Tuck position/silly human trick

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by Pequenita, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. Pequenita

    Pequenita Out on the slopes Skier

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    I’m curious - is the tuck position difficult for normal people to do? It pretty much stretches the bejeezus out of my upper back and shoulders when I get my upper arms in front of my knees, and I suspect I’ve an abnormally tight upper back. No, I don’t have a need for it, ever, so this is more of a stupid/silly human trick question.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    I feel it most in the legs, albeit I don't tuck as much as I used to (now it's mostly to make it back to the lift against the wind without skating). Hitting a compression in a tuck at the end of a long downhill run can be killer. I've come close to being a human pretzel a number of times.
     
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  3. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

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    It is pretty natural for me.
    Use it all the time on long flat cat walks.

    When my son was younger, the two of us would race down Great Eastern, a 4-1/2 mile long green trail at Killington. Most of the run was done in a tuck. We would ski it three times after 3:30. Good training for the legs. Never felt any stress on the back.
     
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  4. KevinF

    KevinF Gathermeister-Stowe Team Gathermeister

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    Maybe it’s from lots of hours riding a road bike in the summer, but I’ve never had any difficulty getting into a tuck position.
     
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  5. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    Getting into a tuck is no problem; tucking it all the way from top to bottom with turns, bumps, jumps and compression thrown in can be a challenge.
     


  6. Dave Marshak

    Dave Marshak All Time World Champion Skier

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    The key to a good tuck is a flat back parallel to the snow. You don’t even need to get low if you can get your back flat. I’m not flexible enough for that. If you wear a loose jacket with a hood, you are probably just as fast by standing up straight with your arms behind your back.

    dm
     
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  7. LouD-Truckee

    LouD-Truckee Getting off the lift Skier

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    Looks good to me.....
     
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  8. slowrider

    slowrider Out on the slopes Skier

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    I tuck switch......lol
     
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  9. Lorenzzo

    Lorenzzo Right On The Line Skier

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    At my age getting into a tuck is no problem but getting out of it can be a challenge.
     
  10. geepers

    geepers Getting off the lift Skier

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    There's an alternative to that tuck for getting along slow cat tracks.

    Stand normally and tuck both extended arms behind your back. Hold poles firmly with your fingers and trailling out behind angled down to the snow - this adds some rotational inertia for stability. For a little extra streamlining take a more athletic stance and even lean the upper body forward somewhat but not nearly as far as the proper tuck.

    Not as streamlined as the proper tuck but helps reduce air resistance without the effort.
     
  11. Thread Starter
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    Pequenita

    Pequenita Out on the slopes Skier

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    Yeah - I usually don't have a problem with getting from place to place because I have an adequate skate. But a few years ago, my coach thought it would be fun to get me into a proper tuck position with arms in front of knees, and it surprised me how non-compliant my upper body was. This made me curious as to whether a proper tuck is an "easy" position for a recreational skier.
     
  12. Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    A flat back, per se, isn't what is ideal. Having your shoulders and hips at the same level is. Arching the back isn't slow but having the chest raised, relative to the hips is. It forms a scoop for catching air, slowing you down. Getting the hands in front of the face is probably the most important part of tucking as it forces the wind around your head and upper body.

    @Pequenita , a tuck isn't necessarily a comfortable position, especially because of the discomfort you describe. Bringing your elbows in far enough to in front of the knees is difficult if your upper back and shoulders aren't limber.

    One feature that is not often noticed in DH poles is the grip angle. Leki (along with some others) have this built into their DH poles. It makes it a little easier to get comfortable as your wrists don't have to bend so much to grip the poles. These are both 'left' poles. The Scotts are left by virtue of the grip and strap arrangement alone. The Lekis, on the other hand have the additional bend just below the '6.5' mark on the pole.

    IMG_20190203_114343805.jpg
     
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  13. Dave Marshak

    Dave Marshak All Time World Champion Skier

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    Hands out front flattens the back. Hands on your chest Texas style rounds your back. You really need careful coaching (or even a wind tunnel) to find the optimum hand position, but it’s always out front. OTOH a loose jacket and hood probably does more damage than any small change in hand position.

    dm
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  14. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    Years ago skiing at Jay Peak, I learned about something called "the gentleman's tuck".

    Apparently tucking wasn't (and still isn't) allowed at Jay Peak, but I didn't know that, so I was skiing down a black run in a tuck making the cleanest DH turns I could (when the trail forced me to turn), when I noticed ski patrol at the side of the run ahead, waving his arms and yelling like crazy. Thinking maybe someone was wrapped around a tree and his radio was dead, of course I slammed on the brakes and came to a stop beside him to see how I could help. Nobody was injured; he was just manning the speed trap. He was of the opinion I was "skiing out of control". When I pointed out to him that I was able to stop right beside him, he conceded the point, but noted that it was really hard to tell who is in control when all they see is someone straight-lining a steep black in a tuck. Therefore skiing in a tuck was not permitted. Instead I should ski slightly crouched (the Canadian hunchback style :D), with one hand in front, close to the body and one hand tucked behind the body; that was allowed.
     
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  15. Crudmaster

    Crudmaster tinyurl.com/pungjgt Skier

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    Whew! Seems like a dopey rule to me.
     
  16. Thread Starter
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    Pequenita

    Pequenita Out on the slopes Skier

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    Well, shoot, @Doug Briggs. I had no idea that was why DH poles had the bend!
     
  17. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Seeing out of your eyebrows is the toughest part. If there's room on the run I'll just put the head completely down and look at the snow. There's less resistance. Well at least it sounds like it. I usually count a few seconds then look up again. I got the head down tip from a college racer.
     
  18. Doby Man

    Doby Man Out on the slopes Skier

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    As a new Freshman at his first HS ski academy "get together", I was told by a bunch of upperclassmen to shave my eyebrows so they would not obstruct my view at my first speed camp. They were even kind enough to help me do it. I ended up being the only one on the entire team that went for the hard core ski racer look ... that night.

    Re: Tuck Drill - The tuck drill is an excellent drill that teaches a number of great things. First, it locks the upper body into a position that provides itself as an excellent example/sample of skiing with a very quiet upper body and transferring absorption capacity from the neck, shoulders and spine to the hips, knees, and ankles. Secondly, it teaches separation between the upper and lower, ultimately the CoM and BoS, by mechanically isolating one from the other. Third, it teaches us to execute turning through forced activation of lower body movements such as femur rotation but especially the feet and ankles in the form of dorsiflexion, plantar flexion, inversion and eversion. Finally, it teaches rotary separation as it clearly defines the difference between the pole direction of the tuck from the direction of the skis allowing the skier to easily sample different rates of rotary as well as to better determine the difference between the ski motored rotary of the femurs and the skier motored rotary from pelvic twist. A good difficulty modification for an easier version is simply using a tall tuck and shallow turn before getting progressively lower and turnier with increasing comfort level. The hardest version is what I refer to as is the speed skater tuck drill where the subject keeps their hands behind their back and relying ever more on the lower regions of the body for both movement and balance.
     
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  19. sparty

    sparty Putting on skis Skier

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    Actual race helmets tend to be a little better than others in that regard. It's the one thing I hate about the brim on my Smith--have to put my neck in a dammed uncomfortable position to see where I'm going in a tuck.
     
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  20. pchewn

    pchewn Out on the slopes Skier

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    Here's what I think a tuck looks like, based on the number of people I see "tucking" ....

    beginner-tuck.JPG
     

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