Ski Skeletally
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jimmy
April 5, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Seems ok to post this link from epicski. Time to start pre season training . I do remember that posture/support was one of the things I struggled with last year.
web page
KevR
April 5, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
I've always felt i was under-canted when standing up mostly straight-ish, particularly noticeable on flat catwalks and other very low grade green terrain. i seem to have this tendency to slightly wedge on both inside edges. if i spread my feet more forward to back in this situation and put myself in a more forward ski posture, this goes away -- i have even tought myself to make micro-turns in say 3 ft area, again say a catwalk or whatever -- which is really vastly more comfortable than going in and out of a wedge. (the option being just to whip through this stuff as fast possible in a semi-rail). Railing-- speaking of also had some trouble there -- but worked it out finally to hitting pretty decent rail style turns except at the very apex of the turn, I still wash the tails out a little. A friend said I didn't drive the "ball of my feet" hard enough and i had to keep my upper body pointing down the fall line more -- but i haven't perfected this, and the perfect rail turn eludes me. (which -- frankly, who cares? its still fun!)
FINALLY I am horribly flat footed and had corrective inserts made that helped dramatically i felt. once again this tended to square me up -- but i am still not perfectly align and my skeleton is not as symmetric as it could be. I bet at the top end of the sport you will find most successful athletes are highly symmetric from a skeletel standpt. There feet are very nearly identical in length and width, their shins are the same, and their femurs, and their hips are symmetric side to side. Their backs are straight and don't kink one way or the other and their upper bodies are highly symmetric. i believe this is one reason they CAN be such great skiers... meanwhile there's folks like me with horrible "bone-itis" (from futurama, ha ha)

no point really
Crush
April 5, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
999 posts
picabo street has one leg shorter than the other by 1/2" ... the best thing you can do is go to a top-notch boot fitter. It took me year to figure out that my right leg needs that classic "move the knee over the big toe" canting while my left needs to be move out away from the toe (put it more on edge) to achive the same angulation.

Recently I really have been into full body inclination .... really fun on long radius turns it's like riding a bike and wow I love when my inside hand hits the snow!!!
TLaHaye
April 5, 2005
Member since 02/9/2005 🔗
136 posts
Ooh! I'll be intrigued to hear what some of the instructors on the board have to say about your full body lean. I've been doing that some myself, and it is a blast, especially with a short radius slalom ski. When my kid does it though, his coaches get cranky with him. I think it's a case of not being in the optimum position to start your next turn, which of course is far more important when you're racing.

As one of his coaches explained once, "A recreational skier can ride his skis, but a racer needs to drive his skis far more precisely to be successful".
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KevR
April 5, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
Dang my bone-itis excuse up in smoke! Dashed upon the shores of picabo street...

ANYWAY -- full body lean -- sounds interesting (perhaps even self evident) -- how does it go?

Fitting -- i have a friend that swears by some dude in New hampshire, or maybe its vermont -- Stratton Mtn area maybe? As the fit-guru east coast...

In my case i have - extremely flat feet, one legged banged up in car/bike accident that *slightly* cants outwards (relative to the other - not noticable otherwise), and a slight leg length descrepency. (lso only realize this from cycling, otherwise not noticable)

I have had the orthotics for awhile which I think are very good, still I've always felt I could be even more square, perhaps this is all in my head of course.

TLaHaye
April 6, 2005
Member since 02/9/2005 🔗
136 posts
FWIW, Freestyle in Charlottesville has the gear for hip/knee/ankle alignment as well as boot shell modifications and boot sole grinding. They charge $35/hour for boot work, which is a bargain relative to the benefits.
Otto
April 6, 2005
Member since 11/19/1999 🔗
176 posts
If my two cents is worth two cents, I think this is a good article and a good concept. In particular, it brings out the point that you need to be "stacked" i.e. have an erect posture with your hip over the boots, standing tall and not breaking forward at the waist. You are going to go where your pelvis goes. If you haven't read Warren Witherells book, do so...

Whoever's coach advocates not leaning in is right. Its a bad idea and rapidly becomes a bad habit. Today's skis make it easy. Don't do it. All the stuff that goes way to the inside when leaning in has to be moved up, forward and downhill to make your next turn. Bode can do it because he isn't human (btw, he crashes a lot).

