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Ankle Tipping

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
I just got back from Killington this past weekend from the PSIA 2 day workshop and was told that I was moving my hips to get my skis on edge and not enough ankle. The instructor suggested doing sideslips to get the feeling of using only my ankle. When I tried this she said I was still using my hip. does anyone have any other suggestions to get more ankle involvement or to help me not move my hip as much. Are there any off snow drills that I can do just in boots to get more ankle tipping and less hip movement. Thanks for any and all help.
post #2 of 50
There are a ton of drills you can do to enhance your ability to tip your skis onto their edges.

Here are a few in a quick progression:
  1. In ski boots (no skis) work from whatever your base stance is, and simply roll both feet back and forth from one set of edges to the other. This can be done inside of outside in the snow. If you're willing to put the time into it, take a small piece of plywood, cover it with carpet and put a few 2x4's on the side so that the board is at a small angle. If you do your tipping drills on this board and can do it in both directions you will know you are getting good at tipping. When working on the inclined plane you will find that tipping onto your uphill edges is easy, but rolling to your downhill edges while on the incline will take a lot more discipline. Increase the angle of the board as your ability to tip improves. Doing the above in front of a mirror inside is great instant feedback.
  2. After doing the above drills in boots (on snow or off snow) put your skis on and try the same movements on the snow - both in flats and on a slight incline (no forward motion yet). When you feel like you're really getting the hang of it - hop from one set of edges to the other set of edges without any twisting of the skis in the air - while standing still. This is more difficult than you might think. If you ace that one, do it while on an incline.
  3. Take everything you have done so-far and apply it to low speed, flat terrain garland turns. Begin in a traverse 90 degrees to the fall line and work on simply rolling your ankles into the hill, and back out to release, and then back into the hill just as you were on the board and in your skis stationary but this time moving forward. As you recall the movement pattern and are able to execute it well while in forward motion, start yourself in your traverse at 60 degrees to the fall line, then 45, then 30. Once you are able to engage and release using only tipping you should be ready to engage, release, and tip to your new (currently downhill edges) and turn toward the fall line (this is the tricky part). Start by turning into the fall line, releasing, and then turning back in the original direction you were traversing. Eventually, you will be ready for the full "C" - and be able to link turns by using only ankle tipping. When you are comfortable doing this I would get video or take an instructor onto the hill with you to ensure you have broken yourself of the habit of throwing the hip into the turn to get your skis onto edge. You want to be sure you're practicing the right movements.

One thing to note about the above progression is that I gave it to you without any discussion of what the upper body may need to do in order to do this properly. If you find yourself out of balance laterally you are probably leaning inside with your upper body and will have to take corrective counter balancing actions to prevent it.

Later,

Greg
post #3 of 50
Gailforce2000, first posting. Impressive topic. The instructor handing out such feedback without properly clearifying it for you sounds a bit week. Also, who says she was right? It was only one persons opinion.

Helluva gave you some drills on how to practice moving your skis on edge but he really did not explain what kind of ancle movement are used. When to roll the ancles, how long to hold on to the tention etc. Hopping from one pair of edges to the others involves lots of movements such as femour rotation and angulation. The ancle movement is not really a very big movement and its hardly visiable. Its more a thing that you feel since your foot is snuggly hold by your boot. We spend time and money for that perfect fit and now we are supposed to mover our ancle? Sounds rediculous I know but its more a pressure thing that a proper movement. You are forcing your boots to rotate sideways and into the snow. I have found that moving my ancles sideways inside my boot works to some extent only to my inside leg. Its because I find it way more efficient to cant my boots and use the outside stance leg fearly passively only to carry the load. If you cant your boots your inside ski will be on less cant than usuall so rolling your anlce towards the outside will compensate for that a bit. IMO for fine balancing and adjustments ancle movements can be used but on the slope if you ski faster on icy gromers or hard snow the forces can get quite high. It did not work well for me. But rolling my inside ancle inside my boot is possible and will give that inside ski better gripp. On the other hand Im skiing with pressure mainly on the outside ski so Im not sure how much it helps. On a racing course that is. Skiing normally it might be ok but I dont know what to compare to. Parallel shins could be one reason and for that it helps offcourse. One of my coaches said that he did not use it even though his coaches at the time he was racing in the wc had such theories. Its an individual thing I suppose. If I move my ancles too much in my boots my thin linear will cause my knuckes to rub against the outer shell and I get pains and red spots on my feet. Ouch.

