Sunday, December 27, 2015

Creating the Expert Ski Turn! And What Goes Wrong!

Sometimes we can relate better to what isn't working, than to what generates a good movement series for turns. In an effort to show differences in PMTS Direct Parallel technique approaches and other forms of teaching and skiing, here is a breakdown of a ski turn.

Here is an example of what should be an "Expert Turn", and how it looks when it is not working. This is a high level skier on the National Demonstration Team at Interski. Interski is an international gathering of the best instructors and skiers from all the nations that ski. At Interski the nations demonstrate their product, what they teach and how they ski in their countries.

Let's get into what happens with this skier. Because of a missed opportunity or misunderstanding of technique this skier will have trouble. At this point in the arc or transition, the turn could still be saved. However the "Essential Movements", are not going to happen. I will describe what is happening and what movement we use in PMTS D.P.,  to avoid this kind of skiing result.
(above) Notice the skier has not transferred balance. He is standing on both feet. This creates a dead zone between turns. A dead zone is when there is no energy helping from the previous turn to set up balance for a new turn. He should be already balancing on the new outside foot, (right foot) and actively tipping the inside foot. (Next photo below)

(above) Here you see the result; basically this a wedge turn. There is no inside foot tipping action. The feet are separating and the upper body is rotating to get some kind of turn action started. This will put the skier totally out of balance.

(Photo above) Because balance was never transferred to the new outside ski, the weight is still on the inside ski, and the outside ski is pushed and stemmed.

This sequence shows an obvious inability to increase angulation, balance and parallel skiing. This type of skiing results from two failures, one is movement based, the other is from poor alignment.


horizonstar said...

I see the "Flailing Swede" has won her first slalom race of the year. A testament to her athleticism and aggression, but certainly not to technique as this knock-kneed stance shows.

Recently I finally had to replace my 300 day old Lange plug boots that I'd massaged into a tool that did exactly what I wanted. I chose the Lange RS 130 wide which required much less modification, and had them fitted by a bootfitter with the best reputation in Jackson Hole. I also had canting and alignment done, out of curiosity and for a second professional opinion. The boots were basically unskiable with either my Head race skis or more relaxed all mountain skis until I completely reversed the cant and cuff settings to approximate my old plug boots.

Makes you wonder why the Ted Ligety who won a Gold Medal in combined by being three seconds faster than the competition a decade ago hasn't been able to ski slalom to save his life since.

Harald Harb said...

Getting the set up right is very difficult. As we begin to really understand movement and biomechanics that work. We see that there is a sweet spot for everyone. The special combination of foot, ankle, cuff and sole alignment is rarely achieved even at the highest levels.