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Suggest activities for kids 6-8 with "feet way apart" wedge

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Kids 6-8yo, level 3ish has approximately the right amount of angle between the skis for a small wedge but have their feet way apart.  .  Not talking about the dread huge power-wedge with tips close together and tails a mile apart.  Perhaps tips are 12" apart and tails are 24".  Needs to get tips 4" apart and tails 16" so that feet are a comfortable 12" apart and spontaneous matching of skis may result.

Causes I would presume might be--
  •   seeking wider platform do to underdeveloped balancing skills.
  •   some lack of movement into turn might cause inside ski to lock on edge and get pulled away from other skis.  Wedge angle doesn't increase but skis pulled apart.

Suggest activities to help promote keeping appropriate-sized small wedge with skis the proper distance apart so that spontaneous christie results.

I've got a bunch of ideas but want to hear others.

-l2t
post #2 of 8

Don't over look the braking effect of the inside skis inside edge dragging in the snow.  Your young skiers may be relying on that for speed control.

I've found the following things helpful to narrow a stance:

  • Ask them to ski with their skis closer together - simple but often effective
  • If you have a group make it a contest to see who can stay in a narrow stance
  • Demo and ask them to copy you as you ski with a narrow stance
  • Show them a sufficiently slow line to ski so they don't need the extra drag from their inside ski for speed control
  • Hopping through turns
  • Have them try to hold properly sized soft ball between the legs while skiing
  • Use garlands instead of full turns if they tend to get wide in the fall line
  • Encourage them to be on corresponding edges instead of opposing edges, garlands may be great way to work on this

Hope I add some ideas to your list.  Good luck.
post #3 of 8
 All of what JRN said. Also TERRAIN! Shuffling too.
post #4 of 8
I'd suggest a quick check of their lateral alignment.   

I've had Wedge skiers in a very wide stance because they couldn't get a sufficient inside-edge any other way.   Sometimes loose boot cuffs allow too much play and sticking a bit of 'Foamies' foam on the inside of the cuff will take up the room allowing them to create a stronger inside-edge.

Other times they simply have crooked lower legs (I have that problem) and only major adjustments will permit sufficient inside-edge to ski normally.

.ma
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post

I'd suggest a quick check of their lateral alignment.   

I've had Wedge skiers in a very wide stance because they couldn't get a sufficient inside-edge any other way.   Sometimes loose boot cuffs allow too much play and sticking a bit of 'Foamies' foam on the inside of the cuff will take up the room allowing them to create a stronger inside-edge.

Other times they simply have crooked lower legs (I have that problem) and only major adjustments will permit sufficient inside-edge to ski normally.

.ma
Some kids have such thin lower legs that that they are like a broom stick in a tennis ball tube. That's a good suggestion  above  and another is to really look close at all of your kids boots.  Nearly every time I look  I find  something down there that makes controlling a ski harder.  Others are knock kneed and they just open their stance that way because that's how they are built.
Sometimes skipping the wedge is easier  and for others asking to make them smaller gets them matching nicely soon. Learning matching helps many who just don't wedge well for whatever reasons.

Another idea is to take your early wedgers across the hill with enough fall line to get them moving  use some line adjustment to control their turn entry speed and not linger in the fall line.  Work your early progressions diagonally and not straight down the hill and teach turn shape to control speed with as small a wedge as they can use and still be stable
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Most of that stuff is stuff I thought of but it's great to here other people talk about it.  Helps me remember.  I think garlands are one of the best ideas. 

One thing I did not think of is the alignment and mechanical issues.  Good idea to check both alignment and how the legs are fitting in the boot cuffs.

The symptom of the skis being pulled at the end of the turn can be do to a problem at the beginning of the turn in that the old outside ski is not released; as the new inside ski, it catches.  It's might be possible to explain to an adult to flatten the old outside ski and move their CM to the new turn but not to a 6yo.  Activities that would encourage this would be great.  Garlands may help.  Other ideas?
Edited by learn2turn - 1/7/10 at 3:49pm
post #7 of 8
As GarryZ said  check those boots, if they are not snug you are wasting yours and the kids time, all the movements you are trying to get kids to do are lost in floating boots.I get kids doing things with their feet and legs, 180 degree spin arounds leading to 360 spin arounds, hop turns, hockey stops, hockey slides, diagonal side slips at the bottom of the turn going a long distance. Don't talk just show and go.Really go for as flat a ski as you can then start working on edge engagements after they have shown nice rounded turns. I know hockey stops don't fit that criteria but its fun to get them spraying snow. Play
post #8 of 8
Ski on one ski.  (Traverses on the downhill ski.)  Can be fun and teaches balance.  With confidence in balance the feet naturally come closer together.

On flat terrain, jump from one ski to the other.  (Feet have to be closer together to accomplish this.)

Ski sideways.  (Sideslips)  Anything that you aren't "supposed to do" can be fun.

Bunny hops.  (Jumping while skiing.)
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