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Bob, adding to the encyclopedia

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey excuse my ignorance here but is the term "Counter Steering" in the encyclopedia yet?

I am sorry to say I don't have a copy of the book but I think that this one has earned a home in some book. whadya think?
post #2 of 12
Hey mosh! Are you referring to the effect that moving your feet in the opposite direction of the turn has on edging? This was an amazing revelation that Charlie shared with our ESA group. In effect "counter-steering" had a dramatic effect on edging, even though the movements were very small. Of course this was really possible after getting footbeds and appropriate sole cants that gave me four equal edges.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
YEs exactly, I think the term "Counter Steering" should be added to the list of terms so that it is out there for the world to know. I was accused of making that up the other day. I just want to be able to refer someone to the term.
post #4 of 12
If you turn the steering wheel of your car opposite the direction of the turn what do you call it?
post #5 of 12
What about VirginClutch and MoronEdge?
post #6 of 12
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
If you turn the steering wheel of your car opposite the direction of the turn what do you call it?
Joan, the effect of counter-steering a car is much different from on a motorcycle, and the motorcycle/bike analogy was what we were working with. Counter-steering a car is a corrective technique in an over-speed turn that is over-steering or skidding in the rear. I would think that is exactly NOT what is intended.

In this case, a movement is being suggested that gives unexpected results. With your ankles flexed, rotate your toes to the right. What happens? Do the ankles incline? Rotate to the left...same thing? In skiing, what edges would this engage?

(please note that the Trekchick effect may be different considering she is double-jointed )
post #7 of 12
That sounds reasonable, Cirque. Was that your meaning too, mosh?
post #8 of 12
Not sure about the isolated term 'Counter Steering' to describe foot inversion/eversion. Even 'Counter Steering with the Feet' as a more complete term still creates a mixed image. This seems yet another case for 'Rotary' input driving an 'Edging' outcome and is best explained as an 'Edging control movement at the Feet and Ankles' - and is distinctly separate from "Steering"...

Bud tried to describe this movement pattern and a specific application in a thread over the summer without much success. I spent some time on it with respect to teaching Wedge-Turns last weekend and found it's one of those movements best described with visuals (like hand motions).

A complete explanation along with visuals in Bob's book would certainly help.

post #9 of 12
A powerpoint animation would be even better!!!
post #10 of 12
Video library? Did someone say Video Library?
post #11 of 12
OK--I'm with you! We need to discuss both the concept and the term, though, I think. There are several moves I can think of that could be described as "counter-steering," and there are other terms that could potentially denote any of them. Let's make sure we get the right term for the right movement.

In my opinion, the ideal term for something should either absolutely clarify the meaning of the thing without further description (ideal, but rare), or should be so vague and unclear that it requires further explanation, to prevent people from jumping to false conclusions based on a different understanding or use of the term. The latter is a very common mistake that leads to many arguments and much confusion--as the discussion above shows. "Counter-steering" already has several meanings in several contexts, so I suggest that using it to denote a particular ski move will more likely confuse than clarify. (The simple word "steering" already causes enough confusion on its own, because everyone has a different vision of it.)

So let's think about the term, and make sure it's the best one for this idea. It would be good to find a name with less "baggage." There may not be a better one, but it's worth considering.

And let's think about the idea itself, because I can think of a number of things that could be called "counter-steering." Cirquerider mentions one of the more intriguing ideas in his post #2 above:
the effect that moving your feet in the opposite direction of the turn has on edging?
Let's look at this one--it's one of my favorites, and one I see rarely described or understood, even by top instructors. It came up in a thread last spring--don't recall which one--and caused more than a few raised eyebrows!

Because tipping the feet involves rotation of the femurs, something else has to rotate the other direction if we want to "just" tip the skis and not turn/twist/pivot them (think "Railroad Tracks"). Twisting the skis while tipping them is a common and frustrating mistake when attempting Railroad Tracks, and this is why!

It's easy to observe this femur rotation: in street shoes or bare feet, stand up in an athletic stance--hips, knees, and ankles slightly flexed--and put your hands on your thighs. Now tip your feet right and left, and you will easily feel and see your femurs (thighs) rotating. Since your feet are "stuck" to the floor, they probably aren't turning as they tip. So what is doing the "counter-steering" (or whatever)? Balance on one foot now and tip the lifted foot, while keeping it pointed straight ahead. It's harder, isn't it? With the knee and hip of the lifted leg more flexed, your knee moves "out" as you tip your foot toward the little-toe side ("invert" it), and vice-versa--right?

What's actually happening? And how can we improve our ability to "just tip"? Sit back down now in a comfortable chair, feet flat on the floor and pointing straight ahead in front of you, naturally separated and knees bent about 90 degrees. Now, without moving your knee or thigh, turn your right foot "toes-in" toward your left foot, as far as you can. All of this "internal rotation" must occur below your knee, in the foot and ankle, combined with a slight twist of the bones of the lower leg (they don't twist as much, but the movement is similar to how your forearm twists when you hold it horizontal and rotate your palm up and down).

Now, while holding that right foot in this "toes in" position, rotate your femur externally (move your knee out to your right). The result should be that your right foot is now tipped strongly to the right, and once again pointing straight ahead. Play around with these two movements until you get it right.

As this experiment shows, "just tipping" a ski is actually a complex combination of rotational movements of the femur and foot in opposite directions. Of course, you can also "counter-steer" your pelvis in the opposite direction of your femur to counter its rotation. Great skiers can and do combine all these possible movements as needed and in the most efficient way to achieve the results they're looking for at any moment, intuitively and unconsciously. But it is clearly a learned skill, and this simple-appearing movement is wonderfully complex!

I assume that this is the movement Charlie was playing with in Aspen, Cirquerider? For those who have not thought about this before, it may well come as a surprise to realize that great skiers actually turn their feet left in a right turn, and right in a left turn, as they turn and tip their legs into the turn.

Now--should it be called "counter-steering"? Or is there a better term, less ambiguous, and with less baggage, for this concept? Or might we even be better off not trying to "name" it all?


Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #12 of 12
Can we set up a meeting to discuss this and make it mandatory that I attend?
I could use a get away!
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