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A Perspective on Rotary/Steering

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
I know this has been an overly discussed topic here but I am motivated to post on this subject after reading an article last night. I don't normally receive The Professional Skier but I am in posession of the current issue and read Deb Armstrong's article on her reinsertion of rotary/steering into her skiing after mostly exclusively focusing on tipping during her racing career. I think that, from my own personal perspective, she has some valid points but also is missing some pieces to the puzzle.

As I have come to rely more on tipping my skis to achieve improved proficiency and efficiency I have come to recognize rotary/steering as a small evil. I say this because the very nature of a reliance upon rotary/steering movements allowed me to get by in my skiing without achieving proper balance, inhibited me from learning how to tip my skis effectively, and promoted upper body steering. Changing my focus to tipping required me to improve my balance (both fore-aft and lateral) and led to considerable advancement (still have a lot of room for improvement!).

The times that I still find myself consciously aware of rotary/steering movements are mostly when I am in the back seat, dropping my shoulder back, etc., and don't have the balance to use tipping skills and movements very well. When I am in good balance and using tipping I can recognize some rotary/steering if I consciously make the effort but for the most part my turns "feel" like they are based on tipping. This I think is one of my critical points: When you are well balanced (whatever that means!) and using tipping, the small amount of rotary/steering needed is readily achieved without any conscious effort. It is really quite automatic to steer the skis as needed and so easy when you are in balance that there is almost nothing to it.

Thus if I were starting all over I would focus almost exclusively on tipping for a very long while. Along the way I am sure I would still learn and utilize some rotary/steering but I would leave that to come on its own. Perhaps the time will come (or has come) where it might be worthwhile for me to more actively play with rotary/steering movements as Armstrong describes? However, I somehow feel on the other hand that this is one of the detours that Arc alluded to in his recent post in the Edging/Platform Mechanics thread and perhaps there is no need to go there.
post #2 of 95
Rotary is still an important skill. We always go through this, where we go to one extreme for a while and then come back. A few years ago all the talk was to be more square with the skis, now we are skiing in and out of counter.

If you are balanced (dynamically, moving into the future) over your skis you should be able to effectively steer you skis, with leg rotation. This skill is crucial for versatility, such as steeps and the bumps.

Personally I agree with the article that this skill is the most misunderstood by most advanced skiers. It is a cool feeling to tip and and ride, but terrain and different snow conditions require more skills to master the mountain.
post #3 of 95

Interesting thoughts but I'm confused. You tell us Deb Armstrong is "missing some pieces to the puzzle" then launch into 3 paragraphs of "I" without telling us what you believe is missing in her approach.

Steering, edging and pressure control movements are simply tools. Like all tools they can be misused. They are not good or bad in and of themselves. Simply put-it's not the tool, it's the mechanic. If your utilizing upper body rotation and wind up in the back seat why blame "steering" for the results of an inappropriate skill application. If you begin a turn by tipping from the head and wind up inside and out of balance-is it tippings fault?

Tipping doesn't put you in balance anymore than steering does. The skier puts and keeps his or herself in balance.
post #4 of 95
I think most good skiers would recognise that we tip and/or steer by choice, with an emphasis on which produces what we intend for our skis to do. It is a simple thing for a skier of Deb's caliber to intigrate more emplasis on steering/guiding imputs into her readilly avaliable options. For most developing skiers yet to fully develope interchangable options, which one (tipping or steering) dominates as the primary input they use as input to their skis can greatly affect the ease, or difficulty of mastering the other later on.

When a developing skier first learns to predominantly steer or pivot their skis (took traditional lessons years ago or none at all), aquiring tipping/carving skills is a more dfficult challenge than for the skier who learns tipping first and adds an emphasis on steering to expand turn shaping options.

The reason lies in the huge differance between turning ones skis such that they skid/displace to create edging, and tipping one skis from the feet such that there is a recruited/resultant rotary component produced as the thighs rotate in hip sockets that is directly proportional to the intensity, and duration, of the tipping of the feet (natural kinetic chain responce to continious tipping of feet).

