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Inside foot tipping vs Gait mechanics - Page 2

post #31 of 49
I see what you mean, BigE. Thanks for the clarification.

I find myself doing that too (re: making shallower and shallower turns when going down a steep incline). No matter how wide I start out making my turns, I always end up making smaller and smaller ones the farther down the run I go. :

Aren't there other (possibly more efficient) ways to move the hip forward without using an up movement? Or is it due to the speeds they are skiing at that makes the up movement the better (easier) way to go? I am not saying that I think this is a bad way to go, I am just curious about other ways to do this.
post #32 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwanjr View Post
This is my first post here but I was just wondering about the video that Rick posted and why the European skiers and one of the Canadian skiers were making this up movement with their arms when beginning the transition between turns/ending their current turn? Is this strictly a balance thing or is it what is motivating their turns?
Reaching both hands forward (e.g. Guay & Cuche) can be used as a GS drill tactic to keep hips & shoulders somewhat square to the line while getting forward in the turn transition. Touching the hands together (e.g. Cuche) provides tactile feedback so you know you're reaching far enough forward.
post #33 of 49
dwanjr: IMO, the move in the WC stars video are is most efficient -- they lose the least speed in each turn. It's not my default Sunday afternoon cruising technique -- it's best in the mornings when the trails are fresh and no-one is on hill yet, since you'll be flying!

To control your speed, you could try simply making more short turns earlier, and keeping that turn shape up. Done well, your speed should remain constant after three to four turns (assuming the pitch stays the same.) It's hard work to overwhelm the forces; it's easy to let them overwhelm you! Certainly easier to control your speed when your skis have a very small (eg. 12m)radius.

About staying low: You can stay low and recenter by pulling the inside foot back under you, but that also makes getting the outside hip to swing around to front much more difficult. You'll probably end up forcing it around by actively counter-rotating.

You could try never getting into an aft balance situation so that you are always centered. One way to stay centered is to constantly be pivotting the feet under you throughout the turn, ensuring that the pivot point is directly under foot. (This pivotting can't be done if you are not centered.) This would be steering the skis through the turn, concentrating on making the same shaped turn all the time.

You can try getting the hip forward before transferring weight to the new leg.

There are many options, but they are not well supported or in direct conflict with our natural gait pattern.

That is not to say we should discard them, there are reasons to use something else as the situation demands. ( I would not do a mogul run or a crazy steep pitch using the WC stars video technique.)
post #34 of 49
That makes sense.

Could you stay low and initiate inside leg tipping to recenter and as a method to get the inside foot back under you thereby using a less active means of getting the outside hip around?
post #35 of 49
Are we talking about two different inside legs?

The leg I'm suggesting that can be pulled back to recenter/get forwards is the new stance leg. This new stance leg is still the inside leg until the new turn begins.

Tipping the OTHER leg, the soon to be inside leg (current downhill or outside leg) before recentering will block the hip and hinder it from getting it around. That's the leg the original poster was aggressive tipping.....

So, no, tipping will not help moving the hip around.

Using the principles of Gait Mechanics when skiing is MUCH simpler than the alternatives. All it costs is a small up move for the duration that the hip needs to swing around the stance leg. It buys you a LOT of simplification.
post #36 of 49
BigE, I was talking about the new stance leg/inside leg until the new turn begins, i.e. the leg you were talking about. I hadn't realized (or forgot ) that the OP was talking about the new inside leg. Sorry about that.
post #37 of 49
Oh, ok.

So you're suggesting that as you pull the foot back you also tip it to the new edge?

I can't see how that will bring the other hip fowards.
post #38 of 49
I'm not sure I'm clear on what you mean by new edge.....if say, the right leg were the current inside leg/new stance leg, do you mean the new edge as being the big toe edge or the little toe edge? If you were referring to the big toe edge then I too can't see how that would bring the other hip forward and you'd likely have to lift the current stance leg/soon to be inside leg in order to maintain your balance in that case.

I was suggesting tipping the foot (right leg from the case above) on it's little toe edge (transferring weight to it) to bring your foot underneath you faster and possibly in a less active manner. Though I think this might cause for a very quick edge to edge transition for that foot, very little "float"-time, if you will.
post #39 of 49
The right ski is already on the LTE on turn exit. There is no added tipping to do here.

The weight transfer you are suggesting is precisely that of gait mechanics -- the weight is transferred to the right foot. The pressure point moves from the back and outside of the heel up along the LTE of the foot and across to the BTE.

