Outside Ski Turns

Activity Description:

These turns are skied from transition thru shaping phase with only the outside ski on the snow. Inside ski is lifted and remains parallel to other ski and slope through the majority of the turn.

Why This Activity Will Be Useful:

The ability to control pressure from ski to ski and direct pressure toward the outside ski is a key fundamental in all levels of skiing. Being skillful at adjusting body movements to manage ski to ski pressure is essential for higher level skiing whether in short turns, high speed carving, or variable conditions. This activity specifically develops movements and skills that can then be adapted to be able to ski on either ski at any point in a turn, a valuable skill in varied snow and terrain.

What the Skis Do (EFFECT):

• Outside ski is pressured though majority of the turn
• Inside ski is lifted off snow before control phases of turn (L2)
• New inside ski is lifted off the snow prior to edge change (L3)
• Inside ski is roughly parallel to the snow surface when off the snow
• Forward pressure on the shovel of the ski engages the skis sidecut and begins to shape the turn.
• Ski creates round brushed/drifted arc that controls speed in Level 2 Performance
• Ski creates a round carved arc in Level 3 performance

How the Body Moves (CAUSE):

• Flexion of the (old) outside leg lifts the foot/ski off the snow
• Flexion on the new outside ankle and extension of the same knee move the CoM forward along the length of the ski through initiation and shaping phases
• Tipping/rolling the old inside/new outside ankle changes the skis’ edge from finish through initiation
• Subtle tipping and turning movements of the outside leg adjust the turn shape through all phases.
• Tipping and turning movements originate in the legs under a stable upper body
• Hip angulation is used to direct pressure toward the outside ski

Where: Choose a safe low traffic area for this activity.
• L2 – Green/blue terrain
• L3 – Blue/black Terrain

Learning/Teaching Cues:

• Traverse while alternately picking a ski off the snow (step at a slow cadence). When doing this, use flexion of the knee and hip to lift the ski. Stabilize the pelvis and torso through activation of the muscles of the core. The upper body should move very little when picking up a ski during this drill. Practice in both directions until able to do without gross upper body adjustments. (If this is challenging, first practice while stationary).
• Practice uphill arcs in a fan progression until starting from directly down the fall line. Alternately pick-up a ski as in previous exercise. Spend more time balanced on outside ski than inside ski. Note how the upper body angulates laterally to manage lateral pressure.
• Extra practice: downhill ski traverses (may at first keep uphill ski tip on snow for balance). Again, note upper body angulation/counter balancing.
• Same but traversing on uphill foot/ski only
• In activity experiment with how much hip angulation is used in what phases of the turn to explore effect on ability to turn and edge the ski.
• Linked stepping turns. Alternately pickup skis throughout turn. Spend more time balancing on outside ski. Stabilize upper body laterally to shift weight from foot to foot, flex the knee and hip to lift the ski.
• Progress from linked stepping turns to being able to pick up the inside ski as early as possible in the turn and keep it off the snow through as much of the turn as possible. May leave the tip of the inside ski on the snow at first as an aid. Keep the inside leg parallel to the outside leg, continue to tip and turn the inside leg as if it were on the snow.
• From a traverse, pick up the old downhill ski, move forward and use the foot/ankle of the old inside ski to roll the ski slowly onto it’s new edge (moving from little toe to big toe edge. Keep ankle flex on the stance leg! Turn to a stop. Repeat.
• Blend previous activity into whole turns.