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Jet turns

 Poster: A snowHead
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Just was looking a " Ski Tips " video by Martin Heckleman and came across a type of turns called " jet turns ", wherby you lean back on the skis and jet out of the turn or more usually a mogul. Does not look very stylish in technique terms. Looks like you are leaning back on your skis to do the turn. Certainly did not come across it in ski school 10 years year when first learned to ski.

Is it an old technique?

Does anyone still use it?
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As far as I am aware, old technique and a bit of a misnomer, You'll see it in the Sunday Times "We learned to ski" vintage 1970-ish. No longer applicable...
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They often refer to racers being "jetted out of turns" in the slalom races on the telly, getting caught on the tails and the skis shooting out in front. They way they speak of it it looks like a fine line between getting it right and being spat out on your bum.
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hibernia, practising jet turns is a good way to work towards their conclusion: blown ACL. I wouldn't recommend it!
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hibernia, the jet turn originates from the final days of leather ski boots in the early 1970s when elite instructors realised that the influence of the ski boot on the ski could be changed by increasing its rear support and leverage.

A product called the Jet Stix - a rigid rear spoiler - was strapped to the back of the boots and that rear leverage was used to achieve a more compressed body position to swallow moguls and 'jet' the skis out of the turn.

A brilliant film was made by the most expert Austrian instructors - from memory 'Jet Ski Austria' - which promoted the technique as the new way to ski. It had some fantastically impressive skiing through bumps. In reality it was very difficult for advanced skiers to achieve the jet technique without over-accelerating the skis and losing control of them.

What wasn't fully understood at that time was the crucial importance of maintaining a central balance point through the ball of the foot and centre of the ski at all times. Leaning back, which is what the jet technique encouraged (though those top Austrian instructors could avoid it), never works.
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thanks David for that explanation, the technique seems rather complicated and difficult to perfect. I assume that the reason it is no longer taught in ski schools is that ski design has advanced a lot since the 1970s and there are easier ways of doing turns.

In the same video he also talks of the " Cristie ( spel? ) Royale whereby one ski is lifted off the ground and extended behind your back like a skating technique. Pure demonstration stuff.
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hibernia, U mean something like this? Cool

Modesty of course forbids me from naming the skier wink


I think the spelling is something like "Reul" Christie after someone who is said to have invented it....


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Tue 22-02-05 13:20; edited 1 time in total
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I saw Martin Bell demonstrate it last year in Austria, not only does it involve lifting the ski way behind you, but it is the outside ski, so, kinda like a white pass turn, but with the leg raised behind.
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hibernia, Good explanation from David Goldsmith, . I actually had to do them on my Grade 3 training back in the dark days! It was quite a difficult technique and seems very silly now - like many of the old techniques.

Alan Craggs, Are you sure that wasn't me back about 30 years ago????

Wear The Fox Hat, I still do it (Royale christie) occasionally when I feel like showing off, but am finding it harder every year. Blush
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Alan Craggs - yeah that's the one - that would'nt be you, by any change showing off wink
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Forgive my ignorance here - but what the hell was this Royale Christie supposed to achieve, other than various broken limbs? I have seen old lags of instructors doing them from time to time, but only ever assumed them to be larking about.
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It's not practical, it's just for fun. Sort of like manualing on skis Smile
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Here's a royal christie performed by arguably its most beautiful proponent, Suzy Chaffee:


And here's one done on water - sort of - backwards:
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easiski, no it's me, about 5 years ago. GrahamN, if it achieves Suzy Chaffee that's good enough for me Laughing Maybe if I changed my rucksack for a veil (or whatever that is) Puzzled
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David Goldsmith, Good pix, but is it an optical effect or has Suzy Chaffee got ridiculously thin legs?

Alan Craggs, Congratualations then. Can you do that one where you crouch down on the insdie ski and drag the outside one around (hell on the knees, and I can't remember what it's called)?

GrahamN, The Royale Christie was a ski ballet move originally, in the days when ski ballet was graceful and about movement and not about sumersaults. It's just fun, and of course you do have to turn on your inside ski which is good training.
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easiski, outrigger? or is that something else Puzzled
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easiski wrote:
in the days when ski ballet was graceful


You have got to be kidding.
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Alan Craggs, that's it!

