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Changing Fore / Aft Balance During Turn? - Page 2

post #31 of 42
Bob, thx! Will try that & report back.

Rick, per your last advice (from my other thread ) I am quite conscientious of my upper body/hip and do make an active effort to counteract / rotate away from the turn. Having said that, I did find that if I used a drill of exaggerate flexing & touching my stance boot, I seem to have less wash out. Perhaps that's another indication that when doing that, I simply cannot lean more forward than when "standing tall"?
post #32 of 42
I think binding placement and/or binding ramp might have a lot to do with pressure management in turns.

Skiing with my RX8 in the -1 position I have to be standing on the balls of my feet to get that even feel over the sweet spot or the tails will skid much easier. In the +1 position I simply have to stay centered with no cuff pressure and a slight tip of the ankles is enough to engage the tips.

IMO, I think many brands have the bindings set farther back(particularly K2, and some Head and Volkl's) and the skier might have to be putting a lot of pressure on the cuffs during turns to really get the ski to flex evenly.

Also, Skiinig on my rzossi Z9 with a lot of ramp in the bindings I always have to be using cuff pressure or the tails skid.
post #33 of 42
I agree with you, MojoMan. The old traditional method of placing bindings with the ball of the foot at the middle of the running surface has never made sense to me. The ball of the foot has little to do with it--and obviously puts the center of a big boot well behind the center of a small boot. The difference is far more apparent on today's much shorter skis. Placing the boot center over a "boot center mark" makes a little more sense, but still doesn't quite capture the critical points to me (and who knows how the ski manufacturer has determined that center marK?).

I prefer bindings like the VIST plate systems, that allow you to change your boot position easily. And I usually find that I like them a notch or two (cm or two) forward of the "recommended" center position.

Binding mounting is a controversial area, and "recommended" locations are much more arbitrary than most people realize. Personally, I'd love to see manufacturers identify the "sweet spot" I've often spoken of (the point which, when pressured, will cause the tipped ski to bend and carve the cleanest arc). Then we could mount our bindings to put our neutral balance point (between center and heel, as if the tibia extended to the bottom of the boot) over that spot. At least as a starting point, that would seem to make sense to me!

---

All that said, though, it's still important to remember that much of fore-aft pressure regulation in skiing comes from movements other than flexion-extension of the ankles, knees, hips, spine, and arms. Rotary movements of the legs are important too, the moreso the more we incline into a turn (or stand vertical across a steep slope). If not clear on this, picture a garden rake standing vertically. To apply more pressure to one side of the rake (one end of the "T"-shaped rake head), you'd tip the handle in that direction--like moving our body forward or back on skis. But lay that rake down horizontally on the ground. Now applying pressure to one side or the other will require twisting the handle--right?

So like the rake, at any angle other than perpendicular to the ground, rotary movements become critical adjusters of fore-aft pressure on skis. This is a movement I'm quite conscious of in my own skiing. If I don't feel the tips of my skis engaging sufficiently when inclined deeply in a turn, a subtle twist of my legs takes care of it quickly. "Pushing forward"' against my boot cuffs feels like entirely the wrong movement--and indeed, it is a move in the wrong direction (toward the outside of the turn, when I really want my skis to move me into the turn).

Another point to ponder!

Best regards,
Bob
post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post
I agree with you, MojoMan. The old traditional method of placing bindings with the ball of the foot at the middle of the running surface has never made sense to me. The ball of the foot has little to do with it--and obviously puts the center of a big boot well behind the center of a small boot. The difference is far more apparent on today's much shorter skis.

I prefer bindings like the VIST plate systems, that allow you to change your boot position easily. And I usually find that I like them a notch or two (cm or two) forward of the "recommended" center position.

Binding mounting is a controversial area, and "recommended" locations are much more arbitrary than most people realize. Personally, I'd love to see manufacturers identify the "sweet spot" I've often spoken of (the point which, when pressured, will cause the tipped ski to bend and carve the cleanest arc). Then we could mount our bindings to put our neutral balance point (between center and heel, as if the tibia extended to the bottom of the boot) over that spot. At least as a starting point, that would seem to make sense to me!

---

All that said, though, it's still important to remember that much of fore-aft pressure regulation in skiing comes from movements other than flexion-extension of the ankles, knees, hips, spine, and arms. Rotary movements of the legs are important too, the moreso the more we incline into a turn (or stand vertical across a steep slope). If not clear on this, picture a garden rake standing vertically. To apply more pressure to one side of the rake (one end of the "T"-shaped rake head), you'd tip the handle in that direction--like moving our body forward or back on skis. But lay that rake down horizontally on the ground. Now applying pressure to one side or the other will require twisting the handle--right?

So like the rake, at any angle other than perpendicular to the ground, rotary movements become critical adjusters of fore-aft pressure on skis. This is a movement I'm quite conscious of in my own skiing. If I don't feel the tips of my skis engaging sufficiently when inclined deeply in a turn, a subtle twist of my legs takes care of it quickly. "Pushing forward"' against my boot cuffs feels like entirely the wrong movement--and indeed, it is a move in the wrong direction (toward the outside of the turn, when I really want my skis to move me into the turn).

