or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

GS Wide-Stance Model

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
There’s a recent – and highly intelligent - thread here entitled, “Narrow Stance and Dynamic Stability.” I found it so intriguing, that I printed it out in its entirety. I thought I might start another thread, based on that one, but on a slightly different tack. In the above-referenced thread, Weems stated: “I think that racing turns are the ‘mother turns of all skiing’, and that GS is the ‘mother’ turn of all racing. I know that’s personal, but I see so much power and beauty in that turn, I will always use it and study it as my fundamental for understanding skiing movement.” I couldn’t agree more! Allow me to elaborate:

First of all, I have some racing experience, but I am certainly not an experienced racer. That being said, I have always patterned my skiing as if I were racing a highly technical GS (‘Glalom’?) course – that’s just the way I like to do it. I should mention that my extensive skiing experience is limited mostly to very firm packed conditions in the Northeastern US. I have many ski videos, but I’d rather watch a World Cup GS race than anything else. So, that’s my focus.

Now, for many years, I religiously cultivated the narrow, boots-and-knees-locked-together stance, once considered the epitome of skiing power and grace. As I’ve offered up on this forum previously (‘The Early Carve 1, 2 & 3’), I upgraded my equipment a couple of seasons ago and then set out to update my technique accordingly. To avoid muddying the waters with turn-initiation mechanics, cross-over/under, etc., I’ll restrict my discussion to only one of many aspects of this transformation: One of the main changes I endeavored to effect was to adopt a natural athletic stance. Now when I ski, my feet are normally (just) a few inches apart. I don’t have a video to post to validate this – I’m not as brave as Dchan – but that’s what it feels like. My turns feel much more dynamic. (Todd - I’d like to apply for membership in the ‘GForce Junkies’ club!)

This year, my 2nd season on my ‘new’ skis, I felt comfortable enough with my ‘new’ technique to re-evaluate my old methods without fear of regression. I re-tried the narrow stance, with interesting results. Locking my boots and knees together felt so contrived and constricting! Crossing my tips reemerged as a potential problem! And the independent leg action I’d apparently developed was noticeably hampered!

Next year, I’ll surely experiment some more. I expect that there are some situations where a wide stance is more effective and some where a narrow stance is. I don’t do big bumps much (old knees, suspect technique) and I’ve never really experienced deep fluffy powder (Damn!), but I suspect those are situations where the narrow stance has merit.

Hey, if there were only ONE way to ski, I’d find something else to occupy my time! OK, guys, take your best shot!
post #2 of 12
Take a risk, go deeper into the angle, bend the inside leg and ankle more relative to the outside, extend the outside leg against the ski, keep both skis on the snow, feel the power,--and then check your stance width. (and get in shape!)

Pitfalls: Be careful about excessive hip angulation and inside ski drifting to the outside ski.

Keep your inside knee driving forward, and your inside foot holding back.

You're an animal.
post #3 of 12
I agree with your logic. The stability factor has changed greatly with the addition of these new shaped skis. To stay balanced you almost have to have a good athletic stance (i.e. shoulder width apart). Without it you find yourself too far back, forward, or sometimes over rotating your body. I experimented a little with stance at the end of the season and found that a kneeknocking stance leaves me with lousey balance and an oversized stance(futher than shoulder width) makes carving much more work than it should be. I felt the most comfortable and fluid with a shoulder-width apart athletic stance. For reference, I was skiing on atomic 9.12's and 9.20's this season.
post #4 of 12
Originally posted by Tominator:
Now when I ski, my feet are normally (just) a few inches apart.
Seems to me that this quote is in conflict with the title of this thread. I wonder how many people consider a few inches apart "wide-stance." Without seeing this, I might very well classify this as a narrow stance from the description you've given.

I don't think that many (perhaps any) people here who advocate a narrow stance mean a "narrow, boots-and-knees-locked-together stance." This has certainly never been advocated or observed in any of the 3 PMTS instructor camps I have attended as "THE" way to ski. On the other hand, bringing the skis closer together has definitely taught me and many people I have observed a great deal about dynamic balance and movement efficiency.

