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How to turn?...

 Poster: A snowHead
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Yoda wrote:
I remember Ali Ross saying he'd had years of "discussions" with BASI about short swings. afaik it shouldn't involve a heel push (object being to still rotate the skis around their centres rather than the tips) but there may be a "scrape" event at the end of each one to form a platform for the next.

I haven't been taught that for a long time, at least not for on piste skiing. The scrape or push at the end of the turn does give you a good platform to pop into the next turn, but that means that it's difficult to get early pressure in the new turn because you're up-unweighting. What I try to do now (mostly unsuccessfully) is to manage the pressure at the end of the turn by softening my legs, then crossing over onto new edges and extending in to the new turn, engaging the new edges as early as I can. That way you don't 'waste' the first part of the new turn if you're trying to do short radius turns.
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Hurtle wrote:
red 27, are we related?


you are me and I owe myself 5€ Puzzled
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rob@rar wrote:
Butterfly wrote:
... (I find it confusing to talk about uphill/downhill - when you turn you're tracing part of a circle and one side of your body's on the outside the other is on the inside of that circle) ...
A good observation. I also find the uphill/downhill terminology very confusing, both as a teacher and a learner.


I prefer outside and inside ski as opposed to downhill and uphill ski. I have a better understanding when I know that a ski is on the outside or the inside of a turn, rather than all that "this is the new downhill or this is the new uphill ski".
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Yoda, rob@rar, my understanding is that a short swing is a turn small jump into the fall line followed by a skid (easier to demo than describe). It's a drill, not a way you would normally ski and not to be confused with short turns (which can in themselves be skiddy or carved). There are lots of different variations of short swings (eg sequential skis, tips, tails, tip of one ski tail of the other, and yes backwards up the slope).
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This thread is SO making me want to be out on the hill to check what I actually DO! Laughing Evil or Very Mad
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This is something I only really "got" this year. If you keep turning you are so much more in control than if you turn, traverse, turn etc. The instructor I had talked about turn shapes and corridors, on a steep slope you want to ski a narrow corridor with tight turns so basically turn, turn turn. On a flatter slope you can ski a much wider corridor and flatten out your turns.

I was helping my mum learn to ski this year (she was having lessons in the morning) and she asked me what to do if you pick up speed on a traverse. I told her to just keep turning and to keep turning up the hill more if she wanted to get rid of some speed and it seemed to work really well for her even though she is still in a constant snowplough and finds blues a bit steep. Most beginners I see are taught to turn, traverse, turn - I was and this is what my mum was being taught. Is there any reason for this or is this or do better instructors teach you to keep turning right from the snowplough stage? i was a bit worried I was teaching her a more "advanced" technique and that it wouldn't help her but it did!

edited to say the bicycle thing helps me to think of turning, ie. push down on one foot to turn then push down on the next - not a good explanantion , sorry!


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 30-03-09 16:59; edited 1 time in total
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Hurtle, I totally agree. Although this thread makes a lot of sense in theory I'm struggling to remember what I actually do in practice and it was only just over two weeks ago. By my next ski trip (48 weeks and counting) I'll have forgotten this mine of useful info...
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lynseyf, that's right, should be traught to keep turning from the snowplough stage. Turn, traverse, turn leads to later difficulties as seen in the posters above. Traversing is a technique to use in certain situations, eg, crossing a piste etc., not something you do between turns.
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lynseyf, pretty sure I was taught the turn, traverse, turn thing. But this was back in the late 70s through to 80s and on skinny skis. This is probably why I resort back to it every time the going gets a bit trickier. I also tend to stem slightly on the steeper stuff too. Again, this is how I was taught all those years ago...

