Takeaways from the PSIA National Academy, 2022

Sledhead

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I think that tip lead is often confused as something we are attempting to achieve. An intent. It is not. It is a visual corollary and not a cause based on intent. We will see SL racers like the one in the above photo let their inside scoot forward in one of ten turns and is no indication that it is something to try to copy in any way. That is not a good photo for demonstrating a need for tip lead. She is shining the gate low because she has a tight line whether because she was late or is setting up for an off-set turn. On most turns she is crossblocking high and achieving equal dorsiflexion. As a matter of fact, she may be achieving equal dorsiflexion in that very photo. Ski racing provides poor context for technical freeskiing, a different discipline altogether. The camera angle is suspect for that purpose as well. Ski boots do not/should not hamper the goal of equal dorsiflexion. Not using the inside ski will.

I see things a bit different from the skiers I would wish to emulate. One of them is the ability to maintain parallel shafts, in both relative planes, throughout the entire turn cycle which is in direct reference to equal tipping of the feet and equal dorsiflexion of the ankles which is then in reference to pressuring “both” skis the way we need to. We want our skis to move back and forth under the CoM together as one unit and not shuffling alternate feet back and forth. Nobody is teaching or coaching anything that would increase the inside tip lead in any discipline of skiing for a reason. While we may always have a little bit of natural inside tip lead, excessive tip lead of more than just a few inches is always the result of an inactive inside ski, boot and foot that is commonly associated with the lack of that mobility. Excessive inside tip lead is an A frame in the coronal plane, viewable from the side and caused by weak inside dorsiflexion. The more commonly referred to A frame is in the sagittal plane, viewable from the front or rear and indicated by unequal tipping of the feet/skis. Both A frame conditions indicate a lack of use of the inside foot and ski because they are not in position to do much of anything. Equal tipping of the feet and equal dorsiflexion of the ankles requires both pressure to the inside ski and use of the inside ski to achieve yet while achieving this is what, in return, allows the skier to use the inside ski as an active participant in the turn. If it is not being used, there is nothing keeping it back under our CoM where it belongs. We actually want that inside foot to “be in the way” so that it can be pinned back as a result of ground force pushing against our skeletal alignment and thus forcing the inside ski to carve in concert with the outside ski albeit with much less pressure.

Excessive inside tip lead is slow because it delays the time in which the CoM will need to get back over that ski for the next turn. Whether it requires a “pull back” effort or time to get back “up and over” it, both are compensatory moves for the lack of its participation which keeps it where it belongs. We need to transfer from ski to ski in a lateral direction, thus the shortest path requiring the least time and effort to go from ski to ski. If you are being taught to pull it back or get up and over it, you are being taught to compensate for its lack of use. There are many categorical instances of just letting that inside ski do what it wants when you really need some serious outside pressure, regardless of the specific discipline, however, if you are pure carving and seeking lightning quick transfers, it is much faster going from engaged ski to engaged ski rather than from engaged ski to disengaged ski that is ahead of the CoM that must be pulled back or gotten back over it then be re-engaged for each and every turn. It is slower and more of a hassle. And again, things like pullback is coaching to a visual corollary of parallel shafts but not to the cause of parallel shafts.
 

locknload

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Tip lead, like so many things in ski technique, is a balancing act. It's a necessity because we flex the inside leg more than the outside and ankle mobility is very limited in ski boots. This is all exaggerated at high edge angles, where we need to flex the inside leg more, and we can't do that without the inside foot shifting further forward relative to the outside foot.

61.445.746


But I know from my own skiing (that's not me in the pic :roflmao:) and the skiing of many other mere mortals that the tendency is to end up with too much inside tip (foot, knee, hip) lead, and consequent twisting of the hip toward the outside of the turn, hip dump, losing connection with the outside ski, falling inside and skidding.

So I like drills focused on shuffling the outside foot forward, or the inside foot back, or both. But this can't go too far - if we have no inside tip lead, we block our ability to increase edge angles.

I like Deb Armstrong's take, from about 1:18. Also 6:15, 'Trouble!'. But really the whole video. Full disclosure, I always like Deb Armstrong's take.

