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Standing and Running?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
First walking tracks of winter remind us of just how narrow the human gait is. When we run our feet follow near enough an arrow's path, or as if on a tight rope.

What is the appropriate model for the skier, is it someone standing stationary or someone running or walking?

We may sometimes stand still at a comfortable 'hip width apart', even take such a 'potentially dynamic' position to receive a tennis serve, but it is seemingly only appropriate for a static, waiting position.

When we move using the natural inward curvature of our legs and the natural balancing skills such a narrow gait requires, we do so pretty well. Our balancing system thrives on being unbalanced

So why this talk of natural = wider ski stances?

If learners are taught to stand on skis 'statically' rather than something more dynamic as their model (like skating perhaps) does this encourage negative attitudes, park and ride habits, 'let the skis do it for you' approaches, or does any of that matter?

It's that time again, have a good one!
post #2 of 39
daslider,
Astute observations. Everything you posted is spot on. I wrote a short article on stance and base of support here. You may find it useful and I believe that it confirms what you are already suspecting here. In my mind I think of this topic as the different between being balanced and being stable. When receiving a tennis serve we are very stable, and balanced in the sense that we aren't toppling over, but when we are running in any sport we are almost always balanced on one foot while the other foot is swinging the pelvis in the direction of the weighted leg (also see this article compiled by Joan). In my mind stance is never an absolute. We can aim for a starting point but much of what happens in a turn is situational for that turn and as long as balance is maintained with the outside ski when it is needed dictating a specific base of support is poor technique. If issues are arrising from an un-natural stance it may be necessary to "re-teach" what stance really is and how it should be applied to skiing.
Later
Greg
post #3 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
daslider,
Astute observations. Everything you posted is spot on. I wrote a short article on stance and base of support here. You may find it useful and I believe that it confirms what you are already suspecting here. In my mind I think of this topic as the different between being balanced and being stable. When receiving a tennis serve we are very stable, and balanced in the sense that we aren't toppling over, but when we are running in any sport we are almost always balanced on one foot while the other foot is swinging the pelvis in the direction of the weighted leg (also see this article compiled by Joan). In my mind stance is never an absolute. We can aim for a starting point but much of what happens in a turn is situational for that turn and as long as balance is maintained with the outside ski when it is needed dictating a specific base of support is poor technique. If issues are arrising from an un-natural stance it may be necessary to "re-teach" what stance really is and how it should be applied to skiing.
Later
Greg
Very nice article but why have WE made it so complicated (Im not blaming you because you are set out to clarify a consept not invented by you). IMHO it should be sufficient to just talk about stance width in terms of how far apart our feet are as we stand flat on the ground. In other words, how wide our tracks are. Everything else is of no importance to the skier. I dont need to know the binary system in order to type this message eather. The guys that do know the binary system do never get to type such messages as this.

In for example Austria the stance width discussion has been focussing on visualizing why the BOS is very small when the skier is very inclined and why a wider stance is more supportive than lets say a sufficient stance width on flat ground. Thats why a wider stance is more supportive, you maintain a greater horisontal separation longer. In your article I do not understand why you would even suggest teaching anyone horisontal separation! Also, since we are balanced on our outside ski it really does not matter much that our horisontal separation is down to a minimum.

Sorry for hijacking the thread daslider. I think its a good topic and you are right in your resoning.
post #4 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Very nice article but why have WE made it so complicated (Im not blaming you because you are set out to clarify a consept not invented by you). IMHO it should be sufficient to just talk about stance width in terms of how far apart our feet are as we stand flat on the ground. In other words, how wide our tracks are. Everything else is of no importance to the skier.

In for example Austria the stance width discussion has been focussing on visualizing why the BOS is very small when the skier is very inclined and why a wider stance is more supportive than lets say a sufficient stance width on flat ground. Thats why a wider stance is more supportive, you maintain a greater horisontal separation longer. In your article I do not understand why you would even suggest teaching anyone horisontal separation! Also, since we are balanced on our outside ski it really does not matter much that our horisontal separation is down to a minimum.
Your post is exactly the reason why I clarified the ideas presented in that article. this isn't complicated if you make the effort to actually understand and apply it. The idea that stance width = track width is what got ski instruction into one of its many perils in the first place. It is just plain wrong to present stance to a student as track width because the student sees huge track width at the apex of a good turn and automatically thinks that wider equals better. Wider does not equal better unless wider is required as a result of the transition. This kind of incorrect thinking only serves to manipulate stance in order to produce an outcome of wide track width (very wrong). This is the first thing that is wrong with most ski instruction and unfortunately if you don't get the base of support correct the rest of your skiing is going to be a lost cause.

My article suggests that a natural (and variable) stance should be taught - and it should be conveyed to the student that stance does not equal track width. You're focusing on horizontal separation like it is a fixed variable. It is not. It is highly dependant on the turn being made. The error comes in when you intentionally manipulate it to be something other than what is natural for the skier. The even bigger error is not teaching the vertical component of stance. If you define stance as track width you are not teaching the components that go into balanced skiing - you are teaching an arbitrary outcome that is based on a static position (track width). How the coach chooses to present it is entirely up to the coach.

