As I´ve seen, Sk1bum73 has not replied this yet. I´d like to write some lines about this point of the discussion. It looks intersting to me.
I´ll write in another colour, to make it easier to read.
Some questions for Bob.
But firs, let me tell Bob, I do appreciate the oportunity to talk to him in this channel.
You've gone to somewhat great lengths in an attempt to address the question, "why?" But in reality, I submit that what you have actually done is simply describe your own opinions about what "should" be and what you think is "optimal," without actually explaining why at all! Although I really cannot claim to speak for VailSnoPro (original poster), I suspect that what you have expounded on here expresses some of the exact dogmatism and "conventional wisdom" that he intended to call into question with this thread. If we were to accept some of your premises, I would agree that your conclusions would follow. But your premises have certainly begged a few critical questions, so in reply to your post, please allow me to ask you a few "why" questions:
Why do think "A ski tipped on edge with pressure behind the boot as opposed to in front of the boot can turn, but not optimally. BUT, a ski tipped on edge such that pressure is applied in front of the boot can turn optimally"? (What is an "optimal" turn, by your definition?) By contrast, I suggest that a ski will turn "optimally" (which I will define for this purpose as making the cleanest, purest carve, with the least amount of skidding, and the foot traveling as much as possible in the direction it's pointed) when the pressure is centered over its "sweet spot"--which is the spot that distributes pressure most continuously from the tip to the tail. And I submit that that spot is generally NOT forward of the boot, but rather somewhere under the boot, if the bindings are optimally mounted.
As you may have noticed, I´ve answered something similar, as Sk1bum73 when I mention "succesfull turn". You´ve asked "what is an "optimal" turn by your (Sk1bum73) definition?
It is a very good question. A bit roundy, but good. I like the way Bob has described it. But later, he has appointed something about desire, objective.
Here I´d like to make a point into that "sweet spot" that distributes preassure from the tip to the tail. I´m not sure of the existance of that concrete point. Pay attention, I haven´t said "it does not exist such a point". I did say, "I´m not sure", and "concrete."
When walking, the part of the foot wich is in contact with the surface is shortenning and larging. Here there´s a quite long explanation about foot:
This point is key in my view: "The five irregular bones of the midfoot, the cuboid, navicular, and three cuneiform bones, form the arches of the foot which serves as a shock absorber. The midfoot is connected to the hind- and fore-foot by muscles and the plantar fascia."
Then I wonder, is there such a sweet spot? How do I feel it? In what moment of the turn? Can we match certain points of the foot preassure with certain moments of the turn?
I do think so. What´s the best point to have preassure at the beggining of a turn, so we can continue it, being in balance, having the control of direction, etc? Near the toes? In the ball? What do we want to happen? We do want the tip of the ski, to engage in the snow and start a turn. So then, what is the most next point of my body near the ski tip? My toes. In an extension-flexion movement (to make that turn happen) I do feel that preassure in the toes. It is a very short instant.
What is the best point to have preassure in the mid turn? Well, we are in the medium of a turn. What do we want here to happen? We do want the ski to bend in all his lenght, and make proffit of it´s mechanical capabilities, so the turn appears. Don´t we? I try to press with all my foot, but particularly with the ball. In the very next instant I feel my feet are pressing a lot. And the arch of my foot bends, and distributes the preassure along it, therefore does to the ski.
I don´t know if it´s the best but some times I do feel my foot preassure is in the back at the end of a turn. Doctor, is it bad? I I was my doctor, I´d answer, "no, it´s natural".
At this point, I´ve worked with all parts of the ski, and a good and nice turn should have "appeared".
Why do you believe that "it's all about shin pressure"? (You said, "Folks, and I know most of you must know this, it's all about SHIN PRESSURE.") Yes, perhaps that is the conventional dogma. Perhaps it is true, too--but perhaps it is not. Either way, you have not explained WHY you believe this, and you cannot get away with just assuming that most people would agree with you (certainly not around here!). I maintain that I, for one, exert "shin pressure" only situationally--by default I ski with my shins neutral in my boot cuffs, which facilitates pressuring my skis on their "sweet spot."
