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Specific help taking Mair Klaus' on-piste technique into off-piste and moguls

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 


I'm preparing myself for our ski trip to Les Arcs and asking questions that have been asked a thousand times, but I think I'm asking it in a slightly different way, and specifically related to how I improved my on-piste carving technique.


Last year I successfully employed Klaus' technique to do with "coming inside ski" (3:02 and 3:19 in this clip) and "watch your hip" (3:36 - 3:50 and 3:53 - 4:00 of this clip). By the end of the week I felt I could ski any piste really sweetly by using this body mechanic.


What I'm basically asking is can I take this into off-piste and moguls?


My understanding of the changes I need to make are:


1. Off-piste (deeper snow, powder, crud)

I should be able to use the technique, but:

a) the skis will need to be closer together and weight evenly distributed on both skis

b) instead of standing up (up unweighting) to change edges I need to go down (down unweight) to change edges. This is the bit I struggle with. When I watch good skiers off-piste / powder they still look like they are down unweighting?


2. Moguls

Completely different.

a) absorb the bumps in a backward cycling body mechanic (per Bob Barnes' excellent cartoons)

b) less edging and carving, but still some

c) edge change at the top of the bumps using down unweighting, although not really down, but more absorption


Appreciate any comments and apologies for re-doing topics that have been done before, but this Klaus Mair video really helped last year and I'm looking for a similar breakthrough on deep snow and moguls.


Many thanks




post #2 of 5



Yes you can take this technique off piste and to the moguls. However, the difference is that you need to make adjustments when you go off piste or into the moguls. The exact nature of the required adjustments will vary on many factors (e.g. ski length and width relative to your body mass and the snow conditions). In general, your understanding is correct. Moguls don't have to be completely different. You can do a lot with the movements demonstrated in this clip. But there's a lot more than just adding absorption. There are many different options for skiing moguls. These are well covered in other threads.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks Rusty


When you say in gerneral my understanding is correct, does that apply to my up unweighting understanding in deeper snow / powder / off-piste?


Some of what I have read here suggests that an off-piste turn is different, in that you extend the legs as you carve the turn, then retract to change edges. What I see when I watch good skiers is them using the same technique as on-piste, i.e. retract legs / bend knees (with maintained pressure on shins and therefore front of skis) as you carve the turn, and extend the legs to up-unweight and change edges.


Thanks again. I know I am going over stuff that has been covered a lot but I'm trying to relate it to this Mair Klaus video that really helped last year (just wish he would do a similar video for off-piste and moguls).

post #4 of 5



One's choice of technique depends on many factors. For many off piste skiers, in normal powder snow, with "wider" shaped skis, there is no need to up-unweight in order to change edges. If you've got skinnier, straight skis in deeper heavier snow, up-unweighting might be a better option. Better skiers will be able to initiate their turns with both legs extending, both legs retracting or with the inside leg retracting and the outside leg extending. Better skiers can also choose between up-unweighting, down-unweighting or no unweighting during their transition. There's a difference between being taught the way to do something and being taught a way to do something.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks Rusty

This seems to make sense and fits with a lot of videos I've been looking at. Also, I remember when I skied last year, as I got better at the technique I was almost not unweighting at all, and just switching edges and knee / hip position. 

Looking forward to playing around with up/down, down/up and no unweighting in a few weeks and may try to get some video.

Thanks again Rusty.


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