This is an interesting topic. And I guess I would like to offer my take on my take.
: Typos are typos and I know I haven't caught 'em all , but here we go.
Stance is an important apspect of good skiing, we all agree. It can vary among skiers for sure with desirable results among experienced skiers.
In a nutshell, I think of stance as how far apart your feet are in transition when you are in pure neutral and both skis are flat to the snow surface at the same time, you are flowing into your next turn and your skis are just coming onto edge in this new turn. Then, as many have pointed out the your boots get farther apart with higher edge angle, BUT (I agree those who say they are getting farther apart in the vertical plane and that they are still releatively close in the horizontal plane as you can see when looking at the closeness of the lines on the shins. And further, for all intents and purposes for teaching, we all refer to stance when standing up (like when in nuetral) not when posturing on the snow trying to simulate a high speed ripper.
Basically, when standing still with the legs flexed, the shins snug against the front of the boots and the shoulders centered over the feet, I think that from a good stance, a skier should be able to do two things (well, three but for here and now only two): one, match edge angles when rolling both feet on edge together (it does haven't to be a mirror image and we do not need to break out the protractor on this one but the skis should be equal enough so they can track together in a real turn); second, a skier should be able to shift balance smoothly between feet without having to shift the upper body (CM) back and forth over one foot then the other. The minimal movement from one foot to the other promotes, in real skiing, the ability to make fine-motor balance adjustments to handle bumps, changing snow or simply to adjust the turns at any time. From this stance, skiing happens, flowing into and out of this relative body posture.
In off-piste skiing it is always best when both skis work are cutting together, so they need to be at pretty much equal edge angles to the snow. Some people can create equal edge angles with their feet wider apart then most. Maybe they're bow-legged or maybe that's just how they do it! [img]smile.gif[/img] But the important thing is that the skis track together. But, when the skis get too far apart (and its really not that far apart for many people) the interior angle of the feet and legs and thereore the skis, start to oppose each other and make it more likely for less experienced skiers to cross their tips and/or center the CM over the skis coming into the new turn. Actually, this may be right where the elusive "movement" of the CM (to get it from centered over one leg to get it over the other in the new turn) is needed and is so hard for many, many people to get. This a kind of like the classic christy. (Ott?, am i correct here?) The inverse is also true: when the feet are too close together they oppose each other and want go away from each other (to the outside) and this could be why Stein style skiers look really good in bumps and not everywhere else and why they often look they they are skidding. Because they can't make both skis carve together, they HAVE to skid. Only Stein can carve like Stein! Just kidding but the point remains.
With a narrower stance (where both skis match in pure nuetral) the creation of the new turn and the flow of the Cm into the new turn can be easily and accurately accomplished in wider ranger snow conditions and speeds. Also, you are less likely in soft snow to bury your skis by over-weighting one, then to recover, the other. After you pick yourself up and think about the header you just did, you could reason that you want the G's of each turn to settle more on two skis (and not one at a time), and further that you should start the turn more on two skis which means you should release the previous turn from two skis which means you need both skis working together from simlilar edge angles all the time. Two-footed skiing is effective.
And, lastly, although it can be argued that a wide stance can facilitate a quicker edge change from to turn to turn, this move seems to be done more often from the outside ski to outside ski and because of this there is at least a moment and therefore a certain distance on the hill, when the skis can oppose each other. This moment can easiliy lead to instability especially in soft, steep or variable snow. Also, to get the CM to move into the turn in this manner oftentimes requires a push off the downhill ski onto the new turning edge of the new turn (more effort and complicated).
So... to add to this discussion, I am willing to go on record as saying that to ski well in varying conditions with a wide stance (too wide to allow the skis to work in unison in transition) can require more skill, more effort and can reduce one's ability to adapt. Therefore, I prefer a more nuetral stance which allows you to match edge angles easily and naturally in from turn to turn.
Well, take it at that and have at it!!
<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 14, 2002 11:59 PM: Message edited 1 time, by ESki ]</font>