A serious post ; foot initiation and CM movement at High-C

PMTS Forum

Postby jclayton » Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:40 am

Some of the nicknames used bring all sorts of images to mind .

Rusty Guy ; so tough you would rust
rusty and crotchety
red haired
doesn't maintain his skis edges
skinut ,among other things
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Postby Rusty Guy » Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:49 am

Harald Harb is one of the greatest human beings on the face of the earth and he alone is the only person qualified to teach skiing in America today.

Hey rusty, you might want to register so nobody can do stuff like this!
Rusty Guy

Postby Ott Gangl » Tue Oct 12, 2004 8:14 am

>>>Some of the nicknames used bring all sorts of images to mind .

Rusty Guy ; so tough you would rust<<<

That's one on you ,jclayton. I know Rusty and that is really his first name and his last name is Guy :P

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Postby jclayton » Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:23 am

Oops, :?
skinut ,among other things
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Re: Lateral Neutral

Postby John Mason » Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:28 pm

Rusty Guy wrote:I have never uttered the term lateral neutral.

Didn't say you did. You should log in so I could PM you that info. Since you didn't I'll discuss here.

Rusty, my impression is that the biggest difference in technical terms is that you have no problem using the feet to initiate turns, while over here, we use the feet to create balance changes that result in whole body angle changes that in result in turn initiation.

Snowdog coined the term lateral neutral to paraphrase what a turn would look like if it were not initiated via balance changes but rather by direct foot movements based on how you were describing the way you initiate your own turns.

I think the difference in style of turn is recognized by you very clearly when you said:

Rusty Guy wrote:Here we cut to the chase. The PMTSers all want to kick the leg out from under the coffee table. They want that C.O.M to move one way or another to tip that stance ski.

This is a very good description. This shows you recognize and understand this style turn.

We can agree that it's different strokes for different folks.

As a student having to select style of turns to aspire to, I think your description of a PMTS turn (that I guess you personally don't care for) defines one of the best ways to make the skis work for you.

Most people use active foot steering movements to guide the skis at the entry to the new turn instead of being patient and allowing balance changes initiated by foot movements to engage the new turn. Most people here that have gone through both turn styles prefer the 2nd way for it's many advantages.

People can ski how they want. As a student, though, if I'm working on further developing your correctly described PMTS turn, and a coach I could pick actually either has not experienced this turn style themselves or recommends and uses active steering movements to initiate turns, I would be in conflict with my own personal goals.

The drills to learn this style turn are of course in HH's books. Eski, one of your main Epic coaches is very clear in favoring the style turn that you seem to not like. Eski also has a set of drills to learn the kick out the leg of the coffee table type of turn. This "inferred" stance ski engagement style turn, is the key move repeated with many all mountain examples of it's application in their book. (they even use the phantom move in hop turns as the best way to set up the body for the landing)

Good description Rusty
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Let's talk turkey, Thanksgiving is just around the corner

Postby Harald » Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:26 pm

The Cg issues are only indicators of what is happening at the base of the kinetic chain. Discussion about and around Cg will always be a reference, not a movement. As Ski Syn pointed out, it is for this reason that PMTS and my books have few or little discussion about Cg. I present the idea of Cg just enough to point out what can happen when the base of the kinetic chain or primary movements are properly applied.

In any practical turn situation, it is of little benefit for the student to constantly hear feedback about whether or not their CG is moving. We have minimal awareness of the location of the Cg in space while skiing, as there are few reference points. It is not a place from which to monitor your skiing environment. Where and what the skis are doing on the surface, that?s where the action is.

It is better to manage momentum and travel with the highest possible efficiency and minimial up-the-hill, extension movements. Extension and flexion are not vertical or straight up, no effort to rise or push against the surface is encouraged. We use internal forces to manage our turns, with counter balancing and counter acting movements, again complementing what we want from the ski edges. Highly skilled skiers can achieve high edge angles and body inclination before the falline. Less skilled skiers ride the top of the skis and wait to get across the falline. We call early engagement the high C part, or being upside down to the mountain.

The card table analogy is not always accurate or appropriate because we control the amount and the rate of body inclination after the release. Our card table has shock absorbers and another leg to help to stay in balance. Momentum, ski edge friction and the body?s alignment to the forces can all be part of what controls the degree of inclination and body lean in the upper third of the turn. We do it because we like it, it?s thrilling, efficient and it works.

