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Transition-trouble getting to the front of boot

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
At the end of aggressive carved turns, especially in GS, I find myself drifing toward the tail of the ski toward the end of the turn (which is okay) but unable to get back on the front of the boot during the transition (not okay).

During the turn, I am flexing my inside leg while maintaining a straight outside leg, which is creating a strong angulated position. As the turn progresses, I am moving toward the tail, which brings me out of my carve and allows me to generate speed from the tail. It is at this moment I want to initiate the new turn, 1) partially by relaxing my downhill leg to end the old turn and start the new one (get my CM moving downhill) and 2) partially by getting to the front of the boot (so I can initially bend the tip of the ski and tighten up the turn initially). I feel that I am only doing #1 well. I am relaxing the downhill leg and transferring weight, sending my CM down the fall line as a result, and generating edge angle early in the turn. Unfortunately, I feel that I am still somewhat riding the tail of the ski at the beginning of the new turn. This results in a turn that is determined only by the angulation I set up, not by fine-tuning the arc by pressuring the tip/tail as needed.

During the transition, how can I get my hips forward to the front of the boot for the start of the next turn? What should I be doing as I come out of my old turn, with respect to my fore/aft position on the ski? Right now, it feels like my body is simply laterally from the inside of the old turn to the inside of the new turn-I need to move forward somewhat (I assume). Any drills or cues that I should be looking for will be helpful.
post #2 of 21
You need to extend the uphill leg as well. See FastMan's thread on inside leg extesion.
Also there is a great article in The Professional Skier on this very thing. If you move laterally and not forward at the same time you end up in the backseat. Straightening that leg brings the hip forward.
This has been a "thing" with me for the last few years. One of the drills I use is to set jumping poles half way between gates. This causes them to jump and bring the hips forward. If you think that WC skiers don't move like this, watch some video one frame at a time. Most of my kids are amazed at how much the hips go "up".(and how forward they ski)
post #3 of 21
The key to really getting in the front seat is to extend the inside leg in the last third of the turn. Not just any extension but he right extension. You flex the lower leg and extend the upper leg at the same time. In other words, you dosiflex the ankle and open the knee. This keeps contact with the boot tongues and moves the hip forward as the knee opens.

Practice this extension without shoes or socks on where you can see you're legs. I have talked to plenty of people who say they extend this way but not one of them could even make the movement without shoes and socks on. They all lifted the heel and transfered weight to the ball of the foot with forward hip extension. The idea here is to extend without changing the pressure under you're foot. The only way to maintain equal foot pressure throughout a forward hip extension is active dorsiflexsion. This move is never made in normal everyday human existance and most people cannot do it without trying for the better part of an hour first. Better have something to catch yourself on when you get it the first time because you're going forward fast right over your feet.

At the middle of you're turn you flex the upper leg in reverse to the last part of the turn. This whole upper leg flex and extension is nothing more than Bob Barne's backpeddling thing in bumps throughout all our skiing. If you have his book look at the description for bumps and you will notice how the lower leg maintains the same angle all the time but the upper leg extends and flexes. Bob has eluded to this with his argument for concrete boots that don't flex. That is how we should ski all the time. As soon as you push down on the ball of you're foot you are headed for the back seat and this includes pushing the shins into the fronts of the boots while pushing down on the ball of the foot (planterflexing).

So remember, when we walk, we planterflex and lift the heel. When we ski and planterflex, the heel stays put and our body heads into the dumper. What I am suggesting is opposite of walking.

This extension method keeps the feet right over the sweet spot throughout transition. There is little change in forward cuff pressure or fore aft pressure at the ski and little need for weight transfer.
post #4 of 21
A friend of mine's turn initiation mantra is that you want to be as tall as possible by the time you're facing downhill. As Slatz says, while you're relaxing the old outside leg, you need to be getting tall with the new one. My friend's "boot sense" is that he's standing up on the front of the ball of the new outside foot, not the arch side of the ball. His prescription for avoiding the back seat is developing a feel for true centering by doing a bunch of the W-style falling leaf exercises and then turning them into sequential 360's on the snow. Makes me dizzy.
post #5 of 21
dang it Pierre, you're too good at describing that stuff accurately
post #6 of 21
Dawg:
Try pulling back the new inside foot after extending on the uphill leg. That helps getting out from the back seat and on top of your new outside ski. It also makes it easier to roll the new inside ski up.
post #7 of 21
DC-
According to your description, I have two thoughts for you.

