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post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I saw HH today at Loveland working with a student. He was doing something that I didn't understand.

On a fairly steep groomed surface (Spillway), the student and HH would do the following;

1 Come to a stop perpendicular to the falline

2 Do a pole plant downhill about 18" from the downhill ski adjacant to the old outside/new inside boot.

3 With the boots locked together, leave the pole firmly planted, pivot around the pole, again with boots locked together.

A couple of times the student got into a little trouble as these turns were slowly skidded around the pole and while hanging on the handle of the pole he would end up three or four feet downhill from the planted pole, kind of hyperextended uphill holding onto the pole handle.

I saw no lifting and no evidence of any inside foot inversion or "phantom foot movement. It just looked like an axis and lever.

Any idea what the purpose of the exercise might be?
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by Rusty Guy:
I saw HH today at Loveland working with a student. He was doing something that I didn't understand.

On a fairly steep groomed surface (Spillway), the student and HH would do the following;

1 Come to a stop perpendicular to the falline

2 Do a pole plant downhill about 18" from the downhill ski adjacant to the old outside/new inside boot.

3 With the boots locked together, leave the pole firmly planted, pivot around the pole, again with boots locked together.

A couple of times the student got into a little trouble as these turns were slowly skidded around the pole and while hanging on the handle of the pole he would end up three or four feet downhill from the planted pole, kind of hyperextended uphill holding onto the pole handle.

I saw no lifting and no evidence of any inside foot inversion or "phantom foot movement. It just looked like an axis and lever.

Any idea what the purpose of the exercise might be?
That sounds like ski techique from the 1950's. Look at Warren Miller's fim "Fifty". He has a clip of Junior Bounous doing exactly that same maneuver back in 1950. I've used it at times to demonstrate how ski technique has changed. It can be fun to do a clinic where you ski technique "through the years" (skiing the original arlberg technique to the 50's pivot / edgeset to the 70's upunweighting and finally to current directional movement of the COM...really drives home the point about how technology changes skiing and teaching.
post #3 of 21
sounds like a "simultaneous rotation" of both feet. Trying to keep them flat on the snow.

by reaching down the hill, the skis will start to seek the fall line starting the process. I guess this would also start the tipping process but...

Why HH would be teaching this I don't know. Doesn't PMTS discourage rotation of this type?
post #4 of 21
RG,
Considering the wide range of application any exercise can have to provide different learning experiences to address different student needs, I'd be reluctant to speculate.

If you were interested in truely understanding the Who, What, Why, How of what you observed, did you consider the option of simply asking HH?
post #5 of 21
It's basically a release, it is shown in HH's second book. The downhill ski is flattened, which causes the skis to release from edge. The old downhill foot is held back against the old uphill foot, with emphasis on keeping it held back (under the hip, not allowing the boot to scissor forward). CM crossover naturally happens down the slope, you can feel the shin move to the front of the boot as well. The tips engage and the skis carve around the pole, without any sort of rotational movements. If done right, it feels very balanced and powerful.

When I tried this drill, I found it very instructive (I couldn't do it for the life of me at first). It shows the biomechanical power of holding the inside foot back instead of letting it move forward (key for 2-footed carving in my case). Working with it and another modified drill from HH's 2nd book has helped me eliminate my crappy old "slide the inside ski forward to counter" habits, which were really limiting me on modern skis. Simply holding the foot back and allowing the tips to engage is enough to put the hips into position to allow the ski to carve a very tight turn.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Arcmeister:
RG,
If you were interested in truely understanding the Who, What, Why, How of what you observed, did you consider the option of simply asking HH?
First of all I assumed it was a fairly standard drill in PMTS that someone, familiar with his progressions, might be able to explain.

He was in the midst of teaching so I thought it would be a little gauche to ski up to the guy and ask questions.

Most importantly, I was spending the day skiing with my ten year old daughter and the last thing she wants to do is listen to dad discuss technique.

Arc......I will wager you know exactly what he was doing. I'm not critical of the exercise, I honestly have an interest in what it's purpose is.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by dawgcatching:
The tips engage and the skis carve around the pole, without any sort of rotational movements. If done right, it feels very balanced and powerful.
As I think I mentioned the student was having a tough time. I later saw him skiing and he was a good skier. I can picture in my minds eye how he was able to keep from creating artificial "tip lead" while completing the drill.

