Knee Tipping

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Knee Tipping

Postby DirectParallel » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:40 am

This is my first topic on the forum; I've been a silent viewer for months now and was able to find pretty much all answers to my questions in either the books/video's, Harald's blog and of course this forum.
I will likely post a MA-topic upcoming season and will give a quick introduction there.

The reason for me opening this topic is that I have some doubts about 'knee tipping' and whether it could solve one of the issues I am struggling with.

Knee tipping is not often mentioned in PMTS (at least the books/forum) but Harald did mention it in this blog post: https://harbskisysems.blogspot.com/2020/06/how-to-use-and-identify-essentials-of.html

I'm currently working on getting rid of my inside leg / knee sometimes (especially when trying to shorten my inside leg, read: not hip dumping) pointing towards the base of my ski's. The picture below pretty much sums it up (note that it is not me in those pictures):

Image

I'm not sure whether this is likely an alignment issue (e.g. knock-knees) or something else.


I can imagine that with knee tipping, which is essentially a rotation of the femur (if I'm not mistaken), I'd be able to bring that inside leg more parallel relative to the outside leg.

However, I'm not sure if I would be using knee tipping then for the right purpose. Hope someone could shed some light on this :D
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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby jbotti » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:53 am

In PMTS we flex the inside non stance leg which creates space for bigger angles. But the driving force for these angles is tipping the non stance ski to its LTE and to have continuous and increased tipping through the arc. Using your knees to get angles is a sure fire way to put undue stress on them and a reasonable likelihood that you will be creating pressure (pushing on your skis) vs allowing angles to build throughout the arc.

Knee tipping is not a phrase we use. Kinetically speaking we can only drive the knee. Tipping comes from the foot and the ankle.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby RyanAllen » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:01 pm

jbotti wrote:Tipping comes from the foot and the ankle.

The offseason is an awesome opportunity to practice tipping with your feet and ankles, and the related essentials like counterbalancing. Go to YouTube and find Harald's Slantboard videos (if you haven't already) and meticulously follow each routine. If you're really ambitious, build yourself a pair of Harb Carvers like I did. You'll need to follow Diana's Harb Carver video's to even have a prayer. But, they're amazing learning tools for progressive tipping and balancing on your edges. They'll also transform your summer!

As Harald explains, these tipping movements are not normal, everyday movements unless you live in the Alps and walk across steep pitches to go and milk the cows! I highly recommend spending regular time in your boots, in front of a mirror, and just tip the crap out of them. Always initiate by tipping with the inside foot first. Get aggressive! The arches of your feet should be lifting outward to tip to your LTE, to the point where you are pressuring the little toe sides of your boot shells with the outside of your feet and ankles. Make sure your cuff buckles aren't too tight. Get a copy of the Essentials book and read it 2x. Then buy the Essentials videos sometime between now and winter.

Bag the knee tipping thing. Leave it to Harald and the black level instructors. It isn't for us mortals!

Alignment is super important but can't be diagnosed just with those still pictures. The best advice I've read is to have your alignment checked at Harald's shop. But, in the meantime, the alignment book might help too. But if you go the DIY alignment route, be prepared for a lot of trial and error and probably a few wasted seasons (if that sounds like personal experience, that's because it is). And BTW, cuff alignment is way more important than skiers realize and is often overlooked.
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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby DirectParallel » Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:31 pm

jbotti wrote:In PMTS we flex the inside non stance leg which creates space for bigger angles. But the driving force for these is angles is tipping the non stance ski to its LTE and to have continuous and increased tipping through the arc. Using your knees to get angles is a sure fire way to put undue stress on them and a reasonable likelihood that you will be creating pressure (pushing on your skis) vs allowing angles to build throughout the arc.

Knee tipping is not a phrase we use. Kinetically speaking we can only drive the knee. Tipping comes from the foot and the ankle.


Got it. It might very well also be a lack of enough tipping with the inside foot to the LTE.


RyanAllen wrote:
jbotti wrote:Tipping comes from the foot and the ankle.