Anyway, maybe you can get hold of the instructor by e-mail and have her open up the mystery for you. If you have any video of yourself you can show it here and we can have a look. Maybe your hip movements are way too dominating. Or maybe your are also countering a lot with your upper body. I know PSIA prefers quite a square stance.

Hope we can get some boot fitter guys to give us some feedback here because its an interesting technique.
post #4 of 50
I find it easier to tip using my ankles in sloppy rental boots.  It is impossilbe to "use ankle" to tip skis in my Comp 911s, and damn difficult to do it in Crossmax boots.  It may be that trying to tip using your ankles actually does something else.   Maybe my boots fit too well?
post #5 of 50

gailforce2000, just wondering did she give a reason or explain why she thinks rolling the ankles is the way you should edge your skis?

post #6 of 50
 I believe tipping the ankles is the first movement to edge our skis.  Though it is a rather small imperceptible  movement to the onlooker, it is a critical movement to better align the ski's inside edge underneath the ankle joint (stacked) so as to gain the most edge grip.  This is the first movement in a chain of movements to balance on/over the edge.  Though the range of motion inside the boot may be close to nonexistent in a race fit boot, the ankle should be permitted to evert, pressing the medial ankle bone into the shell to establish a tripod of contact between the heel, 1st met head and ankle bone.  The ankle is the body's most articulate balancing joint and should be enlisted first as well as used continuously throughout the turn to fine tune balancing movements.  Negating the ankle joint in skiing places balancing onus, farther up the chain, on the knees and hips which are much slower to react to imbalance.

Without seeing your skiing gailforce2000, I can not comment specifically on your ankle use or lack thereof, but I agree with the clinician's premise that edging movements should originate in the ankles!  Inclination anticipates the forces we will encounter in the turn, hip angulation allows us to keep the predominance of pressure on the outside ski and the knees and ankles fine tune the edge angle to maintain balance and shape the turn.  (note: I just made that up but it sounds good!)
post #7 of 50
Gail,

Here's a drill you can do at your computer, but it helps to be wearing loose fitting pants and you'll need a swivel chair.

Sitting in the chair, keep your feet planted on the floor and swivel right and left. Your knees will move and draw your feet onto edge. The further you swivel, the more your ankles will tip. Stop 1/2 way between neutral and max swivel and try to increase or decrease the angle of your foot through ankle movements. That's the muscle movement that your clinician was asking for, but the leg position does not match WHEN you need to do it. So, go back to neutral position. Grab your pants on both sides of your kness and lift straight up, but keep one side of your foot on the floor. In order to do this, your ankle has to tip (your vertical lift won't be more than inch or so). Keep repeating this gradually using your ankle to help lift the knee until you don't need to help by pulling up. You may find tipping the inside of the foot up is easier than tipping the outside of the foot up, but that's another discussion. The point here is that you are learning the ankle movements that will cause your feet to tip quicker than just using your hip. In ski boots, you won't get the extent of the movements that you get with this drill. But in your boots, these movements will cause pressure on the sides of the boots that will tip the skis and cause the same kind of knee movements as the swivel exercise. The end result is a chain of movements from the feet up instead of the hip down.
post #8 of 50
All  the above are good.  But let me approach this from a different angle/viewpoint.

