Thank you, Joseph.
Gary, great input. I think a discussion of variations and methodologies of teaching one footed skiing is a worthy offshoot topic for this thread. I like the progressions you shared, and have a couple comments.
|When Rick originally challenged us to define how we can make one footed turns he didn't define any of the criteria for the turns such as short or long radius, carved or skidded, position for the unweighted foot, parallel legs or A-framing, pole use or not, normal two footed stance or not. In the excellent discussions which have followed we all assumed a generic vision of what type of turn to do on one foot.
Yes, different approaches will have different execution requirements. The difference between steered and carved is, of course, significant. The balance skills required are higher with carved,,, the edge angles needed higher,,, and the transition triggers different.
|Some may have even envisioned the one foot always on the outside of the turn, changing feet at the transition.
Terminology does trip us up sometimes. When I refer to one foot skiing, I mean same foot
one foot skiing. I have other terms for one foot with foot changes from turn to turn: outside ski turns,,, inside ski turns,,, inside lift turns,,, outside lift turns. Because language commonality is not the same through all the various microcosms of ski instruction, there exists many terms and ways of describing skills and tasks. As that's not about to change soon, the best we can do is explain more clearly, and ask more pointedly.
|My question is then, what is it about skiing on one ski which can create a fairly common response in one's stance adjustments. Why is it difficult to learn to ski on one foot in a stance such that someone observing would be unaware that it is only one ski involved.
I think the differences you see erupt will happen most during inside ski turns. Here's a major reason why. In normal 2 footed skiing the inside leg needs to flex as the skis are tipped onto edge, to allow the outside ski to remain in contact with the snow.
This flexing weakens the load bearing capacity of the inside leg. The more we tip, the more it gets flexed, and the weaker it gets. This is a good reason for maintaining dominant pressure/balance on the outside foot/ski during normal 2 feet on the snow skiing.
If we try to replicate that 2 footed stance during inside foot skiing, or one foot skiing, we are requiring weight to be assigned to a flexed and weakened appendage.
Many skiers, if not required otherwise, will naturally gravitate to extending and strengthening that inside leg they're directing all the turning forces to. It's just a lot stronger and more comfortable stance to ski in.
Keeping the inside leg flexed, in traditional 2 foot skiing fashion, will also limit a skiers desire and/or ability to attain higher edge angles during inside foot turns, because the higher the angle gets the weak the inside leg becomes.
I have some stepping stone drills to inside foot skiing that require a touch of the outside ski during the turn. Even as the coach I can feel extra strength required to keep the knee flexed enough to touch the outside ski to the snow, and it limits how far I'm willing to lay it over as I do the drill. There's an "ahhh, that's better" sentiment when the touch aspect of the drill is removed and the leg is allowed to extend.
The other difference in stance inside foot skiing will require is in that amount of angulation used. Simply because the balance point is moved inside requires the use of less angulation to achieve balance on that foot. This is especially true when the both skis are left attached to the feet. The lifted ski acts as a ballast that reduces the angulation need. If a ski is taken off during one foot skiing, much of that ballast is removed, and the need for angulation increases.
Personally, I don't favor removing a ski when doing or teaching one footed skiing, because it changes the force picture and movement possibilities so much it doesn't provide as close of representation of the balance and movement skills required in real life skiing situations. I may introduce ski removed exercises later, once ski on skills are refined, but the only value I can see in for that skill in real life skiing is preparation for those rare Bode ski loss moments.