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Why can't I make left turns?!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've been skiing for about 5 years, a handful of times each year.  I've never had any formal instruction, just kind of picked up what I could from friends.  I'd say right now I'm at an intermediate level, but I'm having a frustrating time with making left turns.  For whatever reason I can't seem to "force" my left ski to turn left on the snow...I literally have to lift my boot up off the ground and re-plant the ski to get it parallel with my right ski.  I have no problems with either ski when turning right.

 

I feel like this is hampering my progress because I have so little confidence in my left turns as compared to my right ones.  I tried to get some advice from my expert skier friends, they watched me carve a few turns but couldn't offer up much more than saying "huh, that's strange, you shouldn't be lifting your leg like that".

 

Any advice? 

post #2 of 11

Could be a bunch of things including boot alignment. Or it could be equipment tune related. Go to a good bootfitter and have your alignment checked. Let them take a look at your skis as well.

 

Expert level skiing friends are of little help when it comes to technique and equipment. There are exceptions offcourse but generally speaking look for professional help.

 

In order to get the most out of this forum you need to post a video of your skiing. Now it will all be just wild guessing.

post #3 of 11

It's not your boots, it's because you're right handed.  Post a video so people can see what you're doing wrong and then you'll get some answers.

post #4 of 11

skiNH09,

 

 

  Welcome to Epic!

 

 

This is actually quite common in skiers in one direction or the other.  We all have a "better side" and are reluctant to commit to the turn on the other side.  What is happening is you aren't releasing the edge of your old  outside ski (left ski on right turn) and then starting the left turn with the right ski.  The left ski is caught on its right edge.  To fix this, make sure you flatten both skis before you start turning them to the left.

 

This has to start happening on easier terrain before you will ever be able to do it on steeper terrain.

 

RW

post #5 of 11

Must... not... make... Zoolander... joke....... Argggh!!!

post #6 of 11

Try taking a lesson.  For best results take a private lesson.  That way you have the ski pro working with you all the time.  Make sure you get an experienced pro.  Tell the pro what you consider your problems are.  What your concerns are.  What you want to get out of the lesson. i.e.:

  • I think I'm an intermediate skier.
  • I've been skiing for 5 years a few times each year.
  • I have problems making left turns.
  • I have to lift my left boot off the ground to turn.
  • I can make right turns without a problem.
  • I want to learn to ski better.
  • etc.

 

If the pro won't listen to you or starts off into a canned lesson, request another pro.

 

You didn't say if you use rental or your own equipment.  That can make a huge difference.  If you are using rental equipment, see if the pro will go through the rental process with you to get appropriate equipment.  A good ski pro will help you get boots that fit properly and pick a length of ski that will help you learn more quickly.  The time and effort spent getting properly fitting gear, even rental gear, is worth it.

 

 

Then, go out with the pro, ski, learn, and have fun.  You will find that the one-on-one time spent with a qualified ski pro will be worth it.  It will pay back in big dividends in fun and enjoyment on the slope later.  You might even come back for some other group or private lessons later.

 

Remember, most all ski pros take lessons themselves.  We just don't call them that.   We call them clinics.

post #7 of 11

I would suggest you have a very qualified boot fitter take a look at your set up.  It's a safe bet that the fitter will find something that will benefit your skiing and maybe even help this problem.  So, first stop boot fitter.

 

A good instructor could also identify boot problems and structural issues.  Get a lesson from a qualified instructor who has the skills to evaluate both skills and alignment.

 

Addressing the problem could lead to a break through in your skiing.  If you post your location there might be some suggestions on where to go for qualified help.

post #8 of 11

Original poster, good advice here above but Im pritty sure that your right turn is also not made with correct movements. You mention that you "cannot force" your left ski to turn left. There should be no forcing. In order to turn left you should pressure your right ski inside edge. No forcing or twisting. You should not be lifting that inside ski off the snow at all.

post #9 of 11

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiNH09 View Post

 

I'm having a frustrating time with making left turns.  For whatever reason I can't seem to "force" my left ski to turn left on the snow...I literally have to lift my boot up off the ground and re-plant the ski to get it parallel with my right ski.  I have no problems with either ski when turning right.

 

 

Let's consider the alignment of your legs.  Ideally, when the skis are flat on the snow (or the boots are flat on a hard surface) you knee is centered over your 2nd toe (next to the big toe).  If your are too far to either side your ski edge is dug into the snow and it is very difficult to release and turn.  Try this...at home put shorts on and ski boots on.  Stand on a hard surface with the boot soles flat on the floor with your feet walking-width apart.  Have a helper hold a carpenter's framing square (the big one, 16" x 24") at the center of your left boot toe and see if the center of your left knee is directly above.  Or, a plumb bob can be used down from the center of the knee.  Alternately on the snow, ski on an easy run on one foot at a time 45° to the left of the fall line, the same to the right, and straight down the (easy) fall line.  If you need to get into contorted body positions to ski a straight line, you're misaligned.  If they don't align, a bootfitter can either shim under your bindings or cut down the sole of the boot to get you lined up.

 

For skiing, where is your balance point?  You aren't balanced over the center of your feet, you'll have trouble turning no matter what.  How far apart are your feet?  Try a narrower stance if they're wide (or a wide stance if you're bowlegged).  If you switch skis left-to-right, is the problem the same?  One ski could have the edge protruding (railed) and if you always put the same ski on the same foot, you'll have problems.  And, it can always be a combination of things causing your problems.

post #10 of 11

I've been skiing for about 5 years also, so I'm not in a position to give you advice. But I had the same issue last year. In my case, I wasn't putting enough weight on my inside ski (left ski) while turning left. As a result my inside ski was straighter than my outside ski, forcing me to lift my left ski right off the snow and completing the turn on the right ski alone. I had to coax myself into distributing my weight on both skis. I'm not sure if this is infact your problem though.

post #11 of 11

It seems obvious there is an asymetry somewhere here, whether it is an equipment one or possibly a physical limitation issue, it should be easily determined and addressed by a qualified alignment specialist who also has an in depth understanding of skiing mechanics!

 

Don't buy into the right handed, right footed mantra.

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