Do you tip your ankle(s) inside your boots?

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Small movements closer to the snow get more done with less energy expenditure keeping your feet under you... you get to adjust your roots instead of just tossing yourself around in a breeze, but I think you know this.
I know what I know. But I'm seeking discussion based on what others know, and hoping they express their knowledge differently than I would. I'm looking for communicative enrichment around this topic.

If five people reading this thread were to find words to describe how their skiing benefits from tipping those ankles, and if those people were speaking from personal experience, and if they were using the words that they use in their own internal dialogue, wouldn't that be good reading? They would all be speaking with different words, but their tellings would be related to each other. We'd get a comprehensive image of the benefits.

That internal dialogue might need to be generated specifically for this thread if they usually don't think about their skiing, so it might be "work" to come up with a verbal description of the benefits. Or it might flow easily because they do normally pay attention to ankle-tipping and its benefits.

That's the kind of stuff that I'm hoping people will offer up.
 
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Dakine

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I used bad language to describe what I am feeling.
Throwing into the turn isn't close.
More like relaxing into the new apex in anticipation of the developing forces from edge engagement.
The main point is it is an anticipatory unbalance move.
If the edges don't engage I would fall over.
This is why it is hard to get folks making hard carved turns, IMO.
Deliberately going off balance is a learned move, you have to get past the "moment of doubt" and into the "arc of triumph."
(sorry about that...)
 

razie

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Wow - lots of great stuff I missed underlined below - turns out I don't really have to post, just quote great things said by others ;)

The key thing is what I'm not doing: I'm not moving my shin or knee or hip or shoulders laterally.
:thumb:

Good skiing starts from the feet. Ask any technically strong, accurate skier, and they'll confirm this. I can't think of any exceptions.
nice.

Takao is a phenomenal athlete. He can compensate and do things on skis that most of us mere mortals just can't.
[...]
Takao's pelvis in anything other than short radius turns does much more following.
[...]
But as good as he is, I think the Japanese tech ski culture is based on almost a martial arts forms/kata more than race based snow ski outcomes.
I struggled with Takao some and had reached the same conclusion. I've been to Japan and worked with Japanese for a long time and that makes complete sense.

When all is firing, the entire chain works in sync from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head. The focus on starting with attention to footwork (tipping, placement, DIRT) is because many good skiers could be MUCH BETTER skiers if they understood and could feel, and better utilize their feet under them.
:thumb:

Small movements closer to the snow get more done with less energy expenditure keeping your feet under you... you get to adjust your roots instead of just tossing yourself around in a breeze, but I think you know this.
Gold medal post of the thread so far...

:micdrop:
 

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I used bad language to describe what I am feeling.
Throwing into the turn isn't close.
More like relaxing into the new apex in anticipation of the developing forces from edge engagement.
The main point is it is an anticipatory unbalance move.
If the edges don't engage I would fall over.
This is why it is hard to get folks making hard carved turns, IMO.
Deliberately going off balance is a learned move, you have to get past the "moment of doubt" and into the "arc of triumph."
(sorry about that...)
I like to think of it as that moment of 'lightness'. :)
 

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Also saw one instructor improve another instructor's skiing with a hip move tactic in an exam practice I attended as a mock student - the interesting thing was a comment by the guy overseeing the training who is a Grand Jedi Master of the CSIA "Not yet sure I buy into the hip thing but we have to admit it is getting results and there's no sign of it leading to upper body rotation."
FWIW, I did a pelvis leveling bit for my long L3 teaching segment. Why? I was in fear of one of the examiners and figured I'd failed before starting, so I felt completely free 'not to care' and go into the weeds. At the time, I'd never even been to a clinic that talked about it. I think their reaction was probably similar to the story you shared. :)
 

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What move was that, and when?
Turn type was intermediate parallel - a skidded turn at low-ish speed. The instructor being observed was allowing their shoulders to move back at transition. A small, subtle move but once pointed out unmissable. The tactic was a small rotation of the old inside hip towards the new turn at the transition, not continued into the turn.

Having watched the Tom Gellie webinar on javelin turns I'd probably see that situation and fix in a different light today. @Mike King will know what I mean.
 

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Skiing is a dynamic sport. Are the ankles involved? Absolutely. But when? And if you say initiate tipping with the feet, when precisely is that? And do you mean untipping or only tipping itself?

