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Good progressions for Z turners

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Looking for a few good progressions for people who have no faith in the turn. You know, the ones who use way too much rotary and get the skis skidding sideways too fast?

post #2 of 11
Not a progression, but an exercise. This one is also good for classes, as you can pair everyone up, or you can do a snake/train of follow-the-leader.

Have one person lead, making medium radius turns. The second person follows about 1/4 turn behind. The big thing here is that the follower needs to stay fairly close to the leader.

The exercise is that the follower should constantly be aiming the tips of their skis at the leader's boots. It works really well to keep prople from rushing through the fall line. To turn it into a progression, start adding edging exercises and have the follower chase the leader.

Once they get the idea and sensation of not rushing through the fall line, the hard part is to get them to make the same turns without having to follow someone. For this, I try to get them to imagine tracks in the snow of an invisible skier, and to aim their ski tips at those tracks.

Remember that the root cause of the problem is that the student is afraid to have the skis in the fall line for any amount of time. So it may also help to go to an easier pitch if they are accellerating more than they are comfortable with. Look to see if they go way into the back seat when entering the fall line. This is a good indication of fear of speed.

Good luck!
post #3 of 11
nice one, John. This forum has missed your input.

How's the balmy Winter of 2002 going? been riding more than skiing?
post #4 of 11
I am going to agree with John H here. The Z turner has a problem with fear and perception, even if they don't think so. John's exercise is very good until you get to larger class sizes.
I start working on the Z turners perception of what they are doing by using a combination of transfer skills and common sense. I reinterate the fact that just like riding a bike, we ski where our eyes tell us to. Look where you want the skis to go. Second, I explain that what they are doing is slamming on the brakes to turn instead of going where they want to go. I take them to very easy terrain and tell them " I don't want you to think, I want you in a state of mind that is constantly telling you to stay off the brakes. Ski by looking ahead and get in touch with what your body tells you is necessary to keep the skis from quickly braking around the corner. Take the brakes off gradually if that is what it takes." This in conjunction with John's exercise works well. Take it to steeper terrain gradually. A bit of zen can go a long way.
post #5 of 11
As a clairification, for calsses of 4 or more, pair up the students. That way, if you had 10 (unlikely, but we do it in clinic groups of this size), you can just send out 5 pairs of people. Have them switch leaders half way down (or wherever), and pick a place to group back up. I really do not like snakes/trains of people going down the hill. It's too dangerous, unless the place is deserted, because you will take up too much of the hill, and it tends to slow the group down, and I think the students like being in pairs because they feel like they are getting more one-on-one feedback - even if it is from another student, and you add your comments to their discussion. If you have an odd number of students, you become a leader for one of them (preferably the weakest - but prettiest comes to mind also )

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 30, 2002 11:10 AM: Message edited 1 time, by JohnH ]</font>
post #6 of 11
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gonzostrike:

How's the balmy Winter of 2002 going? been riding more than skiing?

: About 50/50 skiing and riding. But considering the current situation, riding will quickly take the lead. Right now it's 80 degrees in areas that are considered the south western DC 'burbs!
post #7 of 11
A nice verbal/visual image is "How do you walk up a flight of stairs?" We play around without skiis coming up with different ways of just walking...hard?, abrupt?, slow?, smooth?..

Then we ski like we walk. Smooth transition and patience.

Some of the demos are funny to watch. Nice ice breaker!
post #8 of 11
"Under-terrain" not "Over terrain"
post #9 of 11
Hey Pierre eh! and JohnH; good thoughts but play with me for a moment. When I follow my wife I must ride a much longer (traversing) turn to be able to stay behind her. I am going much faster over a longer course to go the same 'speed' downhill. I can't stay in her tracks without running over her.
post #10 of 11

It sounds like you and your wife are different skiing abilities. She spends more time skidding across the fall line, scrubbing speed, while you are moving forward and carrying speed.

When I do this with a group, the group should all be the same ability level. If I'm doing it with a single student, I start out by traveling at a medium pace and look to see if they are catching up or falling behind, and adjust my speed accordingly.

You could use this with your wife, if it's an exercise for her to follow you. It actually sounds like an ideal exercise for her, given your explanation.
post #11 of 11
No doubt JohnH,
At Copper Mt. I tried to ski in Ski&Golf's tracks. Not only could I not stay in the lines but he was hell and gone away down the mountain leaving me in the groom. Always more to learn, eh what? [img]smile.gif[/img]
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