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Rolling the Ankles to Turn

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
NOTE. I sorta started this on Technique Forum but am so interested thought I would put here.  Heluvaskier and GarryZ gave me some good input.  Have a cold and home (ugh) so timing is good.

Attended ESA Big Sky last year and Robin Barnes gave us a drill to roll our ankles on and off our ski poles which were on the floor.  Giving us some feedback on the feeling of rolling the ankles.

Last week skied some pretty steep moguls and got to the bottom and was not happy at all with my skiing.  Skis not always parrallel, not matched, even some stemming.  Went back up and skied again and only thought of rolling ankles to tip the skis/to turn. Skied much better, did 3 more runs (wore myself out) and liked the feel and the results which was no stemming, more parrallel skis and just flat better line, not any park and ride etc.

Questions.  Are there different degrees of tipping?  Example (Maybe?):

Groomed Run-Blue-Med Radius = tip early and smoothly ?
"                         " Short Radius = tip early and more dynamically?

Steep Moguls = Tip on time and more dynamically

Powder = tip modeerately and have some patience to start turn?

GarryZ mentiioned not using my hips to tip but use ankles without a lot of hip.  Makes sense to me.  The above mogul exercise I did the other day probably had a lot of hip in the turns. Although I am sure my first real try at rolling my andles to turn was not real good, it sure felt good.  Liked the positive response feedback I got from my feet and skis. Hope I am on the right track.

MY QUESTION.  Does any of the above make sense?  Can you give me some way (KISS) to refine this movement/feeling?

I should probably add that while doing this I was only thinking of rolling my ankles, not thinking about weighting/unweighting, pressuring downhill ski, big toe-little toe or anything else for that matter (except of course where I was headed) Obviously this turn and me need a lot of work, just wanted to see if i COULD get some feedback on YES continue etc.


Me.   Old fart, 5'11  194  skiing 40yrs, ski almost anything sometimes good sometimes not so good. Intermediate +-  !

Thanks, Pete
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

GarryZ mentiioned not using my hips to tip but use ankles without a lot of hip.  Makes sense to me.  The above mogul exercise I did the other day probably had a lot of hip in the turns. Although I am sure my first real try at rolling my andles to turn was not real good, it sure felt good.  Liked the positive response feedback I got from my feet and skis. Hope I am on the right track.

MY QUESTION.  Does any of the above make sense?  Can you give me some way (KISS) to refine this movement/feeling?
One way to evert or suppinate the ankle/foot is to strongly raise the big toe against the top of the inside boot. This seems wacky but it works. The muscles involved are the toe extensors of the lower leg which are closer to the action at the ski than the large muscles of the hip rotators. So to make a turn to the right dorsi flex the right big toe against the inside top of the boot and it will tip the ankle to the little toe edge as well as helping to flex the ankle. 
post #3 of 15

Good turns start with the releasing of the skis.  This requires the tipping movements in the feet and ankles you describe.

The more you are tipping each foot equally and simultaneously, but independently, the more successful you'll feel.  In the moguls, it's important to involve the new inside ski in the tipping/turning from the beginning.

Some things I like to do to promote good tipping are to use shallow terrain alternately for both pure tipping/riding the skis and pure steering movements.  That is, stand equally on the skis and vary the tipping movements to vary the amount of turning off the gravity line for a dozen direction changes, then do another dozen steering movements primarily rotating the femurs.  You need both these sets of moves in the bumps.

There ARE different degrees of tipping, as you suggest.  Tipping movements should be progressive for only the degree of edge angle needed to accomplish the goals.  Hip angulation comes into play only as you begin to reach the limits of the feet and legs.

 

Situationally, you want to combine tipping and steering movements to fit the circumstances.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
I would like to THANK those of you that got involved in this question.  Went out Wed. and skied powder (5" and 14") better than I ever had in the past.  Amazing what tipping will do.  I don't know why it took me so long to grasp this idea/technique.  Years ago my good ski bud Ted told me "tip em before you turn", Holiday told me this too and being the SLOW learner that I am it never really got through my skull. But it did wednesday and what a difference.  Thanks everybody.  Finished Wed. skiing a run top to the freeway at Lookout Pass, the lift had b een closed for 3 days and got lst tracks on 14 inches of untouched powder.  There is no way out unless you know where to go.  Van and I skied down to the Freeway and hitchhiked  back.  Good turns, no falls, tipping the feet and ankles. No more reluctance in powder for me.

Telemarker from Whitefish on his way home picked us up and bought him a beer (off Teledance) and then went up with Van, Teledance and had a Moosdrool in the bar.   Great day!!!   A real breakthrough for me.   thanks again
post #5 of 15
A lot of good advise Pete. Here's one that works for me when coaching folks in the bumps that are having trouble getting both skis to head down the bump at the same time. Just try and lift your heels off the back of the foot beds. You don't have to pull the tails of the snow, (but that works too) just lift them at the same time. To do this one has to move forward or down the hill and that's the biggest problem new bump skiers have IMHO. Really work on being countered and face the fall line too.  Give it a try.    Wigs
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

GarryZ mentiioned not using my hips to tip but use ankles without a lot of hip.  Makes sense to me.  The above mogul exercise I did the other day probably had a lot of hip in the turns. Although I am sure my first real try at rolling my andles to turn was not real good, it sure felt good.  Liked the positive response feedback I got from my feet and skis. Hope I am on the right track.

