Originally Posted by borntoski683
I don't understand why all this confusion about changing weight The outside is not going to turn at all unless/until they stand on it. They MUST transfer their weight to that ski to make a turn. In fact if they flatten their old outside ski before they have transferred weight to the new one, they will probably fall down. I personally don't think skiers at this level should be told anything about flattening their skis. Actually, to be quite honest...at my own level I don't think about flattening my skis very often either. I ski edge to edge with a transition in between, but my focus is always on getting from one set of edges to the other, spending the least amount of time as possible with flattened skis on the snow.
So why would you want to tell a beginning skier to flatten their skis?
The one thing that is giving them a sense of control is the fact that their edges are engaged and they are holding themselves back from becoming a human snowball. Getting them to engage their edges is plenty of challenge and far more important. All they really have to do at that level is hold their edges and change which leg they are standing on back and forth.
the old outside ski is going to release its edge just fine without them worrying about it, AFTER they are standing on the new outside ski and it its turning and they feel safe to use it. I can't even think of a single good purpose for flattening the old outside ski because as long as its edged..it is also providing some speed control, enough though it has nothing to do with the turning.
With all due respect, this post is one with which I have to disagree. The logical outcome of this sort of thinking is movement from fully engaged inside edge to fully engaged inside edge. From the perspective of biomechanics that is far from optimal skiing, and worse, may introduce a movement pattern that can be difficult to overcome. (For the record, I am eating crow here, as I did once espouse exactly what BTS has stated. )
This is one thing that I've been struggling with: How to create movement patterns that can be developed as skiers progress? IMO, flattening skis is a key element on the road to upper level skiing.
There really is no race to go from one set of edges to another is there?
Look at world cup skiiing, and especially the pivot entry turn. Depending on the course set, WC racers can spend a little time or LOTS of time on flat skidding ski. These days, every course demands that the skis get redirected at the top of many turns -- arc-to-arc racing is rare to see.
A beginner should learn to flatten their skis, and that is usually done one ski at a time. Why? They need to know that skiing is not all about setting edges against forces. That mind set causes the defensive moves in the first place. Flattening a single ski is the first step to getting the student to realize that it is OK for their skis to slip. (Please don't take this to mean that a sideslipping low edge angled ski is safe in crud.)
Pivot slips are a important drill to develop active rotary skills. Obviously, ski redirection on turn entry (which is done on a flattened/fully released ski) is addressed by this drill. That is a very key element to the short turn. That cannot happen in the rush to move from edge to edge.
We are always doing drills in which the student is taught to take their time through transition -- to experience the forces at that time. That begets patience, which is a hallmark of experienced skiing. In fact, in our clinics, we spend a lot of time sliding around. Far more than on fully engaged edges.
Yes, you are right, we do want to give beginners a sense of control. But we also want to give them the sense that it is OK that the edges are not fully engaged. They get the sense of control from developing real
balance skills. These are skills that allow them to move and remain in balance on top of their sliding skis. And perhaps redirect the skis as dictated by the terrain.
That is much more than the skill to not be "a human snowball". Which by definition, is negative-- the skill to prevent something from happen is often done by preventing anything from happening. So they stop moving - or they panic in the race to get from one edge to another -- not pretty.
Flattening the ski/skiis is a very
positive movement even if you are flattening merely to change to the other set of edges. Flat skis are a point in the transition that you must visit and you must be balanced when you do visit it. Learning to flatten and ski on a flat skis teaches balance. As most "progressions" work, this is best learned one ski at a time.
The wedge with passive weight transfer is an excellent approach. As the student becomes more experienced, they become be less reliant on the steering angles that they create. They learn weight transfer techniques that better
utilize their inertia and the built in steering angle of their skis. All of which can first be introduced by flattening the inside ski.
Sorry for the jumble of thoughts, it is still early...
As the CSIA demos show, it's the real deal.