[quote]Originally posted by Wigs:
[QB][quote]Originally posted by Learner:
[QB]The amount of counter should be about the same as the natural amount of tip lid created by the size of turn you are making, etc.
You hit the nail square on this topic, Learner. With the new equipment, one does not need to counter much, if at all. Wigs
FASTMAN: Please indulge my thoughts on this topic.
In terms of racing, to extract the most potential benefits the new tech skis have to offer we must create high edge angles. This allows us to tighten the turn radius, thus shortening the distance we travel and improving our times. The old straight skis did not allow us to as easily use these high edge angles because at slower speeds it was very difficult to get them that high on edge and still maintain balance. The lesser forces created as a result of the larger arc produced by a straight ski at similar edge angles did just not as easily allow for the inside CM movements necessary to obtain those angles. As a result more upright, over the skis positions were observed.
So how do we obtain those angles now? There are a few alternatives we can employ: inclination (straight body tilt), hip angulation, and knee angulation.
Inclination is observed being utilized on the world cup but only in limited situation. In downhill it is usefull. It helps counteract the great forces being created as a result of the high speeds obtained by moving CM well inside the skis. It also affords a very skelletally alligned body position which is the strongest possible position for resisting high forces. It also can occasionally be seen at turn initiation, a point in the turn in which high edge angles have yet to be developed and, though inclinated, little inside movement of the CM has occured.
But inclination has its limitations. It works in downhill because typically more subtle arcs are being created and thus edge angles are not quite as high as in tech events. If one attempted to obtain the angles observed in world cup GS utilizing inclination exclusively they would have their shoulder dragging on the snow, and the existing forces would not be nearly great enough to counteract that amount of inside CM. We are as such required to incorporate some form of angulation to move our CM closer to are skis.
In respect to knee angulation, there is a very limited range of motion in a purely lateral sence in the knee joint. To obtain the greatest angle of angulation we must employ rotation. This pulls the hip up over the skis and creates that teepee look in the lower legs. This is not a very strong position and does not put the CM in a position to resist the great forces created by shape skis. It worked fine for Ingamar on his straight skis, but not that great on the equipment we have today.
With hip angulation, as in knee angulation, a pure lateral flexion in the hip offers us little range of motion. To maximise angulation in the hip we must introduce counter rotation. By incorporating counter rotation into hip angulation positions with the hip almost touching the snow can be obtained along with very high edge angles. It deals with the balance issues associated with high edge angles that inclination simply can't.
How much counter, that depends on how high an edge your riding or plan to ride. It's a progressive thing, you don't go from flat edge to high edge instantly, it must be gradually developed, and as such so is counter gradually added. As more edge is desired more counter is added, counter is the means to the end. Some may think the term progressive may be a strech used in the context of a SL turn when the time from turn initiation to compleation is less than a second. Yes it does sound rather compressed, but for effecient technique it has to exist, and it is part of what seperates the good from the great.
One final note. You must understand the distinction between counter in the hip and counter in the upper torso. While counter in the hip is necessary for high edge angles, if you allow the upper torso to assume the same position of counter you may be suseptable to falling inside and/or into the back seat. The most balanced position is to drive the outside hand and shoulder down and forward as far as you can without affecting the counter in the hip or losing the edge angle. This position creates a distinctive "pinch" feeling in the waist that informs you your doing it.
Dawgcatching, I suspect this may be what your friends are seeing, the lack of seperation between the hip and the torso. Counter and high edge angles are not a bad thing, if your turns are clean and you are in balance. It allows you to ski lines and create arcs your friends riding lower angles can't. Nothing bad there. Counter with low edge angles, now that would be a different story. Or if you are allowing your outside shoulder to fall behind and it were affecting balance. It might be helpfull if you want to continue dialog here to provide us with the challenges and problems your present technique is presenting to you. So far you have just articulated those problems that occur when you attempt to alter your technique in accordance with the suggestions of your friends. Maybe it is simply a case of the old saying, "IF IT AINT BROKE, DON'T FIX IT!"