I guess I have a problem with the concept that there is no "rotational movement" and/or that it is "carving". The little WC SC I was on yesterday has a 10m turning radius. This exercise was done in a turn radius of about four or five feet. In addition, the pole certainly served as axis/fulcrum.

I have quite a few students who start every turn by pushing their inside foot forward as opposed to merely tipping it. I can see this exercise as a way to exorcise that habit. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Thanks for the help dawg.

[ January 20, 2004, 05:55 AM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #8 of 21
[quote]Originally posted by dchan:
[QB]
by reaching down the hill, the skis will start to seek the fall line starting the process. I guess this would also start the tipping process but...

I’m having a hard time with reaching downhill will cause the ski tip to seek the fall-line. IMHO, by reaching down hill it would increase the edge angle unless one flattens the skis, no? To get the tips to seek the fall-line, one must move the CM in that direction, the fall-line that is.

I agree with some of the others here that we cannot be judgmenta
post #9 of 21
I think Dawgcatching has it right. I have done this drill and found it pretty illuminating. Perhaps more importantly I have seen it work wonders for a couple of skiers. My impression is that many skiers have great difficulty releasing the old outside edge for turn inititiation on steeper slopes. This drill shows them how effective that release can be for bringing the skis around without much other input (given the steep terrain and the shape of a ski). It gives them confidence in the release and helps them avoid the desire to try and get on the inside edge of the old inside/new outside skis as a primary movement which so many skiers are inclined to do in steeper terrain.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by Wigs:
I’m having a hard time with reaching downhill will cause the ski tip to seek the fall-line. IMHO, by reaching down hill it would increase the edge angle unless one flattens the skis, no? To get the tips to seek the fall-line, one must move the CM in that direction, the fall-line that is.

I agree with some of the others here that we cannot be judgmenta[/QB]
I was imagining myself standing on a steep hill and planting 18 inches down the hill. My first thought was "if I reach this far and touch my pole to the ground, my CM would start moving down the hill". Then the description of "pivot the skis" kind of gives me the image of rotation or steering. This is what I would do not what a student might do.

Dawg's explaination clarifies the exercise more. Thanks.

Wig's mention of how we might engage more reminded me of a conversation I got into this weekend with another instructor. When we started talking about pole plants and "reaching down the hill" to plant or touch, we were reminded that often "reaching" down the hill results in an arm going out, the CM moving up the hill to balance, flexion to allow the hand to move down far enough to plant the pole. This usually creates counter rotation and more edge angle (of the incorrect type)

Thanks all for the feedback and thought checks. I'll have to try that one on the hill. (feet farther apart for me however)
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by Wigs:

I agree with some of the others here that we cannot be judgmenta
Didn't mean to sound judgemental, Sorry if it came off that way. I was trying to understand the exercise as well and it sounded counter to what I've read about HH's progressions.
post #12 of 21
I haven't read either book but I do have both videos. I have analized the first frame by frame as well as watching it a few times.
It sounds like what he demos as the "two footed release". In the video he talks about "releasing" the downhill ski to initiate the movement. Frame by frame analysis shows that he actually has the skis slightly on their inside edges and is doing a lot of "steering" with the uphill ski. It doesn't really work very well until he picks up the inside ski at the halfway point.
I have to say that I am 99% in agreement with everything he says in the video. The idea that you must narrow your stance between turns everytime beeing my only "issue". However I fully understand his use of the "Phantom Move"(which looks pretty much the same as the move in the old Wedge Christie II that is used to "match" the skis) for teaching people who might not be too comfortable with the idea of tipping over down the hill.
While I'm on this, it comes to mind the discounting of the Wedge Turn as "useless". I guess I'll post another thread on that.

[ January 20, 2004, 10:11 AM: Message edited by: SLATZ ]
post #13 of 21
I think it's a good exercise, especially for a skier who prefers to ski in control of speed. I showed it (independently of HH ) to some of my friends who insist on being taught by me, the only difference being that I told them to plant the pole ahead of the boots' falline; almost near the tip of the ski. It forces the body to go slightly ahead of the skis, and then the skis catch up.

