Not holding back on Rotary skills teaching

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Not holding back on Rotary skills teaching

Postby Harald » Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:36 am

Railed skis and rotary movements

Again, good questions, here is my take on railed. First, it is used by some in a colloquial way to describe, two edge, pure carving. Railing the ski in that sense leaves two clean tracks. I don?t use that term often. I prefer to use pure carve or locked carve, or double tracking. Railed can mean, a ski tracking on its own, without much control, as was stated already in the thread.
As in, ?His ski railed out on him.?
This goes along with the worn out base description, where the edges get too high, railing is what the ski does when the edges are too high on the base.

SCSA once said on this forum that I was too easy on the TTS. The idea isn't be be attacking, it is to be accurate, informative and forward thinking. In an effort to clear up my position and that of PMTS I wrote the following:

What does steering and rotary movement teaching do to a skier?s technique?

(Steering and rotary movements are often interchangeable terms so when one is used alone here, it should mean both steering and rotary, in this context.)

When a ski is locked into a pure carve, leg rotation to increase performance has little or no positive influence, it?s futile. Increasing rotary action of the legs doesn?t shorten the radius or increase other performance parameters, but it can cause injury or knee damage. If you try to rotate or twist your legs when in a pure carve, you are imposing torque through the legs into a ski that is fixed in the snow. This creates twist around and in the knee joint, if you continue action to steer or rotor the leg, you could cause catastrophic knee injury, as the knee is stressed when the legs are torqueing around the fixed ski. If you hit a bump or divot in the snow, while applying the twisting force, that quick change of force, which is caused by a quick release and jarring (shock), can be enough to strain the knee ligaments and injure the knee.

Judging by the way advocates of rotary movements describe rotary movements as a necessary component of turns and not just a passive action of tilting, means that many instructors believe that the legs should be rotating or steering to turn the ski. I am not only against this teaching because it sends the wrong movement meaning and effect, but also because it is a contributor to knee problems, knee pain and knee injury.

I have been gathering comments and data from PMTS skiers for the past seven years. One of the major comments and responses from skiers who change their skiing to PMTS movements is; ?My knees no longer hurt.? I know that instructors don?t mean to cause knee problems in people?s skiing, but regardless how well meaning instructors are, the reality is that steering and leg rotation on a locked edge ski, can cause knee problems. Excessive rotation, which includes contributions from the legs, hips and shoulders, causes uncontrolled skidding, which has less stain on the knees, but it is totally inefficient. I know that is not what the TTS (traditional teaching systems) intends to teach, but we see the results of what they are teaching.

Most instructors think that I and PMTS don?t like steering because, they think, we believe it causes skidding. Emphasis on steering causes much more than poor skier performance. Skidding is only a small part of what teaching steering causes; it has an effect on many levels of skiing. The instructors who would like to criticize me or PMTS don?t understand what they are addressing. They are opening a black box they might not wish to explore.

Criticizing PMTS without complete understanding of its workings and reasons is na?ve. The terminology for steering (rotary movements) just flat sends the wrong messages. The skiers that come to us, almost all came from this teaching methodology. I ask you, how many come to us with edging or tipping skills, none. Do they have rotary skills, no? They definitely don?t have rotary skills the way the TTS would like them understood or performed. What they end up with after the TTS approach, is rotation, not rotary skills. I don?t believe in rotary skills because there are better alternatives, such as tipping and tilting, which encompass most of what is needed. I submit, if skiers and instructors could use rotary skills as PSIA would like them used, they would have some application to skiing, but I have yet to see this as the case.

Rotary movements, steering movements, (maybe it?s the way they teach it, as I understand what they are trying to accomplish, but it isn?t working) just don?t lead the skier to efficient, effective, useful movements or turns. If it worked wouldn?t we use it in PMTS? If it worked, wouldn?t we see skiers skiing successfully? I don?t understand how TTS experts can sit back and believe what they are doing is positive, because there is no evidence to support it. Don?t the critics of PMTS understand that if rotary movement teaching had positive effects, I would use them? Obviously not! I like to see people ski better, wouldn?t I use rotary movements in PMTS if they worked to make skiers ski better? They not only do not work they send the wrong message and they are damaging to skier progress.
On the other hand we see a shift in TTS, they are now putting more emphasis on tipping and tilting, so that must be working!!!!!

