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Two-footed carving trouble

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am having trouble moving to a two-footed stance. I can ski with my feet wide apart, but very little pressure comes under the inside foot. When it does, I lose the outside ski, especially in steep and icy gates. If I try to tip my inside foot into the turn, I can catch my inside edge and lose balance. It seems the more pressure on my inside foot means the more edge hold I lose. I would appreciate a step-by-step on how to complete a 2-footed carved turn, vs. a outside-ski carved turn (which I can cleanly perform), with only minimal pressure from the inside ski.

I am told that, in addition to having a wide, two-footed stance, I should NOT be leading the inside ski-I should be skiing more square-hipped, driving the outside hip through the turn. This is obviously contrary to things I have learned before (the "Javelin turn" designed to keep your hips at an angulated position). Won't keeping my hips "square" lessen my hip angulation? How will I make up for this loss of edge angle? Also, when I have accelerated my weight downhill at the beginning of the turn, my weight naturally comes over my downhill foot. Should I be tipping my inside ski into the turn? As noted above, when I do this, I can lose balace over the outside ski. If I am somewhat pressuring the inside ski, I tend to begin to slide on hard snow instead of holding an arc.

I must be doing something wrong, because every time I try to pressure the inside ski, I am obviously not carving the clean arcs that I can when my weight is mostly on the outside ski. I would appreciate any help!
post #2 of 23
post #3 of 23
Thanks Lurk,
I was just about to re-post part of that thread.

Check it out, I think you'll find clues there.
post #4 of 23
My $.02 on your questions:

"I can ski with my feet wide apart, but very little pressure comes under the inside foot. When it does, I lose the outside ski, especially in steep and icy gates."

My feeling here is that you have too much lead change (as you mention later in your post) and/or you aren't producing the same angles with your inside leg, ie you don't have parallel shins. Your shin angles to the snow need to match one another.

"I am told that, in addition to having a wide, two-footed stance, I should NOT be leading the inside ski-I should be skiing more square-hipped, driving the outside hip through the turn."

Yes. You can think of the squareness as sort of a "stack": your ankles, hips and shoulders all in the same plane. Too much lead change moves the inside hip and ankle ahead and out of the plane.

"This is obviously contrary to things I have learned before (the "Javelin turn" designed to keep your hips at an angulated position). Won't keeping my hips "square" lessen my hip angulation?"


"How will I make up for this loss of edge angle?"

The tough part- body inclination. Rather than keeping your torso upright, you can take it into the turn some fraction of the angle you are getting with your skis. For example, if you are getting 30deg with your skis and legs, then you may be able to get 15 or 20deg out of your torso. At a maximum you can get the full 30deg, but this is achieved at downhill speeds.

"Also, when I have accelerated my weight downhill at the beginning of the turn, my weight naturally comes over my downhill foot. Should I be tipping my inside ski into the turn? As noted above, when I do this, I can lose balace over the outside ski. If I am somewhat pressuring the inside ski, I tend to begin to slide on hard snow instead of holding an arc."

While somewhat controversial, I like to think about pulling my inside ski back. This pressures it enough. You should have even tounge pressure on your boots, ie both flexed at the same time.

The things you have been told are correct, but they aren't the whole picture. Start with making arcs on a very flat pitch, working on keeping everything stacked in the right place. Keep the inside foot underneath of you (relatively) and make sure your shins have the same angle to the snow. Rolling the inside knee in tends to help, but don't compromise anything in your body position.

You can do this in a very static fashion. You don't need a big recenter or up and down movement to learn this. Those things can come later, but first you need to feel a consistent arc with both skis.

Good luck!
post #5 of 23
From what you describe, you may not be doing anything wrong. "Two footed carving" does not mean equal weighting, especially in hard snow. What you should be going for is a clean turn initiation without any twisting or tail-pushing. Tip the downhill ski to its little toe edge and let everything else follow. Work up to a maximum edge angle around the fall line, and release the edges progressively (by tipping to the new inside little toe) to start the next turn. Use inside ski edging and steering to control the edging and arc of the outside ski, which will carry most of your weight. Allow as much of your weight to redistribute to the outside as necessary to hold your edge. In gates that will be nearly 100%, in deep powder you may ski nearly 50/50. Give up the habit of creating a large lead change at turn initiation and large amounts of counter and hip angulation. Those large movements were necessary on straight skis to create enough pressure to engage the forward edge, but those moves are counterproductive on shape skis.
Get some coaching from a race coach or full-cert instructor.

