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An Unstable Bit of Toppling  

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(@adrian_hamilton)
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02/02/2020 12:22 pm  

This lecture from Tom Gellie throws up some interesting points but not necessarily helpful for me. I like the points about the feet, their place in loading and how we compensate. I also like the way he presents notion of the sweet spot and it's relationship to the feet.

The 2 issues that don't really resonate with me are: 1. The means of engaging the tip at transition and 2. His view of angulation and how to topple more quickly.

I will probably watch it again but to me Tom's move at transition is pretty much the same as pulling the feet back. At least it feels like it should be the same outcome.

As for maintaining an unstable state in order to topple more quickly, I can't see how it works, at least with my limited knowledge of physics and how it applies to balance and stability. Of course when we relax/ release the old turning ski, we become unstable and this creates the toppling but hovering in an unstable state before this isn't something I can get my head around.

It would be interesting to hear other views. I can't decide if my knowledge and understanding is just too limited, or if it's another example of someone describing what we already understand and do in a way that presents it as original.

I'm not suggesting the motivation is the same, but there's a certain individual that presents modern skiing as if he invented it and describes common moves as his own unique technique.


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(@geepers)
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06/02/2020 5:52 am  

Hi Adrian,

Good find. Watched the 1st part of TG's vid but not yet part 2 (on angulation). Will get back to you shortly.


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(@skinerd)
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07/02/2020 6:21 am  

Good stuff!


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(@geepers)
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17/02/2020 4:44 am  

I've found plenty of interesting ideas in Tom Gellie's material. It's not always unique but have found that his physiology point of view aids in understanding.

On tips at transition... TG has put out a couple of dryland drill vids previously on bump skiing using that forward movement. Found that very useful for tackling narrow (knifeblade) ridges where a dolphin move takes too long. If I understand fully what he's talking about here is a similar movement but this time the knees are heading down the fall rather than straight ahead. The APSI has a drill called "45 degrees". It's really intended for skiers who are crushing the front of their boots however it's the same movement for getting skis onto the new edges.   

On instability... I didn't take this to mean that we hover in an unstable state. But that once we've made the decision to finish one turn (where we are stable, more or less) and enter a new one there's a need to be unstable. Also heard it termed "the leap of faith". And, everything else being equal, a bigger the instability applies more force resulting in a faster transition.

Where I've been most aware of the two concepts is advanced parallel turns on steeper pitches. Quicker transitions and quicker development of angles turn to turn mean less time in the fall line and more control of speed. I'm finding that this year I can control speed on some pitches where it was ever-increasing last year. (It probably also helps that the skis are 67mm under foot vs 84.)


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(@adrian_hamilton)
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17/02/2020 11:35 am  

I will have to watch it again, but that wasn't how I understood Tom's 'unstable' concept. I thought he contrasted it with how most people ski. I certainly didn't get the impression he was merely describing the leap of faith but I may well be wrong. He seemed to be suggesting teetering on the brink in order to make a faster transition.

I have to say I find many of his ideas don't resonate with me: just not ideal for a predominant kinaesthetic learner. Analysis, paralysis and all that.


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(@geepers)
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23/02/2020 12:17 am  

I've found TG's stuff has added quite a bit to my understanding of how certain parts of the body work best for skiing.

An example is the ankle subtalar joint. P2P has a part on foot eversion/inversion however I've not noticed it discussed much in various lessons/courses on-snow. And yet many skiers (including L2s) give away a heap of edge at the ankles. TG is not the only one discussing the ankle but his info let me understand how to better use it to control the skis.


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(@geepers)
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23/02/2020 3:22 pm  

Tom's type 2 lever (wheelbarrow).


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