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how to learn or perfect skidded turns

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I am a good skier, did some racing, and I would like to perfect a skidded turn, from the very beginning of a turn. I can start with my skis on edge, carving from the top of the turn, and once I pass thru the fall line, I can start skidding, it the tails following a larger radius turn than my tips.


But i see skiers that are able to very smoothly start skidding slightly from the very top of the turn.


When i try that, it seems that my tips are catching.

I took a few lessons recently, but it seems that the focus is still on carving the turn.


I believe one term I heard used is S-turns.


Thank you.

post #2 of 10
Try guiding the tips into the turn while remaining cuff neutral fore & aft with pressure centered under foot; imagine you have a peg leg that comes to a point and stand on that point.

Good luck!
post #3 of 10

How do you start the turn? Staying off the tongues like Chris suggested is a great start. Of course it goes without saying that being a bit more progressive will also make that outcome happen more often. You also need to think about some redirecting while the skis are partially engaged instead of fully engaging the edges, then trying to get them to break loose. If you're looking for a drill I would say pivot slips involve redirecting without a lot of edging. Pay attention to the release and if you are leaving a platform at the end of every turn. If you see an edge platform in the tracks, you're still not getting the skis flat enough to release before actively redirecting them. Eventually the track you will see should resemble butter spread on toast.

Edited by justanotherskipro - 6/22/11 at 7:25am
post #4 of 10
You are trained to be 'edgy' so let's practice from a very low to no edge start.

Practice side slips and then move on to pivot slips. Once you have a pivot slip start stretching it out side to side. Round these moves out so you are skidding all the time throughout the turn. Think round and flat as you make the turn.

This will give you the both ends of what you are after. You currently have the edged carved turn. The above set of exercises will give you the completely skidded turn. All you need to do from this point is blend in as much edge as you want to control the amount and location you want to skid or carve.
post #5 of 10

I agree T-Square that sideslips leading to pivot slips is a great progression. Although as a racer I am assuming that first step is old hat for Rod. Inspecting prior to the race, drilling gates, and grooming during a race are all examples of when racers use side slipping and even falling leaf type sideslips. What they don't practice is the active redirecting with little or no edge engagement. Of course Rod could tell us for sure.


I want to add an activity I use with racers and one I use with most intermediates.

Young racers probably remember doing edge locked wedges to learn about strong edging. The contrast is to go from the edge locked section to releasing that strongly edge ski and lingering in that "in between" section where neither ski is engaged. Instead of trying to keep the skis facing the same direction, they allow the skis to slowly and naturally turn towards the fall line. It's very similar to patience turns but with the added requirement of the skis staying in a wedge. It's not an easy drill since the outside (downhill) ski naturally wants to stay on more edge with more purchase than the uphill ski. Eventually this morphs into wedged pivot slips with more and more focus on active redirecting. The high end of this is wedge 360's.


The recreational skier version is less demanding. 360's in both directions and at different part of skidded turns. I don't spend long on this but it's a great after lunch warm up since it involves all three skills pools. One caveat here is that the spin is a function of the edging and lower body (foot and leg ) steering. Blocking pole plants and big twists in the upper body are not used to create the spin or to complete it..

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for the input.

I wasn't very clear. I can do the skidded turns on smooth snow, no problem.

Where  I have difficulty, is in bumps, and uneven snow.

I bumps, even though I may finish softly, without a lot of edge, my initiation is by crossing my body over the skis, which immediately puts them on edge. Then I edge thru the fall line, and have again a soft finish.

I was watching some friends skiing, and the entire turn is skidded, which makes for effortless and smooth skiing.

To me, it feels that if I want to skid the initial part of the turn in bumps, my edges will catch.

I'm visualizing right now turning in bumps, and I see myself facing the fall line, finishing the turn, and crossing over quite a bit, with the skis, almost following me and getting on edge. (complicated to explain!!).


post #7 of 10

Perhaps it might be worth exploring some lingering in a neutral stance (laterally). Don't go for the big cross over, be more progressive and don't pressure the skis so strongly (especially the tips). Touch and feel for skidding may sound like a huge paradigm shift but think back to inspecting and drilling gates. If you get too edgy you can't move around as easily. Release the edges progressively until you feel incipient skidding and move ever so slightly past that point. The partially engaged edges will allow that small amount of skid to occur.

As far as 360's in the bumps, well I've been known to do that to show how little edging it takes to do the turns you are describing. Ramp up the dynamic intensity and all of that changes though. Exaggerate the skidding by doing pivot slips in the bumps, slowly take out more and more skid until you find exactly the right mix you desire.

Edited by justanotherskipro - 6/24/11 at 12:24pm
post #8 of 10

Jump on a pair of GS race stock skis and run a SL course 10x. My guess is that by the 10th run you are making nice skidded turns from top to bottom.

post #9 of 10


Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post

Thanks a lot for the input.

I wasn't very clear. I can do the skidded turns on smooth snow, no problem.

Where  I have difficulty, is in bumps, and uneven snow.



post #10 of 10



Smooth skidding in uneven snow is all about edge control and pressure control. 


Regardless of how you initiate a turn with your upper body, you can make fine control movements over edge angle with your feet. Just sitting or standing you can practice changing the "edge" angle of your feet by raising or lowering the arch of your foot or raising or lowering your big toe or little toe (play with both alone at first and then do both together). If your tips are crossing when you are trying to keep your feet parallel, it's probably because there is a pressure imbalance (fore or aft, too much or too little) between the skis (vs too much pressure on one ski vs the other). The secret to smooth skiing in uneven terrain is reducing edge angle relative to the forces of the turn while managing the pressure imbalances caused by uneven terrain.


How good are your side slips on uneven terrain? Can you slip in a straight line down the fall line at consistent speed and stop (quickly or slowly) on command without drifting?  Can you slip in a straight line and vary your speed faster or slower? If you can, try the falling leaf drill. Add side to side tracking to your straight down the fall line side slip with your tips or tails drifting uphill at each side so that your ski tracks make a path in the snow like a falling leaf from a tree. As you hit one side edge of your falling leaf side slip, you have to reverse your fore/aft lateral direction of movement. When you can do the falling leaf, try adding in a flip at one side edge. No, not an aerobatic flip. It's a mirror image flip. For example, if you finish drifting forward to one side with your toes up hill, make sure that your finish is vertical (tails pointing straight down the fall line). Then instead of drifting backwards into the falling leaf side slip "lane", continue in the same direction laterally across the hill by changing edges and drifting backwards into that direction (i.e. shifting lanes to a parallel falling leaf track). The sideslip and falling leaf drills help to develop mastery of the combination of edge control movements and pressure control movement. Mastering these drills on groomed snow will give you the skills to develop mastery of skidding in uneven snow.

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