The offseason is an awesome opportunity to practice tipping with your feet and ankles, and the related essentials like counterbalancing. Go to YouTube and find Harald's Slantboard videos (if you haven't already) and meticulously follow each routine. If you're really ambitious, build yourself a pair of Harb Carvers like I did. You'll need to follow Diana's Harb Carver video's to even have a prayer. But, they're amazing learning tools for progressive tipping and balancing on your edges. They'll also transform your summer!

As Harald explains, these tipping movements are not normal, everyday movements unless you live in the Alps and walk across steep pitches to go and milk the cows! I highly recommend spending regular time in your boots, in front of a mirror, and just tip the crap out of them. Always initiate by tipping with the inside foot first. Get aggressive! The arches of your feet should be lifting outward to tip to your LTE, to the point where you are pressuring the little toe sides of your boot shells with the outside of your feet and ankles. Make sure your cuff buckles aren't too tight. Get a copy of the Essentials book and read it 2x. Then buy the Essentials videos sometime between now and winter.

Bag the knee tipping thing. Leave it to Harald and the black level instructors. It isn't for us mortals!

Alignment is super important but can't be diagnosed just with those still pictures. The best advice I've read is to have your alignment checked at Harald's shop. But, in the meantime, the alignment book might help too. But if you go the DIY alignment route, be prepared for a lot of trial and error and probably a few wasted seasons (if that sounds like personal experience, that's because it is). And BTW, cuff alignment is way more important than skiers realize and is often overlooked.


I did the slantboard exercises (and still doing them daily); great stuff off-season. About the harb-cavers; I know someone that build them. He seems to enjoy them a lot even though we have virtually no hills or mountains here.
I'm going to pick up some new boots for next season and going to have them aligned (+ get a custom foot-bed if necessary) by Jasper at Portes du Ski (saves me a +10k miles trip :) ).
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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby ToddW » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:15 pm

If you’re going to Portes du Ski for boot work, book a lesson with Jasper or Guus on their dry slope while you’re there.
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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby DirectParallel » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:45 am

ToddW wrote:If you’re going to Portes du Ski for boot work, book a lesson with Jasper or Guus on their dry slope while you’re there.


I actually already did (and was still taking them, until corona said hello). I was really surprised (and lucky) since they are just located ~10 miles from my house.
Prior to taking lessons I had very little ski experience (about three days in the snow), however, my skiing was polluted with a lot of bad habits.

Fortunately we've made decent progress getting rid of most.

The indoor slope skiing (Guus and Jasper have mats, the plastic ones. I think they're called 'Neveplast') are quite different from the real thing. It needs to be at high speed if you want to do purely brushed turns, at slower speeds you need a bit of a tail skid to shorten the radius (pretty much what the Japanese are doing in short turns). It's perfect to learn basic PMTS movements. They will open again in September.

For the people interested: they have two decks. Here's a video I found on YT of the upper deck (very old video though shot more than a decade ago):

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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby tigernbr » Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:43 am

The Essentials Indoor Introduction Evideo on the HSS website is excellent. Practice the exercises in that video.
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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby h.harb » Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:53 pm

Assessing your skiing by watching knee tipping or how it tips is an outcome, it should only be used to determine what is wrong with either with your boot alignment or your basic movements. Trying to correct movements with knee movements never works, puts you on the wrong track. This is how traditional ski instruction has gone wrong for decades. Sure every instructor from a national system will tell you to use your knees, it's all garbage. John described it perfectly read his post.
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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby DirectParallel » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:41 pm

tigernbr wrote:The Essentials Indoor Introduction Evideo on the HSS website is excellent. Practice the exercises in that video.


Nice one. I did the slant board exercises (the ones posted on YouTube), but I haven't seen the video yet you mentioned. Will pick it up soon.

h.harb wrote:Assessing your skiing by watching knee tipping or how it tips is an outcome, it should only be used to determine what is wrong with either with your boot alignment or your basic movements. Trying to correct movements with knee movements never works, puts you on the wrong track. This is how traditional ski instruction has gone wrong for decades. Sure every instructor from a national system will tell you to use your knees, it's all garbage. John described it perfectly read his post.