To be fair, I'm not bothered by any of this. I'm happy with my level of skiing and I'm not a danger to myself or anyone else. For six days each year, I manage fine and have a great time. That's what it's all about surely...
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beanie1, thank you for the description. Drill or not it was (is?) a major feature of ASSI and BASI syllabus for many years wink My mischevious mention of it here was to suggest that "linking turns" does not mean a long traverse in between, as lynseyf at least appears to have understood Laughing
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I don't mean to get any backs up - but it reads (to me) as though the people struggling with their skiing are the ones who are NOT taking lessons. Confused
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queen bodecia wrote:
This is a problem I definitely have. My ski buddies don't tend to like following me as I'm a bit unpredictable where I turn. I think I spend too long wondering where the best place to turn is and should just get on with it. I avoid linking one turn straight on to the next turn unless it's flattish and I can control my speed, so anywhere that's a bit steeper I traverse between turns more to slow down than anything else. Then begins the "where's a nice spot to turn" thing. I don't struggle to initiate the turn once I've decided where I'm actually going. My ski buddies decided I need indicators! Snigger... Very Happy


Sing a song.... turn in time to the music no matter what

To slow down - keep turning more if you need to traverse for ages you are probably not finishing your turns across the hill(or even slightly uphill).... alternative to slow down is to increase steering angle - useful on steeper slopes or when you want to slow but probably not ideal for doing every turn....
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Red Leon wrote:
rob@rar,

I know you're a learned chap (well done) and I admit that Grandmothers & egg-sucking comes to mind here Embarassed - for which I apologise in advance but I'm in the same boat as Queen B...

IMV the primary objective in skiing is to control the speed of descent (otherwise we die). The timid among us need to control the downward speed to a greater degree than the more confident (you, for example) might feel was necessary on the same slope. Every turn includes an element of acceleration which is only reined in by travelling across (and sometimes up!) the slope, [b]so the slower you want to go down the fall-line, the longer you must stay in the traverse.[/b] My mushy brain insists that the steeper the slope, the longer the traverse must be to control speed down the hill, hence the overly-long traverses with an ugly near-stationary turns at the end of each.
As I see it, the only way to break the 'long-traverse, stationary turn' scenario is to learn to accept more downward speed, thus allowing for less traverse and therefore, eventually, linked turns. It's dead easy on a shallow slope but the big question (for me, at least) is, 'how do I become confident that I won't crash if I go a bit quicker?' so I can do it on the steeper slopes as well.

Answers on a postcard, please. There is no prize.

Edited for clarity


No you can
a) increase the steering angle
b) steer more agressively and so finish the turn more uphill.... does not need more traverse length to do you can in fact finish the turn short radius having started with a long radius turn in the first half.... anyway - summary is the ANGLE to the fall-line you finish vwill determine how much you slow down...

a) is how I am learning to carve black runs... carve the top of turn but wide steer the bottom for speed control.... after a few of these the acceleration at top of turn looses its Shocked factor .... I was almost begging to carve whole turn because I know I can always throw in a steer to decrease my speed when I want to....
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little tiger wrote:
Red Leon wrote:
rob@rar,

I know you're a learned chap (well done) and I admit that Grandmothers & egg-sucking comes to mind here Embarassed - for which I apologise in advance but I'm in the same boat as Queen B...

IMV the primary objective in skiing is to control the speed of descent (otherwise we die). The timid among us need to control the downward speed to a greater degree than the more confident (you, for example) might feel was necessary on the same slope. Every turn includes an element of acceleration which is only reined in by travelling across (and sometimes up!) the slope, [b]so the slower you want to go down the fall-line, the longer you must stay in the traverse.[/b] My mushy brain insists that the steeper the slope, the longer the traverse must be to control speed down the hill, hence the overly-long traverses with an ugly near-stationary turns at the end of each.
As I see it, the only way to break the 'long-traverse, stationary turn' scenario is to learn to accept more downward speed, thus allowing for less traverse and therefore, eventually, linked turns. It's dead easy on a shallow slope but the big question (for me, at least) is, 'how do I become confident that I won't crash if I go a bit quicker?' so I can do it on the steeper slopes as well.

Answers on a postcard, please. There is no prize.

Edited for clarity


No you can
a) increase the steering angle
b) steer more agressively and so finish the turn more uphill.... does not need more traverse length to do you can in fact finish the turn short radius having started with a long radius turn in the first half.... anyway - summary is the ANGLE to the fall-line you finish vwill determine how much you slow down...

a) is how I am learning to carve black runs... carve the top of turn but wide steer the bottom for speed control.... after a few of these the acceleration at top of turn looses its Shocked factor .... I was almost begging to carve whole turn because I know I can always throw in a steer to decrease my speed when I want to....

