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One leg or two?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was today glancing at the LeMaster book. In the section regarding countering and angulation, he seemed (to my addled brain) to be saying that, with only 1 knee angulated, a better countered position can be attained. This reminds me of the old A-frame stance!! Why is being more countered necessarily better? Obviously, in very short radius turns/moguls, one seeks a countered position, but, is not modern skiing more about striving for a more natural, squared position?
My feeling is that the knees should move in tandem, the gap between them remaining constant, or very nearly constant. How else do we get equal edge engagement, and inside ski activity? Am I missing something?

Thanks all
post #2 of 16
Off hand I'd agree with you. Since balance is pramount I would think that a more upward stance and using both knees would be advantagous to balance.
post #3 of 16
I'm with skiswift.

The finer points of skiing include maintaining equal edge angles. So, I don't see how you could maintain equal edge angles with the A frame stance.
post #4 of 16
an exercise:
Find a ball 'bout 8-10" diamter.
place it just below your knees and hold it there while you ski.
From Skiing magazine.
post #5 of 16
Skiswift you said of Ron LeMaster's book
>>"with only 1 knee angulated, a better countered position can be attained. This reminds me of the old A-frame stance!! Why is being more countered necessarily better? "<<
I think that you are mis-interpreting Ron's message. What Ron is saying is that Hip angulation is primary and knee angulation is the fine adjustments. He is saying that hip angulation alone will usually not giving you the best countered position. That is different from saying more counter is better. The best countered position is the one with the most skeletal alignment. He is saying, For most people the CM will not be aligned well with the inside edge of the outside ski's line of action without some slight knee angulation as a compliment to mostly hip angulation.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Pierre-look at the illustrations-it shows the skier with a pronounced angulation of the downhill knee-the uphill knee is actually almost straight, touching the downhill knee, while the skis are in a wide stance.
As I said, I could be wrong about understanding the text, but the illustration seemed clear to me.
In my own skiing, and when teaching higher level students, I like to use the analogy of magnets of like polarity in each knee. As you know, like poles repel, so as one knee moves, the other has to keep moving with it.
Thanks all :
post #7 of 16

Actually, the correct use of the ball drill is to ski with a ball or sponge between your boots, about rivet high.
post #8 of 16
SCSA, it's a gang thing. It's to widen your stance. The one you are thinknig of is to narrow the stance.
post #9 of 16
Skiswift, I see the illustrations but I think they are meant to illustrate the difference between hip angulation and knee angulation and therefore chosen because they were exagerated.
post #10 of 16
Hi SkiSwift--

I think that Ron is making a couple different points here. He discusses the concept of angulation overall, and its effects on the "critical edge angle"--a very good point to understand.

There are lots of pictures of lots of skiers, and I agree that many of them show more of an a-frame than we may want to emulate as a habit (figures 9.5 and 9.14, in particular). But there are pictures too of skiers with very little knee angulation of the outside knee. The point that comes out clearly here is that the goal is NOT "equal angles of both skis" or anything else in particular. The goal is precise and skillful control of both skis, so that we can do whatever is needed, whenever we need!

Ron's other point, I believe, is to explain the relationship between "counter" and the ability to create knee and hip angulation. A stance that is too square or rotated (upper body faces the direction of the skis or twists into the turn) virtually prevents a skier from creating hip angles (but it allows strong knee angles).

A stance that is excessively countered (upper body turned opposite the direction of the skis, facing downhill or away from the turn) prevents KNEE angles but allows strong hip angles.

Good skiing requires the ability to create both knee and hip angulation, as appropriate. So we must develop a stance and movements that don't compromise either of these options.

I think that's what he means, anyway.

I am a big fan of Ron LeMaster's book (THE SKIER'S EDGE), and I especially appreciate the photographs and photosequences. But remember that, no matter how carefully chosen a photograph may be, it still represents only one moment of a real human's turn. That turn is not likely to be "perfect"! Even Hermann Maier has only made his best turn once! So it's important not to think that we should emulate everything we see in every photo, even of the world's best.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #11 of 16
Good post Bob. I've beaten the "equal edge angle" thing to death. Equal shins? OK. Equal angles? Not likely.
post #12 of 16
Bob B,

You make a good point about knee/hip angulation. We of weak knees have to use hip angulation exclusively, or we don't ski. For this reason, I use a very narrow stance. ANd it falls in line with HH's teaching me an easier way to ski. By using hip angulation and fairly flexed knees, I am able to ski relatively pain free.
post #13 of 16
Since I don;t have your book in front of me, I had to improvise on this one. Mind that I am not an instructor nor an expert, so a grain of salt may be necessary!

When I am rounding out the turn, it seems like the natural tendency to angulate the downhill knee by itself (A-frame). This can create greater edge angle on the downhill ski, and in some cases might be useful. This motion definitely 'seduces' me into a more countered position, as if the downhill side of my body is a giant spring contracting. The motion also lessens my range of hip angulation, maybe because my CM is already in place.

I am sure this next bit belongs over in the 'unweighting' thread, but it seems pertinent. All this countering and contraction makes we want to spring through the transition to the next turn, lest my angulated knee move too slowly.

If I put something between my knees/below (small sleeping bag in my case), I angulate the downhill knee less, and I tend to counter less because my major point of angulation is at the hips, closer to my CM. Can I initiate the next turn with less 'bounce' and more smooth transition of edge angles? It seems so, but I will have to get on the snow to try it out for real.

Skiswift, I guess that we are generally trying for equal edge angles, but sometimes we need skewed edge angles to get the job done, and the author is trying to demonstrate one tactic for creating those edge angles.

post #14 of 16
Lots of theory but if you take a picture of all the skiers on the world cup you could probably count the number of skiers that actualy have paralell shins on one hand. A frames are everywhere. Is it poor alignment? or is it part of skiing?
post #15 of 16
Knees CANNOT angulate.

The knee is a hinge joint the hip a ball joint.

Oz :
post #16 of 16
I agree OZ, my knees hurt just thinking about it! Just don't bend that way.

I also agree that the question is more, ONE EDGE OR TWO.

Maybe BOTH EH?

You got two edges USE EM!
(when you think about it with all the technology one design element HAS remained - INSIDE AND OUTSIDE EDGE remain!) WHY?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 26, 2001 08:12 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Dr.GO ]</font>
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