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Lito's rules for modern skiing - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally posted by Max Capacity:

I've been a race team parent for 6 years with friends who instruct. I learned how and why most racers ski two footed. I find it to be very stable. Yet I still here insturctors talking about most of your weight should be on the down hill ski. I have also been told not to lift the inside ski off the snow.

Late last season, while sitting at a lunch table talking with instructors, they were wondering when PSIA was going to take a lesson from the racers and begin to teach and examine the way racers ski.
Watch racers, and you will see most of their weight on the outside ski, most of the time. It's really not possible to maintain adequate edge pressure and balance equally on both skis. But that doesn't mean you need to force weight transfer to the new outside ski the way Lito and Harb advocate.
All the PSIA Education Staff I know ski in a smooth, two-footed technique, but they all also agree that the outside ski becomes dominant as pressure builds in the turn. That's derived from race technique. The difference is that real racing is about 20 times more intense than any recreational skiing.

Regards, John

[ November 25, 2003, 08:56 AM: Message edited by: John Dowling ]
post #32 of 52
Thanks John,

I have noticed that it is a constent adjusting process. I love the feel of two footed turns. Being two footed helps in a lot of situations when all of a sudden the snow surface changes or you need to lift the outside ski to miss a rock.

I was skiing with my friend on Sunday who is a PSIA level II and has been teaching for over 20 years. She said I was making nice short turns. I have focused most of the past two seasons on keeping the upper body facing down the fall line and letting the hips twist and feel both skis carve through the turn. One exercise I do is try and make all my turns in a straight line no wider then the length of my skis. I practice this in the crud snow on the edge of the trail.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally posted by Max Capacity:

I have noticed that it is a constent adjusting process. I love the feel of two footed turns. Being two footed helps in a lot of situations when all of a sudden the snow surface changes or you need to lift the outside ski to miss a rock.
That's exactly right. With the new skis, we can use lower edge angles for the same radius turn. That means we need less angulation and therefore less "lead" with our inside foot. With straight skis, we needed to get our inside foot way out ahead of our outside foot, both to create high edge angles and to move the center of pressure far forward on the outside ski. That works fine until a rut or snowsnake gets your outside ski. If you try to move to the inside ski in that situation, you will be struggling from the backseat. With the new skis, with less angulation and a less forward position of the inside ski, you can easily step to the inside ski and remain in a reasonably balanced stance. I think that's an important reason why I feel less beat up at the end of the day than I sometimes did back in the day.

I also think "two-footed carving" is a little misleading. Regardless of the fact that my inside ski moves in the same direction at the same edge angle as my outside ski, most of my weight still usually re-distributes to my outside ski. At high speeds in firm snow, all my weight may end up on my outside ski. I need that to maintain enough pressure for edge hold, but I can still step to my inside ski if I need to-- at least when everything is working right!

Another irony is that, even though the new skis need a lower edge angle to carve a particular radius turn, we end up skiing them at higher (sometimes much higher) edge angles than straight skis. That's because the new skis are much easier to engage and work up to higher edge angles without breaking into a skid, so now we carve short radius turns that we would have skidded on straight skis. The best skiers were able to get their VO Slaloms up to high edge angles without skidding, but now we regular guys can get to those high angles too!

And I definitely agree with you: I love the feel of two footed turns also!

Regards, John

[ November 25, 2003, 07:14 AM: Message edited by: John Dowling ]
post #34 of 52
This has been a very interesting thread. A lot of good discussion here. However, there has been one commenter that has been disruptive, in my view. That being Rusty Guy. Rusty, if you do not have something constructive to say, why don't you stay out of the conversation. You have been doing that a lot lately. I don't know how the others feel, but I find some of your comments uncalled for.
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally posted by Rick H:
there has been one commenter that has been disruptive, in my view. That being Rusty Guy. Rusty, if you do not have something constructive to say, why don't you stay out of the conversation. You have been doing that a lot lately.
Rick

You're obviously entitled to you opinion, but I disagree. Other than through this community, I don't know Rusty from Adam, but I think he adds alot to this forum on alot of levels and his opinions are as pertinent and as meaningful as anyone's. I read Rusty as a "call a spade a spade" kind of guy who stands up for his opinions and lets others know when he disagrees with theirs. I think that speaking your mind is a good quality to have.

