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weak move

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Something I was discussing with Ryan last time we skied is: using the inside foot to make the turn happen is so effective because it is a very weak move, and as such it's very difficult ( if not impossible ) to overpower the skis with it. Am I far off the mark?
post #2 of 9
man, that's weak!

Na, milesb, it doesn't need to be a weak move. It can actually be a strong move. In teaching, we look for "a strong inside half". Which means to use the inside half with some stregnth/aggression, etc. The reason that move is so effective is because it gets the ski onto the new turning edge, therefore, keeping it from getting hung up on the inside (opposing) edge, and because it gets the CM to move across the skis, directing it into the new turn. Be it strong or weak, it's a technically efficient move. It keeps you from overpowering the skis, not because it's weak, but because it gets you to move in the direction of the new turn. A lot of people will move against the new turn, stem a little with the old turning ski's opposing (uphill) edge, and force their mass to the outside of the turn, skidding the ski around. Not directing it toward where they want to go.
post #3 of 9
Thanks guys, very helpful.
post #4 of 9
actually, i'm kind of curious, milesb, about more on the "leaning too much" (into the turn) you had mentioned. as you have pointed out and as i'm quite aware, i need work on how i'm using (or not) my upper body. the "lean" is something i'm somewhat aware of but i suspect it has to do also with a "natural" (if inefficient) movement into the turn. it is quite true, as i ski behind milesb, that his upper body is VERY still and centered. it truly DOES look like the easiest thing. (but when i take off....)
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[This message has been edited by ryan (edited April 24, 2001).]</FONT>
post #5 of 9
I do not like using the phrase "leaning into a turn with a shoulder", since most people start dropping the shoulder down when they try it. The key to the strong turn is having your shoulders parallel to the surface. Actually it takes effort to do keep your shoulders level, because when you angulate into a turn, natural tendency is to drop the inside shoulder down.
I would suggest more something along the lines of "leading with the inside shoulder into the turn". Also keep an eye on your arms - they should stay forward. If you want to shorten the radius of your turn (make it more powerfull), try driving your outside shoulder down. When your outside leg is straight and strong (as it should be), you'll be supprised how much extra kick you get from this move, since all the power is transfered right to your outside ski.


Speed does not kill, the difference in it does...
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, Ryan, here's one more thing to think aboot. If you were to stand on your floor, and let yourself fall sideways while very relaxed, you would see that your hips would hit the floor before your shoulders. Like what happens after too many Manhattans. In fact, if you videotape yourself doing this, you'll see that it is exactly the same angulation that we are looking for in skiing. Now if you tense your upper body, your shoulder will hit the floor first. So once again, it's what you DON'T do that's important.
post #7 of 9
Pierre, you have a good point.

Let me clarify what I meant about leading with inside shoulder.
I tried to put emphasis on the leading vs. leaning when inside shoulder is concerned. I guess “into the turn” was a bad choice of words (as you may have noticed by now, English is not my native language, so I do make mistakes like that) that made you assume that I was talking about turn initiation. I was not.
That lead with the inside half of your body (countering), not just shoulder, but arm, hip, knee, foot (be careful with the foot though, I will elaborate on later) applies to the active phase of the (mostly high speed) turn. The two main reason for countering are getting the inside part of your body out of the way to allow better angulation and bringing your center of mass forward. It is important to keep you shoulders parallel to the surface (carving posters with a guy dropping his inside shoulder and touching snow with his inside palm and raising his outside hand in the air are crowd pleasing but that is a poor technique when snow gets hard and your is high) in order to keep pressure on your outside ski that does most of the work. That is why I do not like leaning.
When thinking about countering (after I done my turn initiation, which is a split second anyway) I mainly focus on three body parts.
First, is driving my inside knee forward and out while flexing it. That keeps my feet parallel (still trying to get rid of that old-school A-frame) and brings my inside hip where it belongs. I would caution against driving your inside foot forward (no matter which toes you think about). When you focus on getting you inside foot forward, you actually extend your knee, which in turn drives your inside hip back ( and that is a big NO). That is also the reason why skating move is no longer a part of racing technique. Actually I heard from some racing coaches about driving the inside knee forward while trying to keep the inside foot back (still about boot length ahead of your outside foot) so your inside hip does not drop back. One good tip I picked about hips last summer. If you draw a line from the heel of your boot perpendicular to your skis, your butt should always stay ahead of it.
Second, is driving by hands forward (for me it’s the toughest one) leading with the inside shoulder. Latter comes pretty naturally when you have to clear a GS panel.
Third, is driving down with outside hand and shoulder. That move adds a lot of power to a turn.


PS Elaborating on turn initiation, would be off topic… Somebody’s signature read “ Shut up and ski” – Can not ski so I might as well talk about it.
post #8 of 9
In my experience, if you want to have a strong platform during the turn (i.e. strong inside edge) you have to lead with the inside half (I tend to lead with inside toe, knee and shoulder, more or less together) and you have to angulate. The degree of angulation depends on many factors, but the slower you go, the more you have to angulate in order to avoid catching the inside edge (that is my experience and anyway, the laws of physics do support that).

Miles, I am not sure why you think that it is a weak move. The inside foot pressure varies in order to control the carve, adjust balance and help move the CM in the right direction, but that does not make it weak. I think it is a key part of the balance of a skier. The more you can use the inside foot (from light steering to full pressure when you loose the outside edge) the better balance you have in nasty conditions. To me this is one of the key points that the Harb method fails to address adequately. The Harb method expects you to develop sufficient balance to be able to negotiate most conditions with the inside foot as a "phantom foot". Now that is a weak move!
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
It is a weak move compared to moves which directly affect the outside ski. Such as steering the outside ski or tipping the outside ski. Note that it is easier to skid the outside ski by steering it with the outside foot than by steering with the inside foot. Also, sudden, forceful edging is very difficult when the edging comes from the inside foot. And in a intermediate learning context, it is a much weaker movement than upper body rotation, which uses leverage to make the turn. In fact, using the inside foot uses the least amount of leverage possible. Which is good, because large muscular forces applied to the skis are not beneficial to most recreational skiing.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by milesb (edited April 24, 2001).]</FONT>
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