|Originally posted by Todo:
How do you teach people to guide the ski and not twist? I am 100% behind teaching edging skills and use of the ski but what do you do when that does not work? What do you do when someone can not make short radius turns?
I do agree with both MC and Si that tipping of the feet and femur for turn initiation is key to good skiing and we need to teach this first we also need to teach people how to get off the edge as this is another common issue with the new shape ski skier they are unable to manage the turn and end up with a bracing downhill leg with high edge angle and over pressure and develop a lot of chatter and side skidding as the terrain gets steeper.
The simplest way to teach guiding of the skis rather than twisting is by not creating a situation where someone without the skills feels forced to twist the skis. Also by not introducing twisting rotary as an initiating or primary steering movement. Most A lessons revolve around wedging and twisting rotary in short radius turns because we want to teach survival skills. You usually end up with a blend of skills that is way out of wack with expert skiing. I use very easy terrain and slower, more patient movements to refine skill blends. Traverses with garlands to turns using gravity, patience, and smooth continuous movements. If the student feels threatened to get those skis into the fall line, the movements will become harsh and their body rigid, and will probably require a lot of rotary to turn.
You ask what I do if that doesn't work or the student can't make a short radius turn. The answer is that what I DO NOT do is to introduce compensatory movements for a deficient skill, I refine that skill. For example if I have a student who attains a flat ski by tipping to the little toe edge, but the ski is very passive or overedged (opposite ends of the spectrum), I may have them take one ski off on a flat and make sliding turns to the little toe edge by tipping to flatten and guiding the tip around. The focus of the movement is totally driven from the feet and starts with tipping. This will enhance and refine the rotary needed to guide the ski while also enhancing the blend of other skills for higher level skiing. This exercise is part of my beginner progression, so they have already done it by the time I put them on 2 skis.
The misconception is that short radius turns are somehow completely different than medium radius turns. Regardless of the shape and amount of carve, the movements are the same, with only a change in degree. If a student cannot make a short radius turn, I would contend they also have a deficiency in all their other turns. I know many upper level PSIA folks who can make short radius "swishy" turns (lots of twisting rotary), but cannot hold a carve on boilerplate. Initiation and skill blend are not adequate.
In a balanced position, simply rolling the feet progressively, whether in full carve or not, the skis will turn and the tips will lead. That's what shaped skis are designed to do. Stand sideways on the slope with the downhill ski slightly lifted. Tip that ski to the little toe while releasing the uphill edge. Continue tipping both feet and simply allow the skis to do what they are built to do. Even with my mid fat's (19m)I can complete one turn in less than 10 feet with nothing more than resulting rotary of the femur moving in the hip socket due to the rolling of the feet. Is that short radius enough?
To tie this back into where this thread started, let's use the example of the skier you talk about at the end of your post.(see quote above) Is the problem this skier is having going to be remedied by exercises or drills that focus on twisting rotary movements? Or will more twisting rotary actually cause the problem to become worse? It sounds more like the problem may be traced all the way back to turn initiation. It's very likely that an OVER active use of rotary placed them in that position to begin with.