Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

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Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby h.harb » Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:53 am

Some of you may have heard me saying this at camps the last two seasons. It's an important aspect of modern skiing. Let's investigate why this relatively easy concept has been so misunderstood and misused in ski teaching and coaching.

The simple formula for skiing, is to release, tip, flex the inside leg, let the outside leg get long while maintaining balance and edge grip on it. With these movements you get a turn. To get out of that turn, flex the outside leg that is long let the outside boot come up closer to the to the chest, (or suck it up to the chest) and tip it to the little toe edge.

Notice there is not one word here about pressure. OK, let's put pressure into the context of this arc. It begins with releasing, the pressure comes off the skis.

Let's define pressure, there is pressure that is on your skis because you weigh something. There is only partial body weight on the skis when the legs are being sucked up, that's in transition, which I often refer as the float phase. Some skiers see this as strenuous, because the legs are bent or flexed and you are holding your body while in this slightly bent or as we see sometimes, in an all out sitting position. The fallacy of this of course is reading it just from pictures. If you flex appropriately for the arc, the skis and legs are either totally unweighted or a least light on the snow. So there should be little more strain on your legs then just standing. This is a great time to tip your feet while your legs are under your body and the skis are light. Don't push them to the side, tip your feet. This changes your edges, without committing your body to the new arc.

Digest this for now, more to come.

Here is the phase of the turn where pressure has been developed 1. and released 3.

1.Image
2.Image3.Image
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby jepoupatout » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:45 pm

That's so true, today I've applied what i've learned earlier this week when I've asked feedback on my video. I had to do more counteracting and tip until the end of the turn before releasing and something new happened. I've felt for the first time the floating, i've felt light on my ski when my skis passed under me. My leg flexed naturally , retracted under my body and naturally I was in a better position to tip for the new turn. Last week i was flexing intentionally, feeling the pressure and the strain of that movement. I was loosing the energy of my ski and doing a more passive turn. It is really more fun to ski the PMTS way. :o
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby h.harb » Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:42 pm

I just love the look of a bent ski!Image
Slightly past the falline, the pressure begins to build, it comes to you, you don't have to create it. Once my leg is extended I hold it extended, until I'm further across the falline.
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby h.harb » Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:27 pm

One thing we have to bring up in this presentation is the role of the ankle, in the boot and how it creates an edge hold and angle, that no knee or body angle can duplicate.
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby François » Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:19 am

It is a koan. In my old race boots, there is no way the ankle will bend sideways. The shin comes up from the ski in a fixed lateral position, so there is no way the ski can tilt without the knee moving over, yet if you move the knee to tilt the ski you are doing it wrong and it doesn't feel right. If you tip "with the ankle" even though it doesn't move, the knee moves in harmony and all is good. Reminds me of the old telling someone "Here. Take this medicine, but if you think of a monkey when you take it, it won't work."
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby h.harb » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:12 pm

At the beginning of the turn mostly centrifugal (centripetal) forces keep the ski in the arc.

Very good, but at that stage of the arc, it has more to do with momentum and ski friction in the High C part, then Centripetal force.

However, it's the thing about the ankle that is what most people miss. The best skiers in the world know about it, because they don't use stiff footbeds and they keep the inside wall of the boot away from the ankle so the ankle can more to it. If your boots, footbed and foot are locked by the boot, you will be forced into being a knee driving skier. Although my boots are very stiff and compact, I still use my ankle against the boot wall to create stability and edge control for the ski. If you haven't found this yet, you still have a lot to look forward to in your skiing. And don't knock it is you haven't found it, just because you don't know what it is; doesn't mean it's not there. Look at the boys on Epic, they don't know the half of skiing, yet they keep going around in circles rather than developing and experiencing new movements.
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby François » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:22 pm

Thanks for your reply Serious. I get the physics. I was speaking to the role of the ankle in getting the skis tilted, thinking back, it's most noticeable on that first turn after following the fall line for a while. "Ankle tipping" leads the ski tilting to control the turn without making unappealing upper body moves or ugly knee driving moves. Once I get moving along in the groove so to speak, it just comes naturally.
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby jclayton » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:40 pm

Francois ,
I think Harald says there should be movement of the ankle TO the sidewall i.e. , there should be some space in there to move .
skinut ,among other things
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby François » Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:07 pm

Having the benefit of experience skiing in both types of boots, (super hard, super tight, super stiff and rigid, over-filled won't give a micrometer liner, overly-posted footbed boot and the boot with softer footbed, normal liner, softer flex)) I can say that even in boots where the ankle is "cast in place", the movement command that would move it if it were not so, is the correct movement to issue. Although, learning the correct movement in the old race boots might take a little more problematic. There right movements apply to both types of boots.
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby h.harb » Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:50 pm

My first experiences in skiing were with soft low leather boots. If you, in those days, didn't have strong feet and ankles you would never become a skier. When I got my, circa 1968, LeTrapper Elite Pro race leather boots with fiberglass reinforced sides, my skiing really came alive. In one year I went from a good local A racer in Canada, to top finishes at the Junior nationals and an invite to my first world cup. By the end of that year I had a FIS point profile. I attribute that mostly to the change in boots. The next summer my coach gave me his Lange Comps. That boot gave me another boost. You had to ski with your ankles even with those designs. If you were a knee driver you stayed at the local levels of racing. The next year, I was still on Lange boots, and had top 5 NorAm finishes. I switched to Nordica the next season, it took me awhile to get used to those boots, but they did finally came around.