MY QUESTION.  Does any of the above make sense?  Can you give me some way (KISS) to refine this movement/feeling?

 

Pete,

 

Is this in line with what you were thinking/doing?

 

 

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

jc-ski, yep that seems to be IT.   For me personally the rolling  ankle movement has a rather large spectrum.   Rolling  the ankles for me has become a matter of degrees.  Sometimes I turn with a foot steering motion and dramatically rolled ankles and sometimes I don't.  really depends on where I am skiing, how I feel at the time and what I want to accomplish with my skiing and/or turn. The movement has become an integral part of my mogul skiing and is very important.   thanks for the video. Pete 

post #8 of 15

I tend to steer my turns, and am working on smoothly incorporating getting my skis on edge more, so this should be a good drill to try and develop that feel. If it helps in the bumps, all the better!   ;-)

 

Thx, and happy skiing!   Thumbs Up 

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

jc-ski.      What I started doing last year was before I entered the bumps the very lst turn into their area/down the hill, I consciously initiated the first turn by a direct;  1) shins into boots, 2) tip before you turn (done with a positive ankle roll and tipping of the skis from the feet and ankles).  Worked for me in the moguls and actually everywhere.  My MO however is when I am just free skiing and making turns almost anywhere.  I revert to my "natural" state and just ski, probably undisciplined on my part but I don't like to think of technique all the time when I ski.  Value the freedom and feel of exhilaration too much to think about technique all the time.  
Consequently sometimes I ski like I used to race and teach and sometimes I just do it and go.  FUN

post #10 of 15

Sometimes I skis and thinks.

 

And sometimes I just skis!

 

I'm with ya, Pete!  

 

Cheers!   Thumbs Up

post #11 of 15
Here's a thought/tip. : never stop tipping. Time your rolling with the turn you are trying to make so that you reach maximum tipping when the turn is supposed to end. Then tip the other way. Then repeat, all the way down smile.gif
post #12 of 15

^^ Good tip, thx!  Thumbs Up

 

Thought I'd add this video from this thread started yesterday - right in line with the discussion here...

 

 


Edited by jc-ski - 12/14/13 at 9:54am
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
 

Hip angulation comes into play only as you begin to reach the limits of the feet and legs.

 

 

I don't really understand this. Can you explain a bit more in detail the difference between foot, leg and hip tipping.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
 

jc-ski.      What I started doing last year was before I entered the bumps the very lst turn into their area/down the hill, I consciously initiated the first turn by a direct;  1) shins into boots, 2) tip before you turn (done with a positive ankle roll and tipping of the skis from the feet and ankles).  Worked for me in the moguls and actually everywhere.  My MO however is when I am just free skiing and making turns almost anywhere.  I revert to my "natural" state and just ski, probably undisciplined on my part but I don't like to think of technique all the time when I ski.  Value the freedom and feel of exhilaration too much to think about technique all the time.  
Consequently sometimes I ski like I used to race and teach and sometimes I just do it and go.  FUN

 

In the thread featuring Berger in the bumps he said that bump skiing is not a technique issue. Its a tactical issue. Use the terrain for speed control. And have fun. So its all about your line and having fun. A drill that supports this kind of mindset that I was taught many years ago in Austria that I still use for myself and with students is the "dwarf turn exercise". On a gentle slope grab your ski poles half way down and squat into a very low flexed short position. Then do short turns as quickly as possible by turning your legs. Because your knees are bent its easy to crank your knees from side to side. The ide was to loosen up your knees. In the bumps you are trying to stay as much in the fall line as possible and that means that your body is trawling straight while your feet are turning underneath you. And in bumps you need to have lightning fast feet. Your feet do two things, flex and extend and turn. Once you do this a couple of times its going to feel much easier skiing bumps. Both turning and flexing.

post #15 of 15

TDK, that ^^^ sounds like a fun drill, will have to try it. Thx for sharing.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
 

There ARE different degrees of tipping, as you suggest.  Tipping movements should be progressive for only the degree of edge angle needed to accomplish the goals.  Hip angulation comes into play only as you begin to reach the limits of the feet and legs.

 

Situationally, you want to combine tipping and steering movements to fit the circumstances.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post

 

I don't really understand this. Can you explain a bit more in detail the difference between foot, leg and hip tipping.

 

I'll take a crack at answering your question by including above it a larger chunk of what Kneale posted earlier, with what you quoted in bold blue. I think the key concept is progressive. If you embrace the "skiing from the feet up" approach then you start tipping into a turn by simply rolling the ankles, as this thread has been focused on. If the turn calls for more edge angle you'd next move up to focus on tipping the knees, and to take it even further would drop the hips into the turn. That's my read, anyway.

 

Which is not to say you have to ski (tip/angulate/edge) with that sequence of progressive from-the-foot-up movements. Rob Butler demos more of a hip only (I guess this is a mellow example of what folks refer to as "hip dumping"?) approach in this demo...

 

 

He suggests that as a way to ski in a more relaxed manner, and that sounds fine, as long as it's a choice, and not the skier's only option.

 

I like Kneale's comment in bold red - if you added in "pressure" to account for the third control plane that would seem to me to pretty well describe good skiing.

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