Rocking Horse (tip/waist/tail)

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by LiquidFeet, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    I have two kinds of questions about the "rocking horse" movement pattern.

    The first is historical.
    --Has the "rocking horse" movement pattern (actively moving under-ski pressure from tip to waist to tail through the turn) ever been openly and publicly promoted by PSIA? By this I mean did PSIA ever write this down in official manuals and disseminate it through clinics?
    --If so, has anyone here noticed that active promotion growing less visible over the years? If yes, did that happen with the advent of shaped skis, or a change in teaching philosophy, or something else?
    --To what extent do instructors find this movement pattern promoted by PSIA now in training clinics and manuals?her

    The second is technical.
    If you've got thoughts on this movement pattern's effectiveness on groomers, powder, bumps, etc., or its appropriateness when using different types of skis, please share.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  2. Skisailor

    Skisailor Laziest Skier on the Mountain Team Gathermeister

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    Awesome questions!

    I would say that it is very popular in my ski school right now, and that it has actually been MORE actively promoted in the past 2-3 seasons than it was in the recent prior years.

    I can only assume that they are teaching this more in clinics because it is coming down from PSIA National ?? - but I don't know this for sure, and I would have to re-check my tech manual which I don't have with me (I'm travelling) to see what's in there about it.

    In our clinics there is alot of new focus on tipping and lateral movements along with an acceptance of greater knee flexion (you will hear "feel your heels"), where in prior years, there was much more focus on keeping the hips over the feet and movement into the turn.
     
  3. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    'Working the turn tip to tail' is a pretty high level endeavor. It's been part of racing for as long as I can remember. I do think it's become more part of the PSIA conversation with the interactions between USSA and PSIA and PSIA's tacit admission that skiing at a high level movement pattern that relies on a number of other things being relatively in order. If one is still skiing from the upper body, forget about it.

    That said, it takes time to trickle down, and for many, introducing changes in fore aft pressure to the ski during the arc and in transition is going to open a can of worms and confusion WAY before people are ready, and that will include a lot of L3's and training staff. This can absolutely be taught, but it can also be quickly short circuited by poor understanding and coaching.

    The great thing is all this is embedded in the application of the 5 fundamentals so there's no need to invent a new vocabulary... DIRT becomes more prominent in the discussion, and dirt is something that gets shorted in a lot of instructor discussions, again, because this is where the athletic rubber meets the road. See a static, stiff looking L2L3 prep clinic? There's very little variation in DIRT.... "no flow, and you will blow." Anyhow, that's probably another thread. It's certainly something I'm going to think a lot about how to coach more effectively.
     
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  4. Thread Starter
    TS
    LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    I didn't ski back in the straight ski era. But I've heard that one had to work the ski tip to tail to get a round turn.
    Have I got that right?

    Today on short radius skis, even beginner skis from the rental fleet, if one tips them from the center one gets a round turn. No need to work the ski tip to tail. On beginner terrain, that is. So I also heard that with shaped skis the teaching backed off shifting pressure from tip-to-tail. Have I got that right?

    I don't remember seeing any of this historical change in writing, just hearing it in conversations, so I might have misremembered.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  5. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    Amateur hour here. To me this subject is an aspect of being a bit ahead of the skis at the start of the turn and a bit behind them at the end. Pressure moves roughly from toepiece to heelpiece during the turn, yes, but I feel this as more of a consequence than a cause. If I intentionally keep ahead of the skis into the turn finish I lose the bend in the tails and they don't come back under me properly. This makes it much harder to get back ahead of them for the next turn start, etc. No good. If I intentionally stay behind the skis at the turn start ... well, that's just not ... I ... Sorry, just fell off my desk chair. Have to get back to work.
     


  6. mdf

    mdf back to being an ordinary Gatheree Skier

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    To drill on one aspect of LF's question, I've heard of the idea but never the name. Is this name currently used?
     
  7. Bad Bob

    Bad Bob old n' slow Skier

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    Do remember having the 'rocking horse' presented, but can't be sure of the name.to us at PSIA clinics in late 60's to mid 70's in RMSIA and ASIA clinics. Also remember teaching it in clinics to show how weight distribution affected the ski's performance in:straight running, traverse and side sliping.

    Suspect it is kind of like mirrored lenses, it comes and goes from usage and favor but is always functional.
     
  8. graham418

    graham418 Out on the slopes Skier

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    I haven't heard any mention of 'rocking horse' , or working the ski tip to tail, but last year I did start hearing ' feel your heel'
     
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  9. razie

    razie Sir Shiftsalot Skier

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    How is this "feel your heel" in context? Is that related to pressure downwards? Instructing someone to get back on purpose sounds too high level to bring in here...

    It is normal to use the entire ski, that's why we don't pay for half a ski - the "canonical" way to look at this for me is that the different parts of the skis have applicability in different parts of the turn. We start the turn "forward" so that the tips bite and guide the rest of the ski. We try to get "on the sweet spot" around the apex, to get the good response from the ski (for those that managed to solicit some kind of response from the ski). We naturally finish the turn sort of back on the ski because they go on the longer path, so if we're on the tips at the end of the turn, we're holding them back from coming around in the next turn (explains a lot of those "throw them sideways" situations, which some raise at the rank of technique).

    The point tho is that you need to be able to get some response from the ski first, otherwise moving back on the ski doesn't do much good, does it? The point is that I wouldn't really talk about this to someone who is not able to carve a ski on a green, first! There is a hierarchy of things and that would kind'a defeat the purpose and distract from the real goal of... skiing properly!
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
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  10. Uke

    Uke Who am I now Skier

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    Way back when.

