted.
post #33 of 55
Atomicman,

Do you think that if a skier is fearful of commiting on steeper slopes and are told to reach down the hill or commit with the upper body, they may counter any such movement by moving their hips even closer to the slope and edge angles higher, thus causing even more difficulty changing edges?

It is the hips that need to commit in order to release edges IMO. A bit wider stance facilitates this commitment IMO.
post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
Atomicman,

Do you think that if a skier is fearful of commiting on steeper slopes and are told to reach down the hill or commit with the upper body, they may counter any such movement by moving their hips even closer to the slope and edge angles higher, thus causing even more difficulty changing edges?

It is the hips that need to commit in order to release edges IMO. A bit wider stance facilitates this commitment IMO.
You can't get your hips to commit with out committing above your hips first. I am picturing a "V" from what you describ, with hips downhill farther then shoulders or feet. Now we know that is not going to work.

None of this works until mentally you can overcome the fear and build the confidence to commit downhill and then refine how & when your edges change. It may be a matter confidence more then technique to start. Holding back is detrimental to the required technique. If you try to ski steep terrain timidly chance are things will not go well. But a backwards body position (trying to grasp the hill above) you is not going to be helped by early edge change.

But again fiolks tend to do just the opposite of what they should to get the job done. if your skis are traveling down the hill before your upperbody ya got a problem.

And what is the fear really? The feeling of being out of control; having your skis run away from you on a steep pitch.

The mental side of steep cannot be ignored nor really overcome strictly with technique. Although i think they are deeply intertwined.

There is nothing to fear but fear itself!
post #35 of 55
There are a few people here that are viewing a wider stance in a static position vs. a dynamic one. In a static position, yes the feet are moved equadistance apart from the centerline of the body. This is not true in a dynamic skiing environment.

In a dynamic skiing environment, I believe the outside loaded ski will always be inline with the forces and it is the inside ski/leg that must move to maintain a wider width stance.


Here's another example: Imagine standing across the fall line on a very steep slope. (Yes, there will be a comfortable amount of vertical separation dictated by the pitch to equalize the ankle bend) Now, standing there in a narrow width stance, go ahead and start a turn...... Now from that narrow width static stance across the fall line, move your uphill ski into a wider stance without moving more weight to it initially. Notice that the relationship of your shoulders and head over your downhill ski did not change either. Now start a turn from this position. Which way is easier? Again the inside or uphill ski is the one that compensates for a wider stance not the outside or downhill ski. IMO
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
In a dynamic skiing environment, I believe the outside loaded ski will always be inline with the forces and it is the inside ski/leg that must move to maintain a wider width stance.
If the inside ski is being moved around just to maintain stance width, what's the point? Make the stance narrower, and get it involved!
post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
If the inside ski is being moved around just to maintain stance width, what's the point? Make the stance narrower, and get it involved!
Its quite simple actually because what you need in steeper terrain is weight on your downhill ski. This you do best by leaning towards the outside, down hill, with your upper body and bringing your hipps uphill like Bud said. This is easier to do if your stance width is wider because it helps you form a stronger position, outrigger, and it helps you balance easier since you can easily shift weight between each legg and get a very quick response.
post #38 of 55
I agree with you here Atomicman, overcoming fear of falling is the key and thus why I encouraged the wider stance.

It is much less intimidating to begin a movement toward the fall line with a wider base of support and allowing your hips to move sooner between your feet and feeling before releasing the downhill ski, don't you think?
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
I agree with you here Atomicman, overcoming fear of falling is the key and thus why I encouraged the wider stance.

It is much less intimidating to begin a movement toward the fall line with a wider base of support and allowing your hips to move sooner between your feet and feeling before releasing the downhill ski, don't you think?
I do agree.
post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
I agree with you here Atomicman, overcoming fear of falling is the key and thus why I encouraged the wider stance.

It is much less intimidating to begin a movement toward the fall line with a wider base of support and allowing your hips to move sooner between your feet and feeling before releasing the downhill ski, don't you think?
Wedging is a very good example of a wider base of support and helpful when people have to overcome the fear of pointing their skis down in the fall line.
post #41 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
Your "horizontal separation" and my "stance width" are two different animals and should not be confused or injected into the topic to confuse my original intent.
My intent was not to diverge from your original point, but to simply make an observation of the grave mis-understandings regarding stance (go back to my first post and you will see where I bridged the two topics). Please let me know based on my first post if I understood your original intent as it applied to the student at the time.

Later

GREG

BTW: I have started a new stance understanding discussion in a separate thread and moved a few of the posts from this thread to the new thread. Please continue the stance discussion there, and leave this thread to the discussion of Bud's original statement designed to help a timid skier on steeper terrain.
post #42 of 55
I am too dumb to think about all this while skiing, but if I just focus on my feet and keeping them a bit farther apart, I find this quite simple to do. How this simple task can be disected and made to be so complicated is kinda silly to me.

Widen your stance a bit now let's ski this pitch. Oh, and try not to think about too much else!
post #43 of 55
Another thing is that on steeper terrain, there will be some automatic vertical separation at transition by virtue of the fact that the slope is steep. This would result in a somewhat wider ski track width then you might expect from the same skier at that point of the turn on less slope....even if the legs are close together in what some of us would consider a narrow "stance".
post #44 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
Another thing is that on steeper terrain, there will be some automatic vertical separation at transition by virtue of the fact that the slope is steep. This would result in a somewhat wider ski track width then you might expect from the same skier at that point of the turn on less slope....even if the legs are close together in what some of us would consider a narrow "stance".
At transition my skis are flat to the slope so they should be the same distance on a steep as on the flats.
post #45 of 55
Whatever max...are you trying to take us on new tangent? Did you understand what i was trying to say? I think not.
post #46 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
Did you understand what i was trying to say? I think not.
What were you trying to say?
post #47 of 55

....$.005..