Postby piggyslayer » Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:46 pm

This is excellent discussion and great learning.
I have some, I think, related question I hope people will comment on.

Question 1: Crossover vs. crossunder and how does it relate to primary movements
I am founding a lot of talk about cross-over vs. cross-under techniques.
Some on the internet in different places, some can be found on epic.
These terms, I think, are derived from racing world lingo (see for example http://www.youcanski.com/english/coachi ... hnique.htm).

Cross-under is defined as skis crossing under CM, cross over is defined as CM crossing over the skis. Notice that the definitions are not very good from the logic standpoint. Since they imply relative movement of CM and skis, by the above definitions of crossunder and crossover are actually the same thing.
I think the intention is to create distinction between forcing body into next turn (crossover) and allowing the skis to do more of the work so that they carve under your body (crossunder).

I never spend much time thinking about this distinction, since I could not see how it relates to primary movements. It may be that aggressive LTE tipping done early in the super-phantom style accelerates CM moving "over" while skiing based more on relaxing and flexing to release is more CM "under". I do not see, however, the term being that important in my skiing.

I would appreciate people comment on this.

Question 2: flexing, fore-aft balance and Sir Isaac Newton
I think that a good way to flex to release is simply to relax quads. This has a tendency of moving fore-aft balance a bit aft, especially if the end of the turn the skier is loading the tails or on Harb Carvers loading the big two wheels in the back of carver.

In many places in the book(s) flexing has also been described as pulling knees toward skiers torso. I would like to focus on this approach as it seems to me that it results in more immediate regaining of fore balance.

Here is my question: If I pull knees up towards my torso, Newton?s 3rd will cause my torso to move down a bit. This is not a full blown good-morning type of down, but a bit of if is there. It is not an active good morning, rather a reactive movement caused by leg flex. Is this something that should be resisted?
If I am countered at the end of the turn and try to pull my legs aggressively up (sideways to the torso) this will (by Newton?s 3rd) move the upper body down (a little good morning facing downhill) forcing CM down the slope in a way similar to described by original jclayton post.
I sense that this may be wrong, but maybe it OK since it is not forced by upperbody, but rather result of leg flexing action. Please help me resolve my confusion.

I hope I made my questions clear.

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Postby mechanic » Tue Oct 12, 2004 8:55 pm

Always hated the terms crossover and crossunder because they have always been so missleading. They imply that there is something that we must do at the transition of the turn to make one or the other happen. When we ski the paths of our feet and our CoM must cross to move from making an arc going in one direction to making an arc going in the other direction. I manage the direction of my CoM largely through the application of forces generated by my skis and transmitted to the CoM through my feet and legs. I control the path of my feet largely through the interaction of my skis with the surface of the snow. This control allows me to put my feet and my CoM on different paths. At transition these paths cross, not because of something I do at that point in the turn but because of what I have been doing for the last third of the turn. I can set this up so that this crossing occurs very quickly and forcefully or in a more passive way. How I use my feet and legs will determine how this crossing happens.

If I keep my feet moving along the path of the turn by keeping the edges of my skis engaged and at the same time allow the CoM to start to move in a straighter path through flexion I can engineer a very quick crossing that will bring the new outside ski up on edge and engage it very early in the new turn.


not worth it

Postby Harald » Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:31 pm

In PMTS we simplify, not trying to perpetuate discussions that take the focus from movement accuracy. We try not to develop explanations for ever repetitive skiing term. There are endless names for this leg bending, pressure absorption activity: flex turn, retraction turn, cross under turns, avalement, absorption turns, slow-dog-noodle. I remember one PSIA examiner meeting where the whole session was wasted because there was a disagreement on this terminology. If they can?t agree on what the words are, then it is beyond mortal man. Actually there are so many opinions about this term that you won?t get a straight answer.

On Epic you could probably find three books on this topic. . We talk about movement, the results and effects. I don?t know what, why or how either crossover or under works, or what it means, because it has no baring on how I want to get down the hill. It is someone?s verbal incarnation. The real question is what makes your body move for the next turn. Find the answer to that one and you will have the handle on your skiing without the need for volumes of technical dialogue.

Postby BigE » Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:41 am

In my simple minded view:

The easiest way to view cross under is to imagine your CM maintaining direction while the skis move under you from one side to the other. An example of this would be short radius turns straight down the fall line. You can do this move on inline skates very easily.

