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Backseat cause of tail washout

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 

I see a lot of MA threads and advice threads where posters claim that being in the backseat causes the tails to washout.  I'm pretty sure this isn't the case.  Pressuring the tails causes them to grip; in fact, you can carve arc to arc on your tails.  Not that I would call it good skiing, but it can be done.  Tail washout is often a result of NOT pressuring the tails, ie. being too in the front of the boots, at least in my oppinion.

 

Again, I'm not trying to promote skiing from the backseat.  The best stance is a centered stance, and obviously there are times when you need to get foreward to stay centered, I'm just pointing out what I see as a common misconception on these boards.  Or maybe I'm way off base.

post #2 of 57

While being in the back seat and skis edges should cause them to grip,  they will not be turning much. this will generally cause the skier to "force" or rush a turn while releasing the edges causing the tail washout.

 

 

post #3 of 57
Thread Starter 

That isn't the way I often see it described though.  Most people cut out the middle part of your explanation and it becomes a butterfly effect type description, so the person asking for advice isn't allowed to really grasp the concept.

 

Also, I think the term tail-washout is misleading.  You're describing someone doing a lot of intentional skidding to bring the skis around, where as I think of tail-washout as an unintentinal skidding causing the skis to overturn and the skier to lose control, at least momentarily. 

post #4 of 57

If you are over pressuring the fronts of your boots and not giving the skis any input to turn other than to tip them on edge, they will turn and the tails will follow the front of the ski through the turn.

 

If you are way forward in the front of your boot, and give the ski any rotational input to try to get them to turn, yes the tails will not grab and you will get displacement of the tail from the path of the front of the ski.

 

post #5 of 57

I think it is common for physically strong technically bad skiers to only pressure the back of their skis. I agree that it is possible to carve using just the back of your skis, but what I see a lot of is people doing a swizzle type turn where their angulation is not correct and they just skid the back of their skis around with the tips not even touching the snow.  I call them "half price skiers" because if they paid more than 50% for their skis they got ripped off, since they are only using the back half.

post #6 of 57
Thread Starter 

But you aren't describing someone washing out their tails, you are describing someone making skidded turns.  If they were washing out the tails they would be overturning.  On the tails they understeer and turn less.  Yes, this often leads them to make a skidded turn to control speed, but that isn't tail washout as it is an intentional move.  Steering a ski with rotary movement does not mean the tails have to wash out uncontrolably.  In fact, I think it is more difficult to wash your tails out in that manner while you are on them.  

post #7 of 57

Pa, I agree with your observation/assessment. 

 

There's more skier input going on in tail toss/pivot/wash turns than just riding aft.  Many skiers ride their tails, and many toss the tails during turn initiation, but just because those two things co-exist does not necessarily mean one causes the other.  As you say, it's very possible to ski arc to arc in the back seat, without adding the rotary needed to wash/pivot the tails. 

 

Tail tossing as a default turn initiation is a sign of lacking edging skills.  It can happen from a fore or aft position.  So can a clean initiation.  The balance/edging connection is not that great.  In my teaching I want students to be able to execute any turn type, any type of edging application,  from any balance state. 

 

 

www.YourSkiCoach.com

post #8 of 57

If you've got good lateral alignment and a strong core, you can probably steer or even carve from the back seat.  As pitch &/or speed increase, this becomes correspondingly harder to execute.  This is a good recovery move to have, but you don't want to rely on this as "the way to ski."

 

If you get back, and your hip drops inside, you've lost the alignment support needed to work the tail of the ski, and that's when the tails wash out.  The correction in this case includes moving forward, but must also include correcting lateral alignment.

post #9 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher View Post

If you've got good lateral alignment and a strong core, you can probably steer or even carve from the back seat.  As pitch &/or speed increase, this becomes correspondingly harder to execute.  This is a good recovery move to have, but you don't want to rely on this as "the way to ski."

 

If you get back, and your hip drops inside, you've lost the alignment support needed to work the tail of the ski, and that's when the tails wash out.  The correction in this case includes moving forward, but must also include correcting lateral alignment.


It is important to understand what it means to "get back".  What consitutes "back" is probably one of the biggest misconceptions on this site.
 

post #10 of 57
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 


It is important to understand what it means to "get back".  What consitutes "back" is probably one of the biggest misconceptions on this site.
 


Enlighten us please.

post #11 of 57

PaSucks,

 

I agree with you that pressing the boot tongue causes the ski tail to washout, and the pivot point of the ski is from the tip of the ski.  Skiers who lean on the rear of the boot cuff are only able to guide the tip of the ski in an intended direction by displacing the tail of the ski away from them, also making the pivot point of the ski, around the tip area.

