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dumb question about tip lead, pulling back the inside foot

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 
have heard "pull back the inside foot a little" (turn initiation) AND "tip lead" is bad. experimented a little with the former, in conjunction with tipping/rolling to new inside ski, and it helps. does this not, though, create "tip lead"? and what is fouled up (made NOT the most optimum position) by tip lead?
post #2 of 101
I find pulling the inside foot back a bit to be a major help. No, it does not create tip lead, it reduces it.

The reason it works so well, is that when you transition to the new turn, and start to apply pressure to the new turning foot (the one you were holding back, which was the inside, but is now the outside of the new turn), you are properly balanced over the ski. If you let the inside foot run ahead, as soon as you add pressure to it, you are doing so from the back seat, and your body must now catch up to your foot rather than starting from the proper position.
post #3 of 101
So! If I have this right,

Pulling one's foot back is an anticipated diagonal crossover, restricted to the lower half of the body. ?????

post #4 of 101
Let's first discuss what each of these ideas actually are/ represent.

Tip lead- this should merely reflect the degree of counter in the pelvis, relative to the skis. The more counter, the more lead.

Pulling the inside foot back- Again, this is relative to the degree of counter in the pelvis, except in this case, it provides a means of reducing that counter.

When making a high performance turn, there is a certain amount of counter which is advantageous. Too little, and you are square, with limited edging capabilities. Too much, and you are left in a biomechanically weak position.

Sounds confusing? Each skiers body type affects how much counter is appropriate. Women may look very different than men.

Here is an idea-. It requires an 18" piece of masking tape, and a trusted friend, hopefully your size or larger. (Sound kinky?)

Take the piece of masking tape, and stick it on the floor. Put one foot on the tape, with your other foot parallel to it in a sking width stance. With out allowing the pelvis to turn, flex the leg on the tape, while your friend begins to pull on one arm. Attempt to angulate (edge) that foot and remain balanced. You may find it very difficult to angulate the leg with any degree of effectiveness or comfort.

Now, gradually allow the pelvis to begin turning, very slowly, toward what would be considered the outside of the turn. Gradually, you will begin to feel stronger on that leg, increasing the ability to control the "edge". This is what you want to remember!

If you continue the turning movement, past that point of strength, you will feel the leg start to become weaker. The muscles are getting too involved, resulting in a greatly weaker stance.

When we were skiing straight skis, we didn't sustain the amount of pressure for the same time periods as we do now, so it wasn't quite as detrimental to be more countered. But more recently, as the shapes developed and the duration of the carving pressure increased, the better skiers began squaring up up bit more.

This is where the idea of "pulling the inside ski back" came from. That is one way to look at it, but I think you will find that many racers/ skiers think of it more as keeping the outside half of the body moving forward, allowing less counter to occur.

Don't think that the amount of counter or tip lead is an arbitrary amount. It should be only what is necessary.

Good luck! :
post #5 of 101
In addition to the advantages noted above, pulling back the inside ski reduces the blocking effect of countering. The inside leg creeping ahead tends to stop the turn. The other thing pulling back does is provide a better alignment of pressure to the ski--allowing more of the natural pressures of the turn to go through the body and bend the ski (basically the advantage of being more square than countered).

It reduces tip lead of the inside ski, but will not (and should not) eliminate it, because it is natural to have the inside ski slightly ahead as the edge angle increases (there is no room for the inside leg when the inclination increases).

I still think the key here is to drive the inside knee ahead while holding the foot back as far as one can without the heel coming up.
post #6 of 101
I find minimizing tip lead enables me to have better range of movement in my lower body. I would characterize the difference in turn feel as the difference between stroking and aiming and poking and hoping.
post #7 of 101
Originally posted by nolo:
the difference between stroking and aiming and poking and hoping.
Perfect. Just as I think there is no more vocabulary to describe skiing, along comes SUPERNOLO!
post #8 of 101
Yes, truly, my only claim to fame:

People sign up for classes with me on the basis of the language alone. Sometimes it's verbal.
post #9 of 101
John Leffler in his Breck Tech talks about "knee forward and foot back".
If you go back to the kinetic chain idea though, what about the feet? Aren't the skis part of the feet? A lot of carving is done with both feet now. The inside ski has to carve a tighter arc so you have to use the front more because of it's increased "steering angle".(read The Skier's Edge by Ron LeMaster)
I generally look at tracks to see what the ski is doing on the snow. Skiing to me is like playing a violin. We "play" the skis on the snow. How much "tip lead" we use depends on what "note" we're trying to make with that ski.
post #10 of 101
There is a very simple vernacular - Harb uses it.

