When Extension is not Extension!

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When Extension is not Extension!

Postby jbotti » Tue Dec 19, 2023 3:04 pm

In many ways this post perhaps should be in the racing section, but because Harald is pointing a very common misconception about Odermatt's skiing I think it makes sense for it to go here. The point is that if you have eyes like I have have (normal people) and you don't have the eyes that HH has, you need to look closely at video because first perception can often be wrong. I started emailing Harald about Odermatt when he first started racing WC events. And I called what he had back then "an up move" which implies extension. Harald immediately pointed out to me that Odermatt flexes to release but then will allow his legs to extend some afterwards. There is a very stark difference between his skiing when he first entered WC races vs the way he skies now. And we don't know for sure what his coaches have been telling him, or what he has been working on, but his extension after flexing to release is bordering on non existent now, and his skiing has evolved to where his flexing is quite pronounced.

I view that is absolute validation that extension to release, does not and will not work on the WC. And the fact that Odermatt has worked so hard to limit any extension shows that staying flexed, allows skiers to tip further in the high C, and get angles without tension and/or pushing against the snow.

And he is the best GS skier in the world right now. (he might also be the best SG skier in the world as well). And he is going to put up total wins on the WC in his 3 events (GS, SG and DH) that will rival all the greats. The guy is amazing!

Anyway, if you have not see this blog post absolutely take a look. Great work by HH as always.

https://harbskisysems.blogspot.com/2023 ... swing.html
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Re: When Extension is not Extension!

Postby h.harb » Tue Dec 19, 2023 5:08 pm

Thanks, John, well described and to the point.

Extension is achieved for sure. And as a World Cup skier, you have to be able to do it all. World Cup skiers mostly use eccentric contractions when shortening the long leg and concentric contractions when retracting the legs to get them off the snow. This is what John is referring to in my Blog post.

However, the last thing most recreational skiers and hobby racers should focus on is extension. Why? Because you are already doing it to a detriment and that's what is causing you problems. Most instructors and coaches only see what is obvious; the actions in skiing that are glaringly obvious are the gross movement patterns. (By gross I mean three things, large, big, and ugly) And then they go about coaching those movements. It's all wrong because those are the movements that are opposite of what you want to do or should have in your skiing to become a good skier or racer. I can teach someone who is using a flexing or retracting release to push off out of turn in 5 minutes. However, reversing someone who was taught to stand or push off takes weeks possibly years.

Sure there is an extension in skiing and one leg gets longer than the other, but not by pushing into the snow, against the snow, therefore lengthening the leg. The most important thing people should have learned from Hirscher is to transition without pressuring the skis (the float). That is why we call the transition a float across and a change of edges with no pressure on the skis. A retraction release is the GOLD Standard in performance skiing.
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Re: When Extension is not Extension!

Postby enric » Wed Dec 20, 2023 11:30 am

Hi all,

World Cup skiers mostly use eccentric contractions when shortening the long leg and concentric contractions when retracting the legs to get them off the snow. This is what John is referring to in my Blog post.
https://harbskisysems.blogspot.com/2023 ... swing.html

would it be possible to relate the eccentric/concentric concepts mentioned above to the amazing pictures shown in the link above to HH Blog?.... and may be elaborate a bit more on those biomechanic concepts in relation to the different flexion movements that take place both in the arc and in the transition a la PMTS?


Thanks a lot John and HH for your very valuable contributions...I have learned a lot from the many gems in this amazing Forum...looking forward to see it lively again!

Short anecdote: yesterday while I was skiing in a French ski resort in the Pyrenees I was inmediately spotted from a long distance as a PMTS skier by another PMTS follower, a very experienced one I must say. We had a very enriching and cheerful conversation about our PMTS experiences, needless to say :mrgreen:... PMTS still is a very little world in the Pyrenees...nearly every single day I ski in the Pyrenees I get asked about how I learned to ski "like that" :wink: ....last week, a french ski instructor from the ESF was following my tracks and when we stopped he approached me about "the beautiful turns being produced by an ancient Austrian technique" 8) ....next day, the same instructor came with another colleague ESF instructor to see me produce those turns and ask details about the ancient technique...after twenty minutes of explaining the five Essentials to them, his final comment was "you are an Encyclopedia" :roll: ...I replied if he had the opportunity to meet personally HH or Diana that would really blow his mind... :lol:
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Re: When Extension is not Extension!

Postby h.harb » Tue Jan 02, 2024 12:33 pm

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Re: When Extension is not Extension!

Postby jbotti » Wed Jan 03, 2024 2:10 pm

I sometimes wonder if people advocating for extension have eyes. All you have to do is look at HH's skiing from behind, in the beginning of this clip, and you can see how pure and effortless his turns are flexing to release and staying flexed as the new arc begins. The last two seasons I have worked hard to eliminate any tendency to extend some after the release, where in the past I was going for early pressure and pushing some against the snow. High angles come from doing the opposite, staying flexed, adding no extension or tension, and allowing pressure to come from the tipping and CA (which is producing very high edge angles). Amazing what this focus has done for my skiing. And when you watch HH ski, it just seems so obvious?
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Re: When Extension is not Extension!

Postby h.harb » Wed Jan 03, 2024 7:17 pm

It never ceases to amaze me how much the ski instruction world has its head up where the sun doesn't shine. PSIA teaches extension to people who already extend too much. They teach hips to square through the turn and then totally undo any counteracting with the pole swing. They teach leg steering to people who already pivot too much. They teach pushing your CG into the turn for those who have no counteracting anyway. It is a total mess and disaster out there.
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