I defined the correct components, and stated that the manipulation of either in order to dictate track width is wrong; use them how you see fit, or don't if you aren't able to present it in a package that your student will learn from. If your students don't understand stance, it will show in their skiing, and you will quickly find them compensating for lack of balance (on the outside ski) by using an incorrect stance. This will essentially turn dynamic balance into static support/stability - which is useless in a dynamic sport like skiing.

Daslider's question bring in more than the difference between dynamic balance and static stability. In order to get the full picture we need to also consider gait mechanics (which daslider did) - specifically the pelvis swinging around the stance leg. This is another component that should be allowed to occur naturally as the turn develops (similar to walking). For EpicSki supporters - see the second link in my original post for more information on gait mechanics and how they relate to a ski turn.

Later

Greg
post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
Wider does not equal better unless wider is required as a result of the transition. This kind of incorrect thinking only serves to manipulate stance in order to produce an outcome of wide track width (very wrong). This is the first thing that is wrong with most ski instruction and unfortunately if you don't get the base of support correct the rest of your skiing is going to be a lost cause.
Please explain what you mean here.... let me modify it slightly: "Wider equals better if wider is required as a result of the transition...." why would wider be required by the transition? Or as a result of the transition? Im lost in translations here.

IMHO wider is required by the apex where our BOS is cramped due to very little horisontal separation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
You're focusing on horizontal separation like it is a fixed variable. It is not. It is highly dependant on the turn being made. The error comes in when you intentionally manipulate it to be something other than what is natural for the skier.
Im not focusing on horizontal separation like a fixed variable except if the intent is to ski with the skis tightly together in a closed stance. Also, I do not focus on horizontal separation like a fixed variable but Im focussing on the stance width as starting point for sertain kind of skiing like gate racing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
The even bigger error is not teaching the vertical component of stance. If you define stance as track width you are not teaching the components that go into balanced skiing - you are teaching an arbitrary outcome that is based on a static position (track width). How the coach chooses to present it is entirely up to the coach.
I do not need to teach the vertical component of stance because it is a natural outcome of stance width and inclination. Im totally aware, and have been so for very long, that there are horisontal and vertical components but I do not need to teach it to my students because horisontal separation varies as we incline and vertical separation also except the other way arround.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
I defined the correct components, and stated that the manipulation of either in order to dictate track width is wrong; use them how you see fit, or don't if you aren't able to present it in a package that your student will learn from. If your students don't understand stance, it will show in their skiing, and you will quickly find them compensating for lack of balance (on the outside ski) by using an incorrect stance. This will essentially turn dynamic balance into static support/stability - which is useless in a dynamic sport like skiing.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with your article, its great, Im only saying that why do we need to make it so difficult? To me it sounds as if we are preparing ourself for a situation where someone comes up to us and says that the skiers in your attached photos have their leggs close togeher and its living proof that modern racers ski with their legs close together like instructors used to do back in the 60's.
post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Please explain what you mean here.... let me modify it slightly: "Wider equals better if wider is required as a result of the transition...." why would wider be required by the transition? Or as a result of the transition? Im lost in translations here.

IMHO wider is required by the apex where our BOS is cramped due to very little horisontal separation.
Think of this in the context of very fast forced edge changes (very fast cross-under transitions and many cross-through type transitions). Often - especially in racing - the next turn is coming so quickly that there is a huge amount of change in horizontal distance between the legs from the apex to neutral in the transition. You're reading too much into this in an attempt to prove it wrong I think. The statement "wider" is in relation to the neutral position that I defined as the starting point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Im not focusing on horizontal separation like a fixed variable except if the intent is to ski with the skis tightly together in a closed stance.
I don't recall defining horizontal separation this way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Also, I do not focus on horizontal separation like a fixed variable but Im focussing on the stance width as starting point for sertain kind of skiing like gate racing.
That is fine, except that you are defining stance incorrectly by defining it as track width, so your starting point is both wrong and misleading to the student.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
I do not need to teach the vertical component of stance because it is a natural outcome of stance width and inclination. Im totally aware, and have been so for very long, that there are horisontal and vertical components but I do not need to teach it to my students because horisontal separation varies as we incline and vertical separation also except the other way arround.
As I said above - you need to brush up on your understanding of this topic. To start with it sounds like you have these two components reversed. Secondly, vertical separation is a natural outcome of proper balanced inclination/angulation on your skis but it will undoubtedly not happen properly if you define stance as track width. The reason for this is because you will at some point reach a maximum edge angle that can be acheived with your defined track width.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
There is absolutely nothing wrong with your article, its great, Im only saying that why do we need to make it so difficult? To me it sounds as if we are preparing ourself for a situation where someone comes up to us and says that the skiers in your attached photos have their leggs close togeher and its living proof that modern racers ski with their legs close together like instructors used to do back in the 60's.
This is not a difficult concept tdk6. In fact it is pretty blatantly simple. You seem to be trying to make this into something it is not. What it is not: is an arguement as to what each component of stance should be at a given point in time (meaning not advocating any stance other than what is required for the turns you are making). What it is: is a proper definition of what stance really is and what negative effects can be of manipulating either component in either direction when there is no need to. This topic is common sense, and very simple to grasp. If you don't have the willingness to put the time in to properly understand this topic, that is fine, but discarding its usefulness in properly coaching your students without understanding what those two components are really telling us is borderline ignorant. All the information is out there. What you choose to do with it is your decision.

