hehe...maybe you should be a consultant to SpencerP who had the pass pulled at Breck.
I have to say that a lot of the huge outside tip lead and looking over the outside shoulder seems to promote skidded switch turns. I would tend to agree with your more square approach for carving them, but going backwards without looking can be problematic.
If you can get someone to ski backwards and get beyond the wedge or v to parallel, I think it can be very effective to get them to go down the freaking hill - moving the body into the next turn. You have to actually think about the turn coming up and how you'll move. This can be derailed though, by a huge outside tip lead, butt out stance.
Here's the somewhat classic position, but not nearly as offset as a lot of switch riders. I think these turns are way too pivoted at the end of the turn especially.
Here's switch railroad tracks. He sticks with one shoulder. Skis pretty square, tip lead doesn't really change. Closer to what you're talking about, but looking downhill.
This thread from 4 years ago has some really good info in it, plus links to some videos, some of which are still on line.
Leskinen in the post refers to Kristi Leskinen who is in one of the how to videos linked in post 14 by QuazBotch. I must say, her turns are not really great turns, but whatever gets you to the jump I guess. There's some excellent analysis by ski_nerd13 also of switch technique in the vids.
Quote from: http://www.epicski.com/t/71027/switch-skiing-discussion#post_1428140
Originally Posted by SoCalSki
I've got to jump in to this thread (even though I usually just lurk). There seems to be a ton of different techniques for skiing switch, and I'm not sure that any one of them is more or less valid than the others.
I took a park and pipe clinic this winter at Loon to get my Ed credits, and our coach (I can't remember his name) demonstrated two different approaches. The first approach was similar to the one Turpin described above. He actually compared it to going backwards on rollerblades. Basically there is a dramatic change in lead with every turn as you alternate shoulders. The other approach was to pick a shoulder and stick with it. When you do this, there isn't as much of a lead change (if any).
The alternating shoulders approach creates symmetric turns, while if you pick one shoulder, you end up turning differently. It's kind of like when a telemarker drops to one knee and then links turns (effectively alternating traditional telemark turns with parallel turns).
I'm not convinced that either method is necessarily better overall, but I do think they each have advantages. If you're primarily skiing switch as part of a trick in the park (e.g. you're taking off or landing switch), making symmetric turns really isn't that important, since the only reason you are turning is for speed control. I suspect that may be Leskinen's style (she had a reputation for being a park rat, but she may have moved on since I checked last). However, the shoulder switch method seems like it might be more effective if you're actually trying to link turns for an extended distance.That said, I've found that switch turns feel best if I'm not looking over my shoulder at all, but rather looking back up the mountain. This is somewhat problematic when skiing in crowded areas, but if it's nice and quiet, I'll ski mostly looking back up the hill with the occasional check over the shoulder.
As far as skis go, I think a lot of people put way too much emphasis on having twin tips. You can ski switch on pretty much any ski if you're on a moderately groomed surface. The only skis I've ever had trouble with are slalom skis. Since I'm not skiing at an "expert" level when I'm switch, I find that the extra "twitchiness" from slalom skis tends to result in me catching edges and going down hard. I'd really look for a forgiving ski rather than a twin tip if you're trying to ski switch.
Edited by Tog - 2/7/12 at 9:56pm