Andrew, James, William – Powder Skiing Val d’Isère

The first sunny day after three weeks of snowing! The choice was “Work on William’s skiing” or “Ski Powder”. The decision was unanimous! “Ski Powder”.

Erring strongly on the side of caution our first run was in the safety of trees at lower altitude. The snow was surprisingly deep and very few skiers had been there to eat up the fresh snow in the previous days. That’s surprising because it’s really the only place to ski off-piste when it is snowing and the visibility is poor.               Andrew is still the strongest skier but considering that William was about 6 when I last gave him a lesson that’s not entirely surprising. Both the boys had good dynamics and would ski down any slope, snow type and comfortably through the trees. William struggles in wind packed snow or when starting off slowly in more demanding conditions. He moves his head and shoulders into the turn and his hips out of the turn so that his centre of mass doesn’t really go into the turn. This means that he tends to get caught on his inside ski and fall over. Even standing strongly on the hip of the outside leg would help to prevent this – but the main issue is being defensive and just inclining the shoulders and not the whole body. Other than that there is not too much wrong with William’s skiing – he has good rhythm and a good range of movement plus he flows well and uses the forces in the turn. James is a stronger skier, but leans back a lot in the back of the ski boots. This limits james’s down/up motion and the skis tend to run away with him – causing trouble in more packed snow where it won’t slow him down so much. The very limited down/up motion can be especially seen by the complete absence of pole use. He can’t use the pole because he is leaning so far back. James exploits this by letting the ski run a bit more like a freerider – which is good – but it’s mainly because he doesn’t have a choice at the moment. Andrew knows that he needs to spend less time on his tractor and more time jogging along side it. Andrew’s skiing was technically good, with good timing, good pivoting, good dynamics, good flow and good rhythm. His front summersault and head plant was spectacularly quick and accurate.

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