Good luck
post #6 of 23
The way I understand it, on hard snow you only want the inside ski to have about 5% of the pressure - not that you can measure it, just that you want it following along at the same edge angle, staying in contact with the ground, so that if your outside ski slips, the inside is prepared to take over and save you from a fall. You only want to switch to two-footed (more equally weighted) skiing when you're in powder or crud.
post #7 of 23
I like to describe it as tucking the inside foot back under the hip. That's kind of what I feel when it's working.
I had the good fortune to clinic with Arcmiester last spring on this. His kinetic chain describes it really well. Little toe, ankle, knee, and hips. When the hips go, that's when the outside ski "stacks up". I don't like to get into how much weight is on which ski. Just use the "chain" and the weight distribution takes caree of itself. For me the weight fells like it flows to the outside quite a bit but the tracks are clean "railroad tracks."
I've observed tracks, first hand, from WC skiers in a slalom course. They seem to be pretty close to the same depth in the last third of the turn. Of course I remember a picture of Phil Mahre on the cover of a 1983 issue of Ski Racing with both skis bent and carving through the end of a slalom turn.
post #8 of 23
I read the posts regarding: "Equal Weighting- a misconception," there is a lot there, and it makes sense, after reading them a couple of times.

One of the things that is emphasized in those posts is balance and being balanced.

My thought has to do with you hand postions. If they are the least bit back, and not continually forward to help drive you into the turns, by default, this will throw you, at least partially, into "the backseat."

So while you are thinking about edges, don't forget about hand and shoulder positions. They effect the positioning of the upper body, and that effects your center of mass, which obviously effects your balance, which effects your ability to pressure your edges....Let see, the words of the song go like this:

The hip bone is connected to the thigh bone.... the thigh bone is connected to the leg bone... the leg bone is connected to the ankle bone.........
post #9 of 23
I tell you what is helping my turns and credit goes to Arc. I am initiating by LIFTING the big toe of my inside foot. I seem to create a greater range of motion and I think it helps to dorsiflex my ankle. It also seems to keep my from slipping my inside foot forward at turn initiation. I know this may be the proverbial six of one half dozen of the other. It simply FEELS very different. I had a friend with forty years experience teaching ski behind me last night and he tried it. He was amazed at the feeling and said my turns were different.

Arc will kill me because we have argued this point. I think it precludes any "huckover". It initites low on the kinetic chain and any movement inside the turn progresses natureally.

I'm dieing to try it with students. Just think how easy it would be to tell them to lift one big toe while pressuring the other!
post #10 of 23
We ski two footed but the sport is still an outside ski activity. All turns should start with a tipping of the outside leg to release the edges and start creating new ones. Stand in the middle of your ski's and let pressure build against the outside ski as you continue to tip the inside ski. The more you tip the inside ski the more pressure builds against the outside ski, the faster you go the more pressure builds against the outside ski, the tighter the arc the more pressure builds against the outside ski ect... I heard of a study done of world cup racers and on average there was never more than 20% of the pressure against the inside ski and more often less than 5%. I hate to even throw out a number because people then try to put it there. The key I think is just tip it and depending on the terrain, conditions, speed, turn it will change thru out the whole turn. DON'T MOVE YOUR WEIGHT FROM FOOT TO FOOT.
post #11 of 23
I too am trying to work on my 2 footed carving technique. My inside ski seems to "float-skid" instead of carve. I like the lift your big toe inside ski idea and will try that next time I'm on the hill. Would any of you be kind enough to point out anything wrong with my body position in this picture. Thanks Pros. I am entering my first race in years and would like to make a good showing.

Ski track.

[ February 12, 2003, 06:44 AM: Message edited by: slider ]
post #12 of 23
Slider from you picture it would appear that you are bending at the waist and dropping you inside hip down a bit. this allows the inside ski to slide a bit forward, the inside leg femur to adduct (rotate inward) and the inside hand and upper body to rotate slightly into the hill. The result is the inside ski decreases in angle a gives you a slight A frame look. This combined with the inside ski sliding forward means no inside ski pressure, no inside ski steering, poor pressure control and a park and ride finish in the turn. In short this is a weak inside half.

Raise the inside hip by bringing it up and forward. Make like you are going to try to sit on a stool that is too high on that side. When you do, raise the inside shoulder and flex the inside ankle to get the inside ski back where it belongs.
Then you can increase the angle on the inside ski to get rid of the A frame, steer the inside ski effectively and withstand the pressure forces.

[ February 12, 2003, 07:26 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #13 of 23
Thank you Pierre. I will work on lifting,moving the hip forward and rotating my inside ankle today on the hill [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #14 of 23
Keep in mind Slider that you probably dropped that inside hip right at turn initiation by just laterally rolling onto the new edges and settling back instead of bringing the inside hip up and forward into the turn (diagonal motion).

You might want to get someone to help you get in the right position. There are many ways to do it inefficiently yet think you have corrected the problem.

[ February 12, 2003, 07:51 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #15 of 23
This is fine tuning that you will need to play with.

Try skiing some turns while keeping 70% of your weight on one foot, then repeat this with the other foot. This will give you the sensation of feeling weight at different points and places in the turn.

Now try to ski with weight 50/50. Play with this some and learn to control this as needed. Different terrain, turns, etc will require more or less two footed skiing. So the key is not to become a perfect two-footed skier, but instead learn to accurately and precisely redistribute weight where and when you need it.
post #16 of 23

Reading your post again I wanted to comment on something. I think Pierre is correct that you are dropping your inside hip and inside shoulder, therefore when you do move more weight to it it does not feel as strong.

