Change Edges with­out Piv­ot­ing

For More Ac­cu­rate Carv­ing

SkiTrax - - Tele Technique - by J. Scott Mcgee J. Scott Mcgee served on and then coached the PSIA Nordic Team (USA) 2000-2016 and works as Snow King Moun­tain Sports School's di­rec­tor. A for­mer tele­mark com­peti­tor, he now dreams of per­fect corn on spring back­coun­try skate-ski tours. M

Most skiers, even the most ac­com­plished, ha­bit­u­ally pivot – even if just a lit­tle bit – be­tween turns. This lit­tle – or some­times big – ro­ta­tion of the legs, feet and skis in­volves some de­gree of work, but pro­vides some mea­sure of se­cu­rity, es­pe­cially for those link­ing turns for the first time. Some­times this movement be­comes habit, and per­sists well into the ad­vanced lev­els, even when the goal is carv­ing. The movement it­self is not bad, or in­ef­fec­tive; it's sim­ply not in line with the goal of carv­ing. The main point of carv­ing is to al­low the ski de­sign to shape the turn – if you edge the skis and en­gage the side­cut to shape the turn, you can turn the skis with vir­tu­ally no work at all. If sim­ply changing edges (while changing leads) will ac­com­plish the goal – and do so more pre­cisely – then why add ex­tra work?

You can't carve through­out a whole turn if you don't start the turn with carv­ing. Once you're in a turn, it's a lot eas­ier to keep carv­ing than it is to be­gin with piv­ot­ing and skid­ding and then start carv­ing. To elim­i­nate pivot be­tween turns, try this sim­ple drill.

Try this:

Start with some larger arc­ing carved turns on gen­tle ter­rain. As you make the lead change and the edge change, try to go straight for three ski-lengths to take the pivot out of the lead change and get on the new edge sooner.

Once you're able to add a few me­tres of straightlin­ing be­tween turns, you'll probably also feel the ben­e­fit that the ad­di­tional lat­eral (across the slope) mo­men­tum gives you in terms of hav­ing some­thing to “stand against” once you've rolled onto the new edges. Try keep­ing the straight sec­tion be­tween turns as you prac­tise on grad­u­ally steeper ter­rain. As you get more com­fort­able ini­ti­at­ing turns with­out a pivot, you can be­gin to link turns more di­rectly, let­ting the skis do the work and pro­duc­ing a cleaner, more pow­er­ful carve.

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