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Outside Leg Extension

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
There is a more or less passive outside leg extension with inside retraction during arcing across the fall line. At the completion of the turn there should also be a push up from the outside leg to arrive at neutral. Is this final push up a continuation of the early turning extension or is it new?
post #2 of 13
Why expend such effort to push up away from the next turn at all? Seems kinda like pole vaulting from turn to turn? Unless your intent is to unweight to facilitate radical re-direction of the skis?

Why not just relax the outside leg to release the body's CM momentum allowing it to pass thru neutral on its way to the inside of the next turn? Seems a whole lot easier, aka more efficient, and it works for me.
post #3 of 13
After the fall line the outside leg should be releasing the turn not pushing up to end the turn. I would think more along the lines of the above post on a relaxing move.
post #4 of 13
I wonder what Arcmeister means by "to release the body's CM momentum..." How do you "release" your mass or velocity by relaxing a leg?
post #5 of 13
Since this smells like some PMTS stuff, I'll jump in.

The flexing thang has had me puzzled.

Last year, I wasn't getting much flex at all. Then I started to fix the problem.

So how I do it is that as the turn begins, I start to flex my legs - more flex for a short turn, less flex for a longer one.

When I want to end that turn and start a new one, I stand up on my outside, stance foot and I roll my inside, free foot over to it's outside edge, concentrating on rolling with my arch, not the little toe. Then I start flexing again. So, my stance leg is constantly flexing, then straightening, more so than my free foot.

I'm not sure if this is text book PMTS or not - I think it is. I know it's text book Lito. But, I'm going to a PMTS camp in April, so if I have it wrong, HH will tell me. It is working though.

One thing I do know. Flexing, and getting it right, is really important.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Good for you SCSA. You're right on with the concept I was thinking about. The key to this move is to finish the turn with it and it gets you tall again and into neutral. I should have mentioned where I derived the idea from out of respect for everyone else. It's more of a race move and is discussed in Heckelman's book as "Dynamic leg extension." I used to think that you pushed up with the inside leg and couldn't figure out how you could get a lateral projection out of it. Now that I realize it's done with the downhill leg the rest fits. I think that you can see some up movement in many of the racing montages and I recently saw it in the Kostelic GS race. When they go really fast, then all you see is retraction. It would be interesting to know how you came on this, SCSA. I don't specifically see this in Harb's second expert book.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Bert, Although it's presumptuous of me, I'll attempt to elaborate on Arcmeister's comment relative to relax to release. He always gives sage advice and has helped me a lot. If the muscles in your downhill leg and foot are tense from tipping the ski on edge, then if you relax the muscles it brings the ski into neutral, taking it off its inside edge. Then you can proceed to turn in the opposite direction.
post #8 of 13

Well, now you see what I mean by flexing being puzzeling to me.

All I know and all I've ever practiced is PMTS.

But if there's one thing that's confused me, it's how HH describes flexing. Like I said, I thought I was on the right track until SnoKarver (who has since disappeared) scolded me last year for not having any flexion.

I caught up with HH one day this year and he kept telling me to pull my legs up to my chest to release the skis. Well, this is when I got confused.

I was pulling my legs up to my chest to release, but not flexing during the turn. So I figured that if you pull your legs up to your chest to release, you must extend them during the turn. Well, when I extended during the turn I got terrible results. I was getting skidded turns and I was having trouble linking them.

Confused, I picked up Litos book (my second, and only other source of information. I refuse to pay any attention to traditional ski instruction) to see what he had to say. It was Lito who described it best, for me anyway. He said to flex during the turn. According to Lito, the flex is what gets the tails to follow the tips. And, it's the key to speed control. The next day I tried it. Sure enough, my turns were 110 percent better. Everything Lito described worked out exactly the way he said it would. Flex during the turn, straighten and stand up on your outside leg to finish the turn.

Me, being the "PMTS Wacko", I combed through "Expert 2" - for like the millioneth time. Like, look at the photos on page 88 -- sure enough, HH is flexing thru the turn. Same thing on page 81 and page 78. You agree?