While this is happening the left hip is moving forward of the right hip as the pelvis rotates atop the right femur. That is the element of gait mechanics that we want to ensure happens.

Does pulling the foot back allow the pelvis to rotate freely into counter or does the skier have to force the left hip forward into counter?

EDIT ADDED:

Second question: As the CM is moved back over the foot and was not allowed to rise, does the boot cuff support the CM?
post #40 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
The right ski is already on the LTE on turn exit. There is no added tipping to do here.
Yes, you are right. I was envisioning something where most of the weight would be transferred to the inside leg (to the right ski) thereby giving a quicker exit out of the turn and helping to set up the new stance leg.



Quote:
Does pulling the foot back allow the pelvis to rotate freely into counter or does the skier have to force the left hip forward into counter?
I would think that it would allow the pelvis to rotate freely and that the forces created in the turn would pull the hip forward on its own.



Quote:
Second question: As the CM is moved back over the foot and was not allowed to rise, does the boot cuff support the CM?
I would say that the CM would to some extent be supported by the boot cuff because in order to keep the low CM you would have to bring the knees up as you are making the transition from one turn to the other, though I believe that the majority of it would probably be held by the quads.
post #41 of 49
OK I think I see where you're going with this.

If the quads are holding things up, you're weight is back. So, the weight transfer did not complete and as you cross over the skis you'll be dumping the hip back and inside. I define that a weight transfer is complete when there is 50% of the weight on the heel, 35% Ball and 15% Ball on Little toe side. That's the distribution that optimizes the function of the foot, and so optimizes your ability to balance on it.

If the front of boot cuff is holding you up during transition, this is interfering with the foots ability to adapt and get loaded to that 50/35/15 distribution. It raises the plane of balance, so you're balancing on heel and boot cuff. This is less that optimal, as your foot is built to become a tripod when that 50/35/15 distribution is reached.

Please bear in mind that I am suggesting this "way point" of "complete weight transfer" during the turn as it is what gait mechanics and the foot function suggests.

I am not suggesting that other techniques are not appropriate as the situation demands. I am pointing out that if you use gait mechanics as a measure of how we "naturally" move, the other movement patterns are not natural and much harder to learn.

So in reality, is there anything wrong with a little "up" move?
post #42 of 49
I didn't mean to imply that I thought that a little up movement was a bad thing since in reality, everyone is going to have one no matter how slight.

So one is not to apply any pressure to the front cuff of their boot? I was just supposing that in bringing the knees up, one might (consciously or no) put some pressure on the front of the boot cuff.

I was just thinking that in order to bring the knee up, you would have to take up a good portion of your weight with your quads to allow your feet/knees to move freely as required. Does this sound reasonable? Or would it be more natural to just relax the quad muscles, while maintaining the appropriate weight ratios in the foot, in order to provide the appropriate knee motion? This should also keep the weight centered instead of having it back, right?
post #43 of 49
Thread Starter 
Some interesting directions this has gone. Let me backtrack a bit and just throw my 2 cents in on a couple of points...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwanjr View Post
I was just wondering about the video that Rick posted and why the European skiers and one of the Canadian skiers were making this up movement with their arms when beginning the transition between turns/ending their current turn? Is this strictly a balance thing or is it what is motivating their turns?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
I don't know anything about it dwanjr, but the first clip looks to me like a drill the helps flow and the relic of the drill in the later clips.
I would agree with ghost here. It looks like a drill or warm up routine to me, but I am not sure of the full intention.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dwanjr View Post
Yeah, they do seem to be driving down with their hips quite a bit.
I would not describe it that way. They are certainly allowing their hips to drop as the edge angles develop, and because it was happening so efficiently it may appear like they are "driving" their hips down, but I think they are putting far more effort into clean transitions and setting up clean arcs so that their hips fall to the inside of the turns effortlessly. If anything, they are swinging their new inside hip up and forward, like swinging a gate around their stance leg, in the top part of each turn. Their body mass falls to the inside of each turn.

Quote:
Does this help them with tipping or is it hindering their ability to tip on the inside leg because they are requiring the inside leg to take some of their weight?
As you can see, they are developing plenty of edge angles without forcibly tipping the skis through their feet. By using an efficient ILE transition, the momentum of their CoM is moving across from the inside of the previous turn into the inside of the next turn and huge edge angles are developing that way. There is absolutely nothing getting in the way to block the development of inclination and edge angle, which is why it looks so smooth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwanjr View Post
Aren't there other (possibly more efficient) ways to move the hip forward without using an up movement?
By the "up movement" are you referring to the arms swinging the poles, which I believe is more of a drill than anything, or are you referring to the fact that the entire skier is rising up and over during each transition?

