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Bend at ankles, pressure ever on back, and DIN settings

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
What does bending at the ankles mean?  Or rather, does it mean to put constant, forward pressure pushing oneself forwards, or just keeping the ankles bent, and if so, is there any specific angle they should be at?

Should pressure always be kept on the front of the ski, or should the tail portion ever be pressured?

I have had my heels release repeatedly when hitting larger bumps (6"-8") with the tips and considerably forward pressure on the skis, mainly it has been when I am parallel with the fall line.  My DIN is 5.5, and I weigh about 190 right now.  Could the setting be the culprit, or am I just pressuring too hard?  The bindings were set for my boots by levelninesports dot com, so I am not sure of their competency.

Thank You
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
I should add, my hips are over the toes of my feet.
post #3 of 9
You want 'shin contact' with the front of your boots, that doesn't mean driving all your weight into the shovel of the ski. You should be able to create pressure all the way back to your heels with your shins in contact with the front of your boots- try standing in your boots with shin contact and raise your toes... your weight will end up on your heels but you will still be in an athletic position on your skis.

If you are popping out of your bindings at 5.5 you may want to consider readjusting them to a different 'Skier Ability Level' (would need: Height, Weight, Age, Boot Sole and Skier Type to tell what they 'should' be set at, 190 lbs is a meaningless data point without the rest).
post #4 of 9

Bending the ankles also should be accompanied by bending the knees (five dollars please ).

You want to have contact with the tongue of the boot to apply pressure to the front of the ski, but you also want to maintain your COM over your feet, not over your toes or further forward. If your hips are in fact over your toes, then you probably arent' bending the knees adequately to keep your COM further aft. Your knees could be over your the balls of your feet while your hips are over your heels and your torso is slightly forward so your shoulders are over your arches. These position references are kind of arbitrary but are meant to say that your knees lead, your hips follow and your shoulders are somewhere in between resulting in a COM over, roughly, the center of your foot.

Pressure on the tails generally isn't desireable although less pressure on the tips resulting in pressure more centered on the ski is fine such as when you are releasing the ski from a turn.

When your hips are over your toes, you are in a very upright stance and presumably your upper body is projecting even further down the slope, not leaning back. If this analysis is correct, then your COM is well ahead of your toes. This will make a heel release quite likely if your skis hit something that slows them down and your upper body continues forward. Skiing in crud requires that you keep your COM over your feet and when you hit snow that will slow your skis, that you resist the forces that want to pitch your body forward. 'Prepare to take the blow' by tightening your core and letting your body mass drive your skis through the crud.

I'm going to assume that the bindings are set properly and that adjusting your technique for crud will help reduce heel releases.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am going to try on the boots on the skis here to see about the angle and what bending my knees will do.

It is good to know how to ski in crud, because I will on Saturday.

I have been doing all of my practice on ice.

More elaborate reply shortly.

Thank you all very much for the help.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Edited by Pine - 11/12/10 at 9:43pm
post #7 of 9
Best of luck. Crud beats ice anyday! Feel free to send us video of your skiing.
post #8 of 9
Pine, I can see your passion for the sport, it's obvious you are trying to self teach with absolutely no one helping you. Though it will never replace paid professional lessons (which I strongly recommend), I will be more than happy to evaluate/tweak your gear set-up and give you some on hill pointers.

I will PM my info to you; I'm in the Madison area, if you want to hook-up and make some turns, give me a call.
post #9 of 9

Ideally, you want pressure on the fronts of the skis when you begin each turn and gradually throughout the turn you let the pressure come back to the center.  Never back...except--except for the moment you're about to hit a ridge or bump or ski off the pack into deep snow, and that's just for a moment until you re-center.  Push your feet forward to lighten the tips, then promptly pull them back under you to re-center.  One other time it's needed to get your weight back--when you're in snow so deep and wet that you won't get to the bottom unless you ski straight down the hill with the tips elevated.

Think of having your weight over the balls of your feet with light contact against the boot tongue.  That is a very good position.  As you develop better balance on skis you'll gain flexibility to feel a bump and allow your knees, hips, and ankles to relax and flex as you go over the rise and extend again, always centered, on the down side of that bump.
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