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How much weight on inside ski? - Page 2

post #31 of 53
FM: 4) Diluting outside ski pressure with inside ski pressure diminishes ski bend, and thus increases turn radius. This mandates using a higher edge angle to produce the desired turn shape. Again extra body movement with no result enhancement.

This does not recognize that edge grip and security is increased by having both skis carve.

There is a counter argument that distributing available force across less edge leads to high pressure, more bite and superior edge grip. This is one reason why short skis grip well on hardpack. If I find myself skidding, I make an effort to put more weight on the outside ski.

Also if you do skid out then you have more room to recover your balance (esp. with a wide stance). Your balance point on the snow can move all the way from your outside ski to your inside ski before you fall over.
post #32 of 53
Good point James. Anyone who's carved turns on hard snow (some call it ice) with a heavy pack on has probably noticed the extra edge purchase that added weight provides. It's a good demonstration of the validity of your theory.

One situation where concentrated pressure is not an asset is in situations where that pressure becomes so great it overloads the platform in the snow created by the edge/base of the ski. When the bearing capacity of the platform is breached the ski just mushes away to the outside of the arc, it feels awful. It happens when carving in very soft snow conditions, or in semi soft conditions at high speeds and edge angles.

In this situation directing more of the pressure to the inside ski lightens pressure on the outside ski and helps maintain the integrity of the platform. It's a balance efficiency sacrifice made to compensate for a special situation.
post #33 of 53
The skis that you are using and you're weight can make a big difference. You get a light weight skier on a stiff ski and that skier is going to have to put more pressure on the outside ski by transfering some weight there.

I am the opposite extreme. I weight 200+ and I am on noodles. I can stand across two high bumps and decamber both skis to where both feet are on the snow. I can transfer all my weight and pressure to the outside ski, but I don't find it necessary.

Disclaimer: Some of my views here are probably swayed by my setup.
post #34 of 53
Originally posted by Pierre:

I am the opposite extreme. I weight 200+ and I am on noodles. I can stand across two high bumps and decamber both skis to where both feet are on the snow. I can transfer all my weight and pressure to the outside ski, but I don't find it necessary.
Interesting.... :

What effects do you find being "heavy on soft"? Is straight running affected? Do the skis much prefer being on edge? Are they more difficult to release? More forgiving?

I'm very curious!
post #35 of 53
I agree with Fastman's analysis, but would like to correct a misconception: he speaks of the first metatarsal, which is not the big toe, but the meaty part of the foot to which the big toe attaches. This is a critical distinction.

I also agree with the experiential approach that Arc advises. Your body will learn by feeling differences and similarities, not by the mind digesting rhetoric.
post #36 of 53
Thanks Nolo. I used "big toe side of the foot" to describe pronation onto the 1st MT in an attempt to keep things simple. But your right, it's an important distinction between the medial ball of the foot and the big toe when it comes to balance issues.

Care to expand on this? I'd enjoy hearing your take on the significance of the distinction.

It may even be interesting to explore principles of balance and performance as related to the function of the foot. Care to launch a discussion, perhaps in a new thread?
post #37 of 53
FastMan, you said:

Bio mechanics cause a foot with center/forward pressure applied to it to transfer pressure onto the 1st metatarsal (pronate onto the big toe side of the foot)which engages the inside edge.
Someone else said:

As Fastman noted, pressuring the foot causes it to pronate, transferring pressure to the big toe.
I felt clarification was needed. Again, I think you've done an admirable job explaining why it just ain't natural, physically and physiologically, to ask the outside edge of the inside foot to bear much of a load. I particularly like your analogy of the rudder for the work the inside ski can do in a turn. One's to guide and one's to ride.
post #38 of 53
Originally posted by FastMan:
Not on it's own it doesn't. On it's own the inside foot would pronate and the ski would be driven off it's edge till it was flat on the snow. .
Sure does... that is how you skate - feel outside edge engage... start to put weight onto ski... & the foot pronates & you end up gliding on inside edge..... Also how I am taught to start to return to neutral to start next turn.... start weighting outside of inside ski & feel the foot pronate & ski start to flatten... continue as next turn starts....
post #39 of 53

Like nolo I understand the premise of the argument. In fact, I also ski with my outside foot dominating most of the time. Who doesn't? My only reservation is about the value of the inside ski. You seems to dismiss the value of the inside foot based on biomechanics. Based on biomechanics one could dismiss skiing entirely. Despite all the talk about walking transfering to skiing, humans are clearly not born to ski. Yet we learn and adapt well. The inside foot will adapt to carving too. I find it complements my outside foot very well.

I do have one question for everyone. This is a honest puzzle for me:

FastMan said: To move the impact point from the outside ski toward the inside ski the CM must be moved further inside the vertical plane of the feet.

How come when most people engage the inside ski the tend to fall to the inside unless they actively move the CM to the outside of the turn?
post #40 of 53
TomB wrote:

'How come when most people engage the inside ski the(y) tend to fall to the inside unless they actively move the CM to the outside of the turn? '

I don't think this does happen if the forces are sufficient and if they are insufficient, then this degree of CM movement is unnecessary. What perhaps does happen is people engage their inside ski in a way that does not reinforce the carve and so they lose the turning forces and down they go.

There is also the problem of getting back again once overcommitted to the inside ski - where can you go from there?
post #41 of 53
Thread Starter 
Sorry I haven't responded, my profile has been lost and I had to re-register as a new member. Lots of input and I appreciate it, but almost too much to absorb. I have been working to get more weight on my inside ski, with the help of ski coach. I was surprised when he said my technique was pretty solid, I thought for sure he would tell me to start from scratch again.

I'm surprised at some of the comments here. I don't feel qualified to argue, but you talk like this is some kind of fad for beginner skiers! I hesitate to use world cup skiing as an example as they are in a different world but I follow it very closely. Steve Porino and Tod Brooker discuss this on OLN broadcasts, citing how much weight different racers put on outside/inside. I read quotes from Bode Miller in Ski Racing that too much on the outside ski has been responsible for some of his crashes. Janica Kostelic, arguable the worlds best technical skier is two footed. The junior race teams are being taught this. I might be old, but I think I will go with the young.
post #42 of 53
Hmmn. First, to disclose my biases/assumptions:

1. The basics of a good, carved turn is a strong, carved GS turn. At the highest skill levels of skiing, top World Cup racing, athletes are skiing at speeds on steeps that make their more extreme angulation quite unlike what most of the rest of us employ. Nevertheless, we can learn useful lessons from modern high level racing technique, since good racing is, in large part, simply application of how to most efficiently carve more and skid less, in dynamic balance without (Bode Miller notwithstanding) overly frequent crashes.

2. Skiers are better skiers if they have access to a variety of appropriate techniques for different situations. Given free rein, I may want endlessly to carve Super-G radius fast turns on steep groomed trails, but if someone cuts in front of me, I had better be able to quickly make a tighter radius turn. And if it dumps eighteen inches of powder (or Sierra cement) and I'm skiing in it, I should be able to make an adjustment before shredding a knee.

Now to my comments on weighting of inside ski vs. outside ski:

1. According to Ron LeMaster in his on-line slide show presentation Alpine Technique, at the top World Cup level, modern technique involves "more pressure on inside ski" than old school technique, but he notes that while use of (weight on) the inside ski is "definitely increasing" it "varies" from World Cup skier to skier and also "varies with snow and pitch". LeMaster says there are five reasons to put some weight on the inside ski:

Provides support in the first half of the turn, before the outside ski hooks up fully.

