ski boot limits ankle tipping

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ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby krazzy legs » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:06 pm

Years ago I remember trying to tip my ankle in my ski boots & I could not detect any movement. Maybe it was there but it was so small do to the fact the ski boot shell I did not have the power to bend & the play @ the top of the boot sides was very small & the ratio of the gap to the boot hieght above ankle. Of course if there was a small movement that I could not detect it would be occuring @ the best spot the lowest joint.

Maybe my boots are not practical but a lot of play for ankle tipping would it not have negitive effects by being sloppy when skis are bounced around in crude.

The PMTS from what I can understand makes sense but trying to tip my anke inside my ski boot seams to have no movement for me & the degree of tip seams to porportional the angle of the bone from my knee to the ankle & the amount of travel I can tip my ankle I cant even detect. What am I missing here because this makes me realy wonder why to focus on tipping foot from the ankle.

Cant try tipping in my boots now because my Nordica spitfires 120s have been sent away for secound time for cracked shell.
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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby geoffda » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:27 am

Being able to tip with the feet and the ankles (as opposed to the knee) is very important because those are the muscles which you have the most fine-grained control over. Small movements in the feet and ankle have a ripple effect that moves upward on the "kinetic chain". For example, tipping your right foot will slightly move your hips to the right (which if you were turning on skis would help to move your center of mass into the new turn). Trying to make that exact same movement of the hips with the muscles that directly control the hips is difficult. Those muscles produce gross movements, so it is harder to get just the "right" amount of change. Using your feet to propagate movement up the kinetic chain is the most effective way to maintain balance while skiing.

To be clear, when we are talking about tipping, the expectation is that tipping movements will translate immediately to the boot. Your ankle needs to move, but you shouldn't feel slop in the boot. Basically, you should just be able to tip your feet and have that result in the boot rolling to edge. If you tip just your right foot, what happens? Can you move the boot onto your little toe edge? Can you do the same thing with the left boot?

What the Harb certified alignment specialists look for is to provide a footbed that allows the ankle to move. What many people have (and this may include you) is a high posted, ridgid footbed that locks the ankle in place. If you have this, you won't be able to move the ankle effectively to allow foot tipping. If that is your situation, it will be difficult for you to get the ski on edge without either some body leaning, or some steering and pushing the ski on edge.

If you don't have a custom footbed in your boot, it is also possible that you have some issues with your own personal biomechanics that are preventing you from being able to effectively tip your feet. In that case, a Harb certified alignment specialist should be able to build you a footbed that would properly support your ankle to enable you to tip.

Either way, if you are unable to tip in your boots, it will be difficult for you to make progress in your skiing until you get that addressed. In that case, a footbed and alignment session with a Harb certified (or recommended) alignment specialist would be my first recommendation before you get back out on snow. If you aren't sure about whether you are actually tipping, post up some video of you just doing some dry land tipping while in your boots and we can help. Shoot the video from the waist down.
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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby Matt » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:50 am

YOu can do this simple experiment without having boots. Bend your right leg into a functional skiing stance. Tense your ankle so that it cannot move. Move your right knee right. Notice that you cannot do this without lifting the heel. This is the same effect you will have if you cannot tip you feet inside your boots.
Now try the same but instead of tensing your ankle you lift your BTE side of the foot to move the knee right. Do you understand why it is important to have almost full RoM in foot tipping?
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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby krazzy legs » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:05 pm

geoffda & Matt

I appriciate your posts thanks

I know my boots allowed movement @ my ankle joint to bring my knees forward & back of my ankle joints while keeping my heals held down. I also think they allowed me to turn my feet side to side unless the movement was occuring from the knee joint.

Hopefully my new boots will allow my ankles to tip the ski boots on edge. Years ago I tried focusing on trying to get more edge angle by tipping my ankles in my ski boots but I could feel no movement so gave up trying long ago. But it was so long ago I cant remember if I tried doing it with my LTE which I failed @ the time to realize the importance of. I can tip LTE a lot higher on edge without any ski boot on then I can the BTE without ski boot on.

If the ski boots are fitted & aligned properly how many degrees should the feet & ankles be able to tip the skis on edge just by themselfs. Since the range of motion is greatest & seams to have more strength on LTE witthout ski boot on it would likely allow for more tipping angle with boot on then LTE

I do wonder if it is good to be able to tip the ankle in the ski boot to increase edge angles due to the fact if G forces are high enough Iam not sure if my ankle muscles are strong enough & or if I fail to tip while turning the play would allow for the skis to tip less causing less of a tipping angle. I like to do rappid fire short turns & Iam not sure if my ankle cordination can be quick enough also farther from brain so electrical signal has further to travel. I kinda think something has to travel from brain to feet to put edge on angle & through nervous system might be the fastest. But without haveing experimented I can not judge rationally.


