Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby geoffda » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:15 pm

cheesehead wrote:
geoffda wrote:1) What are the movements in the Super Phantom move?
The Super Phantom is just a one-footed release. As you finish the turn, balance completely on the LTE and lighten/lift and tip the old stance ski.

2) Is the Super Phantom simply a more clearly defined Phantom move or is there a different movement?
The Phantom move can be performed at any point to make the skis the turn. The Super Phantom is using the Phantom Move to link turns; i.e. when you use the Phantom Move to transition, you are doing the Super Phantom. Once your student understands the Phantom Move, using the Super Phantom to change edges is the next logical progression. When they can do that, they will have instantly achieved an extremely high level of skiing.

3) What are the movements in a weighted release?
As you finish the turn, keep all you weight on the stance foot. Flex and tip and move into the new turn. Transfer your weight to the new stance ski after the edge change. As a drill, lift the old free foot prior to flexing. Doing that will ensure that all of your weight is on the old stance foot.

4) What movements are different in a Super Phantom move compared to a weighted release?
The movements are the same. The only difference is the order of release-transfer-engage. In the Super Phantom you transfer your balance/weight first (transfer-release-engage). In the weighted release, the weight/balance transfer happens last(release-engage-transfer). Or, if you do a two-footed release, you get release-transfer-engage.


I have been a little foggy about the differences described here, and as far as I know, is accurate and clearly described.

One point of terminology/technique I am still not clear on is one-footed-release vs. phantom move: same thing or different?

Also is it really necessary to have "phantom move" and "super phantom" if they are actually the same thing? In other words, is the "super phantom" really a "phantom move turn"? Different terminologies are not used for the other releases -- a one-footed release is assumed to be part of a turn, so you don't have a "super one-footed release" meaning a turn with a one-footed release. And there is no "super 2-footed release" or "super weighted release" either.

It is confusing for us beginners to try to figure out what might be the difference if there is really none. I suppose the super phantom term is out in the world now but would it be better to avoid using it?


The Phantom Move encompasses the movements of pullback, lift (flex), and tip. The One-Footed Release gets its name from the fact that you transfer all you weight to the new stance foot prior to releasing the turn. When we talk about releases, the focus is simply on describing how our feet are weighted prior to the release. If you read Harald's quote (posted by Max_501) earlier in the thread, it indicates how the Super Phantom terminology came to be. The difference between the Super Phantom and the Phantom move is that the former requires that you balance on LTE as you begin to lift and tip (which by and large means that you would do that by combining a OFR with the Phantom move). This is very different from (as an example) a Two-Footed-Release type turn where one would release to flat skis and delay full balance transfer and engagement; finishing the turn by performing a Phantom Move in the fall-line. Hopefully you can see that Super Phantom and Phantom Move mean slightly different things. The Super Phantom is harder to do; it is much easier to pull back, lift and tip while standing on a flat ski (Phantom Move) than while trying to balance on LTE (Super Phantom). OTOH, it is easier to push-off when standing on a flat ski. So the Super Phantom requires more skill, but it also prevents you from stemming in the transition. The Phantom Move can be applied at any point in the turn, whereas the Super Phantom really implies a very specific way of executing the entire turn (since you normally wouldn't switch from BTE back to LTE on the stance foot in the middle of the turn). At least in camps, the two terms are not used interchangeably and mean what I've described above.
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby Max_501 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:23 pm

^^They are the same.

h.harb wrote:The Phantom Move is the same thing as the Super Phantom. The only reason there is such a thing as a Super Phantom is because skiers thought they were doing a PM, but they were still pushing the uphill, old inside ski to the big toe edge, before lifting the stance ski. Therefore, I had to describe the PM in more detail and I called it the Super PM. The SuperPM puts emphasis where it should be, on standing on the old inside ski, the LTE, before the stance leg is flexed and stance ski lifted.
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby Erik » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:04 pm

When done properly, the (Super) Phantom becomes easy and rock-solid. If it isn't easy, it needs to be practiced more. I know that I was definitely making it too hard until I was inspired by watching Diana do it, and she made it look so effortless. It became my quest to find that Easy part of the Super Phantom.

At the end of the turn, the free foot is still unweighted, pulled back, held close, and tipped to the LTE. At this point, it just gets set down, and your balance will be at the right place to transfer the weight to the LTE. When on the LTE, you could decide to traverse or turn at any time. There should be no need to hunt around for LTE balance. Failure to achieve immediate, reliable LTE balance can be due to extraneous non-essential movements, failure to incoporate the appropriate essentials, or alignment.

