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Stance: Narrow or wide? - Page 2

Tog,

>>>"Minuses: The tip becomes a little verklempt at speeds over 50 mph, not exactly a shock on a ski only 200cm long without a dampening plate"<<<

All I can figure it to be is a misuse of the word...

....Ott
Tog,

just watch the skier in your link/shortturns.mpg, close stance, not locked, and no excess body movement. I don't know who this is skiing, but I, Bob and Pierre, when we reached expert level skiing, skied like that, wide track came about twenty years ago and was dictated by equipment, as I have said many times before.

Once skis got softer in flex it was no longer necessary to put ALL you weight on the downhill ski just to make it respond, so carrying some weight on the uphill ski was possible and with that, also managable.

With further development of ski technique and the new heavily side cut skis, unweighting to be able to change edge/lead/weight was no longer necessary or even desired

As Bob said, nowadays weight shift to the outside turning ski is more a RESULT of centrifugal force in dynamic skiing than a deliberate move, albeit a welcome and needed one.

So if you think of two footed skiing as having equal weight on both skis as you move straigt down the fall line, and now you steer the skis into a turn, resistance to the centrifugal force moves more weight over the outside ski and unless you keep balance by moving your center of mass inside the turn to a point of equlibrium between centrifugal force and gravity, you will be thrown to the outside of the turn.

Should you find that equilibrium by banking, which will result in a medium edge set, or via angulation which allows you to have a more acute edge set with the compensating angling of the upper body toward the outside to keep the total average center of mass in the balance plane, as soon as you again quit turning and face down the fall line, your weight will be evenly distributed again since you don't have to fight centrifugal force to stay in balance.

I use the term > centrifugal force< because that is what it is, but it is caused by the skier interfering with >inertia< which wants a mass to keep going in the direction it is going, interfering by the resistance of the edges which deflect the inertial forces constantly. But if you don't lean in, it is the centrifugal forces that will make you eat snow

...Ott
>>wide track came about twenty years ago
and was dictated by equipment, as I have said many times before<< -Ott

What's the change in equipment at that time? Wouldn't have been more like 30 years when plastic boots came in?
Tog, if you ever owned a Rosemont side entry boot which took a half day just to rearrange the packets in the pockets to keep it from hurting, you wouldn't say such a thing .

The first plastic boots like the Henke and Lang didn't have all that much over the latest double laced, fiberglass or resin enforced leather boots, like the Molitors with cable/buckle latches.

There were two things that allowed the teachers to teach wide rack skiing with about 60-40 or 70-30 weighting of skis. First, skis were made softer , and you are right, it was sometimes in the 70s, second, overcoming the resistance of both skiers and instructors, who wanted the stiffest skis they could find on the rack in the mistaken, but at the time unexplored notion that the stiffer the skis the better they will grip. It took a looong time to convince skiers that a softer flex ski would lay down more edge on the snow.

Bob or other examiners could probably pinpoint the time more exactly when PSIA published the training manual which first advocated independent leg action and natural stance, which, among other things, equates to wider seperation of skis.

..Ott
Ott..
don't remind me about rosemonts.. Owww... and the worst part was you had to re arrange them silly packets every other day...
Hey, Ott, my first manual, the 1969 printing of the 1964 American Ski Technique, describes natural stances, but the earliest mention of independent steering in my manual library is about 1970 when PSIA incorporated GLM as a viable alternative.
Dchan, I loved the customized fit of Rosemonts, but I didn't like the idea of loosening up the packing material to make the boots tighter. I used to pack 'em in barefoot and then add a thin sock to keep 'em snug. I usually had to replace the thin sock with a thick one during lunch to maintain any sort of snugness.
KB
don't get me wrong, I loved the way they felt once I got them fitted right but they sure hurt until then. Since I only skied 1 or 2 days at a time and usually went several days or weeks between trips, it meant 2-3 hours of fiddling every trip. Back then we didn't think of moving the boots to somewhere warm every time either so a lot of times the packs were rock hard when we started the process.
and being so young I didn't know any better. They were still better than the leather lace ups (what I started on) and the leather buckle boots. I think I was coming off hard rubber boots when I got my rosemonts.
>>>

Knealy, how time flies...
You guys were crazy with those Rosemont boots. I'd never go through anything like that just...to ski?
Those experiences should be in the "You know you're sick when..."
As for the stiff skis this is another lesson being "relearned" in the last few years.
Tog,
Compared to leather lace ups and leather buckle boots those rosemonts were a godsend..
but I digress...
>>>those rosemonts were a godsend.<<<

That is blasphemy!!!

