Friday, January 29, 2016

Emir - Pivoting

I started by asking Emir if he had any questions about skiing or any specific issues that concerned him. He told me that he had trouble with short turns, so we began by filming his short turns. You can see on the video that they aren’t very short or efficient. The main reasons for this is that he is trying to turn on the inside edge of the turning ski and also is pushing the tails of the skis outwards. 


The lesson started immediately with pivoting. There is a fixed page with the pivoting exercises explained in detail here: 

Emir carried out the pivoting exercises well, adapting relatively quickly to pivoting on the lower ski through good control of his centre of mass with pole use. I explained that it was the motion of the centre of mass that was the key. Prior to this he had learned to differentiate between the edges of his feet and the edges of the skis. You always use the inside edge of the foot regardless of which ski edge you need to use.

In practice on steep terrain he still tried to stem the upper ski outwards at the turn initiation. He eventually understood that the skis need to be pulled into the turn not pushed outward. He also appreciated that the feet need to be kept below the body on the mountain so that only uphill edges are being used and the ski remains a “brake” at all times.

We did some wide stance pivots – feet across the hill from each other and legs turning independently. I explained to Emir how this was more rapid than with the feet together because with the feet close together one had to end up below the other during each turn.


Emir didn’t have much awareness of how to manage his pelvis or upper body so I decided to start to work with him of using the Chi-Hips. There is a fixed page on chi-skiing here:

The coordination for this is difficult but well worth mastering because it protects the lower back. Emir confirmed for me that he was getting it right when he declared that it made the turns easier. I won’t go into the technical side here because it is all written on the fixed page.

Correcting the use of the core of the body is more easily managed with longer turns - but becomes critical for protecting the back in short turns. It's best to start learning this as soon as possible.

I also explained to Emir that the focus needed to develop this coordination was useful because by focusing internally with the body it stills the mind much in the same way as meditation does. All movements needs to begin at the core/centre and focus needs to be centered there. The overall motion of the centre of mass is also part of this. Fixed page on Core Principles:

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