Maxwell was on good form today and looked keen to go skiing. He was clearly much more comfortable with both the skis and environment – even managing to put his skis on by himself. Being only 3.5 years old means that everything is new to him – including such a demanding form of exercise. He whooped with joy however when we started to go fast and took great delight in the feeling of skiing. His left foot is not yet cooperating perfectly but this is very normal for a right handed child.
The goal with Maxwell holding onto the pole is to carefully allow him to feel all the appropriate sensations for good skiing movements and coordination. The key to good skiing is the direction of the movement of the centre of mass (CM) – so to go left the CM has to move left – and this is how I move him when he holds onto the pole. The skis begin the turns on the uphill edges and do not change edge until the middle of the turns. This progressively teaches him how to slip into a turn without any need for the turning (outside) ski to be on an aggressive/defensive inside edge as is required with a snowplough. You can see in the video how his skis remain parallel through the turns. When he is ready to be “let go” his first independent turns will be perfectly parallel – and this is how he will control his speed. He is already able to slide comfortably on his own when I trick him by letting go of the other end of the pole myself!
For an example of another child who has learned without snowplough look at Derin from a few weeks ago… http://www.skiinstruction.blogspot.fr/2014/02/derin-and-zeynep_7.html who in her second week of skiing (starting at age 4) can ski comfortably off piste and chose her own line with ease down a blue slope stopping at will.
Maxwell inclining left to turn left… and right to go right….
Sun through the trees on the Solaise mountain (morning). This is the mountain Maxwell is skiing on.