Why does extension have to be up-unweight? You always seem to put the two together. I don't think that's always the case.
D Team Tryout Video - Page 2
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maybe i did overreact.
the tone just set me off, and felt condescending and odd.
I pulled the possibly over reactive response, after re reading your response. It's not balanced, but not negative either. I can see what set me off a bit, but it didn't need to.
A great day of skiing w/ the wife in big squaw bumps put it all in perspective,
w/ any manner of transitions, and mostly retraction as today was steep big bump day.
good luck w/ the rest of the discussion, i'm out.
Edited by Holiday - 3/8/2009 at 10:56 pm
Edited by Holiday - 3/8/2009 at 11:45 pm
We're going in circles now. I've said my piece, at least 3 times. Good luck guys.
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exactly just look at the grandi pics reilly posted.
but at the sametime this video still isnt the type of extention you are talking about epic.
Epic, sorry for not answering this better last time, I was running out the door for a few days of skiing.
Bushwack answered it already for me, but let me just try to summarize what I have attempted to say on this thread and you can read back again the rest of the thread to fill in the details if you are interested to know what I was trying to say. Feel free to ask for clarification here or PM. I'm not going to write any more to this thread after this, no matter what anyone else has to say. If everyone wants to call me a moron, then so be it.
1 - OLR = Common acronym we've used on this site to refer to a certain type of retraction transition where the old outside leg is relaxed aggressively, causing the COM to move towards the center of the next turn. This is akin to pulling one leg out from under a chair, causing the chair to topple over....
2 - ILE = Common acronym we've used on this site to refer to a transition where the old inside leg is extended in order to create the balance offset that will cause the COM to move towards center of the next turn. The intention, as I understand it, is NOT to push your CoM across into the next turn, but rather to create a small balance shift that will cause your COM to pendulum across all on its own from the turn forces. I can't think of a good chair analogy at the moment, sorry.
3 - Moving diagonally across = This is current PSIA concept where the idea is to move the COM across into the center of the next turn, with not much specifics provided about how that will be done. Could be extension movements, projection movements, core muscle pulling, etc..they are not particularly clear and I've heard a number of different explanations, but I believe the main focus is NOT unweighting, but rather simply to extend the COM into the new turn, guiding it forward as well as across, so that it projects towards the soon-to-be apex of the turn. This is not a new concept, I've heard it in racing circles as well, and frankly I don't think it needs to conflict with either OLR or ILE concepts, but I think the way its being taught now, much can slip between the cracks.
When I teach this concept I prefer to use the word "project" instead of "extend" because an awful lot of people start up-extending as soon as I use the word "extend. They may also attempt to PUSH into the center of the turn instead of allowing G forces to topple them there. In my view the key piece of this concept is the FORWARD component. In other words, guide your COM forward, as it topples or pendulums across so that the end result is a diagonal movement. But don't, according to me, PUSH yourself diagonally, unless of course, you absolutely have to for some reason, then ok, but be advised that pushing yourself towards the center of the next turn may very well result in loss of edge connection during the fragile initiation phase, resulting in a push of the tails. But then again, maybe you want that.
4 - None of the above has anything to do with intentional unweighting. Its being assumed so far that the INTENTION is not to unweight the skis. There is no reason to unweight really unless you need to pivot. Otherwise, maintaining a strong edge connection with the snow will give you maximum control. When you're weightless, you have very little control until you gain your weight back. Thusly, in a GS type of turn, going weightless is not a goal, and can hurt performance. If you are skiing medium sized turns and want to pivot the skis during init, as many skiers do, consciously or sub-consciously, then getting weightless can help you. In that case, some kind of unweight movement is needed. If your intention is arc-to-arc turns with complete edge engagement, then the weightlessness hurts you. Shorter radius turns are the same story as medium radius turns. The only difference is that a small pivot to init the turns is more likely to be desirable in some cases compared to medium sized turns.
5 - Extra care needs to be exercised when using ILE or pushing diagonally across to avoid accidentally unweighting and/or pushing the tail away from you when it is not otherwise needed or desirable. If you extend too aggressively, you'll get a pop or a push.
6 - If you need to unweight your skis, to pivot, then there are a few ways to do it that I can think of.
- You can use terrain to lift you and eventually unweight you when the terrain drops back out from under you. (ie, like a bump)
- You can retract aggressively enough that you become weightless(down-unweighting) long enough to pivot.
- You can up-unweight, which is where you push down into the snow hard enough to launch yourself upwards, obtaining weightlessness long enough to pivot.
7 - I say that up-unweighting is the easiest to execute. However, consider that when you up-unweight, you are fully extended during the weightless portion of your turn and there is no way to gain back your weight with extension. You have to just wait for yourself to fall back down and not until you flex back down again will you have the ability to extend your leg(s) again. Often, going towards the apex, you want to be able to extend your outside leg as your COM and skis diverge. This cannot be done in an up-unweight scenario because once you up-unweight, all you can do is stand there like a statue until your weight comes back down, and even then you won't be able to extend anymore, you'll only be able to park and ride. By the time you are flexed again, the turn will be over.
Still, sometimes, if you are in a hairy situation, the best thing to do is up-unweight, swing those tails and get on to the next turn. Unfortunately, MANY people have this up-unweight movement burned into their muscle memory from years of over-use, and so even when they would be better served another way, they just can't break the habit. Even worse, it will pop up into their skiing when their intention is actually to perform an ILE type transition (mentioned earlier) without any unweighting, but because they are so accustomed to up-unweighting, they over do it with the ILE extension, and that extension then becomes a pop or a push, which results in unweighting the edge or tail pushing. I have referred to this as a "pop extension" when talking about high end medium radius carving because that is the result of using slightly too much of an aggressive extension movement to perform ILE; and the skier ends up with a pop unweighting that ultimately hurts the turn performance by giving up control of the turn for the first 1/4 of the turn. They went weightless. Most skiers if they go weightless will pivot their skis a little bit also, even if they did not intend to.