Later

Greg
post #7 of 39
The way I think of width in skiing is that skiing relates to a midstride movement while changing directions (not walking streight). There is as much vertical seperation as there is horizantal (speed and pitch of the hill being the varables). Athletes in other sports don't worry about the width of their feet to make these directional change movements, but the width of their feet are a result of the movements they make while in dynamic motion. The technique that skiers adapt to do contribute to the width. A skier who shoves his feet away from them, generally have an excessivly narrow width, where a skier who doesn't balance over the outside ski has an excessivly wide stance. A skier who uses a strong up movement in the transition and then doesn't really engage the edges until the fall line or after has a variable width (narrow at the top of the up movement and wider after the fall line). A skier who uses a very efficient technique using diagional directional movements has a width that not only remains the same throughout the turn, but the middle of the foot is line with their hip sockets. It's the vertical seperation that they get that makes the distance appear closer together to the casual obsurver.

My description of stance width is "functional distance apart". That may be different depending on the particular situation and the technique that people use or adapt to use.

RW
post #8 of 39
Thanks Ron.
post #9 of 39
Heluva, Im not trying to prove it is wrong. On the contrary, I am very much aware of the components involved and I totally agree with the consept but my objection refers to exactly what Ron brings up in his post: "It's the vertical seperation that they get that makes the distance appear closer together to the casual obsurver."

IMO all of this jargon serves the purpose of proving to the "casual obsurver" that allthough their feet seem to be close together (horisontal separation) they are in fact not (vertical separation). Its the same as taking a photograph of a runner from the side in the exact moment his legs are parallel underneath him and wondering how he can move forwards with his legs pointing in the same direction! Why do we have to prove anything to the "casual obsurver"?

I cannot see how I would be totally wrong in teaching stance width to my students by letting them find a stance width that I think is good for the task at hand by simply telling them to stand wider or closer. For quick edge change, lightning fast CoM offset and sufficient BOS at apex on for example racing tracks a wider stance is to prefere while a closer stance comes in handy when we venture off into moguls or want to ski more relaxed down a regular gromer in a skidding fashion. That cannot be totally wrong. That can at the most be not telling the whole truth but if someone asked me why Bodes legs are tight together as he make a deeply inclined carved turn on TV I can tell them that its partly an illusion because Bode still has a wide stance width and his skis are tracking far apart in the snow and that its the horisontal separation that is brought to a minimum as a result of inclination and gives the illusion the stance width is narrow but its not because they are forgetting the vertical component that we call vertical separation that is increasing as Bode is inclining and the horisontal separation is decreasing at the same time and that is the reason we need a wide stance width in the first place because we need to be able to provide our stance sufficient horisontal separation to beginn with so that we can incline as much as we need without running out of space for horisontal separation in order to provide vertical separation that is a result of above mentioned stance width and inclination.....

Ok, I admit, track width and stance width are not the same and telling students to keep their stance width eaqually wide through out the whole turn is wrong. My coach told me this fall that my stance width should be wider. I have no problem with that. I know what he means, he means that I should have my skis further apart from each other. Simple as that.

I allso cannot see the connection between vertical separation and angulation! Angulation is offcourse one important component in our skiing but its inclination that provides us with vertical separation. The wider our skis are apart from each other to start the more vetical separation is possible. Horisontal separation is the limiting factor when it comes to how far we can incline and let "vertical separation happen". Note, horisontal and vertical separations are naturally outcome of inclination and are dependent on how far skis are apart and how much we incline.

Feel free to tell me Im totally wrong.
post #10 of 39
tdk6,

I am well aware of how vertical separation works and that is the component that is most commonly variable in a turn. You are correct about the tie between tipping/inclination and vertical separation, but there is also a significant tie with angulation as well - especially if that movement is generated from the pelvic area and hip. A level hip will generate significantly high edge angles than a purely banked position will - hence the relationship. Angulation will end up exagerrating the separation more than banked inclination. I believe that was all in the article I wrote to some extent. I also noted that vertical separation is a function of a balanced turn, and did not discount its place in a turn. this is why I defined and described both components of stance. The resultant track width that most commonly associate with stance is always a combination of both of these two factors.

This is not jargon and does not seek to complicate anything. It simply asks that we understand stance for what it really is so that proper direction can be provided to the student. Instructing your student to simply stance closer or wider is fine (if it is truly needed - most of the time people recognize lack of vertical separation as too narrow of a stance - which is false), as long as you do not define this distance as track width - which is what you were doing. I'm glad to see you appear to have revised your thinking on this.