Don't get the idea that I'm just jumping to Rusty's defense. I'm sure he can speak for himself. I just believe that as long as people here post in a manner that's is non-threatening and not personally insulting, that it's all good.

[ November 25, 2003, 01:25 PM: Message edited by: Coach13 ]
post #36 of 52
I have seen a lot of skiers that tend to “park-n-ride” on their outside ski. I think two-footed skiing is a way of an instructor explaining to the student, both feet/skis should be active through the turn, start to finish. I would not necessarily understand two-footed skiing as equal weighting or pressure on both skis/edges at the same instance. However, one would feel and equality on both skis at some point in a turn. As always turn shape dictates a lot of this. How many times have you heard and explanation for a turn, “stand” on the outside ski/foot. OK, so what do we do with the other ski? (This creates a “park-n-ride” syndrome.) Well, we paid for two skis so lets use them both as much as we can. Along with the two-footed skiing confusion, shin contact with the boot may also be a reason for confusion. Maintaining close proximity to the front cuff of the boot is critical to active footwork. If you want to move the ski, well you have to contact the boot. However, contact is not pressure on the boot, it is more subtle. It is simply a touchy-feely thing.
post #37 of 52
Item No. 5

Yeah, it does sound like Lito advocates jumping all your weight onto the outside ski - I think he overstated this in his "Cheat Sheet" If you would read his book, you'd see that he means that the outside ski is the controlling implement in an expert ski turn. Any expert could probably pick up the inside ski through most or all of his turn if he wanted to. The inside ski can certainly help with balance and the shaping of the turn, and is very useful. I've tried Lito's trick of lightening the inside ski and tipping it to initiate and shape the turn, and IT WORKS!! He gives a bunch of exercises and progressions in his book that develop smooth transitions, not jumping all your weight at once onto one ski.

Lito's greatest insight is that intermediate skiers and experts ski differently ! The skills: balance, edging, rotary, and pressure, are the same, but applied in very different ways. PSIA's advocacy of the same techniques for both; a wide stance, which pretty much precludes one-ski weighted turns or a smooth, graceful cross-over, keep a lot of skiers from ever becoming experts. How many Level I and II instructors still use a little stem to initiate a turn? A lot, I think. If you follow Lito's recipe for expert skiing, it couldn't happen.

Read the book, Amigos!

Mtngeo
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally posted by Mtngeo:
Item No. 5

PSIA's advocacy of the same techniques for both; a wide stance, which pretty much precludes one-ski weighted turns or a smooth, graceful cross-over, keep a lot of skiers from ever becoming experts.
Mtngeo
Ummm - my instructor definitely skis in a wide stance(especially when doing long turns) - ask Ant she's been in one of my lessons... He does not consider himself an expert (he has high standards) ... BUT.... he has been a PSIA trainer acred for a while & is currently a provincial race coach in Canada & if you think his cross-over is NOT smooth from the wide stance then you are NUTS!!!
post #39 of 52
disski

Yes, the fellow that you refer to is a RACE COACH. Racers are as different from mere "experts" as the experts are from intermediates. I am talking about the transition from intermediate (wide stance, some stemming, no strong movement of the cm into the turn) to expert (flowing movements, smooth tranistions on most terrain). Phil Mahre could ski with a bathtub strapped to his back and he'd look good!