Kneale, sorry is didn't spell your name right in my previous post...

..Ott
On my last run this season at the Loaf, I deliberately tried a boot buckle-to-boot buckle stance. Just to see if I could do it, now that I've finally gotten past the old "intermediate hump".

To my pleasant surprise, on non-threatening terrain, I finally could do it. Maybe not gracefully - I'll bet Gravity, Bob, Tog, or anyone else here could rip into my style/balance. But I could finally do it. Gee, I should have tried this in front of Lisa's instructor in Bormio...

Not to my surprise - Hated it!. After about a dozen turns, I went back to shoulder-width stance. Felt much better.

Now maybe, as someone pointed out upstream here, it's in part due to shaped skis. X-Screams are pretty wide at the tip, and they want to be skied with independent leg motion I think. But I'll bet if I dragged out my old Heads (magically with all their old camber back) I wouldn't like it much either on them.

Not being the continual ski student, I don't know what this means in terms of teaching styles and schools. But I do know that in two weeks of Whistler's Ski Esprit CSIA program, nobody ever tried to get me to narrow my stance.

Lots of "ski on one foot. Now tap". Which I guess helped. To my surprise.

Lisa can tell you what happens on the rare times I take a Step aerobics class and then the instructor wants to make me clap and step at the same time! I'm surprised the "ski on one foot and tap drill didn't kill me!

I guess I'm getting to the point of asking: Why should I want to ski with a closed stance? Why is it better for someone who's the average recreational skier trying to progress to advanced and on to "expert" skiing (whatever that is...)?
I've done a little homework.

A narrow stance doesn't work with PSIA’s system, because a narrow stance doesn't produce a dominant rotary leg (RM) movement to steer skis. RM require large muscles of the upper legs and thighs. This combined with "foot steering" (PSIA terminology?) results in skidding. It is difficult to access the large muscle groups and create turning leverage over the ski while in a narrow stance. PMTS recruits only the muscles that are needed for a given turn or movement. The movements begin at the base of the kinetic chain and are using small muscles that can fine-tune and control activity of big muscles.
Pierre,
Please do expose the myths from Harald's trash novel that has good excercises. This would be helpful to all.

I totally agree with you that it is a marketing ploy. There's no possible way HH doesn't know almost every thing there is about skiing at this point. Yet he spews all that nonsense.
Mark,
Take a look at the 'Hey Wacko, how many days..." thread. Pierre and Bob go into a fair amount of detail on that.(pg 3 i think) Basically it makes learning the release easier .
I've heard a theory (and I think it's true) that one of the PSIA beliefs is that as you advance in skiing your balance improves and it becomes easier to maintain a narrow stance when you want to (say, in bumps if a wide stance is causing problems).

Did Bob mention this at some point? All it means is that because a narrow stance (NOT glued together feet) gives you a smaller platform to balance on, you need to have better balance to perform the manoeuvers. An analogy is a sailor - the bigger the seas, the more he's likely to stand with his legs planted far apart to better roll with the waves; but if the waves are small, or he needs to scamper on the rigging, he won't be standing with planted-apart legs!

The point would be, that a really good skier will be able to ski with a variety of stances so they can adjust them to the conditions and what they want their skis to do.

Sorry for using so many words for this - hope it made sense!

------------------
~Michelle H.~
( skiandsb@vail.net )
"Tell me I forget, teach me I remember, involve me I learn."
- Ben Franklin
I believe this analysis comes from Robert Hintermeister, a Doctor of Biomechanics, and former Director of Research for the Steadman-Hawkins Human Performance Lab in Vail, Colorado.
Tog,

I'll have to look back through that thread for the bits of wheat buried among the chaff. After a while the signal-to-noise ratio got really poor on that thread.

Presented as a way to learn the release, yeah, that makes sense. As ONE way to teach it, which may work well for some people depending on what their learning style is, and whether they can chew and ski at the same time. (Not me!)

