Thursday, April 20, 2017

About Extension: 10 years ago I wrote this on PMTS forum thread.

Here is a link to the 10 year old thread, but I reproduced it here.

The commentators in the US who do the play by play on TV for world cup racing, are constantly telling us, that the racers are late with pressure. "They are not pressuring early in the turn", this is the incorrect understanding about what the racers are actually doing. The comments are  wrong. many of the racers even have their thinking about this wrong. It also sends the wrong message.

In PMTS everything I wrote about reduces or eliminates the need to extend the legs in a way that creates pressure to the snow surface or to the skis. This is an important awareness in one's skiing, but few skiers ever discover it or understand it. Ski instruction obviously doesn't understand the damaging effects of extending and most coaches don't realize what it does to skiers. Sure the leg does get long, but it doesn't get long by pushing on it, it gets long by creating angles properly. Watch the world cup skiers, outside ski, they rarely pound the edge, before the skis are at the apex.

Why are we so adamant about not extending? The answer may not be as obvious as we the insiders of PMTS think. So here is a list of what extending or pushing does to you, for those who are not PMTS aware. At the bottom of this post is a link to a video about extending and how to get the outside leg long, without pushing against the snow.

-Extending disconnects the CG from the skis 
-Extending pushes the CG away from the balancing point 
-Extending eliminates the ability to tip the skis 
-Extending delays the entry to the next turn 
-Extending eliminates the legs from making quick movements 
-Extending or pushing against the snow puts skiers out of balance 
-Extending is tiring 
-Extending interrupts movement to the next turn or downhill 

-Bending makes tipping easier 
-Bending the legs increases tipping range 
-Bending allow for quick edge changes 
-Bending increases terrain absorbing ability 
-Bending keeps you closer to the snow 
-Bending, the inside leg once skis are engaged draws the hip to the snow 
-Bending, the inside leg allows higher tipping and lengthening of the outside leg 
-Bending allows foot pull back 
-Bending allows you to make tighter arcs, shorter turns and therefore gives skiers more control 

When extension is used none of the bending benefits are available. 

So what's the most important Essential, Tipping or Flexing / Bending?.

This video demonstrates tipping and flexing, and shows how extension isn't the answer.

The video below demonstrates a great exercise for increasing you angles with proper building of tipping and transitioning.

PMTS movements with Reilly McGlashan on 28m skis!

Reilly is not only one of the best free skiers in the world, but also a true student of the sport. 
In this series of articles, I'll point out the obvious and the not so obvious movements that make Reilly such an amazing skier to watch.

Early inside foot tipping.

To achieve early inside foot tipping and angles, the proper set up and movements to create early angles, this is dependent on actions achieved just before the previous turn release.  Let's walk through the steps, and point out how this is created, using the "Essentials",  to focus the discussion. Go to heading, "Counter Acting" below.

Different turn, different frame, but identical to the upper photo.

Just prior to the release, notice the hip counter-acted.

Transition, hold the counter-acting so the legs can move under the hips to the new angles without rotation.
A stable counteracted pelvis allows for strong engaging, bending and tipping.

Tipping and flexing into the arc

Counter Acting:

Here you see the results of holding the pelvis stable through transition, with the counter acting from the previous turn changed to the new counter acting for this turn.  
The actual answer to skiing efficiently, it requires movements that occur either at the same time, or in a certain order to produce PMTS quality turns. Flexing, out of the turn, begins and allows the release, which in turn allows for tipping movements that bring the skis flat and also to their new edges. If flexing is the catalyst to releasing, tipping is the action directly following, and creating engagement.