If you suspect you have alignment probs, read Warren's book and find a good bootfitter. IMHO not that many people have align probs, but those that do will benefit greatly from getting them fixed.
jimmy
April 6, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Quote:


Whoever's coach advocates not leaning in is right. Its a bad idea and rapidly becomes a bad habit. Today's skis make it easy. Don't do it. All the stuff that goes way to the inside when leaning in has to be moved up, forward and downhill to make your next turn. Bode can do it because he isn't human (btw, he crashes a lot).




Otto, You're right it's hard....probably impossible to change edges when you're so far inside, but....It's so much fun .
Crush
April 6, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
999 posts
lol you bet! And as far as a "not to do" .. hmmm while we are on the subject of Warren Witherell... from his book The Atheletic Skier page 78 .... and you've seen me ski Jimmy I ain't the best out there ..... AHEM! Read the text caption ... it really is not that hard to do and I find it a blast I start with angulation at the knee, then full hip and if it feels good I continue to pull up the inside knee and pull back the inside foot ... and if I want to go further I then start dropping my shoulder and lowering my inside hand .. and voila !! But it is a progression ....


therusty
April 6, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
Kev,

Greg Hoffman at Green Mountain Orthotic Labs is based out of Stratton. He is well known. Some love him and some hate him. I've met him, attended a boot fitting presentation, and watched his crew at work (perception = very knowledgeable and professional). I've had friends go to him for boot fitting with mixed results - some good, some bad.
therusty
April 6, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
Quote:

I'll be intrigued to hear what some of the instructors on the board have to say about your full body lean




"Full body lean" is open to interpretation. In instructorese, we would say inclined with no angulation (i.e. the line from the chin to the belly button is aligned with the line from the belly button to the center of the feet to form a single straight line). Having some angulation would mean that the two lines above would form an angle instead of a straight line (i.e. the upper body is more upright than the lower body).

Most folks will find that being fully inclined with no angulation is almost impossible to achieve on purpose and hold for any length of time. This is because this position gives you very little muscular ability to adapt to terrain fluctuations. Beyond the ability to adapt, angulation also allows one to change one edges earlier in the turn. This gives you a rounder turn which translates to a faster turn in racerese.

As far as recreational skiing goes, doing a full body lean as a means to start developing higher edge angles is one way to start adding more performance into your skiing. It can bring a lot of fun into your turns. It may not be the most effective way to go from intermediate to advanced skiing, but it is effective in improving intermediate skiing.
fred
April 6, 2005
Member since 12/23/2004 🔗
59 posts
generally, for stability it's ideal to keep your centermass directly above the point in which your equipment,snowbaord or skis, is in contact with the snow; variables include pitch of slope and the angulation of the body.(it's all about the gravity!) Depending on the terrain, generally if your leaning over to much of doing "a full body lean" then your equipment might slide out from underneath you. You know if it's "to much" when you smack the surface. You will mostly feel this when you are on ice, trying to "reach our and touch the ground" when carving, or on a steep pitch and trying to stay close to the surface. If your looking for high tilt or edge angle then try to keep your centermass/body over the point of contact with the snow and tilt the equipment by using the ankles, knees, and hips. Hey, if you want to tilt/turn your board-use your feet and legs-afterall, they are closer to your equipment. I opt for the full body tilt when I'm cruising at slow speeds or on a powder day. Everything's good on a Powder Day!!! Cheers-a little snow, a couple great turns & and another good season below the mason-dixon line!
Crush
April 6, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
999 posts
facinating that there is such a lively discussion on such a simple subject... look I ski all different ways and this is just a "play-thing" or ammo in your tool-box ... a way of having fun on two sticks. See ya (cranked waaay over I hope)....
PhysicsMan
April 7, 2005
Member since 11/20/2001 🔗
218 posts
Quote:

generally, for stability it's ideal to keep your centermass directly above the point in which your equipment,snowbaord or skis, is in contact with the snow...




Directly above, eh? In what coordinate system? Certainly not in coordinate system in which "directly above" means vertical (ie, pointing directly away from the center of the earth.).