Maybe you are articulating your ankles but this wasn't noticed because your hip articulation was over emphasized.  So you would have to ask/test yourself.  Example. (learned from Robin Barnes at ESA Big Sky Mar 09) take some poles lay them on some close cropped carpet, stand on them (in line) with regulr tennis shoe on.  Roll your ankles L and R almost off the poles - feel the ankles articulating? Do you do this inside your ski boots when skiing.  If you do, maybe you can do it better and maybe use less hip.  I don't know what kind of PSIA contortion/turn you were doing but most low speed turns don't need a lot of hip.   Anyway something to consider.
post #9 of 50
Common thinking in the sport of skiing is that rolling the ankle is, and should be, the 1st movement in beginning a ski turn, even though rolling the ankle as the 1st movement, seems to diverge from conventional thinking about athletic movement patterns in which the larger muscle groups begin the activity and the smaller more distal muscle groups refine the activity.
Just wondering if anyone has an explanation of why skiing would seem to stand alone as the only sport where movement starts with the small muscle groups?
post #10 of 50
Speed skating. The push starts with an ankle flex. Skiing isn't alone.

 From http://www.ellismethod.net/skating_tips_july_Dec.html

In order to have power in your push you need to have maximum pressure in to the ice. However, to have maximum pressure you need to have the weight behind the push. This is referred to as the weight transfer in skating. The weight needs to fall forward, down, and to the side and you feel pressure under the back part of the ball of the foot before pushing. This movement is initiated with an ankle bend forward. The more you can compress the ankle, the more muscles you will be recruiting in the lower leg ankle and foot that can now be used to exert pressure into the ice.  The push starts with an opening of the hip and knee and finishes with an extension of the ankle. Pressure is maintained through the ball of the foot until the end of the extension. The result is more force exerted into the ice over the entire push and an increase in the time the force is applied, resulting in faster speeds.
post #11 of 50

retroEric,
I’m not sure that I am convinced by your example that “Skiing isn't alone”  but I did enjoy thinking and learning more about Speed Skating.
 
In reading Sue Ellis's description is it possible that the bending of the ankle is more of a passive action where, after what is referred to as weight transfer, the bending of the ankle, is caused by gravity and, allows the weight to fall forward and down before pushing.
 
In the paragraph you copied in your post she clearly states the following about the push.
"The push starts with an opening of the hip and knee and finishes with an extension of the ankle."
 
And in the 1st  paragraph (see below) which you did not copy in your post she describes the sequence.
 
“We know that the largest and strongest muscles used in the push are the ones around the hips and the quads, however the ankle is a very important and often forgotten joint. It is the last joint to extend in the push and even though the muscle groups around the ankle are smaller they are the ones to deliver the final power in a push.”

Might you have a better example?
post #12 of 50
I agree that the ankle roll is key to initiating a GS turn and gradually increased throughout the QCT (quick carved turn)

Yesterday I made a post on the importance of "ankle roll" on another board.  I'm discussing how important it is.
--------------

I  think it is time to discuss an important facet of angulation that has not been explored in detail, how "toe grab", foot twist and ankle roll effect "ski steering" which is extremely important when initiating the next turn.

For me, when I'm making QCT's, I'm really concentrating on "feeling" my shovels and making them an extension of my foot. At exactly the same time, the pole flick, down weighting and hard uphill ski edge set, accomplished by pushing my uphill toes forward and down with a sharp foot "stomp", to finish the turn loading both ski's with energy for the sequential rebound that will "launch" me weightlessly across the fall line. As I sense myself becoming weightless, I simultaneously use A&E by bending my knees, pulling my feet back under my body and while gradually starting to push down with my toes with enough pressure to "feel" my ski tip just contacting the snow. When I say I'm pushing down with my toes, the is done in combination with the ankle pressure, no leg pressure at all as I' m still pulling my feet back under my body by bending my knees.

When I first initiate my tip into the turn, I'm still weightless, I start twisting my toes down and inward while at the same time start rolling my ankle down and inward. My ski has hooked up now and is carving around the "clock". I've floated from 12 o'clock to 3 o'clock, in this time I've gone from "tip contact" to "full shovel contact with slight load. and now my body weight is starting to come down and I'm able to add gradual increased pressure to my downhill ski shovel with my leg.