I think probably you are referring to the later. If not, please forgive my tangent. Be careful about how you observe the standing up of the skier, compared to more of an OLR type transition. They are not popping up or unweighting their skis and that movement is not for the purpose of recentering forward either. Ideally, they are already forward by virtue of the fact that during the end of the previous turn they held their inside foot as far back as they possibly can, usually to the limit of their dorsiflexion. If they did that, then during transition they can simply stand up on it and be centered. If they allowed their inside foot to drift forward, then when its time to stand on it they will find they are in the backseat, and they will have to PULL themselves up out of it using any number of means including heavy quad use, pushing on the BACKS of their boots, etc. But if they kept that foot back, then they will be centered and all they will have to do is stand on that ski, using the bottom of their foot as bigE described, without having to push against the front or back of their boot at all.

What actually happens is that the minute they transfer which leg they are standing on, (hint hint, the same way we do when we walk down the street and stand on one foot, then the other), the minute they transfer from standing on the extended outside leg to standing on this flexed inside leg, the balance point will be out-of-balance, and this will cause the skier's mass to move towards the inside of the next turn. Sometimes quite dramatically! These skiers are extending their new outside leg as they stand on it, which enhances this effect of toppling their mass towards the inside of the new turn. They are like an upside down pendulum during this, their mass moves up and over. Most of the movement comes simply from the momentum their body mass has moving down the hill. They use a very light extension of the old inside leg to begin the process, while transferring their weight to it. As their CoM moves across they will have to continue extending that leg to maintain contact with the snow.

Quote:
Or is it due to the speeds they are skiing at that makes the up movement the better (easier) way to go? I am not saying that I think this is a bad way to go, I am just curious about other ways to do this.
You may be familiar with other methods that involve more dramatic flexing of the new inside leg to initiate the transition. This is commonly referred to as an OLR transition, which has its place and time to use. The skier's body mass will appear to move from the old turn into the new turn without going up and over, but rather just straight through.

For recreational skiing I find both types of moves useful for different situations. Frankly I think the up-and-over transition is more efficient in terms of pure ease. Because you spend time with your legs extended you are able to relieve your quads in between turns. If you transition through float with flexed legs, then your quads are carrying you. With the OLR flex to release, you will also commonly find yourself in the back seat at the end of the transition and in need of drastic measures to get back centered again. Quite often that could be a pivot to become instantly re-centered. If you have small enough radius skis you might be able to carve them sharply down the hill and recenter yourself that way. (?). When I'm carving a groomer I almost exclusively use an up-and-over technique. However, off piste, in bumps, during many short radius turns, I will use more of an OLR, and probably some pivoting as well.

There is absolutely nothing inefficient about the up-and-over transition being demo'd above. Its very clean arc-to-arc skiing. Because of the way its done, a very early connection is made on the BTE of the new outside ski and it remains firmly connected to the snow, so this type of skiing gives a very smooth and very connected feeling, flowing arc-to-arc with the least amount of float time between turns.
post #44 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
If anything, they are swinging their new inside hip up and forward
I love it! This skiing has many similarities to swinging on a swing in a park (go try it if it's been a while). It feels like it, and in many ways the forces are analogous.
post #45 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwanjr View Post
So one is not to apply any pressure to the front cuff of their boot? I was just supposing that in bringing the knees up, one might (consciously or no) put some pressure on the front of the boot cuff.
I'm not against applying cuff pressure, but I'd would not apply it always in each turn. I would prefer to be as "cuff neutral" as possible, so that I don't have to fight with the equipment. Certainly applying shovel pressure on turn entry will require some cuff pressure, but do you do that on every single turn? And would you pressure the cuff so much that your balance is affected? I'd say it depends on what I need to have happen at that moment in any particular run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwanjr View Post
I was just thinking that in order to bring the knee up, you would have to take up a good portion of your weight with your quads to allow your feet/knees to move freely as required. Does this sound reasonable? Or would it be more natural to just relax the quad muscles, while maintaining the appropriate weight ratios in the foot, in order to provide the appropriate knee motion? This should also keep the weight centered instead of having it back, right?
Both ways are fine, they both have their pros and cons. Taking up a "good portion of your weight" with the quads and you need a "big move" to recenter. Note the WC stars with the hands fowards and pulling the arms back to recenter. That's a pretty big move.

