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The Art of Skiing - Page 2

post #31 of 42


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

... throw another dart at the current trendy "wisdom" that you should try to "get forward," pressure your ski tips, pull your feet back behind your hips, or any such related ideas  ...  find at least a "neutral" balance point, pressure centered beneath the tibia (back of the arch, just forward of the heel)--not forward! This "neutral" point does put more pressure on the aft part of the ski, freeing the tips to turn down the hill with ease.

 

 

July 29, 2010

 

Thanks Bob for clarifying question which I had asked about "pulling the boots backwards" in another thread.  Hope to hook up with you this year at Stowe and work on this "neutral" point .  However, I think that I've got it after reading and practicing on a beginner slope for many hours and many days on what you clearly described in another thread concerning this "neutral" point and not having to "force" anything when done correctly while initiating turn.

 

Think snow,

 

CP


Edited by CharlieP - 7/29/10 at 9:00am

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post #32 of 42

Charlie,

Good skiers work hard at getting forward and pulling their feet back and tipping their feet and moving across the skis and anticipating the new turn and ...!! Great skiers just sort of lurk in the center (Bob's neutral) and direct traffic (the forces acting on us when we ski).

 

fom

post #33 of 42

For an interesting technical piece that explains why we perform better when we have "pressure centered beneath the tibia (back of the arch, just forward of the heel)" See "How the Foot Develops a Competent Base of Support" in The Foot and Its Role in Skiing by David MacPhail.

post #34 of 42

July 30, 2010

 

Hi Nolo and FOM:

 

Thanks for your response and advice.  I know that I will never be a "great" skier, but am working on being at least a competent one as I enjoy this passion which we share in common.  I really appreciate this site because when a Bear has a question, there are always other Bears who will jump in with advise, information and most importantly encouragement

 

Think snow,  (finally got a reprieve from that steam bath known as DC summers)

 

CP

post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatoldman View Post

Charlie,

Good skiers work hard at getting forward and pulling their feet back and tipping their feet and moving across the skis and anticipating the new turn and ...!! Great skiers just sort of lurk in the center (Bob's neutral) and direct traffic (the forces acting on us when we ski).

 

fom





Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

For an interesting technical piece that explains why we perform better when we have "pressure centered beneath the tibia (back of the arch, just forward of the heel)" See "How the Foot Develops a Competent Base of Support" in The Foot and Its Role in Skiing by David MacPhail.


In response to the above quotes I would like to share the following experience.

 

Years ago I was asked to use a particular footbed which was made of a very stiff material and cause a great deal of pressure under my medial arch which made me feel like I was standing on a golf ball and excessively loaded my fifth metatarsal head as well as locked up my ankle joint inside the boot.  I skied the next day after the footbeds were made and noticed my ability to balance was severely inhibited and necessitated making grosser movements with my knees and hips to balance.  I had lost any ability to articulate my foot and ankle inside the boot and my tripod could not function.   I returned the footbeds that evening and said thanks but no thanks!

 

I don't know that I agree with all that David McPhail writes but I certainly agree that the foot and ankle need to be permitted to do their job in the balance arena.  I believe supporting the foot in a soft neutral is important yet allowing it to maintain some movement in it's axes of motion is important to the balancing most efficiently.  Along with a well made footbed, finding proper alignment in the various planes of motion, places us in the most efficient position with which to balance.  As David states in his research, our bodies can and do adapt to a wide variety of impediments to find equilibrium, the less impediments we place on it, the better it can function in the skiing world.  

 

So while current ski boots do inhibit our movements to some degree, we must find the balance between evelopement and mobility.   Too much mobility and control and accuracy is lost.  Too rigid confinement and balance is severely challenged.  The challenge is finding a good balance for our skill level and comfort threshold.  I am not ready to try skiing in sneakers yet!

 

I believe as skiers become more skilled the time they take to sense an imbalance and react diminishes, consequently these finer balancing movements are made in the feet and ankles allowing the knees and hips to be used more for their optimum roles in balancing the forces in skiing.  I think of the hips as the macro balancer, the ankles as the micro balancers and the knees as the transitional balancers when linking turns.


Edited by bud heishman - 8/2/10 at 9:39pm
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

I believe as skiers become more skilled the time they take to sense an imbalance and react diminishes, consequently these finer balancing movements are made in the feet and ankles allowing the knees and hips to be used more for their optimum roles in balancing the forces in skiing.  I think of the hips as the macro balancer, the ankles as the micro balancers and the knees as the transitional balancers when linking turns.


Excellent point.  As current PSIA system talks about hips, knees and ankles as distinct angulation mechanisms, the range of motion the ankle joint has in a well fitting boot is minimal - a few degrees at most.  Anyone who doesn't believe that, try rolling your ankles, in ski boots, in front of a mirror, while not letting your knees move at all.

