Happy “2nd 5th” birthday to Daisy today!
(Some parts of today’s lessons were repeated both morning and afternoon so I’ve copied the same text in the appropriate locations)
Dynamics Part 2
Exiting the turn is even more important than entering the turn. When linking two turns the first is not completed until the body is in “neutral” going across the slope. Neutral is when the skis are flat and the body perpendicular to the slope – but side on to the fall line. This position is only sustainable for a fraction of a second as the body is already beyond the vertical and is now being pulled laterally downhill by gravity. Turns are connected and rhythm established by this active movement – using the lifting force of the ski when pressure is at the maximum at the end of the turn. The lifting force keeps the body stable through this turning transition phase.
We carried out an exercise where I stood downhill and pulled each skier over their downhill leg and ski then asked them to change support leg when they were able to push against me. “Hanger” turns were then demonstrated to show an exaggerated version of this movement.
Transitioning a turn this way allows early edge pressure and grip – rounding and smoothing out the start of each turn.
Always use the inside of the foot and adductors on the supporting leg – or both legs for a two footed pivot with the skis close together. The muscle tension is not to “pull” the skis by force it is to make the body one coherent unit so that the Centre of Mass can pull the skis into the turn –but the Centre of Mass is now controlled and supported in its lateral motion by the ski pole and not by lifting power from the skis. The skis sideslip into each turn with minimal forward motion.
Ella did better truning on the inside ski than on the outside one. This is very unusual because most people find that turning on the oustide ski is next to impossible to begin with. Everyone managed this in fact and it is interesting to see this. The reason for this is probably because all of the instruction from the beginning has been involving motion of the centre of mass.
On bumps the tips of the skis are in the air free of contact with the snow – so pivoting is even easier.
Pivoting on bumps Suzanne was the best at moving the Centre of mass downhill and Ella was struggling with this – not getting her weight on her pole and massively lifting the front of her inside ski up in the air to compensate…
Skating - Posture and Angulation
We started working on skating but quickly ran into a problem when Suzanne wasn’t able to grip with the skis to then move/project the centre of mass. In fact most of the edge grip actually comes from the body falling down and inwards – this being termed “inclination”. Some of the edge grip however comes from “angulation” at the hip and for skaters this comes naturally. The girls are skaters and so they had no issues but Suzanne was locked up at the hip joints and struggling.
The way to correct this is to first of all establish “neutral pelvis” then tilt the entire upper body forwards from the hip joints. Suzanne had a tendency to only bend the lower back instead. When the hips are flexed you then pull the supporting leg underneath the body and perch the entire body on top of that single hip joint. This produces “hip angulation” and allows the edge of the skis to bite more than just inclination alone.
When skiing angulation becomes a key issue in tightening and controlling turn radius.