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Your "Aha!" moment


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@Matro. I hope some others with better explanatory skills chime in on dorsiflexion. As I think of it, dorsiflexion is an active movement of the foot. If I was hanging with feet and skis suspended in the air this would bring my ski tips up. I prefer to think of the goal as moving my hips, belky button, center of mass, bidy, however you define it, over the center of the foot from where it may have fallen behind as a result of acceleration and body not keeping up. The dorsiflexion movement is somewhat limited to my lower extremity and I am often seeking to readjust my whole body. Personally, thinking of getting the front half of my lower leg to maintain contact with tongue of boot by moving the entirety of my body forward works better. For some thinking of sliding feet back under the body from out front works better. I do think the goal is the same, a balanced and centered stance, and how we activate muscles similar but we each may use different muscle and thought triggers to get there.


Angel Diva
Thanks so much snoWY monkey!! Do you try and keep this sensation of lower leg to tongue of boot the whole time you are skiing? Just during part of the turn? Weight in heels as well as forefeet? I just love thinking about skiing!!


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@Matro. I too love to think about the techy part of skiing.

In answer to your question I would say that it depends
I try not to live with my body weight resting on the tongue. I spent a lot of time there and for a few years it did help me trust the process of driving the skis and my body down the hill. It helps with speed control in many cases.

The skis work best skied from the center bit we often end up a tad behind. To get the most out of the ski i now allow myself to drive dofferent parts of it at different stages of the turn by constantly readjusting the pressure and flexion. I am also more comfortable with speed and carving amd that took me years as I am a slow learner

As for the foot, i personally think of neutral as right behind the ball of the foot. Ideally, toes, ball and heel are all engaged in feeling amd pressuring down. Of course skiing is not static so it will change as our balance is continuously challenged. I like to start by relaxing the whole foot. If I am lucky and terrain is smooth it stays that way. A comfortably and evenly snug boot helps a lot.


Angel Diva
Those are amazing reminders! I went to ski camp last winter at Snowbird and the concept of an evenly snug boot was a very big deal. I also learned that I had been sloshing around too much, so learned how to snug up with my current boots. I think that I will take a trip to a boot fitter and get some additional tips of the right amount of "snug". Thanks!!!


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
What a skier does with dorsiflexion is all about getting the best possible performance from the skis. What's needed in order to get that best performance varies. How you need to dorsiflex, and when in the turns you need to do it, depends on a lot of factors, including the following:

-where your bindings are mounted on your skis
-where your body carries most of its weight (hips, chest)
-the type of turns you are intent upon making, long high speed turns, or super short ones, or something else altogether
-the kind of snow your are on/in: freshly groomed or skied off icy groomed or last night's storm snow now freshly groomed
-whether the the snow is soft and slightly deep, soft and really deep, or sticky and gloppy
-how wide the skis are
-in bumps whether the turns are round turns meandering down or zipper line straight down the bump field at high speed

For my own skiing, I determine how much to dorsiflex by paying attention to how well the shovel and tail grips the snow, and whether the resulting turn takes me where I want to go. If I'm getting the results I want, then my dorsiflexion must be working. Paying attention to this is a work in progress.

I may be hanging out on the front of the cuffs and applying serious leverage to the shovels at the start of every turn, and those turns may be coming so fast that I never get off the cuffs. Or, I may be rocking from shovel to tail with each turn, and as a result the tips and tails are giving me the grip I need to stay on the line I'm choosing. My skis may be maintaining grip on hard icy snow through the entire turn sending me into surprised pleasure where I thought I'd be skidding out.

So I pay attention to the grip tip and tail to see whether my dorsiflexion is working or not.

Skiers disagree on where "neutral" is. Some focus on ball of foot, others on the arch, others on the back of the arch/front of the heel, just below the seat of the tibia where body weight is carried. I belong to this last camp. With advanced/expert skiers, I haven't seen any huge difference in performance from one of these camps to the other. There are mysteries in skiing and this is one of them.

Being able to hold onto dorsiflexion for an entire run is good. Being able to hold onto dorsiflexion while moving upper body weight fore and aft is good too. Being able to lighten up on the tongue at will, then go back onto it at will, while thinking of all the other stuff needed is excellent. Recognizing that one set of skis needs more dorsiflexion than another to get the same good effects is another thing that's good to be able to do. All this comes with time, mileage, and paying attention. Losing focus is inevitable as one works on gaining the versatility I'm describing. It's a work in progress for many skiers. Those who have risen to supernatural skill levels do it all intuitively (not me).

Getting good at working with dorsiflexion is for most of us a moving target. And getting reliable results from dorsiflexion depends on boot fit. If boot fit is sloppy, controlling for desired results will be out of reach.
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Angel Diva
Thanks so much for nerding out with me over dorsiflexion!! And that pleasure feeling is so great--although I usually have no idea what just happened when it does
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Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My biggest one was figuring out that I could bend my ankles :laughter:

Second one was re. Skiing powder. From standing, I was turning too soon then getting bogged down in the snow. My boyfriend told me to just go straight until I feel my skis start to plane up in the snow (float) before making my first turn. Helped a lot!


Angel Diva
Second one was re. Skiing powder. From standing, I was turning too soon then getting bogged down in the snow. My boyfriend told me to just go straight until I feel my skis start to plane up in the snow (float) before making my first turn. Helped a lot!
I definitely do the thing where I try to turn too quickly and get bogged down. I'll have to remember to try and see if my skis come up before I turn.

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