This thread reminds me of what's so wrong about ski instruction. ryan asks a simple question. Did he get a simple answer? No.

Now you guys are all going to go into your speel about "There's no one way to ski". Yeah, there may not be one way to ski, but there's one way to learn.

The answer to ryan's question in PMTS is simple. Yes ryan, you pull the inside foot back - all the time. Pulling the inside foot back is part of the primary movements. See page 63.

Next question?

Instead, you guys will belabor endlessly - "Well, I think he should only pull it back some". "Well, I think he shouldn't pull it back".

Blah bla blah.

You wonder why you all starve?
post #11 of 101

I think your comments about getting very longwinded and technical in answering what seems to you to be a simple question I beleive to be valid, but I do have a problem with you being critical of those that choose excessive verbage in answering this and any other technical question.

You see SCSA, with out all the comments of all the others on this thread, I simply would not have found your comment to be so much on the mark and entertaining at the same time.

Well done, but let others speak their minds, or their mindlessness as they choose.

Afterall, where else in the world could someone with the name of "WEEMS" affectionately refer to someone else as "SUPERNOLO !"

Yes, sports fans, just in case you are confused, no this is not a Startrek forum, but one about skiing!
post #12 of 101
Ahhh chill out SCSA, there ain't no stinkin snow so whats wrong with verbage.
I kinda started this pulling the foot back thing on Epicski about two years ago so I will add a bit of correction to that statement. Pulling the inside foot back = FLEXING THE INSIDE ANKLE. The trouble is flexing the inside ankle gets little response when said to a student. When the inside ankle is flexed from the students point of view it fells to the student as if he/she is pulling the inside foot back from the knee down.
Not pulling back/flexing the inside ski ankle throughout the turn, reduces effective guidance of the inside ski, keeps one out of the back seat and as weems say, reduces the blocking effect negating the need for a short traverse between turns.
If pulling the inside foot back is the same as flexing the inside ankle, then tip lead is not drastically reduced, only reduced to the appropriate level. Since ankle flex primarily takes place below the knee, pulling the inside foot back/flexing the ankle does not contribute as much as some think to reducing counter. It does however prevent excessive counter. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #13 of 101
Is it viable to suggest excessive tip lead is a symptom?

I suggest it is a result of excess counter, a lack of tipping, and finally a result of getting locked in a turn.

When I tip my lower legs in a PROGRESSION my hips remain square.

When I stop tipping, I get overly countered, park and ride, and only tighten the radius of my turns by getting my body farther inside the turn. Actually I lower my big fat overly countered arse.

I would suggest telling anyone to "pull back" their inside foot may not address the causal basis for excess tip lead.

I had the disease and my friend Bob B found the cure!
post #14 of 101
...and remember kiddies, there are no dumb questions, only dumb people.
(with apologies to Southpark)

Too bloody technical for me.
post #15 of 101

How're ya doing?

Your loyalty is impressive.

I'd like to suggest something. This is not a pronouncement of fact, just an opinion. We stop learning when we stop wondering why, playing with things, experimenting, trying to figure out a better explanation, a better procedure, a better understanding of the outcome, and continuing to experience the thing we call skiing with the fresh perspective of a child.

This is not what we are taught to do in school. We are taught to find a secondary source WHO ALREADY LEARNED IT and they will tell us what they learned. Our society considers it to be more efficient to have a few people do the direct learning and have them relay their learning to other people, thus leveraging one person's learning and enabling more people to learn more than they could if they were to learn directly from the primary source.