Another point to ponder!

Best regards,
Bob
I wish they would do that too. Too much variation in binding placements IMO. When I look at some of the K2's, the bindings are so far back I have no idea how anyone can even ski them effectively. Combine that with the large ramp on the marker bindings and you will have to be leaning forward and mashing the cuffs. These are hardpack skis !

post #35 of 42
That's just wrong! (Especially considering that with those rounded, slightly up-turned tails, the actual running surface and edge length behind the heel piece is even shorter than it looks!)

post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post
That's just wrong! (Especially considering that with those rounded, slightly up-turned tails, the actual running surface and edge length behind the heel piece is even shorter than it looks!)


They should rename the model: Terminal Intermediate



Seriously though, I am not an instructor, but IMO this is something they should be waching out for. Too often instructors can ignore equipment factors. IMO, it would be hard to teach someone proper pressure management on such a ski.
post #37 of 42
Have you skied that ski?
It actually skis pretty well. The fore body is much softer than the tail, compensating (justifying) the mounting point.
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos View Post
It's simple. Stack your body in a balanced, athletic position so that you're centered over you skis at all times. The center of your ski is right underneath your feet. You should never have most of your weight on your heels and you should never have most of your weight on you toes, your weight should evenly distributed over the length of your feet/center of ski.
When your walking do you always have your weight evenly distibuted over the entire length of your foot??? I know I don't. Does that mean I'm walking out of balance? When you land off a jump do the balls of your feet not touch down first?

When you fully extend your ankle you should feel more pressure on the ball of your foot... when you fully flex it you should feel more on the heel. Throughout the course of most high perfomance turns the ankle will go through a large range of movement?
post #39 of 42
Thread Starter 

Thanks for Advice: Feedback

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond to my original post. It's very much appreciated!

I have visited my local snowdome on several occasions over the past couple of weeks and have been able to analyse my skiing technique and make adjustments in order to reflect the comments on this thread.

I would summarise what I think I've learnt as follows (please correct me if I'm wrong):

1. Turning, by definition, requires the skis and upper body to move at different speeds; and a fore / aft adjustment is therefore required in order to maintain balance.

2. It's good to pressurise the boot cuffs (but not necessary to flex the boots) at the start of each turn.
--> I found this very difficult in practice. I think the gradient of the slope inhibits my ability to find the "centre" of each turn and then come anywhere close to pressuring the cuffs. However, I've found that if I make very slow skidded turns at the top of the slope (requiring an even balance across the skis), my stance is much better when I start to carve.

Question:
I have always thought that forward pressure should be exerted on the cuffs of the boots at the same time as the knees bend, that is to say at the end of each turn. However, it seems that the forward pressure is most relevant at the start of the turn when the legs are extending. Please can someone clarify this?

3. Bode Miller's video was useful in identifying the "push-back" at the end of each turn.
--> I've tried to resist the "push-back" by (1) maintaining a fairly tense core so that my body does not bend at the waist, and (2) pulling my waist forward in conjunction with my next pole plant.

4. Several people suggested that it is useful to visualise the pressure being exerted along the length of the boot, rather than the whole length of the ski.
--> I found this to be very helpful, particularly when skiing through crud or over small bumps. I think it encourages the upper body to be kept "high" at the end of each turn which, together with having a strong core, seems to really help my skis to bite.

Question:
I note from Bode Miller's video that he suggests that there should be a lot of vertical movement so that the skis are "heavy" during the turn. I presume that any pressure should be downward into the slope and that the downwards vertical movement should be used to reduce any outwards pressure so the skis do not release from the carve: Is this correct?

5. Keep the feet relaxed
--> I found this to be quite hard at first. I think that I've always been slightly in the "back-seat" when skiing and have tensed my toes in order to keep upright. By moving my weight forwards at the start of each turn, I'm now able to enjoy having relaxed feet.

6. Adopting an athletic position
--> This was also difficult to maintain without preparing for the next turn: I've come to the conclusion that the upper body must move forward prior to or at the start of each turn in order to remain balanced, rather than simply react to the "push-back". I've therefore split the turn into 3 sections: (1) move hips in same direction as pole plant by pushing on old inside ski, (2) visualise pressure along ski boot rather than the whole ski, and finally (3) push knees forward while keeping strong core. I'd be grateful if someone could clarify if I should push my knees forward at the start of each turn.

7. Boots
--> I had my boots stretched yesterday in order to make them a bit wider and, at the same time, I was given plastic heel grips which go between the liner and the shell. I wonder if the grips will allow me to put more forward pressure on the skis without worrying about losing control of my skis if I hit sticky soft snow.

