This season is the first time I ski. Because the limited time I have on snow, I make an effort to check several movements I am taught when I am skiing. I practice linking turn repeatedly on the same trail to train my muscle memory. I check the following, in the sequence learned:
- Unweight and fall into the fall line to initiate the turn. I am familiar turning in half pipe so the feeling of fall is something I am familiar with, ski is just different direction then snowboard.
- quite upper body and facing fall line.
- Don’t lock my knees; otherwise I will fall back and in trouble sometimes. I find that my shins will press against the tongue when my knees are bend and flexible. From what I read, this is good.
- Using angulation to tip ski.
I also try to decrease turning radius or increase the tipping angle to see what the limit is. After some practice, I’ll ski a more difficult run to see my limit. I find that I catch edges occasionally. It happens when I am very aggressive on easy trail. It also happens when I traverse on trails with some incline that is not at the direction of the fall line.
Here are 3 observations or questions I have, these happen in two different days.
- An instructor taught me flexion and extension. He mentions bending the ankle. This is something I did not check. I found that I am able to make much shorter radius turns, and it seems to have fixed or improved my ski catching edge problem. Why is it?
- In another lesson, a different instructor suggests me to release my outside ski earlier. The instructor taught me privately when we shared a chair on the lift because he did not want to teach this in lesson to confuse other students. Something amazing happen when I practice this by myself. I can feel very strong centrifugal force when I turn. In addition to this, I can make turns on a flat part of the trail without decreased speed (ok, maybe a little). Before, I could not make similar turns on the flat part and not kill the speed. I am pretty sure it also fixes my ski catching edge problem. Why does this simple movement lead to such significant changes?
- I ask the same instructor why I skid. He tells me because my body is closer to the hill. So, I tried stay away from the hill after lesson. I realized that I only fall into fall line during turn initiation. Now I fall into fall line thru out the turn. This gives me a sensation that is hard to describe. It is like I am turning from uphill or behind me sometimes. I feel very balanced, and ski with less effort. This improvement makes me smiles from ear to ear. Does this make sense?