For a long time, I rationalized the LTE balance by thinking that the weight only needed to be be on the LTE for a very short time. However, if you can't choose to hold the LTE your balance and skiing performance is compromised. Learning to lift and tip the inside foot may happen before LTE balance is achieved, but it is definitely not "good enough" to blow off the rest of the elements of the super phantom.

There is also a Patience/Trust/Fear Factor when the uphill ski begins transition to the new edge and starts pointing downhill. At this point, you have to trust the balance is in the right place over that new stance foot and not bail out to the inside of the turn (which results in weight going back to the inside ski and pushing off the outside ski). To really have a solid Super Phantom, I also need to have proper upper body Esentials working.

I'm not claiming to have perfected the Super Phantom, but I have gotten far enough to appreciate the ease and ski performance in doing it much better. Personally, I need to continue to take it to steeper terrain. I don't have that solid performance on my Peak 78s like I do on the SuperShapes so I am going back to the beginning with the Peak 78s to see how much progress I can make to get good LTE edge hold against that longer lever arm of the wider ski.
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby BigE » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:39 pm

I like tipping and skiing the wider skis because a wider ski gives more feedback on lateral movement and tipping.
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby Erik » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:13 pm

For anyone really trying to master super phantoms I would recommend starting out on narrower skis first. In general, that goes for all the PMTS essentials. In the past, Harald has recommended something less than 72mm underfoot for PMTS skill development.
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby Max_501 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:08 pm

BigE wrote:I like tipping and skiing the wider skis because a wider ski gives more feedback on lateral movement and tipping.


You have an uncanny knack for making PMTS harder to learn!
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby h.harb » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:28 pm

Big E, You have an uncanny knack for not understanding how skiing works. I'm not a psychologist like Max501, I'm just a realist.
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby nightsh » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:01 pm

geoffda wrote:Two-Footed-Release type turn where one would release to flat skis and delay full balance transfer and engagement; finishing the turn by performing a Phantom Move in the fall-line.


Since it's brought up here, I will also ask two newbie questions (have read all three books multiple times, but still a little confused):

1. During a TFR, it seems the weight needs to be transferred from downhill ski to uphill ski, before the fall line, in a progressive manner. This essentially means we need to have some weight on both feet during the whole high c portion of the turn. Is this correct? (I felt a little uncomfortable about this because I have taken the 'stop standing on both feet' advice in book 2 wholeheartedly.)

2. (Edited to avoid misleading info.)

(My third post here so please excuse if there's anything inappropriate.)
Last edited by nightsh on Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby Max_501 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:33 pm

nightsh wrote:1. During a TFR, it seems the weight needs to be transferred from downhill ski to uphill ski, before the fall line, in a progressive manner. This essentially means we need to have some weight on both feet during the whole high c portion of the turn. Is this correct? (I felt a little uncomfortable about this because I have taken the 'stop standing on both feet' advice in book 2 wholeheartedly.)


Yes, TFR has weight on both feet. However, you can do whatever you want with the weight distribution and expert skiing requires that ability.

nightsh wrote:2. About relaxing/flexing to release, it seems from the free skiing DVD that the flexing moment starts with old stance leg's knee, and then 'propagate' to ankle and then to foot, while the inside leg either does not flex, or flex less than the outside leg. Does this mean we need to keep some tension in the outside leg's ankle and inside leg, when we first start to relax/flex the outside leg


I'm not sure what you are asking here. So if this doesn't answer your question feel free to post a follow up question. Flex the outside leg to release the turn. For learning try to match the flex of the inside leg so both legs are flexed the same during the float. You also need to pull the feet back while tipping. Focus on those movements and things like tension in the ankle should fall into place.
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby HeluvaSkier » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:56 pm

Max hit on some good points in speaking about flexing to release. When focusing on this (drills) I really strive to never extend the inside leg. I always match to the inside leg. This will give you a good goal for flexing and let you focus on tipping and foot pull-back as Max states. I use this A LOT in my own skiing when doing drills and focusing on specific movements.
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby nightsh » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:00 pm

Max_501 wrote:Yes, TFR has weight on both feet. However, you can do whatever you want with the weight distribution and expert skiing requires that ability.


Many thanks for the answer. It's very clear now.

Max_501 wrote:I'm not sure what you are asking here. So if this doesn't answer your question feel free to post a follow up question. Flex the outside leg to release the turn. For learning try to match the flex of the inside leg so both legs are flexed the same during the float. You also need to pull the feet back while tipping. Focus on those movements and things like tension in the ankle should fall into place.


