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Which foot forward


bojans
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My son will be transitioning from 2 skis to one very soon. How do we determine which foot forward he should be? Is the whole idea of pushing someone and seeing which foot they catch themselves with a good indicator?
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I have kids stand on one foot at a time and see which foot they have the best balance on. The better balance foot becomes the front foot. Of course, a wakeboard on the boom gives them the option to try both ways pretty quickly and easily.
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Not in any order, feet together and gentle push in the back, stand both feet together close to steps foot lifted to step is front foot forward, ride on doubles and lift a ski of the water the most stable foot is the one to go with,
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Seems like if he is on two skis the test described by Intheday would work best -- just have him lift one ski out of the water while on doubles and hold it for 5+ seconds, then do the same with the other. Should be clear which foot feels more stable. That will be the front foot on the single ski.
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@TallSkinnyGuy -' just have him lift one ski out of the water while on doubles and hold it for 5+ seconds, then do the same with the other. '

 

if he *does* do the same with the other ski with out putting the first ski back down on the water be sure to take video cause thats gonna get a gazillion hits on you tube!

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I believe in dominant leg in front...but not everybody does. If the dominant leg is in back, there will be a greater tendency to put more weight on that leg encouraging the skier to ride the tail.
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For all that my son (8) ski left foot forward rides scooter right foot forward I reckon we stuffed up but he ski the full course and on a good day can pull a 360 on a trick ski. Our daughter (6) is right foot forward. Be easier to share a trick ski nut now we have two trick skis
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@Intheday A couple of inserts in the trick ski for the back foot and it's a quick switch from RFF to LFF. The college kids do it regularly and quickly between rides. Remember to frequently keep the inserts antisiezed. Get them a fancy new trick ski to share.

 

@bojans Bindings are personal and critical. Hardshells don't last long enough to hand down. Rubber doesn't matter. Just remount the trick. Sharing stuff (including techniques) with your kid, priceless.

 

Eric

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IMO, the "balance" foot/leg goes in front. Recreational perspective on slalom skiing assumed that pushing with the back foot makes the big spray. Thus, there are a lot of non-competitive skiers who were originally told to put their strongest leg in back. I disagree with that strategy. Skiing is all about balanced, stacked stance over the front foot. The "balance" foot/leg goes in front.

 

To find a person's "balance" foot/leg there are a few methods:

1) skateboard non-kick foot = balance foot. When pushing/kicking along on a skateboard, the skater has to maintain balance using the foot which stays on the board during the kick/push.

2) Step Up Test - have the person stand up close to a stable bench or chair facing it. Ask the person to in one step, step up onto the bench or chair set and stand up on it. The person will step up with their "balance" foot/leg. The process of pushing oneself from the ground up to the bench/chair seat is a very unstable action thus, the person will put their balance foot on the bench and support their entire weight on that foot as they push themselves up.

3) Shove Test - have the person stand with a clear area in front of them. Walk around behind the person, place your hand on their upper back, centered perfectly and firmly shove them perfectly straight forward. This puts the person out of balance. The foot/leg they step forward with in their action to recover balance is their "balance" foot/leg.

 

In all three tests, the resulting "balance" foot/leg goes in front for slalom skiing. It is possible that a person may present a mixed bag of results (left, then right, then left). Run the tests one or two more times to see if a clear winner is confirmed.

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I was able to listen in on a conversation between KLP and Andy a couple of years ago on the dock at a Big Dawg. They both felt that left foot forward skiers who were right handed had a much more difficult time not being heel side/back leg dominate than R hand/right foot forward skiers.

 

There are of course exceptions (JB, CP, LL), but as a whole I agree. If I were to start again I would make myself a righty. On a lark I might try to go left palm up per Lucky Lowe and see if it helped.

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I'm deal serious by the way. I did all the "push test" stuff with my kids and other beginners. Now I would make them all righty and see how it went. If it just looked wrong I might have them try left after a while, but otherwise not.
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Is he going to be dropping a ski long-line? If so, have him try both ways (use two slalom skis) and one way will sortof become the winner. Whichever leg he manages to place directly behind the one in front without of stepping down into the spray will become the natural back leg. That's how I learned anyways. I could ski both ways but LFF always felt more natural.
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@Shell - That works, too! But how did you define "strongest"? The leg that you could stand on the longest while holding the other ski out of the water? If so, then I'd say that the feat was more about balance than strength. ;-)
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Ahh....@ToddL its both...balance and strength to me....my strong leg is my left , for kicking a soccer ball....but skiing has always been RFF...just feels right....like holding a hockey stick or baseball bat...you just know... ;)
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