8 - Down unweighting has a number of benefits. One. it keeps your upper body a lot quieter as you move down the hill. For another thing, when you down unweight, you are still free to extend your leg(s) immediately after. So you can extend that outside leg as you approach the apex and your skis diverge from your CoM, maintaining a solid edge connection with the snow. That equates to more control, ski bending, tighter round turn shapes and more ability to manage the pressure in a dynamic way. There is at least one downside: if not performed correctly can result with falling in the back seat, perhaps easier than with an ILE or PSIA diagonal push towards the apex. I also contend that a nice tall ILE transition gives my legs more of a break between turns, particularly longer radius turns. Shorter radius turns this is moot point.
9 - When skiing the bumps, using up-unweighting will work against you unless you are a rank beginning bump skier that just needs to get down the hill. You will be much better served to use a retraction unweight so that you can crest the bump as you absorb, unweight on the crest of the bump, make some pivoting and then have your legs available to extend as you drop into the trough beyond the crest. If you instead up-unweight in the bumps, then you have to first absorb the bump, then before its too late as you crest the bump, you would have to rush to extend before it starts to drop out from under you. You will likely go airborne, you will have no ability to extend into the trough, maintaining edge connection and control. You will start the pivoting later, past the crest of the bump while you're airborne, you'll end up with only the second half of the turn to engage your edges with a lot of flair and slow yourself back down on the top of the next bump where you will get ready to up-unweight again in a rush after absorbing the bump.
When you watch a chronic up-unweighter in the bumps, it will look like they are conflicted and fighting against themselves, trying to absorb the bump and up-unweight themselves at the same time, which they can't do, so they have to do it serially, first the absorption, then the unweight, which makes every turn seem like their timing is late and they can't keep up because they have to make two separate movements between every turn, when they could have done it with only one.
10 - The original video presented here had a lot of guys getting pop-extensions on the groomers. This is primarily because they were attempting ILE or PSIA diagonal push movements and doing so too aggressively, thus going weightless when weightlessness does not help, but rather hinders performance. That is not intentional unweighting, but its happening anyway. I believe this is due to habitual muscle memory to up-unweight. But its also because the ILE transition requires more careful execution then OLR in order to avoid the pop or push from happening and nobody's calling them on it.
11 - The video presented here had a lot of guys using up-unweighting in the bumps, again I feel a direct result of their chronic need to up-unweight habitually. I've already explained why that is less then optimal in the bumps.
12 - I don't think I have dogmatically said that all this way or all that way is the only way to ski. I havein fact tried to say exactly the opposite of that several times. However, I do think that some movements are more effective in certain situations then other movements. Certain problems can arise when certain movements are not executed correctly. ILE can cause pops or pushes, OLR can cause the skier to fall in the back seat. Using up-unweighting may be the only thing you can do in a foot and a half of muck and you have no groove going on. Down unweighting will take your bump skiing to the next level. Etc... Yes we have to open minded, but we also need to be cognizant of which movements are preferable and when. If we just say "anything goes", then what kind of instruction is that? High end skiing is definitely marked by grace, elegance, smoothest, complete control and mastery, regardless of the conditions, using the best movements for the scenario in order to do so. It is not "anything goes".
13 - The point of all this is: why are PSIA demo guys going weightless during groomer carved turns where arc-to-arc is the obvious intention, why are they up-unweighting turn after turn in the bumps? The answer is obvious to me, because they are only focusing on extension movements and have almost no focus on retraction movements as a means of transition, or as a means of unweighting(two separate concepts). There are a few guys that can do it, but they must have learned it on their own, because they aren't talking about it now. Rielly does it when he rips the bumps, but then goes on to demo up-unweighted short turns, which presumably is the stepping stone towards bump skiing. PSIA teaches a diagonal movement, most often taught as an extension or push, not as a retraction. When and how do they teach about retraction OLR turns? That I can see right now, they don't. They are all about extension. Over use of extension movements is what has caused habitual pop extenders, up-unweighters, and ultimately what you see manifested in this D team tryout video....a crop of skiers that has neither mastered the ILE extension, nor learned how to do a decent bump run with retracted unweighting.
My point was that I don't think PSIA folks are specifically telling people to pop-extend on the groomers. I believe they are trying to teach them to move across diagonally, with an extension. However, the execution is quite often less then perfect and instructors are not being called on it. The pop is just ignored as irrelevant. And related to the bumps, no focus is being given to retraction based transitions, therefore people are extending to unweight when they need to. Again, they aren't being called on it on the groomers, so when they get to the bumps where they really need to be able to unweight, guess what they are doing?
I have nothing more to add. I hope this helps someone in the future.
Edited by borntoski683 - 3/10/2009 at 06:19 pm
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Is the "new" D-Team video available to view somewhere? If someone could provide a link that would be great. I loved watching the video attached here!
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Hopefully we will have a link soon.
BTS - good post. Thanks.
I just want to say that without knowing the intent, we should not condemn the video. One task we had at the Dev Team tryout this week was "Leapers" into "Hop to Shape". Without a caption or something, if you vieweed a video of this you'd say why are these PSIA guys hopping around like pogo sticks? Is this maneuver done to show that we can "pop extend" at transition? I don't think so. I think it is probably done so that the selectors can see what happens when our skis leave the snow. Do the skis continue moving in the direction they are pointed or do they start to turn as soon as they leave the snow? If you can't do both, something is wrong.