Then, as they are moving, they are making a good turn around the pole. It makes perfect sense as far as geometry goes: you unweight the skis, letting them go flat, they turn downhill, and then you still hold on to the firmly planted pole, which gives you an axis of turn, so the skis go into the turn, and you have to angulate in order to redistribute the weight onto the new outside ski. To do that, you simply "punch its tip" with the fist holding the planted pole. Turn complete. By planting the pole wider or narrower, they vary the geometry of their turns - and they are ALWAYS in control of their speed, which is the point.

It allows the student to get comfortable on a steep terrain and to feel the carving sensation as the skis go around the pole and the body is preparing for the next turn. Rolling the ankles, angulation, even anticipation - everything happens at once and falls into place.
post #14 of 21
post #15 of 21
Gee, if he'd let his feet separate a little, he could keep both skis on the snow and use both left edges for the left turn. That would be significantly more stable than balancing on the one ski. If done with a little forward momentum (I take it this exercise starts from a stand-still position), those edges could carve toward downhill instead of the skis having to pivot on the flats.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
That's it.....sorta

I swear the student was leaving the pole planted and simply rotating around the axis. In addition I was intrigued by the fact I saw no lifting or phantom foot movement. Obviously the student could have been doing the drill/exercise wrong.

I agree with Kneale. Why not just tip the foot?
post #17 of 21
Notice in the still photos that the left (dowhill ski} is on it's right edge in 1 and 2 even though he talks of "tipping" it. This is what I observed in the videos as well.
post #18 of 21
looks like a good drill to me.
too respond to some of the above,
from a standstill, the drill takes more precision. with forward momentum a release is easier.
to focus on an accurate release, try this drill from a standstill and feel precise footwork to release, transfer and engage the new pair of edges.

why the pole, it provides the anticipation/release rotary input to shorten the radius of the turn.

at amsp, we do versions of this drill in steep chutes to focus on precision and speed control.

To the two footed thing,
to each his own kneale. high level expert skiers should be able to do either or. if your at the academy, you'll notice eric d also skis with a quite narrow stance,(sometimes on 1, sometimes on 2) like harold and myself. I can force it open at times,as can they, but if both feet are working effectively, there needs to be a reason. Like turn shape, speed and type, stance width can vary depending on intent.

I've read many of rusty's and kneale's posts in the past and i bet if I took you to an appropriate place and asked you to do my version of this drill you'd realize the value.

I ski a bit with national demo team members and regional members here in tahoe and they wouldn't have problems with the value. they might attempt it from a broader stance (kevin mitchel anyway, not chris fellows), but the accurate release and focus on footwork would be the same.

At amsp, we call a version of this, the "if you can do this you can ski great,drill" (as with everything, a little tougue in cheek and with a smile) As we all know, HH can be a little self rightous, and our AMSP version of skiing is not only a bit different technically, but very different in attitude. No us vs. them mentality. I hope some of you get the chance to ski with eric d at ESA. You'll see the open mind AND the validity of some non-psia moves and focuses. And you can't say the boy can't ski. that goes for harold as well. I've always been drawn to his skiing while sometimes questioning his adversarial views of anything not his.

Until the next time...
Make it a great day.

Wade

[ January 21, 2004, 05:04 PM: Message edited by: Holiday ]
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have said all along I like HH's skiing.

I do a variation of this sort of drill that I call a "static release".

To start with I do it sans poles. From a stop, I have students tip the new inside/old outside ski and seek no convergence of the tips or divergence of tails....in other words no hint of a wedge. When the skis are pointed downhill two variations can occur;

1. tip into and uphill arc

2 steer the inside foot with a bias toward rotary movement uphill.

I don't like the stance width that the PMTS drill is done in. I think the plastic to plastic nature to some degree cheats the student and does not allow the "opportunity" to deal with convergence.

Wanna make sure you never sniff a wedge? Clamp em together

I tell you what I do like is the idea of keeping the inside ankle closed/pulled back/dorsiflexed.
post #20 of 21
I had no objection to the drill, especially if all the moves involved get practiced a bit on less intimidating spots first. I was just commenting on the appearence of what happens with Harald's skis in the photo sequence. I also think that if you flatten the new inside foot on the snow at turn entry, you get a smoother turn entry for MOST FOLKS. HH, Eric, and the demo team members are a long ways from being MOST FOLKS.
post #21 of 21
I do that when slow skiing the bumps. It's probably cheating but people always comment on it. I tend not to slam down through the bumps. This allows me to snake around the bumps and pick and choose the bump tops for excitement.
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