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Wedge progression

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I need a little help from the experts. I suppose a lesson may be in order, but would like to be able to help my son myself. He just turned 11. He is 100 lbs strong athletic boy. He has skied approximately 15 days a year for 7 years. My issue is I can't get him to dump his wedge turns. His brother and friends have progressed on to smooth turns with my instruction. My 11 yr old, the youngest, says I'm having fun. I have always told them that they should just do what's fun. I believe if I make the sport fun, they will do more of it. So, a little more on wedge turns. He moves closer to a stem christy when the hills get easier, but he wants to ski steeper bump runs with the other kids. He is always bummed that he can't keep up. I'd like to help with that. Throw me your best drills.
post #2 of 7

Athletic with 100+ days of skiing and still stuck with wedges. I can understand your frustration. Have you checked his alignment? 

post #3 of 7
Some video would tell us if he is wedging for a reason or just doesn't want to let it go. Some kids just don't want to progress and will fight tooth and nail any effort to get them out of the wedge. They will grow out of it, especially if they ski a lot and enjoy it.
post #4 of 7

if he's willing, i would consider some easy-going traverses with parallel and gently engaged edges.  if he's having trouble with the uphill (or inside of the turn foot), do some side-stepping uphill in a good parallel position.


as he gets better at performing the traverse, add some pitch with some focus on the need for steeper edge angles.  Then, if that's going well, end the traverse with a single quick turn (wedged or parallel initiation doesn't  matter at this point; if he wants to intiate in a wedge let him) and stop.  Then, progressing into say 4 traverses and four turns then stop.  Is he able to control his speed doing this?  Is he able to finish the turn traversing essentially across the hill without accelerating much? if not continue to practice before going steeper.


essentially, i'm advocating learning to traverse followed by a quick turn and another traverse. 

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

You make a good point on traversing. He acctually does fine at that. Has good edge feel in skating. His going back to a wedge is really when he is over his head. Unfortunatly, because thats where his buddies and brother ski now, that's where he usually is. He is sking on a 138 Mantra and a 138 K2 Juvy with 70 flex boot that fits well (sizing not too big). I do not believe any of the equipment is the issue. His body angles are too upright and I he doesnt seem to get the idea of the knees and wasteangled towards the hill.


What do you think about telling him to feel his ankles turn into the hill? That would force his knees and egdges over because of the boot. If he rolled knees in and lowered downhill arm, would that not put his body in less upright position. Now I'm on land it's hard to get what might pop for him. He had it last year and just went back. It's driving me nuts because we all want to move beyond this. When his brother got the proper turn within 25 days he was skiing double blacks. Skiing advanced runs with my older son is some of the best times we have shared. I'd be in heaven if we could all ski the whole mountain as a family.

post #6 of 7

Without seeing a video or some pics, this is only a guess...(but I will say a very good one), typically the issue is he is not balanced over the outside ski.  Balancing against the outside ski, and "bracing" against the outside ski, are not the same.....Get him balanced over the outside ski, and the wedge will disappear on its own.


Ways to do that:


  • Traverses
  • Sideslips
  • Level shoulders
  • Lifting inside ski
  • Pivot slips
  • drag the outside pole
  • inside ski "taps"
  • hops
  • hands on knees
  • both hands on outside knee
  • airplane turns (yes you have to make the sound effects or it doesnt work)



That should get you started.  Key is keep it fun...dont worry about the wedge (its a symptom) look at his lateral balance, and make sure right from the start of the turn he is balanced over the outside ski.

post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by vontress View Post

 I do not believe any of the equipment is the issue. His body angles are too upright and I he doesnt seem to get the idea of the knees and wasteangled towards the hill.



He's a wedge turner, angulation is not where he is, currently. 


You said he reverts back to a wedge turn when he is over his head.  This is a key piece of information.  If he's making parallel turns on green and maybe blue terrain, then keep him on that terrain most of the time until he has mastered it there.  Drills to help transition to parallel on tougher terrain: Sideslips, falling leaf, garlands.  The key is to get him releasing his edges simoltaneously and moving his mass towards the apex of the new turn.  But again, I think it's also very dependent on how much HE wants to break the wedge.  Kids his often have no interest in it, and until they want it, they won't do it.   

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