 

However, if you completely relax your ankles at the apex of a dynamic carved turn, it could be a really shocking experience, how easily you loose the edge.

 

 

post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by incognito View Post


Excellent point.  As current PSIA system talks about hips, knees and ankles as distinct angulation mechanisms, the range of motion the ankle joint has in a well fitting boot is minimal - a few degrees at most.  Anyone who doesn't believe that, try rolling your ankles, in ski boots, in front of a mirror, while not letting your knees move at all.

 

However, if you completely relax your ankles at the apex of a dynamic carved turn, it could be a really shocking experience, how easily you loose the edge.

 

 



Interesting. I find it hard to evert (is that the right word) my outside foot to increase edge angle. I find it much more easy and functional to invert my inside foot while my outside foot ancle remains neutral.

post #38 of 42

If you find it difficult to evert your outside foot, I would suggest seeing a boot fitter right away!  The ability to evert the foot is paramount to stability and good balance.  See David McPhails papers here on epic about the foot and balance.  The foot needs to first load the heel then the outer aspect then the first met head to engage the inside edge of the outside ski.  This is the same movement that occurs in a normal walking or running stride.  It is also natural for the unweighted "swing" foot to invert as you stated.  I would suspect you are in fact everting your outside foot whether you are aware of it or not.  

 

it is important to be able to evert your feet inside your ski boots to optimize balance and edging.  If for some reason you can not, I would urge you to find out why and remedy it!  The foot and ankle are our most important asset in balancing and need to be able to function properly to do their job!

post #39 of 42

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

If you find it difficult to evert your outside foot, I would suggest seeing a boot fitter right away!  The ability to evert the foot is paramount to stability and good balance.  See David McPhails papers here on epic about the foot and balance.  The foot needs to first load the heel then the outer aspect then the first met head to engage the inside edge of the outside ski.  This is the same movement that occurs in a normal walking or running stride.  It is also natural for the unweighted "swing" foot to invert as you stated.  I would suspect you are in fact everting your outside foot whether you are aware of it or not.  

 

it is important to be able to evert your feet inside your ski boots to optimize balance and edging.  If for some reason you can not, I would urge you to find out why and remedy it!  The foot and ankle are our most important asset in balancing and need to be able to function properly to do their job!


The problem is after listening to you guys for all these years I have no bootfitter in my neighbourhood I trust. Some "experts" outside the skiing community have said after diagnosing my feet that they are in perfect alignment and I need no special linears for every day use. When I load my feet they do not evert. When I walk on a wet floor bare footed I leave perfect tracks. Strangly enough if I stand on one foot I do more inverting corrections with my ancle than everting corrections. Dont know why this is but when I ski its much easier for me to tip the insied leg ancle (invert) than to evert my outside foot ancle.

 

Maybe everting my outside foot is un-consious like you say but tipping with my inside foot is very helpful and gives good results.

post #40 of 42

You don't have to evert your foot, When you stand on your foot the structure of the foot drives the foot into pronation and tensions the three arches of the foot. Once this is done the foot becomes a fairly rigid structure which provides us a solid base to balance on/over. If you try to evert the foot further then you lose the solid three point stance of the foot and compromise your ability to stay centered over that foot. Its like trying to balance a tripod on just two of its legs.

 

On the other hand if you move the foot toward a supinated stance you will create a an imbalance that, combined with the forces acting on your body, will move you across that foot and transfer pressure to the other foot which will drive that foot into pronation giving you a new stance foot to center yourself over.

 

So, TDK, when you load your foot it does move into pronation unless you are indeed some kind of extra-terestrial alien

 

fom

post #41 of 42

Excuse me for being too general, but pronation and eversion are very similar motion if we don't get too detailed!

 

If you can not evert your foot you sacrifice edge control movements which in turn compromise balancing!!   Without this (slight) mobility inside the boot the balancing movements are shifted farther up the chain to the knee and hip.  Yes the body will adapt to this need but why negate the most important joint in the body for balancing??

post #42 of 42

Bud,

 

You are totally correct that there must be room in the boot for the foot to function. If the foot can't move into a pronated state then you can't center yourself over a stable platform because the foot will not be stable. My point is that you don't have to actively evert the foot to achieve that, pressure from the tibia through the ankle onto the bones of the foot will cause the foot to evert and put it into a pronated state. This means that I don't have to actively try to edge my outside ski because the functioning of my foot tips that ski onto its inside edge for me.

 

This ties in with everything else that happens when I want to stop going one direction and start going in the other direction. All I have to do is move my stance foot from its pronated position toward a supinated position and:

allow my body to move across the skis,

allow the pressure to move from the old stance foot to the new stance foot,

allow my new stance foot to be driven into pronation by the pressure placed on it.

 

By simply releasing my outside ski I get crossover/under, lateral pressure shift and edge change all for free.

 

fom

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