>>I like the sound of these variations and intend to try them. Can you clarify a few things for me.<<
>>The 360's on one ski - are both poles off the ground along with one ski? If so, what rotary/steering mechanism are you using to achieve the spin? To my way of thinking, without a second contact point (to the snow) from either the other leg or a pole you would have to resort to upper body rotation.<<
In this case upper body rotation does not work well as you are immediately throwing yourself out of balance. I use a pole touch with the pole that is opposite the foot I am spinning on along with very light tip leveraging. The key here is to keep the free ski that is off the ground close to the other ski and tip or tilt the free ski with your ankle. Light contact with the front of the boot is essential and all movements must originate from the feet. Any movements that originate in the upper body, such as rotation, affect the flatness of the ski. This is an exercise in very fine ankle movements and quiet upper body.
>>540 degree flat spins - what direction are you beginning from? I'm having a hard time figuring out the "coming nearly to a stop backwards" piece.<<
To do this exercise, you begin with a pole plant and slight leveraging of the ski tips. Spin flat once around and around again until backwards. If you have done your 540 degree spin at a constant even rate, without little traverses, you will be in balance and moving slowly down the hill backwards. It is at this point that you remain neutral and roll the inside ankle and carve an uphill christy backwards to a stop. At this point you become neutral and initiate a turn from a dead stop in the opposite direction. In order to do this turn initiation, you must transfer balance back to the other ski and extend while rolling the other/new inside ankle. The whole exercise is a complicated blend of skills. The main thing is very fine edge control, with very controlled movements of the center of mass both of which, start in the feet. Without movements originating from the ankle along with very accurate movements of the center of mass you will end up stepping or wedging or not carving your backwards uphill christe. I find this exercise to be the most difficult of all the exercises.
>>Wide stance - is this opened up wider than your natural stance. If so, what do you feel are the benefits of doing so?<<
I open things up slightly wider than my natural stance. This forces me to use a complicated blend of independent leg action, (a combination of rotary and ankle movements). Nothing can be faked. Incorrect or late movements of the center of mass or movments not originating in the feet or loss of contact with the boot tongues are really noticeable. The feedback from mistakes and good movements alike is simply much greater, in a wider stance. One must get creative if one has an eye on the D team.
I should mention that none of these things are really possible without good alignment.
What do you think is the best time to say hi to you this weekend?
<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 11, 2002 09:10 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Pierre eh! ]</font>