Right, I was in doubt because this would break the idea of the kinetic chain that's often mentioned in PMTS. Hope to get new boots (and them aligned) soon, I tried it out on a couple of runs today and my current alignment is off. My medial side of the leg is pressing too much against the boot. Probably because I've slight knock knees. That likely also explains the A-frames.
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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby h.harb » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:20 pm

Please Please don't go down that rabbit hole on trying to assess your own alignment. It could be so many things that you aren't aware of, cuff position, ankle mobility, movement, bottom canting, boot fit. Until you can find a true professional you won't figure this out on your own. And there aren't any true professions, especially not in Australia. Why do you think Reilly McGlashan comes to our shop to learn?
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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby DirectParallel » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:48 am

h.harb wrote:Please Please don't go down that rabbit hole on trying to assess your own alignment. It could be so many things that you aren't aware of, cuff position, ankle mobility, movement, bottom canting, boot fit. Until you can find a true professional you won't figure this out on your own. And there aren't any true professions, especially not in Australia. Why do you think Reilly McGlashan comes to our shop to learn?


Based on the video's Diana published on YouTube I would say that I'm suffering from at least one misalignment of the ones she assesses and solves. But I sure do not have the skills nor experience to make a valid assessment.
For now I will wait until the shop in the Netherlands opens again and get myself advised there by a PMTS certified bootfitter.

Hope to visit the shop in Dumont in a couple of years from now and take the course myself there.

A few days ago I heard (on Tom Gellie's podcast) that Reilly was even doing the alignment for some of his students (or team members) with the alignment techniques he learned from the course. Good stuff.
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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby h.harb » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:17 pm

There is a big difference between people who have taken the alignment course even from Harb ski Systems, and the thousands of assessments we have done at Harb Ski Systems over 30 years. We are constantly evolving and increasing the fine-tuning and evolution of alignment. Those that take the alignment course from us are of course better than most, but can't possibly understand what it takes to find solutions for every situation. Imagine trying to shove 30 years of skiing biomechanics into a 6-day course. Not going to happen, it's a great beginning, but you still have to gain experience by doing thousands of evaluations.
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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby ToddW » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:45 pm

Harald’s post is understated.

I’ve taken the Harb alignment technician training. I’ve sat in on end of day video reviews of alignment and movement with the coaches at several camps. And when I ski with Harald, he and I pay serious attention to alignment analysis and MA. (I’m something of an alignment mystery.)

Apparently, I have something of a knack for this. But I’m not even an amateur compared to Walker, who has become quite amazing. And Diana’s alignment eye on snow reflects her enormous experience beyond Walker. She has x-ray vision: one brief glance at a foot or leg and she knows all about your insides and how they affect your skiing. Likewise, Harald with his experience sees alignment effects in one turn that sometimes no one else can see.

I have tweaked my own alignment, for example in the aftermath of ankle surgery. But my starting point is beds and boots by Diana and Harald plus weeks of discussions with them about my alignment and skiing. And it’s only an interim tweak until I can travel to Colorado ($) to ski with Harald to refine the boot setup.

It’s a no brainer — if at all possible, get your alignment dialed in by Harb Ski Systems. Compared to the prices of lift tickets, boots, and skis, this is one of the best investments you can make in your skiing.
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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby DirectParallel » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:46 am

Very insightful, I was assuming that there's a predefined 'strategy' (within HSS) to fix alignment problems (for at least people with a somewhat 'normal' body). Shows how much I was underestimating it's complexity. Pretty naive too.

I will for sure come in the shop when possible and get my alignment done.
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Re: Knee Tipping

Postby ErikCO » Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:35 pm

DirectParallel wrote:(for at least people with a somewhat 'normal' body)


This is the real issue! If you have a "normal" body, your alignment is easy. But deciding if you are normal takes an expert eye!
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