From 3 o'clock to 6 o'clock, I'm going to continue twisting my toes and rolling my ankle in combination with rolling my knee downward and inward with my turn, continually loading my entire ski as it tracking towards intersecting the fall line.

I'm a terrible technical writer. The bottom line is, feeling the ski with your toes and rolling them with your ankle can help drive the ski through the arc of the turn. is when making QCT's (quick carved turns)

Here's a video that demonstrates QCT's where "ankle roll" is so important.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPUnIIiy0M8

------------
post #13 of 50
Nailbender-very quick turns indeed! Not sure I would label them as carved turns though. And I would definitely be exhausted after one run of these.
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayCantu View Post

Might you have a better example?

Well, my idea was that when you're skating, you have to set your edge before you can push with the big muscles. So, in my mind at least, the ankle roll is the start of the process.

The closest documentation I could find via the google is http://www.hockeyplayer.com/artman/publish/article_416.shtml

It doesn't have anything about the timing of the edge set, just that it should be 45 degrees. But it seems clear to me that getting the skate on edge has to come first. Maybe I'm wrong. This probably won't convince you anyhow, but it's the best I can do right now.
post #15 of 50
 I'm wondering about your footbeds. If your foot is not properly supported, maybe your ankle can't move in a way that allows tipping and you have to move your hip to start the turn.
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Skiteebow wrote:

Nailbender-very quick turns indeed! Not sure I would label them as carved turns though. And I would definitely be exhausted after one run of these.

I hear ya Skite, that was 36 carved turns in 23 seconds on my first run with a new pair of Dynastar Speed Course Pro 182's (GS).  I'm 48 and it takes me about 4,000 feet of QCT's to really warm up.  Those are definitely carved turns, watch the tails of the skis follow the tips across the fall line, I'm not pivoting.  It is amazing how round they feel as I load the full shovel and roll the tips.  I practice these QCT's relentlessly as they are the foundation of SVMM (Sun Valley Mogul Method) .  This is how I ski moguls over the tops.  I have to control speed with a full carved turn that "fits" on top of a mogul, the "control turn".  The next turn down the steep backside of the mogul, I call the "transition turn", it is almost weightless and difficult to dump speed with, but is still a round carved turn. 
post #17 of 50
Gr8 topic,
I find ankle tipping makes for super quick edge to edge transitions.  My favorite early season lines go str8 down the fall line on the blues, making quick turns within shoulder width.   These hero turns make me feel like a million bucks.

Whilst doing so, I find that the hips must tip to correspond to the ankle angle, or a traverse will result.  Now the trick is to do this in the bumps zipper line :)
post #18 of 50
I'm not even sure I want to open this can of worms... but here goes. Not that my opinion on carving matters (I mean why would it), but just because a turn appears to be round and the tails follow the tips across the fall line does not automatically make it a "carved turn". Further, your description of this turn included "pushing", "stomping", and "twisting" - which are not movements that are associated with a carved turn. There are ways to make non-RR-track turns that some consider to be carved, but your demo isn't it.
post #19 of 50
Since your opinion doesn't matter neither will mine. You gotta call like you see them. Good skiing but not carved turns. Sorry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post

I'm not even sure I want to open this can of worms... but here goes. Not that my opinion on carving matters (I mean why would it), but just because a turn appears to be round and the tails follow the tips across the fall line does not automatically make it a "carved turn". Further, your description of this turn included "pushing", "stomping", and "twisting" - which are not movements that are associated with a carved turn. There are ways to make non-RR-track turns that some consider to be carved, but your demo isn't it.
 
post #20 of 50
Nail,

What you are doing is a quick skidded turn. Some might call this windshield wiper turns. These can serve you well in the moguls.