In fact, the reason why I CAN do narrow stance turns now is because I finally learned the release after some drills at Whistler last year. Of course, the drills weren't taught in a narrow stance... but it's interesting that after more-or-less mastering that release I now am more-or-less capable of narrow-stance turn.

I don't get analytical about ski instruction, probably because the analytical parts of my brain are bursting with programming stuff. I'm more "whole body learning" and visualizing, which is why I think Whistler's Esprit program works for me. It's not the specific teaching technique as much as the little bit of demonstration and then a lot of "c'mon, let's go for a ski".

But what I do recall about the drills and examples for learning the release was that they focused on very small movements starting down in my feet, specifically slight flexing of the ankles. I guess that may be sort of what various instructors (ski and fitness) around here are calling the "base of the kinetic chain"? At least in comparison to the "big" movements that either never worked for me or caused me to skid my turns.

Point is, though, they taught me this in a natural, balanced stance, not a narrow stance. The fact that it helped me also begin to do a narrow stance turn is just gravy from my perspective.

Ain't never gonna look like Stein, though...<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by MarkXS (edited May 21, 2001).]</FONT>
O.k., I've done a little clipping from the other thread to try and get these things in one spot. These are from the "Wacko how long have you skied?" thread.

http://www.epic-ski.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000354-3.html

>>In a narrow stance you can get a smooth even non athletic flow from one turn to the next with very little effort. The release requires much less skier ability and far less agressive movements on center of mass. Long/medium radius (Western turns)feel great and light. The disadvantages are that agressive movements are more difficult to control the outcome, the turn size is locked in more (static) and the edge engagment is more restricted.<< - Pierre eh! 5/18,5:54pm

>>Agressive movements can put you too far inside the turn if your judgement is off by the slightest bit, if you are in a wide stance you can adjust angulation to compensate easily. The same is true for changing turn size. By adjusting the angulation in the turn you can increase or reduce edging at will even under g force. This allows you to change the size and shape of your turn quite easily in a carve. These things are all but impossible in a narrow stance. You are mechanically aligned and unable to get leverage to adjust edge angle. Does this make sense.<< -pierre eh! 5/18, 10:00pm

Ott joins the fray:

>> So Pierre, why did you and I and everybody else who have skied forever, skied narrow stance for forty years? It is not that we didn't know how to ski wide stance, EVERY beginner, no matter how they learned, skis in wide stance.

Your 'hip agaist the wall' example only holds true with the recent teaching model where sequential moves have come back in, and made easier with present equipment. Shifting weight back and forth to correct for over or under angulation etc. in wide stance is possible, if not desired, because the turns are not made, as with narrow stance, by unweighting the skis, but via lateral shift.

As you well know, with close stance on the old skis there was no need for tipping release or any other release since everything was done with no weight on the skis, as if they were in the air, and when solid contact with the snow was made again, the weight was on the new outside ski, the lead had changed and the skis were on their new edges.

After that you could tighten or drift the turns by a combination of forward pressure and edge control, and you kept balance by playing the centrifugal force against the speed and movement of the body mass inside the turn. That is easy. If you can make a turn on a bicycle without falling over you can do it on skis in a narrow stance. On a bike you don't have a parallel wide track wheel to push off of, if you leaned in a little too much you just tightened up your turn.<< -Ott Gangl 5/19, 10:11pm

A response from Pierre eh!:

>>This is very true Ott, everything else you said is for the most part true, Is that your point. If your point is " We have always
skied this way" I would say yes but lets take your bicycle idea. If I am ripping with the bike your theory holds true, if I am going real slow the bike balance becomes more dicy, especially as the turn radius is decreased. Your quote above holds the answers. You can do it fine in a narrow stance on old equipment if your turn radius is large enough and your speed is high enough. Ott, you are absolutely correct, modern equipment is precisely the reason for the changes. I'm not sure I would call it sequential though. I like your post

By the way Ott, I have forgotten where I came from. I can't ski that way any more. << Pierre eh! 5/19, 2:01

O.K. and now some from BobB (there is much more there):

>>...A narrow stance allows this weight transfer to happen more smoothly, without the big lateral shift of the body uphill that would be required with a wider stance. Try it: standing up with feet spread wide, balance on one foot, then the other. You had to move sideways, and it was probably pretty awkward. The closer your feet, the less movement the rest of your body must make when you shift from one to the other.