It's the safety valve for overestimating grip (my translation: if your outside ski slips instead of bites, you can try to use the edge of the inside ski to stay up instead of sliding out into boot out city/race over)

Facilitates manipulation of outside ski (my translation: you can still adjust your line/increase steering angle for pivot entry turns typical of World Cup courses relatively late)

Assists fore-and-aft pressure control (e.g., better balance means more consistent ability to properly keep weight forward early in the turn to carve, with weight back late to release)"

Avoids "brutalizing softer snow" (over pressuring in softer snow conditions, leading to chatter/skid)

LeMaster notes that equipment- and technique-driven "better holding" of World Cup skiing today leads to more use of the inside ski. (E.g., because a skier can put more weight on the inside ski, retaining better balance, while still arcing and staying on the course, he or she doesn't have to put all the weight on the outside ski.)

LeMaster's whole talk is at:


2. But if you look at World Cup GS turns (as opposed to slalom turns in the flats) typically, more weight (and a lot more pressure) is on the outside ski, because bending the shovel of that outside ski creates a tighter, more cleanly arced turn. IMHO, Modern Technique describes it best, saying "The top racers have on average 80:20 ratio of outside to inside ski pressure in Slalom and 70:30 in GS. This ratio is constantly changing throughout the turn. Normally the turn is started above the fall line with 90% of pressure on the outside ski. Upon entering the fall line inside ski is starting to carry more load while it is not only assisting in maintaining lateral balance but is actively contributing to carving. It is normal to see a ratio of 60:40 in the second part of a turn. It could even be 50:50 throughout the most of a turn, but only on the flat less turny sections of a course."

Modern technique is at:


Kirsten Clark agrees:


3. In my experience, (A) if you want to change direction rapidly, with a carved rather than skidded turn (like in a GS race course) you must put most of your weight on the outside ski, and keep your weight aggressively forward, to bend the shovel, but (B)in some conditions (powder, slush) you are better with a more two footed technique, and (C) if you ski with 100% of your weight on the outside ski (say, lifting the inside ski), it is more difficult to get your weight appropriately forward at turn initiation, because this complicates balance.

With that background, I'm not sure the goal should be 50/50 weight skiing, but I'll take my shot at answering the original post ("the more evenly distributed weight sure looks better (looks like riding on rails). What can I do to achieve this, especially when my skis are out on a high angle?")

1. Keep your weight forward at turn initiation, pressuring the front of both boot cuffs. Feel both boot cuffs hold you up through the first part of the turn. Instead of hands forward, think elbows forward, because that gets your hips forward instead of having you sink your butt down. If you do this, then (A) you'll be able to bend the skis and carve without putting all your weight on the outside ski, and (B) by pressuring both boot cuffs, you'll avoid leading with your inside ski, and will naturally create more parallel angles.

2. On the flats, practice railroad track turns by just rolling your knees.

(recreational racer, but open minded)
post #43 of 53
Unbelievable cogent post explaining your position on the subject. Al Hobart in his World Cup -Gorilla Turn tape states that today there is one turn used in racing and the turn applies to both slalom and GS.
The skis are not equally weighted in the Gorilla Turn. High edge angle on the downhill ski, hips forward down and low. When I first watched the tape I was skeptical WC racers were skiing this way until he broke down the World Cup footage of the brother and sister from the 2002 Utah Olympics
(Kestelnic Spelling wrong) and they were skiing this turn in slalom )
The tape makes a compelling case for his racing technique applying in World Cup racing.

Plus he taught A guy recorded on the tape that had skied only 1 year this turn and the skier was very proficient executing it. Illustrating that the Gorilla Turn is pretty achievable for recreational skiers to execute.
The Gorilla Turn makes PMTS teaching method look very conservative by comparison.
I thought I would see more reference to this tape on the forum this season.Fastman acknowledged seeing it earlier in the year.
post #44 of 53
sfdean pretty much sums up my thoughts. Good post.
post #45 of 53
I'm not even going to add anything except to notice the 3% comments. Yes, most people on the slopes do not carve their turns at all.

