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Steering inside leg, Counter steering inside foot

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Steering inside leg, Counter steering inside foot

Postby teletante » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:06 pm

I've lately been playing around with an Idea from an Italian (alpine) coach. What he is suggesting is to steer the inside thigh into the new turn, while simultaneously counter steering the inside foot. On alpine skis it gives a powerful and precise inside edge to the inside ski. I thought with teles greater weight on the inside ski it would be worth a try. What a difference. Like a lot of tele people when the going gets tough my trailing ski tends to not come all the way around leaving me in a slight wedge at the end of turns. I was afraid that the counter steer (IE the left thigh is turned left, while the left foot is turned right in a left turn) would exacerbate that tendency. What I neglected to consider is that with the lower leg on the trailing ski more horizontal foot steering moves become edging moves. As I steer my thigh to the inside of the turn while also steering my foot to the inside it feels like eventually the inside edge of the inside tail starts to hang up stopping the steering movement in a slight wedge. By counter steering my foot I find I'm able to get cleanly onto the whole inside edge, and stay on it all the way through the turn. I'm finding I get a lot more guidance through the whole turn out of my inside foot. Give it a try and let me know what you find.
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Re: Steering inside leg, Counter steering inside foot

Postby Williamtele » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:50 pm

Wow. It worked sitting at my desk. Can't wait to try it. May I copy this to the Facebook page?
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Re: Steering inside leg, Counter steering inside foot

Postby teletante » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:03 am

Sure, just be sure to add your thoughts after you try it.
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Re: Steering inside leg, Counter steering inside foot

Postby Biff » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:57 am

Very interesting!! I always taught students when introducing inside ski steering to steer both the foot and knee. In fact I would have them place an imaginary flashlight on the foot steering the light into the turn. But what you say makes tons of sense. I think for beginners I would still keep the foot steering as that is easier to understand and do than the knee but for more advanced skiers concentrate more on the knee. I agree with Bill… something I definitely want to look at next time I'm skiing.
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Re: Steering inside leg, Counter steering inside foot

Postby Williamtele » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:26 am

teletante wrote:Sure, just be sure to add your thoughts after you try it.


Will do. I also shared it to the Telemark Skiing Facebook page which gets a ton of traffic. You''ll get plenty of feedback there.
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Re: Steering inside leg, Counter steering inside foot

Postby teletante » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:44 pm

Not being on Facebook, and not working at a desk, I'm curious if any one has tried this. I've been continuing to play around with it and have had a few further thoughts. This is definitely an advanced move. When I try it with tall stances/low speed it mostly just screws with my steering. It's kind of like how your body knows the crossover point from walking to running, the more I use it the more my body figures out when to switch from steering to counter steering my foot. I spent some time on my alpines working it out, and at first I found I was getting bad thigh burn because of all the cross purposes my leg was working at. Eventually I found that rather than thinking about twisting my foot if I push the my first metatarsal joint into the side of my boot I got a fairly satisfactory way for my head to reproduce the counter steer without all the muscle strain. Transferring to tele I've found I can use the same metatarsal idea. Fortunately the bent knee stops the torque from the foot from burning my quads. I do feel a bit like I can drag my knee in the snow by steering my inside thigh so far into the turn. Lots of fun, play on.
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Re: Steering inside leg, Counter steering inside foot

Postby Williamtele » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:34 am

teletante wrote:Not being on Facebook, and not working at a desk, I'm curious if any one has tried this. I've been continuing to play around with it and have had a few further thoughts. This is definitely an advanced move. When I try it with tall stances/low speed it mostly just screws with my steering. It's kind of like how your body knows the crossover point from walking to running, the more I use it the more my body figures out when to switch from steering to counter steering my foot. I spent some time on my alpines working it out, and at first I found I was getting bad thigh burn because of all the cross purposes my leg was working at. Eventually I found that rather than thinking about twisting my foot if I push the my first metatarsal joint into the side of my boot I got a fairly satisfactory way for my head to reproduce the counter steer without all the muscle strain. Transferring to tele I've found I can use the same metatarsal idea. Fortunately the bent knee stops the torque from the foot from burning my quads. I do feel a bit like I can drag my knee in the snow by steering my inside thigh so far into the turn. Lots of fun, play on.


I was at Killington this week for a clinic and brought this concept up to the group. These were Level 3 hopefuls, but even they had a hard time conceptualizing the task. The idea of turning the leg one way and the foot the other way is not easy to grasp. Even though I don't think I'm actually doing it, just trying to do it creates some awesome muscle tension that I believe is very beneficial to enhancing pressure and balance on the trailing ski. I'm not expert in physiology, but when I try to turn my foot to the inside, the arch gets higher and all the muscles on the outside of the foot tense up. The ankle moves laterally away from the foot which is exactly what I want it to do on snow. So my foot may not be turning, but my trailing ski is getting higher up on edge. I think telemarkers at almost any level could benefit from it and I'm going to explore it with my group at Mt Abram tomorrow to see if it works. Come and join me if you're there and if you dare.
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