Last time I talked to my my psychiatrist, he didn't think I was NUTS. I guess having an opinion different than yours makes me that. Thank you,

Mtngeo [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #40 of 52
I'm going to agree with Mtngeo that it's hard to get the whole picture until you read the book. As I've stated here before, I feel that a lot of the criticism of Lito and Harb's methods is a lack of understanding or a failure to follow through with what they're trying to get across. I'm sure they are not suggesting that you should ski around the hill with one foot lifted way off the snow, nor are they advocating a strong uphill lurching movement to get on the uphill ski to start a turn, although that movement is neccessary if you're ever going to learn to ski and balance on your uphill edge. It's just a means to accomplish an end result. Certainly race coaches who send their young racers down the mountain with only one ski on are not making a statement that they should ski that way all the time. It's just a way of teaching a critical skill to promote their advancement. However, I'll have to disagree with Mtngeo on the accessment of racers and expert skiers. I've yet to hear a definate explaination of what constitutes an expert skier, but I think we would all agree that most racers would be considered experts. I would maintain that there is very little tecnical difference out side of the race course from the way racers ski than true experts do. I would also maintain that there is a huge difference in the movements racers use compared to the movement paterns of the average recreational skier.
post #41 of 52
Ric B,

My quote was:
Quote:
But steering a lifted foot only effects balance. Steering a weighted foot changes the force vectors.
Your's was:
Quote:
To say that steering of a ski that is off the snow has no effect on the ski that is on the snow doesn't ring true to me. How about where on the grounded foot and ski the force of the turn is aligned to?
Good point. But I think we're saying the same thing.

Are you sitting right now? Push back from the computer, leave one foot on the ground and lift the other one. Twist the lifted foot left and right. Feel any force change on the planted foot? The closest I come is feeling a tiny bit of tension in my abs. Now stand and try it again. Aha! Now I can feel some force change on my planted foot. There's only one problem. I can feel the same changes without twisting my foot as my balance wobbles back and forth.

Now for the sake of argument, (while I'm standing) I'll twist my lifted foot and roll my planted foot. Wow that does seem easier! Beating a dead horse, see if you can twist your foot without changing the force on the planted foot. It's hard but it can be done. The key is to twist the foot without moving your hips.

So I concede that steering a lifted inside foot "CAN" assist the outside foot, if hip rotation is used is used to steer the outside foot.

But what kind of assistance are we talking about? Us PSIA types like to talk about the four skills in skiing: Balance, edging, rotation, pressure. Balance is already a given. Change in edging of the outside foot only happens if you roll the outside foot. The balance change makes it easier but does not make it happen. Steering the lifted foot does not increase rotary effect on the planted foot. Pressure can either change fore/aft of left/right. The exercise demonstrated no fore/aft pressure change. Left/right presure change on the planted foot only changed when the foot was rolled. Remember my original comment did not state that "steering the lifted foot had no effect on the ski". I said it only effected balance. I think this exercise makes a strong case in support of that point.

I'll concede that steering the inside foot can be an effective aid to the outside ski. But let's try one more variant of the exercise. Twist the inside foot while keeping some weight on it (it helps to do this on a slick floor instead of carpet). There's not much loss of effect. Will you concede that a weighted inside ski will transmit more force to the body than a non-weighted one? I'm claiming that the reduction in effectiveness of the outside ski that occurs when one transfers SOME weight to the inside ski is more than offset by the increase in effectiveness of the inside ski.

But this is being real picky. I long ago conceded that my problem with Lito's rules was I was taking them too literally. It was fun, but it missed the point. I think this part of the discussion has helped to highlight HOW the rule can work.
post #42 of 52
Quote:
Originally posted by Mtngeo:
disski

Yes, the fellow that you refer to is a RACE COACH. Racers are as different from mere "experts" as the experts are from intermediates. I am talking about the transition from intermediate (wide stance, some stemming, no strong movement of the cm into the turn) to expert (flowing movements, smooth tranistions on most terrain). Phil Mahre could ski with a bathtub strapped to his back and he'd look good!

Last time I talked to my my psychiatrist, he didn't think I was NUTS. I guess having an opinion different than yours makes me that. Thank you,

Mtngeo [img]tongue.gif[/img]
You stated that a wide stance PRECLUDES a graceful crossover.... I simply stated that this guy skis WIDE.... & his skiing is graceful(in a fast trucklike sorta way) - the crossovers(what crossovers? ... he just turns & keeps turning smoothly) are exactly what you say are PRECLUDED by his wide stance....

