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Power vs, Finesse - Page 2

post #31 of 44
I can't help it when I'm ranting from an iphone
post #32 of 44

You should have that checked out... it may be the longest piece of work ever written solely on an iPhone!

post #33 of 44

Agility or nimbleness is the ability to change the body's position efficiently, and requires the integration of isolated movement skills using a combination of balancecoordinationspeedreflexesstrength, and endurance. Agility is the ability to change the direction of the body in an efficient and effective manner and to achieve this requires a combination of

  • balance – the ability to maintain equilibrium when stationary or moving (i.e. not to fall over) through the coordinated actions of our sensory functions (eyes, ears and the proprioceptive organs in our joints);
  • static balance – the ability to retain the centre of mass above the base of support in a stationary position;
  • dynamic balance – the ability to maintain balance with body movement; speed - the ability to move all or part of the body quickly;
  • strength - the ability of a muscle or muscle group to overcome a resistance; and lastly,
  • co-ordination – the ability to control the movement of the body in co-operation with the body's sensory functions (e.g., in catching a ball [ball, hand and eye co-ordination]).
post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post

Talking about one extreme or the other is silly. Metaphor which do you think will be more successful at skiing, the one with zero finesse and all brute strength, or the one with zero brute strength and all finesse? It's a hypothetical.

The best skiers have a bit of both,, but it's an absolute fallacy to think you need super big body strength to ski at a very high level. You don't. Big g forces are handled best with balance and stacking, not with quads of steel. You can not ski at a very high level without finesse. Finesse mitigates the need for such super strength.

However, nobody is generally able to always ski perfectly in balance with perfect finesse, including WC. That is why they need to be strong, sooner or later they will need it. Bode miller, case in point. He was always on the ragged edge pushing it and throwing technique out the window in some cases. Sheer athletic ability and strength saved his ass too many times to count.....and a few times it still wasn't enough to save his ass. Physical conditioning is important for skiing.

Technique and finesse is even more important. And the latter reduces the need for such extreme physical conditioning, especially for people that are not pushing the limit on a race course. I reckon the vast majority of what they do to train even at WC level is to build quickness, agility, core strength, aerobics, motor skills with certain particular movements, etc...all of which help a skier to ski with finesse.

Finesse is coaxing the skis with small body movements in balance to do what they are designed to do, stacking yourself up in balance so that it's also generally not that hard to be riding on them while they do it. All of the best skiers in the world do this to the greatest extent possible. It doesn't hurt to be in good shape, just in case, but it does not require super human strength to ski at an extremely high level. I do not think anyone on WC can get there without a great deal of finesse. The strength and power is very much secondary.

Down to planet earth for the rest of us, it really does not require that much strength to ski every bad ass run on the mountain at an impressive level, UNLESS you have poor technique and poor finesse, in which case it is possible to power your way through many situations with brute and utter force.....and many skiers do.....until they get injured that way. On the WC if you tried to use brute force as a rule instead of finesse, in the absence of it, you would either lose or blow off the course very quickly, or get hurt. They are truly pushing it and need strength for those times when they fall out of the finesse zone, but make no mistake, for the most part they are finessing the hell out of every single turn to the greatest extent possible.

Strength is not irrelevant. It's silly to suggest it should be all one or the other. But skiing is a finesse sport, pure and simple.

 

I agree with most of this except for top racers. It has been well-reported that guys like Miller, Svindal, Hirscher and many other top racers have literally maxed out their strength potential before reaching their highest stages of competition success. I read an interview from Carlos Janka illustrating how he and his coaches felt he needed to break through a strength barrier to improve after his 3rd season on the circuit.That Hirscher is the top skier on the WC and the most muscle bound supports this idea. This is especially true in regards to the evolution to today's race courses where even being perfectly stacked is going to require the ability to resist much higher forces than ever before. Yet Bob Peters says he read somewhere that Stenmark was known to be the strongest skier while considered as having the most finesse.

 

Still though, I agree that power takes a second fiddle to finesse.

 

A question I would have for you or anyone else with a response is: What is the difference between finesse and technique. If finesse more about precision and agility where technique is more about position and movement?

post #35 of 44

Power comes from the tool, the more finesse we have in manipulating the tool the more power we have at our disposal.

 

fom

post #36 of 44

Rich,

 

How we manipulate the tool is technique. First applications of technique tend to be gross movements that become finer with experience. This fining down/increasing accuracy of movements is one way to think of developing finesse.

 

fom

post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post

Talking about one extreme or the other is silly. Metaphor which do you think will be more successful at skiing, the one with zero finesse and all brute strength, or the one with zero brute strength and all finesse? It's a hypothetical.

