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Three tips for a skier new to shaped skis?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm heading up to PA with a group of folks who have never been on shaped skis. They are all advanced skiers.

What are three or so tips I can give them that will help in the transition from driving the shins into the boot tongues and steering the skis with knees to tiping the skis and letting the ski shape do the work?

post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
Forgot to say -

Yeah, yeah, I know they should take some lessons to learn how to ski shaped skis, but I know these guys and they won't do that.
post #3 of 8
OK, I'm not a pro instructor, just an aging expert now skiing on my first pair of shapes.
First of all, let me say that it's really been great fun figuring out these things on my own. So, here's my three tips:

1) Stay centered (front-to-back).
2) Don't keep your feet locked together - widen your stance, and while you're at it, try puting at least SOME of your weight on the UPHILL ski. (These are tough habits to break for me!)
3) This one's the most fun. Start by linking turns doing your normal old up-and-down movements, but slowly minimize the amount of unweighting until you feel like you're imitating a snake!

Hey, I may be wrong, but I'm sure having fun!
post #4 of 8
Check this out. http://www.psia.org/Education/TPSArticles/shapedskis/tpsfall96shapelyadvantage.asp .
Then send the link to your friends.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by milesb (edited December 28, 2000).]</FONT>
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks MilesB and Tominator,

I'm not an instructor, but I'll play one this weekend. MilesB, I sent the link to them, but not before checking some of the articles out for myself. MAN, they are great! Thanks for the link!

Tominator, I agree with your tips, a gradual transition into the shaped ski technique sounds best.
post #6 of 8

Before going up on the first lift, find a flat but groomed area and have them skate on their skis, from inside edge to inside edge, holding the glide on each edge at the end of the skating stroke. This will help them can get used to the power of this new type of turn, and the dynamics of the ski.

Also, this should help them establish their individual balance points, and get them used to the skis.

Now find a beginner's slope [ very gradual and with minimal steepness,] and at the top, tell them to "skate" down the hill, making turns as they feel are necessary. Do this a few times, and then move onto a little more steeper and challenging slope, and do the same thing again. Plan to devote about 45 minutes to an hour to accomplish this.

This should determine one of two things.

1. It will teach them how to use the sidecut on the shaped skis to make easier and better turns, or...
2. Convince them it is now time to take a lesson, and group lessons, on a per person basis aren't that expensive.

Good Luck and Happy Skiing to one and all.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by wink (edited December 31, 2000).]</FONT>
post #7 of 8
On shaped skis, it's important to alwyas be turning. They don't like to run straight and tend to get squirly. As long as you link turns and vary shape, you'll find they work very nicely.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your great tips/hints. The weekend was wonderful and my friends are new converts to the shaped ski world. They both want to upgrade their old skis to new shaped ones. It took about a half day for them to catch on to the technique differences, but when they did, it was like a lightbulb going off and I could immediately see the difference in their turns. Their tracks went from, more of a skidded, jagged shape; to smooth, rail thin, round arcs in the snow.

They both could instantly feel the difference when they finally got the skis up high enough on the edges to "rail" some turns. By the third day, I actually had one of them dragging his hand on the snow during the apex of his turns. Very cool!
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