It is easy to tip less and add steering with the same order of movement, while it is hard to change the order of movement to replace steering with tipping as the trigger movement.

I see the basic reasons as thus;

It is easy to modulate the amount of tipping of the feet, as this is produced by relativly small muscle groups in lower legs, and add an emphasize of steering from larger muscle groups of upper legs to regulate turn shape.

In contrast it is difficult to modulate, much less shut down, the turn initiation habits of large leg muscles (if they are efficient enough to not be rotating upper body as well) and replace them with the fine motor movements of tipping of the feet as the trigger movement to produce more carved turns.

This is compounded by the fact that developing skiers tend to steer/pivot so dominantly at turn initiation that the imputis of that action carries them thru the falline and into the finish where they then put all their effort into arresting the skid by shutting down their steering and displacing the skis for more edge.

A key consequence of this learning(?) path is that they never really develope turn shaping skills as applied to the bottom of the turn. This is why as this era of skiers have gotten into shape skis and are first exploring carving, we see so many stuck as park-n-ride passengers, they never learned to shape their turn from falline thru finish.

In teaching our clients, and developing our own skiing, we need to promote a balanced skill set that provides the greatest number of both efficient and functional options.

But the ease, or dificulty, of building a complete skier is critically dependant on how efficiently a foundational core "order of movement" is established.

Tip as much as you can, then turn as much as you need to...

[ January 10, 2003, 02:51 PM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #5 of 95
Thread Starter 
Ski and Golf,

I intentionally used the first person as I wanted to make it clear my thoughts were coming from personal experience not a vast expereience of teaching like some others here my be able to talk about. I thought the "missing pieces" were implicitly obvious but as is often the case I guess the words didn't make the point.

The "pieces to the puzzle" I was refering to was the order of introduction of movements and skills as well as the degree to which they are emphasized.

You ask "why blame steering." Even a beginning skier will naturally revert to an attempt to steer their skis by pivoting them. Of course, depending on their degree of balance they will be more or less effective with this. However, even without good balance steering works. I remember doing a steep camp at Jackson Hole a number of years ago and having an coach tell me that my skiing down the Hobacks was "the best goddam gorilla skiing" he'd ever seen. It was a great motivator to change my skiing (especially since at the same time as being critical it was a compliment to my physical efforts and determination) but it certainly took me a while to figure out how to do that. In spite of guidance about what to do with my body to steer more effectively the approach that ultimately worked was to stop steering and start tipping.

Like you said it's the mechanic who is responsible for using the tools. What I'm saying is that the order and degree to which tools are introduced and emphasized is critical. I think that this is where Armstrong's article falls short, she doesn't discuss these critical (at least to me) issues. From my personal experience I feel that leaving an explicit treatment of steering out of a teaching progression can really accelerate things. Now that I could probably place an increased emphasis on steering (as Armstrong describes) without too many negative consequences, though, I guess I feel that it may be unnecessary as I think it is coming of its own accord. I have a strong feeling that even at the stage where I'm at I'm better off focusing on tipping and balance and let the steering happen automatically.
post #6 of 95
Thread Starter 
I guess I was replying just as Arc was but I think he gave a very good explanation of the basis for my experiences and perceptions about order of implementation and emphasis in regards to steering vs. tipping.
post #7 of 95
I agree with Tree Frogs quote from the article that it is very misunderstood by advanced skiers, and that Arcmeister sort of explained why.

Unfortunately, I got pulled away from my TPS magazine right when I started to read that article and forgot to get back to it. I'll read it tonight.

But here's my thoughts: It's misunderstood because people equate rotary with pivoting and skidding the skis too much. When in fact, rotary (as Arc said) can simply change the radius of a carved turn. Any time you take the skis out of a pure carved turn, you are doing something with rotary, but you don't even need to take them out of a pure carve, because rotary can simply be a force, not necessarily a movement.