In many skiers it is common to see stance "blocking" the ability to balance with the outside ski - whether they are skiing too narrow or too wide. Skier who ski too narrow tend to get their inside ski hung up on their stance leg/boot and neglect proper vertical separation. For those who are skiing too wide, their inside ski is alway underneath them, cause it to be an integral part of their base of support which will in turn not put enough weight on the outside ski.

All of what we are discussing is competely situational, which is why I have not defined anything other than a natural starting point for horizontal separation (then allowing vertical separation as needed). The reason that coaches should understand the relationship between the two components comes into play when we have to diagnose an issue with the person's stance/skiing. We need to know which component needs adjusting. Simply telling the student to ski wider or narrower is not sufficient to promote balanced skiing in my opinion.

You need to revisit your thoughts in your final paragraph in regards to horizontal separation enabling vertical separation. Increasing horizontal separation will make your resultant (track width) wider, but will not increase vertical separation. The reason that these two components are so useful is that they act independantly of each other.

Later

Greg
post #11 of 39
But arnt the two components relationship such that when one increases the other decreases and vise versa?

more inclination - more v-separation - less h-separation
less inclination - less v-separation - more h-spearation

Ok, I see the connection between angulation and vertical separation. I was not thinking of it in terms of the big pickture but your right, more angulation eaquals to more inclination eaquals to more v-separation. Then we could also include stuff like higher stand hight or narrow boots eaquals to more v-separation. But why is it so important to talk and teach v-separation? Whats the benefit? In Austria I was taught that a wide stance provides you with a larger BOS as you incline but to teach vertical separation sunds odd to me.

The article is very good however and for the person not accustomed to the consept it is very informative. Best I have seen, but Im a bit puzzled over the fact that Im considered a novice in this field. Im just out to siplify it a bit for the averidge person.
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
But arnt the two components relationship such that when one increases the other decreases and vise versa?

more inclination - more v-separation - less h-separation
less inclination - less v-separation - more h-spearation
That situation applies only if you are keeping the track width the same through out the turn. It is very easy to keep horizontal separation fixed, resulting in variable track width. You are right that in most turns (in the real world) both components are variable, but they don't have to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
But why is it so important to talk and teach v-separation? Whats the benefit? In Austria I was taught that a wide stance provides you with a larger BOS as you incline but to teach vertical separation sunds odd to me.
A wide stance (assume wide horizontally) does provide a larger BOS, but lets go back to the original post comparing running to standing in a stable, yet static position. In the static position your balance is on both feet, but when running you are balanced on one foot or the other the entire time. The running example is much closer to a skiing environment from the balance to how gait mechanics affect the kinetic chain.

Most of the time when skiing you do not need a huge BOS because you are balancing on one foot or the other. Due to the dynamics of skiing, a BOS is still needed, but not so large that it should be considered "wide". When your BOS is too wide, you will find that it is very difficult to get your CM outside of your BOS - which as I mentioned above will always keep weight on your inside leg (thus you're not balancing on the outside leg).

Teaching vertical separation instead of a large BOS is smarter (IMO) because it allows the student to adjust to a BOS they are comfortable with, while they vary their vertical separation to acheive edge angles necessary for the desired turn.

Jump up and down a few times on your skis while standing still and see how wide of a stance you land with on your last hop, then go make turns maintaining that same (or at least similar) horizontal stance width by varying only vertical separation. If you can't do it without toppling to the inside of the turn, you're not balanced with the outside ski, and probably need some significant upper body work to get your skiing properly balanced. There are two ends of the spectrum to this as well - the narrower the skier's horizontal separation is, the more imperative it is for the skier to be actively allowing vertical separation. If it is not used you will see the skier unintentionally pressuring their inside ski because their legs are locked together and have run out of horizontal space to take up as the turn progresses. ...So the door swings both ways. The moral of the story (and that article) is that if your BOS isn't correct (functional), you will be compensating it with other bad habbits that will ultimately hold your skiing back.

Later

Greg
post #13 of 39
I agree Greg. It is tempting to tell someone to either widen or narrow their stance, but it will mostlikley mess-up their skiing. What must be done is make a correction in one, some, or all of the following; For/aft balance, Lateral balance, movement pattern, allignment, and equipment. This can be no small task, espicially if the skier doesn't want to make a change. It is the challange to the coach/instructor to eliminate the allignment/equipment issues before thay can even start working on balance/movement issues. The horizantal and vertical functional seperation is meerly the little prize toward the end of the that chapter in the skiers development.

RW
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
I agree Greg. It is tempting to tell someone to either widen or narrow their stance, but it will mostlikley mess-up their skiing.
RW
I've had more PSIA Examiners tell me to widen my stance then I can remember especially when the shaped skis first came out. It was always fun to watch them flounder around once we got in any snow.

