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Basic Short Turns

Activity Description

This activity involves making a series of short turns on blue terrain down a corridor approximately one groomer-track wide. The skill blend creates a ski performance that leaves skidded tracks in the snow. While turn shape controls speed, energy is carried from one turn to the next, as opposed to a marked deceleration or speed check in the finish phase of each turn.

Why This Activity Will Be Useful:

The ability to make short turns is a major milestone for skiers. Short turns give skiers access to a wider variety of terrain, and can be exhilarating. The ability to ski short turns requires offensive intent and good tactics to execute.

What The Skis Do (EFFECT):

• Skis leave skidded tracks
• Skis are parallel and stance width is consistent
• Skis tip at similar time and rate
• Skis turn at similar time and rate
• Skis remain in contact with snow
• Pivot is near middle of each foot
• Corridor is approximately one groomer track wide

How the body moves (CAUSE):

• Turning comes from turning of both legs in the hip sockets at a similar rate and time
• Tipping movements come from both legs at a similar rate and time
• Flexion/extension of the legs contributes to inclination of the lower body
• Turning movements occur at increased rate and intensity compared to basic parallel turns.
• Flexion/extension and angulation direct pressure to the outside ski
• Subtle fore/aft adjustments keep the center of mass over the base of support
• Pole swing contributes to timing, rhythm, and flow


Blue to easy black

Teaching/Learning Cues

If tails of skis are skidding out or skier is not using leg rotation to turn skis:

• Static practice in boots, target hips and upper body on one direction, step/turn feet to left, back to front, and then right. Repeat.
• Using an uphill arc fan progression, utilize leg rotation to turn skis. Think: the legs turn more than the body from fall line to finish phase. Turn the legs to tighten the radius of the uphill arc. Practice on lower edge angles so the skis can rotate as the legs turn.
• Straight run to sideslip. From straight run, tip skis onto slight edge while rotating skis quickly across the fall line using rapid, yet controlled, turning of both legs in the hip sockets. (Note: keep COM balanced over middle of skis to promote pivot point in middle of skis) This simulates some of the sensations and movements in the last half of the turn.
• Sideslip to straight run to sideslip. From a side slip with natural tip lead due to ‘strong inside half’, release/flatten the ski edges while turning the skis by rotating the legs in the hip socket (rapid, yet controlled leg rotation). Teaching cue: the body faces slightly downhill in a sideslip, turn the legs to realign them with the hips and upper body. This simulates some of the activities in the initiation of the turn to the fall line and develops ability to turn legs in hip sockets.
• Apply the movements from previous series of activities to skiing. Begin with medium sized BP turns. Utilize leg rotation as practiced. Gradually increase the rate and intensity of leg rotation as you proceed through a series of turns. Teaching cue: keep the legs turning, either in one direction or the other. Teaching cue: from initiation to fall line the legs turn to re-align with the body in the fall line. From fall line to finish of turn, the legs turn more than the body.
• Edging movements and rotational control movements are closely linked in this activity. Edge angles are constantly adjusting.