Our conditioning in many ways makes us as adults very learning disabled.

One disability is "anchoring bias," or the tendency to throw an anchor into the first information that we receive about something new. We give it the status of truth.

Considering that our background for approaching new stuff is via the secondary method, that is by accessing the wisdom of someone who has already learned it, we also tend to give special credibility to that secondary source. If the source is god, how can we have other gods before us?

The learning disability is 1) to accept that anyone has the RIGHT ANSWER to the extent that further investigation is moot, and 2) to accept the idea that there is ONE RIGHT ANSWER--such a silly Western notion. It makes us put all of our eggs in one basket.

That kind of investment must be protected, no? On comes something called "belief bias," which is when we filter in data which supports our belief and reject data which might call the belief into question.

Do you get where I'm going with this?

I hate to break it to you guys, but there is no one theory that will completely explain something as rich as skiing. This is not to discourage poeple from making theories, methodologies, and the like. We depend on them because each of us learners need to pit all that theory against each other to come up with the best stuff. Those odds and ends become the raw material of your theory, your methodology, and the like.

This is truly when a person earns the license to learn. And it has nothing to do with Level III. It has to do with being a free agent with discriminating taste.
post #16 of 101
Once again I commend you and your insight! Your last post was truly that- insightful.

As you stated in the learning process, I had many mentors, and trainers, including MP (ObiWan) who I respect with great admiration. But even then, none rose to the rank of a god or absolute.

As my anchors, I use a thorough understanding of physics, biomechanics, and of my equipment. With those fundamentals firmly in place, I can extend past where my mentors guided me. They certainly helped me shortcut (if 38 seasons is a shortcut) to an understanding of our sport which has allowed me to work with some truly elite skiers.

In spite of those ideals I hold as strengths, I am not adverse to the occasional re-evaluation of those beliefs, if someone comes along and offers a compelling argument in a different direction.

There have been times that very inexperienced instructors have asked questions which have caused me to re-think certain aspects of my belief system, and I'm sure alter it in some way.

I agree that putting all of our eggs in one basket results in a complete system failure if that basket proves to have a hole in it. And those that do so, run the risk of being left in the past as the world moves forward...

post #17 of 101
Agreed vsp and Nolo.

Scsa, analysis in a forum is not a crime, but it may be in a lesson if it prevents a student from learning. People are both simple and complex, and it's all right to pay attention to both sides. And, what seems simple to you may be complex for your friend. The key is to opt out of discussions that don't match your needs at the moment, rather than to take them out of context to prove a political point.

In this case it's more complex than just pulling the foot back. If I just say that to students, they often pull the whole leg back. Sometimes we will do it statically so they can differentiate between foot back/knee forward, foot/leg forward, and foot/leg back. They are three different things. Furthermore, this process helps the student make some very subtle differentiations within the body--itself an important skill.

Rusty, I think it's a cause. Unless actively held back, the inside foot creeps forward on its own and interferes with other stuff.
post #18 of 101
Vail snopro, is MP Mike Porter?
post #19 of 101
Lucky- That would be a big 10-4.

Mike Porter's nick name around here is "OBI WAN".

And to actually support something SCSA said (dare I do it?), Mike has the ability to say more to affect your skiing in less than 10 words, than you will learn on this site in a year!
Brevity is his forte', and he is one of the finest speakers I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. His insights to the industry, the customer, the pros, and technique, make him one of the most influential individuals in the industry in ther past 30 years, from an instructional/ coaching point of view.

Earlier in the thread (or maybe it was another), nolo mentioned the pantheon of ski gods. Mike is certainly another to stand along side Juris Vagner, Horst Abrahams, Chris Ryman, Jerry Warren, and many others.

post #20 of 101
Weems- I first want to say you have forgotten more about skiing than I will ever know however.....I would like to put forth further evidence.

I would like to suggest the inside foot WILL NOT creep forward unless one's hips are "geeked up".
I guess I differentiate between "countered" and "under rotated". Countered invokes the idea of a skier attempting to stop skis from turning. I would differentiate an individual who has simply not allowed their hips to "square up" and/ or to keep one's pelvic structure pointed generally in the direction their skis are headed.

