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# Dissecting Stance Width and its Definitions - Page 2

Quote:
 Originally Posted by dogonjon Divergence and convergence during a turn should be dependant on what the original intent is. If it is to make a parallel turn then either behavior is contrary to the intent. Parallel skis corresponds to many other parallels in body behavior. Parallel shins, parallels between the lower leg and the spine, Hips and shoulders parallel to the slope of the hill. If we intend to do one thing and something different happens then we didn't accomplish the task we set out to do. Very often one or more parallels of body behavior is missing the mark and the result is being unable to control the inside ski to the degree of precision required to make a parallel turn.
No... Intent isn't going to be able to dig you out of this one I'm afraid, besides we aren't giving out any pins so we don't have to put common sense aside when talking about the technical aspects of balanced, non-manipulated skiing.

Intending to make perfectly parallel tracks is a waste of time because it represents unbalanced, crappy skiing, based on the fact that the skier had to manipulate their stance and in doing so severely sacrificed their balance which will ultimately inhibit their ability to make well balanced high performance turns (high edge angle, high speed, short radius). You can't pull that off with the inputs you are talking about.

Parallels are not missing at all when you really dig into the matter. You're probably already thinking about countering back with "oh but that means you're a-framing..." The reality is - probably not to the degree that it is detrimental to the turn. If the tracks diverge and converge, the radii are probably pretty similar - meaning both skis are working the same (or very similar) radius - versus the scenario that you are talking about. Check out the diagram below (ignore the CM paths for now), and look at the tracks of the bottom scenario at the apex versus the two top scenarios - the two radii at the apexes are quite different - wouldn't you say? The divergent tracks actually have a radius that is very close to being the same at the apex... do you think that this might suggest equal edge angles?

In your suggested scenario the inside ski is on a much tighter radius than the outside ski... but at the same edge angle? So you must be actively keeping it on that path, and it sure as hell isn't carving a tighter arc since (hopefully) the majority of your weight is going to be on the outside ski. That means it is either being extensively steered/rotated into that arc or you are skiing bow legged in order to put it at a high edge angle. Active inside half does not just apply to keeping the inside ski from running away from you, but also applies to using the necessary amount of inside leg flexion (that'd be vertical separation for those not following) as needed by the turn so you are not weighting the inside ski.

Diagram: (click to enlarge) (ignore the suggested CM path because based on the conversation so far that is going to be way too hard to get into)

The only way you're going to get the intent argument on this one is if your intent is to make a terrible unbalanced turn. I can't believe there are people here that still do not understand the basics of stance and its effect on track width... who are still describing a ski turn based on track width. Incredible. The evidence here is overwhelming and I'd prefer to not have to repeat it all again, so please re-read from the beginning until something clicks.

Later

GREG
Quote:
 Originally Posted by dogonjon Divergence and convergence during a turn should be dependant on what the original intent is. If it is to make a parallel turn then either behavior is contrary to the intent.
Sentence 1 is true. Sentence 2 is not.

My skis will "diverge" to make tracks that are further apart at apex and "converge" to make tracks that are closer together at neutral. My feet do not rotate outwards to make "divergence" happen or wedge together to make "convergence". Those features are a product of flexion and extension and the different turn radii requirements of each ski. The feet remain parallel throughout.

In a carved/edgelocked turn, if the inside ski needs to turn a tighter radius than the outside ski, you're balanced over the wrong ski. That's what happens when you try to maintain track width of carved turns.

If on the other hand, you maintain horizontal separation, your weight stays over the outside ski, because it needs to turn at a tighter radius than the inside ski.

You can work with the physics of the turn, or you can work against it. The choice is yours.

Good luck.

