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Transition of the turn-leg extension or release?

post #1 of 9
This was the gist of a long debate originated last summer by now departed Fastman.

It doesn't mean it cannot be debated again.

I would argue that for all practical purposes you cannot actively extend without flexing. It's a blend.

One can feel as though the trigger is one or the other.

My focus is on the elusive "neutral". Neutral is defined a variety of ways. When I use the term or seek neutral on skis it is akin to ending the turn in the same position in the same position it was started. It is not the point when both skis are flat on the snow and I'm stacked on top of the skis.

I think "active" extension of the old inside leg to initiate CAN lead to rotary pushoff.

I think "active" softening of the old outside leg is too akin to PMTS!

I like to tip the old outside leg from neutral. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

On that note I'm going to head to Eldora and teach all day, then take my family to Summit County, and ski with my ten year old whom I can no longer keep up with.

[ November 26, 2003, 06:11 AM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #2 of 9

Check out Inside leg extension

[ November 26, 2003, 06:38 AM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #3 of 9
There is a form position in tai chi called wu chi. This is a postion bringing all things into balance so to speak. One translation of wu chi is primordial unity, another which I really like, especialy in the way it relates to skiing for me is " the mothre of all posibilities ". That moment in time between turns, when you can change anything or go anywhere. That's my current view on neutral, "the mother of all posibilities".

Rusty I think a person can screw up any move, at least I can. They work only when done effectively for the desired intent. I like active. What I don't like in my skiing is the other side of active, which is reactive. I don't equate being active to being agressive or requiring great effort, it can effectively be soft and subtle, but it is intentional action. Using natural alignment and body power (ala fastman) as opposed to muscle power. I've seen many high end tip and turners relying on more muscle that structure. Strong legs! It works fine for them and they do it very well, but I'll take the more structural road myself. My structural will be producing power long after my muscles give out. Don't get me wrong, I like tipping too, it's a big part of it, but it can be done wrong just as easily as any other "move", especially when it's done with no supporting moves. An edge only works when it's engaged. Finding it early in the turn for a stable, effective, versatile platform is kinda like searching for the holy grail in modern skiing. We all want it but we don't all know how to find it right when we want it.

Just my view. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #4 of 9
Dawg- Just keep in mind these are elite world class athletes that are skiing at a level and speed un attainable for the rest of us! Also understand the goal in a race course is speed only. They may do things from time to time that is not intended but is a result of the speed and tactics need to accomplish the goal of skiing the fastest time in the course.

I think of watching Bode do his downhill leg slide from time to time to manage his speed. In general we don't want to enter a big controled skid in our turns but he is able to do it as needed to adjust line and or speed.

In general they are moving down the hill with everything and this can sometime result in a full weighted inside leg and a light outside leg until the turn catches up with the body when the outside leg becomes fully loaded and shoots them thru the turn. It is a fun activity to play with doing some hanger turns and it gives you a great feeling of the ski loading and carving with no rotory twist to start. I would say you need to be able to allow the skis to move thru neutral first as Rusty mentioned and work on the combination of activily tipping the new inside leg into the turn (right to go right/left to go left) as you extend the new outside leg from a tiped position and allow your CM to fall down the hill.
post #5 of 9
I think some of this discussion was also between skicoach and Fastman.

Dawg, IMVHO what you described is something elite athletes on elite skis do to use the springboard bounce effect of their skis to project their CM smoothly into the next turn while continuing to carve. We need to keep in mind that what we see as extra loading of the inside ski may be simply be compensation (sometimes overcompensation) of the total force acting (about to act if the skier is proactive) on the skier. To control speed by finishing the arc they make the skis take a tighter-radius curve at the end of the turn, and as a result the centrifugal force acting on the feet increases (F_feet = m*V*V/R). They compensate by shifting CM more into the turn (V_CM = w*R), which also loads the inside ski and allows them to use its springboard effect while keeping the loaded ski in contact with the snow. If the skier is too proactive, then the still-outside ski may lose contact with the snow. The sprinboard gets into action when the skier rolls his/her ankles into the neutral position (flat ski), which is when the inside ski bent into an arc re-cambers.

Am I making any sense? [img]redface.gif[/img]
post #6 of 9
Maybe a slightly different focus will answer your question for you.

Begin by focussing on your core (CM). Make some turns, and pay attention (feel) how it moves. What direction, rate, how much vertical was involved, etc. What movements/ actions did YOU make which caused that result?

Now, determine what YOU WANT your core to do. Move smoothly across, move upward, whatever- it's your choice. Remember, what you choose will have a direct affect on how the skis perform on the snow.
You state that you are working "for a smoother, more effecive release from the old turn (also to generate powerful angles and a skeletally-aligned position)". This will involve a more lateral movement of the core vs vertical.

Now it's time for you to have fun... Take all of the mechanics you have developed, and try each one. One of those movements will likely bring you close to the answer you seek.

Everybody will interpret or perceive each movement a little differently. So it's up to you to find the movement which achieves your desired outcome, not for us to tell you which WILL work. So- if it's the relaxation of a leg, or an equally weighted extension, or whatever, it will be what YOU perceive as being effective.

