Attilla and Vedat Boxing Day Off Piste

Started the morning with catching the Cugnai chair for an epic start to the day off-piste. One guide had beaten us over there with one client but otherwise we had fresh tracks on unskied snow. Atilla, certain that the only way to control his speed on steep terrain was to lean way-back against his ski boots gave a great demonstration of how this does the very opposite from what he expected! Atilla’s linked recoveries were excellent however!


I explained how the hip has to move backwards as the ski advances through the turn. There is a tendency to follow the foot with the hip, leading to “hip rotation” and this has to be actively countered. Doing so allows the body to sink lower into the turn to resist the build up of forces towards the end of the turn. This in turn gives greater security – and real control of speed. The ski boots should not be leaned on – neither the back nor the front.
In crud it’s best to alter the timing of the turn and make the apex over to the side (where a slalom pole would be in a race course) This reduces an excessive build up of pressure towards the end of the turn and increases pressure out to the side where it is manageable. Atilla’s timing was fine, but due to the weight being too far back the skis would just shoot straight out of the turn downhill rather than load up under pressure and send him back across the hill. After his first wipeout I asked him to complete his turns more so as to stay under control – but the real solution is to get off the back of the ski boots. The other issue with Atilla is that he is letting his legs get pinged about by the skis instead of actively moving his centre of mass – this is another aspect which leads to control loss – because the key to real dynamic skiing is always in the deliberate motion of the centre of mass.
The other thing is to keep both skis together to make a single pivoting platform and try to keep them both below the body on the mountain at all times. Both Atilla and Vedat are relying a bit too much on racing technique (inside edge of outside ski – with dynamics) and a wide stance – which although it works it is not the most versatile approach. 

One key to successful skiing in crud is to commit to completing the turn on the lower ski allowing the body to be lifted by the ski right out into the perpendicular at the end of the turn. If the skier has the courage to do this in unpredictable snow then it guarantees a successful entry into the the following turn – even if the turn is closed completely (instead of making the apex early as mentioned above). If you get it wrong and a turn spits you up and out too early as you close it off – then just turn that into the start of another turn in the other direction. 

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