### parallel tracks?

in the direction of "the five sames", i've been taught that parallel tracks
are (in general, on groomed blue terrain), a good thing. when the skis "swim together" at neutral, this is often a sign of not keeping enough pressure on the skis, and perhaps letting the fCM fall behind the feet.

when the tracks widen as skis are in the fall line, this often indicates a more extreme edge angle on the outside. racers often do this for racing reasons, but for general (dynamic) parallel turns, it does not (imo) represent "two footed skiing" or parallel shins.

just wondering what others think....
i m so happy to have seen this posting. i finally understand why my tracks get wider at the apex which i strive to maintain constant stance wide. (horizontally).
this inspire me to try out variations on snow. i guess to get faster tracks should be equi distance, that is, each skis discribe its own circle about the same centre and therefore no inherent steering to keep both skis in place.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by docbrad66 in the direction of "the five sames", i've been taught that parallel tracks are (in general, on groomed blue terrain), a good thing. when the skis "swim together" at neutral, this is often a sign of not keeping enough pressure on the skis, and perhaps letting the fCM fall behind the feet. when the tracks widen as skis are in the fall line, this often indicates a more extreme edge angle on the outside. racers often do this for racing reasons, but for general (dynamic) parallel turns, it does not (imo) represent "two footed skiing" or parallel shins. just wondering what others think....
Look at the following image which shows two identical circles that are overlapped. Note the divergence and then convergence. This is what tracks will look like in a good carved turn.

### diverging/converging vs constant

maybe i just need to get on the snow again, but i seems constant track width would be desirable (and possible).

suppose i tape two pencils together in such a way that:
the pencils touch along (most of) their length
they can be tipped left and right while still touching

i can then draw parallel tracks, equidistant

why cant i make the same tracks on skis?

as to "tighter radius of the inside ski" i wonder a bit about that:
suppose i ski on one ski, and make one turn.
next run, still on one ski, i make a track equidistant from the first one.

now i have made equidstant tracks, in two separate passes.

could i not just make those track on two skis?

IF skis "should" come together at transition, should the downhill ski "tighten" the radius (moving closer to the uphill ski (which seems to be "negative" move), or should the uphill ski "loosen" the radius, so as to move closer to the downhill ski? (which seems it would lessen the pressure and edge grip built during that part of the turn).

wondering what others think - in our ski school we look at tracks and aim to avoid wider and narrower track width. (on reasonable and groomed terrain)

The two circles above show what would be a two skis carving identical arcs.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by docbrad66 IF skis "should" come together at transition, should the downhill ski "tighten" the radius (moving closer to the uphill ski (which seems to be "negative" move)...
The downhill ski moves in to the uphill ski as the downhill leg is flexed.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by docbrad66 maybe i just need to get on the snow again, but i seems constant track width would be desirable (and possible).
Possible yes. Desireable? Depends, for most rec skiers most of the time, no.

Quote:
 suppose i tape two pencils together in such a way that: the pencils touch along (most of) their length they can be tipped left and right while still touching i can then draw parallel tracks, equidistant why cant i make the same tracks on skis?
Try the same test with the pencils but make sure that when you draw a curve representing a ski turn that you tilt the two pencils towards the inside of the turn, mimicking "banking". You will first notice that the outside pencil will lift off the paper. In order for both pencils to stay on the paper while banking that way, you will have to slide the outside pencil lower down (analogous to extending your outside leg or shortening your inside leg).

So really to perform this pencil test you would need the pencils to be loosely attached so that they can stay next to each other, but slide up and down with the outside pencil being longer and then when transitioning to the next turn in the opposite direction you have to slide them back to equal and then slide the other one longer for the other banked turn. that will be the only way to make banked turns with your pencils and keep both of them drawing on the paper.

After doing that test, look at the lines left on the paper and tell me if they are constant width. If you still don't believe it, get a ruler and measure various places along the curve. They won't be constant width.

Quote:
 as to "tighter radius of the inside ski" i wonder a bit about that: suppose i ski on one ski, and make one turn. next run, still on one ski, i make a track equidistant from the first one. now i have made equidstant tracks, in two separate passes. could i not just make those track on two skis?
I don't follow you here, sorry. Max's picture of two circles is highly simplified but still a good illustration for what we're talking about (we don't actually make perfect circles in the snow and through various phases of the turn the radius can and will be changing). But the point to get from his picture, is that if we couldcarve perfect radius turns with both skis, they would not remain constant width apart.... If you wanted to maintain constant width, then the inside ski would absolutely have to be a smaller radius circle to stay inside. If they are the same radius, then they will follow the diverging and converging paths that his picture illustrates.

