or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Alignment effects and soft snow
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Alignment effects and soft snow

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I often hear comments that alignment is much more important for carving on the hardpack than skiing in/on soft snow. I question this. An example, if leg alignment places the knee too far outside or inside for the given ski edge angle during a turn that wonderful "locked in" in feeling (stability with freedom of movment) can not be achieved and the skier struggles (both in movement and confindence) while trying to make up for the lack of stability (relative to a properly aligned lower extremity). I for one believe it to be even more critical when trying to ski at speed through cut-up off-piste terrain with bumps, irregularities, and obstacles.

[ December 19, 2002, 09:54 AM: Message edited by: Si ]
post #2 of 2
Good question Si,
The differances between hard and soft snow are that the support point relative to the center of effort through the foot varies. On hard snow we lever the ski up onto its inside edge which is offset from center of foot (this is why most alignment protocols position knee alignment somewhere between lateral center of boot sole and it's inside edge). In soft snow we roll skis around the center axis of the ski base, with some ski displacment, until the base compresses the snow enough for desired support. The reduced leverage soft snow requires may mitigate the perception of any alignment issues, but I'd rather be aligned in either case.

The bowlegged (over edged without alignment) skier probably benifits from the reduced leverage required to edge in soft snow, in that the center of effort is under center axis of foot (closer to where thier knee is aligned) vs. way over at inside edge of ski.

Note: Even as a well aligned (from slightly bowlegged) skier I was very aware of the leverage varations when on a 78mm waist ski in conditions varying from packed to soft snow. In those same conditions on my 64mm waist ski the variation was negligble. On the fat boys my edges are 7mm further inside my knees on hard snow, but knee position relative to center axis of ski base was unchanged so in soft snow they felt fine. After a day that included some very fast milage on hard pack I felt additional soreness in knees and new soreness in my hip flexors from the magnified leverage of the wider waist. Even tho my boots are ground, I'm considering canting my wide skis to move my knee in a little to a stronger relationship to the edge location.

The knockneed (underedged without alignment) skier will have problems on both conditions, difficult get to edge on hard snow, and difficult to compress snow for lateral support in soft (but soft is probably more fun).

The perception of alignment not mattering in soft snow may be that many skiers would usually rather ski powder than hardpack, aligned or not.

[ December 19, 2002, 11:27 AM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Alignment effects and soft snow