Here's something to try: While making pure pencil line carved turns (in balance), try to twist your toes out of your binding's toe pieces. But do it only as much as you can without the tails of the skis breaking loose. What you are doing by doing this, is using a rotary force, but not really a rotary movement. If you've never tried this, you'll be amazed at how much effect it has on the skis. It doesn't take much force to do it, either. And no, you won't twist your boots out of your bindings.
post #8 of 95
Here we go again. Talking about rotary is always an unwinable battle. Rotary is hard to understand and next to impossible to comprehend in its entirety without a deep commitment to understanding. A good percentage of instructors, let alone students get confused trying to comprehend rotary. For this reason, I think its a valid argument not to talk about it in lessons. Instead, descibe and show the movements that result in the correct application of rotary for the given situation.

I think this is why instructors can understand PMTS more readily. I would hazard a guess that 8 out of 10 instructors do not understand rotary. I would apply the same percentage to epic ski forum particapants.
post #9 of 95
Yeah Pierre - went through this with one instructor I had. He was trying to tell me he wanted more steering in the turn - with nice desciptive stuff I didn't get(we had just started working together) - all of a sudden it clicked what he wanted & I looked up & said 'More rotary - you want more rotary?' he looked a bit unsure & said 'yeah lets try that' - it was what he wanted - he then looked at me & said 'You understand that better than all my level 1 instructors'

Now when he wants more/less rotary - he just says so. It is like the 'pronation/supination' those words work better for me than all the descriptive stuff. If the guys want more 'strength' in a movement(not always more move) they say so. I find it easier.

aaaahhh sh1t - I don't even understand what I'm saying here...

Just sometimes I find a description of WHY i need to have a body piece do something(or not) & a 'name' for what is wanted easier to use once I can learn 'How' to do the movement.

I find 'accelerator pedals' & 'hugs' or whatever much harder than any thing like 'more rotary'
post #10 of 95
Thread Starter 
Sorry Pierre, first of all can't say where I see this as a "battle" and secondly why "Rotary is hard to understand and next to impossible to comprehend in its entirety without a deep commitment to understanding." Without intending to insult anyone, this is the kind of statemnt I have heard in other recent threads that I have been a bit critical about. I don't see where we are having trouble understanding each other on this at all.

Even in the past with some of the debate I have mostly found that people are just using rotary to mean different things (mostly I think problems have arisen because people use rotary to refer to anything from joint rotation as part of a complex motion to the end effect of pivoting the skis and everything in between). As soon as they explain their intent and better define their meaning can't say I've any trouble following.

I will say that I have kept some old posts on the subject and in the past, upon review, found considerable discrepency between the definitions individual contributors have used from post to post. Again, however, as soon as I deciphered the intended definition from its implicit statement within the context I haven't seen the problem.
post #11 of 95
Again Si you completely missed the point of my whole post but in your response, you nicely summed up exactly what I was saying. Many different defintions do come under the heading of rotary and without a deep understanding of all the possibilities it is very difficult to decern what a person is talking about without good explanation.
Again I will make your point. Why talk about something in a lesson that can be confused because of its many meanings, all valid I might add. Rotary has more meanings than the S**T word.

As for battle, I guess we will have to see. I will let you know when this thread reaches 300 posts.
post #12 of 95
Thread Starter 
OK Pierre, it's fun to discuss and learn but I just don't want to do battle. I guess I thought we started out pretty well here and it seemed like people were pretty much talking about this topic in terms of the effect on the ski (tipping, steering/pivoting, pressuring). Certainly some people will not find this end of an approach works effectively as a cue, vis a vis Disski. This seems especially understandable given her diminished sense of proprioception.

However, I thought the direction of this thread was a little different in that it would be interesting to hear people's perspectives on what they feel is most effective as a learning sequence and focus in regards to tipping vs. steering/pivoting, especially in light of Ms. Armstrong's comments.

Whatever, I will make every effort not to become a contributing factor should the predicted degradation of this thread occur.