A good coach can possibly show you a few new movements not already in your repetoire, and assist in defining particular movements and their outcomes. But don't expect them to state unequivocably what/how you should feel or perceive any one movement.

Plus, given any change in environment, it's likely the timing, intensity, or the movement as a whole will be modified to meet the new need.


[ November 26, 2003, 12:07 PM: Message edited by: vail snopro / ric reiter ]
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Transition of the turn-leg extension or release?

I am trying to work on my turn transition, for a smoother, more effecive release from the old turn (also to generate powerful angles and a skeletally-aligned position). I have heard some say "relax the outside leg" at the end of the turn-this will send my CM over my skis and down the fall line. Continued tipping of the new inside foot will put weight on my outside ski and bring it onto edge. This is the technique I was taught for dynamic skiing, and the one I currently employ.

I was looking at slow motion video of World Cup-level GS women, and noticed that they seem to be employing a different tactic. Rather than letting their outside leg/ski relax and flatten, they were transferring weight onto their inside ski at the end of the turn, which sometimes brought the old outside ski off the snow, and allowed it to be freely tipped onto it's little-toe edge with little pressure. This also creates a strong outside leg early in the turn (lots of pressure on that new outside ski at the top of the turn), and great movement of the CM down the hill. On the home page of Ron LeMaster's website (www.ronlemaster.com) is this what Bode is doing in the 4th frame? It appears he has transferred weight to the old inside ski, ready to use the momentum of the transfer to send his CM across the skis. The fifth frame shows his upper body looking like he just launched from a trampoline-recoil from the weight transfer and extension of his new outside leg? Old outside (new inside) ski is no longer in contact with the snow. Is this indeed correct?

Is transferring weight to the inside ski at the beginning of the transition more effective on groomed snow when attempting to build a strong outside leg and achieve greater angles early in the turn? It seems rational that it would assist in moving the CM down the hill in comparison to just an outside ski release, which simply relies on gravity to do the work without the assistance of the muscles. Also, it would seem that tipping the new inside ski to it's little toe edge early in the turn is made easier if the inside ski is virtually unweighted beginning the turn. Does anyone have a good on-the-snow drill to practice this style of transition?

OTOH, it would seem that a controlled release of the old outside ski (relaxing the leg and letting the ski go flat) would be superior in uneven snow conditions, where forced weight transfer was undesireable. Is this the general consensus?

Sorry if these questions are rudimentary or extremely obvious for lots of you on this board-I haven't been looking into ski technique very long, so I am still trying to grasp the basics.

[ November 26, 2003, 12:18 AM: Message edited by: dawgcatching ]
post #8 of 9

Although there are some apparent contradictions in your observations, you've hit on some of the hot topics for different teachign approaches.

One ALTERNATIVE exercise that might fit what you're seeking is slightly lifting the outside heel to initiate the new turn. This only works if it's done in concert with moving the hips and upper body forward and to the inside while rolling the feet onto the new edges. It's a way of getting the lead change (which ski is ahead of the other) to occur without physically shuffling the feet. Lifting the heel should cause the hips to move and change a lead relationship to an almost equal relationship.

Ideally, we want to see a smooth shifting of weight from one foot to the other. In one turn we want to see more weight on the outside foot. For the next turn, we want to see more weight on the other foot (i.e. the new outside foot). In between the turns (i.e. when one is going directly across the fall line) one wants to see a 50/50 weight distribution as the midpoint of the smooth transition.

Racers will deviate from the ideal when they get caught trying to cheat and will use muscle power to make up for "ideal technique". "Ideal technique" is not necessarily the fastest way down the mountain. But racers don't usually race from lift open to lift close.
post #9 of 9
A lot of the suggestions seem to revolve around an ideal turn. Dawg, are you looking for refinement in your "bread and butter turn"?

Looking at a racer through a course is difficult for this since they may use a number of different tactics throughout the course. I say tactics vs. techniques since many times the release or transfer is dictated by course strategy, not simply efficiency.

I always find the discussion of "relaxing" the old outside leg to be less than adequate to describe the entire release and transition to a new turn. I can relax the old outside leg and either extend or retract the inside leg. The term "relax" may only be describing a pressure change and means nothing in and of itself. Even adding "tipping" does not fully describe what you may be looking for. If you're looking for a very early edge set with a high degree of angulation early in the new turn, you had better weight that new outside ski very early, actually while it's still the old inside ski. (It sounds like that is what you're seeing in Bode's turn.) Otherwise you may end up with a rapid weight transfer to the new outside ski after you have committed the CM aggressively down and inside the new turn. I have seen many of my High School racers accomplish some very fine high speed low side wipeouts this way.

Whether you are using retraction or extension movements at the finish of the old turn will be based on how quickly you are wanting to move the CM and what type of turns you are desiring.

Rusty Guy, I don't think any system has a monopoly on retraction, extension, softening, or whatever. If anyone is going to be an expert skier, they better have all these in their arsenal. Unless they are a one turn, one condition "expert".

The bottom line is "managed" pressure. Whatever you do to refine release and transfer, they better aid and never prohibit the edge pressure needed for the type of turns your attempting.

[ November 27, 2003, 09:12 AM: Message edited by: MC Extreme ]
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