A carved turn is one where the tail follows the tip while the ski is significantly decambered. Your tails follow your tips only while the ski is decambered across the fall line. When you look at the track of a carved turn you will see a groove in the snow where the entire edge has passed. Your turns will show a curved line where the tips pass, but a brushed out area that ends in a single edge groove about the length of your ski where you "stomp" to finish the turn.

These are effective turns, just not carved.

MR
post #21 of 50
Interesting tips here. I liked Rusty's 'in front of the computer' drill.

I deal with the same issues. I was in a private lesson yesterday and heard the same comments -- too much use of the hips and knees to initiate(raising/lowering hips angulate to get the skis on edge). Basically, I was told the result is doing  more work than I have to. I was working on a few drills to get me to understand the importance of using the ankles and feet to start the chain of motion. I am still trying to get the feel for this. It's relatively easy to do with the new outside ski but the hard part for me is with the new inside ski to. Part of it is trepidation and the fear of grabbing the edge of the new uphill ski as it is rolled to the outside edge.

Also, one thing I noticed from my experience with lessons is that once I am told to employ a new movement or emphasise a new pattern or joint, I tend to overuse the joints being referred to and in this case the result is I exhagerate the ankle roll movements. 

It helps me to work on this on shallower easy terrain --steep and fast runs are not the place to be working on new techniques because it will create even more trepidation. There is no shame in using the bunny hills for this stuff and I spent a good part of the afternoon yesterday skiing alongside never-evers on the easy green runs. Find a place where there's not a lot of people so you can slow it down and not have to worry about distractions. 

For me, the goal in progressing has always been to find new and more efficient ways to use the ski to my advantage to make things like turning and control easier and more efficient. Regarding carved vs steered --  you do not have to carve a clean and perfect arc or have perfect technique to get the ski to do a good majority of the work for you. As far as perfect C turns, realize that you are going to be up to race speeds very quickly, even on shallow runs.  Even if I had the skill to execute perfect C turns, I am not comfortable with the speed that will result. I very much appreciate the benefits of steered or scarved turns on steep sections.
post #22 of 50
Quote:
MasterRacer wrote:

Nail,

What you are doing is a quick skidded turn. Some might call this windshield wiper turns. These can serve you well in the moguls.
 
I'll agree these are not RR track GS carved turns, but I am certainly carving the edges of my ski's making  extremely tight radius arcs.  I've always considered a "windshield wiper" turn to be a pivot/ edge check/ skid used by most WC mogul skiers.  There is no way I could generate enough energy at the release of my turn to float me through the high C of my next turn weightlessly without fully loading/ decambering my ski's with edge carving.  Look how far out of the fall line my tips get, there is no way I could bring them back across the fall line that quickly without carving my skis and look at the angulation I create while doing this.





These are not pics of the video, but are the SVMM / QCT's made while mogul skiing.  Again, these are not windshield wiper/ pivot turns.

May I ask what the posters see in the video that doesn't qualify them as a "carved turn"?

I'll try to get a better video of the QCT's this weekend.  I'll try to get a view from above, off the chair.
Edited by Nailbender - 12/18/09 at 8:31am
post #23 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nailbender View Post

May I ask what the posters see in the video that doesn't qualify them as a "carved turn"?

The discussion of calling a spade a spade belongs in another thread (in tech and analysis), but it might be an interesting discussion - especially if you were to provide more visual material. I think an analysis of your "qct" would derail this thread.
post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post




The discussion of calling a spade a spade belongs in another thread (in tech and analysis), but it might be an interesting discussion - especially if you were to provide more visual material. I think an analysis of your "qct" would derail this thread.
 

I agree.

Nailbender, if you want to start another thread, I'll follow up there. Just PM me to make sure I see it and get involved.

MR
post #25 of 50
Gail

Inverting the foot on the inside of the turn (right foot on a right turn), especially when combined with lightening the weight on that leg, impels the body to the inside of the turn.  This happens with better skeletal stacking than by dropping the hips to the inside, everting the outside foot, or pressing the knees to the inside.  (Inverting means to roll the foot up on its outside edge so the arch/big toe edge is raised.)

Try this on snow.  Make a gentle traverse and roll your inside ankle so the arch is elevated.  Do nothing else except allow your body to balance--don't force anything except the ankle effort.  Note how your ski track curves.  Do the same thing while lifting the inside foot slightly.  If everything else is equal, your track will be a tighter curve.  If you have a lot of inside ski lead, you can't tip the ski on edge much, so try to keep your toes about even (can't be done, but try).  Now try some easy turns doing nothing else but tipping the inside foot up on its little toe edge and allowing your body to balance itself.  Allow your body to counter and angulate and keep the inside leg light on the snow.  The only effort you make is to invert the inside foot, lighten the inside leg, and keep your feet about even forward & back.  No other effort anywhere else, but allow your body to balance.  You'll find that you're balanced inside the turns in the strongest, most stable stacked position.  No, none of us can get much range of motion in the ankles, but putting the effort there does get the body inside the turn and the skis on edge.
post #26 of 50
Softsnow..

This was one of the drills I was working on yesterday in a private lesson. I have always unwieghted the new uphill ski and pressured the new downhill ski and tipped using knee and hip angulation. It has always worked but , as many here are saying, my instructor stressed this technique, while can be used, is not as efficient as the tipping of the outside edge to initiate. 

I have had major problems geting comfortable with this.

The sequence usually progresses like this.

-- I start to flatten skis smoothly
-- Once flat, I slowly tip the new inside ski to little-toe edge
-- Ski either twists or slides sideways down fall line.
-- I catch little-toe edge
-- High-side fall.
-- I go back to skiing using the use of angulation to tip and turn.
 
The more I treid it, the more frsutrated I got and instructor finally left it with, "Keep working on it."

The ski either wants to twist or slide sideways, regardless of my efforts to prevent this. I then end up compensating for the twisting, sliding, and this really gets me in trouble.

I don't get it. Tipping to the little-toe edge to initiate feels very unnaural and forced, like my ankles and knees are saying, "I do not want to do this."
post #27 of 50
 Mojoman, how about some video? Have you had any alignment work done?
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

 Mojoman, how about some video? Have you had any alignment work done?


 


Hi, no video. Boots are aligned.

I can perform this easy enough standing in the ski boots. Right foot rolls right, left ankle follows. The problem is, on the snow, the tipped little-toe edge on the new inside ski simply seems to slide sideways when I flatten it and it either grabs or I end up on the inside edge of the downhill ski as it slides out away from me.  I just can't do it for some reason. Mental block?  Tried for an hour yesterday to get it down on the easy bunny hill and it was squirelly.
post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoMan View Post





Hi, no video. Boots are aligned.

I can perform this easy enough standing in the ski boots. Right foot rolls right, left ankle follows. The problem is, on the snow, the tipped little-toe edge on the new inside ski simply seems to slide sideways when I flatten it and it either grabs or I end up on the inside edge of the downhill ski as it slides out away from me.  I just can't do it for some reason. Mental block?  Tried for an hour yesterday to get it down on the easy bunny hill and it was squirelly.
 

Then it sounds like somethings wrong (puts on Captain Obvious Cape). It shouldn't be hard to do. You're not trying to stand on the new inside ski are you? It should be pretty subtle. Kinda hard to say over the internet. This would probably be pretty easy to figure out if we could see you in person, or perhaps on some video.
post #30 of 50
We were doing something called, 'white-out turns', where we skied on the new inside ski to turn, So basically , yes, most of my weight is on that ski when I try this technique.

I can't use my inside ski like that to start the turn. I have to have most of my weight on the outside ski or it is very difficult for me to keep the inside ski from staying on course without grabbing or twisting. It is hard, balance-wise and takes a lot of effort. More than I want to deal with. Don't see how it is more efficient by starting the turn with the weight on the new inside ski. It is more work for me and is harder to control. 
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