Quote:
 IF skis "should" come together at transition, should the downhill ski "tighten" the radius (moving closer to the uphill ski (which seems to be "negative" move), or should the uphill ski "loosen" the radius, so as to move closer to the downhill ski? (which seems it would lessen the pressure and edge grip built during that part of the turn).
Neither. See my previous paragraph and stare at Max's circles again until it makes sense.

Quote:
 wondering what others think - in our ski school we look at tracks and aim to avoid wider and narrower track width. (on reasonable and groomed terrain)
yes, many ski schools or particular instructors and trainers within ski schools do. They are confused and wrong.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by borntoski683 Neither. See my previous paragraph and stare at Max's circles again until it makes sense.
Your point is valid if both skis are carving the same radius arc. But this is unlikely. I've been taught to allow the outside ski to track back towards the inside leg as the turn is released.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Max_501 Your point is valid if both skis are carving the same radius arc. But this is unlikely. I've been taught to allow the outside ski to track back towards the inside leg as the turn is released.
Max could you elaborate more on the mechanisms and sequence of movements that allow this to happen as you see it?

I'm curious because on the face of it this seems to be somewhat in opposition to the release of the outside leg and the new inside foot tipping leading the CoM into the turn. I'm not disagreeing either, because as I see it, the feet tracking back together happens as the leg length matches through transition. More specifically as we pass through neutral, when both skis are momentarily flat to the snow. Patience might be the order of the day here, yet short dynamic turns require that our tempo is rather intense and the rate of the movements are rather rapid.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by RicB I'm curious because on the face of it this seems to be somewhat in opposition to the release of the outside leg and the new inside foot tipping leading the CoM into the turn. I'm not disagreeing either, because as I see it, the feet tracking back together happens as the leg length matches through transition. More specifically as we pass through neutral, when both skis are momentarily flat to the snow.
I tend to agree with you on that. Max, you have been taught a release movement during transition that is nearly entirely based on flexing and tipping the old outside leg. There are other approaches used by many....which may result in the same convergence of the ski tracks(which is the current topic as it applies to stance width).

Without getting into a tangent debate about which movements are the most effective...which we all know will just end in a stale mate here, let's first just try to make it clear as possible, that constant track widths are not an appropriate goal most of the time.

I think the point of the two circles you drew are merely to show that there can be a natural tendency for the two radiuses(sp) to diverge and converge naturally, rather than to depict what actually happens. If you had also provided a counter diagram which shows constant width ski tracks so that the observer could see that the inside ski would have to have a significantly tighter radius (ie, smaller circle) than the outside ski in order to maintain a constant ski track radius..perhaps the point would be driven home even better.

In actuality, I tend to think that usually the outside ski becomes more bent at the apex then the inside ski so actually the outside radius is tighter than the inside radius, at least for a while...thus contributing even more to the ski track convergence during the end of the turn.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by borntoski683 ...let's first just try to make it clear as possible, that constant track widths are not an appropriate goal most of the time.
I don't think that we should ever consider it a goal. Equal track width might be the result of other movements, but once any "track width" situation means that you are changing something else in order to make your tracks equal. The question you have to ask - "is what am I sacrificing in order to manipulate my ski tracks in any fashion."

Quote:

Quote:
 Originally Posted by borntoski683 In actuality, I tend to think that usually the outside ski becomes more bent at the apex then the inside ski so actually the outside radius is tighter than the inside radius, at least for a while...thus contributing even more to the ski track convergence during the end of the turn.
I agree, but it is probably too hard to explain... Here is a real paradox - what effect does the inside foot "pull back" have on the inside ski's radius? :

Later

GREG
Quote:
 Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier I don't think that we should ever consider it a goal. Equal track width might be the result of other movements, but once any "track width" situation means that you are changing something else in order to make your tracks equal. The question you have to ask - "is what am I sacrificing in order to manipulate my ski tracks in any fashion."
You said it better than me. its what I am trying to get at. The forceful and conscious attempt to create constant width ski tracks is generally speaking; detrimental. There are a couple situations where a wide stanced transition makes sense for certain reasons I don't want to get into right now, but for recreational skiing that is the exception, not the rule...and even that involves thinking about the "stance", not the ski track width. The resulting ski track width should be only "resultant" of whatever else is happening. In other words, don't think about the ski track width. And if you are MAing someone, you better have a good reason for assuming that their ski track width is an indicator of something you think they are doing wrong.