BTW - read the words - this guy does NOT think he is an expert - YET!!!! Our ski school ranks 6-1 & he won't class himself a 1
post #43 of 52
TheRusty, I don't disagree at all really. Your point is correct the control is in the hips. The only point I would make is that in dynamic movement, (skiing), our hip stabilizers are constanly engaged to some degree. It takes an even greater diliberate effort than it does standing still, to isolate and move a lifted foot and leg without having some movement transfered to the other side of the pelvis and the other leg.

I have that problem, seeing/hearing literal and missing the context. Thanks for the post.
post #44 of 52
I didn't mean for this to turn into a discussion of what constitutes an expert. But.... You can look at a skier from a half a mile away and tell if he is an expert or an intermediate. The expert will flow smoothly down the hill with continuous, flowing turns, one into the next. Think Stein Erikson. His form is certainly "out" in PSIA circles, but I'd bet that at the age of 70+whatever, he can ski circles around 98% of the people who consider themselves "experts."

If you want to ski with your feet shoulder width apart, have at it! All I am saying is that Lito has identified that this is, at some point on the learning curve, an impediment to becoming an expert, as defined above. My main grip is with PSIA and their proclivity to a "technique du jour." I personally think that any stance where the skier feels best balanced, the feet are not locked and work independently, and can be used effectively in a variety of conditions (wide stance in powder? moguls?)is a GREAT stance. Thank you, Stein!

What Lito has done is to accurately observe those unique skiing qualities that define most expert skiers, and cook them down to a few simple principles that intermediates can easily use to help them transition to a higher level. Thank you, Lito!

Racers ski as fast as possible, on forty-degree slopes, on pure ice, making short to medium radius turns. I somehow think that requires a slighly different technique than skiing down "Bluebell" with 200 other skiers on a Sunday afternoon. Racers flop agressively from one set of edges to the other - effective, but not "smooth" in the manner of an expert recreational skier or instructor.

Thanks for the feedback!

Mtngeo :
post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally posted by Mtngeo:

...If you want to ski with your feet shoulder width apart, have at it! All I am saying is that Lito has identified that this is, at some point on the learning curve, an impediment to becoming an expert, as defined above. My main grip is with PSIA and their proclivity to a "technique du jour." I personally think that any stance where the skier feels best balanced, the feet are not locked and work independently, and can be used effectively in a variety of conditions (wide stance in powder? moguls?)is a GREAT stance.

What Lito has done is to accurately observe those unique skiing qualities that define most expert skiers, and cook them down to a few simple principles that intermediates can easily use to help them transition to a higher level...

Racers ski as fast as possible, on forty-degree slopes, on pure ice, making short to medium radius turns. I somehow think that requires a slighly different technique than skiing down "Bluebell" with 200 other skiers on a Sunday afternoon. Racers flop agressively from one set of edges to the other - effective, but not "smooth" in the manner of an expert recreational skier or instructor...

Mtngeo :
A lot of the controversy over stance starts from a misunderstanding of what the PSIA approach actually is. PSIA guys I talk to all look for a "functional stance," without much concern about whether that is wide or narrow. "Any stance where the skier feels best balanced, the feet are not locked and work independently, and can be used effectively in a variety of conditions is a GREAT stance" is almost word-for-word exactly how Terry Barbour (a PSIA Demo Team member) described a functional stance to me at a PSIA event. (He added "allows high enough edge angles" to your list.) It's Lito and Harb who insist on a particular stance, not PSIA.

Lito hasn't developed his system from the unique qualities of expert skiers as much as he has identified an excercise that will prevent stemming and rotary push-off, and which requires the skier to develop reasonable fore-aft balance. "Pick up your inside ski and tip the other one" is an excercise that most instructors have probably used from time to time, but it's only one excercise, not the whole story of expert skiing. That seems to be Harb's whole game plan, although others have pointed out that there is more in Lito's book.