Skiers, who are learning TTS, end up with default movements that are based in trying to create the steering they were taught, but what they actually end up with is body rotation and no awareness of skiing with the feet or the skis. Am I generalizing? No, I am giving an accurate description of regular skiers as they are, when they come to take PMTS lessons. Do we help them change this ineffective way of skiing? Yes, and in about a week of half day instruction, they reverse much of the damage done and they are on their way to good skiing. PMTS skiers improve every time they go skiing, even when they are not taking lessons, because they are reinforcing the right movements that will evolve their skiing. A TTS student rarely improves because they are reinforcing elements that cause a spiral of dead-end movements.

Re: Not holding back on Rotary skills teaching

Postby Guest » Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:31 pm

Harald wrote:Railed skis and rotary movements
A TTS student rarely improves because they are reinforcing elements that cause a spiral of dead-end movements.


If Emmy's were given for broad based generalities you would be a winner.

I suppose if people are to believe you, then the will run to Dumont and seek your counsel, because you are certainly the only person on the face of the earth not teaching dead end movements.

Your ego combined with your bitterness to your bretheren ski instructors is a bit much.

Postby jclayton » Mon Apr 19, 2004 4:19 pm

Here we go again ,
someone is upset about seasons end .

All this business about ego , maybe Guest has lost his after many years meditating on his navel , but if he had he wouldn't be so upset about others supposed egos .

In any case Western civilization is full of people with huge egos who have advanced it ( civilization , not ego ) in all areas .

Sistine Chapel , oh no ! Michaelangelo had a terribly big ego .

Guest is having some more self indulgent moments , for want of a stronger phrase . Aussies will know what I mean .

Why don't you take your mask off and fight clean ya bludger !!
i.e. talk sense and don't be such a chicken .
skinut ,among other things
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Postby Visitor » Mon Apr 19, 2004 5:54 pm

Hey Guest, you must resemble the remarks Harald wrote about. Only an instructor who is threatened by real information would respond like you did.

Postby *SCSA » Tue Apr 20, 2004 7:30 am

Creative types usually get this kind of treatment.

So often in life, those who are creative are misread by others as having a big ego; usually, due to jealousy.

Unfortunately, 97% of the population does not know how to handle creative people. In China, creative and intellectual types were sent to prison during the cultural revolution.

So I wonder what Guest would call Nein Chang? She refused to admit being guilty of the charges Maoists brought against her. They killed her husband and her daughter. They took her home and stripped her. She spent 9 years in solitary confinement. In order to exercise her brain, she had conversations with rats, and the birds that would land in her cell window.

All she had to do to get out of prison was sign a piece of paper, admitting to crimes against the people's republic. She never did. She held her ground and was eventually released. She's now a political correspondent in Washington.

Guess what they called those who followed Mao? The gang.

At one time, The Wizard of Oz was banned from movie theatres.

Remember the movie Midnight Express? When Billy pushed the wheel the other way?

Guest hasn't come up with any evidence to support he/she/its cause. No testimonials, no real facts -- nothing.

Guest is a guard for gang, armed with only blind loyalty and the task of defending the ancien regime. Guest wears a grey jacket, white shirts and white socks, just like the rest of them. He/she/it has never seen the wizard of oz and would have told Billy, "You can't push the wheel that way."

Here's to color, original thoughts, people that take big risks, and who push the wheel the other way! Without them, we'd all be stuck with grey suits and typewriters. Say what you want about America, but it's what makes this country great. Because in America, dreams really do come true.

And on that note, make it a great day!

Postby General question » Thu Apr 29, 2004 1:52 pm

Where does a sit skier get his rotary leg steering?
General question

please edit question

Postby John Mason » Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:58 pm

Did you mean "where does a skier get his rotary leg steering?" I'm assuming "sit skier" was a misstype.

