Monday, January 16, 2017

Ski Technique and random thoughts about skiing!

Comparison between Hirscher and  Kristoffersen?

This comparison would have to involve skis and boot brands. In my opinion Atomic skis are stiff and harsh, part of that issue is boot related, however the combination is tough on the racers. Rossingnols don't work well for everyone, but they sure do hit the sweat spot and are much more of a smooth carving boot and ski combination. If you pay attention to the skiers on the different products you begin to see patterns. The patterns influence of different brands of skis and boots influence ski and leg movements and the way they engage lower body angles. You can start to notice similarities between the skiers on the different brands. To do this analysis in a scientific way; I would have to be able to do a biomechanical assessment of each skier's foot and ankle. I would also measure cuff relationships and stationary balancing abilities while standing on an angled platform. It sure would produce some interesting results. We do this type of work every day at our ski shop.

Tip ski lift at the release!

I have never been anti-tip lift, I always saw, or noted that I had it in my skiing, I even wrote about it in 2007.

I started using tip lift for intermediates when I saw too much focus on just lift the back of the ski. Which accomplishes little. I began by telling students the point of lifting was to get a release, but most were not tipping after they lifted the ski. The whole idea of lifting is to get that ski to the LTE. 

So I began to tell our students to keep the ski level rather than just lifting the tail. In doing the exercise of keeping the ski level, from a stationary rehearsal,  I had them compare the difference in the actions of the leg muscles, between just lifting the tail and lifting the tip. 

It became obvious even in a stationary exercise for this comparison, that lifting the tip keeps the ski closer to the ground and it also engaged important hip and torso muscles that helped set up CA and CB, which lifting the tail did not. I began to have the group use just lifting the tip at the  release. Low and behold,  most of their extension went away, and inside ski lead was reduced. Better overall balance and transfer increased. SO I stayed with it.

Biomechanically speaking, the action helps to close the ankle, or Dorsi-flexes the foot, lifts the foot. The tibialis anterior, is the main lifting muscle used to lift the foot, which also helps to invert the foot. In turn, higher in the kinetic chain it engages the hip flexor, (tensor fascia latæ), You can also use it at Starbuck to order a special Lattee, it really confuses the hell out of  them. 


Unknown said...

Hi Harald - when I tip to the LTE I naturally want to pull my tipping/free foot back slightly. It just seems to make it easier to achieve LTE tipping. Correct or a problem?

Harald Harb said...

Totally correct, this is the most important reentering movement.

Jeff H said...

Harold, I've been practicing lifting the tail of the ski to initiate tipping the free foot because I thought it would keep the tip down/forward. Reading this blog, it sounds like I can just lift the tip and roll with it? I feel more LTE engagement with the ankle movement in the boot, which seems to be independent of whether I lift the tip or tail. Is this right?

Harald Harb said...

Yes keep doing this, once you start tipping the ski you will notice that the tip naturally come down.

Jeff H said...

Harold, thanks. Got the Expert Skier 2 book and video. Been studying it. Amazing Stuff! Visited your Dumont ski shop a few weeks ago when I was skiing the last week of the season in Keystone. Had the heel in my bindings raised a bit by your staff in the shop ... Love the ppl in your shop! Look forward to a boot fitting next time I get out your way. Hope to plan my next skiing trip around your blue camp in December 2017 (if I can get in). Hope to hear from you guys. JRH ATL GA

Unknown said...

I have just started trying to figure out the timing and sequencing of the retraction. The few times I think I achieved it I felt a significant change in balance and muscle exertion in the quads. Much less tension on the sides of the quads — from back seating
I assume — to a more engaged muscle group above the knee. Skis were quieter too. Are these positive indicators? Looking forward to super blue on Monday.