“Before and After” film – learning to “work” the ski all the way through the turn.
Yesterday we developed improved angulation and paved the way for further progress today. Brian had managed to achieve everything in the context of long and carved turns. Although it was useful to make use of his strength in this area, in order to move on we would have to focus on the weaker areas. That weakness we had located in “speed control” in shorter turns and this was verified straight away in the morning. I described Brian as having a “glitch” in his turns that caused him to form the turns incorrectly with no pressure at the start and a harsh braking action later on. My intuition was that the underlying cause was a failure to complete the short turns with the body coming over the lower ski – while still supported on the ski. This meant the “end of turn” dynamics were weak and would have to be changed.
Wide Stance – centre of mass movement
Moving the centre of mass over the downhill ski is always easier to learn with the legs wide apart – because the reaction from the uphill ski begins sooner and creates confidence.
Pivot both ways on one ski – controlling centre of mass
This exercise drills in the necessity for always holding the foot on its inside edge – regardless of which edge the ski is on. The extent of movement of the centre of mass necessary becomes clear when turning towards the outside edge.
Fall-line pivots – closed stanceThis exercise showed Brian that his very close stance exacerbated his tendency to allow his hip to come forward through the turn and twist the spine in the wrong direction. The glitch in his turns was made even worse as this blocked the motion of his centre of mass.
Fall-line pivots – wide stance – independent leg action
Returning to the wide stance – facing down hill with the feet side by side (never one further downhill than the other) – the legs need to act independently in their hip sockets. This stops the hips being pulled around.
Medium turns – wide stance – independent leg extension/retraction – working the turns
Returning to wide stance but now reversing the skating action of the legs – extending the uphill leg to move the centre of mass across and downhill – downwards to the snow. Aiding this by retracting the downhill leg at the end of the turn to get the body moving out of the existing first. With the legs wide apart the retracting would happen before the extension. each leg has a separate job. This gives early pressure and make the skier “work” the ski all the way through the turn. This leads to good speed control.
Carving – independent leg action – controlling centre of mass
Taking the previous exercise into carving on moderate pitches with good snow.
Using the lesson from the pivot to pressure the outside edge of the inside ski (while staying on the inside edge of the foot). Interestingly this active use of the inside leg and ski made Brian’s knee tuck disappear.
Bumps – Compression Turns
Using the compression from bumps to move the centre of mass over the downhill skis.
All of the above exercises exploited the coordination developed yesterday – with the “chi hips” and forward tilt of the upper body and centering over the inside of the heel.