Trying doing what Pierre suggests and you will find you be standing on your inside ski more skeletally, like the outside ski. When you are doing this correctly you will find that if you lose your outside edge your inside one takes over and you don't miss a beat.
post #17 of 23

I just want to make a quick comment about initiating a new turn by tipping the inside foot (or raising the big toe, as Rusty likes to think about it). Many skiers are aware of this move but they tend to point the little toe (and therefore the entire ski) in the direction of the turn. This creates that V that invariable causes the skier to skid the inside ski.

I am not suggestion that you are doing this, but you may want to think about this just in case (in addition to Pierre's observations, of course).
post #18 of 23
Looks like reducing your tip lead might help.(Think Telemark) When I explained it that way to one of the guys on my team who telies a lot he picked it up right away.
Also, it looks like your outside knee is kind of cranked in. If you get the inside one working you should "stack" better on the outside.
I usually try to think from the snow up .
post #19 of 23
I would like to thank each one of you for some very helpful information and insight. I tried working on these movements today. Standing up,pushing the inside hip forward and up while steering the inside weighted ski really made a difference. A nice two ski carved track was the result. It is going to take alot more practice to become proficient at is. An Austrian gentlemen in his 80's approached me today on the hill and said I had a nice carved turn. He also said to lead may turns with my thighs and try to get the skis further away from me. I'm going to get my a*s kicked at that race.
post #20 of 23
Slider - Getting the skis further away is not the end, but the mean to achieve balance against the centrifugal force + gravity. I think if you speed up, or carve smaller-radius turns (press harder on the outside ski without increasing the edge angle to bend it into a sharper curve), or both, your skis will swing far out away from your body. But if you are going slowly on a bunny hill and throw the skis further away, you will end up in a hip-planted position. True, it is the correct form, but the form is the means, unless you ski just to impress somebody. Then pick up some speed, and you will have to accentuate that angulation.

Dawgcatching - if you are doing everything technically correctly, but still cannot make a clean 2-footed carve, blame it on the gear. Are your boots fitted for you by a professional ?

[ February 12, 2003, 04:47 PM: Message edited by: AlexG ]
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well, I now realize that I had originally been wasting energy and had poor support for my feet (due to lack of boot customization and footbeds), causing my knees to track inward and making inside-foot carving virtually impossible.

Now my boots are fitted for me. I just made the 6-hour drive up to Seattle to see Jim Mates, and what a difference. He set me up with footbeds, which I hadn't realized I needed before, but definitely do. My arches have no support underneath, and therefore I am constantly balancing on the outside foot, with my knees tracking to the inside. This gives me a knock-kneed position, which is now mostly gone (I still need to work on correcting the compensatory body movements that are no longer required, but are still in my movement patterns). I can tip the inside ski to relatively the same angle as the outside ski, which was physically impossible before. Not to mention that he adjusted the lean, ramp and a bunch of other factors on my boots. I can now get onto edge with about 1/2 of the foreward movements that were required before. Therefore, I am more centered, balanced, and much more powerful; not constantly wasting energy to get on my edges, and putting myself out of position. If I had run gates today, I probably would have skied out of the course due to the unexpected power I am generating and the quickness of which my turns are happening.

I still need to work on drawing my foot back and keeping my "stack" together, but I won't be fighting poor alignment and wasted energy. I was able to feel 2-footed carving a few times today, it just needs more work. But at least I can try it now...
post #22 of 23
Dawgcatching, I am glad it worked out for you. This past weekend I forgot my footbeds (left them at home to air out : ) and I couldn't grip with my inside ski, unless it was an easy blue run, where I don't really need it. I could make nice steered turns though
post #23 of 23
A very interesting (th)read. I have followed the links to the other threads mentioned and read those as well; please note that I make no pretense about being an instructor and ask you to forgive a little personal history:

I started skiing in the (first half of the) sixties and was taught to ski using the Arlberg technique; when I later taught skiing at Park City in the late seventies/early eighties, I was teased by the ski school director about where and when I had learned to ski. Little did he know that he and my eldest brother taught at Brighton together years before and he and other instructors had dragged me around the mountain when I refused to listen to my know-nothing brother.

Well, a lot of water has passed beneath the proverbial bridge and today I find myself skiing on 168's and 178's and having the time of my skiing life.

I do not wish to engage in a battle of semantics or a discussion of timing, so roll with me here (pun intended). In a prior thread, I read a comment about rolling the inside ski on edge using the aforementioned kinetic chain - little toe, ankle, knee, etc. - I have been trying to incorporate this into my skiing. Without debating how many and which feet I'm using, I marvel at the difference it has made in my turns. Tomorrow I want to try lifting my big inside toe and while pressuring my big outside toe.

With a few years of skiing behind me, I have seen many changes in equipment and technique come and go; however, some of the basics tenets like balance, for instance, remain. Tomorrow I'm faced with yet another opportunity to learn and grow as a skier. I love the dynamic aspects of our sport; but, when you boil it all down to the base element skiing is fun.

I have enjoyed and learned quite a bit from this forum and wish to thank the contributors. Keep up the good work. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

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