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# Balance: ankle & boot bits - Page 7

bob b,

terrific explanation. thanks. i'm actually a good bump skier and i'm well aware of the bicycle-like leg movements you describe. however, i disagree that one must or even should maintain the ankles in a neutral position throughout the absorption.

try crouching low while standing still, in the liftline for example. in that situation, which would seem analogous to positions F or G in your diagram, i think you have to flex the ankles to keep your skis under you and to stay in balance. otherwise, you are in the backseat and out of balance.

this is the way it works for me, but everyone's anatomy is a little different.
BobBarnes: Yes! But here we seem to be in a very small minority, David
DM: Yes, but we sure are in darn good company! [img]smile.gif[/img]
I agree with BobBarnes views.

A stiff boot cuff gives us something to help us get back over our skis when we have been disrupted by a strong external force.

I view the stiff structure around my leg as a reference that helps me align the efforts of my body movements through my feet to the snow surface. This reference defines the territory within my normal movements occur. And when the forces of skiing try to move me outside that territory it helps me to recover.
Quote:
 Originally posted by Wear the fox hat: I haven't time to go through the complete thread, but I'm just wondering if anyone has heard of Newtonian physics? Perhaps it doesn't apply in this instance! I believe Sir Isaac said somethng to the effect that: A body will remain at rest unless forces act upon it. Equally, a body will remain in motion unless forces act upon it. Thus, when walking, running, skiing, falling, or making any kind of movement which does not consist purely of a vertical compnent, then there must be horizontal components involved. Now, if there is a change in speed or direction (i.e. an acceleration, whether positive or negative), then there must be an associated change in horizontal force (unless you have no mass, in which case the force will be zero), based on F=ma, where F is the force, m is the mass, and a is the acceleration. Now, if we do not have changes in velocity, i.e. both speed an direction remain truely constant, then we have reached a state where the resultant horizontal forces is zero. I don't believe I have ever achieved that while moving, apart from for infinitessimal periods of time. Certainly, in Static Balance, the resultant of all the horizontal forces acting on us is zero, but in Dynamic Balance, that is not necessarily the case. Even in human Static Balance, when it is taken at a universal level, there are a multitude of Dynamic forces acting on us, relating to gravitational pulls from the various objects in the universe, (which is related to the mass of the objects in question, and their distance apart). Down at an atomic level, we also have dynamic forces acting on us as the particles of Nitrogen, Oxygen, etc in the air bombard our bodies (remember the smoke cell experiment to show Brownian motion?) So, if the comment that there are no horizontal forces in balance were true, then dynamic balance would be impossible, Newton, Einstein and a few others would be wrong, and we would be in a state of perpetual motion. Perhaps I am wrong, because I am not a rocket scientist, and this stuff is rocket science. Please, correct me. S
WTFH

You are correct in your observations.

Dynamic "balance" or stability is a series of small reactions and adjustments.
By "small", I mean within ones strength and comfort ability to compensate and maintain the desired trajectory.

The bombardment of the air from all sides poses no problems at a walking pace. At 400 kilometers per second at sea level, It will tear you apart. In this example, the horizintal component is termed DRAG.

CalG
Thank you Cal, (and LM),
So, it is safe to say that the premise about there being no horizontal forces in dynamic balance is incorrect.

As a fully paid up member of the human race, I can say that I am not designed to stay static, but that I am designed for dynamic situations (if I was meant to remain static, I wouldn't need any joints, or muscles).

So, if I am designed for dynamics, then surely dynamic balance is more important than static balance, and thus, horizontal forces MUST be considered when examining human activities, whether it is crawling out of the pub, walking to the booth with a tray of beer, running to the bar when the owner calls for last orders, or skiing down from the pub at midstation when it's pitch black.

Perhaps, in the light of this, the comments made by my more learned friends should be revisited and re-assessed.