Sorry for the confusion (I have edited my post to remove the stuff that may be confusing/misleading) , so basically I should focus on 'flexing the outside leg' (meaning to bend the knee), and forget about the ankle, right? I was messing with it because I found sometimes I was relaxing the stance ankle/foot before flexing the leg.
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby Max_501 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:21 pm

nightsh wrote:Sorry for the confusion, so basically I should focus on 'flexing the outside leg' (meaning to bend the knee), and forget about the ankle, right?


That is correct.
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby HighAngles » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:43 pm

HeluvaSkier wrote:Max hit on some good points in speaking about flexing to release. When focusing on this (drills) I really strive to never extend the inside leg. I always match to the inside leg. This will give you a good goal for flexing and let you focus on tipping and foot pull-back as Max states. I use this A LOT in my own skiing when doing drills and focusing on specific movements.


I really like that Heluva stressed this point (I bolded it in the quote). During short turns camp earlier this season, Walter (our coach) really stressed that a major mistake in the single footed release is that some skiers, in striving for achieving balance on the LTE, will actually push/extend the free inside leg instead of just relaxing and flexing the old stance leg until it matches the flexion of the inside leg.
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby NoCleverName » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:24 am

But "Extending the inside leg" is the natural thing to do based on a lifetime of preparing your legs, arms, etc. to take on a new stress, force or weight. It would be helpful to get some sort of cue or technique here on how to "prepare" an unweighted leg to take on the skiing force without it trying to extend ... an entirely unnatural act.
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Re: Phantom, Super Phantom and Weighted Release

Postby Erik » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:00 am

NoCleverName wrote:But "Extending the inside leg" is the natural thing to do based on a lifetime of preparing your legs, arms, etc. to take on a new stress, force or weight. It would be helpful to get some sort of cue or technique here on how to "prepare" an unweighted leg to take on the skiing force without it trying to extend ... an entirely unnatural act.


This flawed concept of preparing the inside leg to take on some force has been my nemesis for some time. It is finally getting through to me that there is no skiing force to take on at the top of the turn. Force implies that the skis are pushing against something, and if you are pushing your skis in transition you are doing the wrong thing. The energy will build up during the turn and the application of the Essential movements will lead to the skeletal alignment/stacking.

Think of it this way. The maximum force you should be prepared for at the top of the turn is the same as standing still and transfering weight from one ski to the other. That is not a move which requires bracing or tension. In turns with any energy, you will be going in the other direction - working to absorb the extra energy. If it takes any work to transfer your weight in a Super Phantom turn, your stance/balance, or alignment is off. Look to each of the Essentials for clues on how to improve it to get your body position exactly right that it is effortless to change your weight.

The two elements which require the most focus for me are staying forward/foot pullback and counteracting. Diana was asking us to practice with three distinct phases of new free foot movements of the downhill ski once we had transferred weight to the LTE: lift, pull back, tip the shovel. Personally, I find that I have to mentally try to put pullback at the front of the order to get it to happen early enough. When I try to just lift the old downhill ski first, I start standing up on the uphill ski and lose my fore/aft position. As for the counteracting piece - development of good CA in the turn is key for me to be in proper balance at the end of the turn.

Here are some drills which I have found helpful.
- Ski the bottom of the arc with free foot lifted, pulled back, and tipping until you come to a complete stop. Adjust fore/aft and upper body essentials as required to make sure that you are in dynamic balance the whole time until you stop, in balance, with the inside free foot still lifted. At that point you should be able to place your free foot down, not fall to the inside.
- For TFRs, practice side slipping with focus on flexion of the downhill ski, not tipping of either ski. Do this with weight forward to develop comfort with the continued flexing of the downhill ski as the skis start to move forward and point downhill.
- Focus on the inside of the turn and the movements of the body parts inside the turn.
- Target tipping drills are helpful for me to add into the mix to remind myself that my job is tipping, and the skis' job is turning. The desire to force the skis to turn will mess up any of these releases.
- Jay has a few interesting drills which are helpful to develop patience as your balance is on moving ski which is changing edges. For TFRs, this starts on very gentle slopes. Stand perpendicular to the fall line, good fore/aft balance, feet together, tipped into the hill. Think about having your weight on the downhill ski as being focused on the big toe. Untip the downhill ski to the 2nd toe, then third toe (approximately flat). At this point you start to move and the skis start to point down hill. This drill requires that you continue to tip the downhill ski to the 4th, then 5th (little) toe as you continue to flex and lighten it. You must continuously flex the downhill ski as part of this drill. This really helps develop patience for the TFR turn. It's one of those slow PMTS drills on very gentle slopes which will reveal flaws in your movements. Variations on this can be added in for linked turns and higher slopes.
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