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Step Turn into Fall Line

Activity Description

The skier starts with the skis perpendicular to the fall line and begins to slide forward. The skier takes small steps with each ski to turn the skis down the hill to the fall line. The skier then completes the turn in a parallel skidded turn to a stop.

Why This Activity Will Be Useful:

This activity begins to develop fore/aft and lateral pressure control skills. Step turns also begin to develop the skier’s ability to move the legs independent of the upper body, which is essential for higher-level skill development in edge and rotational control skill. Basic Edge control Skills are required to manage the skis edge angle through this activity. This Step Turn may be done with small diverging steps or parallel steps.

What The Skis Do (EFFECT):

• Inside ski is lifted and turned slightly in the direction of turn to create divergence
• Outside ski is stepped to parallel
• Maneuver starts perpendicular to fall line, and the skis are stepped until they are in the fall line. The turn is then completed on both skis. Small steps.
• Ski is lifted parallel to the ground in each step
• Skis are bent from the center when on the ground
• A slight divergence of the ski tips is expected while stepping.

How The Body Moves (CAUSE):

• Joints flex and extend roughly proportionately to maintain Center of Mass over base of support fore/aft and laterally
• Weight moves from foot to foot through independent flexion extension movements of the legs under a stable upper body
• Rotational movements come from the legs turning in the hip sockets under a stable upper body
• Edging started with movements of the feet and ankles


Green Terrain

Teaching/Learning Cues

To develop ability to step the skis
• On flat/nearly flat terrain practice a straight run while alternately picking up a ski while gliding on the other foot for short distance.
• When picking up a foot/ski, use flexion in the knee and hip while stabilizing the pelvis with muscles of the core.
• Focus on minimizing lateral shift of the upper body in response to lifting a ski/foot off the snow.
• From straight run, begin stepping out of the fall line by turning the leg in the hip socket while in the air. Step with inside ski first, then pickup outside ski and step it parallel to match.
• Gentle green terrain, practice stepping the skis while traversing. Maintain slight lead with uphill half of the body.
• From traverse, begin to step skis and turn them slightly while in the air to point skis downhill. Step inside ski first, then left and turn outside to match. Skis should be turned while in the air.
• Turn the ski in the air by turning the leg/femur in the hip socket. Use small direction changes.