Originally Posted by yogaman
This reminds me of the question I ask many students. It goes like this. When you drive do you turn your car or does your car turn you. Once we get through a quick discussion (usually while on the lift) they agree that they don't turn the car, they turn the wheel and that causes actions in the mechanics of the car which causes the car to turn and as a result, causes them, as the driver of the car to turn. It's obvious watching never evers in their first attempts at turning that they generally believe that they have to physically turn their skis yet in reality as we all know, the process is much more subtle. ym
You drive the car. The car takes you places. You turn the steering wheel and the car turns. The car turn and you with it. Just like in skiing. You are making all the movements and calling the shots and the skis reacts by doing things like going straight or turning. Accelerating or braking. I frequently use the expression that "let the skis turn you and not you turning the skis". But that is only half the truth. Because we want the students to stop muscling the skis around with great leg turning action instead of letting the skis tip on edge and do the turning "all by them selves". I also use this cue when I teach people to wedge. I want them to stop all other movements and focus on weight transfer only. Just like I want my students to concentrate on tipping only when learning carving. Wedging and carving are similar in this perspective. The basic Parallel Turn however is different. Pure weight transfer from downhill ski to uphill ski will not start your turn. Neither will tipping your skis from their uphill edges to their downhill edges. You need something more.
However, modern ski instruction has blurred the whole concept of the basic Parallel Turn. Just watched a bunch of videos on the subject and in no video do they mentioned anything about up-unweighting. The reason is that not even instructors understand the basic fundamental mechanism of how a basic Parallel Turn is performed. All demos on the subject by ski instructors on the net look horrible. Nothing I would like to strive for in my own skiing if I was a student. They all basically start with the wedge. Then they try to morph the wedge into a Parallel Turn. In the end its at its best linked Parallel Turns. Notice, "linked". When you link you get momentum. So what they are doing is feeding on momentum from previous turn and up-unweighting and pivoting (very little at its best). Not tipping, weight shifting or releasing to initiate the basic Parallel Turn. Then they spend the rest of their lives trying to work the micro wedge out of their skiing. And the Direct To Parallel crowd uses this kind of misinformation to boost their own system.
I was skiing with 50s gear last winter at a masquerade. Making shaky Parallel Turns and trying to stay upright. Along comes this 55 y old ski instructor and laughs and shouts I'm doing it all wrong. "Your up-and-down movement needs to bee much much bigger and you need to counter more more more. That's how we did it in back then!!!". What she did not understand was that none of those exaggerated movements were needed to turn those 220s. Not then, not now... but she didn't know. Still she thought she did. And sadly enough still does.
So mr Hall or whatever his name is, did something very few have done. He explained in very few steps how to make a basic Parallel Turn. Be it the old school way but still. If you want to ski like Berger, this is a good starting point.