Tom Gellie, who is a serious proponent of the importance of the feet and the use of the subtalar joint, is a big advocate of toppling to change edges. His mechanics of toppling is that the upper body is taking a different path than the feet -- that is, the body is released from its arc while the feet continue on theirs. The result is that the body falls (literally) into the next turn. So, what is the role of tipping in the release? It would appear to be not important at all...

It seems to me this is consistent with what Takao is coaching in that video.

Mike
Tom's toppling (instabilty leading falling and then - hopefully - catching!) is something I'm looking forward to trying this season. I am much too stable and balanced "over" that outside ski.

There's a small part in the Projected Productions vid "The Big discussion" where Lorenz, McGlashan, JB and JFB discuss what they work on early season. Their point is that since everything feels stange 1st few days back it's a good time to work new things into the skiing. Tom Gellie makes a similar point - he reckons he needs to learn to fall again each season.
 

razie

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From a biomechanical basis, edging movements that feel like they come from the ankle actually come from the movement of the femur in the hip socket.
[...]
Most movements in skiing would be considered closed chain movements. Basically closed chain refers to the foot being in contact with a surface and weighted.
This is the big divide. If we skied in a closed chain mode, I would have to agree with you. And most skiers do, I will submit that...

But, while there are certainly differences between long GS at 100kmh and short SL turns at half that, I try to spend a big part of the turn floating or with a very light touch, setting me up for that 30% or thereabouts of max pressure. I do try to maintain ski-snow contact, but only as far as to feel the snow and enable some proprioception, but I do not ski in closed chain mode for the biggest part of the turn!!! I simply don't need the support from the snow - on the contrary, when weighted, movement is limited, so I see weightlessness precisely to allow movement that is otherwise limited!

Not only that, but since I try to direct all/most force to the outside ski, my inside half is generally unweighted throughout the turn, free to move about, in open chain mode!

The reality(science), is that the movement comes from the femur moving in the hip socket. You can believe it or not but that is the truth of it. Let’s explore the opposing opinion and talk about why the distinction is important.
I am very seriously open-minded, it's the only way to learn a lot... and I have to ask the question: what is the evidence? You said it was scientifically proven that the foot movement comes from the femur? So what is this evidence that foot movement comes from the femur rotation??

I look at Takao for instance and how his hip follows the feet around, with none to minimal femur rotation, while it is clear he's skiing with the feet, I can't help but think I'm totally missing something, when you state that there is scientifical evidence about the contrary...

And to be clear, I am not opposed to femur rotating, I use it a lot, even around its own axis. But I gotta ask, because you're saying it comes from the femur moving in the hip socket, while I see it as being allowed by femur moving in the hip socket. When I tip my feet, I definitely focus on and the big effort and movement is on inversion/eversion, with sufficient relaxation to allow femurs and knees ROM and any other joints enough ROM as needed, especially as the skis start to turn and I counter and/or flex/extend.

Foot tipping - and let's take the inside foot specifically, it's a bigger range of motion - is a complex movement, starting in the feet, called inversion.

Here's some articles on this movement:


Or the human anatomy coursework at Dartmouth:


"The chief movements of the foot distal to the ankle joint are inversion and eversion. In inversion, the sole of the foot is directed medially. In eversion, the sole is turned so that it faces laterally (see fig. 17-6). Inversion and eversion occur mainly at the subtalar and transverse tarsal joints. "

The word femur does not even appear in any of these articles.

Even this is based on pushing and they have no centripetal to hold them up and femur rotation is secondary:


p.s. full disclosure, when you add boots and skis to the equation, an amount of external femur rotation is required, to allow the tibia to point into the turn. Deep flexing of the inside foot, for those of us skiing at higher angles, complicates the equation further...

p.s. @LiquidFeet note that inversion/eversion, i.e. foot tipping, are movements of teh foot "distal to the ankle joint" i.e. "away from the ankle joint". :) just sayin' that we don't tip the ankle, but the foot ;)
 
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...p.s. @LiquidFeet note that inversion/eversion, i.e. foot tipping, are movements of teh foot "distal to the ankle joint" i.e. "away from the ankle joint". :) just sayin' that we don't tip the ankle, but the foot ;)
People keep pointing this out. I know, you're right. But I like the phrase "ankle-tipping" even though the ankle doesn't move, and I've used it for a long time in my own internal dialogue when I mean foot-tipping. I wonder why I like it so much despite knowing it's an incorrect phrase? Maybe it's related to how often I've sprained my ankles. My focus when I tip my new inside foot is always on that vulnerable ankle above it for some reason. Maybe this discussion will help me replace ankle-tipping with foot-tipping. I'm already feeling a little less resistant.
 