Is this an advantage? Or does it just point to another underlying problem? I argue the latter. I say insisting on an active weight transfer--a distinct "step" to the new ski--is an error, partially compensated for by the narrow stance! Practicing this active transfer--stepping, stemming, skiing on either ski exclusively--is great for balance and versatility. But real performance turns do NOT require an active, complete weight transfer. Like a car, in linked turns the weight will transfer naturally and smoothly to the outside ski (wheels), flowing through an instantaneous moment of "neutral" (equal weight) at the transition.

This weight transfer will occur as the skier moves INTO the new turn--in SPITE of this movement into the turn, even. This flowing, downhill "into the turn" movement stands in stark contrast to the movement UPHILL required to make an active transfer to the uphill ski. << BobB 5/19,9:30pm

Perhaps we could get a quote from Harald's book to give us his big reason for the narrow stance. Alas my book is now far away. But...

Here's a little from SnoKarver:

>>Te she d a little light...

In the world of PMTS, yo get the boots together during the grey zon/transition.

As skiing gets more dynamic (higher level) there is a separation of the skis and the feet, so you can get more edge angel, and, of course, it happens on steeper terrain, due to vertical separation..<< SnoKarver 5/18,10:56

This would indicate what Pierre called "variable width stance".

So there's a little summary.(But by no means the last word eh?)

-----------------------------------------------
Mark,
you say your less inclined to be analytical about skiing. Would it be fair to say that your wife does not fit this description? Is she analytical while skiing or just after?

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Tog (edited May 21, 2001).]</FONT>
Tog,

Wow... thanks all the work for that summary of several posters' points on stance. I quickly read it this morning before running off to work. I'm saving this and the whole thread for later reference. It does explain a lot.

"you say your less inclined to be analytical about skiing. Would it be fair to say that your wife does not fit this description? Is she analytical while skiing or just after?"

I'm not going to dig myself in too deep here Let's just say Lisa, as a fitness professional, especially focusing on balance in one of her disciplines, is naturally likely to break down and analyze movements. It's what she's trained to do, though not for skiing explicitly. More to the point, she enjoys doing it. So she does that to her own movements from what I have observed.

I guess it's comparable to the way I enjoy hacking with Linux, trying a new module, setting up a home lan with Mac, NT, Linux all talking. Part of my working with computers is that I like playing with computers on an OS and configuration level.

Me, I just want to ski. Analyzing how to do it is just a means to an end. Lisa, she just wants to be able to use the PC to read and post. Figuring out this "lair of the mad penguin" I've set up is not the point for her. Flip this around for skiing and PC use, and I think you'll get the picture. Here's an admittedly fictionalized (slightly) example:

Computers:

Mark: Don't you want to know WHY you can access the internet from your laptop out on the terrace? Isn't it cool how quick the images come up now that all the PCs are cached on Squid through my linux box?

Lisa: No - are you done so I can finally get to EpicSki NOW?? I need to talk to my friends.

Skiing:

Lisa: I'm not sure about what the best type of turn is to get down here, I think I'm too far forward. I wish we took a different trail; I can't ski this properly with nice technique because it's too steep for me. By the way did you notice that you are about 7 degrees off center to the left and favoring your right leg?

Mark: Let's just ski this thing! This is wicked steep, I can't believe I finally know how to ski something like this.
There have been some statements that have been floating around here for a while, that have to do with stance width and movement to the new, outside, turning (a.k.a. Stance foot), that have been bugging me. So I have to get something off my chest. These statements, similar to what Mark re-posted, of a statement from Bob, seem to be perpetuated, and it's been getting under my skin. The statements generally sound like the following (I have bolded the importiant part):

This flowing, downhill "into the turn" movement stands in stark contrast to the movement UPHILL required to make an active transfer to the uphill ski. << BobB 5/19,9:30pm. << BobB 5/19,9:30pm

Now... here's my beef. You absolutely do NOT, I repeat NOT, need to move your weight uphill to move your weight to the new outside (uphill) ski. You only need to move your weight uphill, if you are standing still (static) and don't want to fall down.