The other approach as you suggest (keeping centered at all times) will result in the skier going more up and over at transition ( or not if staying low gets the result you want.). Which is OK too.

To my thinking, we're dodging around the big question:

"Is there a right/wrong way to ski?"

The answer to is situational -- it only matters that the technique you choose gives you the outcome you want.

The movements that the WC stars make on that video are intended to provide the outcomes you are seeing -- inside leg extension through transition, the inclined turn entries, projection of the mass downhill, the big recentering moves, the large lazy turn radius and so on. This is a snapshot of just one run, done just one way. To create a complete skiing technique from this one particular run is not my goal. My goal was to highlight how gait mechanics relates to skiing and how it can simplify making turns. IMO, the WC videos show that quite well.
post #46 of 49
BigE, BTS,,, well done guys.
post #47 of 49
BTS, by up movement, I was referring to the arm swinging that was going on. I found your answer to be very informative though so thanks for that.

BigE, thanks for the responses. I would definitely agree with what you are saying. I wasn't trying to say that there is any right or wrong way to ski, as it would absolutely depend on many variables. I was just trying to look at the alternatives to the movements that I was observing, looking for the lowest energy pathway (most natural) for transition between turns. Thanks for the discussion on this, you have been most helpful.

Thanks guys!
post #48 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
If you transition through float with flexed legs, then your quads are carrying you.
: Then why is it called float instead of load?

Commenting on this weightless float stage which allows the quads to relax, a former PSIA examiner once remarked "Learn to float and it will change your life."
post #49 of 49
Thread Starter 
The word "float" has been used in different ways by different people. In the context of how it is inferred in ski transitions, IMHO it may or may not include momentary weightlessness, that is not a requirement and in fact is often not desirable. The float period is more of a period where the skis are flat on the snow and disconnected. Being weightless might be part of the transition float depending on a number of factors leading up to that weightless moment, but when it does happen, it will be a very short weightless moment of time. The entire so called "float" period includes a longer span of time where the skier is not weightless for most of it...and in many cases the skier may not be weightless at all.

A skier can not actually "float" through the air. When we experience a weightless feeling, it is momentary, it is not sustained for more than an instant. Actually a skier will feel that they are getting heavier and lighter, and its constantly changing. If a skier achieves a feeling of complete weightlessness, then what is coming next within less than a second is going to be a fall back to gravity. A skier does not maintain a weightless feeling and actually "float" like a back-to-the-future car through the transition.

By the way, even when we take a jump, even though we might be soaring through the air, we are not really "floating". We are sailing up as far as our momentum will take us before gravity takes over and pulls us back to the ground. There is no actual "floating".

Any use of the word "float" when discussing ski turn transitions is not to refer to some kind of imaginary floating through the air. But it is to refer to a section of the transition where the skier may be somewhat disconnected by virtue of the fact that their skis are flat. And in some cases, there may be a momentary weightless experience if the skier previously performed a movement which would provide unweighting.

In short radius turns, the length of time of float between turns is very short, and hence its quite useful to use an OLR type of transition. If performed aggressively, the skier will achieve a down-unweight to their advantage. Additionally, these types of turns are often combined with anticipation, and the weightlessness provides an opportunity for the anticipation to unwind and pivot the skis a bit.

In medium and longer radius turns, if there is any weightlessness, it will be a very short period of time, compared to how long it takes for a skier to transition his CoM from the inside of the previous turn into the inside of the next turn. I would also argue that in many instances, during medium and longer radius turns, weightlessness is not even desirable. What is desirable is to keep the skis on the snow and engaged.

In any case, the main point of all this is that if there is any weightlessness in a medium to longer radius turn, then it will not be long enough to actually "float" the skier through the whole transition. For most of it, they skier will still be standing on their legs and carrying their body weight. If the legs are flexed for most of it, then they are taking it in their quads. In shorter radius turns with an intentional explosive down-unweight in action, then the skier will typically explode back out to an extended stance as quickly as gravity takes over and as they pivot the skis, therefore, their legs do get a break during that short unweight. That is what The PSIA examiner was trying to tell you.

For medium and longer radius turns, however, the amount of time spent weightless is not long enough and the skier is going to be standing on flexed legs a lot more than if they use an ILE type transition, that is the point that was made earlier.
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