My first lesson I was taught to steer my outside leg by twisting the foot with the lower leg.

My brother, who picked up skiing this year, found a thingy on that has people pointing their knees inside the turn to the new direction. This will also create a rotary steering motion of the feet.

Over on Epic, often you'll hear "steering" described as an outcome to things that make the skis turn. Ok, but you'll often hear the term "pointing" at the same time. Pointing is active steering as well. Also on Epic many mix inside leg steering into the turn by advocating pointing the inside leg towards the inside of the turn - or diverging the tips. Any inside leg steering creates rotary action as well, but is counter to carving and riding the skis as the skis turn you.

All of these compromises will generate a turn by a mix of a pivot action but some carving may also be present. In general a skidded turn will result which is not a turn that will do well in crud or bumps. Might work fine on smooth groomers, but why limit oneself.

The other "in vogue" difference is in stance width. I have read many people over on Epic post that a wide stance width allows for greater edging. A wide stance has many negatives. You can get extreme edging just by ankle flexion without resorting to the needless effort a wide stance creates. PMTS with its suble foot movements to create turns, is not effective with a wide stance. A wide stance makes much more work to "release" a turn. (I used to ski with a very wide stance, and it was much harder)

No one is saying rotary doesn't occur. The body faces down the hill and is still and the lower body rides the skis as the skis carve their turns. So rotary is happening as a result of the skis being tipped and carving. The PMTS difference is a greater focus on pure carving by tipping the inside foot and drills that eliminate direct steering inputs that many skiers have in their muscle memory from bad ski instruction.

Before I get any more interesting "private e-mails", I should point out that much of the ski teaching profession that is not doing PMTS do say you tip to turn.

There are, however, differences in the more enlightened non-pmts tip to turn crowd. These differences include, the addition of pointing the inside ski, a wider stance, lack of emphasis on one ski balance. Also, tipping to turn to many often means both skis at the same time. While this can work, using the phantom move or tipping the inside ski first, which causes the outside leg to follow as a passive action, is a better way to turn. Tipping both skis at the same time requires skill to avoid not crossing the tips. I wonder if this issue is what causes some non-PMTS people to advocate pointing the inside ski into the next turn - that is - diverging the tipes. This may also be why many of these people also advocate a somewhat wide stance. Tip divergence is another way to avoid crossing tips, but then you are not parallel which is not as good a way to be in bumps and crud. This lack of emphasis on the phantom move is the other non-pmts difference even among people that also eschew active steering inputs.

Given the question, I may have accidently answered it above.
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Postby Bio-Mick » Fri Apr 30, 2004 6:21 am

The argument about the need for rotary movements in skiing is ridicules. If the focus for skiing is rotary movements, performance and skiing outcome are reduced and confused at best. The skier who is taught to steer is sent in the wrong movement direction, accumulating compensatory movements to deal with rotary input. The persistence of the PSIA instructors toward teaching rotary movements demonstrates clear lack of movement understanding and skiing capability. There is no expert skier or racer who thinks about steering or turning the legs to achieve their level of skiing. Having to ski with rotary movements exhibits a fabricated understanding of skiing movements. It doesn?t even make sense that the PSIA gang holds so strongly to rotary movements, as they didn?t even come up with it. This is a George Joubert fabrication, the guy who single handed ruined the French Ski Team for twenty years. PSIA copied these ideas out of Joubert books.

Postby General question » Fri Apr 30, 2004 6:24 am

By "sit skier" I mean skiers who are paralyzed, they are confined to a seat, yet they can ski by carving turns. They have no rotary leg steering ability. How is it they make cleaner turns than most skiers on the slopes? How do the advocates of leg steering and rotary movements explain that one? The only thing this kind of adaptive skier can do is tip the whole carriage. What about the one legged skier? How do they steer the little toe edge side turn? The leg has little or no rotation in that direction.
General question

Postby mechanic » Fri Apr 30, 2004 6:58 am


A sit ski is an adaptive piece of equipment that is used to allow someone who has lost the use of their legs or physically lost their legs to ski. It is basically a high tech bucket seat mounted via a high tech suspension system on a ski. Obviously their can be no 'rotary leg steering' in this situation. Just as obviously their can be no foot tipping taking place.