This is something I do not really understand why, as instructors, we do make so many rounds. Is the shin there? Is it? Yes, there it is. So, why can´t we say it that way?
I do understand both ways. What Sk1bum73 says and Bob´s. But, does it take us somewhere?
Bob asks why. I´ll try to answer.
When pressing the shin, you´re not necesseraly bending your knee. You are bending your ankle, but not necesseraly the knee. Maybe arrived to a certain point you´ll do it.
Does pressing the shin build preassure in the tip of the ski at the beggining of a turn? Yes it does. Is it enough? It does affect the ski but I think that we can say it´s not very effective. If it´s accompained with a knee flexion, will have more preassure and will affect more the ski.
Have I answered Bob? No. But wait a second. Many people says, "preassure to the shin, press your shin". Why do they say it?
The greater the steep of a slope, the greater the "forces" we´ll have to deal with. Correct? So, at the end of a carved turn, for example, a medium radius turn, red type (european standard, have no clue what is it in america, quite steep), high speed, where do you think you are? You are "sitting down" on the back of your skis. To have another turn, what do we need to do? Go forward again. What trigger can help us to build that image, that movement pattern in our head? "Put preassure to your shin".
I´ll call it for-aft balance. On a flat slope I´ll do have to deal with weak forces, so I won´t need to move in a big for-aft range. But on a steep slope I´ll do have to deal with stronger forces, so I´ll have to enlarge that range. And also apply more power to every movement, and be more refined.
Why do you believe that "beginning of turn, PRESSURE needs to go to the front of the ski to make it bend/flex. The ski is designed to pull you into the turn"? Is it? I suggest that it would be more accurate to say that the skis actually PUSH us into a turn, rather than pulling us. Further, I suggest that at the beginning of a turn there is little, if any, pressure on the skis, fore, aft, or center, because the turn begins with an edge release, not an edge engagement, and that what actually pulls us into the turn at the start is generally not the skis at all, but gravity. Still further, I submit that IF you pressure exclusively your tips at the start of the turn, they are indeed likely to hook up and "pull" into the turn--resulting in twisting the skis into a skid in which the feet do NOT travel the direction they're pointed, but rather point more toward the center of the turn as the tails (without pressure on them) skid out. Only if that is your intent (and sometimes it will be, for sure) would "tip pressure" (and "shin pressure") represent the "optimal" solution.
This is... let´s see. I think Bob, you are not talking about the same moment in a turn. When can we say we are starting a new turn? When the skis are flat between turns?
And, if by pressing esclusively the tips at the start of a turn, the will, tatata (all that you said), were else does preassure needed to be?
At least I do understand that if more preassure is put in the tips, than in the rest of the ski, at the beginning of a turn, it does help. I do not say at any moment, all preassure at the tip. That´s different.
In short, Sk1bum73, I believe that you have based some conclusions (primarily the "need" to get your hips forward at the start of the turn) on some of the very assumptions that VSP intended to bring into question with this thread. It would be great, and could generate some truly productive discussion, if you would expound on your reasons and understanding that lead to these fundamental assumptions. As I've noted, I, for one, disagree not with your conclusions, but with some of your most basic premises. You are certainly not alone in these beliefs, but in the true spirit of "question everything" and of challenging dogma and conventional wisdom in the quest for deeper understanding and a better glimpse at Truth, I humbly ask you to explain the "why's" behind your assumptions. I would very much enjoy hearing your response to my objections above.
Could be a good discussion. But it is critically important in these things to differentiate fact and reason from opinion, to recognize that even the most universally-held beliefs can (and should) be questioned and challenged, and to remember that just because a belief is held by a lot of people does not necessarily make it true. You appear to subscribe unquestioningly to the conventional wisdom that we need a lot of shin pressure in our boots, and forward pressure on our skis (at least at the start of the turn)--and I am very glad that someone who holds those beliefs has spoken up in this thread.
Please do not mistake my questioning of these things as an accusation that you are wrong. I am looking only to better my own understanding, and I look forward to your reply.