richmond, No - ski ballet was graceful in those days. Also we have an older couple (60's?) who come here about 3 times a year and do ballet on the glacier - it's wonderful to watch. snowHead
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I used to be an instructor in the 80s, and we did the jet turn a lot with the old long skis. It didnt speed you up so much as automatically start the skis rotating at the end of each turn into the next turn.
You dont really lean back it just appears that way. It is possible to simulate while stationary if someone holds you up for moment.
It really works easiest when going fast and straight down the fall line. So if you have just finished turning your skiis around under you, and are initating the return rotation, as the skiis come back around and approach the fall line you definatley do not lean back.
Instead you allow your feet to get ahead of their normal turning positon under you. Essentially you act as if you were going to sit down, but your feet still feel as if they are correct on the skis. Thats why it looks so cool. Of course if you left it at that you would sit down.
However now you are moving down the slope and the skis have moved well ahead of their normal place when they turn. If you wanted as they keep rotating and you keep going straight you could reposiiton them back and be in a normal turn stance.
But if you allow the skiis to stay ahead of their normal posiiton you can press the tails into the snow for just a moment. You sort of stand on your heels for a moment. You then you compress onto the ski as it slows. Be aware of the spring that is building up in the ski. At a certain point your body starts to overtake you feet and obviously the skis. Now you bounce up using the stored energy in the ski and allow the spring unwinding effect to start the skis into the next turn. Once you let the skis do it, they will very rapidly initate the rotation into next turn all by themselves.
This was the benifit of the jet turn with the hard to turn high inertia of the very long old skis.
In a race the skier could leave initating the next turn slightly later if the spring in the tail was used to help intiate the turn.
I hope this makes sense. Lots of techniques have vanished since the new skis arrived.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Fri 20-03-15 20:20; edited 1 time in total
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@rum, as much sense as resurrecting a 10 year old thread?
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Quote:

So if you have just wound your skiis around under you and are initating the return rotation, as the skiis come back a round and approach the fall line you dont lean back, but allow your feet to get ahead of their normal turning positon under you. Essentially you act as if you were going to sit down. Thats why it looks so cool. Of course if you left it at that you would sit down. So to stop from sitting down you accellerate the rotation of your skiis, and because you are behind the center of the skis, naturally the tails of the skis are going to dig in and flex. Now you press the tails hard, and sooner or later the skiis will try to stop, while you are fly over them. At a certain point as you sort of overtake the skiis you cant press the tails any more and all the built up spring in the skis shoots you forward a bit, but not that much. What it does mainly do and here it was good with the long skis, is automatically start them rotating into the next turn. So the turn was great for lazy skiing, it could make for no effort turning down the fall line. A racer could use it when needing to really leave the initation of a turn to the last moment and then use the spring from the tails to get a really fast ski rotation.

Ah! I can now easily envisage that...... rolling eyes
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I just needed a clear explanation. I'll be out at first light with my diaphanous cape.
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I tried to edit it simpler. But skiing is like that. Try describing what to do to stand up from a chair and you will see its nearly impossible. at least someone read it lol. Sad
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I learned (or rather didn't learn) how to ski in Verbier, in a very poor season when the only available pistes were covered in car-sized moguls - with a cliff edge on one side - caused by people doing jet turns, fashionable at the time. Horrible. If I stood behind one of those beasts, I couldn't be seen. Toofy Grin
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I've asked Mr Heckleman if he would like to provide details.
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@Hurtle, i have to suggest that on the grounds that virtually noone ever did jet turns, that your moguls were just moguls... Sorry ...
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That's right. The mogul turn looks like a jet turn but it is completely different. Over a mogul the easiest turn is where you wait until your feet are at the top of the bump. Then the skis should only be touching the snow under your feet. At that point you can easily turn them. Now depending on what you want to do, you can skid or carve down the bump. It's the skidding that's throwing up all the snow. It looks like a jet turn because if you keep your body from going up as you hit the bump, your legs come up into a similar position as in a jet turn.
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Hi all, Interesting discussion about the ‘Jet Turn’. Those of you who point out that it is an ‘old‘ turn are right as it was popular in the 70’ & 80’s. It was mainly used by racers to accelerate their skis through a turn & to recover after a turn if they were on the back seat. ‘Jet Sticks’ were produced which could be added to the tops of normal boots and some manufacturers made boots with very high backs so skiers could ‘jet’ easily. The French skier, Patrick Russell, skied this way to win quite a few races. As I point out in my book, it’s not a turn one would normally apply when skiing packed runs. But make no mistake; just because it is an ‘old’ turn doesn’t make it not still useful!
Here are times when you would benefit using the ‘Jet Turn’:
- When skiing in trees (jetting the tips forward & tilting up can prevent the tips from getting caught under low branches hidden under the snow).
- When skiing ‘breakable crust’ snow (the jetting action allows the tips to break through the crusted top layer making it easier to initiate a turn. If you ski with ‘down-up-down’ or by simply ‘carving’, the skis will be under the crust layer making it very difficult to turn. I still ski this way in difficult crusted snow. The ‘Jump Turn’ is another way to ski these conditions.
- When skiing heavy slush (the ‘Jet Turn’ makes it easier to accelerate your skis through the slush so they don’t get caught up in the wet & heavy snow).
- When skiing fast through a mogul field (to use as a ‘recovery’ technique if you get caught in the back seat after a turn).
- When slalom racing (same as above. You’ll see this happening in just about every slalom race by at least a few racers trying to stay in the course after coming out of a groove badly).
It’s not difficult to make ‘Jet Turns’; In fact it is quite easy. When you are ready to initiate the turn you simply shoot the tips of your skis forward and in the direction of the turn. That’s it! The key though is finishing the turn in control!! (It helps to plant your ski pole so that you can use it to recover your correct body stance after the turn.) As your skis are turning across the fall-line you will be leaning against the backs of your boots and will need to get your legs back forward (leaning against the tongues of the boots) so that you will stay in control after the turn. You do that by pushing off your ski pole and pulling yourself forward with your stomach muscles (like you do for a sit up). While my new e-book: ‘Learn To Ski’ teaches the modern carving technique, I include chapters for skiing ‘special snow conditions’ and teach and demonstrate the ‘Jet Turn’.
About the ‘Royale Christie’: It was used in ‘ballet skiing’ in the 70 & 80’s (and it was pretty watching Susie Chaffee performing it!) but it is just a fun maneuver to do. These days it is hardly ever seen on a ski slope. BUT once again, because it is ‘old’ does not make it not useful as it teaches how to ski on the ‘wrong’ ski – the uphill, or, inside ski – which can help skiers learn independent leg action. Being able to ski on the inside ski can help you avoid falls should your lower ski slip away from you (as can happen on icy conditions). As I’m getting older and my knees getting crankier, I sometimes ski with my weight on my uphill ski to give my lower knee a rest should it start to act up.
I hope this has been clarifying.
Thanks for the discussion.
Martin Heckelman
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Big welcome to Snowheads, @Martin Heckelman, snowHead
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Oh wow this is an honor seriously. The man that wrote the book on skiing, commenting! I used the original book as my bible for many years and still,read it. I used the fitness exersizes all he time too. It is the only rule book we didn't throw away. Very Happy
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As per @rum. Read and absorbed the book and videos, then first met and skied with the man 15 years ago. So much knowledge and experience and still the moves. Some stuff can seem redundant with evolution of kit and technique, but if it is locked in it can be deployed should the occasion arise.
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@Martin Heckelman,