Let me give you a little experiment here.

If you are moving on a pair of skis, and bring your hips forward (so that your move isn't too lateral), you can start a turn this way! Hey! Revalation!

When I say that you should transfer pressure to the new, outside (turning) (stance) ski, I did NOT also tell you to move your weight uphill so that you can stand static on that ski, did I?

Okay. I feel better now. *Rant Off*

------------------
**Due to the power shortage, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off indefinitely.
Alllrighty then!

Right on JohnH, that bugged me to. Excellent!

I agree, it's the fact that it's a DYNAMIC, and not a static thing, were in a turn.

I'm gonna try to get to A-Basin today, meaybe Bob or somebody can bring a video camera, as that would be fun. Mine has died, and is being fixed. Sigh.

There's some interesting video software here on my PC.. editing, rendering/animation, sports video analysis stuff... Imagine that!

Video Geek Toys!

One of my clients (in my other life) has a nasty computer problem this AM, so I gotta fix it before I play at the Basin.

You gonna be on those mean green Elans Bob? Or do you have some new carving toyz... LOL!

------------------
¯¯¯/__ SnoKarver snokarver@excite.com
Johnh, I've been thinking that same thing since I read Bobs post. In a related matter many of the balance drills are static drills. We have 2 types of balance static and dynamic. Dynamic balance is more important in skiing than static balance.

Bob, I do not know if it was in this thread or some other - but I tried the balance on one foot with feet locked together and without them locked together and it didn't have the effect you described.

_____________________
skiing wide since 75
JohnH nailed it.
That's what we're taught in PMTS (using different syntax of course) and what I mean when I say the skis turn themselves.

When you start a turn by FIRST lightening the downhill ski and lean your body over it (there's a few other steps I'm omitting), boom! You've just made a turn. No gross steering methods. We're taught to take advantage of the sidecut and to use the mountain. We're taught to use little muscles (in the feet), the sidecut and the mountain. Steering uses big muscles (quads). I totally disagree with steering.

It's taken me awhile to get there and I ain't there yet, as my pal (as long as we don't see each other too much ) SnoKarver will attest, but it does work that way. Hey SnoKarver. Sources tell me that you can't blend the teaching methods. When you do, you cancel out the balance training, which is really what PMTS is all about. Are you on the fence? If so, get off it.

The research I posted from Dr. Hintermeister is not intended to take cracks at PSIA and neither is this. I posted it to show why PMTS uses a narrow stance and why a narrow stance won't work in PSIA.

BTW, I think we should start a new thread now, debating steering. I know I can now debate logically (no religion!) why PSIA needs to quit teaching it. Clue: shaped skis.
JohnH
I hear what you are saying and if the movement is done correctly the flow is "downhill" I found this year however that there is a little "up movement" when one actively steps onto the uphill ski as compared to tipping the new downhill ski and allowing the CM to flow down the hill. I little bit of a play with words but I found my skiing got better this year because I was able to get away from the active weight transfer. Maybe the "up hill" we keep getting caught up with is not so much movement up hill but an active stop of the CM flowing down hill when there is an active stepping on to the stance ski rather than the tip and turn? Does that make more sense?
John, you are right, and I have wanted to post on this also, for quite some time.

Bob is correct in one scenario and you are in another, I'll explain.

At the finish of a hard turn, as in racing, the inside ski is often quite far advanced, and especially when it is scissored to gain hight in a gate, the need to step up to the uphill edge of the inside ski requires an agressive shift of the center of mass to that ski, up and forward.

Only then, with the uphill ski tracking and the weight over it does it become the domineering ski and can be rolled on the inside edge to commence the turn without setting the skier back on his tails.

In everyday recreational skiing, as John mentioned, stepping on the uphill ski (or lifting the downhill ski) without shifting body weight over it AND rolling it on it's inside edge simultaniously, creates a momentary imbalance which is desirable since now the body mass is already on the inside of the new turn. This actually is easier in a narrow stance, and I hope everybody understands that narrow stance means feet closer together but still moving independently, and easiest if the uphill/inside shin has still contact with the boot tongue and slight forward pressure and not too much tip lead.

