Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
Stance corrections like pulling the inside foot back, or flexing the inside ankle and boot just to get the body and feet aligned is still treating a symptom. As an occasional stance correction both have validity. If your finding yourself using it all the time you're allowing your stance to get too far out of whack. BTW this isn't just my opinion, I've discussed this with dozens of demo team level coaches, demo team selectors, cert test authors, examiner verifiers, examiners. A better stance simply eliminates the need to use it that much. It's even mentioed in the white paper,(the focus paper the d team produces). So to suggest all instructors subscribe to pulling back the inside foot is far from accurate.
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
Sorry for those who think the "do nothing" approach is the best approach to take on this topic - it isn't - and it is severely out of touch with what happens at the highest levels of the sport and evidence that they have likely never experienced what really being forward feels like. It has nothing to do with beliefs and everything to do with reality - you know - what is really happening on a mountain with snow on it. It also has a little to do with experience with and knowledge of high level skiing - you know - actually doing it - on a mountain with snow on it (not just talking about it on the internet). To suggest that a dissenting opinion on this topic is the result of dogma is just plain insulting to those of us who know better. All of the skiers I know and know of who practice this "do nothing" approach to fore/aft balance are ALL in the back seat with no hope of ever experiencing a truly forward turn. They all think
they are forward though... Perception vs Reality rears it's head again.
With the approach: "There is no need to "redirect," "re-center," actively extend or retract either leg, actively flex the ankles, extend the knees, or make any other muscular exertion to initiate the turn"
you will end up with a bunch of inadequate, passive movements resulting in backseat skiing and no hope of fixing errors. The skier will not move enough and their skiing will stagnate - voila - backseat. Even the skier who executes a perfect forward turn with extremely early and forward pressure on their skis (which I suspect is the situation you're referencing in your post above) - they are still maintaining the feet in the fore/aft plane so that they are still able to pressure the front of their skis sufficiently. You can call this pulling back, holding back, pushing back, doing nothing because you're already forward - whatever - it doesn't change what it is - it is a skier flexing at the ankles to stay forward in the fore/aft plane and making sure that the feet are not unnecessarily advancing out in front of their CM. This requires constant movement - one of which is flexing at the ankles by keeping the feet back. The skier who cannot do that (everyone for the most part), needs a way to fix their fore/aft balance while skiing. Movement starts at the feet. Do the math and you'll find a good place to start to address a fore/aft balance issue.
Strangely enough, I can find points where I can agree with both of these. I should - both JASP and Heluva are far more experienced than I, and I have no business telling either one they're wrong!
I know about levering too far forward because I used to do that. It can happen when the skier is attempting to follow repeated instructions to get forward, by whatever means. I realize it happens rarely - most skiers clearly have their COM behind their heels. But it does happen, and it's often the result of someone trying to follow instructions. As has been noted, different people respond to the same instruction differently.
I agree that, at least for an efficient, clean, low-effort basic turn on groomed terrain, it may not be necessary to "re-direct," etc. to initiate if the balance is accurate in the first place.
All that's necessary is to allow the COM to move down the hill and allow the skis to tip down the hill. No correction required.
This is a good thing to know and understand, because the vast majority of our students often attempt to do too much and work way too hard to make a turn happen. They, in fact, need to do less, and they would benefit from understanding how easy it really is to make a basic turn. They work too hard for a variety of reasons. In many cases, their balance is inaccurate in one or more directions.
I also agree with Heluva in the sense that such turns, while possibly smooth and elegant, can be pretty passive. Nonetheless, I believe they should be mastered, and mastered as early in the skier's learning curve as possible. Then, once the skier knows and owns the minimum that's really necessary, once the balance is tuned to allow the low-effort turn with gravity doing as much of the work as possible, it's time to consider dialing it up. The skier can add to the turn, make it more dynamic, more powerful, more versatile. The skier who can ski the groom while just balancing accurately and doing very little else has the fundamentals to learn to correct, to extend, to retract, to add just enough power and movement to float over or around the next bump, blast the next drift or nail the next gate.
I'm not even close to being the skier that either JASP or Heluva is. I have a bit of trouble with cuff neutral in that I have trouble tipping my old outside/new inside ski to the little toe edge without just a little cuff pressure (unless I'm sking very passively). Nonetheless, I manage to ski bumps without shin bang in a pair of plug boots (but I'm old - no WC bumps for me). Heluva is right. Bumps (or trees or crud) take constant movement, frequent correction (at least for me) and the addition of selectively applied power. It takes active extension and retraction. It takes flexing the ankles as much as the boots will allow. It takes muscular exertion. But not as much muscle as many people think. And being able to do it with less exertion comes from being able to cruise down that groomer while doing as little as possible besides standing on the skis and balancing accurately (which itself requires constant movement, of course). So JASP is right, too.
I'm not certain, but maybe one is talking about the "ideal" turn under ideal conditions, while the other is talking more about what is ultimately needed to deal with real world conditions. Or maybe not. As I've said before, I'm easily confused!
As for suggesting to a student that they pull the inside foot back - well, it's a correction. One of many. Some can use the instruction effectively, and some cannot. It may create other issues, or it may not. YMMV.Edited by jhcooley - 3/11/10 at 2:26pm