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How to ride switch

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Twin tips seems to be more popular than classic shaped skis these days (I just picked up my first pair), so I'd like to learn how to ride switch.  Is there a proper technique?  Do you still keep pressure on the front of the boot with the ankles flexed?  Is there a proper way to transition from regular to switch without needing a jump?


Thanks for any advice!

post #2 of 8

Proper way to transition? Yes - don't catch an edge!


Pressure? Forward pressure always helps. But when you're riding switch - forward pressure is the other way -> to the back of the boots.


You might want to start riding switch in a backwards wedge and slowly transition to parallel. And please don't run over the tourists.

post #3 of 8

Cuff neutral will put you in the same balanced spot regardless of the direction you're traveling. Once you are comfortable there begin adding pressure to the spine of the boot. The biggest thing to avoid is bending at the waist which shifts your weight to the tips.

Edited by justanotherskipro - 2/10/2009 at 09:54 pm
post #4 of 8

So, start off in a wedge on green terrain, stay centred, a bit of pressure on your calves isn't a bad thing to think about, keep your hands down by your hips, maybe try without poles so you aren't tempted to lean forwards on them (very common in my experience).


When it comes to turns and trying to stay parallel, look over your outside shoulder and turn your hips down the falline a bit, this will give you a bit of a tip lead change, you want your inside ski to be further back than your outside ski, then as you finish your turn rise up and start to turn your body the other way, be careful not to carry on rotating in the same direction, as you would then revert rather than start the next turn. It feels a bit different to skiing forwards as you are whole body rotating rather than separating.

post #5 of 8

Just noticed you asked about a 'proper' way to transition to switch, I teach two ways. One is just turning your skis all the way up the hill (ie using your edges, a bit easier). The other is more useful and involves flattening your skis and then using a bit of pre wind and throw with your arms to spin you around. This will help you with basic spins as you learn to rotate your whole body.


Maybe try and learn flatground 360s that way (flat skis), as that will also test how centred you are, as if you are leaning forwards (up the hill) it will be very hard to transition from switch to forwards.

post #6 of 8
Originally Posted by Arthrogrian19 View Post

Is there a proper way to transition from regular to switch without needing a jump?

I'm no switch expert, but I can share how I learned to "get" switch from an switch-amateur perspective.


Slow: Begin with a move akin to the start of a hockey stop (quick hard edge to get rotation started), but before the skis come perpendicular to fall line, release the edges and finish pivoting/slipping the tips uphill. The edge-release and pivot are easier if you unweight (stand up a bit taller). For a flat land 360, repeat. That is, once switch, set a quick edge to start rotation, then unweight, release edges and pivot tips back down the fall line.


Faster: The edge set is quicker and unweighting becomes more jump-like (or an outright hop) to avoid catching an edge. If hopping, still make the quick edge set to start your rotation before/as you hop. I've had bad luck with hopping and THEN trying to start my rotation. I picture a hockey player making a transition to switch - they carve into a near hop.

post #7 of 8

One thing I don't that has been mentioned here is which shoulder are you going to look over?  I personally found that when I started skiing switch that it was helpful for me to look over one shoulder as I turned in one direction and the other when I went the other direction. 


Transition:  Work on spinning around, flat 360's, which are fun to do.  You'll get used to how your ski's feel under your feet and it will make you more comfortable when you actually start trying to ski switch.


Skiing switch isn't as difficult as it seems, it just takes practice, patience, and a good attitude.  The edge to edge of going forward is the same going backwards.  Just be sure to go slow, try snow plowing and being able to turn from switch to forwards to switch easily before you get going with the rest.

post #8 of 8





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