My first real, what we would consider, high, rigid boot, was a Dolomite World Cup race boot. Before those I always looked for a lower boot, like the Koflak (now Atomic) and Alpina boots. They were very stiff, but low. Ankle movement was diminished, but I always sensed how the ankle should work in the stiff boots relative to the old leather jobs. Now with modern boots, you can start with ankle tipping and add the power from upper cuff leverage, after the CG starts to move in. I never stop using the ankle to add angle or edge control grip. If you use your shin and upper cuff for this, you won't get the confidence to tip further. The ankle and foot give you immediate feedback as to edge hold and ski angle. The knee is crap. That's why these guys that talk about steering are a lost cause. You can never achieve a high level of skiing with leg steering and femur rotation. They try to use the connection between skivot to pivot slip for there explanation, that the world cup uses their technique, but we already know that there is no connection. Those are not real skiing, WC or valid skiing techniques, they are coup outs.

So when we talk about tipping, (the most important Essential) we always refer to it as foot and ankle tipping, starting at the bottom of the kinetic chain. And that is why we make footbeds and alignment changes the way we do; because we want to help skiers learn to ski with their ankles and feet. Diana could never have learned this if I hadn't introduced her to the set up with the right footbeds, boots and alignment. She was a very quick study and understood the concepts and immediately began to modify her own set up, for her performance. That is the best way to do it, as no one can duplicate your movement needs especially the ones inside a ski boot, like the owner of the feet in those boots. But you have to know what to look for. Diana obviously does. After learning all about why and how the feet work and learning how to design and manufacture footbeds, she very quickly became an expert at it. I don't think she would ever have become such a great skier without applying these principles to her own setup. She diagnosed exactly how her feet worked and what they needed. She has very weak, hyper mobil, feet and ankles . My old coaching buddy Herman Gollner one said, "You can't ski with feet like that", until Diana began to beat the girls he was coaching. Now he is the ultimate believer in our footbeds and alignment. One of his girls that Diana did the set up for, this year, won the Junior Nationals in GS and won the overall. Look for those Harb stickers on her boots.
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby h.harb » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:29 pm

Phrases describing Extension (leg lengthening and shortening).

-Don't push against the ground
-Let pressure come to you
-Clean skiing means don't push your CG around
-Use gravity, don't let it use you
-Extend by moving inside, not by pushing yourself to the inside
-Give in twice per arc, once to release (outside leg) and once to increase angles (inside leg)

Just a start, there are many more that get the message across.
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby h.harb » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:58 pm

The boot set up is good, but on the "medium reaction" side for aggressive skiing. Medium on a scale where the 150 boot plug shell with foam liners is on the "very high reaction" side.
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby h.harb » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:58 am

Floating over the surface in the High C phase of the Arc requires balance and counter balance. You won't feel anything to brace against, big toe edge engagers will feel especially out of sorts. Little toe edge engaging with counter balance is the key to connected, round, brushed, speed controlled turns.
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby enric » Wed Aug 24, 2022 9:00 am

Hi everyone, I am already signed up for next year Hintertux Camp...I am so excited, here I am in mid August reviewing HH´s books, PMTS Forum posts...... :lol: WOOOOOW, thanks a lot Harald for sharing your extensive knowledge and so many very valuable pieces of advise. I believe this is one of the most enlightening posts I have read in this very enriching Forum. Tipping a la PMTS has as much to do with the feet as with the ankles....but the how with the ankles part I was definitely missing/mistaken about.

Also, I can sense that the two below mentioned ideas I copied from your post above are very important for great skiing, but I feel somewhat confused about them, could you (and obviously other Forum members) please elaborate on both of them?:

1. Give in twice per arc, once to release (outside leg) and once to increase angles (INSIDE leg); The first part, i.e. to release with the outside leg is very clear to me. It is the second part that I find more intriguing: to increase angles... Do you mean at the transition in order to release the uphill LTE of the superphantom transition? or may be you are thinking of the pre-flex in the lowC to increase anles ....WITH the INSIDE LEG?...I thought it was produced giving in with the stance leg.....

2. Little toe edge engaging with counter balance is the key to connected, round, brushed, speed controlled turns. Do you mean right at the end of transition/early engagement with the new inside ski, that would be, the hinging/sideloading starting as early as possible, may be even prior to the new stance ski engagement for the new turn?

I have been following this Forum for quite a long time and I take the opportunity to thank you all for your valuable and generous contributions.Terrific Forum. I hope to meet some of you in Tux next year :wink:
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Re: Let pressure come to you, don't create pressure.

Postby jbotti » Fri Aug 26, 2022 4:33 pm

Harald can answer your questions when he gets a moment. In the meantime I will attempt to. What HH is talking about in your first question is what I would call a very advanced move in skiing and it involves decreasing the BTE/stance ski angle later in the arc (past the apex) which when combined with further LTE tipping will increase the edge angles of both skis. There are some drills that can help give someone a feel for this, but again, its not easy, there is very little time left in the arc to do this (so it needs to be lightning quick and at the right moment) , and it becomes relevant when someone is able to link tight arcs without gaining speed on moderately steep terrain.

Your second question is about LTE engagement and CB. If one does not counter balance at transition the LTE will become too weighted, taking weight away from the BTE/stance ski, which is the ski that we want to bend in order to tighten the arc. And yes, this is right at or slightly after transition. It's actually right as one is tipping the LTE, this move should be combined with counter balancing. A heavily weighted inside ski causes both ski divergence (two skis on different arc planes) and as said before, it takes weight off the stance ski which is needed for that ski to arc properly.

One way to insure that you never overweight the LTE ski, is to practice the phantom/super phantom move. A ski that is off the snow cannot be weighted (that's beyond obvious). Of course learning to ski with both a fully lifted ski and a slightly weighted ski is important.

Hope that helps.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
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