Short Turn Leapers

Level 3 Functional Versatility

Activity Description:

During short radius turns, the skier uses a skill blend that creates round, carved to semi-carved turns. Using explosive extension movements, the skier up-unweights and changes edges while in the air. Upon landing the skier reengages ski performance and completes the turn.

Why This Activity Will Be Useful:

Skiing expert and variable terrain requires finely tuned pressure control skills. Steep chutes, moguls, variable snow conditions, for example, require the skier to both anticipate and react to changes in fore/aft and lateral pressure, as well as manage undulating terrain. The act of jumping, or leaping during turns requires the skier to manage all aspects of pressure control, while maintaining access to edge control and rotational control skills.

What the Skis Do (Effect):

• Both skis leave ground during the transition between turns (late finish phase)
• Skis land on ground early in the shaping phase of the turn
• Skis maintain a roughly parallel relationship at all times
• Skis change edges in the air
• Skis leave brushed tracks in snow during shaping phase of turn. Practice with a more carved ski performance as well.

How The Body Moves (CAUSE):

• Powerful extension movements of the legs promote unweighting at takeoff
• Flexion movements of the legs facilitate pressure control during landing
• Upper body remains stable during takeoff and landing
• Body moves forward at initiation of the turn to keep up with the path of the skis
• Flexion and extension movements of the ankles, knees, and hips adjust to maintain COM over base of support fore aft and laterally
• Edging occurs by using lower legs and hip angulation.
• Legs turn separate from upper body and pelvis
• Hip angulation and angulation of the upper body directs pressure toward the outside ski in the shaping phase of each turn.

• Blue/Black terrain, groomed or ungroomed.
• May be modified by increasing or decreasing radius of short turn and degree of rotation of skis while in the air.
• Choose a safe low traffic area for this activity

Learning/Teaching Cues:

• When the skier has the ability to blend skills to create basic parallel short turns of various turn sizes, the main new skill focus in this task should be pressure control. The overall goal: develop and demonstrate ability to maintain Center of Mass over Base of Support while managing pressure control challenges.
• First, master ability to utilize powerful extension movements from the legs to unweight the skis for take off. Use Straight run leapers and basic parallel leapers to practice
• As a cue, think of leaping up and forward, so the COM continues to move where the skis will be moving. If the ankles or hip joints extend too much, it is easy to land in an aft relationship to the skis.
• Practice using flexion of the ankles, knees, and hips to land “softly” without slapping the skis back onto the snow.
• When able to have both skis leave take off and land on the snow at the same time, and remain parallel to the snow and each other, then practice same movements while traversing across the hill. At first, practice leaping without changing edges or traverse.
• Then, from a traverse, leap and begin to tip the feet, ankles and lower legs downhill while in the air. Keep the upper body quiet and move forward while leaping. Upon landing, continue subtle tipping and turning movements of the legs and complete the turn.
• Stop and repeat.
• Begin to link a series of turns with a leap during edge change.
• Explore different amounts of edge change in the air.
• Change edges by using subtle, but active tipping movements of the legs under a stable upper body. Avoid rapid lateral movements of the pelvis or upper body, as these may promote landing with too much pressure on the inside ski.
• As leaping proficiency builds, explore timing options. Try using linked, round, “s” or “c” shaped turns, with a “leap” during edge change. Avoid traversing between turns.