However you neglect to add that mental preparation/confidence and significant fitness is required for carving black runs, It's aplicable to blues also. The fitness requirement may not be as high but the mental strength is comparable. The 'mind's muscle' is the primary ability in any sport.
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Quote:

the first turn you make is always the hardest because you're not in a rhythm and you don't have the momentum from the previous turn to help you.


rob@rar, that must be why when I tried the blacks this year the first turn was the hardest - I crept up to it backed off, sneaked up to it, chickened out, shuffled backwards when I ran of hill, side slipped to put it off, considered walking back up the slope and going down the red. In the finish I got slightly more run at it and with hellish amount of attitude put in the first turn - it wasn't neat and it wasn't pretty, I stood hard on the edges and through sheer brute force pressure the skis came round - I nearly scared me witless, but once I had the first one in the bag I didn't stop, one turn after another until I got down it and every next turn was easier than the one before.

Masque I soooo get the fitness of the brain issue.

N.B. Although I take the point that you can iron the speed out the skis by continuing the turn up hill, I did find in my carving lesson that it was the powering of the skis into the last part of the turn that seemed to give me speed, it was almost though the push into the snow powered me out of the turn - once I got used to the added speed it was great fun though - we did it down Plein Sud Very Happy
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Megamum, that's right, which is why I said the first turn is the hardest (from both a psychological and physiological point of view). If you do a big traverse between turns, every one becomes a 'first turn'.

Fitness of the brain/confidence/bravery/bottle/balls, call it what you will, is improved by using the best technique that you have available to you. Skiing confidently makes it easier to employ your best technique. The two go hand in hand, with one supporting the other. But if you don't use the best technique that you have available you'll have less control than you're capable of and your confidence will take a beating, which in turn will make it more difficult to use your best technique. Then we're into a vicious circle.
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Masque wrote:

However you neglect to add that mental preparation/confidence and significant fitness is required for carving black runs, It's aplicable to blues also. The fitness requirement may not be as high but the mental strength is comparable. The 'mind's muscle' is the primary ability in any sport.


Oh well then I must be fitter than I thought I was - after 3 months of CFS setback that has had me barely able to walk any distance for 3 months Toofy Grin
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little tiger, hey, great news! Toofy Grin
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little tiger, I'm sure you invariably underestimate your abilities Smile
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little tiger, glad to hear it. As a sufferer of suspected fibromyalgia I was concerned about how I'd manage with skiing but I felt better the week I was on my skiing holiday than I'd felt in months. Truth is sitting in one position all day (for example at work) seems to do me far more harm than moving about all day. I nearly always feel better at the weekends than I do during the week. Maybe it's similar for you...?
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beanie1 wrote:
lynseyf, that's right, should be traught to keep turning from the snowplough stage. Turn, traverse, turn leads to later difficulties as seen in the posters above. Traversing is a technique to use in certain situations, eg, crossing a piste etc., not something you do between turns.



Just to follow on from this and add my 2p worth....

Traversing & Turning is currently taught to achieve a number of aims, firstly to inspire confidence in the skiier by gradually building up their abilty to cope with speed and variable conditions, secondly as a means to control speed and initiate turns, thirdly as a fall back for the individual if they fall outside their comfort zone and need a way to get off the steep section to an area where they are comfortable with.

It would appear having read this post that the original question and subsequent points relate to when and where to turn on the slope, there has been some good advice from rob@rar and littletiger regarding turning, the mechanics, means and methods of and these are words from the wise, neverthless reverting to the OP

jb1970
Quote:
I made a posting recently to stay that I felt I was struggling and that my skiing was bad (what really annoyed me was transversing across a slope, coming to a stop at the edge of it, when I should have just kept turning). I think maybe part of the problem is iniating the turn.
I am a bit confused about how/when to turn. Does it just come naturally and follow on from something else or is there something you have to do? Anywhere I look (books, etc) doesn't actually tell you how to turn - it all just follows on from basic snowplough.