(ie, Go, Rusty, Go! )

Tom / PM
fred
April 7, 2005
Member since 12/23/2004 🔗
59 posts
AS far as progressing- I find this issue mostly comes up when learning to carve or tilt the equipment. Most instructors and all the examiners I ski with teach angulation as part of an upper end carving progression, but tilting the entire body to first experience carving or true edging is a great entry level activity-mostly because, I think, it requires less refined muscle movements. But ideally the goal should be, after learning to edge, to introduce angulation. Yeah it's tuff to explain, but easy to see the difference between leaning and angulation of the body. The variables are pitch of the surface, degree of equipment tilt, speed, and probably a couple more things. But in general if you tilt the equipment and keep your body straight then I think that is what is being called "full body lean" here- there's nothing wrong with that-its' all good. Especially in powder when the surface "conforms" to the equipments degree of tilt and almost creates it's own platform underneath you. Infact, some of my favorit turns in powder are laid out.

However, as far as a stable, balanced position goes if you look at a skier or boarder as they are coming at you , using a high degree of tilt or edging, then the body position should resemble a tilted C or arched shape not a tilted extended straight line /. To be effecient and balanced then you want your centermass and weight postioned so you can effectively be pushing or pressuring directly down towards the snow in relationship to the surface or pitch, atleast that is what the folks at PSIA/ASSI say, and from what I've seen and felt it seems to be dead on. Way to many years ago I took my level II alpine exam and I remember a multiple choice question that asked ...

Where does gravity pull you towards?
A- towards the ceter of the earth
B-down the fall line
C-down the mountain
D-towards the bar for apre ski drinks

They wanted you to pick just one but in reality it probably, more or less, was true for all of the first three. From what the examiners told me the question was thrown out the next season because there was so much debate, but I remember I wrote in my own answer- E all of the above, and I still believe that to be true
KevR
April 7, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
I would like to offer the following theories to explain the photograph.
theory 1: the 2D photo in combination with the camera angle results in a distortion of what is actually happening

theory 2: instability is faster. While we are all taught positions in skiing that are considered stable, maybe this racer has discovered that in fact just being on the edge of instability is faster (or more maneuverable)

I back up theory 2 with an analogy to aircraft. Stable aircraft (the kind you and i fly in as passengers) are very stable, they also maneuver very poorly. this is good if you don't want to lose your lunch. Top end military aircraft have been built increasing with high instability. what this means is they would fall from the sky if it were not for the onboard flight computer constantly micro adjusting their flight surfaces. the results: HIGHLY MANEUVERABLE aircraft (although not clearly faster).

SOoooo --- maybe something similiar is true for skiers??

OR bunk...

someone mentioned May 17 -- I have to be in Florida on May 20 so i dont' think that would work. While it remains a fantasy, I could technically probably go out one of the last 2 weekends in April or first weekend in May. I don't think it will really happen, but i have the means, mainly hinging on a free RT ticket out of Southwest.
therusty
April 7, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
Kev,

What do you mean by unstable? The skier in the photo is not out of balance. Racers occasionally weight their tails to accelerate through the end of a turn. At those moments one could consider them out of balance, but it's clearly a faster way through the course. This racer is in a position where he could soon begin to the weight his tails, but he needs to land his outside ski chatter first (note the puff of snow in front of the ski snow contact point). The fastest line is always with the skis on the snow. One might argue that a higher inside hand and shoulder might have allowed this racer to reduce chatter and therefore go faster.

Bode Miller has been proving that a straighter line in between gates can be faster even though it's more "out of control". There's always a tradeoff involved. In Bode's case, his approach has a higher risk of a DQ/DNF. He seems out of control, but he uses muscle energy to control instability and his straighter line more than makes up for the loss of speed from being unstable. However, most racers do not have the recovery skills to pull this strategy off as consistently as Bode.

Although angulated is not laterally skeletally "stacked", it does not prevent being vertically stacked. Angulated racers are generally faster than "banked" racers.

