I was attending a mandatory clinic this weekend and one of the topics that came up was drills to go from the wedge to skis parallel. They didn't talk about how to turn parallel, just touched the topic in the form of drills. The instructor presented two drills: the hockey stop and a "half wedge" it was called where you open up a wedge at the start of the turn and then midturn you brought your skis parallel in a hockey stop edging manner but you continue to glide forward and didn't come to an absolute stop. In a way a Wedge Christie or actually more like a Stem Turn since you had to pick the new inside ski off the snow when you brought it parallel to the outside one. No instructions on movements patterns or technique for both drills were given, just a demo.
Lets focus on the Hockey stop for a minute. I've been watching instructors at the local hill perform this drill with small kids with bad results. The kids are in a very strong wedge position standing on both legs. They cant get the inside ski off the snow and their outside ski is strongly edged the whole time. In order to perform the hockey stop you need to be able to glide forward straight down the hill with your skis parallel. Then up-unweight by extending your legs form a slightly flexed position in order to decrease pressure under your skis in order to turn them across the hill. The skis turn easily since they are flat but as you turn your skis you also increase your edge angles and keep your torso facing down hill. Try to keep your momentum going strait down the hill perpendicular to your skis and stop with a hard edge jab.
So, I did a little bit of research on YouTube and watched a few instructional videos on how to perform the Hockey Stop on ice skates. As the name applies, this is where the drill comes, from hockey. I've skated and played hockey in my youth so I know all this but just as a refresher. It turns out the skates allow for twisting sideways without any sort of up-unweighting movement. This is because the skate has a so called continuous rocker if I may use a ski term. They are bent and are touching the ice only at a very short part. So they are easily turned. Just like some of the skis nowadays that sport tip and tail rocker and you are standing with the ski touching the snow only directly under your boots. With such skis turning them from side to side without much up-down momentum is easy. However, with normal cambered skis this is not possible, or lets say, much harder. We need that up and down momentum. Especially at beginner level.
Next I checked out some of the Hockey Stop instructional videos on YouTube to see what is being taught in this sector. Turns out all of the videos I watched featured up-unweighting. As the Hockey Stop was put into context it was it was used to initiate short turns. How to use the momentum from a Hockey Stop to turn in the opposite direction. How to create up and down momentum to up-unweight and turn your skis. Same as the Pre Turn concept where you make a small jab in the opposite direction to create momentum. Then turn into the fall line. Or like skiing over a bump where the bump pushes you up and makes it easy for you to turn your skis around. Especially on a bump where the tip and tail are off the snow. Just like with a tip/tail rocker ski.
My conclusions are that the Hockey Stops are very useful for training edging, turning the feet and pressure control. And serves as a useful tool when learning to turn, especially short turns. At the same time, its not an easy drill to do if you are not familiar with gliding parallel and up-down movement, both not being taught in classic wedging.
Here is a video I made last year. Its a blast from the past and sports the Wedge Wedeln progression popular in classic ski instruction. At the very end there is something like a Hockey Stop. What are your taught at the topic?