You want stance width: grab a chin up bar and hang in the air with your legs and feet dangling. There's your stance width.
post #15 of 39
So if we are talking about moderate speed carving (arcing), what should the rr-tracks look like?
post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
So if we are talking about moderate speed carving (arcing), what should the rr-tracks look like?
They should look like cleanly carved tracks. A coach shouldn't be looking at (shouldn't have to look at) the tracks to see if the task/skiing was done properly.
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
They should look like cleanly carved tracks. A coach shouldn't be looking at (shouldn't have to look at) the tracks to see if the task/skiing was done properly.
I was merely thinking of it in the context of a blue print of our stance width and how we manage the horisontal and vertical separation. Let me put it annother way, if skis do not track exactly as wide apart the whole time, if so, when and where should we make them more narrow and wider apart?
post #18 of 39
How about this...
Skeleton
The feet are under the balls of the femurs. An unaligned bowlegged skier needs a wider stance, and an unaligned knock kneed skier needs a narrower stance.

The width of the tracks in the snow change with the angle of the skiers legs to the snow...wider showing more vertical separation when angled, narrower showing less vertical separation when more upright. The bones of the legs maintain a near-constant distance apart. Something like this, a somewhat narrow stance with the left foot about an inch(?) or so from the right knee--maybe a bit narrow for most of us, but illustrative. If his legs were farther apart, he couldn't get that angle to the snow and would lose ski edge grip.
post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
The width of the tracks in the snow change with the angle of the skiers legs to the snow...wider showing more vertical separation when angled, narrower showing less vertical separation when more upright. The bones of the legs maintain a near-constant distance apart.
Sorry but I dont really understand any of this.... how can the width of the tracks in the snow change with the angle of the skiers legs to the snow??? Track width has nothing to do with inclination. Edge angle has, horisontal separation has and vertical separation has. The only thing that remains unchanged is track width.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
...wider showing more vertical separation when angled, narrower showing less vertical separation when more upright.
Also "wider showing more vertical separation when angled, narrower showing less vertical separation when more upright" is strangely put because also wider is showing less vertical separation when more upright. More than what?? Less than what?? This is the exact confusion that Im objecting to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
Something like this, a somewhat narrow stance
Also claiming that Patrick in the photo linked should have a "narrow stance" is IMHO totally incorrect. He has infact a wide stance but he is showing little horisontal separation due to heavy inclination.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
maybe a bit narrow for most of us, but illustrative.
"Maybe a bit narrow for most of us"??? No freeking way, but too much inclination for all of us except maybe one or two.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
If his legs were farther apart, he couldn't get that angle to the snow and would lose ski edge grip.
"If his legs were farther apart, he couldn't get that angle to the snow and would lose ski edge grip"... you must be joking. Stance width when skier is inclined can be seen at the distance his boots are from each other. How close or how far apart his leggs "appears" to be (note appears) is due to what Greg wrote in his article, horisontal separation. There is nothing like legs farther apart other than standing perpendicular to the snow or a combination of vertical and horisontal spearation that can not be used as a reference to as how wide the stance is. Are you suggesting he should lift his outside ski out off the snow in order to get his legs farther apart? Or incline less to show more horisontal separation!!!
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Sorry but I dont really understand any of this.... how can the width of the tracks in the snow change with the angle of the skiers legs to the snow??? Track width has nothing to do with inclination. Edge angle has, horisontal separation has and vertical separation has.
I believe what SSG meant by "the angle of the skier's legs to the snow" was actually edge angle - so yes, there is a huge relationship between edge angle and the tracks that may be being scribed in the snow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
The only thing that remains unchanged is track width.
This is just plain incorrect. Please re-read all of the information that has been presented to you and make an effort to understand it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Also "wider showing more vertical separation when angled, narrower showing less vertical separation when more upright" is strangely put because also wider is showing less vertical separation when more upright. More than what?? Less than what?? This is the exact confusion that Im objecting to.
tdk6: Let's look at this again as I stated above. Keep horizontal separation CONSTANT through a turn and tell me what the resultant track width is going to be in mid to high edge angle turns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Also claiming that Patrick in the photo linked should have a "narrow stance" is IMHO totally incorrect. He has infact a wide stance but he is showing little horisontal separation due to heavy inclination.
We actually have no way of knowing what his stance was in transition, but we can be sure that the snapshot we were given shows a relatively small amount of horizontal separation. In many cases we see this same separation carried through the transition. This is not an absolute however, which was why I have stated repeatedly that it is a function of the turn and transition. This photo is NOT showing a wide stance. It is showing a lot of vertical spearation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
"If his legs were farther apart, he couldn't get that angle to the snow and would lose ski edge grip"... you must be joking. Stance width when skier is inclined can be seen at the distance his boots are from each other.
You have clearly missed the entire point of this discussion. That is NOT stance width. You THINK it is stance width - but it isn't. As I said MANY times above - stance is actually best defined by horizontal separation between the legs at any given point during a turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
If his legs were farther apart, he couldn't get that angle to the snow and would lose ski edge grip.
How close or how far apart his leggs "appears" to be (note appears) is due to what Greg wrote in his article, horisontal separation.
When SSG made that comment he is referring to the fact that if the skier in the original photo were to force his legs to be farther apart (increase his horizontal separation) he would become blocked by the inside ski and no longer be in balance (thus the outside ski would lose contact with the snow)... pretty simple really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
There is nothing like legs farther apart other than standing perpendicular to the snow or a combination of vertical and horisontal spearation that can not be used as a reference to as how wide the stance is.
As for this - I will give you the liberty of explaining what you're talking about here before I respond.