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I try to spend a big part of the turn floating or with a very light touch, setting me up for that 30% or thereabouts of max pressure. I do try to maintain ski-snow contact, but only as far as to feel the snow and enable some proprioception, but I do not ski in closed chain mode for the biggest part of the turn!!! I simply don't need the support from the snow - on the contrary, when weighted, movement is limited, so I see weightlessness precisely to allow movement that is otherwise limited!

Not only that, but since I try to direct all/most force to the outside ski, my inside half is generally unweighted throughout the turn, free to move about, in open chain mode!
Which gets us into the question of where one turn ends and another starts.

Ok, I'm unsure of when you use this move and it seems to that if the 1st move to get out of a turn is to tip the old inside foot to get the old inside ski on edge how does that quite work even for a lightly loaded ski? The old outside leg is still loaded and very much in the way.

Must be missing something.... :huh:

Here's a slo mo vid of Wendy Holdener free turning in China last year. Slowed down even further. Where in the turn does this move happen? Hopefully it's not just something applicable to SL gates.




while I see it as being allowed by femur moving in the hip socket.
I understood this was precisely the point made by Ken Paynter in that vid I posted in another thread. Don't want to re-ignite that - just saying we seem to be on the same page about this...:thumb:
 
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@LiquidFeet note that inversion/eversion, i.e. foot tipping, are movements of teh foot "distal to the ankle joint" i.e. "away from the ankle joint". :) just sayin' that we don't tip the ankle, but the foot ;)
Upthread I gave in to Razie's insistence that we don't tip the ankle. I've changed my mind about that. It's just fine to say "ankle-tipping," and I'll continue to use that phrase.

Here's why.

This is an image indicating where the "ankle joint" is. Is there such a thing as an "ankle joint"? Sure. It's an umbrella term. The ankle joint consists of three joints, the talocrural joint (also called talotibial joint, tibiotalar joint, talar mortise, talar joint), the subtalar joint (also called talocalcaneal), and the Inferior tibiofibular joint.

When we say ankle joint we mean any or all of these joints.
ankle joint.jpeg
Below is an image indicating where the subtalar joint is. It's part of the ankle joint. Ankle-tipping as a phrase includes action (specifically, eversion and inversion) at the subtalar joint.
subtalar joint.jpeg
When one ankle-tips, or more specifically when one everts or inverts the foot, an ankle bone (malleolus) rolls down toward the snow. "Rolling the ankles" is a good phrase for this movement in the foot. Why do the ankles roll when we invert and evert our feet? Why does an ankle bone get closer to the snow? Because the tibia and femur rotate along with the tipping foot, and the knee flexes. This ankle-rolling is a by-product of eversion/inversion.

The image below shows the inside foot as it ankle-tips and labels it rolling.
rolling the ankles.png

Rolling the ankles, ankle-tipping, foot-tipping, everting and inverting, all are functional phrases to use for the same movement. When talking to a client, I like to use ankle-tipping and ankle-bending, since they indicate movement inside the boot, in two different planes, and don't include any technical sounding words.
 
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razie

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@LiquidFeet that's fair enough. Ankle rolling would be a result of inversion/eversion. I feel that "ankle tipping" directs attention away from the actual moving part ("distal" like they put it), the mid-to-fore foot, where also some proprioception comes from, that's why I prefer to be more precise about it ;)

When I ask someone to "ankle tip" they seem to focus on trying to move the heel, but it does result in some inversion/eversion, weaker than otherwise, but reasonable.

About the Holdener video, here's my notes:

.32 no more turning,
.40 off pressure, she is relaxing, releasing and un-tipping it. diminishing left-over pressure due only to cuff, passive
.44 ski is off snow even
.60 some spray, no bend
.70 ski bends, max pressure starts
.85 back to start, max pressure ends, no more turning

total cycle .53
max pressure .15
total some pressure / snow spray .33
no pressure .20
total light to no pressure .30

that weightless "gravity drop" at the top of the turn .05 - .17 is awesome and the key to performance skiing. She spent even less time, weighted, on that turn, it seems.

I'm not sure what move you're referring to... in my view, the new turn starts as the old turn ends, with flexing the old outside leg and un-tipping the old outside foot, starting around .40 above and continuing all the way towards the new apex, with all kinds of other accompanying movements to complement that. I would say it starts even at .35 as the hips start to rise, but the physics there may take a lot more arguing. Also, soft snow requires more duration to get the same impulse and also sprays more at low pressure. Also, that's a pretty sloppy turn, she was likely just warming up.
 
