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Again I am going to post something that I wrote a couple years ago I was reminded of this bit of doggerel by Mosh's post on balance.

What is balance?
To a beginning skier it means not falling down. To me it means being centered in the web of forces that exist in every ski turn, in control of them, using them to guide the skis and CM where I want them to go.

Balance!!!! I have a new way to look at balance I think. We have always tended to think of balance in either static terms or in terms of everyday activities like walking or running. The problem with this is that skiing is neither static nor is it bi-lateral in the same way as walking is so that we have to adapt our concept of balance to a high speed, whole body activity.

First a couple of definition for the following discussion. Drop a plumb bob from your center of mass and go skiing. The weight at the end of the line will swing back an forth under the forces of the turn. The spot on the surface of the snow that the line would pass through if extended I will call the center of balance. The area between and around your feet that your center of balance must fall in for you to be in balance will be referred to as the balance platform. I am not totally happy with these definitions because I don't like the idea of having to come up with special definitions for special terms. I think that we should be able to conduct all of our discussions in English without having to resort to special definitions or jargon.

One of the first adaptations that we have to make is to realize that we have a moving balance platform and that we must not only keep our center of balance within the confines of this platform but we must anticipate the future movement of the platform so that we can keep our center of balance moving to match it. We can even take advantage of this moving platform by purposely moving into a unbalanced state and letting the movement of the platform rebalance us.

In watching my students over the years I have came up with three broad categories of balance Passive balance is the state that most skiers tend to be in. It involves reacting to changes in balance only after they take place. Balanced is the state where the skier moves to anticipate the movement of the balance platform so as to stay on the sweetspot of the platform. Aggressive balance is the act of purposely moving to a state of precarious balance or even into a state of imbalance with the knowledge that the balance platform will move dramatically to put you back in balance.

Like I said I wrote this a few years back and I have to think about it to decide if it still makes sense or if there are parts of it that I no longer agree with myself. But I thought that it might stimulate some discussion and I'm bored and want to ski.