I real appricate the offer for your help & I have been skiing for years & whenever I bought boots I have never given any thought regarding being able to tip boots on edge from the ankle. I have never herd anyone mention it before, even from guys that work on delta & canting angles.

Do not have ski boots back yet but when I get them. I will somehow figure out how to post a video to see if my boots are functional. My cash level & where Harold is located is not really practical @ the moment. I have not even upgraded to shaped skis yet but boots are more important to me the buying older shaped skis.
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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby BigE » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:44 pm

It is probably best that you buy the book anybody can be and expert skier.

I think you talk of tipping to BTE indicates a misunderstanding of PMTS. The outside half is far more passive than you think. Shape skis are absolutely a requirement for learning PMTS movements, even old ones. Anything with 66mm underfoot or less and a 12 m or less TR at 165 will do.

The old skis have a turn radius of over 40 m, they are not appropriate.

PMTS is all about harnessing the power of the new skis.
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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby krazzy legs » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:28 am

Hi, Bige

Thanks for the info

With my straight skis I can turn very similar to the guy in orange in the "clasic short turns by Rich Burger" video
(if the density of the snow increases based on the golden spiral)

When I borrowed a pair of shaped skis I can ski more liike the guy in yellow in the video.

Harold Harp did make a comment with something to do with it being good skiing.

I have never sean myself on video but based on feel & tracks left in snow Iam making above comparison ( maybe Iam over rating my skiing but I have skied with straights on & have been told everyone on the chair turns their head to watch me ski & have been told @ differnt ski hills by the locals everyone was talking about my skiing & were impressed with it & I do not go out of bounds)

The shaped skis I also found better in bigger turns Unless in deep snow then seamed like little difference.

If I wanted to have my body travel straight down fall line from hips up & be able to double or tripple beat my turns to the beat of the music on my Ipod the shaped skis were to slow from edge to edge but the straight were not.
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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby BigE » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:01 am

It sounds like you are turning your feet. In PMTS, the skis turn the feet.
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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby krazzy legs » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:15 pm

bigE & guys

There are a few differnt books & videos Harold has out I cant afford them all. Is there a lot of over lap from one to the other?

I watched some of the videos & read some of the stuff Harold wrote & from what I understood of it I think he is on to something because I kinda think I do some of the things he says i.e flexing for transition & when I do the opposite its not good.

I do not have a lot of experience with shape skis but I do like the added bend during the turn when I tried them. For the BPST on groomed run what length is recomended ? but not sure if I like the fact the ones I tried bending formed a round shape.

I do not like making turns based on a circle are shaped skis good for making turns based on a tapestry of fibonnacci relationships ?

Iam 170cm tall & only tried a 145cm for short turns for a few runs. I tried a 155, 145 & 135 cm for just arcing & I liked the 135cm best because the radius was 9.6 M & I could ski slower to get higher G force but 99.9% of time would rather ski short turns then ride the side cut of the ski to make round pencil line turns

Maybe your right & Iam turning my skis. I thought I was milking them to the max so they could help me turn but I could be wrong?
I do try to bend them as much as possible by putting them on as high an edge as possible with counter & no travel of the upper body side to side or twisting action (quite upper body) but I have never tried much to increase the edge angle where the boot meets the top of the leg because to my eye I could not see any angle increase when I applied pressure when not skiing so the top of the boot would dig into the side of my leg to increase the angle. To increase bend in ski I will often accelerate presure from tip to tail on my straights based on the golden spiral. Since where I learned to ski they never had groomers & one soon learned to flex during transition to release edges to soak up the bumps.

I find my balance is best when my pole swing makes the same shape of path as my skis do & I use the index finger & or the ring finger & pinky as trigger fingers to make the ski pole tips travel in a golden spiral path in ratio to the path of my skis. Reason being from the tips of the fingers the length of each finger increase by .618 in length which forms the golden spiral when bent

In my short turns tracks left look like the following when ski conditions allow ( I try to make my skis travel a path to form a tapestry of fibonnacci relatioships as can be found in nature such as spiraling galaxies, ocean waves, hurricans & tornadoes )

Tracks go deeper throughout the turn,

Turn shape is not round but forms the golden spiral shape (Skis turn sharper throughout turn)

The distance traveled while building compresion throughout turn by eye looks about a fib ratio of .382 of the distance traveled while releaseing compresion.

For one unit traveled down fall line from one turn to the next is about .382 of the distance is traveled across the fall line by the outer most part of the track. .618 ditance of total distance is traveled down the fall line

The average angle of turn judging by eye = the angle of the hill.

If a fib no of turns are spiraled tighter to less of an angle then the slope of the hill to go accross the hill. The turns will spiral larger then the angle of the hill to average out to be aprox the angle of the hill.
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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby midwif » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:20 pm

Hello Legs

I am going to suggest that you focus on one place for info.