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razie

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oh - missed the editing window. here's a good view of that "gravity drop", pinched as it is - it really is the best feeling of skiing ;)


- JFB sometimes really nails a term... I just can't get this one out of my head... and in fact, we can deduce a lot of high-level technique just by logically thinking through the physics and biomechanics of what it takes to allow this...
 
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razie

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Here's the view from the front, of the "gravity drop" :


I have to say that her knee drive is so big it bothers me - right on the power, she puts the knee in a fairly week position:

1593729453381.png


while I'm a little more stacked:

1593729499481.png


It may be a function of her body alignment, to some extent for sure. It may also be a function of her just warming up and rotating/leaning into the turn too - but that answer would require me to analyze more videos :( It's especially weird since I'm on the more reactive ski :geek: and I'm spraying snow a lot later into the apex than she does...

My jamming of the outside ski there is to a large extent a function of alignment and visible in many turns - I maxed out certain parts of these boots and I'm too cheap to "splurge" on better boots...

In fact, all kinds of alignment artifacts are visible comparing these two stills...
 
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mister moose

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@mister moose, try this out for kicks and giggles. Put on your boots and buckle them up. Now try to rotate the lower leg to the left. What happens to the boots? Try rotating the lower leg to the right. Same question.

If you are steering the foot at the same time you are cheating.
Took a little while to get to my boots and perform this little experiment.

First answer - it's complicated. And you lost me on rotating vs steering.

On hard flooring: The lower leg shaft can twist slightly while the boot stays still. I can see my kneecap rotate through a slight horizontal arc. I can rotate my tibia a slight amount inside the cuff without the shell turning or inclining.

On carpet: When I try to rotate left, my lower leg tilts left slightly. The softness of the carpet allows the boot to tilt side to side slightly, so the size of the angle the kneecap sweeps through is now slightly larger. This larger sweep happens while the boot sole still does not rotate. The tilt of the boot matches the tilt of the lower leg.

I can feel inside the boot the ability to add pressure from the ankle to try to tilt the boot, ie edge the ski. However, the boot only moves an infinitesimal amount, fractions of a degree, as the boot is so married to my shin. This is a weak motion, and it has a very very small range of motion, plus I have no leverage available doing it. There is a large resistance to this motion as my calf muscle and surrounding flesh shifts on the leg to accommodate the slight motion, and that takes significant effort. That motion is mostly isometric in nature. That effort is within the boot, it isn't being delivered to the snow, so from a skiing point of view it is extremely inefficient. Whereas the control I have over lateral shin angle using the entire leg is huge and powerful. I have big leverage from the knee joint down, rather than from the ankle joint up. Because the ankle movement is infinitesimal, inefficient and weak, I don't see the point. Futhermore, once I tilt my lower leg and apply large forces, the inside of the cuff is already compressed heavily. The weak ankle cannot contribute anything further once the lower leg creates large forces and large displacement. I view it as I said earlier, I don't think I have (practical) lateral ankle movement within the boot.

Whether the turn is cross under or cross over, my legs are in motion. From one edge through flat to the other edge, there is no pause. There is no need to initiate anything at edge change because I am already moving, and part of that motion is a varying lower leg angle laterally. My ankle isn't rolling laterally.
 

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Here's the view from the front, of the "gravity drop" :


I have to say that her knee drive is so big it bothers me - right on the power, she puts the knee in a fairly week position:

View attachment 105560

while I'm a little more stacked:

View attachment 105562

It may be a function of her body alignment, to some extent for sure. It may also be a function of her just warming up and rotating/leaning into the turn too - but that answer would require me to analyze more videos :( It's especially weird since I'm on the more reactive ski :geek: and I'm spraying snow a lot later into the apex than she does...

My jamming of the outside ski there is to a large extent a function of alignment and visible in many turns - I maxed out certain parts of these boots and I'm too cheap to "splurge" on better boots...

In fact, all kinds of alignment artifacts are visible comparing these two stills...
But respectfully,, she'd likely completely kick your butt in the gates. (Duck the strawberry emoji here). :)
 

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Yes without reading this tread at all. I tip my ankles of course. It all starts there, Boots follow. But that where it starts. A person should always ski on the edge of being in the back seat with out being in the backseat. Imho this is where you’d be most effective, there are times being in the backseat is appropriate, it’s skiing it’s fluid try not to over think it.
 

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