It certainly would be helpful to have video on which we could base our nomenclature. I have seen or heard people talk about a racer's wide stance when there is great vertical separation but both the lower legs and thigh are only a couple of inches apart. This clearly doesn't make any sense.

If you could, I would definitely like to better understand what you mean by a wide vs. narrow stance.
post #5 of 12
A picture is a tiny fraction of a second in time. We tend to form ideas from this. In motion the "width" varies.
Take that racer you just described and move them to the crossing frame. The stance is very "wide".
Try keeping your skis together and crossing without an "up" motion.(an interruption of the flow of the CM downhill)(slower route)
Somwhere there's a video of HH skiing with a very "tight " stance. Notice the "up" motion he uses to get across the skis.
post #6 of 12

This series of photos shows a wide range of stance width variation. I see several frames as our example rounds the poles where the feet and legs are very close. Check Frame 4, 5, 13 and 14.
Perhaps it's the camera angle, or just the left turns in this particular section due to fall line etc.

It takes all kinds!

post #7 of 12
You wanna ski the whole mountain? You wanna go skiing when it's snowing, or when there's fresh snow? Great! Then get yourself some mid-fat skis that are as tall as you are, a little shorter if you're not an expert skier. Then, practice PMTS, which teaches a narrow stance. Using PMTS, you'll learn fast, ski efficiently, and you'll look good too.

Talking about racing, check out Bode's stance. I think it's more narrow than wide.
post #8 of 12

HH does not ski with an up motion. What you see is leg flexion. Watch his head - it never moves.

I was using an up motion only because I had the release all wrong.

milesb said it great. "PMTS is like bump skiing -all the time".
post #9 of 12

I agree about a picture only being a moment in time that's why I said we should have video (or picture sequences)to base our criteria of narrow vs. wide.

I totally disagree that a narrow stance (not locked) promotes an up-motion. I don't know what clip you've seen of Harb but he can and does ski with a relatively narrow stance (note he is a pretty small guy with narrow hips) and no up-motion. I do not think there is any basis to conclude that a narrower stance promotes an up-motion either from a physics or physiologic/anatomic point of view.

I have skied with a certified European demo team member (equivalent to instructor trainer here)and racer (just below world cup) who has a relatively narrow stance and a lot of up-motion. He is a great skier (certainly far better than I) with great style but certainly could gain some efficiency in his skiing. However, I do not conclude that his stance is the cause of the up-motion and inefficiency in his skiing as I have also skied with those who have similar stance and no up-motion.

I have also observed European ski team members free skiing with a very wide stance and bobbing up and down like yoyo's. I don't, however, automatically conclude from this that their stance promotes the bounce or that that is the only way they know how to ski in that stance.
post #10 of 12
In the clip I'm reffering to there was an up motion and several people pointed it out.
I have both of his tapes. I'll watch the freeski segments again.
I also saw him ski at Tyrol but didn't know who it was at first. It looked pretty affected.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Si said:

"I wonder how many people consider a few inches apart 'wide-stance'. Without seeing this, I might very well classify this as a narrow stance from the description you've given ...
It certainly would be helpful to have video on which we could base our nomenclature ...
If you could, I would definitely like to better understand what you mean by a wide vs. narrow stance ..."

Si, your point is well taken! Perhaps I haven't widened my stance as much as I had perceived - hip/shoulder width (6-8")? It sure FEELS different than the way I used to ski - my feet feel naturally separated, not artificially pressed together. There's clearly more independent leg action going on and definitiely no more 'boot-lock'.

This DOES call for some video analysis next season, no matter how frightening the prospect!
post #12 of 12
Has anyone ever watched the pro racers warm up prior to a competition. I have had that opportunity several times and what impressed me was that they seemed to be skating the hill.

Long rounded arcs moving dramatically from one foot to the other and quickly covering a lot of acreage in the process.

Personaly, when I think about imitating those images, my skiing quickly goes up a notch. Now this is only for wide open spaces, not the trees, bumps or chutes.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching