Originally Posted by nomad555
I took a class the other day and the instructor told me that
a) I was crouching down when the slope got steeper
b) I need to look straight down the fall line
What is the best way of curing a) ?
For b), how can you keep looking down the fall line if you are skiing bumps/powder. I mean, don't you need to look where you are going. The instructor told me (after I asked him), that no, you "feel" the bumps and ski them that way but you look straight down.
Is this correct ?
A) is a reaction to fear. It causes you to assume a defensive position. It's a bad place to be because you lose a lot of your ability to properly control the skis. My suggestion to getting over this fear is 1) ski shallower trails faster for a while, to get used to speed and controlling that speed by slowing down from higher speeds, and 2) on the steeper hill, make longer turns at slower speeds. Get the skis moving forward across the fall line for a second, finishing the turn enough to slow yourself to a speed well within your comfort level. One way to do 2) is to have a leader, who is comfortable skiing the trail slowly, and can make nice round slow turns, and follow that person, staying right in their tracks. Take conscious notice of the speed, direction of travel, time spent in the turn, and how much you "finish" the turn, and try to emulate that without the leader.
As for B), your instructor needs to be a bit more educated in current ski techniques. You do not want to face straight down the hill all the time. The more you skid and move sideways, the more you will face your torso down the fall line. The more you carve and move forward, the more your torso will face the direction the skis are pointed. Notice, that in both cases, you are facing the direction of intended travel, or *slightly* downhill of the intended direction of travel.
I have to wonder if your instructor didn't say b) as an exaggeration, because being hunched over tends to make people ski very "boxy", and rotate around through the turn way too much. By asking you to face straight down the hill all the time he may have just been hoping you'd meet him half way, and face somewhat down the hill and not rotate uphill of the direction the skis are pointed. We instructors intentionally exaggerate stuff a lot, because if we don't most students wouldn't make any noticeable changes, because they'd *think* they were doing something, when in reality, it was all in their heads, and not observable at all.
When skiing bumps and powder (as with all skiing), you want to know where you are going to go, so yes, you need to keep your head up and look where you intend to go.