And with that - fun post.
post #46 of 53
An observation:
The ruts left by top FIS racers in a slalom course are usually of a RR track nature about 18" to 24" apart. The outside one is usually only slightly deeper than the inside one.
I've also observed these type of ruts in USST training courses at Mt Hood in the summer time and at Lutsen Spring Series when the WC athletes ski.
post #47 of 53
Originally posted by TomB:
How come when most people engage the inside ski the tend to fall to the inside unless they actively move the CM to the outside of the turn?
I have observed this as well. My investigation has revealed that there exists the mis-perception that engaging the inside ski somehow must involve dis-engaging the outside ski. The first attempts often involve leaning inside (away from outside ski) and getting stuck on the inside ski.

For it to work one needs to have some degree of pressure control skill on the little toe edge. That can only come from taking the time to learn to ski on the little to edge enough for some skill to be aquired, that then can be applied.

It does not take all that much weight/pressure to engage the inside ski so that it will effectivly carve. I just bridged my 168cm full race SL's on two scales and they only show 40# on each scale (80# total) when I flex the ski into deep reverse reverse camber. Then I did the same with a 163cm recreational SL, it only showed 30# each (60# total) for the same amount of flex. In a medium radius cleanly carved turn, at moderate speed, a skier can easily pull more than 1-G. Something quite less than 50% inside is enough to get the inside ski working (or get softer skis?).

There is no formula for optimal distribution. When one senses a functional imbalance between what their inside and outside skis are doing compared to what they intend or desire, simply play with adjustments between the feet until you get a feel for what you want. See my post near top for a play/plan.
post #48 of 53
It's more like playing music than it is like rocket science
post #49 of 53
Thread Starter 
Perhaps "weight on the inside ski" is 10 - 35% vs 0 - 5% twenty years ago. In WC, watching the women is more educational, the men appear to loose their edge on every turn because faster, more forces.
post #50 of 53
Not rocket science.
Get into the right brain.
Touchy-feely infinitely, constantly variable.
post #51 of 53
Originally posted by Arcmeister:
There is no formula for optimal distribution. When one senses a functional imbalance between what their inside and outside skis are doing compared to what they intend or desire, simply play with adjustments between the feet until you get a feel for what you want.
I think that sums this issue up quite nicely!! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #52 of 53

Thanks for the explanation! Makes sense.

As for optimal distribution between the skis, I agree that there is no such thing. I am the first to admit that I have rarely more than 40% of my weight on the inside ski. Most of the time it is probably half of that. But as you mention, even a little pressure gets the inside ski to carve quite aggresively and I love that feeling. To me it feel like a solid two-footed carve and the tracks in the snow show that.

I guess this is the point I am trying to make. Even with a dominant outside foot, you can have a very active inside foot, that can carve very well. I don't think biomechanics are much of an issue here.
post #53 of 53
In reply to the initial question, the accepted ratio is 50/50. The breakthrough will come when you learn to initiate the left turn from the left hip and vice versa. In old skiing, the skis were straight and you really had to stand on the outside ski and to get the most out of them. You would do "step up" or racing turns with a lot of up and down movement. This Stenmark style is totally out now.

Try this: ski without poles, when you want to go left, touch your left hip with your left hand and lead into the turn with that hip. That will give you better inclination to engage the left, uphill edge. To turn right touch your right hip as a signal to move into the new right turn with the right hip. To correct the inclination (at first you will look like you are tilting back and forth like a bilow doll)use upper body angulation to create that inverted C. while leaving your hip where it is. Comprende?

Another good technique is to grab a couple of bamboo poles. You hold the front tips of the poles in your hands with your hands locked at your hips. Your buddy will ski behind you holding the back end of the poles. When your buddy says "LEFT" have hime push the left pole (and accordingly your left hip)forward. When he says "Right" have him push the right pole (and your right hip forward. You'll get the new sensation. Works like a charm.
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