So even though my turns are working out fine, I'm still not sure they're exactly the way HH likes. I won't know for sure until I attend the "Spring College" at Copper Mountain in April.

So what do you think? Is this the way you're seeing it?
post #9 of 13
To my mind relaxing the outside foot/leg can produce only one thing: unloading the outside ski and putting the load onto the inside ski. Skier's mass and velocity (momentum) are not "released", they cannot go anywhere since skier's mass and speed remain as they were before the relaxing started, unless skiding happens during relaxing.
What kind of momentum are we talking about?
Best regards.
post #10 of 13
As your arc turns back across the falline the forces to the outside of the turn and gravity (from the slope) are more aligned and the outside leg is the primary thing keeping you from falling over to the outside of the turn. This direction of the momentum of your CM to the outside of the present turn (fyi: on a tangent to the arc modified by diagonal gravity effect of the slope) which just fortunately also happens to be toward the inside of the next turn. Cosmic? Maybe not, but way cool! Releasing the stance/balance leg's resistance (and edge) is the easiest way to ALLOW it (CM) to get there.

Note however, that if you cease arc'n and traverse at all that momentum becomes parallel to your angle of traverse and your "window of opportunity" to easily release into the next turn is lost. Gravity is all that is left and most skiers are not patient enough for just that so they have learned compensating movements to help it along somehow, like extending off the uphill leg to push CM across for example.

Teaching tip: Take advantage of linked turns that provide this energy flow benifit and potential vs. using turn-traverse-turn that requires each turn to started from scratch.

Sking is really quite simple, even easy, when we learn to use our tool-toys to set-up, and then manage the forces and energy avaliable to us. When we try to cause what we can simply allow however, we only make skiing a vicious cycle of complex compensating movements spawning additional complex compensating movements. Yuk! Gak!Pittuey!
[img]tongue.gif[/img] : :

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 27, 2002 07:31 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Arcmeister ]</font>
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
SCSA, You called it. The three pages you cited in the Harbster's book do show flex. I must admit to not seeing too much flex in his book, but I didn't pay attention to the chapter on "The Float." Page 81 isn't so clear because the view is from the front, mostly. The reason that i started this thread was because I thought the inside leg would flex at the apex of the turn, but the outside leg would be more straight. Then I reasoned, how could you straighten out what's already straight at the end of the turn? I went back to Al Hobart's GS book and looked at the picture of Mario Reiter at the apex and his outside leg, while somewhat straight, is still flexed. I see that HH in the float chapter talks about holding the legs and body at an angle of ninety degrees to the skis approaching the flat. I don't see where either he or Lito specifically say to stand on the downhill ski, though. How did you come up with this? I mentioned that Heckelman discussed this.
post #12 of 13

You and I think a like. Yes, that was exactly my confusion. How could you straighten a leg that's already straight? That's when I picked up Lito's book.

From page 79, Figure 3.3
Shortening the turn:
"All I need to do is progressively, smoothly flex my outside leg forward in the direction of the turn. The ski tip bites and grips and tightens the arc of the turn..."

"You flex the leg you're standing on your ski turns faster. Sounds simple, and it is".

He describes it really well between pages 78 and 83. Then, on page 84, there's my man HH, demonstrating it perfectly.

I'd post more but Lito might get pissed at me.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 27, 2002 03:47 PM: Message edited 2 times, by SCSA ]</font>
post #13 of 13
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bert:
I wonder what Arcmeister means by "to release the body's CM momentum..." How do you "release" your mass or velocity by relaxing a leg?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Arcmeister already explained, but here is another explanation: when you are in a turn the centrifugal force keeps you there. That is the force of your skis against the snow (or the snow against your skis). Release that force by relaxing your stance and your CM efortlessly moves down the hill (falls out of the turn). At that point you just switch edges and you are well into your new turn.

There is no need to actively extend the new outside leg as Lito and HH describe, but that works well too, especially when a turn is completed to the point that you are going uphill.
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