8. Bindings
The comments on having the ski directly beneath my feet were interesting. I had always thought that the centre of the ski should be beneath the balls of the feet, and that's why rental shops only adjust the rear of the binding. I have fairly large boots (324mm) and have always hired skis: I wonder if the position of the bindings is significant to my balance. Chaos and BigE chatted about this briefly.
--> I bought Head Xenon 7 skis in the sales at the end of last season (which I haven't yet been able to use). They have a rail mounting which allows the boots to be centred over the middle of the ski. I'm looking forward to finding out if this will make a difference to my balance on the slopes.

Thanks again for everyone's help and advice!

Kind regards,

Niall
post #40 of 42
The only comment i have is in regard to your big feet. I have a 355mm boot size. Ive always thought the binding placement to far back for my size of foot on all skis. Because my heels are much further back than most peoples the distance from the rear of a bindings mounting point to the tails of the ski are less. When mounted boot Center BC the percentage of tip to tail seems out of wack!
On my new Nordicas they have the rail flex and the best position for me is all the way forward for GS and short turns on hard packed. Haven't had new snow to try powder yet. I looked at the side profile of the ski interested how this position is in relation to were the taper of the skis for and aft was. Interestingly this position was centered right over the thick part of the skis. On my other skis that don't perform near as good the farthest point forward was with the toe piece in the center of the thickest point of the ski. This is still 1cm forward of boot center mark sugested by manufacture? On this ski that leaves a lot of tip and very little tail comparatively.
I realize the flex of the ski has a lot to do with this as does the balance of the skis true running length like a BOFC set up. What I never hear about or cant find is how these mounting point differences vary with the largest of boot sizes like 325-355? I would think that the mounting point for really big feet should be even more forward the longer your foot gets. In [GENERAL} is this the case?
post #41 of 42
whipper,

Quote:
I would think that the mounting point for really big feet should be even more forward the longer your foot gets. In [GENERAL} is this the case?

Wouldn't that put the center of the foot (boot) too far forward of the boot center mark of the ski? Center is center no matter how large the foot is. I have a 271, if your logic is correct, that would mean that a smaller boot should be moved back of the center of boot mark.

RW
post #42 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
whipper,




Wouldn't that put the center of the foot (boot) too far forward of the boot center mark of the ski? Center is center no matter how large the foot is. I have a 271, if your logic is correct, that would mean that a smaller boot should be moved back of the center of boot mark.

RW
Well yes it would. My own obsevations with my skiing and big foot is when i mount boot center theres to little tail. This seems to make the ski not arch as well as when I tried BOF center or more forward. Im of the understanding that most skis are designed with an average sized person and boot. So say a size 10 boot and up to 200lb person of average Advanced ability. I generaly go longer with the ski to compisate for the area of the ski that the bindings take up.
My heel is so far back that the line on most skis is not the best place to arce turns. I mesured Ball of foot center today on my Harts and found the mounting point should be two whole inches futher forward for me. If i had a size 9 boot not 13,s the mounting point was only 1cm forward from manufacturs boot center line. That left over 3 inches more tail and the binding would have been more centered over the thickest part of the ski. As it is now the rearward portion of the binding is mounted way back aproching the thinner part of the ski!? On my Nordicas the best possition for all around use puts the binding almost centered over the thick portion of the waist. The Nordicas are a rail flex system and give me 1cm of adjustability. I think they are supost to give over 4cm but again not with big feet. They are almost maxed out just to fit the boot length. The binding is very close to centered on the Nordicas at this possiton but I like it. The binding sits equaly in the waist between were the fore and aft flare of the side cut realy starts to bow out. On the harts the mark is so far back that my heal piece is well past the start of the flar point of the tails side cut. To mount so the binding is well with in the waists narrower profile the bindings must go forward 2 inches. I messured were this new Center mark would be and it coresponds to a more ball of foot center mark interestingly.
I still would have way more tip than tail but the tail looks more propotionate than before. The skis are 189cm so I have lots of wiggle room.
Short of a true center possition mount like twin tip park skis have flexing the skis at the various point in an arch over two raised sections the ski has a more natural arch more forward with the bigger foot print taking up the center section.The tips are way stiffer than the tails so Ill still have more tip than tail to even things out. I find when I high speed take off from drops the shorter tail makes the tips raise on take off. Ive compinsated by rolling my shoulders forward with my hads out but way to exadurated and takes more effert than im used to. The Nordica Jet Fuels on the other hand just fly and my body can stay nutral as I was before the drop with no ill effects. im remounting more forward on the harts because I just cant get the performance out of the skis like my others. They straight line and make huge GS turns well but the turns arnt full enough I think because the short tails are sliding out? The tips arnt getting right around I feel iether. Buy going forward I hope to cure this ski inbalance for my bindings foot print on the ski. Im useing Neox 416 Alums on the harts. There dimentions are 120-92/110 189cm not much side cut but heavy duty wood core steel sheeted with graphite basses zero deg straight edges. Im not looking for slolom ski turns what the ski is not just a better balanced ski that i know is there some were. Even in this photo you can see how dispraportioned the tip is from the tail? Dont mind the mug shot! Look how little tail there is? This is mounted Boot Center. You can sorta see the white line in the middle of the binding. I think two inches for my messurments and this still leaves lots more tip.
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