Cross-over is where your CM moves from one side of the skis to the other and the skis don't change direction. Transition in linked carved turns is an example of this movement -- the skis maintain their traverse, and the body crosses over.

How's that?
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Counterbalancing vs Counteracting

Postby HarveyD » Wed Oct 13, 2004 8:57 am

Harald or others,
Can someone please elaborate on the difference in these two terms? I assume that counteracting involves the mid-body as it is discussed in Expert 2. I guess that counterbalancing involves a move of the upper body over the downhill ski. Also, Harald, could you please discuss the figure-of-eight turn?
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my also simple view of cross over and cross under

Postby John Mason » Wed Oct 13, 2004 9:24 am

in a nice high c carve turn, your skis are staying in a nice path from old to new turn

following HH doing this, he has lines in the snow that jump the width of the skis sideways. The skis, stayed in their line. The CG crossed over the skis. (of course from actions initiated at the feet starting well before the fall line was past)

Contrast this with cross under. In this type of turn, that can be done many different ways, the skis may be unweighted and flicked from side to side. The skis are brought under the body to get the new turn going. The skis are not in a continuous arc in turns of this style.

At least that's how I use these terms.

If you have two smooth S curves, one the skis are tracing and one the CG is tracing, they keep crossing each other down the hill. This I look at as cross over.

If the skis are being flicked as a pendulum from side to side using the CG of the body as a fulcrum, you will still have a not to bad S curve of the CG but the skis will be making Z's down the hill. This, to me, is hall mark cross under.

At least that's how I label what I'm seeing different skiers do on the hill.

In my own personal view of cross over and cros under, PMTS turns are of the cross over variety.

Can a PMTS turn be cross under? Sure. I'll throw this out for comment. PMTS is not narrow and only carving but simply the focus of the primary movements that best make the skis do what we need. If you're in a narrow chute and need to get down, you may need to do a hop turn. I don't think HH has an example of this in his two books, but Eski does in his book Ski the Whole Mountain. Eski in that segment totally emphasises to tip the free foot even while doing the hop turn as the best way to get the body to be where it needs to be for the landing. (with a nice picture montage illustrating same).

This is the other pet peave I have as people label this system as narrow or single minded or only generating one type of turn. They are correct that what is left at the door is all the emphasis on active rotary. Yet, look at all the turns and situations where Eski applies PMTS principles without active rotary of the stance ski and show me the example of where PMTS leaves one lacking.

(harveyD was posting while I was, my dribble here is not in any way intended to answer harveyD's post.)
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Postby piggyslayer » Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:06 am

Looks like a stroke a controversy with my Question 1.
In real life both skis move under CM and CM moves above skis at the same time.
John says that skis moving under CM implies some type of direction change and thus rotation. BigE views this as a short turns on skates type of move where rotation does not happen. These terms are confusing PERIOD.

I think I am with Harald on this, lets not spend too much time trying to understand a term which is not going to help us ski better.
I asked my question because I was not sure if these terms bring no value or I am missing something. I am happy that I did not miss much by not understanding these terms.

I would appreciate people commenting on Question 2. Can leg flex at release cause a little good morning with upper body, and is it OK if it does?

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Postby BigE » Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:31 am


There is no need for a Z pattern, or to flick them from one side to another. The trick to a cross-under is to ski the skis underneath the body.

J.P. Roy shows this being done here:

http://www.canoe.ca/SkiCanadaSpring02/S ... -1_opt.pdf

I hope that helps.
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yes - that's true

Postby John Mason » Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:24 pm

All cross under is not a bad turn. I brought up the hop turn example, but any extremely short radius turn is going to be more cross under.

As HH says, probably doesn't matter.

(Interesting "steering" focus in that pdf link you provided)

I would simply add, we "steer" in PMTS via free foot tipping actions, as it's darn impossible to pivot a carving ski with all of your weight on it.

That's another loaded term. Are we steering the skis as in twist them, or are we riding the skis, getting them to go where we want (one definition of steering) by tipping the free foot (thus modulating the tipping of the stance ski) while facing down the hill. Rotation will occur but active pivoting as an input is not being done. Like Cg or Cm discussions and the vain point of trying to move your Cm, the skis steering an arc are a result of a more primary movement.
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