Let me say once again. Pointing the inside foot does not equal tip divergence. If the inside ski is not engaged tip divergence can occur and someone trained to actively transfer pressure and ski on one ski will tend to have divergence if they add in pointing of the foot. Skiers who ski with both skis engaged with the snow surface will not experience divergence. My observation is that divergence occurs when there is rotary input from any part of the body and the tip of the inside ski is not engaged with the snow. When I see divergence of the skis in every turn a skier makes I suspect that they are a little in the back seat and helping them find the center of the ski will usually cure most of the problem.


Postby mechanic » Fri Apr 30, 2004 7:24 am

General question,

Sit skiers can do much more than just tip the equipment. They can add rotary input by turning their shoulders in the direction they want to turn in or by turning their lower torso in relation to their upper torso.

Seems to me that I can point my foot more to the outside (little toe direction) than to the inside. From pointing straight forward I can point my foot more than 90 degrees to the little toe side and only about half that to the big toe side.

Rotary, whether active or passive, viewed as good or bad, is a part of skiing. You can work to eliminate active rotary moves as PMTS advocates or you can employ it as one of the components that lets us direct the skis, as most of the ski instruction systems around the world use it.


What a Duh

Postby John Mason » Fri Apr 30, 2004 10:08 am

Thanks - I now know what a sit skier is. And I've seen them, and they do carve most of the time. It's very easy for a sit skier to get extreme tipping angles. By the nature of a sit ski setup, all the weight is mostly on that one ski which makes it resistant to rotary inputs, just like one ski balance does in PMTS.

Good discusion. There is one release in PMTS that might be considered rotary.

In PMTS the two footed release is an example of rotary in what is normally considered the "bad" rotary. As the simple flattening of the skis while the body is pointing downhill will bring the skis around and then the bottom of the turn may be carved as a result of inside foot tipping. This is the only example I know of in PMTS that is rotary as an input rather than as a result. Even in this case it's a passive action without conscious steering of the outside leg.
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Postby mechanic » Fri Apr 30, 2004 11:20 am


While the amount of pressure on a ski will affect how it reacts to twisting input a little tipping of the ski will have a far greater effect. Assuming a firm snow surface a twisting force in the direction of the turn will piviot a flat ski under the foot. The same force applied to an edged ski will act to add pressure to the tip of the ski and subtract pressure from the tail of the ski. If enough force is applied it can result in pivoting of the ski but the pivot point will be well in front of the foot. Similar results can be created by a forward movement of the body in realtion to the ski actively moving the pressure to the tip of the ski and allowing the tail of the ski to break loose and skid around. In theory it should be impossible to pivot, under the foot, an edged, center pressured ski.

The two footed release works even without the body being faced down the hill. Unedged skis moving forward want to point down the hill. I think it has to do with their being longer than they are wide. Having the body twisted aginst itself will get the skis pointed down the hill quicker due to the body wanting to untwist itself but strictly speaking it isn't necessary.


Postby piggyslayer » Fri Apr 30, 2004 11:23 am

In PMTS the two footed release is an example of rotary in what is normally considered the "bad" rotary. As the simple flattening of the skis while the body is pointing downhill will bring the skis around and then the bottom of the turn may be carved as a result of inside foot tipping. This is the only example I know of in PMTS that is rotary as an input rather than as a result. Even in this case it's a passive action without conscious steering of the outside leg.

John, there is no rotary "input" in properly executed two footed release drill. The skis go into skid when you release the edges, but you should not apply any rotary input to the skis.
The ski tips travel faster than ski tails and this creates the upper part of the turn (the skis want to go straight downhill) and the skier?s role is quite passive: the skier is not doing it, the skis are.
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Postby piggyslayer » Fri Apr 30, 2004 11:26 am

My reply got in - at the same time as mechanic's reply
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