From a "square stance" I would suggest the inside foot is less prone to slipping forward. I would also re-emphasize it won't slip forward if it is being supinated.

Now......school me. I will say it's a bold move to question someone with your experience and expertise. This is not an exercise in sycophancy. I will defer to your opinion and welcome hearing from you as well as others.
post #21 of 101
Where's that kinetic chain when you need it?
post #22 of 101
post #23 of 101
I don't know, however, is mine being jerked?
post #24 of 101
It's not being yanked from this end. You want to know if tip lead is a cause or an effect. I think Slatz is correct to suggest we consider the kinetic chain. I agree with Weems: We pull back the inside foot to reduce counter and its blocking effect. I agree with Pierre: We pull back the inside foot to increase the range of ankle flexion and the ability to guide the ski. I agree with SCSA and Harald: This is a primary movement (if that is synonymous with "causal").
post #25 of 101
Rusty, I like your thought process on this. I work with this issue a lot in my own skiing. While I find that if I am facing in the general direction of travel I don't let the ski drift forward as much, I find that I still need to be aware of maintaining that contact between the shin and the front of the boot. It's probably just not engrained in my skiing enough to be subconsious yet, as it is with some folks, so I have to think about it. Otherwise that foot will drift forward just enough that when I move into the new turn, I'm not where I need to be, to have as much control as I know I should. I'll notice that my turn entry will be slower if I lost that contact, because of the time it takes me to get where I need to be. I think it's that I'm off just enough to not be on the sweet spot of the ski, therefore the ski doesn't respond well.
post #26 of 101
Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
I will say it's a bold move to question someone with your experience and expertise.
I think it is appropriate and useful to question anybody about anything. I also giggle at the thought of my so-called expertise. Thank you for acknowledging it, but also realize that I'm in my late 50's, and although I think I know a lot, I'm approaching that time when the amount I think I know is becoming inversely proportional to the amount I really know.

So whatever I say is automatically suspect!

Having said that, I still believe that there is a tendency for inside leg forward creep no matter what happens with the hips. I think it for two reasons:
1. There are a large number of people saying pull it back, but there is no one saying push it forward. This indicates to me that it normally moves forward under most circumstances.
2. There is no where else for it to go. As I tip the legs further in (countered or not), the inside leg gets shorter and shorter. It basically gets squeezed, and the hips won't allow it to back out of the way, so it naturally wants to go forward out of the way.

The result is excessive countering, which in turn seems to block or stop the turn at an inopportune moment--as well as to inhibit edge angles.

Again, this is not gospel. It's just what I think I see happening, and it's what I think I see great skiers correcting. I'm perfectly willing to accept your premise as well.

I just don't know!!! I don't know!! I'm getting so confused!
post #27 of 101
My (perhaps worthless) vote - pulling the inside foot is primary, definitely primary (in relation to balance and initiation of the desired kinetic chain of movement). It ties back to skiing from your feet up.
post #28 of 101
This is what I pay the big bucks to hear! You folks have convinced me.

I have one final thought.

When I try to "pull back" or close the ankle on my inside foot I often sense there isn't much to pull back and/or my range of motion is very limited.

I ski in a very stiff boot packed fairly tight with a foamed liner.

Simply stated, it just doesn't "pull back". As I sit here and think about this the reason may well be the position of my inside hip bostructs what my leg/ankle can accomplish.
post #29 of 101
I ski in a very stiff boot packed fairly tight with a foamed liner.
I weigh about 110 and was skiing a Tecnica Explosion-8 and having trouble flexing (duh). I changed to a soft junior race boot and it made all the difference. Equipment matters.
post #30 of 101
Relative to what Weems and Rusty are talking about, whether the inside leg creeps forward.

I believe it also has to do with where you are balanced on the outside ski. If you allow yourself to move forward of the arch, I can agree that the inside leg will creep. But if balance is maintained on the back half of the foot, it might minimize that tendency.

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