 

The first one is cause and effect where the second one is a cause and necessary (intentional) effect.  Even though the movement patterns, duration and where it occurs in the turn are quite different, the pivot point is the same.  Both are causes of pressure control, the first one is lack of tail pressure and the second one, lack to tip pressure.

 

So, does leaning back cause the tail of the ski to wash out?  It could because the tail of the ski is weighted (loaded) 90 degrees to the direction the tip of the ski is pointed, sence the ski is designed to move forward (toward the tip).

 

RW

post #12 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaSucks View Post

 


Enlighten us please.


Almost everyone is in the backseat some of the time, especially those who feel it necessary to move forward in order to pivot around the tips in a turn.
 

post #13 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 


It is important to understand what it means to "get back".  What consitutes "back" is probably one of the biggest misconceptions on this site.
 

 

I think of being back or in the backseat in simple terms:  when the centre of mass is behind the heels.

 

Whether it's a little bit or a lot back will influence how you will work on bringing the body forward, but making the initial assessment of "back" or "not back" is pretty straightforward. 
 

post #14 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher View Post

 

 

I think of being back or in the backseat in simple terms:  when the centre of mass is behind the heels.

 

Whether it's a little bit or a lot back will influence how you will work on bringing the body forward, but making the initial assessment of "back" or "not back" is pretty straightforward. 
 


Behind the heels is pretty far. How about behind a centered stance?
 

post #15 of 57

 Sounds like a lot of ugly and tiering skiing to me. I would think the time to pressure the tail of a ski is progressivly towards the end of the turn to keep the tail from washing out, a downward pressure with heal not pushing the tail out.Being in the backseat might , in a gross way , have the same effect but only if the skier moves there at the bottom of the turn , to be back at the top makes for tiered legs and ugly turns. If I'm wrong or out of place with my comments let me know , I can be a bit thick at times .

post #16 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin View Post

 


Behind the heels is pretty far. How about behind a centered stance?
 



 

That's where it starts, so that's another valid reference point. 

 

If you happen to be training GS racing, even a centred stance is farther back than you should be, so the reference point does need some context.

 

What I've found is that most people who are working on fore/aft balance don't just get a bit behind centre, they'll go to weight on the heels, and then weight behind the heels (especially when the pitch & speed increase), so I like to use "behind the heels" as a more visually obvious reference, especially in video analysis. 

post #17 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher View Post

 



 

That's where it starts, so that's another valid reference point. 

 

If you happen to be training GS racing, even a centred stance is farther back than you should be, so the reference point does need some context.

 

What I've found is that most people who are working on fore/aft balance don't just get a bit behind centre, they'll go to weight on the heels, and then weight behind the heels (especially when the pitch & speed increase), so I like to use "behind the heels" as a more visually obvious reference, especially in video analysis. 


Ahhh....now we are getting somewhere.
 

 

So you have noticed that in high end skiing...ie GS racing, increased speeds, increased pitches that your reference point of "behind the heels = being back" stuggles abit..ie "what you know to be good skiing, does not fit your frames of reference"...

 

So the question is....is the skiing wrong?...or is your understanding of fore/aft wrong?.....or is your understanding of fore/aft right somtimes, but wrong others?

 

When do you use which?  How do you know?  What is going on?  There seems to be a crucial piece of the puzzle missing from your model....perhaps it is not as straight forward s you think..


Edited by Skidude72 - 5/5/2009 at 12:47 am GMT


Edited by Skidude72 - 5/5/2009 at 02:43 am GMT


Edited by Skidude72 - 5/5/2009 at 02:44 am GMT


Edited by Skidude72 - 5/5/2009 at 02:45 am GMT


Edited by Skidude72 - 5/5/2009 at 02:46 am GMT
post #18 of 57
Thread Starter 

A lot of people seem to consider "tail washout" and skidding one and the same.  I agree that tail washout is obviously skidding, but not all skidding involves tail washout.  As some have eluded to above, tail wash involves skidding, as well as a foreward pivot point, and, in my oppinion, a loss of control ranging from momentary to complete.

 

 

post #19 of 57


Quote:

Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 


Ahhh....now we are getting somewhere.
 

 

So you have noticed that in high end skiing...ie GS racing, increased speeds, increased pitches that your reference point of "behind the heels = being back" stuggles abit..ie "what you know to be good skiing, does not fit your frames of reference"...

 


 

 

Almost....

