Originally Posted by tdk6
I resort to the wedge myself very often. For example when I inspect a race course or rid it from snow.
Hey - that's another good use for a Braking ("Snowplow") Wedge that we tend to overlook! I've done that myself and not even thought about it, but what better way to Plow the Snow off a race course than to use a 'SnowPlow Wedge'?
Originally Posted by tdk6
I think that its important to teach the wedge and its movements first and then teach the parallel turn and its movements later on.
I suspect this is how ski instructors typically went about things in the USA for most of the past 40 years as well (and many still do!).
Here also, the Braking Wedge was taught as a defined set of Wedge-specific movement patterns aiming at a specific outcome (that being continuous braking along with turning). Taught this way, moving to the next level required teaching a number of new movement patterns to replace
previously learned movement patterns. Clinging to the previously taught patterns interfered with moving to the next level.
To overcome this switch of movement patterns a contemporary idea was introduced (now the preferred method) to teach only movement patterns that directly apply to all skier-levels, and all four standard phases of skier development (Wedge, WC, Open Parallel, Dynamic Parallel). These days the "Wedge" is not supposed to be taught as a deliberate input
(meaning we shouldn't teach students to "hold" any particular Wedge-angle and actually prefer to see the Wedge vanish at every opportunity).
The DTP method eliminates all (dedicated) Braking Wedge movement patterns so there are no Wedge-use-only movement patterns to replace. Unfortunately, DTP generally requires flatter, wider, less crowded beginner areas for the typical student since it takes a longer distance for the inexperienced skier to initiate a turn without the benefit of a partially pre
Edged new outside-ski as found in the Gliding Wedge formation. Since the Gliding Wedge has these same desirable
characteristics and lacks any patterns that must be replaced later, we tend to use the Gliding Wedge anywhere proper DTP terrain and conditions are not available.
As I see it, when teaching DTP the most important patterns to teach are:
1) Stand partially flexed (mostly upright) in a balanced stance over both feet (hip-width apart)
2) Use primarily Independent Leg Steering to turn (teach it with boots off first)
3) Release the downhill ski's edge to start a new turn (released by moving the hips downhill slightly)
(Of course, I'm assuming very flat terrain and at least a reasonable alignment of legs & boots.)