A pretty interesting perspective on foot function by Tom Gellie.
I've become increasingly interested in the foot and it's role. I think the idea of it becoming active rather than passive in the boot is really important. Maintaining strength on the 3 arches makes a big difference to the ability to tip effectively and engage with the ski.
Agreed, the foot is your body’s closest connection to the tool you need to manipulate and I would argue the most active part of your body when it comes to balancing on and maneuvering the skis.
It’s certainly the part of the body that gives me the most feedback as far as internal cues.
As I age, I seem to struggle more and more with skiing symmetry as the structure of my feet have become less symmetrical (likely due to muscle imbalances or whatever)... It just reinforces to me how important healthy foot function is in skiing.
I like this video to explain how the subtalor joint moves:
Good vids on the ankle - although hard to keep in mind when laying tracks on the fresh cord in the early morning. ?
Be interested on your take on how foot function translates into skiing.
For example there's a school of thought that says turns should start with tipping the ski from the foot. I have found that while the control/safety that goes with such movement is good it can lead to issues. Namely the upper body being left behind, angulating over the the outside ski, creating a blockage and preventing the body moving further inside the new turn.
This past Oz season we had many rock hard icy mornings due to rain and melt/freeze cycles. Basically unmarkable ice - no tracks even after just skiing over it. As I'm getting crash averse these days, especially on hard snow, I began tipping from the feet (more accurately from the subtalar joint). Nice feeling of safety but the initial tipping was as far inclined as I got. Not too concerned about the low performance given the conditions as also noticed none of the other early risers were getting angles.... ?
It seems that the foot tipping needs to be combined with the upper body already in motion to the inside so a blockage doesn't eventuate.
I see this in WC skiers. Angulation from last turn preserved so torso crosses the skis 1st and lower leg tipping visible after the red gate, especially the new inside ski.
What's the view of others on this?
@geepers I don’t subscribe to the idea that there is one move that we do with the foot to initiate the turn. Or if there is one that works for every situation, I certainly haven’t found it.
The inside leg usually needs to flex to create inclination, the femur usually rotates to create a steering angle and the foot either rotates outwards while everting or rotates inwards while inverting depending on whether the situation calls for more grip or more twist. These moves are often combined with either dorsiflexion or plantar-flexion of the ankle depending on how pressure needs to be adjusted (fore/aft and vertical), but these moves are independent from one another. I guess that’s my complicated way of saying... it depends:)
@skinerd - do you mention use of dorsiflexion and plantar-flexion in P2P V3? Can't recall it getting a mention but I just may not have taken on board. (Probably reason enough to watch it again...)
Re-watched P2P V3 so can answer my own question.
But 1st up, reminded of how comprehensively V3 covers carving. It's all there. Sometimes we need other voices to emphasize a point so we pick it up.
The biggest learning this Oz past season was: inclination 1st, angulate 2nd. It's well covered in V3 - it just didn't grab my attention previously. As they say: When the student is ready the teacher/lesson will show up.
Back to the question. V3 doesn't mention dorsi/planti-flexion. Where this came from was a Tom Gellie vid on early pressure in carved turns. The movement pattern uses an active plantiflexion of the outside foot at the appropriate point in the turn. (There's some other things that go with it - it's not carving 101.) I experimented a little with it but really had my plate full consolidating/refining toppling so left it for the time being.
Have you ever heard or used it?
@geepers The timing of the plantar flexion isn’t necessarily the same for all situations but here’s a pretty common use case in some short turns (which would transfer to carving as a well).
EDIT: I was hoping these GIF’s would display moving in the post like yours... you have to click to enlarge them to actually see the move I’m talking about.
My internal cue in both these images is moving pressure towards the ball of the foot (but less pressure on the front boot cuff) as the skis move through the transition and the outside tip engages at the top of the arc.
Aha, think I got it this time... They’re alive!
I see how you are using it in short turns. I'm a little wary of that approach myself as my left TA muscle on the odd occasion doesn't fire resulting in a loss of ankle tension and backseat. Been using more of project the body to arrive in the right place to engage the tips or pull-back. (Although discovered last year doing dolphin turns on the flats sure wakes up the ankles and TAs and is great for short turns even if the flat dolphins hardly get off the snow!)
In TG's case the plantiflexion is done in high performance carved turns. Same reason - engagement of the tips - and the key is timing it with a lateral extension at just the right point in the arc. Too early and likely to result in more up than lateral. Too late and it's likely to result in too much inside.
Probably belongs in the many ways to ski category. May be of interest to @kuba in his quest for hip on snow.
@geepers Yeah, I figured was a easier to see in a short turn (and a clip that I happened to have handy), but it often happens in a similar way in a carved turn. Although, there’s typically more inclination so it’s more like a sideways extension and it might take a little longer.
@SkiNerd @geepers Forgive my cranial density, but I am not quite sure I see "the moves" in the WC or @SkiNerd's short turns demo. What are you looking for specifically? Is it a dorsiflexion/plantarflexion move and/or a tipping of the foot onto the new edge? Is it even possible to notice tipping the foot (say other effects on the body that would indicate such a move)?