 

The "optimal"  fore/aft alignment varies depending on conditions and speed, and what that also means is that the point at which you would say someone starts getting back varies as well.  However, for the skiers who need work in this area, what starts as a little bit back invariably gets way back pretty quickly, so I look for the examples described as "back behind the heels" to get the point across more easily.  It's a kind of worst case example that is very evident in video analysis.  I can keep it simple by pointing out, "look, you're way back here & here & here, so let's try a couple of things to get you on the front of your skis."  For my analysis, I'm paying attention to when/where/why they start sliding into the back seat, but I don't normally go through all of that with the skier in question.

 

The proficient skiers who have a good sense of fore/aft balance will slide back a little once in a while, but they rarely get way back, and it's also rare that they don't recover to a strong forward position.  It might take a turn or two, or a gate or two, but they get where they should be.  So, for skiers at this level, I could pick out points in a few turns where they are nominally "back," but I don't necessarily bother mentioning this, because they know what happened, and can self-correct.  If a pattern emerges, I might look a bit more closely.

 

post #20 of 57

PaSucks,

 

Correct me if i am wrong, but I think of back seat as leaning on the back of the boot (skier almost in a sitting position), which is much different from a neutral stance while pressuring the tail of the ski by flexing the ankle.  Leaning back uses no active pressure control and the body is out of alignment with the feet, where a neutral stance using ankle flex is active pressure control and there is still alignment of the hips over the middle of the foot.

 

RW

post #21 of 57

"Correct me if i am wrong, but I think of back seat as leaning on the back of the boot (skier almost in a sitting position), which is much different from a neutral stance while pressuring the tail of the ski by flexing the ankle.  Leaning back uses no active pressure control and the body is out of alignment with the feet, where a neutral stance using ankle flex is active pressure control and there is still alignment of the hips over the middle of the foot."

 

RW

 

Thanks  for that discription, it's what I was trying to discribe in my own fumbling way.

post #22 of 57

Maybe.....

 

You all seem to be glossing over the key points.

 

You all seem to be of the impression that if a skiers hips are behind the feet (ie, if you drew a line perpendicular to the skis, lets say from the arch of the foot up, and the hips where behind that line, and shoulders just on it) ....that the skier would be in an undesireable fore/aft balance position....

 

Not true.

 

Well not true for high end skiing anyway.

post #23 of 57

Is the red line in these images close to what you are describing, Skidude?

 

(Click on image, then select "original image" to view full size)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #24 of 57

 

Bingo.

 

 

Many L1 and L2 instructors forget that many of the visual cues they are given to conduct their own D&C's are models that are simplified versions of reality. 

 

The most common assumption that Examiners make for their junior instructors is the skiing can viewed in 2D.  This greatly simplfies fore/aft balance assessements especially.  This for the most part is a valid assumption, for beginner to intermediate skiers, skiing on groomed terrain, of moderate pitch at moderate speed, with moderate levels of performance.  And since this is the teaching environment that many instructors find themselves 95% of the time, it is an simplfying assumption that is made regularly and without much consequence.

 

However instructors who do not realise this assumption is there, fall down when they try to apply this simplified view of fore/aft balance to advanced, or indeed expert skiing.  In these cases the 2D assumption no longer holds true and skiing must be viewed in the 3D realm.  This has profound implications on fore/aft balance.  Moguls, crud, powder and even performance skiing on perfectly groomed terrain is not immune as the virtual bump becomes very real.

 

Cgeib's illustrations are is just one great example of this....

 

When looking at skiing in 3D fore/aft assements largley needs to be looking to see that the COM is supported by the BOS.  Where it gets confusing is understanding that the resultant forces with the third dimension will sometimes mean that the skiers COM will need to be behind the BOS to actually be in balance.  The bottom portion of a turn in a GS race course is a another great example. 

 

Hence that "red line" cannot be simply drawn vertical, nor can it simply be perpendicular to the skis, it needs to reflect the resultant of all the forces acting on the skier.  Hence why you can shots like the last image in this sequence that may at first "appear back" but in reality the skier is in perfect fore/aft balance.

 

http://www.ronlemaster.com/images/2005-2006/slides/rocca-aare-2006-team-sl-web.html

 

Tons of other great examples out there...just look at the Sayto vid in Weem's "what do you think of these turns thread" or just about any other expert skiing vid


Edited by Skidude72 - 5/6/2009 at 03:18 am GMT
post #25 of 57

Would we talking about the tail swishers - here? you know those guys who think skiing parallel means locking skis together, with boots touching. Then violently pivoting the heels. Their upper body seems to turn like a worm. Quite often the result is washing out of the tails due to pivoting from the heels, and on steep terrain often having the backs of the skis over rotated until the tails are directly in the fall line.