S
Quote:
 Originally posted by Ric B:Mosh's qoute here sums it up for me, "It is hard to find expertise about how the body works and how it applies to skiing in our industry. I have been looking for years." In my personal world of where I live, teach, and train, I would have waited an eternity to have this journey. I've found bits and pieces, but the big picture has been conspicuosly absent. I'm interested in this and hungry for more. What can I say.
Ric,

What details are you seeking? My primary gripe with David is that he goes into details that are irrelevant, for all intents related to understanding how we ski. He's like the micromanager who must mess with every detail even if the detail tampering derails the goal! :

On a macro scale, the body works in a much simpler fashion than David would have us think. I could baffle David with cell and molecular biology on muscle contraction, nerve impulse transmission etc., but that stuff is irrelevant for our purposes.

Balance is a combination of visual inputs from reading the terrain, sensory inputs from feeling the terrain, and a combination of learned (almost automatic) responses AND conscious responses. Practice increases the learned responses and frees the skier to focus more on reading and feeling the terrain, and making the conscious micro-adjustments.

Muscles contract and relax depending on what your brain processess -- your learned responses and your conscious responses answer the visual and sensory inputs. NOTHING is natural to humans, we have to learn to stand, to walk, etc. To the extent David says walking barefoot is natural and skiing encased in ski boots is unnatural, he's overglossing. NONE of our activities requiring coordinated body movements are "natural." They become naturalized through practice. The practice includes what I described above.

I am willing to bet that you already understand how the body works w/r/t skiing, Ric. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

People like David would have you think it needs to be much more complex than our present understanding. As one who received a BS in biology in a VERY rigorous program emphasizing human anat/phys and its foundations, I can tell you lots more detail -- but it DOES NOT help understand how we ski. This is why I called David a charlatan. He's throwing unnecessary detail into the mix. Read his posts -- too many syllables, too much unnecessary information, all of which sounds like someone trying to con the uninitiated with a heap of jargon. :

PHOOEY!
A physical therapist friend of mine advised me recently that the human mechanism always has an alternate system willing to take over for a failing in the primary system.

Quads making up for hams,etc. all that stuff.

We could learn to do a lot of things may different ways.

Flat feet must be a real bummer.

CalG
Quote:
Well, I'll try, Lisamarie! Fox's question is a great one. Unfortunately, it's a little like asking "can someone please explain physics for me"! As Fox says, "it's rocket science," and I'm not a rocket scientist either. If we're lucky, PhysicsMan himself may find time to jump in here. Meanwhile, I'll do my best.

Fox--your observation is entirely correct, but as Einstein said, Newton's physics, while not wrong, need supplementation to explain things like "centrifugal force," a force that "does not exist" in some analysis, but that we skiers can certainly vouch for!

Centrifugal force is that very obvious force we feel and react to, pulling us sideways, out of the turn. It increases with speed and with decreasing turn radius, and in many turns it is the primary force we deal with for balance. (Gravity is the other main force we must add to the balance equation.)

Yet, by Newton's laws, centrifugal force does not exist! Newton says (correctly, of course) that if we are TURNING (turns are a form of changing motion, or acceleration), then the combination of all forces acting on us is pulling/pushing us INTO the turn. Yet we feel "centrifugal force" pulling us OUT of the turn. And we clearly balance against its pull by leaning INTO the turn. How can this be?

The answer lies in understanding the relativity of motion--things move only in relation to other things, and there is no such thing as "pure motion." In other words, when we say we're driving "west at 60 mph," we have to recognize that that is a very relative speed and direction. It's 60 mph relative to the surface of the earth, but we're travelling a very different speed and direction around the sun, and another speed and direction around the earth's axis as it rotates to the east. Even so, the person asleep in the passenger seat isn't moving at all!