(Looking forward to meeting you at Brighton!)
post #13 of 95
Let me try to illustrate how rotary is misunderstood by most instructors. I'm standing with another instructor watching some new hires ski and we are doing some movement analysis on them. One of them skis down making very povioty skiddy turns. My fellow instructor of many years experience says that they have strong rotary skills but need to work on edge and pressure. I laugh and call the rookie over to us. "What are you doing to turn your skis?", I ask.

"I'm shifting weight (pressure) and edging my skis." our shiny new instructor replies. I thank him and send him on his way. I then explane to the other instructor that the movement pattern that we saw in that student is created by poorly taught and understood pressure and edge "skills" and that I have never seen that pattern produced by teaching or applying rotary skills. That skier didn't have a rotary clue and unfortunately neither did my fellow seasoned instructor.

I have no idea how many times I have had this scenerio play out but suffice it to say it happen at least a couple or three times every ski season.

Learning to apply rotary force to the skis with the shoulders can be very non-productive. Learning to tip the skis with the shoulders can be very non-productive. Learning to twist the feet suddenly with a lot of force can create problems. Learning to tip the feet from flat to high edgee angles suddenly and with a lot of force can create problems.

Learning to guide the feet through a smooth round arc produces edge and pressure as a bi-product. Learning to tip the ski smoothly from flat to the desired edge angle produces rotary as a bi-product. Prehapse, with shaped skis the tipping to produce rotary might be a little more effective for the reasons Arcmiester gives. But, you couldn;t prove that by all the kids that I have taught to leave grooves in the snow wherever they go by the purely 'rotary with edging as a bi-product' approach of telling them to "Point your toes where you wants to gos."

Si, as a personal aside here I firmly beleave that your next big breakthrough in skiing will be when you discover just what it is that Pierre and I are talking about here. Right now you are just tipping and riding the skis. When you learn to "ride 'em and guide 'em" you will make the leap from a very good skier to a great skier.

post #14 of 95
Originally posted by Si:

Even a beginning skier will naturally revert to an attempt to steer their skis by pivoting them. things.
I respectfully disagree. I think appropriate rotary movement is the most difficult skill to teach a new student.

Once a student has learned to glide in a straight line I feel they confuse turning their feet with leaning in the desired direction.

[ January 10, 2003, 08:11 PM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #15 of 95
Ydnar - is that why it feels easier for me to figure eight than to 'just ski' in soft snow(my nemesis)?

when I think about making an arc the same but opposite it all seems easier & just happens - when I try to think about timing & etc tec etc I just seem to get lost in it...
post #16 of 95

I have found that the problems that you are refering to regarding rotary movements initiated by the large muscle groups of the legs and torso are very legitimate but by the same token edging movements initiated by the large muscle groups of the legs and torso also create problems.
Rotary and edging movements that originate from the foot on the other hand, and which then recrute larger muscle groups as needed (our beloved kenetic chain) seem to produce far fewer problems and in my experience can be introduced in either order with equally good results. My experience has been that which comes first isn't nearly as important as where the movement originates.

post #17 of 95
Thread Starter 
Yd, When we skied together I thought we saw things pretty similar in regards to the fact that a skidded turn can be produced from inadequate tipping. I didn't think we differed very much in our analysis of the skiers we talked about. I think that the problem you illustrate in your example just demonstrates one of the shortcomings of ski instruction, that is, instructors (even experienced full certs) can vary widely in their analysis and approach to a person's skiing.

I certainly don't feel I need to comment on the points you made about tipping vs. pivoting based on your teaching experience. The reason for my post was to try and gain the perspective of others - thanks for that. It is somewhat contrary to my own experience (or at least my perception of such) but a single case example is only worth so much. I hope I get the opportunity to see some skiers you are talking about in this regard to get a first hand impression - perhaps at the academy??