My own experience was that, while I thought I was an advanced skier when was doing "lift and tip," the habit of forcing a weight transfer to my uphill ski became so ingrained that I couldn't turn without it. That was OK on the groomed or even in moguls, but crud and powder were unskiable that way. Once I learned to release the pressure from my downhill ski gradually, my skiing became easier, smoother faster, easier and more enjoyable.

Racer's are far smoother than almost all instructors. It's just that they need to be so fast that their edge changes seem instantaneous. If you've ever watched a high level racer free ski, you would see that they are among the smoothest skiers on the mountain. To a racer, most instructors look over-edged, over-controlled and slow, not smooth. (Q. Why are instructors like minivans? A. They all look alike and go slow.) The speed and intensity of racing is not possible for most recreational skiers; but, once you tone down the speed and intensity a little, the techniques that racers use are easily within the ability of most people to learn, especially since he development of shape skis. That kind of skiing is more enjoyable and far more versatile than simply stepping up to your outside ski.

Regards, John
post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally posted by John Dowling:

Racer's are far smoother than almost all instructors. It's just that they need to be so fast that their edge changes seem instantaneous. If you've ever watched a high level racer free ski, you would see that they are among the smoothest skiers on the mountain. To a racer, most instructors look over-edged, over-controlled and slow, not smooth. (Q. Why are instructors like minivans? A. They all look alike and go slow.) The speed and intensity of racing is not possible for most recreational skiers; but, once you tone down the speed and intensity a little, the techniques that racers use are easily within the ability of most people to learn, especially since he development of shape skis. That kind of skiing is more enjoyable and far more versatile than simply stepping up to your outside ski.

Regards, John
Thanks John - yes very true... as a disabled skier who is VERY nervous I found it strange this year to be asked by an instructor (not at my home hill) if I was a racer.... very puzzling.... until I remembered that another instructor at my home hill had commented on my 'racer style' inherited from my 2 instructors(both long term) who are both racers & 1 is a race coach....
I still lack the versatility I should have with the technique... but given my natural LACK of ability (& reflexes) I am doing OK & hope to dial that in better soon...
post #47 of 52
Quote:
Originally posted by Mtngeo:
I didn't mean for this to turn into a discussion of what constitutes an expert. But.... You can look at a skier from a half a mile away and tell if he is an expert or an intermediate. :
Actually from discussion in the lodge & on the chair I find that many people can't even distinguish an advanced skier from an intermediate....

As i stated - that guy is a race coach & an APSI Level 3 & PSIA trainer accredited - he still swears he is NOT a level 1 skier (or did 2 seasons ago when we killed ourselves laughing watching the blond in fancy duds hunt for the level 1 group lesson)
post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally posted by Mtngeo:
Racers flop agressively from one set of edges to the other - effective, but not "smooth" in the manner of an expert recreational skier or instructor.

:
Ummm - I have NEVER seen either of my guys FLOP from one set of edges to another - they are most insistant that I am VERY careful not to STOMP onto edges - it causes trouble on ice & believe me DOWN HERE WE GET ICE

I have stood at a spot on Dave Murray where we could watch the edge change of the racers from pretty much in front & below & I would not have described the good guys as flopping from 1 edge to another either... very much seemed as though those edges were engaged & angulation added as per a regular turn - just REAL FAST...
post #49 of 52
Well, OK. I'll admit that racers don't exactly "flop" from one set of edges to the other, and they are smooth (or they wouldn't be competetive), but it happens so quickly that there is virtually no time spent in between, on a flat ski. I don't know why I am discussing this - I never wanted to talk about racers....I wanted to discuss intermediate skiers trying to make the transition to "expert," or, if you prefer, from a stemmed turn initiation to a pure parallel, carved turn. This is where Lito shines. IMHO, He'll get you there quicker than the standard PSIA progression, and make you a better skier - for maybe 75% of intermediate skiers. Harb is essentially right, too, but I get the feeling that he regards his technique more like a religion that requires total committment, wheras Lito seems more flexible, adaptable, and laid back in his book. I've never met either of the gentlemen, so I may be wrong. But I do think I'd really enjoy a day or a week skiing with Lito.