How can this be? We discussed this exact point recently in another thread, appropriately entitled,: The Paradox of Skiing. It's a question of perspective. From your perspective ("frame of reference") in the car, you and your passenger are sitting still, not moving. In that case, according to Newton's Laws, there must be no "net force" acting on you--you are "a body at rest." You are at "equilibrium"--you are IN BALANCE. Centrifugal force pulls you sideways when the car goes around a curve, and you feel the car (seat/door/whatever) pushing you the other way with the same ("equal and opposite") force. The combination of forces "net force") equals zero, and you remain right that there, unmoving, in your seat.

An observer at the roadside would have an entirely different awareness of the situation. From his perspective, you are NOT sitting still in one place--you are travelling around a curve, at 60 mph! From his perspective, of course, you are NOT at "equilibrium"--there is a significant net force acting on you, pushing you around that curve, and you are therefore NOT "in balance." But his perspective is NOT yours, is it? The one that matters to YOU is YOUR frame of reference, in which you are sitting still and your passenger is asleep, motionless! From the bystander's perspective, at one moment you are "over there," and at another, you are somewhere else. From your perspective, you are ALWAYS "right here."

So, back to Fox's question.... From the bystander's frame of reference, the skier making turns (direction changes) down the hill is NOT in equilibrium/balance--there are non-zero net forces acting almost constantly, from constantly changing directions, constantly altering the skier's path. From the skier's perspective, though, he is always "right here," and to remain that way, he must remain in balance--at equilibrium. If he is in "balance," then there is NO NET FORCE--"horizontal" or otherwise--acting on him! Centrifugal force, gravity, and the forces of the snow and wind pushing on him all combine to equal exactly ZERO. From his perspective ONLY, the skier is in "dynamic balance."

(And Centrifugal Force, from his perspective, is VERY real!)

Here's another possible way to look at the "horizontal forces" thing. Again, from your perspective, you are in "dynamic balance," and you "job" is to keep it that way, in order to avoid falling down. When you stand on two feet, you can literally PUSH yourself left and right by pressing on one foot or the other. If you plant a pole to the side, you can push sideways even harder. And if you use those long skis and stiff boots, you can push yourself forward and back as well. There are many "horizontal forces" you can introduce, pushing your body (center of mass) laterally and fore-aft, and helping to recover when knocked off balance, and providing a large stable platform when standing still (static balance). Now imagine riding a bicycle, or better yet, a unicycle. Imagine standing still. From that one-point unicycle stance, you can NOT push yourself sideways. If you aren't in balance, you fall over. When moving, to make a turn, you cannot just "transfer your weight" and push yourself sideways in the new direction (you could if you had poles, but you don't). Your balance depends entirely on the relationship between your center of mass and the point of contact of the wheel. Being in balance requires "leaning forward" of the wheel when gaining speed, "leaning back" when braking, and leaning precisely the right amount into every turn. You cannot introduce any "horizontal" forces on your center of mass, but you CAN introduce them to the wheel--you can pedal harder to accelerate it forward (of YOU), brake to move it "back," and turn it to move it "sideways." You can move the point of contact in relation to your CM, but you cannot muscularly move your CM in relation to the point of contact--because you cannot directly create "horizontal forces" on your CM.

To remain "in balance" on a unicycle, you must move the wheel around beneath you such that the line between the point of contact and your center of mass (the "line of action") tips at precisely the right angle to keep all the forces at equilibrium. When standing still, the line must be vertical. When turning, the line leans into the turn. When gaining speed, the line tips forward, and when braking, the line tips backward. Or else you fall! Ironically, because you can't directly "push" your CM around on a unicycle, "braking" requires first pedaling faster to the get the wheel in front of you. "Accelerating" (going faster) requires first BRAKING to get the wheel behind you. And going right requires first turning left to get the wheel to your left.