    I ran into this in two different contexts in my first few years as a ski instructor. One was the concept that we see today, tip pressure to centered to tail pressure, this lead to rounder turns with less skidding on the 70m sidecut skis of the time. The other idea was just this taken to the extreme. Hammer the fronts of the skis using extreme cuff pressure to make the front of the ski bend to start the turn, push on the center to bend the center of the ski for the apex and ride out on the tail. This was one approach to 'carving' those long almost straight skis.

    Both were presented in upper level clinics. The subject has always been treated as something for advanced skiers and I have ran into it many times over the years.

    Personally, my take is that tip to tail pressure is an outcome not a cause. Tipping a center pressured ski with modern sidecut that is tracking along its length will cause the tip to engage the oncoming snow, we will feel this engagement as pressure. There also may be some braking action involved in the engagement so the com will shift fore a little in relation to the bos. The more I tip the ski the more it engages along its length and I feel the pressure pushing my body through the center of the arch. The feet are coming around so quickly that they tend to get a hair ahead of the body and we feel pressure on the tails.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts on the subject. Thought I should chime in as I brought this up in the other thread.

    uke

    ps. For context I started teaching in the mid 80s. Had heard of tip to tail idea before that as a recreational skier.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
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  11. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Definitely a straight ski requirement. I never saw a clinic presentation, mainly heard it during racer talk and new ski evaluations.
     
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  12. JESinstr

    JESinstr Lvl 3 1973 Skier

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    And back in the 60's, nobody worked the skis better than this guy.
    Killy.jpg
     
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  13. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    I'm feeling a lot like Rodney Dangerfield here. ogwink

     
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  14. mister moose

    mister moose Instigator Skier

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    I heard this informally decades ago, but it was called the rocking chair.

    Some of the comments above infer an actual, sizable fore aft motion, "working from tip to tail" My experience is the motion is very subtle (when chosen to apply it).

    Think about the purpose to move your center of pressure along the ski during the turn - it frequently is to hold the turn shape, and if the tip starts to wash, you likely need to increase forward pressure, likewise if the tail starts to wash you likely need to increase aft pressure. These sensations when caught early are subtle, and likewise the correction is subtle. So to me, the mantra is do what is necessary to achieve the desired result in the conditions at hand, not a rigid recipe for the turn that must be followed or else.

    I assume we're talking about decent intensity dynamic turns here.
     
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  15. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    I started out on straight skis, and skied them for a few decades, but didn't take lessons so I don't know what was officially taught. I do know that if you wanted to start and continue a clean carved turn and maximize your speed on "straight" skis, it certainly helped to pressure and bend the tips before you tipped them and keep them pressured as they engaged To keep your speed up you also wanted maximum sideways force at the apex with force directed perpendicular to the fall line which meant pressure under the mid sole at the apex with skis tangent to the fall line;the tips and front of the skis could spare the pressure for this once they were well engaged. For maximum speed, you also had to push yourself away from that apex with pressure at the tails as the turn came to an end, and by then the rest of the ski wasn't trying to turn you so it could carve without that extra pressure.

    With modern "shaped" skis the requirement is mainly for tip engagement, and is not all that much needed with SL skis; the shape is enough to have the tips dig in. It is somewhat still needed with GS (or speed) skis on harder icier surfaces. For most firm snow, the requirement for tip pressure varies with turn radius, from not really need for SL to yes needed if you want a clean pure carved turn with GS skis. Of course in the interests of speed you need pressure to the rear as much as possible, so if you are not needing to pressure the tips, you had better be weighting the tails or you will be slow.

    (BTW, I'm no racer; just an experienced speed/adrenaline junky)
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  16. 4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    In my world it’s always been around in skiing and PSIA, we just called it leverage.

    From the PSIA Technical Manual:
    The application of pressure in front of or behind the midpoint of the skis. Subtle use of leverage on different parts of the skis can aid turning.

    Granted, the concept got pushed to the back burner when shaped skis first appeared. With straight skis we thought more in terms of working the ski tip to tail, with shaped skis I think more of working through the foot... ball, arch, front of the heel. Same deal, just a more precise movement, allowed by better refined equipment & technique. The “buzz” of the last decade about “pulling the feet back” (& for that matter, sliding the feet forward) has a lot to do with leverage. Again, a more refined movement then “leaning forward”.
    Leverage is one great reason for flexing.

    0DB03A6B-AFD0-4864-8164-129D4BF67DF0.gif

    BTW. Although I don’t have it handy, I would bet that the white book from the 60’s has almost the same definition for leverage.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
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  17. 4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    It is certainly effective in all conditions but sometimes extreme when it comes to bumps or slalom
    upload_2018-8-24_21-3-55.jpeg
    868AAD5E-3CED-4C6A-84D9-EE1A0A779C87.jpeg

    0ED84C73-6F6B-4F8F-B550-CA1360A357BA.jpeg

    Works on the bike too ;)
    AA0B10F4-1100-4D19-AEA7-939536C23093.gif
     

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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  18. 4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    I guess I did have it.
    A5D98B49-FFC1-42B9-BAB3-91955F0E9D0E.jpeg


    From page 41.
    834BFC97-B883-452D-B29A-6EA9BFAF56F8.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  19. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    You beat me to it because I couldn't remember where I put my copy of the white book during the final clear out of the house in MI we finally sold.
     
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  20. 4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    & many of us were still in leather boots when the White Book was first published.
     

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