The main point is, when instructors go out and harp on people because their tracks are not constant width...well....they are just plain wrong most of the time. I don't know how they got pulled off into that mindset.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by RicB Max could you elaborate more on the mechanisms and sequence of movements that allow this to happen as you see it?
Prior to release, the outside leg is extended and the inside leg is flexed. During the release I keep the inside leg flexed as I flex the outside leg and allow the outside ski to move up to my inside ski. Ideally the lateral distance between my legs stays the same throughout the turn.

That said, you will see of pictures of racers where they release so fast from one turn to the next that they fly right over neutral in such a fashion that they leave wide tracks at neutral.

For example this picture from Ron LeMaster's website:

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Max_501 For example this picture from Ron LeMaster's website:
That is an interesting picture Max. Notice the placement of the inside ski in the second turn, and how the body position is also different from the first turn. I'd say that the first turn is ideal and the second turn is mostly error correction from being off balance in the transition... It is still a pretty sick turn, but I very much prefer the first turn over the second turn.

Later

GREG
Interesting theory max.

First off, her feet are closer together in the previous turn around the gate then they are at transition. her ski track is literally going wider into the transition. There is something more going on there then merely releasing so fast that her feet don't have time to converge. She's also completely airborne at that moment, so who knows. Also, this kind of hyper -athletic move is generally not an "ideal" for recreational skiers is it?

How about when ILE is used? I know you don't use it, but some people do and the subject we are discussing is equally applicable to ILE.

By the way, to see some interesting discussion about when and why a wide stance transition might be applicable in a GS course, check out the following:

Particular read Rick's posts in that thread and look at the Ron Lemaster photo he linked to:

http://ronlemaster.com/images/2004-2...2005-gs-1.html

This kind of move requires that the athlete be extra aggressive about inside leg flexion during the later phases of the old turn so that at the time they go to transition through OLR or ILE (or both), their CM will already be in between their skis. The result of that is that even the slightest OLR/ILE will cause a much greater and more instantaneous balance upset, which will cause a FASTER crossover to happen into the next turn. At almost the very instant Schlopy releases his old outside ski, he is already on the inside edge of the new outside ski.

Obviously there are times when a racer needs this. IMHO, this is not the kind of move that most recreational skiers need to worry about, though it is certainly a valuable skill for the toolbox. It requires more athleticism to pull off....as does the one of Pearson in the slalom course Max linked to (if it was even intentional and not a mistake as Greg inferred).

Recreational skiers are mostly going to want to be comfortable and functional.

In the above photo of Scholpy, notice how his legs at the gate have a comfortable horizontal separation...but at transition and into the start of the next turn...they are much wider. That works for what he needs to accomplish there, but make no mistake, that requires more athleticism then if he had allowed the skis to converge a bit coming into the transition.

Certainly, he was not in any way shooting for a goal of constant width tracks...he was focused on the race course and how to move his CM across into the next turn. The ski track width was consequential.
the link I gave above to the old thread about wide/narrow stance was not a great link...it links to the end of the discussion. page two of that thread is where the meat and potatoes of the discussion are, FYI
Don't want to get involved in the arguments but will state that I agree with Max501 here, in that as a regular practice of mine, I take the first few runs of the morning right under the chair lift on fresh groomed snow to inspect my tracks left in the snow as I ride the chair back up. When I am feeling really on and nailing good (free skiing) transitions, the tracks left in the snow resemble Max's two circles. The outside ski track from the previous turn melds into the new outside ski track in a seemingly single track. This has never been my intent but merely the result of good dynamic parallel turns. IMO.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by bud heishman When I am feeling really on and nailing good (free skiing) transitions, the tracks left in the snow resemble Max's two circles. The outside ski track from the previous turn melds into the new outside ski track in a seemingly single track. This has never been my intent but merely the result of good dynamic parallel turns. IMO.
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