ENGAGE & RELEASE SKI EDGES
• Role skis to edges static.
On flat terrain, stand with skis parallel and close to shoulder width apart, role both skis onto corresponding edges. NOTE: focus on moving the feet, ankles and knees to accomplish the task while keeping the center of mass centered. If having difficulties maintaining balance use poles for stability then without.
• One ski edge lock across the hill.
On a slight pitch with skis pointing down the fall line at about a 45-degree angle traverse the hill with the down hill ski locked on edge. Reinforce skill of rolling flat ski onto edge as in previous exercise, slightly wider stance.
NOTE: focus on maintaining proper stance and no slipping of the locked ski. Repeat in opposite directions.
• Two ski edge lock across the hill
Same exercise as one ski edge lock however using both skis with normal stance. Straight run changing edges. On beginner hill or similar pitch have the students start gliding straight down the hill on flat skis. Using skill acquired from previous exercises role both ankles, knees, feet onto corresponding edges. Note direction change then role feet, ankles, knees to allow the skis to move to the opposite edges. Focus on student maintaining proper stance, and NOT twisting ankles. Students try helping the turn by twisting their feet; do not allow this to happen.
• Side slips
Use intermediate terrain standing perpendicular to the fall line in a neutral stance with knees, and ankles slightly up hill to allow the uphill ski edge to be engaged. Using the ankles, feet, and knees release the ski edge allowing the skis to slip down the hill, and then reengage the skis uphill edge to stop. Repeat this several times then turn around and repeat using new edges.
• Edge locks across the hill
On an intermediate pitch with skis pointing diagonally across the fall line traverse the hill with both skis locked on edge. Observe the stance and that both skis are locked creating two knife lines in the snow.
• Edge locks across the hill with release
Same as edge locks across the hill except add the release and reengagement of the ski edges. As the students move across the hill engage and release the ski edges several times using the feet, ankles and knees. NOTE: The student tend to twist the feet during this exercise, do not allow. Also if centered up on the skis, weight even fore and aft, the ski will slip sideways if the weight is forwards the ski tips will seek the fall line. Do the exercise both ways so students can notice the difference.
• Edge locks across the hill with release and into turn
Same as edge locks with release however during the third release have the students add rotary to complete the turn to a stop. Once the student does this in both directions have them continue the exercise down the hill without stopping.
• Link turns
Link turns down the hill using skills learned above.
CAUTION: As yet we have not mentioned moving the center of mass into the next turn. This is where instructor judgment comes into play. KNOW YOUR STUDENTS. Many students tend to exaggerate movements resulting in over rotation, twisting, leaning and do many contortions when this skill is introduced. However if the students have a strong stance and well-controlled movements you can add this skill during any of the above exercises.
• Diagonal straight run across the hill
In a good skier stance point the skis diagonal to the fall line and traverse the hill maintaining a straight line. Do this by feathering the edge angle with your feet, ankles and knees maintaining a good stance. Repeat this in both directions several times. Do this on the Meadows or similar terrain.
• Patient turns
Start as in the diagonal straight run and complete one turn without letting the tails of the skis brush out. This should be accomplished by rolling the skis from one edge to the other using the feet, ankles and knees. As the skis move from one edge to the other edge the center of mass will crossover into the new turn. CAUTION: This is not an exaggerated lateral move rather a diagonal movement towards the apex of the new turn.
Link patient turns
• On similar terrain link patient turns.
Note: As your feet and knees start to roll your skis onto their edges, your body follows and your skis begin to arc. As you tilt your lower legs, your upper body will flow into the turn.
• Linked turns with even weight
On moderate terrain ski open parallel turns trying to keep even weight on both skis. As you complete the turn note there is more edge engagement with the inside ski. This will allow a more positive edge engagement of the new turn when you role your feet, ankles and lower legs onto the new edges.
• Straight Run on moderate terrain
On moderate or flat terrain have students get into a good skiers stance. While stationary have them move their center of mass (belly button) towards the left ski tip. Note how the left ski flattens. Repeat on right side. Now repeat this movement while gliding straight down the hill. Note direction.
This article was written by John Cole, PSIA Level 3, Perfect North Slopes, Lawrenceburg, IN.