PMTS Forum

Postby Harald » Sat Apr 10, 2004 1:19 pm

Ankle flex

Understanding of ankle use in skiing has increased substantially in the last ten years. I remember when no one talked about the ankle and how it was important to skiing. Everything revolved around upper body and gross movements. My father always told me, you ski with your ankles and your eyes.

Range of dorsiflexion is possibly the most limiting factor for skier development. I don?t think one can become an expert skier unless there is at least ten degrees of dorsiflexion in the ankle. Ankle eversion is just as important, but we have figured out ways to increase functionality of eversion through footbed and boot board modification.

Dorsiflexion range is instrumental in for/aft balance, for/aft movement and lower body angle acquisition. If you don?t have the ankle pulling (back) capability your (for/aft) vertical leg shaft angles will be out of line. The inside shin at the ?High C? part of the turn is critical to success in high level expert skiing. I measure a skier by the angle of the inside shin to the snow. Nothing shows off your skiing ability better than the lateral lower shin angle to the snow. If you can?t pull the inside boot back to match the outside boot at this early point in the turn, you are destined to develop only limited angles. More and more instructors and coaches are talking about lifting the front of the foot to close the ankle (closing the ankle). Pulling the foot back accomplishes this better, as the movement is specific to the right part of the turn, the ?High C? part.

If you are in a boot that has too much forward lean for your ankle to flex, you will have fit problems. Too much forward lean also keeps the ankle too closed therefore limiting your stance at the end of turns (many people have this problem with production Tecnica and Lange boots). The ankle should be able to open as the turn progresses. If you buckle your boots tightly at the top, you may make your boots too restrictive in ankle movement.

I hope this answers some of the controversy about ankle flexion.

Postby piggyslayer » Sun Apr 11, 2004 6:20 pm

Thanks a lot, this clarifies some my confusion.
I wanted to experiment with explicit lifting of the front of the foot in addition to pulling my foot back.
After reading your post, this seems to me like too much, also the pulling-back movement feels more natural and gives more feel of the edge so I will stick with it.
Piggy Slayer
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