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Better Ski Technique Practice A Long Controlled Turn Part

Have you read the Edging Exercise article? If not, have a look at it before you read this.Tootle off on a left traverse on a blue run, as though you are going to do a right turn first. Start off with your right hand half way down to touching your boot. Without moving your body from this position, lift your right arm up roughly horizontally and plant the pole in the snow. This is actually little more than a momentary stab in the snow approximately as far in front of your boot as your outstretched arm will allow and only a few inches away from your downhill ski. As you put the pole in start to rise up.

Rise up fast enough to unweight the back of the skis with a parallel turn so that you can start to bring them round. There is no need for the backs of the skis to come right off the ground; in fact it is important to apply as little unweighting as possible in your upward movement to maintain control. The faster you go the easier it will be to unweight the backs of the skis.You will speed up as you go into the fall line.

Come round as smoothly as possible, and drop down slowly as if to touch the left boot with the left hand this time. At the same time apply pressure on to the lower ski. By 'applying pressure' I mean that you should have a sense of pushing hard down on to the ski with your leg and thigh muscles into the middle of your foot.

It should feel as though you are driving the skis round, and the whole movement must be done smoothly and firmly.Why should you apply pressure in this way? Well eventually with more speed and less unweighting this downward pressure will start pushing the skis into added reverse camber, which as you probably remember will make them carve through the turn and because they are bending under tension they will give you a spring to bounce you into the next turn as you start unweighting once more.(You will notice I have put the phrase 'applying pressure' into inverted commas. This explanation would not stand up in physics, but you will understand what I mean when you start doing it.

There must in fact be a weighting of the lower ski as you come round after the slow upward unweighting movement, and coupled with the turning action of the ski on its edge, a satisfactory reverse camber can be achieved.).The skis must not be rushed around as you come into the fall line, and from above their tracks should resemble a nicely rounded capital S once you have done a turn on the other traverse. As you come round after this first turn and start to angulate, the inside edge of the lower ski will start to bite. Carry straight on and come up after putting the left pole in, speed up into the fall line, and once again go down smoothly and firmly. Do a few more before stopping, and if you haven't got the hang of it, stop, think about it, and start again.

Have a look now at Part 2 of a long controlled turn exercise.

.Simon Dewhurst has taught downhill skiing in North America, Scandinavia and the European Alps for 35 years.

He currently runs a ski chalet agency in the French Alps. His book "Secrets of Better Skiing" can be found at http://www.ski-jungle.com/better-skiing/contents.htm If you have any comments about the above article, he will be happy to answer them.

By: Simon Dewhurst


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