I really appreciate how she makes these concepts visual and easy to understand. A lot of you guys are very knowledgeable instructors but it can be tough to follow some of the words without pictures at times. I appreciate trying to follow the thread.....just sometimes I get lost in the sauce.
 

geepers

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We’ll have to leave it to Geepers as it looks like Mt. Hotham opened today!

Thought it may be a good idea to renew acquaintance with the actual movements - it was a long time between slides on skis! 672 days to be precise.

Why not just set the task of getting the skis "out and away"?

That may apply to the inside ski. Not sure how it applies to the outside ski since I very much want that to be "in the way" - between CoM and GRF. Until such time as the turn needs to be released.

Certainly the hip flexors are engaged, a big part of keeping the CoM from being rocked out of balance. Not sure l follow “pulling through”?
Whether it is with students/athletes or myself l am trying to relate sensations that create a positive outcome. The only pulling I feel is pulling G’s ogwink .

It definitely feels like pulling through to me. Paul Lorenz describes the changing of outside foot position as it comes from behind (when we're "upside down" at the top of the turn) to level (at apex) to ahead as the skis come across the hill below the fall line.

It's very much affected by the dragginess of the snow. One thing about skiing Australia is the variable conditions. Went from heavy, wet snow - where there's a conscious effort to keep the outside foot coming through - to frozen solid where the focus is more on keeping up with the skis. Sure prefer the idea of pulling the feet through to pushing. With pushing there's a tendency to get back. Gellie's prompt is "pull toes to nose" - keep the feet coming through without the core getting back.

Further if we're going to flex to release it becomes a continued movement.

This action I'm describing does not do that. It reduces the tip lead, but then the relative position of the feet stabilizes, as if the movement is stopped by a wall or a weird invisible force.

Yep.

To me it felt the only way I could keep the outside foot progressing relative to the inside foot was to rotate the hips into the turn. But by then it was time to release from that turn.
 

Tony S

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We actually want that inside foot to “be in the way” so that it can be pinned back as a result of ground force pushing against our skeletal alignment and thus forcing the inside ski to carve in concert with the outside ski albeit with much less pressure.
Interesting. Don't think I've heard this thought before, but it seems plausible.
 

geepers

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One of them is the ability to maintain parallel shafts, in both relative planes, throughout the entire turn cycle which is in direct reference to equal tipping of the feet.

Would you say that these skiers have parallel shins on the frontal plane?

1655953885763.png


1655953924129.png


1655953969388.png
 
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TS
mike_m

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The concept of parallel shins throughout the turn is an interesting one and a source of much confusion. Looking at the photos directly above, and photos/videos of most elite-level skiers, the skis bottoms are tipped to the same angle. The inside leg, however, is not parallel. This is something Josh worked on with us at the Academy. To allow the inside thigh/knee to get out of the way in a dynamic medium-radius turn and encourage the pelvis to align in functional counterbalance, the inside knee/thigh actually needs to pull up and in toward the outside shoulder. The outside leg is long (but not braced/locked) and tips inward. This is not something an intermediate-level skier need focus on, but to move to a higher dynamic level, this will be necessary.

You can feel this alignment quite effectively if you lean against a wall, rotate and lift your pelvis along and toward the wall, and lift your inside knee/thigh parallel to your longer outside leg. Note how this affects the position of your pelvis. Now lift the inside knee/thigh across toward the outside shoulder and away from the wall. You will feel a dramatic shift in the alignment of your pelvis (the outside will tuck under dramatically) when you do so, producing a much more dynamic alignment and ski turn.

Hope this has been of some help!

Best!
Mike
 

geepers

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The concept of parallel shins throughout the turn is an interesting one and a source of much confusion. Looking at the photos directly above, and photos/videos of most elite-level skiers, the skis bottoms are tipped to the same angle. The inside leg, however, is not parallel. This is something Josh worked on with us at the Academy. To allow the inside thigh/knee to get out of the way in a dynamic medium-radius turn and encourage the pelvis to align in functional counterbalance, the inside knee/thigh actually needs to pull up and in toward the outside shoulder. The outside leg is long (but not braced/locked) and tips inward. This is not something an intermediate-level skier need focus on, but to move to a higher dynamic level, this will be necessary.