Turning fits within the BASI central them and falls into "plough 2" during which it is taught that pressure, edge and rotation are the composits that enable the skiier to contol their direction on slope and down the fall line. This generally takes the form of numerous exercises in which the skiier manouvers down a gentle slope and "links" a number of "turns" usually down a "slalom" course. "Plough 3" takes the student further and provides the basis for "traversing across the fall line" This fulfills the aims as outlined above and are/is referred to as plough turning (plough 1 is to all intents and purposes teaching to control the rate of speed through the initiation of a snowplough)

It would seem that the reticence to commit to the turn is as a result of a combination of nerves, confidence, concern, capability within the OP and others. If a person is traversing and waiting, waiting, waiting, picking, waiting and then turning then this would indicate that they are not happy with where they are on the slope, be it due to the speed of traverse, angle of slope, or snow conditions in the area. I would suggest that that it would make better sense to revert to a lesser slope and build confidence at "turning" - this can be be achieved through numerous means - assuming the individual can turn competently on a gentle slope - through practises such as turning on demand (ie by numbers - ie a turn by counting 1,2,3,4,5 and TURN, 1,2,3,4,5 and TURN or by having a relaible friend dictate when you turn - both of these methods "force" you to turn where you are.

Now assuming that turning on gentle slopes have been mastered at "will" and the desire to progress to steeper terrain kicks in Razz the way and where the turn is conducted will be dependant upon the individuals ability and confidence. There are numerous methods to control the rate of speed, these incude traversing across the fall line, travelling back up the slope and crucially completing the turn. A common problem in these cases is not completing the turn, (now without a diagram ill revert to the clock face) Assuming the skiier STARTS the turn at 1200 - the turn should in these circumstances last untill 0600 - thus therefore completing a "half circle" by waiting and cruicially completing the turn, movement, momentum, pressure and speed are all reduced - whereas if the turn is not finished (say 0800/ 0400) these forces will be greater and the more likely the skiier will feel uncomfortable. The completion of the turn is a achieved through the correct application of Pressure, Edge and Rotation - a turn irrespective of plough or parallel consists of those compontents just in varying degrees.

For example - assuming the OP and others are at the plough paralell stage - a turn should consist of the following:

(assuming we are turning LEFT)

1. Skiier is heading down fall line/ or across to the right.

then

2. Rotate "outside" or "uphill" (right) leg, foot and thus the ski - to form base of the snowplough (Heel outwards toes inwards). (At this point the individual may find it helpfull to say to themselves ROTATE.) By rotating the ski a build up of pressure will increase due to the increased edge angle of the ski agaisnt the snow causing the beginings of a turn.

then

3. Transfer "weight" to the "outside" or "uphill" (right) foot by pressing muscularly from the thigh down through the leg through the foot and into the big toe. (At this point the individual may find it helpfull to say to themselves STAND) The right leg and foot is creating pressure and edging of the ski at this point forcing it to do what it should ie bend/ flex creating a linear contact with the snow in its (the skis) arced shape thus making it turn.

then

4. The skiier will have initiated the turn. The continued application of pressure through the "downhill" (right) leg->foot -> Big toe will ensure that the skiier controls the turn throughout this phase. (at this point it may be helpfull to say to themselves "PATIENCE") whilst the "arc" is being cut in the snow during the turn - the duration can be contolled by gradually releasing the pressure from the big toe and moving it back through to the centre of the foot.

then.

5. When the skiier reaches 0700 the muscular pressure can be reduced, (at this point the skiier may find it helpfull to say SOFTEN to themselves) by softening the muscular pressure the downhill ski (right foot) will no longer be driving the arc in the snow, the softening should incorporate a flex at the knees and ankles to absorb the pressure that has built up as a result of physics and linear momentum, this softening will see both skiis becoming parallel again and crucially the turn has been completed, momentum has slowed and the skiier remains hopefully confident to reverse the action and turn RIGHT by reversing the pressure, edge and rotation. (ROTATE, STAND, PATIENCE, SOFTEN)

NB its late so hope that makes sense..