I'd argue that a "stable" position is the fastest position, but that you never know how fast the fastest stable position is until you go just a little faster and get unstable and lose speed. Top racers speak of being on the edge.
Crush
April 7, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
999 posts
TheRusty- why have we not talked before!!! You are so right-on you must be an awesome skier!!!! Your comments are perfect. When I do the inclination thing it is totally fun but I get a little dizzy from moving from turn to turn b/c of all the the center of mass changes but with a good edge-hold it is a very efficient way of making high-G turns ... gee come to think of it today I was on G-Force at The Canyons doing it ... lol a bunch of ski instructors clinic lead by Steve Woodward an excellent PSI level III instructor and they all said "wow come ski with us" and I had a great time showing off how sideways I can get lol G-force is a 35 degree slope that is about 900 vert and you do it supersonic with about 7 turns when it is groomed ... totally balls-to-the-walls!!!!! :-) And yeah I was stable!!!!

PS the pic is the great Norwegian racer Kjetil-Andre Aamodt movin' it down ... at the Lillehamer Oly he captured the the Bronze .... COOL!
therusty
April 8, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
Crush,
You being in PC and me in DC (sorta), it would be hard to talk too much. I've been on EPIC for a while, but for some reason totally missed the forum on this site until earlier this year. Heck I wrote an article for DCSKi a Loooooooooong time ago.

I talk better than I ski. I'm a level 2 PSIA.

BTW - I'd be worried about getting a little dizzy making turns. My guess is it's more the G force than the CM move. Maybe Physicsman can tell us what the max G force in a ski turn is, but I suspect it's not more than 3. That should not be enough to make you dizzy unless you're chewing a lot of vertical with more than 7 turns or have health issues. Had your BP checked lately?
Otto
April 9, 2005
Member since 11/19/1999 🔗
176 posts
Whoa! this is skiing, we're not building the space shuttle here. My bad for making a categorical "don't" statement. Of course you are going to lean in if you are going a zillion miles an hour and making GS turns. You can't do em if you don't. AND the newer skis are a blast for ripping carved turns with one leg real long and one leg real short. That's gonna involve lots of "leaning" in too. Why, because there are limits on your ability to angulate with your ankles, knees and hips.

Personally, as my skis get shorter and more fun, I have noticed how easy it is to "ride on the inside" in short and medium radius turns. It's not so good to do it then - particularly when you need to do short turns. You have to be really quick and agile to get off the tails and on to the front of the skis again.

Its all about fun anyway - so lean in if you want to. Just don't do it making short turns on the edge of a trail unless you want to eat wood....

From an instructor perspective, I don't know about teaching leaning in as part of a progression. I don't like the idea of giving anybody anything that can be the foundation of a bad habit... But what do I know?
TLaHaye
April 9, 2005
Member since 02/9/2005 🔗
136 posts
Well ... these are precisely the type responses I expected. Good discussion. I do apologize to the original poster, as we've ventured far from the initial topic, but I've certainly bookmarked "Ski Skeletally" in my favorites.

Those big leaners are fun for GS type turns (man can you fly), but don't work for short turns, treeline turns, and moguls. If we think about it, changing edges from a reasonably angulated, downhill facing body position is pretty straight-forward. Coming out of that leaner though, your skis are off-edge a lot longer before you shift to the opposite edge.
jimmy
April 11, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Quote:

Well ... these are precisely the type responses I expected. Good discussion. I do apologize to the original poster, as we've ventured far from the initial topic, but I've certainly bookmarked "Ski Skeletally" in my favorites.





LOL, that's part of the fun, Seeing where's a topic going to go?
KevR
April 11, 2005
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
sorry i was in houston/austin the last few days. anyway -- what I MEAN by unstable. Well its kinda BS but what I was thinking was this.
Perhaps that skier in that photo is using a technique of making many small micro-0adjustments and skiing in a envelope that's just at the edge of unstable. In essence they are skiing in a "controlled instability" they are able to bound the instability. As such they've learned that this produces a faster time than skiing in a more traditional stable stance.. once again, by analogy: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/news/FactSheets/FS-008-DFRC.html

STILL it could be complete BUNK-ola and we don't have any data to support the notion really.
It could be as half-backed as my dang texas induced sunburn!


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