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Beginning Railroad Tracks

Activity Description

Small parallel direction changes down the fall line in a narrow corridor. The skis are tipped from corresponding (2) edges to be flat on the snow (4 edges) for a short time prior to being tipped onto new (2) edges. Ski tracks are likely to be skidded, but may be carved based on ability of skier.

Why This Activity Will Be Useful:

This developmental activity helps the skier learn basic efficient and effective edge releasing and engaging movements to move from making wedge or wedge Christie type turns, or nearly parallel turns to true parallel turn transitions and initiations. Breaking down the edging components of the parallel transition to a more developmental level can help skiers gain awareness of their movements and develop the ability and confidence to learn to ski parallel turns.

What the skis do (EFFECT):

• Skis remain parallel most of the time and stance width is consistent
• Skis tip at similar time onto new edges, but may show sequence of inside ski tipping first
• Skis tip at similar time to decrease edge angle until skis are both flat on the snow
• Skis glide flat on the snow for 1-2 ski lengths between edge changes

How The Body Moves (CAUSE):

• Tipping/edging movements originate in feet and ankles
• Upper body remains stable/quiet
• Subtle flexion extension movements keep center of mass aligned fore/aft and laterally with base of support
• Skier adjusts movements to show clear difference between straight run and when the skis are on edge

Where:
Shallow green, gentle, groomed terrain

Teaching/Learning Cues

Start in a straight run. With a quiet upper body, weight balanced on both feet, flex ankles to shift weight toward the balls of the feet.
Choose foot to start with. i.e. Start with Left foot tipping movement leading to go left, then Right foot leading to go right.

Activity Sequence: (repeat as long as error/habit free, then stop, re-focus, start over)
• Left foot leads tipping big toe edge up off the snow (right foot follows passively) until slightly on 2-edges going left
• Right foot leads edge release tipping back to 4-edges/skis flat on snow (left foot follows passively)
• Hold on 4-edges/skis flat on snow and go straight for 1-2 ski lengths
• Right foot leads tipping big toe edge up off the snow (left foot follows passively) until slightly on 2-edges going right
• Left foot leads edge release tipping back to 4-edges/skis flat on snow (right foot follows passively).
• Hold on 4-edges/skis flat on snow and go straight for 1-2 ski lengths

To change Habitual Big-toe to Big-toe Habit (wedge type turn entrance):
• Just trying to move new inside foot sooner may only produce a false perception of it going first, actually being just a ‘sooner second’
• Contrast new outside foot big-toe-down habit by starting with a concentrated focus to only move the new inside foot big toe up.
• Start in straight run, then roll/tip lead foot (only) big toe up off the snow onto slight (little toe) edge while keeping other ski flat.
• When slight tension is felt in that lead foot/leg, simply relax that foot and allow it to go back to flat. (Repeat several times)
• Repeat with other foot leading, being aware of resisting any habit that wants to edge the other ski on it’s big toe edge.