Extension kills tipping Subscribe Pub Share

In the bucket of most misunderstood concepts of high-performance skiing, extension and pushing are right up there... let's clear some aspects surrounding these two.

An aggressive extension is a shortcut to getting less, but immediate, reaction from the ski... flexing requires patience to get more performance from the ski! HeluvaSkier

Some extension of the new outside leg is necessary following a flexed transition, to maintain snow contact while creating edge angles, part of Long leg and short leg:

Extending the new outside leg
Extending the new outside leg

However, this extension better be passive, i.e. not pushing into the skis. Pressure should come as late as possible, because whenever pressure comes, it will stop tipping and angle creation:

Original photo courtesy of paullorenzclinics.com

While rolling the ski on edge, you are trying to hinge the middle of the ski over the inner edge, but when you put weight or push into the skis, the resultant force vector is applied in the middle of the ski and will in fact try to flatten it, opposing the tipping or edging you were trying to do. So by passive extension we mean that the extension is timed with the movement of the hips and the flow of the turn, to just maintain snow contact and allow a gradual engagement of the ski, rather than an active or aggressive pressure application!

So, at the top of the turn, we are tipping the skis on edge like crazy from the feet and ankles while passively extending the legs.

Also, consider that it is hard to tip a weighted ski and you can see that unweighting the skis not only puts the ankle in open-chain mode but also removes any obstacles to tipping, so pushing into the ski, is the last thing you should be doing when trying to increase the edge angles.

Look how light and low Ted is in this average GS transition (average for him):

Light and low during transition, skier: Ted L
Light and low during transition, skier: Ted L

...and how much he extends gingerly at the top of the new turn, with no sign of pushing into that outside ski (clue: no snow spray):

Extending gently at the top of the turn, skier: Ted L
Extending gently at the top of the turn, skier: Ted L

Sessions to work on these skills:

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By: Razie | 2015-09-01 .. 2022-01-02 | Tags: post , flexing , high-c , tipping , technique

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