On skis, things are different. From an open stance, you can move your CM laterally just by shifting your weight, and you can push yourself forward and back, levering from those long skis, through your stiff boots, and you can push yourself around with your poles. This is NOT to say that you SHOULD do these things, necessarily; only that you CAN, when you NEED to! Great, flowing, "balanced" skiing works more like the unicycle, where the skier remains centered, in balance over a single "point of contact" that moves smoothly and continuously along your chosen path down the hill. "Out of balance" skiers are the ones who must use their "horizontal force creating ability" frequently and grossly, to keep from falling down.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ December 04, 2002, 09:20 AM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
Quote:
 Originally posted by Adema:Try crouching low while standing still, in the liftline for example. in that situation, which would seem analogous to positions F or G in your diagram, i think you have to flex the ankles to keep your skis under you and to stay in balance. otherwise, you are in the backseat and out of balance.

This is exactly why we must learn some new ski-specific movement patterns. The ankles are not the only joints that can adjust our fore-aft balance. Bending the ankles ("dorsiflexion") moves us forward. Bending the knees moves us back. Bending at the waist moves us forward, as does bending forward at the spine or neck. Moving the hands and arms forward or back obviously also affects fore-aft balance. When we flex and extend from a crouch to a tall stretch, all these joints work in harmony, combining to keep us in fore-aft balance. We learn to move each joint in certain proportions in "normal" life.

Then we put on skis and stiff boots. Our ankles are nearly locked, and we can't lift our heels. So we have to learn to alter the "proportional flexing" of the other joints to compensate!

To your example: Crouching low while standing still does NOT require us to bend our ankles or lift our heels (which we would do without skis on). But if we take those "forward moving" components out of the equation, we WILL, as you say, end up in the "back seat." UNLESS we compensate with some of the other "forward moving" options. Think of the downhill racer's "tuck" position--it's a low crouch with exaggerated forward lean at the waist, rounded (bent forward) spine, and arms outstretched in front. The result is a balanced stance with no more forward pressure on the boot cuffs than the skier chooses.

Here's another diagram, illustrating the "proportional flexing" issue of fore-aft balance. Look especially at figures 9 and 10, which illustrate the low crouch "barefoot style" and "skiing style."

This is a great issue you have raised, Adema. And understanding it is essential to understanding HOW we need to move to take advantage of the natural balancing advantages that arise from being "cuff neutral," as David M has explained.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ December 04, 2002, 09:42 AM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
Centrifugal force is that very obvious force we feel and react to, pulling us sideways, out of the turn. It increases with speed and with decreasing turn radius, and in many turns it is the primary force we deal with for balance. (Gravity is the other main force we must add to the balance equation.)

actually, Bob, that is centriPETAL force. that's one of the most common misnomers in our society. my collegiate physics professor always sharply corrected any student that called the outward tug "centrifugal" force.

you think that's confusing? a machine called a "centrifuge" creates centripetal force. why don't they call it a "centripet"?
Quote:
 Originally posted by gonzostrike:Centrifugal force is that very obvious force we feel and react to, pulling us sideways, out of the turn. It increases with speed and with decreasing turn radius, and in many turns it is the primary force we deal with for balance. (Gravity is the other main force we must add to the balance equation.) actually, Bob, that is centriPETAL force. that's one of the most common misnomers in our society. my collegiate physics professor always sharply corrected any student that called the outward tug "centrifugal" force. you think that's confusing? a machine called a "centrifuge" creates centripetal force. why don't they call it a "centripet"?
Well, I hate to argue with you, Gonz. So I won't. Get your physics professor in here--HE'S WRONG!

(PhysicsMan--Help!)

