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Wayward / unstable left leg

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Newbie to this forum and looking for advise on how I can resolve one particular problem with my skiing

 

I am have been skiing on & off over the past 10 years - generally no more than twice per season.  I am comfortable on greens and most blues.  The problem I find myself having is with my left leg which seems to have a mind of its own.  For example, I could be skiing on a gentle slope in a straight line and my left ski will want to move left-to-right and right-to-left.  At times it would cross over with my right ski - I do not seem to have any control at all.  The slightest edge or bump can throw me off and cause me to fall.   

 

As I don't seem to be in control, I have difficulties mastering blues and safely navigating greens at higher speeds. As I go down the slopes I find myself having to turn more often turn I'd like for fear of gaining to much speed and losing control.  Furthermore, as I turn, I sometimes lose control of my left leg (since the skis don't seem to respond to my instructions). 

 

By way of background, I have previously injured my MCL (twice, both low grade injuries due to rugby) and additionally have had surgery on my left tibual.  I ski with a hinged knee brace and use my own boots.

 

Hope to find some answers to this problem since I'd like to improve and be able to teach / assist my son's skiing

 

Thanks,

post #2 of 12

ipsimo, welcome to Epic ski, there are a number of things that might need to be done in order for you to not have the problem you are describing. 1st maybe you should take a lesson with a pro. A good one can also see if there are some equipment issues, and possibly some body issues. Also a good boot fitter can check out some alignment problems and get you at least standing properly in boots for optimum performance on your skis. If you can't do any of that one thing to try while skiing is to slice your left little toes into the snow as you turn left, think of drawing a line with your left little toe in the snow when going left. The wayward ski could be a function of not engaging the left edge of the left ski and it is flopping around on you. Newer modern shaped skis don't like to run straight, they prefer to be on the same edges (2 left or 2 right)  in some sort of turn. They are seeking to turn and you could be fighting them wanting to do their natural thing.

With all the things you describe about your left leg, injuries, knee brace etc there can be a few things that need to be looked at before you could feel comfortable . It might be physical , not able to move your femur a certain way or mental, not wanting to hurt the leg again, or your knee brace might be inhibiting the movement you need to engage the left ski.

Have an instructor teach your son it will be more enjoyable for both of you.

post #3 of 12

---Is your left foot smaller than your right?  Could that boot be too large for that foot?  It is possible.

 

---Left leg shorter and you try for equal weight on both skis?  Put 90% of your weight on the ski on the outside of the turn.

 

---Can you make a very short video to post on the Ask The Boot Guys forum?  From behind, have someone video you skiing straight on a flat green slope on one foot at a time.  Just ski straight down on one foot, then the other.  Then, ski 45° to the left of the fall line on each foot, then 45° to the right, one foot at a time (just lift the tail of the ski for better balance).  The Boot Guys will identify any anatomical asymmetries you have and recommend ways to get you even on each ski.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

---Is your left foot smaller than your right?  Could that boot be too large for that foot?  It is possible.

 

---Left leg shorter and you try for equal weight on both skis?  Put 90% of your weight on the ski on the outside of the turn.

 

---Can you make a very short video to post on the Ask The Boot Guys forum?  From behind, have someone video you skiing straight on a flat green slope on one foot at a time.  Just ski straight down on one foot, then the other.  Then, ski 45° to the left of the fall line on each foot, then 45° to the right, one foot at a time (just lift the tail of the ski for better balance).  The Boot Guys will identify any anatomical asymmetries you have and recommend ways to get you even on each ski.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



My first two thoughts. (shorter leg, smaller foot/bigger boot)

post #5 of 12

Does your left foot do this if you are skiing across the hill from left to right?

 

And, as Snowbowler mentioned, leave teaching your son to the pros.  Your entire family will appreciate it.  You may think you'll save money but you will inadvertently teach him every bad habit you have.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your comments. Agree teaching son is best left to pro - I've already placed him in ski schools numerous times. May be my final comment should have read " hope to be able to ski with him safely" rather than 'teach him'
post #7 of 12

But you didn't answer my question, which could be fairly important.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

mtcyclist - left foot does this in both directions (left-to-right and right-to-left) across the hill

 

wrt other questions: left foot is 1/2 a foot size smaller then right but ankle is large (due to tibula break).  not aware that one leg is shorter than the other but your question does remind me of what my chiropractor once said to me, which is uneven weight distribution (45/55) when standing up straight on my feet due to poor posture (can't remember which side though)

 

once again thank everyone for your constructive comments.

post #9 of 12

Can you ski across the hill on just your left ski, lifting the right ski off the snow?

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

No I can not 

post #11 of 12

I think you need to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to get evaluated for the cause of the problem because it sounds like your left leg is significantly weaker than your right, and that is not the way it should be.  I have taught quite a few beginning skiers, adults, teens and even some kids who can ski across the hill with the uphill ski lifted off the snow.  Most likely you will be referred to a physical therapist to work on strengthening your left leg.  Good luck and let us know how it all goes.

post #12 of 12

 

ipismo.  Your first response is a good approach. Snowbowler and Soft Snow Guy are pointing you to the proper help.

 

I have had five knee operations over the last 37 years. It seems to have created a bit of instability and possibly added to  differences in how I place my foot compared to the other . This creates a difference in balancing each foot in our ski boot and they need to be adjusted accordingly.

Do you have foot-beds made professionally or had any work done to align yourself in your ski boots to get equal footing in each ?

 

One indicator of poor alignment can be shown  with a simple framing square on a flat hard surface like a basement or garage floor. In shorts get in your ski boots and compare the alignment of the center of the ski boot shown my a vertical line in the front of the boot and compare where that hits the middle of your knee. Mine was a big difference. I used shims to decide the amount of tilt i needed to get an equal reading and played with them on the hill. After finding some nice improvements I went to a boot fitter to have him assess my alignment and we re built the foot-bed to align me better. Best would be to go there first and start with  professional help to overcome our individual differences with each side .

 

Good luck and good skiing  to you.

 

 

 

                                           

  

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