Ski Clinic Fault Diagnosis
Skiing involves the learning of movements and changes of posture while in a sliding motion over the skis. Some of these movements are not instinctively natural and require instruction to acquire the correct feeling. Outlined here are some of the mistakes made when progressing through the fundamental stages of learning to ski.
General stance in motion
Too upright and stiff, no flexibility. Sitting back on heels, using the back of the boots for support.
Bring your arms and hands forward where you can see them out of the corner of your eyes. Feel your shin pressing on the front of the boot. Ski in rhythmic bounces to get flexibility.
Skidding in the traverse
Leaning in to the slope, stiff lower leg and ski not holding a tracking line.
Advance the uphill ski at least half a boot length. Reach out downhill with the outside arm, knees in to the slope for edge grip. Check that your head is immediately over the lower boot.
Stiff outer steering leg, rotating inwards with the shoulders, plough angle too wide with tips too far apart.
Check the plough angle, tips together. Flex the turning ski leg, knee toward the ski tip. Reach out to the side with your arm, or bring the inside hand across the body to touch the outside steering leg knee.
Unable to make a basic swing
Reluctance to steer both skis parallel, holding onto both inside edges for stability. Rotating upper body to the inside of the swing, stiff outer leg.
Flexing down movement of both legs, sliding the inside ski forward to change the edge, feel for a positive weight change to the outer ski.
Stem parallel turn
Stemming habit at the start of the turn, shuffling across from one ski to the other; insufficient flex down and up extension movements to unweight both skis; poor use of the pole-plant.
Make an emphasized downflex to edge both skis before the turn start. Plant the pole on the downhill side at the same time. Push off with both legs to flatten and turn the skis while they are temporarily unweighted. Transfer the weight to the uphill ski as early as possible, always followed by a smooth downflex to steer the skis into the swing. Use exercise hops side to side to feel both skis moving as one unit.
Over-reaching and swinging of the pole too far forward. Too late with the pole, after the skis have turned.
Swing the pole forward by wrist action to plant just back from the ski tip. The pole hits the snow before the skis are turned, as the legs make the preparatory sinkdown. Practise the movements in the traverse to get the timing right.
Linked turning – poor rhythm
Splitting of the skis, heels skidding out, over-rotating of the upper body. Poor timing of the pole-plant.
Stabilize the upper body, face down the slope all the while. Keep both hands in sight reaching downhill, push off outer ski to turn both legs under the body in rhythmic timing with the pole plant.