First thought-
You mention that during the turn you are "maintaining a straight outside leg". If this is true, then the lack of a slightly flexed leg and corresponding knee angulation will likely put you in the back seat as the energy develops and increases in the final phase of the turn. It is also likely that the lack of knee angulation will cause your CM to be a little too far toward the inside of the turn. It is critical that you be balanced "on" the edge, not "against" it.

Second thought-
Again relative to your "straight leg", if your CM is a little far inside, it will take a greater movement than a simple relaxation/release to effect the movement of the CM into the new turn. One of the more common mistakes we see in beginning, novice, or even intermediate racers is a late transition of the CM into the new turn. If you are inside and you get to the point where the ski is about to stop turning, and you have yet to make any move toward the new turn, the only options you have are to move almost purely laterally (mentioned in another post)which will undoubtedly leave you in the back seat, or to rise vertically. The later your CM transitions to the new turn, the further back you will be. Another common problem is not allowing the ski to continue along it's arc during the initial release of the CM from the previous turn. The moment Cp is terminated, so is Cf. Therefore, there is no energy available to assist the CM in transitioning from one turn to the next.
It sounds as if you already have some idea of harnessing Cf to assist in your transition. Remember that Cf is a tangental force, so you must accurately anticipate when your CM will be moving in the direction you want it to go during the transition. By anticipating that moment, you can then have a more accurate and relaxed release to the new turn.

:
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:
[QB] You flex the lower leg and extend the upper leg at the same time. In other words, you dosiflex the ankle and open the knee. This keeps contact with the boot tongues and moves the hip forward as the knee opens. QB]
Can you elaborate on the definition of active dorsiflexion? Is this moving up and down with your hips while the ankle stays at approximately the same angle? When you are walking, you extend the ankle, so I am assuming the opposite would be to keep a relatively flexed ankle-is this it? Is this similiar to the movement of doing squats correctly-the knee stays in a relatively static position and does not move fore/aft, while the hips and butt move down and toward the rear, keeping you balanced over your whole foot? If I am standing with 1 foot and trying this, what should I be feeling? As I rise, weight is over the entire foot, ankle stays static or flexes a bit while the knee opens up?
post #9 of 21
Yeah I am interested too.

I always thought that active dorsiflexion is actively bending your ankle upwards.

[ January 07, 2004, 12:56 PM: Message edited by: Scalce ]
post #10 of 21
For a definition of dorsiflexion, see here. In short, dorsiflexion is drawing the toes towards the shin:

Quote:
Now think of a rod going straight through the ankle from one side to the next, this is the axis, and the plane of motion is considered sagittal plane motion. If the foot is lifted upward and rotated along this axis the motion is termed dorsiflexion since dorsal means top. Plantarflexion is where the foot is rotated downward along this axis since plantar means bottom in a sense.
What I envisioned when I read Pierre's post is that I dorsiflex my ankle (create a deeper flex there) while straightening my knee joint. This would force my hips forward with respect to my feet, since my knee moves forward with the dorsiflexion and the hips move forward with the straightening of the knee.

Did I get this right, Pierre? I hope so; I've been practicing it! Nearly fell on my face last night...

[ January 07, 2004, 02:43 PM: Message edited by: ssh ]
post #11 of 21
Dawgcatching, you and ssh have got it pretty well right. ssh I am not suprised that you nearly went on you're face. Its a very powerful way of getting forward while staying over the sweet spot. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #12 of 21
So it's almost like leaning forward but staying upright sticking your hips out?

Are your toes off the ground when practicing this?

Sound like it may help me since moving my hip into the carve has helped me alot.
post #13 of 21
Biowolf made a very good observation that may have seemed like over simplification, but was a very good arguement. Often a skier will lead with the inside foot into the next turn. While you want to lead with your inside knee, as not to A-frame, you do not want to move the inside foot forward in any part of the turn. Often this happens and it creates a scissor effect, which results in weighting the inside ski and/or moving the skier into the back seat.

