Understanding Retraction on World Cup

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Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby h.harb » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:09 pm

Image

Look anyone can use a camera, it doesn't mean you know what you are seeing.

Some people see leg extension and early pressure creation and pivoting, wherever they look. I hate to have people mis-interpret great skiing and denigrate it with personal bias, misuse and misunderstanding of the basic tenants of physics.

Here in this montage is a perfect PMTS application of skiing at the highest level. In this montage, I can, as can many other educated skiers, describe exactly what this skier is making happen.
in contrast: The uneducated coach, flounders around, trying to explain their bias and by justifying their impoverished skiing, with the likes of pivoting, leg extension, pressuring and hip rotation, non of which are demonstrated by this skier.

Frame 1. Perfect balance, counteracting and counter balancing, and pole tap.
Frame 2. Flexing to release, this is not deep retraction, as you often see in WC slalom.
Frame 3. From 2 to 3 there is tipping off the edges when the lower body and skis are light, upper body is following tipping of lower body. Leading the tipping is the free foot creating a classic PMTS "O" frame.
Frame 4. This is an important moment and change in the body relationships. The new inside ski is pulled back, the outside leg maintains snow contact, (not pressure) the outside foot is held back and as a result reentering of the hip, or CG is already occurring. Since there is no outward ski tail movement and the tail of the ski is following the tip of the ski, pure carving with ski tipping occurs.
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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby h.harb » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:31 pm

Other observations that are directly PMTS related.

1. Frame 4, Inside ski and knee leading and tipping into the arc. inside leg flexing and outside leg staying in contact with surface. Counteracting has already begun.
Passive outside leg angulation.
2. Frame 2 and 3, narrowing of stance, lifted previous stance foot.
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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby geoffda » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:58 pm

How is it possible that retraction could ever be used without inducing a pivot? :mrgreen: Seriously, thanks for posting this. I know what prompted it and let's just say I it was a classic example of why people should be getting their technical information from a Master Coach as opposed to random internet skiers...
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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby h.harb » Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:59 pm

Geoff, What is really funny is that two years ago they would have never acknowledged that retraction even existed, and they openly stated that World Cup skiers didn't retract, they said retraction was wrong, and everyone on the WC extended. Now, out of nowhere, they are experts on retraction, but don't know how to ski it. This is only part of a continuous chain of stories by the Epic crowd, as they have to more and more acknowledge that they are wrong about everything in skiing. Let's look back at their lengthy trail of misconceived, misdirected and misunderstood, concepts in their skiing and teaching.

Epic Standards:
Wide stance is everything, can't ski without a wide stance. Every racer should widen their stance, Harb skis with feet to narrow. Lifting the ski to release, no way, no one on the world cup lifts a ski, that's so out. Extension is the only way WC skiers release, rotation is king in racing. Hip steering is how you turn the ski. Pressure and extend the top of the radius. Retraction is not used by the best WC skiers.

I don't know how anyone can take the time to even read their posts, or take these guys seriously, as they are always wrong and their posts and ideas are filled with misinformation, and it takes them at best 5 years to catch up with what we are already practicing in PMTS and at worst, ten years before they retract their old ways of thinking. It's been ten years and they have not realized yet, the movements we use in PMTS are what the world cup skier uses now.

The other aspect that is obvious from the Epic crowd, is their constant disavowing and attempts at disproving what they don't know, or can't do in their own skiing. For example, I can carve turn after turn with retraction without a pivot and still stay forward on my skis. I have taught many everyday skiers to do it. Yet, Epic posts say this is not possible. If they can't carve turns with retraction and flexing, because they don't know how to get forward they justify it by saying it's impossible. They say they can't carve with retraction without a pivoting beginning, so just by that description, their turns or arcs are not carved to begin with. They Park and Ride, because they still don't believe in "Tipping" and they call Park and Ride Carving. It's not caving and neither is a pivot turn, the way they do it, has nothing to do with carving. They also believe that "Hockey Stops", are the same movements that are used by WC skiers. This is as ignorant a display of ineptitude as possibly can be conceived.

Rather than learning how to ski efficiently themselves and become effective instructors with effective teaching approaches, they aspire instead to tear apart world cup skiers. They have no business in this arena, that's obvious.
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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby HighAngles » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:25 pm

I'm also very happy you posted this here. There's no doubt that it would be absolutely pointless to get involved in the insanity over "there". It's basically the blind leading the stupid without any concrete knowledge of real skiing movements.

I always had (and still have) a really tough time interpreting and understanding their ski instruction discussions. I usually stay away. By contrast, my first contact with PMTS was so clear and enlightening that I was immediately drawn to the approach and the system. I hate to think what it would be like for me in my skiing now without PMTS and it is frustrating to see so many duped into the ways of the PSIA, TTS, and Epic instruction. I'm sure many of us wish we could "save" them, but they have to want to save themselves. They know where we are - they just have to open their eyes.
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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby h.harb » Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:30 am

Yes, I agree wholly; as you, I don't actually read Epic and I don't go there. I was read the posts and given the highlights, or more accurately the low points, of which there are many. Knowing what is happening with the actual athletes, in many cases with the WC contenders, I'm in touch with some of the coaches, it's not about pivoting or extending. It's a shame that the Epic coaches are still trying to put their nasty slant on world cup skiing. It's insulting to me and I'm sure it would be for the athletes (if they cared) that the discussion over there has nothing in common with what WC skiers are actually trying to accomplish. WC skiers fortunately are skiing without any concepts that link them at all, to what the Epic coaches talk about.
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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby kirtland » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:09 pm

