Originally Posted by bud heishman
If I were a Ski School trainer, I would spend many hours with my staff making wedge turns (all kinds) and discussing the mechanics of a wedge turn and what our goals were with wedge turns because there is mass lack of understanding out there. I see it in the ski schools around Lake Tahoe. It is an area of instruction that I believe if we all had a better mechanical understanding and emphasized a good wedge turn, we would improve ski instruction and the product that it produces. Demonstrations that employ sound mechanics are easily recognized by those that understand the different skill blends and the desired outcome.
Yes, anyone can make a wedge turn. The instructor's job is to show, as their default demo, the most functional wedge turn that leads the skier toward a parallel turn in the most efficient manner. This requires the mass moves toward the new turn center not, in and down. Standing here on my carpet I can see and feel the difference, though it is subtle, IMO one is offensive and one is defensive. One moves with the turn the other braces against it.
When we start with a good foundation it is alot easier to build upon. This foundation in skiing includes efficient first turns on skis and properly aligned equipment. Should one day, the skiing public support this combination and ski resorts progress their ski schools, we could optimize our first days on skis and progress quickly to higher level skiing. Until then, thank goodness for alternative ski schools like Epicski!
I'm currently spending a few weeks doing GS race training on the glacier at Tignes, in France.
Yesterday our trainer had us doing snowplough (wedge) turns, to remind us what balance and standing on the turning ski is all about. And then had us doing it on one leg, while the other leg held the wedge position but in midair (similiar to a javelin turn, without the speed to lend stability).
Hard work and an excellent reminder of how getting the basics right feeds through to the rest of your skiing life.
I believe one Italian World Cup trainer regularly has his squad doing wedge turns through gates - in full catsuit, and for two or three days in a row.
Once beginners start to turn (by pointing the toes, turning both feet, or just 'looking and doing'), that is the point to introduce a conscious awareness of what is going on ... I go back to what ant said earlier: once they are doing it, you can get them to feel (or analyse, depending on the group!) what is happening. Then tell them about weight transfer, what it is, why it works, and how they've been doing it without thinking!