Finally I thank you for your personal note "When you learn to "ride 'em and guide 'em" you will make the leap from a very good skier to a great skier." Unfortunately, having started skiing seriously at 40, I don't think I'm ever going to make that "great" category. BTW, I though that with that fine bottle of Scotch we shared I had bought you off so you would say I was one of the best you'd ever skied with! (How many bottles will it take??) From my own perception, though, I view this as a need to continually try to develop better balance over my feet and skies. As my previous post indicated, I find this is the most critical issue, as from a position of (or movements with) good balance, guiding the skis seems to come automatically. I believe I can see your perspective about guiding the skis in your skiing but I'm not sure it's exactly what I am aiming for. I think it will be very interesting to further explore these issues with you in the off-piste and steeps some day - hope we get the chance.

(Ski & Golf and others, Sorry for all the first person, but again, as a simple skier I am trying to emphasize that these are only my personal perspectives).
post #18 of 95
Unfortunately, having started skiing seriously at 40, I don't think I'm ever going to make that "great" category.
Not so fast Si. Please do not sell yourself short of the goal of great expert skier. If you are a good skier now, the transition to great skier is one of decreasing physical needs while increasing the difficulty of the terrain. With the right coach and a good understanding of movements the goal can be achieved much quicker than most skiers would believe. The whole idea is to practice the right stuff, not the wrong stuff. Most skiers including instructors practice the wrong stuff most of the time.
post #19 of 95
Yd, When we skied together I thought we saw things pretty similar in regards to the fact that a skidded turn can be produced from inadequate tipping. I didn't think we differed very much in our analysis of the skiers we talked about. I think that the problem you illustrate in your example just demonstrates one of the shortcomings of ski instruction, that is, instructors (even experienced full certs) can vary widely in their analysis and approach to a person's skiing.
As a personal note I do not find much variation of analysis between the highly experienced instructors on this forum or on the slopes. I also do not find much variation in the approach to fix the problem. What I do find variation in is the individual exercises that the experts might pick to correct the same problem. I also find that there can be a lack of communication between experts on the slope. While in clinics on the slope we often think we have found a flaw in each others analysis only to find out that the words were getting in the way.
You would be suprised by how little difference there really is in the meat and mashed potatos between the most experienced on this forum and Harald Harb. The words used to get the results are where the differences are.
This forum has been very valuable to me in exploring many different ideas to fix the same problem. There are four different personallities recognized and four different learning styles that correspond to those personallity types. What works for one student may be totally inappropriate for another. Having many ways to fix the same problem is the name of the game.
post #20 of 95
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the support Pierre but no worries. I'm not lacking in the self confidence category. I'm also not too concerned about how my level of skiing is labeled (it's taken a while to be able to say that). However, in my own definition of things, "great" is something I reserve for a very few. In my book there are a lot of expert skiers our there (in fact some without too much discern might say I was an expert). But having had the privelege of observing or skiing with a few (at least what I call) great skiers that's a pedestal that I will never achieve.

In terms of differences between instructors I would agree with you that there is less disagreement than may appear. However, my experiences tell me there is a huge difference between instructors in terms of the ability to see room for improvement (how good of an "eye" they have), connect that to the root of the problem, and find the right approach for the given client. I thought that Arc's post on the roads he has traveled to find the simplicity of expert skiing provides a good analogy. If I make a commitment to any reasonable coach I am pretty sure that the road they'd guide me along would result in improvement. What of course we all search for, however, is the approach to get us there as simply and effectively as possible. In that respect I still believe that coaches and insturctors vary greatly.
post #21 of 95
What of course we all search for, however, is the approach to get us there as simply and effectively as possible. In that respect I still believe that coaches and insturctors vary greatly.
Yeah, such is human nature. This is where I like some of what Harald Harb has done with his approach. Looking for the SMIM (Single most important movement)for the skier in question and then picking the best exercise to correct the movement makes a lot of sense. Way to often, instructors pick out a skill to work on that is not based on the knetic chain. The result is treating symptoms of an underlaying problem. I think this is what you are refering to Si and the reason you like Harb's approach so much.

