Derin, Emir and Haluk - Off Piste. It’s two years since I skied with Derin and two years since Emir skied. Both have grown a lot – but neither have forgotten how to ski. The video below is with everyone focusing on moving the body over the lower ski to exit the turn…
Last time I was off-piste with Derin she was still too small for the deep snow. Now she has grown a lot and the difference is clear. It’s good to see her enjoying herself. She understands the the “scary” part is also the fun part because it’s a challenge we can deal with and each successful turn gives a sense of freedom.
Derin has always had good timing – she learned that very young and never lost it. However she has always been stuck in the back of her boots so the task today was to try to begin to change that. First of all I showed her how a seated stance facing downhill didn’t make you fall back in the boots – you can still keep pressure against the shins. However I really wanted her to work on the exit of the turn – and the two ways to use the lower ski for the job. You can either stand up and fall over the lower ski – or you can use the power in the previous turn with the ski loaded up and anticipate the new turn by using this power to bring you up and out of that turn. This second way is how turns are linked and the first way is how to either start a turn from a traverse or fro a jump turn.
As it happened we ended up in steep, crusty Spring snow and so jump turns were obligatory! Derin really understood this and had good fun learning to do them. Later on she also did a great job of linking her turns (coming over the lower ski) on steep slopes with more supportive snow . Just doing this successfully helps to centre the skier better and get off the back of the boots.
We finished with doing a little bit of work on piste by leaning dramatically forwards to feel the fronts of the skis. I explained that the fronts need to be used for efficient turning and not to be afraid to use them. Most people can’t use the fronts because the are afraid to – but that’s because they don’t exit turns correctly and so don’t get down far enough inside the new turn to be safe on the fronts of the skis – they just get kicked out of the turn (over the fronts).
Emir’s skiing looks even better and stronger than before even though he hasn’t been skiing. He also needed to work on coming over the lower ski so this worked out perfectly. He was very confident and competent so there were no worries there. Next time I’ll look more carefully to see what else he can work on.
Haluk has always been a bit heavy in his pressure cycle and it appears that this is partly due to needing to emphasise the turn exit more strongly over the lower ski. I pointed out that to protect a sore knee there was nothing better than getting the body early into the new turn and the stress loading is completely different on the knee as a result. Just failing slightly to get in far enough causes a sort of battle of forces where you can’t slip effortlessly into the turn and the leg takes a big load instead. The other aspect of this is related to what I was showing Derin about using the fronts of the skis – which relates to how you sink into the turn and also making the apex of the turn out to the side (as in racing) and not directly beneath (all those things are connected). Nobody in the group is able to control rotation or down/up motion (through angulation) to be able to modulate this accurately at the moment – but this is something to work on next time.