My advice is to keeping your knees apart and moving into the next turn without closing your stance, or leading the inside ski into the next turn. If you roll your knees into the turn, you will actually pull your upperbody over your skis as you initiate the turn. This in not so many words is what Pierre is saying to do - i think (my scan of your post could have been more thourough Pierre). He is saying to extend your leg in transition, but to pull it in, so that you flex into the tounge of the boot. At this point you are all set to drive that leg into the next turn, and maintain your straight outside leg - this time you will be directly over your skis sweet spot.

One thing to note - do not stand up straight in the middle of the turn. This will not always move you forward - it can in fact move you further back if it is not done properly. Also it is poor racing technique because it slows you down a lot in the transition, and typically puts you into the back seat on steeps. What has been descibed above is a way to pull yourself forward by using your turn initiation. Because the initiating and the forward movemtn go hand in hand, you will always be in the correct place in your turn.

Later

GREG
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
When we extend the inside leg at the end of the old turn, aren't we close to that "uphill stem" move that is quite maligned on this board? What is the difference between the uphill stem and extending the inside leg to move the hips up and over the skis to start the crossover?

When I worked on extending the inside leg today-I felt my hips move up and over the skis, weight come off the old outside ski, my new outside leg became straight and powerful, I was set up into a high angle position early in the turn, and my hips felt forward and in position. I was trying to gradually make the move throughout the turn-I felt like the end of the old turn saw my old inside leg getting longer, my new inside leg getting shorter-this continued until the apex of the turn, where the sequence ended and started back the other direction. My foot action felt as though I was very slowly pedaling a bicycle-the feet were never static. Also, at the end of the old turn (during the old inside leg extension) I felt a very strong sensation of my hips initially moving over my skis and then continuing down the fall line-when they were over my skis, it seemed to give me a sense that I could recover from the last turn if I was out of position, whereas before I was getting thown in the back seat and catapulted from turn to turn, unable to recover. It seems that I can control the rate of the inside leg extension to the duration I want my hips centered over my skis, depending on the situation. Am I feeling the right sensations?

My other question-I am assuming this won't work in deep snow, as I have very little platform to extend from, unlike on groomed snow. My legs would need to be closer together, while it seems that this technique is more more suited to a bit wider carving stance. How can I make the same move in variable conditons (albeit more subtly) to achieve the same forward and re-centering hip motion?
post #15 of 21
Dawgcatching it sounds like you may still be going through the neutral point with to much tip lead on the new outside ski. That movement of the old inside leg and hip is almost straight forward and the femurs just roll you up to neutral If you allow this to happen and allow both feet to seek equality with the ski tips even you're new edges will be much more powerful at the top of you're turn. You seek neutral by dorsiflexing both ankles equally.

As you initiate the new turn just dorsiflex the new inside ski ankle more, right tip to go right, left tip to go left and allow you're hips to begin counter to the outside of the turn and begin angulation right from turn initiation.

Powder? since you're feet remain even over the sweet spot as you extend and move forward the tips do not dive in powder. Since the pressure on the boot tongues does not change much, the ski does not change much and the conditions underfoot suddenly do not matter and neither does the stance width. You can go from crud to ice and back to crud without much notice.

All of the stuff that I have been talking about here is the stuff that turned my skiing world and understanding upside down at the end of last season. It took me all summer and fall to put it back together in my mind. Good offensive skiing seems so much simpler and achieveable now.

[ January 08, 2004, 04:23 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:
That movement of the old inside leg and hip is almost straight forward and the femurs just roll you up to neutral If you allow this to happen and allow both feet to seek equality with the ski tips even you're new edges will be much more powerful at the top of you're turn. You seek neutral by dorsiflexing both ankles equally.

As you initiate the new turn just dorsiflex the new inside ski ankle more, right tip to go right, left tip to go left and allow you're hips to begin counter to the outside of the turn and begin angulation right from turn initiation.

Pierre

A few days ago I posted here about a good experience I had over the holidays. I can relate well to this discussion because this subject was the main focus of my lesson New years Day and the instructor explained these movements much the same as you have. Hence, I have a few comments:

1. This is not a movement that was natural to me. It took, and is still taking, some practice to seek neutral with my ankles evenly flexed with my knees mostly unflexed. I think that when most people flex their ankles, they naturally flex their knees as well.