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ December 04, 2002, 10:16 AM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
Bob,
Thanks .
You've clarified one point, but raised another!
From the skier's frame of reference, the NET horizontal force is zero. It is not a case that there are no horizontal forces acting, but that they are balanced. There is a big difference between no force and balanced force.
It's the difference between driving a car using the throttle peddle lightly, or driving it by apply a lot of pressure to the throttle and then "balancing" it with pressure on the brake. They both give the same result, but one puts a lot more wear on the components, and requires more skill to maintain the equilibrium.
(I think we are in agreement there)

OK, the next point you raised has to do with something I read in The Skier's Edge. (this is from memory, so apologies for inaccuracy)
Towards the end of the book, and getting a bit more advanced, Ron talked about purposefully putting yourself out of balance, if only momentarily, I believe it was to help initiate a turn, in effect you would lose your balance and fall into a turn (I think it was to do with linked turns), so you had to fall from the left edge of the left ski over to the right edge of the right ski. I don't have the book here, but that was roughly how it went. If anyone does have the book to hand, perhaps they could look it up for me.

So, is a permanent state of balance always desired?

Discuss, and I will hopefully learn some more tomorrow.

S
CalG--definitions are important:

"Drag Coefficient"--the measure of a man's tendency to dress in women's clothing.

:

Bob

[ December 04, 2002, 10:20 AM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
Fox--you have GOT to stop asking such great questions. Some of us have work to do!

From a pure mechanics point of view, there is NO difference between "no forces acting" and many forces acting in opposition, creating a "net force of zero."

But you are right--from a wear-and-tear-on-the-components point of view, they are vastly different!

To Ron's point about needing to first get "out of balance" before you can turn, that is exactly what the unicycle analogy illustrates. You have to first start falling forward in order to accelerate forward, and you have to start falling to the left in order to turn left. On the unicycle, and for smooth, linked turns on skis, this happens without pushing the CM around. On skis we have the ABILITY to push the CM around with our wide stance, our long skis and stiff boots, and our poles, but we usually do that only if we NEED to. When we have to push ourselves around like that, it is a sign that we haven't moved correctly for balance. When the skier feels a need to "throw" himself up, forward, and across the skis to initiate a turn, it is a sign that he didn't move properly through the finish of the previous turn ("ending in neutral"). The skier who truly "flows" doesn't have to do anything but continue his/her smooth, effortless movements through the turn, and through the transition.

"So, is a permanent state of balance always desired?" Well, yes. But so is a "permanent state of IMbalance"! Depends on your frame of reference....

I've got to go!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
Bob, I was about to call Tom Knorr when I recalled the example he used on this. I thought further about it and realized that for 20 years I've been misinterpreting what Knorr said.

The classic example he used to exemplify centripetal/centrifugal force distinctions was the case of a bucket half-full of water, swung 'round in a circle. What causes the water to stay in the bucket rather than drop out?

Of course the answer is "centrifugal," and if you are a sometime student of etymology (as I am) you realise that the force is fleeing away from the center and therefore is a refugee from the center, hence "centrifugal."

What Knorr used to describe as "centripetal" is the force that you exert on the bucket as you swing it around in a circle -- you pull inward on the handle, the water drives outward, the tension between the forces (and the non-porous bucket) keeps the water there.

The "centripetal" force is essential to water staying put via "centrifugal" force. This was the point I confused.

Sorry for jumping the gun. Seems I'm guilty of engaging typing fingers before applying intellect. My apologies.

[ December 04, 2002, 11:09 AM: Message edited by: gonzostrike ]
The term for centrifugal force is "inertia" , quantified as, momentum.

CalG
Bob

The force it's self, is DRAG

The ratio of the magnitude of this force exerted on a body, realative to the magnitude of the force exerted on a flat plate of equal frontal area, is drag coefficient.

Lots of meanings could be read bwetween these words ;-]

Perhaps we should all reread the meanings posting in the humor section..

"Angel fly 'cause they take themselves lightly!"

CalG
Cal... not quite. Inertia is the tendency to remain inert (still). To get an object into motion, one must overcome the object's inertia.

"momentum" assumes the inertia already has succumbed to the force (moment) that got the object moving.

Physics Man/Tom... WHERE ARE YOU, my hometown friend?
Quote:
quote:

Then we put on skis and stiff boots. Our ankles are nearly locked, and we can't lift our heels. So we have to learn to alter the "proportional flexing" of the other joints to compensate!