By mastering the confidence to turn smoothly and competenly this will in turn decrease the ammount of time spent worrying about where, when and how to turn and will lead to further progression, short, medium, large radius turns on all slopes and conditions etc.

bed time. Shocked
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Masque, queen bodecia,

Nah - finding a doctor who actually listened to the patient and believed me enough to think it through and so tested me for whooping cough - which I had... then a couple of courses of antibiotics kind helped a lot .... I no longer feel like my legs are made of concrete and I can stand up mostly without being dizzy!!!


Hurtle, Yeah - I'm much happier... now to get home and start a new treatment program so this does not happen again...


queen bodecia, Google "marshall Protocol" - that is what I intend to try.... the doc that fixed this latest funk patch has used it and he tells me it is good as do a couple of other people (pharmacists on internet with CFS).... besides I seem to pick up on antibiotics...
Hopefully it works because my other friend is hoping I get better - her son needs some hope as he is really bad atm.... For me it is worth the risk as I am pretty good but keep having relapses and I am unable to exercise consistently as I regularly overdo it and crash!!!
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matricks wrote:

then

3. Transfer "weight" to the "outside" or "uphill" (right) foot by pressing muscularly from the thigh down through the leg through the foot and into the big toe. ........ continued application of pressure ......... When the skiier reaches 0700 the muscular pressure can be reduced, ....... the softening should incorporate a flex at the knees and ankles to absorb the pressure that has built up


I have a great tendency to have far too stiff an outside leg and feel that I am putting on far more pressure than I actually am doing. Even now that I am managing some knee/ankle flex, when I review a video I am not flexing anywhere like as much as I feel I am.
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matricks, rotate then pressure to the new outside ski? Don't forget that these are snow plough turns, so skis already in a plough. Rotation alone may be used at an earlier stage of plough turning, but once you start teaching pressure at the start of the turn, it's exactly that at the start of the turn, either just before or simultaneous with rotation, not after. I like the analogy "squash the strawberries then spread the jam".
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Butterfly wrote:
I have a great tendency to have far too stiff an outside leg and feel that I am putting on far more pressure than I actually am doing. Even now that I am managing some knee/ankle flex, when I review a video I am not flexing anywhere like as much as I feel I am.

I think that happens with many, many people for most movements you do when skiing. Certainly does with me - I think I'm doing a lot of some particular movement but then when I look at photos or video I find I'm really not using much movement at all. What has helped is to get a feel for the range of movement I have available: for example do a run with almost no ankle/knee/hip flex; then do a run with as much ankle/knee/hip flex as I can manage, really exaggerating the flex but focusing on nothing else and trying to get a feel for what it was like to be that flexed. Feedback from an instructor or from video would tell me how flexed I really was. I usually find that my neutral or normal stance should be much closer to what I consider to be the extreme end of my range of movement, so I then have a more accurate mental image and improved internal feedback of what I'm trying to achieve.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 31-03-09 9:03; edited 1 time in total
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beanie1 wrote:
matricks, rotate then pressure to the new outside ski? Don't forget that these are snow plough turns, so skis already in a plough. Rotation alone may be used at an earlier stage of plough turning, but once you start teaching pressure at the start of the turn, it's exactly that at the start of the turn, either just before or simultaneous with rotation, not after. I like the analogy "squash the strawberries then spread the jam".


Rgr, however..
matricks
Quote:
.....assuming the OP and others are at the plough parallel stage .....


Also this dark art of "pressure" applies equally to snowplough turns, by squashing the strawberries the individual is transferring "weight" to the ski through muscluar effort (pushing& edging) thus increasing the edge angle of the ski at which point pressure builds up and the turning begins. The spreading of the Jam is the continued -> decreasing management of pressure from the skiier throughout the turn. If pressure is not being managed then the shape of the turn will go awry and the turn will not be completed in a full arc, thus the skiier will zoom off as a result of linear momentum.
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rob@rar

Assuming that as you are a seasoned skiier you have tried skiing with your boots very loose?