2. The movement of dorsiflexing the inside ankle is subtle as opposed to a forced or "big" movement. When I perform it in a subtle manner, I get the smoothest turns that I've ever made. When I force this or make a big movement, I get too much tip lead and end up in the back seat.

3. The thought of riding a straight, strong outside leg causes me problems and puts me in the back seat. This locks me into the turn and makes it difficult for me to get back to neutral and inhibits the initiation of my next turn.

4. The thought of the outside leg being flexed at the ankle and slightly flexed at the knee, but solid and strong works much better for me.

5. Concious extension of the inside leg seems to be unnecessary if these movements are done correctly. It just seems to occur on its own. When I do conciously extend the inside leg, I unflex my inside ankle and it seems to set off all the incorrect movements that I'm striving to correct.

I hope this makes sense and I'm on the right track.
post #17 of 21
Coach everything you have said is pretty much right on.

The addition that I might make is that an active extension that projects the old inside hip into the turn finish will provide a very strong finish across the fall line and provide some built in anticipation to bring you up to neutral strong. What that means to counter is that hip counter is maintained nearly to neutral while the upper body more or less starts to follow the skis in the finsih. The result is the twisted counter you see in racers where the hips are countered more than the shoulders. You will feel the power difference if done right.

[ January 08, 2004, 05:30 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:
Coach everything you have said is pretty much right on.

The addition that I might make is that an active extension that projects the old inside hip into the turn finish will provide a very strong finish across the fall line and provide some built in anticipation to bring you up to neutral strong. What that means to counter is that hip counter is maintained nearly to neutral while the upper body more or less starts to follow the skis in the finsih. The result is the twisted counter you see in racers where the hips are countered more than the shoulders. You will feel the power difference if done right.
Thanks, I'll put some effort into this as well and will probably have some followup questions. The trick now is for me to get to the point where these movements are automatic rather than pre-planned. Obviously, this will take time and reps. As I've said before, this has made a major improvement in my skiing. If I can maintain it, make it second nature, and move forward, I may just learn this sport after all. [img]smile.gif[/img] Thanks again for your time.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:

The addition that I might make is that an active extension that projects the old inside hip into the turn finish will provide a very strong finish across the fall line and provide some built in anticipation to bring you up to neutral strong. What that means to counter is that hip counter is maintained nearly to neutral while the upper body more or less starts to follow the skis in the finsih. The result is the twisted counter you see in racers where the hips are countered more than the shoulders. You will feel the power difference if done right.
Pierre

Do you have any tips as to what I need to do (or feel) to make this occur? I tried to do this last night but just couldn't seem to make it happen. I think I understand what you suggested I do at the end of the turn, but I'm kinda at a loss as to how to make it occur. Thanks.
post #20 of 21
Coach:
Quote:
Do you have any tips as to what I need to do (or feel) to make this occur? I tried to do this last night but just couldn't seem to make it happen. I think I understand what you suggested I do at the end of the turn, but I'm kinda at a loss as to how to make it occur. Thanks.
If you can't do it yet don't sweat it. 99.5% of all skiers don't get there. The movements start at the point of full pressure on the skis from the apex of the turn. Those movement transfer the rebound into a powerful finish to the turn. The feeling is of two footed G force power right through the turn transition. You will feel like you're extension movements are in harmony with the rebound energy. You get it right and you will know you have it right, you won't miss the feeling.

In order to get this last part, the turn transition must be very efficient and very close to neutral. The balance and power gained at the turn transition is necessary to be in a real balanced power postition at the apex of the turn. Then you can effectively extend the inside leg, project the inside hip into the turn finish and still get back to neutral. If you start too late in the turn, much of the power goes to an upward lateral movement instead of a forward lateral movement. Don't confuse this upward lateral movement with the normal extension off both feet know as popping up or up-unweighting. The movements are still different.
post #21 of 21
Pierre

Thanks for the reply. I won't sweat it, but I'll still try to get there when I'm practicing. I'm kind of stubborn when it comes to things I haven't been able do well yet. [img]smile.gif[/img]
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