This is a great issue you have raised, Adema. And understanding it is essential to understanding HOW we need to move to take advantage of the natural balancing advantages that arise from being "cuff neutral," as David M has explained.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
</font>[/quote]i understand and totally agree that you can use other movements to keep out of the backseat. but jutting the head forward and bending at the waist can cause their own sets of problems, as you know. by using ankle flexion, you can limit how much you have to hunch or slouch.

i guess i'm just not clear on why you wouldn't want to use at least some ankle flexion as another tool for dynamic stabilization. the degree to which you rely on your ankles in bump skiing seems more a personal preference than a strict rule for performance. i happen to like the control and feel for the snow i get from a greater range of motion in my ankles.
Gonz

As a student of language you have few above. Roots of words and meaning can be confused by convention.

Momentum is only the resistance to change.

There is nothing special about a sum of zero.

CalG
I am sorry for what I am about to say.
Did anyone notice that Gonzo was completly wrong about one of the most fundamental theories in skiing and no one jumped down his throat about it? Interesting,,,
Maybe you could addopt this type of mindset with some of your posts Gonzo.
BobBarnes: The answer lies in understanding the relativity of motion--things move only in relation to other things, and there is no such thing as "pure motion." In other words, when we say we're driving "west at 60 mph," we have to recognize that that is a very relative speed and direction. It's 60 mph relative to the surface of the earth, but we're travelling a very different speed and direction around the sun, and another speed and direction around the earth's axis as it rotates to the east. Even so, the person asleep in the passenger seat isn't moving at all!

DM: Exactly. The skier is a discrete system standing on a quasi-ground platform moving over the real ground. The analogy Bob uses is excellent.

Unbalanced external forces acting on the skier are causing acceleration. However the skier maintains their alignment against vertical or vertical like forces within the frame of reference. Here the balance system must maintain control of the chain of joints in the lower limbs starting from the feet and extending upward to the pelvic girdle. In this frame of reference an external force that tends to cause rotation of the joints of the lower limbs in one direction must be opposed by an internally generated muscle force acting in the opposite direction. Balance exists when the net sum of the internal forces acting across the joints of the supporting lower limb equals zero at any given moment. In other words, when these forces equal zero equilibrium exists and the human system is aligned in opposition to the vertical force or vertical like force acting on the skierâ€™s frame of reference. While recognizing that the skier must make adjustments as required for external forces such as air resistance the main force in the balance is the force acting normal to the surface the skier is moving over.

Returning to my earlier point if unbalanced horizontal forces are present in the ankle joint complex what are the implications for balance according to the criteria described above? Specifically, how will this affect the options available to the balance system? Perhaps Bob or Mosh may offer some intelligent views on this issue.
Quote:
 Originally posted by mosh:I am sorry for what I am about to say. Did anyone notice that Gonzo was completly wrong about one of the most fundamental theories in skiing and no one jumped down his throat about it? Interesting,,, Maybe you could addopt this type of mindset with some of your posts Gonzo.
WTF are you talking about? "Fundamental theory in skiing"? "COMPLETELY" wrong?

What have I got wrong about skiing, mosh? Please tell me. I'm always eager to learn how to ski better.

Are you saying my mangled memory of centrifugal vs centripetal means that I am COMPLETELY in error on a "fundamental theory in skiing"? If so, I think it is YOU that is in error about skiing fundamentals. And, there's nothing "COMPLETELY" wrong about a simple word error. Mountain or molehill, mosh?

Nomenclature errors are not fundamental flaws. I understood the concept perfectly well, I just confused the names. I really don't see how that's a misunderstanding of a skiing fundamental. Whether one properly calls the force "centrifugal" or, like me, mangles up the memory and calls it "centripetal," that nomenclature error doesn't change my response to the force when I'm skiing.