In defense of Max_501's op, the snow condition in that link's image is soft snow...even if there is a little crust to it....a lot different from EC hardpack...and a lot different set of ski/snow dynamics as far as edge initiation and balance on the non-carpet steeps.
post #48 of 55
Skiing on a 25 degree slope, turning from pointing slightly left of the fall line to slightly right of the fall line, the skis will transition when they are flat to the slope, but will the body transition before that when it lets go of the old turn?
post #49 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
At transition my skis are flat to the slope so they should be the same distance on a steep as on the flats.
Transition is not the moment of edge change. It's the entire duration between completion of the old turn (edge angles diminish and begin to release) and initiation of the new one ( edge angles increase and engage).

You are taking about neutral.
post #50 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Transition is not the moment of edge change. It's the entire duration between completion of the old turn (edge angles diminish and begin to release) and initiation of the new one ( edge angles increase and engage).

You are taking about neutral.
Thanks for clarifying that.
post #51 of 55
How would changing your stance, that is; from keeping your feet under your body (hips) to widening your stance to sholder width, on steeper terrain, create a more "balanced" platform, which to ski down the hill? I can't picture this working. (unless you are snowplowing and this is not appropriate on steep terrain)
post #52 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by White_shine View Post
How would changing your stance, that is; from keeping your feet under your body (hips) to widening your stance to sholder width, on steeper terrain, create a more "balanced" platform, which to ski down the hill? I can't picture this working. (unless you are snowplowing and this is not appropriate on steep terrain)
It won't create a more balanced platform in terms of the outside ski, but it will create a more stable "feeling" platform because the CM will lie between the feet for a much longer period of the turn. I think it is pretty clear that this is no way to ski at a high level, but can be used as a crutch in a lower level situation. The widening movement forces the outside ski onto it's edge, but does not create the ability to ski the outside ski better. It may however allow the student to edge the outside ski in a place that they would normally not be able to or not be willing to for reasons based on fear. I'm not sure I would teach it, but I think that is what Bud is suggesting that he has successfully used it for.

Later

GREG
post #53 of 55
On steeper terrain the CM crosses over the skis before the edges fully release. As the steepness of the slope increases it gets worse. That's why commitment to the new turn is so important. Widening the stance won't accomplish anything unless it is accompanied by a coverging step entry. This will move your body across the skis and establish an edge with the new outside ski without the fearsome commitment to moving forward. However, I reccomend positive skill applications in favor of regressive, defensive tactics. Commit, move towards the tips of the skis, turn with both feet simultaneously. Students learn this easier than hopping, stepping and stemming. It builds on the skills they learned earlier with open parallel turns and shaping turns will be their prefered method of controll. I know some people think I'm over optomistic about turn shaping as a prefered method of controll, but lack of turn shape is why many Instructors fail level III. This is due to habits and beliefs that stepping and hopping are the prefered method of controll on steep and steeper terrain. Sorry!
post #54 of 55
Bud never said that a shoulder wide stance "is" the right way to ski steeps, merely said that it has helped him in his work in real life situations IHO. I think we should show that statement some respect and if we are truly interested, try to find out why it is so. Not try to make that statement look bad which lies close to hand when I read all off these totally lost in space postings. If posters here are of a different opinion they can eather not post or express a different opinion but there is no right or wrong. It all comes down to ski instructor skills and eye for the situation. As far as I know, with 15y of inbetween pro teaching, teaching people to ski is much more than just technique.

Dont get me wrong, lots of good stuff here too. Like Dogonjon resent potings. Excellent advise. However, from an instructors standpoint "steep" can mean so many things to different students in different situations. The fear factor of a student is hard to relate to if you have never actually eather resently been in that situation yourselfe or you are a good instructor. Widening the stance is allways a good thing if you want to increase your support projection and it is an invaluable help in many situations especially on steeps but what you should strive for in your teaching how to ski steeps is how to manage your balance and that you do best by starting wide and closing your stance over time. That takes skills and that takes practise. I love skiing steeps really slowly, one turn at the time by simply packing myselfe up in a compact balanced and closed stance and down-unweighting (unweight) my turns by "imaginary" hop turning. On steeps, once you start off, keep the rhythm going because the most difficult thing is to make the desision to turn and if you kind of have passed on that desisionmaking to the rhythm then you can relax and just keep on going.
post #55 of 55
TDK, nice post.

Max, not everyone likes or uses cowboy turns, which is what I call them. IN one of your posts you touched on one of the reasons they can be effective. The bowlegged posture. This places the skier in a posture that requires them to make certain movements and exaggerate certain movements, as they combine all these movements. Hence Bud's classifying this as a "holistic exercise".

Most skiers will find their new inside foot and leg activity increasing tipping and leading them into the turn. They will have to increase their long leg short activity to keep the skis effectively engaged, as they utilize better upper and lower body separation. This exercise is a good one for self feedback too, as things get to feeling very awkward if and when you don't get the above movements happening in an integrated and coordinated manner.

As far as introducing these turns in the steeps, I don't know, this would depend on the level of the student. I do frequently use them with students on blue and black groomers. After a student has been successfull with these, then taking them off the groom into some real steeps can very enlightening.

For me it is not about a way to ski but a way to get students moving in ways that may have not been doing or not doing enough. When the student starts narrowing their stance they can then bring these movements and patterns into their everyday skiing at their normal stance width.
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