Holiday--Right, the picture of Eric definitely does not show an abstem (as I define "abstem" anyway). It, and the sequence Dr. Go posted, shows the mechanics that I've described as an alternative to the rotary pushoff of Dan's photo.
We are, of course, conjecturing and extrapolating a lot about Dan's skiing from that single photograph. I think that some of us are envisioning the same moves, but at different levels of intensity. I do not believe that Dan is about to do a 180 degree hop turn--although it's possible. But I DO believe that, whatever he intends to do, it revolves around turning his skis with his upper body using "rotation" and, perhaps, a blocking pole plant. ["Rotation," for the non-instructors trying to follow this thread, means turning first the upper body, then "yanking" the skis around by slowing or stopping the rotation of the upper body. "Upper body" can include the hips, torso, arms, head, or any combination.]
Anyway, Dan's upper body, as I mentioned before, is "wound up," twisted a little uphill, with the uphill arm and shoulder pulled back, the downhill arm and shoulder reaching forward. Reversing this arrangement--twisting everything to the left--while the lower body is anchored by the skis--produces powerful rotational momentum that will transfer to the skis when he STOPS the upper body rotation.
It's a powerful force, capable of powering skis around even in heavy snow if done vigorously enough. Or it can be done with great subtlety. Dan will use it any way he wants. But he WILL use it, even if he DOESN'T want to! He has to unwind that upper body--he can't just turn his skis down the hill while he's still facing across or slightly up the hill. When he reaches that right arm downhill and around, it WILL introduce some rotational momentum, no matter how smoothly or subtly he does it.
I do wish we had a couple more frames in a sequence of Dan's skiing. I can (almost) promise that the first things that move into the new left turn will be Dan's arms and shoulders, followed by his skis. In all likelihood, Dan will do this with great subtlety and refinement, throwing his skis just enough to start the turn, then steering them smoothly around to the finish.
Again, the only potential problem with these mechanics, in this situation, is that rotation requires a platform to stabilize the feet while the upper body begins to rotate. (Otherwise the rotation of the upper body downhill will cause a simultaneous counter-rotation of the feet UP the hill.)
A "platform" does necessarily mean a complete edge set, with no lateral slippage. But it does require a certain amount of "grip" to stop one turn and provide the stability to push off from into the next turn.
When using the alternative "leg-steering" mechanics that I've described, and that Eric demonstrates well above, the SKIS turn down the hill first, rather then the hands and upper body, and they turn more than the upper body. This results in the stance that Eric shows in the first frame of his sequence--upper body facing somewhat down the hill. This turn begins not with a pushoff from a platform, but with a RELEASE of the edge grip--so Eric can do it even if his skis aren't holding.
Anyway, Eric is definitely not showing an abstem, as I use the term. An unintentional abstem is almost always accompanied by a rotated stance (the rotated stance is part of the cause-effect chain that causes the abstem). Eric, with his slightly countered and somewhat narrower stance (than Dan's) shows the alternative mechanics that I described--a great instructional counterpoint!
Very technical--hope I haven't discouraged anyone from following this thread.
<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 28, 2001 07:00 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Bob Barnes/Colorado ]</font>