I watched the Munich Duel Slalom today, which Iveca Kostelic won. As I watched him, I kept thinking, what a perfect example he is of perfectly executed extreme retraction. I enjoyed stopping it and rewinding and watching him in slow motion. If I remember correctly, Harald, it was more than ten years ago, you were using him and his sister Janica, as examples. He can still be the poster boy of World Cup skiing.
I don't look at Epic, but I find it hard to believe, anyone would argue for extension or that WC turns use extension in 2011. I would argue, retraction has actually been around since the 30's. Dick Durrance used it in his powder skiing, calling it the "Dipsey Doodle", Toni Sailer started using it in the early 50's and I would argue that was what allowed him to win the 1956 Olympic GS by the largest margin ever. I have a video with him training and it is amazing how much he modernized skiing. In the early 70's I was taught a turn called the Austrian Power turn, for skiing crud and Powder, which was retracting to let your skis to float to the top and then extending into the snow for rebound. I learned it from my late friend Gordo Thomas one of the earlier local ski mountaineering pioneers. I never knew, if it was something he came up with, or had learned from someone else. It was at the same time the French Skiers Killy, Duvillard and Augert were using retraction and Joubert was trying to figure it out and document it. In his books Ski the New French Way, etc . I thought that was the definitive turning point, and acceptance of retraction as a part of expert skiing,
From my perspective it has been around so long, how can it be controversial. But maybe I'm biased, and see retraction, where others see extension.
Anyway, if you want to see some great examples, that I don't think can leave any doubt in anyones mind, whether retraction is one of the main essential movements used if WC skiing, watch the Duel Slalom in Munich that took place today.
I'm not a computer toda,y that I can capture a still example and post it. Sorry.
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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby h.harb » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:25 pm

I'm with you, I used retracting when I was racing, as we all know I still use it. When I was training with the Canadian Ski Team I used to also train with J.P. and J.N.Augert, Werner Bleiner and Andre Bachleda all World Cup Winners. These guys we retracting, we all did or you didn't survive.

I don't understand this fascination with pivoting. All top level World Cup skiers try to reduce, eliminate and control pivoting. Over on Epic they talk about it like it was something useful, desirable and required. This guy Rick is not only misinformed, he's wrong, and he can't ski. The nerve of a guy, who skis like he does, gives skiing advice and analyses World Cup skiing, and they listen to him and agree. How far down does that forum have to go before it discovers how off they are?

The only way I used the word pivoting in my coaching years, was in this context, " You are pivoting, that's why you can't hold an edge".
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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby Matt » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:32 pm

I don´t get this discussion whether extension or retraction happens. Clearly if you have retraction you must also have extension? It´s just a timing where they occur.
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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby kirtland » Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:08 pm

Exactly. Some retract or flex at the end of one turn and beginning of another and let gravity or inertia take them into the next turn, while their leg extends through the turn. The Arlberg system teaches, extending at the beginning of the turn and flexing into the turn so you can extend again.
One moves you towards the turn and allows you to tip and allow the turn to happen on it's own. The other moves you away from the turn and you have to use some extra rotational movements to make the turn begin.
They both work. One way is just clumsy. One is similar to the way we naturally walk, and the other is the exact opposite.
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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby Max_501 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:03 pm

Matt wrote:I don´t get this discussion whether extension or retraction happens. Clearly if you have retraction you must also have extension? It´s just a timing where they occur.


In this case we are looking at what happens at the release. If the outside leg flexes (even a small amount) its a retraction.
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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby HighAngles » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:42 pm

The key in PMTS though (if I've got this right) is that extension of the stance leg happens "passively" through the consequence of increased tipping of the free side. There isn't an active push off on the stance leg. In fact that definitely can get you into trouble if you get lazy. I found that out first hand today in crusty conditions. The word of the day was PATIENCE. As long as I strictly tipped with sufficient CA/CB and allowed the turn to develop (really have to watch that fore/aft positioning), the skis were able to carve beautifully in the mank and not get caught up. Any time I tried to rush the timing I got myself in trouble. Rushing the timing meant I was forcing my legs/skis into "position" instead of letting the ski do what it's designed to do. I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about.

The beauty of the PMTS turn is that if you're really diligent in learning the essentials then there really isn't too much to think about anymore when you're skiing. The feeling of a well executed turn really starts to ingrain in your movement patterns. I'm just having difficulty maintaining consistency when the going gets tough (steeper terrain or tough snow).
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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby BigE » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:07 am

RE: Pivotting.

I have not read an Epic post for a couple years.....and I'm better off for it....

What I *hope* people mean by "pivotting" is the independent movement of the femurs in the hip sockets *as the feet follow the carving ski*. Such movement is needed for counterbalance, and tipping, but the femur movement does NOT drive the feet.

I've heard enough nonsense about the rotation of the femurs in the hip socket (knee drive) being called 'steering' up here. If you focus on making that movement it will become a primary movement in your skiing-- and you'd have found another way to destroy your skills.
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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby Rick H » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:04 pm

Big E,

Look at frame 2 and 3 of Hischer. Frame 2, his femurs are parallel, sorta. In frame 3, the left femur is diverging. Is it a result of a massive tip, or is it an intentional movement of the knee/femur?

I tried this on snow the other day and what a difference! It was a combination of tipping and movement of the knee, lateraly. My wife was observing this movement, because it was an experiment. She is a Green instructor and qualified as an observer. She said that she could really see my ski bases and I was getting far more edge angle than ever before.

What i noted was I was increasing the tip throughout the turns. I was getting lower in the turn. It was a new sensation that I can't describe, other than it was really neat!

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Re: Understanding Retraction on World Cup

Postby Max_501 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:42 pm

I'm guessing that BigE was referring to the type of knee drive you see when a skier has both of his knees 'angulated'. That's different that focusing on the inside foot/knee combo. Some skiers like the image of 'putting the inside knee into the snow' for increased angles.
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