 

There can't possibly be any edging, as one leg blocks the other because it is too close to allow any angulation or tilting of the ski, and the skis either have to skid or be essentially flat.

 

in a lesson you can easily show them, the lack of edging in their skiing with skating moves, they can't balance on an edge or set an edge as a platform to push off.

 

 

 

post #26 of 57

Good post by skidude.  I'll also add that when good skiers ski dynamically, they also may play with their fore/aft balance, altering it during different phases of the turn to produce specific performance enhancements.  They're not necessarily skiing around in perfect fore/aft neutral all the time.  This is one reason it's so important to learn to perform in multiple states of balance, and be able to change those states at the drop of a hat, when ever desire or demands calls.  

 

The backseat issue in recreational skiers is real,,, it's very common.  It has nothing to do with the aft states good skiers use intentionally when skiing dynamically.  It's about the lesser skilled skier who rides there as a default position.  It's pretty easy to see, and it definately needs to be addressed. 

 

Teach them how to stand up, how to feel the pressure on the bottom of their feet, then how to move that pressure around.  Once you get them standing in a good athletic stance, with neutral fore/aft balance, edging can be more easily tackled, and the pesky pivot so many skiers are plaqued with can be dealt with. 

 

 

www.YourSkiCoach.com

post #27 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 

However instructors who do not realise this assumption is there, fall down when they try to apply this simplified view of fore/aft balance to advanced, or indeed expert skiing.  In these cases the 2D assumption no longer holds true and skiing must be viewed in the 3D realm.  This has profound implications on fore/aft balance.  Moguls, crud, powder and even performance skiing on perfectly groomed terrain is not immune as the virtual bump becomes very real.

 

When looking at skiing in 3D fore/aft assements largley needs to be looking to see that the COM is supported by the BOS.  Where it gets confusing is understanding that the resultant forces with the third dimension will sometimes mean that the skiers COM will need to be behind the BOS to actually be in balance.  The bottom portion of a turn in a GS race course is a another great example. 

 

 

Good point about 3D analysis, but I still find it useful to focus on 2D at a time, even for advanced skiers.  First & foremost, I watch the fore/aft plane, then the lateral plane, then the rotational plane.  Kind of like pitch, roll & yaw in aviation or nautical fields:  they all matter to the complete system, but it is sometimes more effective to work on one at a time. 

 

Not sure about CoM behind BoS though: CoM will certainly come inside BoS in the lateral plane in a high performance turn, but I still expect to see CoM over BoS in the fore/aft plane. 

post #28 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Maybe.....

 

You all seem to be glossing over the key points.

 

You all seem to be of the impression that if a skiers hips are behind the feet (ie, if you drew a line perpendicular to the skis, lets say from the arch of the foot up, and the hips where behind that line, and shoulders just on it) ....that the skier would be in an undesireable fore/aft balance position....

 

Not true.

 

Well not true for high end skiing anyway.

 

Is your key point here to look at the whole body position (and contribution of hip, knee and ankle joints)?   I'm with you on that one (but I'd still like to see the shoulders a bit forward of the line)

 

post #29 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher View Post

 

 

 

 but I still expect to see CoM over BoS in the fore/aft plane. 


Ya, you mentioned that above which is what trigged me to this whole thread.  You need to review this theory, as I assure you it is not correct.  Just look at lots of vid of great skiing, you will see this is not the case, it most common in the bottom of turns as skiers anticpate the effects of the virtual bump.  Also you will see this in off-piste terrain as skiers adjust for the various conditions/terrain features, etc.....

 

In good skiing, the fore/aft balance (ie relationship between COM and BOS) changes through out the turn
 


Edited by Skidude72 - 5/6/2009 at 11:56 pm GMT
post #30 of 57

skidude72,

 

Quote:

You all seem to be glossing over the key points.

 

You all seem to be of the impression that if a skiers hips are behind the feet (ie, if you drew a line perpendicular to the skis, lets say from the arch of the foot up, and the hips where behind that line, and shoulders just on it) ....that the skier would be in an undesireable fore/aft balance position....

 

Not true.

 

Well not true for high end skiing anyway.

 

My Question to PaSucks was if he is referring to backseat skiers as those who are almost always leaning back and Z-turning, or those that use active pressure control to engage the ski tails as in the high end skiing you re referring to. 

 

I am still waiting for this clarification.  I don't think anyone here is saying that utilizing the ski tails, or at times, getting the hips behind the feet is bad if it is done dynamically.  It is the static position of leaning back (or forward) that we are trying to get clarified in PaSucks first post.  How many still shots do you see where it appears that a skier is siting back?  That doesn't tell the whole picture of dynamic skiing.

 

RW

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