So, the shovel is in your hands now. Keep digging.

Later

Greg
post #21 of 39
I read your article Greg and there is not confusion on that part. I understand perfectly the horisontal and the vertical separation consept, at least I think I do but hopefully I will never digg myselfe so far down into high tech theory that I will not be able to understand what a regular stance width is anymore. You say that we cannot know what Patricks stance width was at transiton and therefore we cannot know if his stance width is wide or narrow explains it all .
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
You say that we cannot know what Patricks stance width was at transiton and therefore we cannot know if his stance width is wide or narrow explains it all .
Probably the best way to describe "stance" in the traditional sense is by using only the horizontal separation component that makes up the actual variable stance. This means that at the point in the turn that we are seeing from Patrick - he has a narrow stance. That part is easy. What we cannot predict is what he went on to do through the transition after this turn. Did he keep the same horizontal distance between his knees? Did he changes edges so fast that there was no convergence or divergence during the transition? Did he do something else entirely such as exit the turn late and have to make a line adjustment from a wide/stable transitional platform? We don't know for sure.

What we can do however, is teach every student to ski with a natural comfortable amount of separation between their legs simply as a "neutral" starting point. If this is taught "right" to begin with you are likely to not have to deal with the student making unnecessary adjustments to their stance/BOS as their ability allows them to properly handle many different situations. Outside ski balance will be the focus instead of stance, foot separation, and track width. Adjusting (or dictating) stance to fit a mold outside of what is useful for the student's body type and the turns being made is a huge mistake in coaching and instruction.

How can there be any absolutes when the very thing we are discussing is defined by two [usually] variable components? What we can do however, is identify problems that are stemming from the two components that stance is comprised of. This lets us trace problems back to their true roots so they can be corrected (what Ron White said in his post above). The best skiers in the world do not ski with a wide or narrow stance. They ski with a functional stance as it suits their body type/shape and the turns they are making.

Also note - how you choose to present these ideas to a student would be far from the in-depth technical understanding we are trying to develop here. The most important ideas you can communicate to your students is to not force their stance width to be something that it isn't and the concept of what vertical separation is and how to allow it to happen as high edge angle turns develop. How you teach it and how you understand it are two totally different things. All of my writing on the topic is aimed at building an understanding to enable the concept to be taught properly.

Later

Greg
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
I was merely thinking of it in the context of a blue print of our stance width and how we manage the horisontal and vertical separation. Let me put it annother way, if skis do not track exactly as wide apart the whole time, if so, when and where should we make them more narrow and wider apart?
A couple options are available. They can be used exclusively, or they can be blended.

1) You can drag the inside ski away from the outside ski as you continue to incline.

2) You can diverge the inside ski during the transition so it tracks naturally into a wider on-snow separation from the outside ski during the inclinating process.

Either option will not result in parallel carve tracks,,, and in option 1 the inside ski will not even be cleanly carved,,, it will be dragged and steered.
post #24 of 39

Kiss

Greg define stance width as ”variable”, as ”horisontal separation”. I define it here in this discussion as ”variable”, as ”track width. We both include the same components: horisontal separation, vertical separation, inclination and track width. Greg has completely correctly set out to brake down ”stance width” into above mentioned components while I have tried to simplifie it by limiting ”stance width” to one component only and that is track width. The other components are there if we need them but to define ”stance width” I have suggested we talk only about track width, how far apart our boots are. In case we wonder why Patrick in his photo seems to have a close stance we can explain that by expanding stance width into its true components: horisontal separation, vertical separation, inclination and track width. IMHO that is not necessary and will only confuse the student. I can tell my student to take a wider or a more narrow stance and it is achieved easily by moving their feet further or closer to each other.

Claiming that we do not know if Patrick has his skis close or far apart at transition is naive IMHO. Ok, that might be true, but if we have even a teeny weeny bit of imagination it is easy to imagine that they could be at the exact same distance as in the photo. But we do not have to leave it to our imagination, we can take annother photosequenze as example insted like this one of Rocca:

http://www.ronlemaster.com/images/20...005-sl-1c.html

Lets not be too picky, lets look at the big pickture. Rocca has according to my observations a wide stance through the whole turn. At the gate he is heavily inclined and angulated with no horisontal separation at all but with his skis clearly apart. At transition cero there is a lot of horisontal separation but the skis are still as wide apart as at apex. The same disstance as the horisontal separation in that frame actually.