 

I like exploring extremes; they illustrate that things are rarely black and white. My premise is that a skier with high skill/knowledge but without strength can't finesse their way into expert level dynamic turns for long. Here are a few points that come to mind surrounding power versus finesse: 

 

Why finesse is required: 

  • Finesse enables a skier to balance in all planes
  • Enable balancing on edges, gradual tipping of ski, control
  • Reduce stresses on the body which occur when the ski is twisted or wrenched around under the skier
  • Reduce stresses by being in the right place at the right time (efficient movement/conservation of movement)

 

Why power (strength) is required: 

  • Centrifugal forces increase as speed increases, and they drive up through the ski through the legs; the skier needs to be able to manage and balance against those forces as necessary
  • Core strength enables the skier to be stable instead of getting tossed around
  • Mistimings will happen, especially in variable snow - power (strength) enables the skier to move the feet through big piles of snow etc

 

Someone already said that finesse is like the starting point for good skiing, and I'd definitely agree with that. But without power, the skier's stuck as well. 

post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatoldman View Post

Rich,

How we manipulate the tool is technique. First applications of technique tend to be gross movements that become finer with experience. This fining down/increasing accuracy of movements is one way to think of developing finesse.

fom

I agree with that FOM. Anytime I have difficulty understanding something, I will look at it from the "tool" frame of reference. I also like that finesse can be simply seen as the finer subtleties of technique. It takes technique to widdle a peice of wood into the shape of a bear but finesse to create the detail that makes it come alive.
post #39 of 44

good post meta.

 

To me finesse is about the things you mentioned and I will elaborate more.  its about using very refined movements which position the skis into the right position and aspect on the snow, with our CoM also positioned into the right position, so that effective snow reaction forces happen and balance is achieved with the least amount of work possible.  Not only in the present, but with forward thinking so that these elements continue to be effective for the duration of the turn as the external forces are continually changing throughout a turn.  

 

I will never forget my buddy had this ski student show up for a private..this old man pushing 100 years old.  He could barely walk up the hallway to meet my buddy.  He needed assistance.  My buddy was thinking to himself, oh great, its going to be a long day.  They went outside and the old man clicked into his bindings and ZOOM, he was gone...  He skied a lot better then he walked, let's just say.  Well sure he did...in many ways...with proper finesse, our skis are literally like bionic retrofits that enable us to achieve super human feats.  Finesse with the tools in the most efficient manner possible is what enables us to do that.

 

Relying on brute power to do it, does not.

 

When big powerful muscular efforts are used, most likely finesse has been squandered some how.

 

Finesse is about ALLOWING things to happen rather then forcing things to happen with brute force.  The more you ski with finesse, the more you can actually relax!  Relaxing is good!  Poor finesse and you won't be able to relax you'll have to brute force yourself around which has all kinds of negative consequences, not to mention its just plain more work!

 

I don't agree with others that have said repeatedly that at high G forces you need quads of steel.  No you don't.  You need to be stacked in balance, nothing more.  However, no doubt...an out of shape skier that loses stacking for any reason whatsoever is going to blow out of the turn..pure and simple...

 

I also think its important to draw a distinction between different kinds of muscular engagements.  Raw power..like a weight lifter would have for example, is entirely different then being able to execute certain movements quickly with focus, just the right movement, while still remaining relatively relaxed.  The first one I would deem as "power".  The second I would deem as muscular control needed for finesse.  The core strength area is similar in this regard, I do not view that as "power" unless you're gary dranow with waist steering...  to me the word "power" means using raw strength to use brute force to make skiing happen.  That is the antithesis of finesse.

 

WC racers are subjected to all manner of course settings that force them out of the finesse zone even while they are trying to stay there.  If they aren't strong they are going to lose.  But if they don't ski with finesse they aren't going to make it all the way down the course.

 

Most of the rest of us can put way  more emphasis on finesse and will be better served by it.  Hitting the gym too won't hurt.

post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

Agility or nimbleness is the ability to change the body's position efficiently, and requires the integration of isolated movement skills using a combination of balancecoordinationspeedreflexesstrength, and endurance. Agility is the ability to change the direction of the body in an efficient and effective manner and to achieve this requires a combination of

  • balance – the ability to maintain equilibrium when stationary or moving (i.e. not to fall over) through the coordinated actions of our sensory functions (eyes, ears and the proprioceptive organs in our joints);
  • static balance – the ability to retain the centre of mass above the base of support in a stationary position;
  • dynamic balance – the ability to maintain balance with body movement; speed - the ability to move all or part of the body quickly;
  • strength - the ability of a muscle or muscle group to overcome a resistance; and lastly,
  • co-ordination – the ability to control the movement of the body in co-operation with the body's sensory functions (e.g., in catching a ball [ball, hand and eye co-ordination]).

 

I missed this earlier...but yes!

post #41 of 44

I keep that Agility on my desktop as a sticky.  Not sure it replaces the concept of finesse, but it's certainly related.

 

Glad you like it BTS.

post #42 of 44

SMJ, in my opinion that particular area you described is where strength training for skiing should mostly be focused. 

post #43 of 44

I agree with BTS that someone having everything that comes with good technique and a savvy finesse but no real athletic power can ski very competently. Have this person try to keep up with someone as skillful but also having just completed a full season of dry land training of which, of course, includes a liberal amount of strength training. First couple of runs, maybe no prob but, after 8 - 10 top bottom gs runs, guaranteed the first dude has gone sloppy and, eventually, nowhere to be seen.

 

While one can speak more highly of finesse, one certainly cannot denigrate power.

post #44 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich666 View Post
 

I agree with BTS that someone having everything that comes with good technique and a savvy finesse but no real athletic power can ski very competently. Have this person try to keep up with someone as skillful but also having just completed a full season of dry land training of which, of course, includes a liberal amount of strength training. First couple of runs, maybe no prob but, after 8 - 10 top bottom gs runs, guaranteed the first dude has gone sloppy and, eventually, nowhere to be seen.

 

While one can speak more highly of finesse, one certainly cannot denigrate power.


Or just one good compression at free skiing at speed.

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