This was sugessted to me by an austrian ski instructor years ago - i initially thought he was barking but I found this really helped me crack the flex issue i used to suffer with. I found that if i didnt flex correctly with loose boots then my skiing was really all over the place and felt awful. The looseness encouraged me to flex more in order to feel and control what was going on beneath me esp when flexing in turns etc. As a result whenever i am "getting my ski legs back" or have a bad run i always loosen my boots right off and revist his lesson - its helped me no end.
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matricks, sorry missed that bit about the plough parallel, but my point still stands. What you are describing sounds like an old school stem christie - rotating the new outside ski first, before applying pressure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_Christie

Nowadays we tend to teach people to pressure at the start of the turn, as this gives a good grounding in technique they will use as their skiing progesses to a higher level.

In my analogy squashing the strawberries is applying pressure to initiate the turn, spreading the jam is the rotation.
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beanie1

Rgr that - as usual its the variation in terminology that gets in the way.

I wasnt trying to describe the dreaded stem christie that harks back to days gone by. I was merely stating that a by product of rotation is a build up in pressure due to an increase in edge angle, this is further increased by the application of pressure by the skiier to enhance the edge and control the turn.

By applying pressure (squash) the turn starts, by spreading (in my analogy - managing the pressure within the turn) the turn is completed. If the skiier just pressured (squashed) and remained rotated (spreading) without managing the pressure that has built up the turn would fail - you simply cant have a rotation without a build up of pressure as its this rotation, pressure and edging that cause the turn. I was trying to relay that by managing this appropriately the skiier can control the radius and rate of the turn, complete the turn, not go zipping off causing the skiier to remain nervous etc due to an issue over speed and therefore using traversing to control the speed to a point where they then felt it was safe to turn.

damn terminology Twisted Evil
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matricks, ok get you now. The difficulties of decribing how to ski in words!
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matricks wrote:
rob@rar

Assuming that as you are a seasoned skiier you have tried skiing with your boots very loose?

Yes, done that lots. It's a good drill for finding the centre of your fore/aft range. Something similar is to ski with your eyes closed (on a gentle slope, with a mate to make sure you don't ski into anything). Once you take away all visual clues it's amazing how quickly you tune into other feedback to work out what the hell is going on, especially your feet and what they can tell you about the speed your travelling at, whether you are too far back, forward, etc.
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matricks wrote:
... you simply cant have a rotation without a build up of pressure ...

Braquage?
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jb1970, As a variation on the 'weight shift' mantra, my Saalbach instructor told me to 'drop my shoulder' on the uphill/outer side.

Do nothing else, don't steer, don't pressure, just drop the shoulder and see what happens.

What happens is, you turn. Building on that to add pressure and maybe steering you turn quicker, but just dropping the shoulder is enough to get the ski on its edge. This lead to me starting to carve 'properly' for the first time, and to me finding skiing less of an effort and more of a joy.

Just thought I'd share Little Angel snowHead
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jb1970 has recently started two separate threads about his/her skiing and has triggered a goodly number of pages of advice and discussion, some of it amounting to chunks out of skiing manual. I am amazed at and impressed by the patience and willingness of posters to commit so much time to re-writing screeds of ski instruction when the best advice is to be found, early on, "go get lessons."
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Axsman, when you drop your outside shoulder your hip drops into the turn, so your legs aren't quite vertical which puts your skis on edge and Hey Presto! you turn. I love skiing when it's made simple Smile
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rob@rar, Me too! It's the only way I can cope with it Madeye-Smiley snowHead Laughing
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
ccl, agreed - there is absolutely no substitute for good quality lessons, which I take when I can - however when you're back home, and the slopes seem so far away, mulling it over with kindly advice on offer is also very valuable. I (& I know others do too) appreciate very much indeed the time/effort people are willing to give to supporting others on here. Long may it continue!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Yes. and don't we all ski so well in our minds Madeye-Smiley
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
ccl, oh yes - and it annoys the hell out of me that I can't do it the same for real! I just can't see why I have ANY issues on the slope at all........until I get there! I wish I could get over the fear of falling - I had a few really good ones in LDA, none of which even resulted in a bruise (except to the pride) - you'd think that'd ease the fear but no! I seriously need more slope time!

Now, I lose weight easily when skiing as my appetite vanishes totally, the fitness goes up too as does the confidence. As all of that is incredibly good for my health, I reckon the NHS should prescribe me a season!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
This is an interesting technique in powder Twisted Evil


http://youtube.com/v/jcc2ImKuc9o
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