[ January 11, 2003, 10:22 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #22 of 95
Thread Starter 
Exactly Pierre [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

But don't mistake my liking for an approach with total or exclusive belief. As I've said many times I don't consider myself a "follower" of any particular approach. I am just trying to learn and work it our for myself. BTW, the comments I've made in this thread are exclusively based on my own experiences not the tenets of PMTS or any other "system."
post #23 of 95
Steering/rotary has never been mentioned in any lesson I've taken. Even the first 4 on straight skis. The first and most effective way I saw it described was in Lito's first video, when he shows how to tighten a turn. He says, simply "sink and steer", while demonstrating. Now of course this is a combination edging/steering movement, but the description and the video image made it obvious to me what was going on.
Learning to steer the skis well opened up a wide variety of sensations to me. And I can still not use any steering when I don't want to. But I have no idea when it's apropriate to introduce it to a skier. I suppose it should vary according to the skier, but most beginners are going to get canned lessons anyhow, so that's not going to happen.
post #24 of 95
It is interesting to read the comments of those such as Arcmeister and Ydnar, which I tend agree with in principle when it comes to concepts of unified movements and ‘guiding’ skis in place of ‘steering’ or ‘rotory movements’. For years I have heard instructors talk about combining steering and edging as if they were somehow completely unrelated. The typical approach is to learn one and then the other. This never made sense to me because I see an integrated movement pattern and not a series of separate events spliced together.

For that matter I have never understood the concept of actively using muscles to ‘tip the skis on edge’. Huh? I don’t get it. Why would I want to even try this? Maybe it is because I know that the small muscles in the legs such as the peroneals can tip the foot (and skis) onto an edge. But they don’t have a hope of maintaining the position of the foot about its long axis as it relates to edge angle once the external forces start to increase. That is the reason the body does not actively use these muscles to create joint positions in the foot in the normal processes of walking. Instead it uses muscles to maintain positions of joints that external forces are tending to disrupt. We call this ‘balance’. Why should it work differently in skiing? I want the forces of skiing to create the platform for me by making my ski cut a base to stand on in the snow surface. I just want my balance system to help maintain it. Besides I don’t have time to think about things like tipping my feet. This makes skiing way too complicated for me. I don’t think about tipping my feet in walking. It just happens. Why not make movements in skiing that provoke the same response?

And I also ‘don’t get’ the references I keep reading to ‘pulling the uphill leg back’ or ‘pushing the downhill leg forward’ to ‘get into balance’. Why would I do this after the fact? To me it means that I made the wrong movement pattern at the beginning of the sequence. This is where it should be fixed. If the end result is wrong then it means that the movement that produced it is wrong.

What I do understand is the need to reverse the alignment of my body segments when I move into a new turn in what should be a seamless transition. So, I don’t think about steering my feet. I think about reversing the position of my legs in relation to my pelvis by rotating them as a unit. Instead of my pelvis auto rotating about my stance and swing legs as it does in walking I have to manually rotate them about my pelvis to create the same end result. Thinking about just rotating my legs doesn’t make the connection for me because it doesn’t speak to the end result. The reason one should make a movement in skiing is to produce a specific end result. This particular movement is not intuitive. One has to work at programming it. To me this means putting it into a context my brain understands. I often hear Ski Pros telling their clients to “turn their outside leg into their pelvis”. “Say what?” I have no idea what this has to do with skiing?

At initiation I want to let the forces take me. But as I come out of the fall line I need to take the forces back. I need to make the forces work for me because if I try to fight them I know I can never win. To do this I have to create a skeletal alignment that positions my CM in relation to my outside foot so that the external forces will power up my balance system and take me in the direction I want go. If I want to influence the process I will 'guide' my skis (good word Arcmeister) and increase the torsion in my feet by rotating my pelvis so that the forces drive them harder into the hill as I come across it.

