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Questions on turn initiation

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone. I'm coming off a three year layoff from the hill, but am getting back into skiing full-bore. I bought new skis (old sticks were Dynastar Coupe S9 195's and Volkl P-30 race Carvers 183's) and am heading up to Alyeska next week with my ski club. Anyway...

Considering the modern equipment (wider dimensions, shorter legnths, etc.), what are the steps involved in making a medium/long carved turn? For instance, using the old-school equipment, I broke down the carved turn into:

1.) A pole plant touch to mark the start of the turn phase
2.) A "up" motion to un-weight the skis
3.) A forward move down and into the direction of the turn
4.) Finally, a "down" weighting motion as the forces build as the edges take hold and you ride the skis into and through the turn.

However, with the new skis, I imagine that such "weighting/un-weighting" motions are really unnecessary. Probably the whole forward motion into the direction of the turn is no longer needed as well. About a week ago at Seven Springs, PA, I had a short talk with a ski instructor. He gave me the old-school drill of the waiter holding the tray infront of him. But instead of all the body motions, the skis are rotated into the turn using the ankles. I tried this drill and found it helped "quiet" me down quite a bit, but I really struggled to apply it to steeper, faster and un-groomed conditions.

So, in short, what are you guys doing to make turns on the new stuff?

Thanks for any thoughts/input!

post #2 of 4
Arvin, for the most part I don't use pole touches. For me the turn originates at the feet. What I do with the rest of my body is merely to support what's happening at the feet. However in steeper slopes where an agressive unweight and direction change occur with hops or pedal moves, I can't imagine doing without one. Also, in very short slow turns on steep hard snow I find them valuable for rhythmic purposes. But I don't generally consider them the foundation or start of the turn.

I'd suggest doing a bunch of reading in here for one or two nights, reviewing some of the discussions in the past 6 months or so regarding turns, transitions between turns, and fundamental movements. there's been a lot of great valuable info posted by some of North America's best ski teachers/thinkers/gurus.
post #3 of 4

Less steering with the feet, more tipping of the ankles and knees (higher edge angles). It works the same on cruising groomers or off-piste steeps (until you get to super steep terrain requiring hop turns). It's just that the steeper terrain requires more commitment/intensity. If you're still having troubles after Alyeska, Whitetail will still be open when you get back. Please send me a PM if you would like a lesson focused on this.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 


..for the input, guys. My real concern is trying to make my skiing much more efficient motin and effort-wise. After watching some of the better skiers on a couple of hills (Whitetail, Roundtop and Seven Springs), I now realize how much energy I was using to ski. I want to get the skis working for me a lot more than they presently do...just not sure how to go about doing it. Admittedly, I am still working on getting my ski legs back from my layoff as well as trying to adjust to the new sticks.

Rusty...may have to take you up on your offer at Whitetail. I am planning on taking a lesson or two while at Alyeska, but would love to work on it somemore at my "home" hill...when the comfort level is high, learning and trying new things is a whole lot easier!

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