Saturday, March 24, 2018

Differences in ski technique between PSIA and PMTS!

PMTS Skiing

In the below photo, the Essentials of PMTS skiing are obvious. Hip and upper body counteracting are set to the same degree. The inside arm and shoulder continue to counteract. This means they move forward and stay high (level) to keep strong counterbalance. The inside leg flexes and tips to the angles desired, while the outside leg is skeletally strong and stacked with the hip.

The differences aren't subtle and they originate from the approach to skiing and therefore the differences in the photo body position.

                                                                       PSIA Sking
Here a PSIA Demo Team skier shows a totally different approach and body alignment. The upper body shoulders and arms are in conflict with the hip. The shoulders are rotating and the inside arm is dropping and back. The hip is dumping inside. The outside knee is driven hard toward the inside leg. This is very weak skeletally alignment wise and will eventually wear on the knees. The difference in head position tells the complete story between the two skiers. The PMTS skier's head is lined up with the counteracting body, while the PSIA skier's head is turning with the body, creating part of the rotating result and also following the body rotation.

This skier also shows an extreme "A Frame" on the left knee, which is a weak alignment.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the post. Been following you on YouTube for a long time. Does the A-frame in the PSIA picture suggest too much weight on the inside ski? What's the rough weight distribution on each foot in PMTS? Intuitively I would assume a quite large split since one actively un-weighs and retracts the inside foot. And would (or how does) that weight distribution work in powder? Thanks!

Harald Harb said...

The reason for the A-frame can be multifold. It can be due to poor alignment, boot cuff or fitting. It can also be movement driven. If the skier is focused on outside ski angles and drives the knee or steers the legs A-Fame often results.

Unknown said...

Is the tail of your inside ski high? Does not seem quite parallel with the outside ski.

Is the PSIA skier or at least the snapshot representative of their system? There does seem to be a twisting in of the outside knee. As someone with two knee replacements it hurts just looking at it.

Icanski said...

For some reason, I could never comment on these things??

Thanks for posting this Harald. At first glance there are many things which 'appear' to be similar, but upon closer example; they aren't. I'm sure if there was movement, it would be even clearer.
I'm also thinking that with so many other school around the world built upon the same basics: wedge, steering, etc. That this picture covers an awful lot of them.

Harald Harb said...

Ralph, Thanks for your question.

The comparison is based on my skiing which is totally as close to PMTS as I can accomplish and a PSIA Demo Team skier, who is supposed to be one of their examples or demonstrators for their system. I would never select a picture or photo to demonstrate a mistake. In fact, this isn't a mistake by the PSIA skier, it's indicative of PSIA end result skiing. And don't get me wrong, PSIA thinks this is good skiing. The reason I compare the two is for how different the movement in skiing can be, from one technically developed teaching system to another. Are they biomechanically different? Of course, in PMTS we use no knee or leg steering, in fact, we unteach it, and the results are undisputed. We also teach movements that produce a desired point of balance. Efficiency is the overall goal of the PMTS system. I have broken this down in very detail examples in my books and videos.

Anonymous said...

I think PSIA has set off on weird irreconcilable tangents with its new manual and Mr. Harb's PMTS holds merit. A reason for PSIA's approach is that it has, over the years, attempted to undo the extremes of many styles (think of the Patrick Russel Jet Turn, or the Kruckenhauser Comma Position or the Stenmark Step - all of which employed viable tactics in their day. Unfortunately, the newest PSIA Manual (copyright 2014) may hold similar antique value in the very near future. PMTS starts to deviate from PSIA technique around page 17.

Yes, there is knee and leg steering (as far as I'm concerned), and it occurs in the phase of a turn that is more in alignment with the fall line. But, this steering is a subtle movement - a minor adjustment to the radius initially chosen in the Hi-C phase.

I took a 30 year hiatus from skiing. In order to undo some of my inefficient movements I practiced skiing the whole mountain on one ski - an old racer's exercise. I also stumbled on to something while teaching kids with developmental disabilities. I experimented with an edgy-wedgy. (I wanted to see how I was torturing my students.) This led to my development of a heavy duty edgy-wedgy with wood shop clamps and heavy rope and a commitment to ski the entire mountain with the damn thing. I got good at it. It prevented one ski from advancing very far from another (as shown in Mr. Harb's photos). The adult edgy-wedgy acted as an enforcer of the PSIA style of turn. What was good about this exercise is that my hips got into a "groove" - i.e. a more powerful position. They were in the same "groove" as when I skied the whole mountain on one ski. But, boy ... I sure was glad to get back on two skis or to throw those darned edgy-wedgies into the woods. But, what the two exercises did was to throw my hips into the right place - a brutal remediation of deficiencies that may have been detected by the hipometer.

PMTS method makes far more sense than the new PSIA Manual, which may, in actuality, not be saying all that much. For, conceptual frailties in Chapter 1, entitled "Skills Concept" may render it - in the four short years since its publication - an antique well before its time – bearing similarity to those stylistic skiing aberrations I mention in my first paragraph. Keep doing what you're doing, Mr. Harb.