Today the girls went up to the top of the mountain for their first experience of a real ski slope – and they were appropriately ready for it. The previous time they went up to the top of the Solaise it was in a blizzard and they never saw anything but today was different and they could enjoy the mountains in their full splendour.
The main purposes of today were familiarisation and mileage. This was the first opprotunity to really experiment over a long distance – making mistakes and correcting them. Normally it’s at this stage that progress really accelerates and today was no exception. The steep entry to the training slope was negociated each time with sideslip practise – an essential skill – and one not yet fully mastered as can be seen in the video…
Reverse Horse Turning
Ella started off well but as she became a bit tired she started to fall quite a lot. We stopped for a break and discussed the matter. It turns out that both Ella and Suzanne were using the skis as if they were a horse turning the whole body in the direction of the turn. Skiing works virtually the opposite way to this with the pelvis countering against the turn allowing the body to fall laterally into the turn. Relating this to a horse you would have to sit on the horse the oppposite way round facing the rear and then Ella’s movement would work. She promises to ride her horse this way in future!
Suzanne had already started to work on this issue by pulling back the outside hip during the turn (Chi Hips) http://skiinstruction.blogspot.co.uk/p/chiskiing.html
The hip being pulled back also aligns the femur and foot better – but without addresing the Horse connection this probably would not be so effective.
Residual hangover problems from Suzanne’s previous skiing were still influencing the situation because she was pushing out the uphill ski and stemming the start of most turns. You cannot stem and also create dynamics so this explained her apparent lack of dynamics and stability. Standing on the uphill edge of the uphill ski for a moment (lower edge of the foot) just before moving the Centre of Mass downhill, prevents stemming and ensures better dynamics, more security and stability.