You really are trying WAY to hard to make me look wrong, ignorant, or whatever. I welcome your attempts at educating me. However, if you insist on trying to belittle me with thinly veiled insults, I'll bring back the sort of firepower that I let David M taste, and believe me -- I can escalate WAY above what I unleashed on him.

[ December 04, 2002, 01:44 PM: Message edited by: gonzostrike ]
Cal, I just want to see if you and I agree on inertia, momentum, and bodies at rest/in motion.

From a text on Newtonian studies:

Newton's first law of motion, sometimes called the law of inertia, was actually adopted by Newton from the work of Galileo. It states that a particle's velocity will not change unless a force is applied to the particle. This means that if a "body" (a collection of particles having appreciable mass) is at rest it remains at rest unless a force is applied. If a body is moving with some velocity, it will continue to move with the same velocity unless a force is applied. The first law is really just a qualitative statement about the persistence of motion.

The 3d sentence is what I was saying earlier. Maybe you were just adding the other sentences?
We agree.

Convention.

There is no centrifugal "force", only the tendency to remain "constant' unless acted upon. The forces "acting upon" have direction and magnitude.

Zero is a ligitimate magnitude.

No thing is truly without motion.

CalG
Ok Dave, this brings up a great point from my perspective. It is interesting when you stand on a pressure mat and watch the colors that indicate pressure points, while on two feet. I find it more interesting to do this while balancing on one foot. In this situation I have found that no matter how badly someone pronates the pressure will always equal out, in general. Because, they are successfully maintaining balance.
It is the adjustments that I am intrigued by. I guess you could measure these balancing moves in some type of wave length. This way you could get an idea about how much struggle is present for any position of the foot. If you could find the shortest wave length of movements, would this not be "Sub Taylor Neutral"? I call it "Dynamic Neutral" what do ya think?
Mosh, I like hearing your thoughts on the topic.

Gonz, You crack me up. Your riff on centripetal force was priceless, well worth the wait.

BobB and DavidM, it's a pleasure to see you working together.

[ December 04, 2002, 04:09 PM: Message edited by: nolo ]
When David M made it clear that he does not advocate soft boots (in the original thread), I saw David M's theory move toward Bob Barns beliefs long before this got out of hand. Old timers may remember that I had my own discussions with Bob about stiff boots. Looking at Bob's diagrams (which he shared with us before) Bob believes that much of the movement to keep COG over your skis comes from bending the knees and the back, rather than knees and ankles. This may apply to experts, but it certainly does not seem to apply to anyone else. Even experts eventually realize that as boots get stiffer, they become simply too unforgiving. Imagine what a stiff boot will do to the average person. Actually you don't have to imagine. Look around on the slopes and see all the intermediates on expensive, high-end boots being flogged back and forth by two main factors: 1) strong and immediate response from boot 2) lack of experience to anticipate terrain changes and stay in balance with appropriate action. For most beginners and intermediates the ankles don't flex anyway. They are too stiff and scared to even attempt to flex the ankle.

So my question remains: what is the magic boot that will make skiing so easy? Please don't give us the race car model, because most people cannot even drive a manual shift, let a lone a race car. How can an intermediate skier such as Lisamarie (sorry Lisamarie for using you here) benefit from your revolutionary boot. Neither racers nor Bob Barnes are good examples here. I was hoping to hear about the magic boot for the masses, not the magic boot for Herman Meyer.

I cannot believe that after all this we still don't have a simple description of David M's ideal boot. It is enormously frustrating.
Quote:
 Originally posted by nolo:Gonz, You crack me up. Your riff on centripetal force was priceless, well worth the wait.
Yeah, and only you and mosh could take one minor palabric error and extrapolate from that little point, the idea that I've been wrong all along. If that kind of extrapolation is what passes for logic around here, it's no wonder nobody understands my argument.

Matter succinctly described the problems with David's "revelatory theory." I do NOT get along well with Matter, so that should tell you something, acid britches!
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