Staticly, or dry land if you will, it is demonstrated thus: as you walk along in a straight line, there is a cement block just to the right of your path. If your intent is to gain balance and CONTROL of your next move, say you may want to wait a second before stepping off, etc., you MUST shift your body weight forward and to the right to be able to stand on that block.

Now, if your intent is only to use the block as a push-off for a change in direction to the LEFT, you can just step on that block with your right foot without shifting your weight over top of it and change direction.

In a skiing turn we have the advantage of the centrifugal force wanting to throw us to the outside of the turn, thus a prolonged weight shift is possible, whereas in my static example it is just momentary.

So, to sum up, if you need to have control of the inside/uphill ski while it is still on it's uphill edge you must shift body weight over it. If you just need to shift weight while at the same time getting on the new edges and starting to turn, there is no need to shift weight uphill.

...Ott
Paul,

I'm sorry you feel that way.

My post makes no distinction between PSIA and PMTS. I'm sorry everything has to be a battle between the two for you.

you stated Sources tell me that you can't blend the teaching methods. When you do, you cancel out the balance training, which is really what PMTS is all about. Are you on the fence? If so, get off it.

Your sources are inept and full of BS, and obviously have some sort of agenda other than teaching you to be a good skier. Your statement sort of alludes to ATS (PSIA) NOT being about balance. FWIW (I know this will just bounce off you as if you never heard it), ATS is at least as much about balance as PMTS. The fact that ATS also teaches other skills, does not mean that balance is any less importiant. You can't ski without proper use of those other skills.

You also stated "I totally disagree with steering.".

Which means you have no idea what you are doing when you are skiing. As others have stated (it may have been Pierre, but I'm not sure), you ARE steering, whether you think you are or not. This statement only shows your lack of understanding of what is going on.

In another "Whacky" statement, you said "When you start a turn by FIRST lightening the downhill ski and lean your body over it (there's a few other steps I'm omitting), boom! You've just made a turn."

No. You haven't. You've only started a turn. It takes other skills, including steering to control and complete a turn.

Only having skied for a couple years, I wouldn't necessarily expect you to understand everything about it, but I would have hoped that you would not consider your limited experience to be superior to the collective experience of others around you (here). Between the folks in this group, there must be 300 years of skiing experince. Yet, you think that your 2 years learning through one method, which is, by all accounts, biased, and does preach a one-way-to ski method somehow outweighs all that experience.

I've said it before, and you simply ignore it, but until you open your eyes and your mind to new ideas, you will fail to mature (in this case, as a skier).

Here's a thought for your future posts. Never use "PMTS", "PSIA", "ATS", Harold Harb's name or initials, or terms such as "Traditional Teaching Systems" etc. Just forget about systems, alliances, or any of that. Tell us how you feel about skiing, and why. You need to actually give reasons why you believe something. As opposed to this statement you just made; "I posted it to show why PMTS uses a narrow stance and why a narrow stance won't work in PSIA." You did not "show why" in your post. You made the statement that you did something that you never did.

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**Due to the power shortage, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off indefinitely.
JohnH,

All you're doing is yelling louder.

Don't tell me that just because I don't have 300 years of experience, I can't debate with you.

I started a high technology business with barely a ninth grade education and zero knowledge of the high tech industry. 10 years later, my company is doing very well.

I taught myself C++ in 1 year and produced 10,000 lines of very complex telephony code. My brother is considered to be one of the very best marketing gurus in the country - he didn't go to college. So just because I don't have the experience you do doesn't mean a thing to me. I have a brain. If that's what your premise is, then please tell me. Because I don't want to debate with you.

I believe I've presented some very good stuff, which you just ignore. This isn't about selling a system. All I'm here to do is debate - logically and professionally. I think there's a lot of skiers out there who can benefit from these debates if that's the format we adhere to. No one wants to read you calling me names or telling me that I have no business here. If you don't want to do the same, fine.

The sources I site do have just as much experience as you. They're doctors, former PSIA examiners, and World Cup racers. If you don't recognize them as being credible, fine. Then all we have left to do is call each other names and I'm not going to do that.
Hi Pierre,

I'm done for the day. I'll check back in later tonight.

Have a good one,
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