Notice when you post questions about technique elsewhere, the conversation
between the "opiners" and what they mean about this term or not really varies.

And asking ski instructors about WC technique who have never been WC skiers
is irrelevant. That is a world beyond. Except maybe here.

You know, HH. The former WC skier.

Anyway, if your quest for clear, concise info is sincere, look at credentials.
And look at skiing videos.

When I grow up, I want to look like Diana skiing! :lol:

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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby BigE » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:43 pm

The fibonacci series is irrelevant. So is the golden ratio. They are outcomes. PMTS is not about outcomes, it is about the primary movements.

What is relevant is to decide on the form of instruction you wish to follow. If it is this, then for someone that likes a high level view, start at "the essentials of skiing" and work backwards, through books II and I.

Bear in mind that the vocabulary should not be translated into your words or terms within traditional schools. The words chosen bring their view. It is best to understand PMTS through the words of PMTS. NOT through translation into fibonacci or other series. This is plainly silly -- once the terrain changes, your beloved turn shape changes far beyond your control.

At most, you can take this from those ideas:

Flex and keep flexing, Tip and keep tipping. Counterbalance and keep counterbalancing, pull back the feet and keep pulling back the feet.

Once the words of PMTS become clear, your skiing will improve radically.
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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby ToddW » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:22 pm


There is little overlap between the various books. Harald wrote each book to expand further on ski technique. He seldom repeats himself. Same for the videos.

The 5 DVDs can be had for less than the price of two lift tickets. That's one of the best deals in skiing, IMO.

It's been noted that someone with your username has posted questions in the technique forum on Epic. Their advice and what you'll find here do not mix. So pick your information source. in other words, choose your ski technique guru and follow. Trying to follow both will hurt your skiing.

Here's a PMTS answer to your thread. Crossover and crossunder is a useless, some would say meaningless, distinction. What matters is whether you start a turn by flexing and untipping to release followed by tipping and flexing the free foot to engage ... or if some extension sneaks into the attempt to release or into the high C portion of the turn.
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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby Max_501 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:37 pm

1) Book1/DVD1

2) Book2/DVD2

3) Essentials (and the 3 DVDs)
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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby SkierSynergy » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:20 pm

Originally, you had two questions:

1) why focus on tipping in the foot?
2. What is the proper fit of the boot to allow effective tipping and support?

There is an enormous amount of sdpecific information that answers #1 if you read the books, watch the videos, or search for related threads already in the forum. You are mainly asking the question as a skeptic. I would recommend Book 1 and then apply it. After that, you can ask questions about the application.

The answer to question 2 is that there is always a balance between range of movement for tipping and enough support for balance. I would start on the support side of the equation and then make sure that the footbed and boot fitting (blowing out/grinding) allow functional movements of the arch. We have an arch and movemenhts in the ankle in order to adjust balance, absorb shock, and roll the foot on and off our edges. These movements should not be completely blocked by the boot. If they are then you must use grosser and less effective movements higher in the leg to push the knee in and out -- this is also very unhealthy for the knees. However, the boots cannot be too loose. The movements in the foot must also transmit an effect to the boot and ski. If the boot is too loose all the tipping in the world will not do anything and you will lack support for balance. Again, the perfect balance of these, for your particular foot cannot be described / decided apriori. What a peraticular person needs depend a lot on the type of foot that they have. In fact, the specific needs of a specific person probably cannot be addressed on a forum beyond the general advice I gave you.

Beyond this topic, there is a huge amount of hypothertical/philosophical content in this thread (i.e., not very useful for improving anyone's skiing): what you used to do on straight skis and how you think this might be similar to someone else skiing on shaped skis and what you think others might think of your skiing on straight versus shaped skis . . . cross over/cross under . . . Golden ratio . . . fibonnacci relationship. I'm a bit lost about where this is intended to go.

If you have a specific question about a specific movement, or if you want some ideas about an exercise, etc., I am sure someone will point you in the right direction.

I would recommend that you try to apply one of the movements in PMTS that you think might improve your skiing and then video it. No one on the forum can know anything about unless we actually see you ski. If you post the video someone will give you feed back about it, suggest a few exercises, and a good discussion will begin that will directly address movement changes for improving your skiing and the skiing of others on the forum. -- comprehensive services for the girlfriends of skiers
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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby Matt » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:37 am

Sensing a troll here. Fionacci, Golden rule, golden spiral, 135cm skis, fingers role in skiing etc, skiing like berger on straight skis... C'mon, get real or stay on epic.
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Re: ski boot limits ankle tipping

Postby cheesehead » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:59 pm

The best way to get feedback is to post video. There are so many people out there with video capability you should be able to find somebody to help you. Many digital still cameras can take short videos.

From what I understand, straight skis can be used to do good quality skiing, but it is much harder to accomplish and difficult to learn.

It would be interesting to see what you can do with them.
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