Tom
post #25 of 39
tdk6,

Your misunderstanding of this topic stems from the fact that you refuse to give up the track width = stance idea. Clearly you have no intent to properly teach this so lets just leave it at that. I have no doubt that you acknowledge the existence of the components of stance as I defined them - but what use are they to your students if you refuse teach them properly (if at all)?

The problem you are going to run into with anyone you teach is that you're going to teach them to use a wide track width like Rocca is using - and that is great if they are making Rocca's turns. The fact is that probably none of your students will ever come close to creating angles, speed, rebound, and balance like Rocca is demonstrating, so dictating track width that is that wide is completely worthless to them.

On top of that, the time spent in a transition in a slalom course (and in GS as well) is negligible in comparison to how much time is spent on the edges. There is so much lightening of the skis going on in transition from the rebound out of the previous turn that how wide the skis are means almost nothing. The width becomes a function of how fast the skier needs to go from edge to edge. Adjusting width is not useful, or an option. the width (as I keep saying) becomes a function of the turn, and has nothing to do with wide or narrow - but everything to do with what is required for that athlete to maintain proper balance with their outside ski.

If you start teaching skiers who never have and more than likely never will experience the edge angles that Rocca is using in the montage you provided to use that much track width, they will never feel properly balanced with their outside. It can't happen. The outside ski will always lose pressure and grind through the turn (preventing high angles, huge rebound, and outside ski balance). Once outside ski balance has been properly cultivated the student will be able to ski high edge angles properly and you will not have to even think about track width anymore because they will automatically default to what they need in order to make the turns they want to and remain in balance.

You are looking to over simplify an already extremely simple concept. Just because an idea requires you to think outside of the box and step out of your usual routine and comfort zone does not make it unnecessary or over complicated. It is over complicated for you because you are stuck in an inefficient way of presenting stance to your students. The unfortunate part is that they are the ones who will suffer for it.

Later

Greg
post #26 of 39
Well said Greg.

Track width is an artifact of stance width.

Stance is a relationship between the parts of YOUR body. Not the distance between your skis, which depends on terrain, speed and line.
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
tdk6,

Your misunderstanding of this topic stems from the fact that you refuse to give up the track width = stance idea. Clearly you have no intent to properly teach this so lets just leave it at that. I have no doubt that you acknowledge the existence of the components of stance as I defined them - but what use are they to your students if you refuse teach them properly (if at all)?

The problem you are going to run into with anyone you teach is that you're going to teach them to use a wide track width like Rocca is using - and that is great if they are making Rocca's turns. The fact is that probably none of your students will ever come close to creating angles, speed, rebound, and balance like Rocca is demonstrating, so dictating track width that is that wide is completely worthless to them.

On top of that, the time spent in a transition in a slalom course (and in GS as well) is negligible in comparison to how much time is spent on the edges. There is so much lightening of the skis going on in transition from the rebound out of the previous turn that how wide the skis are means almost nothing. The width becomes a function of how fast the skier needs to go from edge to edge. Adjusting width is not useful, or an option. the width (as I keep saying) becomes a function of the turn, and has nothing to do with wide or narrow - but everything to do with what is required for that athlete to maintain proper balance with their outside ski.

If you start teaching skiers who never have and more than likely never will experience the edge angles that Rocca is using in the montage you provided to use that much track width, they will never feel properly balanced with their outside. It can't happen. The outside ski will always lose pressure and grind through the turn (preventing high angles, huge rebound, and outside ski balance). Once outside ski balance has been properly cultivated the student will be able to ski high edge angles properly and you will not have to even think about track width anymore because they will automatically default to what they need in order to make the turns they want to and remain in balance.

You are looking to over simplify an already extremely simple concept. Just because an idea requires you to think outside of the box and step out of your usual routine and comfort zone does not make it unnecessary or over complicated. It is over complicated for you because you are stuck in an inefficient way of presenting stance to your students. The unfortunate part is that they are the ones who will suffer for it.

