Best release for the job?

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Best release for the job?

Postby Zermatt » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:00 am

Reading the PMTS books I see 3 types of releases described: one-foot, two-foot and flex to release. The two-foot has a few variations described. Having read the books only once I haven’t noticed a prescriptive decision criteria about what release works best for each situation. Please correct me if I missed anything or misunderstood.

My experience using and watching others using different release types is that the one-foot release is very quick and works best at lower speed and the two-foot works best at high speed. The flex to release is necessary at high speed when the two-foot isn’t quick enough. Is this model too simplistic? I am curious about how others think about which release to use in different situations.
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Re: Best release for the job?

Postby HeluvaSkier » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:37 am

Check out this old thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5202

If you practice all of these until they become natural and automatic, you will not have to 'choose' one over the other. The release that happens, will be a result of how you're balancing (or how you want to balance) on the skis... e.g.) how deliberate your balance transfer is (think R-T-E timing).
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Re: Best release for the job?

Postby Max_501 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:04 am

A quick forum search will yield a treasure trove of information.

This description comes from Diana via a post by Geoff.

The two-footed release and the weighted release really aren't two different things. They are two different points on a spectrum. The spectrum of release goes from a one-footed release (lift & tilt or Super Phantom). through the two-footed release, all the way to the weighted release. What is the same across the spectrum is that the downhill leg bends (flexes or shortens) and the downhill foot rolls toward its LTE. What is different across the spectrum is when the transfer of balance occurs relative to the edge change. In the Super Phantom, the transfer is complete before the edge change. In the weighted release, the transfer of balance happens after the edge change. In the two-footed release, the transfer of balance happens about when the edges are changing (resulting in a 50-50 moment of balance between the feet when the skis go through flat). Expert skiers absolutely move around within that spectrum seamlessly. Sometimes the type of release is done knowingly, or as a choice. Many times, the main focus is on bending the downhill leg and tipping that foot toward its LTE, and the actual moment of transfer isn't at the top of the skier's focus.
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Re: Best release for the job?

Postby Zermatt » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:32 am

Thanks for the replies. I had seen Diana's post but not the other thread. It is sometimes hard to find old thread information when getting thousands of hits in a search. Thank you for helping me speeding up that process. I will need to think through this a little more to understand how the release is the result of how one is balancing but thank you for pointing me in that direction.

I believe I understand how the different releases are executed and I agree about the spectrum for one-foot and two-foot. The flex release seems like a different animal. It is briefly mentioned in I believe the second book. The way I understand it, the knees are flexed quickly and for a moment both skis are off the snow before landing on the other opposite edges. Is this an accurate description of the flex release?

It seems to me that all GS world cup racers use two-foot and flex release, some do use one-foot as well e.g. Hirscher. I just re-watched one race and noticed both skis off the snow unless it is an optical illusion. As a spectator my thought was that the flex release was used because with the speed and the tight turn involved for some gates the alternative would be to skid or just miss the gate.
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Re: Best release for the job?

Postby HeluvaSkier » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:44 am

All PMTS releases are flex-to-release.
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Re: Best release for the job?

Postby Ken » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:32 pm

If you practice all of these until they become natural and automatic, you will not have to 'choose' one over the other.


The way this happens if interesting. On steep hard pack I find myself doing a super phantom. I feel I have more control here. I don't think about it...it just comes to me. It's smooth, it's easy, it feels like a dance step. In deep snow the two footed release is what I'm doing. Again, I don't think about it, it just feels right and it just happens. Of course I've made thousands of releases. Do plan on the release that works best in the snow under your skis at that time. You'll acquire the right release for the turn with enough practice.
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