Wow, i also bought your book when it was in the bookshops in the late 70s/80s. I think it got lost during a house move Sad

There was an interesting bit of discussion on Eurosport recently, where they were talking about how Marcel Hirscher makes it down the run so much quicker than others. I think it was something like he is putting more more pressure on his skis and therefore carving turns better and quicker and then controlling the greater speed.

Any comments Martin or anyone?
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Martin Heckelman wrote:
?.
...As I’m getting older and my knees getting crankier, I sometimes ski with my weight on my uphill ski to give my lower knee a rest should it start to act up.
I hope this has been clarifying.
Thanks for the discussion.
Martin Heckelman


Welcome to snowheads.
More advise like this will be handy here.
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To @run (& others): These days I’m skiing powder, heavy snow and crust on wide skis (112 mm mid ski) which makes it easier to carve turns in those snow conditions – almost as easy as skiing on packed snow. But everyone does not own very wide skis. For those with narrower modern skis, all the ‘advanced skiing techniques’ that I teach on my ‘Ski Tips’ apps and new e-book ‘Learn to Ski’, such as ‘Punching’, ‘Banking’, ‘Jet turns’, ‘Jump turns’, etc., which can be considered ‘old’ techniques, are still very useful ways to make the initiation of turns easier in those difficult snow conditions. One point I omitted to mention in my last post when I recommended using the Jet Turn when tree skiing is that I was referring to using it in ‘freshly fallen powder or deep powder’ (since branches and roots can be hidden under the powder).
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@under a new name, dunno. I know nothing and knew even less then! However, I wasn't suggesting that jet turns were deployed on moguls, just that I was told - perhaps wrongly - that those horrible moguls were formed by people doing jet turns. (This was in the mid-70s, when I was first trying, and failing, to learn how to ski.)
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Now hold on guys....this looks like a major moment in Snowheads history....an international ski guru is offering us his expertise....we have to hold onto this..... hi Martin, I have the old book as well....tell us about the new one....please.....
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@Hurtle, i don't think (!?) so, i don't think may people then would have known what a jet turn was. Let alone a carved one.

Moguls just form from people skiing on snow.
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Just to add that as someone who learned largely by watching and copying in the early 90s, Martin's videos were a key resource! Thank you
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@under a new name, see the opening words of the real expert's first post.
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@Hurtle, "used mostly by racers"

Certainly not used mostly by a run of the mill skiers, not that I could see, although in the 70s I was too young to really know better.

Even by the late 80s most recreational skiers would probably not have heard of it and certainly weren't making much use of it.

Originally popularised as a concept by J.C. killy iirc.

Anyhoo, moguls don't need jet turns to form. Or else the'd have died out.
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