You can feel this alignment quite effectively if you lean against a wall, rotate and lift your pelvis along and toward the wall, and lift your inside knee/thigh parallel to your longer outside leg. Note how this affects the position of your pelvis. Now lift the inside knee/thigh across toward the outside shoulder and away from the wall. You will feel a dramatic shift in the alignment of your pelvis (the outside will tuck under dramatically) when you do so, producing a much more dynamic alignment and ski turn.

Hope this has been of some help!

Best!
Mike

Experimented with this last week after viewing a Big Picture Skiing vid on this. Feeling is a stronger stance to balance on the outside ski and provides better positioning, control and awareness of the inside ski. Key not to do to excess as it then becomes a high speed javelin.
 

geepers

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How about this video:

At 6:04 "Why don't we make a ton of lead and get more angulation?"

There's an answer - the next turn - but also because the more the hips face out of the turn the more the tendency to flatten the outside ski.

Indeed, but the javelin turn exercise is an excellent way to feel this alignment in action.

Yes, although normally don't do javelins at that speed.

The stronger stance, better balance also becomes apparent dryland when attempting one legged squat (like the start of a pistol squat). Which is how BPS explains it.
 

Rod9301

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I think that tip lead is often confused as something we are attempting to achieve. An intent. It is not. It is a visual corollary and not a cause based on intent. We will see SL racers like the one in the above photo let their inside scoot forward in one of ten turns and is no indication that it is something to try to copy in any way. That is not a good photo for demonstrating a need for tip lead. She is shining the gate low because she has a tight line whether because she was late or is setting up for an off-set turn. On most turns she is crossblocking high and achieving equal dorsiflexion. As a matter of fact, she may be achieving equal dorsiflexion in that very photo. Ski racing provides poor context for technical freeskiing, a different discipline altogether. The camera angle is suspect for that purpose as well. Ski boots do not/should not hamper the goal of equal dorsiflexion. Not using the inside ski will.

I see things a bit different from the skiers I would wish to emulate. One of them is the ability to maintain parallel shafts, in both relative planes, throughout the entire turn cycle which is in direct reference to equal tipping of the feet and equal dorsiflexion of the ankles which is then in reference to pressuring “both” skis the way we need to. We want our skis to move back and forth under the CoM together as one unit and not shuffling alternate feet back and forth. Nobody is teaching or coaching anything that would increase the inside tip lead in any discipline of skiing for a reason. While we may always have a little bit of natural inside tip lead, excessive tip lead of more than just a few inches is always the result of an inactive inside ski, boot and foot that is commonly associated with the lack of that mobility. Excessive inside tip lead is an A frame in the coronal plane, viewable from the side and caused by weak inside dorsiflexion. The more commonly referred to A frame is in the sagittal plane, viewable from the front or rear and indicated by unequal tipping of the feet/skis. Both A frame conditions indicate a lack of use of the inside foot and ski because they are not in position to do much of anything. Equal tipping of the feet and equal dorsiflexion of the ankles requires both pressure to the inside ski and use of the inside ski to achieve yet while achieving this is what, in return, allows the skier to use the inside ski as an active participant in the turn. If it is not being used, there is nothing keeping it back under our CoM where it belongs. We actually want that inside foot to “be in the way” so that it can be pinned back as a result of ground force pushing against our skeletal alignment and thus forcing the inside ski to carve in concert with the outside ski albeit with much less pressure.

Excessive inside tip lead is slow because it delays the time in which the CoM will need to get back over that ski for the next turn. Whether it requires a “pull back” effort or time to get back “up and over” it, both are compensatory moves for the lack of its participation which keeps it where it belongs. We need to transfer from ski to ski in a lateral direction, thus the shortest path requiring the least time and effort to go from ski to ski. If you are being taught to pull it back or get up and over it, you are being taught to compensate for its lack of use. There are many categorical instances of just letting that inside ski do what it wants when you really need some serious outside pressure, regardless of the specific discipline, however, if you are pure carving and seeking lightning quick transfers, it is much faster going from engaged ski to engaged ski rather than from engaged ski to disengaged ski that is ahead of the CoM that must be pulled back or gotten back over it then be re-engaged for each and every turn. It is slower and more of a hassle. And again, things like pullback is coaching to a visual corollary of parallel shafts but not to the cause of parallel shafts.
You are right except dorsiflexion is not strong enough to pull the foot back, you need to do this with the hamstrings throughout the turn.
 

