This forum is great. Getting help with your own questions or just reading the threads. Thanks for the help.
I am back from my annual trip where the goal was to get better off the piste. As two of you told me before I went it was all about balance. I was skiing as I had been taught 25+ years ago with feet together, leaning forward on the balls of my feet, and leaning against the outward and downward forces.
Since I went alone, I have no movies to be analyzed. So I ask that you assess my interpretation of what I learned.
Fore/aft balance. I was leaning on my boot tongues by leaning my upper body forward, which put my weight on the balls of my feet. I.e. I was closing the angle between my foot and shin and my hip/waist but not my knee.
n To stay in balance I had to bend the ankle, knee, and hip/waist the same way you would do a very shallow flat footed squat. Even pressure from toe to heel came more easily on my good turning side than my bad side. On the bad side I have to think about bringing my outside ski under me (forward) to get even weight distribution – toe to heel.
n First was skiing with my feet apart the same distance as my hips. I was surprised at how easy this was to do without thinking about it.
n Then the “angulation”, starting from the bottom up. I have heard to tip skis you bend your ankles. With ski boots on I cannot bend my ankles laterally, the boots prevent it. I cannot bend my knees laterally because knees don’t do that but hips do bend laterally. So to tip the skis and stay in a balanced position you have to move your hips to the inside and laterally bend your hip/waist to move your chest in the direction of your skis. When your knees are bent, which is almost always, it seems like you can bend them to increase tipping the ski but I think it is really the ability to lower them because of the laterally bending ability of the hip or just leaning in.
Things I felt that helped to start and maintain a carved turn.
n First was moving to a more erect position prior to turn initiation followed by closing the ankle, knee, and hip angles during initiation.
n Second was leading with the inside ski, moving it forward and tip it first.
n Third was lowering the knees more than I would do without thinking about it.
n And last was increasing lateral angulation which seemed to aid in getting the edges to carve, putting my weight more over the skis.
Other things I discovered
n (Shoulders and torso to point slightly downhill of where the skis are pointed.) In a turn on my bad side I would fail to switch resulting in my outside/downhill shoulder leading. Tapping both poles on the snow to the outside of the turn when the skis are pointed downhill was an exercise that helped. So did short quick turns keeping the torso pointed downhill all the time.
n A thousand steps is very hard and so is skiing on one ski when it is the inside ski.