Later

Greg
You keep mentioning that my students will never be able to get the same edge angles as Rocca. To that I can only say that I dont think your students will ever be able to make edge angles like Patrick. Doesent sound like a very creative discussion does it? You also keep bringing stuff like angulation, outside ski pressure etc to the pickture and that is fine if you want to include as much as possible into the but I want to go the other way, I want to exclude everything else and limit our scope to stance widht only. I defined "in this case" (note in this case becasue sometimes I define it as a combination of horisontal and vertical separation, sounds familiar?) stance width as the distance between the boots. Student standing perpendicular on snow in a relaxed manner. You also get hung up on me advocating a very wide stance. I dont get it, Im the one suggesting a completely closed stance in moguls or in some offpist conditions. Wider stance is useful when carving or skiing race tracks. Anyway, when the student is told to take a wider or closer stance its easy to do that when standing in a neutral stance perpendicular to the snow. As they ski off and start inclining they dont have to think about their stance width, they can consentrate on other things like outside ski pressure, angulation, horisontal shoulders, counterbalance, anticipation, forward pressure, pole plant, parallel shins, OLF, gate blocking etc insted of going wide stance not so wide stance close stance not so wide stance wide stance not so wide stance close stance not so wide stance wide stnace....etc. Sounds a bit dorky to me. Place your skis as far apart as you want for that particular intent and if your coach tells you to widen up you widen up by placing your skis further apart from each other. In any case your horisontal separation will be down to cero as you incline max.
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
I dont get it, Im the one suggesting a completely closed stance in moguls or in some offpist conditions. Wider stance is useful when carving or skiing race tracks. Anyway, when the student is told to take a wider or closer stance its easy to do that when standing in a neutral stance perpendicular to the snow. As they ski off and start inclining they dont have to think about their stance width, they can consentrate on other things like outside ski pressure, angulation, horisontal shoulders, counterbalance, anticipation, forward pressure, pole plant, parallel shins, OLF, gate blocking etc insted of going wide stance not so wide stance close stance not so wide stance wide stance not so wide stance close stance not so wide stance wide stnace....etc. Sounds a bit dorky to me. Place your skis as far apart as you want for that particular intent and if your coach tells you to widen up you widen up by placing your skis further apart from each other. In any case your horisontal separation will be down to cero as you incline max.
It is quite clear that you are missing the point of this discussion. I will leave you to your assumptions now.

Quote:
In any case your horisontal separation will be down to cero as you incline max.
That statement right there pretty much sums up why a student who is taught that track width = stance width will more than likely always be held back in terms of balance. You are proposing a track width for some arbitrary edge angle that you are apparently picking out of the air. The student will not be forced to focus on vertical separation until the legs become locked together and therefore will not be forced to balance with the outside ski. They can "get away" with a wide stable platform, but there is no way they will ever develop a truly useful and dynamic BOS. The student is likely to never acheive an adge angle beyond what your prescribed width allows. Do you consider that good skiing? What happens if they need to go beyond the precribed track width - do you advise them to go even wider so they can acheive higher angles?

I think I have explained this topic enough, especially since you obviously have no desire to re-think your strongly held belief that you already know all there is to know on this topic. My hopes are that the readers have gained some valuable knowledge about what stance really is and how detrimental incorrect instruction on stance really is.

Later

Greg
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
It is quite clear that you are missing the point of this discussion. I will leave you to your assumptions now.



That statement right there pretty much sums up why a student who is taught that track width = stance width will more than likely always be held back in terms of balance. You are proposing a track width for some arbitrary edge angle that you are apparently picking out of the air. The student will not be forced to focus on vertical separation until the legs become locked together and therefore will not be forced to balance with the outside ski. They can "get away" with a wide stable platform, but there is no way they will ever develop a truly useful and dynamic BOS. The student is likely to never acheive an adge angle beyond what your prescribed width allows. Do you consider that good skiing? What happens if they need to go beyond the precribed track width - do you advise them to go even wider so they can acheive higher angles?

I think I have explained this topic enough, especially since you obviously have no desire to re-think your strongly held belief that you already know all there is to know on this topic. My hopes are that the readers have gained some valuable knowledge about what stance really is and how detrimental incorrect instruction on stance really is.

Later

Greg
Ok, Im going to try to figure out what you are saying..... the only way of being able to balance on the outside ski, develop a truly useful and dynamic BOS and achieve edge angles beyond what Rocca is showing in the photosequeze is if you are aware of vertical separation and you do not ever think of stance width in terms of how wide your tracks in the snow are.

Im not picking anything out of the air. Im looking at some photos that you also have gained access to. What do you see? I see the horisontal separation carmping down to cero at some point and aftar that there is no more inclination. If Roccas stance was feet glued together to start with, would he have been able to access such high edge angles? If you bother to answer that question you would also understand that feet together allow for less vertical separation than if they were further apart. It is as simple as 1+1=2. In order to allow for more vertical separation you need to start your inclination with boots further apart from each other perpendicular to where the toes point in the vertical plane. You can demo it right were you sit right there. Take your ski boots and place them side by side glued together on the floor. Tip them to eather side. See, they do not allow for any inclination. Now put them one meter apart and tip them to eather side. See, you are able to lay them flat on the floor. How much vertical separation is that? I tell you, one meter. The way I define stance width "IN THIS DISCUSSION" is how wide our feet are apart as we stand perpendicular to the ground. As we incline our horisontal separation will gradually deminish and our vertical separation gradually gain in distance forcing us to angulate and balance more over the outside ski as our BOS gets smaller.

My Austrian ski manual says: Breite Skifyhrung ergibt nicht immer breite Standfläche. It translates into something like this: Wide distance between skis does not allways provide you with a wide BOS. This is not used to define stance width. It is used to explain why we need to balance over our outside ski.
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Well said Greg.

Track width is an artifact of stance width.

Stance is a relationship between the parts of YOUR body. Not the distance between your skis, which depends on terrain, speed and line.
But isnt every movement we make a relationship between the parts of our body? Sounds like calling out the obvious.
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