|Same for the "don't press the big toe edge of the outside ski into the snow". If the inside ski is off the snow during this drill, the only edge you have engaged is the big toe edge you are telling them not to use. I would be interested in reading how you can use a ski as the only support, then lean the body into the turn thus tipping it onto its inside edge without the inside edge being pressed into the snow
Could I take a shot at an answer, JASP? I hear what you're saying, but I tend to agree with SSG on this point. I've often said that, to me, any concept of "pushing" or "pressing," of any type, rarely describes what I feel in my skiing. It goes along with the Bill Sloatman line I've often paraphrased--"I don't get pressure on skis by pushing on them--I get pressure by letting them push on me." Yes, from a physics point of view, it's the same thing--the equal action-reaction idea of Isaac Newton. Skis push on me, and I push back. But psychologically, there's a big difference between action and reaction, and it "feels" very different to me to let the skis provide the pressure or to try to "force" it by consciously, actively "pressing." I tend to feel more like I'm trying to move away from my outside ski, which "chases" me, rather than trying to move toward it and push on it. I suspect that something along these lines is what SSG is talking about. Too much focus on the outside ski can, indeed, cause an excessive A-frame, as SSG points out, and may detract from the essential movements of the inside half of the body. As I like to say, "the outside ski may be where the action is, but the inside ski is where the activity
I share your questions about SSG's unqualified directive to "minimize tip lead," though. While it's certainly true that many skiers tend to have too much inside tip lead, it's also true that some skiers have too little--or even rotate their bodies to the point of having the outside
ski lead. As you say, some tip lead is inevitable, desirable, and necessary to allow the correct movements of the body to happen. Too much, or too little, tip lead are not problems in themselves, but either can indicate a movement error somewhere up the chain. The mistake is to assume that any particular skier--or all skiers--are making the same mistake!
But my biggest concern, SSG, is the drill you describe about lifting the tail of the new inside (downhill at the start of the turn) ski, while engaging its downhill (little toe) edge at the tip. Not that it's necessarily a bad exercise in itself--it can, indeed be a very good one, in the right context. We used it frequently in the Mahre Training Center at Keystone to address certain problems and encourage certain movements and sensations. It's an exercise with a long, established history, once known as the "schrittbogen." (Yes, I know what you call it!) But you've given it no context. It can easily backfire, and it often does.
The active "foot-to-foot" movement involved in lifting (or just lightening) the downhill ski will disrupt the smooth flow of the center of mass, either accelerating it downhill (if you just transfer pressure by flexing the downhill leg or extending the uphill leg) or moving it uphill, if you extend and move your your body "up" to balance on the uphill ski. (Yes, this effect is minimized with a very narrow stance.) It's good to have the option of doing either of these as the situation demands, but by default, in a smoothly linked turn, my center of mass should already be traveling the direction it needs to go at the moment of edge release, its momentum crossing the path of my skis and moving into the new turn. I shouldn't, by default, need to do anything at that moment to disrupt or redirect its path.
Of course, many skiers do tend to "stall," to finish their old turns still inside and on edge. Such skiers do need to do something to get their CM moving into the new turn, and this drill can serve as a "bandaid" to make it happen. But even there, it does not really address the problem. Sometimes it even exacerbates the problem, creating the very need that it later resolves. This certainly happens if the skier moves uphill to balance on the uphill ski as he lifts the downhill tail, prior to
initiating the turn. I've seen these problems arise many, many times, as instructors try to use this exercise without the eye and understanding needed to make sure it doesn't backfire.
More importantly, the body movement forward over the skis at the transition that "lifting the tail" entails tends to keep the CM over the feet--at the very time that we really need to let the feet move away from the body, toward the outside of the turn. This topic of moving "forward" at the transition has come up repeatedly here at EpicSki, and it's an area where I feel that the overwhelming conventional wisdom is very wrong! Or at least, it represents a gross misinterpretation of what really needs to happen. Yes, we need to move ahead of our feet. But "ahead" means "down the hill"--not necessarily across it. And as I've already mentioned in this post, I (my CM) should already be moving the right direction vs. my feet at the transition and moment of edge release. I should not (by default) need to "do" anything to get it moving.
So the "schrittbogen" exercise here moves (accelerates) the CM both forward and laterally with respect to the feet. It solves a problem I shouldn't have if I've finished the previous turn effectively--and may well create the problem itself! As a unique exercise for a specific need, it can be effective. But as a generic directive to just do, or as a description of the movements that should happen by default in turns, it can easily create more problems than it solves. In my opinion, it's powerful medicine that should be used only for the specific diagnosis for which it works, and it should only be prescribed by a professional armed with the antidote should it go awry. Its side-effects may not be worth risking!
Happy New Year!