Snowonder until the end of last year I would have said that this is very good technique and indeed this technique is very effective. You will find much on this subject in the archives and many posts by me advocating this technique. To make a long story short, a tornado in the form of a D team member came along and turned my trailer upside down. It took me all summer to right it and understand what changes he was advocating.
|I was skiing with two PSIA examiner yesterday and they were talking about this movement as well. To be done correctly, the center of mass must be directed toward the next turn as the ski are pulled back. We worked on it a good part of the day, in the steep, in long and short radius turns and even in the bumps. They were practicing it for the demo team trial. Your instructor was right. My take on it is that this movement is much stronger than an ankle dorsi-flexion to pressure an early edge because it use the glute and the hamstring which are bigger more powerfull muscle group than tibialis anterior.
|It's a good techique for the bumps. It's also good for everyday skiing. I'm working on it myself so that I apply more even edge pressure through the turns rather than mostly at the bottom half of the turn. I think of it as throwing myself down the hill and letting my skis follow me.
Using the hamstring muscles and the gluts to extend while guiding the inside ski into the turn introduces rotation of the hips countering into the inside of the new turn for the top third or so. As TM has said, its like throwing oneself down the hill and letting the skis follow. You are on an early edge but you are banking the top third of the turn. At turn initiation your new inside ski is back, from this position you cannot angulate.
Second, because of the position of the hips in the turn, you're new outside ski will edge before you're new inside ski unless you pressure the ball of you're foot as you say and introduce a lot of steering of the inside ski. You will feel the resultant torque in the knee and while you are on the balls of you're feet, you cannot effectively angulate.
The result of all of this is fairly clean early edge lines at the top of the turn and heavy edging in the fall line. I thought this was as good as it gets.
What I have sense realized from looking at force diagrams, is that throughout the middle half of our turns, centrifugal force and gravity do not line up and there is a forward component to the resultant force. All we have to do is sink into it, resist it and we stay forward. Towards the end of our turns gravity and centrifugal force line up to give us a very strong lateral force directed down the hill. We now have very little forward force to resist against. If we don't extend or we are still driving through the tongues with our shins we will fall into the back seat.
As stated, at the end of our turns we have a large lateral component to work with and little forward component. What we need to do is use movement patterns to generate a forward component and just give in to the lateral force. This moves us diagonally. The most efficient technqiue would generate a forward component into the old turn with the least amount of energy and forget movement patterns that move laterally. We don't need to use movement patterns that move us laterally we already have a lateral force. We just simply have to relax certain muscle and give into or use that lateral force.
What I am doing now is dorsiflexing the old inside ankle and extending the old inside leg from the knee up. This gives a very forward extention into the finish of the old turn. I relax the old outside leg and give into the lateral force. I roll up to neutral with my ski tips equal, I am forward and the pressure is over the whole foot and not just on the ball of my foot. That is nolo's barefoot feel. Now I am in a position to continue rolling my hips, dorsiflex the new inside ankle and flex the upper leg (shorten the new inside leg). I allow my hips to drop to the inside with angulation right from the turn initiation.
With use of countering the upper body over the skis at the top of the turn (gorrila type move), I am able to move way inside yet have the skis arc around much earlier in the turn. If I have not generated enough forward component I cannot steer the skis into a tight arc because I am back. Then I feel stuck on the inside ski. I am now not depending on banking the top of the turn.
The result is wicked angulation even on telemark skis and two tracks that are carved or scarved evenly from the top of the turn to the end of the turn will little notice of heavy edging in the fall line. I see two tracks at the fall line even in short radius turns. That is how them D team members get so low on easy terrain at slow speeds.
Steeps are no different, you have a large lateral downhill component of force and little or no forward component. Use a dorsiflex of the ankle and upper leg extension of the uphill ski. This is almost a straight forward extension but the center of mass is moving diagonally into the turn. I can bring angulation into the picture quick and have even edging from just above the fall line through the end of the turn. No floaty feeing here just rock solid edges. Works the same in moguls.
Best of all these movement patterns can be introduced at every level of skiing and if understood make a huge and profound difference right away. Its far easier to perfect the blending than pulling back the foot and banking. You're two PSIA examiners can forget the D team.
Just my two cents worth. [img]smile.gif[/img]