JESinstr

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Why not just set the task of getting the skis "out and away"? I have found giving this task to my jr racers and advanced wannabees works quiet well in achieving the required body movements provided through the arch balance focus is maintained.
That may apply to the inside ski. Not sure how it applies to the outside ski since I very much want that to be "in the way" - between CoM and GRF. Until such time as the turn needs to be released.
I understand your perspective but wouldn't "in alignment" be a better phrase than "in the way". After all, the whole objective is to build center balanced edge angle so as to let the ski do what it is designed to do. COM/GRF alignment (along with fore and aft centering) is the requirement. The techniques we use to accomplish this can be varied depending on if you ascribe to the top toppling down vs the bottoms out and away. Good skiers can do to both.
 

Sledhead

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Would you say that these skiers have parallel shins on the frontal plane?
Geepers, good question. I am glad you asked! Equal tipping is a concept regarding an ideal rather than a standard of geometric perfection that is related to specific contexts of carving, that of which presenting random photos not demonstrative of the point I make will have no significance. Those are photos of unique situations (hip to snow, etc.), stills of which provide very little context for movement, and I am discussing the analysis of movement. Nonetheless, once vertical separation surpasses a certain point as it often does with the aggressive carving of the advanced technical freeskiing in your posted photos, our biomechanics can no longer maintain equal tipping and, as such, that is often when these shots are taken, when a skier is peaked in the turn. This state of tipping inequality is fine though as the inside is going to be leading the tipping in the other direction. This is not an issue for developing skiers to be concerned with.
You are right except dorsiflexion is not strong enough to pull the foot back, you need to do this with the hamstrings throughout the turn.
For me anyway, maintaining dorsiflexion with a bit of inside pressure 'keeps' my inside from scooting forward in the first place and thus negating any need for a pullback recovery move, or requiring time and effort to get 'up and over' the new ski for the next turn. If you are not really using the inside ski, it has nothing to do but scoot forward.

This is not to be confused with both feet moving together back and forth under the CoM to remain centered on a turning ski.
 

Rod9301

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Geepers, good question. I am glad you asked! Equal tipping is a concept regarding an ideal rather than a standard of geometric perfection that is related to specific contexts of carving, that of which presenting random photos not demonstrative of the point I make will have no significance. Those are photos of unique situations (hip to snow, etc.), stills of which provide very little context for movement, and I am discussing the analysis of movement. Nonetheless, once vertical separation surpasses a certain point as it often does with the aggressive carving of the advanced technical freeskiing in your posted photos, our biomechanics can no longer maintain equal tipping and, as such, that is often when these shots are taken, when a skier is peaked in the turn. This state of tipping inequality is fine though as the inside is going to be leading the tipping in the other direction. This is not an issue for developing skiers to be concerned with.

For me anyway, maintaining dorsiflexion with a bit of inside pressure 'keeps' my inside from scooting forward in the first place and thus negating any need for a pullback recovery move, or requiring time and effort to get 'up and over' the new ski for the next turn. If you are not really using the inside ski, it has nothing to do but scoot forward.

This is not to be confused with both feet moving together back and forth under the CoM to remain centered on a turning ski.
Notice that I'm not saying to pull the inside foot back as a recovery motion, but keep it back all the way from transition to transition, using the hamstrings. It's quite a powerful move, requires effort.

If the inside foot is pulled back, you will be centered at the beginning of the next turn.

Btw, this is a required move in very steep, narrow terrain, in jump turns. Otherwise, you cannot link turns. 40+degrees, 3 meters wide like of terrain.
 

Sledhead

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Notice that I'm not saying to pull the inside foot back as a recovery motion, but keep it back all the way from transition to transition, using the hamstrings. It's quite a powerful move, requires effort.

If the inside foot is pulled back, you will be centered at the beginning of the next turn.

