There are two ways I fall when I ski:
- I’m on challenging off-piste terrain, in difficult snow, am highly focused, but nevertheless mess up and lose my balance.
- I’m on an easy trail, let my mental focus drift for just a fraction of a second, catch an edge, and go down hard.
I’ve never hurt myself with no. 1. My concern is no. 2, where I’ve had all my serious falls. I've had only three of these in 40+ years of skiing, but two happened in the last five years; the most recent was last week (see http://www.epicski.com/t/118613/lateral-heel-release-mode-for-atomic-xentrix-614-bindings-sort-of), motivating this post. Regarding situation no. 2, I’d say it’s not surprising that a momentary loss of mental focus sets me up for a fall, since when I am focused I make mistakes routinely, but when I'm paying attention I am always able to recover from them (typically with some attendant pucker factor ). So here’s my question:
Is this simply the nature of the beast – that if you’re skiing reactive skis (I was on my 160 cm Atomic Beta Race 9.16 SL), you are going to make mistakes, and constant mental focus is the only way to protect yourself --- or is it the case that, with well-trained technique, even a momentary lapse should not create a high likelihood of a fall, since your technique should be predominantly "automatic," i.e., based on engrained muscle memory?
If it’s the former, then how do you folks maintain this unwavering focus? Or if it’s the latter, I suppose I need to have someone take a look at my skiing (I assume there’s no “typical” technique flaw that leads upper-level skiers to have this problem).