I guess that there are as many definitions of "expert" as there are skiers. I think I've explained what I consider to be the difference, and I can't imagine how anyone would have trouble telling the difference, using my criteria. Imagine that the skiers center of mass leaves a luminous trail behind him. If the movement is smooth, continuous, rounded, flowing, and he can do the same under most resort conditions - then the skier is an expert in my book. Most of these guys will fall into a PSIA Level 8 or 9 skier. If the movement is "Z" shaped, hesitates, sometimes shifts backward or to the side, and if the skiing pattern varies dramatically from groomed to ice to powder to moguls - then that skier is an intermediate. I guess there could be some skiers right at the cusp that would be hard to peg, but not many.

On the other hand, if you define "expert" as "Perfect, any slope, any snow, any time," then that is another matter. disski, your humble race coach may not call himself an expert, but if you think he's one, and PSIA thinks he's one, he probably is one.

John Barbour
Quote:
"Any stance where the skier feels best balanced, the feet are not locked and work independently, and can be used effectively in a variety of conditions is a GREAT stance" is almost word-for-word exactly how Terry Barbour (a PSIA Demo Team member) described a functional stance to me at a PSIA event.
That may be what the Demo Team says (it's what they should say!), but my experience at PSIA clinics is that the clinician will tell me to widen my stance (to the point where it is slightly uncomfortable for me), then he will demonstrate a few turns like that, and then ski off with his feet close together. : The guys at the top aren't dominated by dogma, but the examiners sure are! I think it's getting better. We'll see what this year brings.

Happy Holidays to you all! May the Snow Gods look favorably..

Mtngeo [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #50 of 52
Check this out. The guy has a lot to say, including crossover, crossunder, etc.:

http://www.youcanski.com/english/coa..._technique.htm

"Both types of cross movements are used in Modern skiing. Crossover (CM crosses over the skis) is prevalent in complete GS turns on steep parts of the course. Crossunder (skis cross under the CM) comes into play in slightly more shallow GS turns on the flatter sections. Crossunder is extensively used in modern Slalom. It is usually combined with downunweighting. Regardless of type of cross movement the modern GS and SL turns use the entire ski. The turn is usually finished with the pressure on the tail and started with some pressure on the front of the ski. "

http://www.youcanski.com/english/coa...n_coaching.htm

"Specific Characteristics of the Race Technique (radius independent)

· Open stance with skis positioned wide
· Basic stance generally stays the same (changes slightly to fit the terrain)
· No steps or stepping type movements
· Upper body stays upright and slightly forward. Upper body position should not unfold or extend to resist the pressure built in the turn
· Skis are kept parallel
· Pressure is built up on the outside ski during the initiation stage."


[ December 02, 2003, 04:12 PM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #51 of 52
Quote:
Originally posted by AlexG:
[QB]Check this out. The guy has a lot to say, including crossover, crossunder, etc.: http://www.youcanski.com/english/coa..._technique.htm ...
Greg (now at Ski Liberty in SE PA) made a short appearance on Epic in late June of this year, generated a bit of controversy, and unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge has not posted since then. His screen name is "ski coach". Do a search in the instruction forum under user number 4670, and you will find his contributions.

He was very active in the 6 page long PSIA Instruction vs Race Coaching thread .

Tom / PM
post #52 of 52

This is especially for those who get all atwitter when someone resurrects a 10+ year old thread - enjoy!

 

I was thinking about Lito recently, and posted something here about his approach to bump skiing, which although ~20 years old I think is still good, solid advice. While looking where to make that post I came across this thread, and read through it. Then this morning I came across this...

 

Click pic to view enlarged and read text

 

Seems in 2014 things have come full circle - guess Lito was onto something.  ;) 

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