Where I agree completely with Arcmeister and Ydnar is that once one learns movements as unrelated events it can be very hard to integrate them into a unified seamless movement that eventually becomes a feeling.
post #25 of 95
David M, you just unzipped your fly. You already think I'm wacky so I will bow out of commenting on your last post. I don't want to be seen as a badger even nolo thinks I'm being a bit mean. I'm a bit frustrated right now.

[ January 11, 2003, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #26 of 95
All I got to say about this one is that I make good money teaching poor confused souls that rotary\steering skilare an integral part of thier ski day as is tipping.

Seems to me that the "just tip and turn" mantra has opened the door for well rounded instructors to again take the lead.

Hopefully someone in "power" will help the poor confused, up and coming instructors, that just tipping a really short shaped ski is not "advanced" skiing.

Meanwhile I will keep showing my clients how to make nice round turns whilst maintaining a constant speed on any hill and on any equipment.

Balance, Steering, Edging & Pressure Control .... somethings never change.

Happy turns ...

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #27 of 95
I totally agree. That order of the 4 basic thingies is what I find myself teaching, again and again. I find teaching the first two takes a lot of the time, the last two seem to come so much easier and better if they learn balance and steering first.
For one thing, it's a whole lot easier to play with edging and pressure if your balance is sound.

We just had a somewhat heated discussion about this on rec.skiing.alpine actually. Some very confirmed roll'n'ride turners there, who think that this is the epitome of advanced skiing, were horrified to think of someone actually teaching rotary/steering of the legs. 'but then the skis skid' they gasped.

Their descriptions of teaching edging (most were not instructors but enthusiastic amateurs...) reminded me of helpful people when I was a kid, issuing complex instructions for achieving "edging", which I found impossible to follow as I was concentrating on keeping control of my skis.
post #28 of 95
Steering is a skill that will always be utilized by every level of skier, it's just that the high the attained skill level the less steering is employed.

That said, steering is not a skill area I prioritise in my development of lower level, or upper level students. My ultimate goal is to produce a skier that, as well as being able to demonstrate efficient arc to arc turns at any speed or radius, can ski any slope employing any requested technique. The best way I've found to get my student to that point is to direct my main focus on balance. Balance skills not only enhance the skiers ability to produce more fluidly steered turns, they simultaneously develop the prerequisites needed learning advanced edging skills.

Balance skills are best introduced in coordination with steered turns, here's why: Steering is a technique best executed utilizing low edge angles for a couple reasons. One being that having less edge engaged results in less steering resistance, and the other being that the slower speeds and reduced centrifigal forces associated with steered turns calls for a center of mass over the top of the skis position. This upright stance requires smaller lateral movements to move into new planes of balance. Because of this fact I can take a skier of limited skill and by focusing on balance can make immediate enhancements in a variety of skill areas. Just introducing a drill that gets the skier up over his skis can have a dramatic effect.

Limited focus on edging skills is neccessary untill the skier is a balance wizard because as balance improves basic profficiency seems to take care of itself. And I only focus on rotational elements as a means of introducing an altered position of balance, with no further explanation of purpose for it untill carving and angulation is introduced. I try to leave a lot of the learning to body self discovery without a lot of confusing verbal clutter.

This is the extent to which I deal with steering and rotary in my teaching.
post #29 of 95
Pierre, you are a jewel. Getting into this thread a bit late, I have to agree that PMTS is easier to understand as to how the ski works in a turn. I don't even try to read, much less understand all of the techno-babble of late. 99.9% of it is not relavent to how a skier skis. I subscribe to the theory of K.I.S.S. What is simpler than lifting and tipping the new free foot and hang on? It's that simmple! And most first timers understand this concept in less than five hours.
post #30 of 95
Originally posted by Rick H:
... What is simpler than lifting and tipping the new free foot and hang on? It's that simmple! And most first timers understand this concept in less than five hours.
Rick this is OK for beginners, but this type of "park and ride" is not expert skiing. I think I agree with oz when he said Hopefully someone in "power" will help the poor confused, up and coming instructors, that just tipping a really short shaped ski is not "advanced" skiing.

There has to be a more balance approach to instruction, no?
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