Btw, this is a required move in very steep, narrow terrain, in jump turns. Otherwise, you cannot link turns. 40+degrees, 3 meters wide like of terrain.
Yes, I agree that pullback (two footed) is a great move in many circumstances regarding different terrain, turn intent and developmental circumstances. At some point, I also agree it is the only way to turn such as in very tight and/or steep terrain. I regularly use a two footed pullback for the rarely skied bumps and steeps but feel I may need it for a lack of keeping my feet where I feel they belong such as I do for carved turns where I keep my inside foot pinned under me. When I am on the inside ball of the outside foot, I am also on the outside ball of my inside foot because the center of pressure under each ski is at the same place, under my feet. I don't use my upper leg, hip, abs and back muscles for anything but a bit of core stability and drooping over my stack. I am really only paying attention to what is happening with my ankles, feet and skis. Keeping the inside pinned back is a good way to hook it up equally with the outside ski with far less pressure. I promise you that if you try this for your fully carved turns, you will find that anytime you use this, you will not need your hamstrings for anything but looking good. I do think that pinning the inside foot back may require a certain lower region mobility not readily available to anyone and for whom a hamstring pullback would be helpful in such a developmental context.
 

geepers

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wouldn't "in alignment" be a better phrase

Of course the next question would be "in alignment with what, and when?"

Geepers, good question. I am glad you asked! Equal tipping is a concept regarding an ideal rather than a standard of geometric perfection that is related to specific contexts of carving, that of which presenting random photos not demonstrative of the point I make will have no significance. Those are photos of unique situations (hip to snow, etc.), stills of which provide very little context for movement, and I am discussing the analysis of movement. Nonetheless, once vertical separation surpasses a certain point as it often does with the aggressive carving of the advanced technical freeskiing in your posted photos, our biomechanics can no longer maintain equal tipping and, as such, that is often when these shots are taken, when a skier is peaked in the turn. This state of tipping inequality is fine though as the inside is going to be leading the tipping in the other direction. This is not an issue for developing skiers to be concerned with.

Just highlighting that there's instructors with a global presence who approach this aspect with a different POV.

Posted still images as it saved time over doing animated gifs. Take a look at any Paul Lorenz or Reilly McGlashan or Josh Duncan-Smith long turn vids and the divergence of shin angles in the frontal plane is quite obvious. (As @mike_m points out in #86 above JDS instructs it.) Plenty of other skiers could have been selected.

As for the level of performance.... The Paul Lorenz image - green outfit with the multiple frames on the one image - shows the shin angle divergence begins quite early, before very high edge angles are achieved.

GR25J8.gif


My turn performance is far more modest than these guys and yet I find the stance to be stronger, the balance on the outside ski to be improved and the positioning of the inside foot to be more intuitive and controlled when the outside leg comes up and towards the centerline of the body compared with attempting to maintain parallel shins.

There's surely more than one way to ski so maybe skiers can try both approaches on snow and determine which works best for them - as I did last week. YMMV.
 

Rod9301

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Of course the next question would be "in alignment with what, and when?"



Just highlighting that there's instructors with a global presence who approach this aspect with a different POV.

Posted still images as it saved time over doing animated gifs. Take a look at any Paul Lorenz or Reilly McGlashan or Josh Duncan-Smith long turn vids and the divergence of shin angles in the frontal plane is quite obvious. (As @mike_m points out in #86 above JDS instructs it.) Plenty of other skiers could have been selected.

As for the level of performance.... The Paul Lorenz image - green outfit with the multiple frames on the one image - shows the shin angle divergence begins quite early, before very high edge angles are achieved.

GR25J8.gif


My turn performance is far more modest than these guys and yet I find the stance to be stronger, the balance on the outside ski to be improved and the positioning of the inside foot to be more intuitive and controlled when the outside leg comes up and towards the centerline of the body compared with attempting to maintain parallel shins.

There's surely more than one way to ski so maybe skiers can try both approaches on snow and determine which works best for them - as I did last week. YMMV.
I think the green is tightening the turn by tipping the inside ski more.
 

geepers

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I think the green is tightening the turn by tipping the inside ski more.

He makes no mention of using the inside leg in that way in his edu vids. And the drills re increasing angles don't reflect that (hand drags, handy-Js). More focused on shortening the inside leg.

The tipping of the skis is well matched even if the shin angles aren't.
 

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