Luke and Leonie day 3

Technical day today.


We began today where we left off yesterday – working on coming over the lower ski while pivoting – using the pole for support. This took quite a bit of work due to the general reluctance to move the body weight properly over the downhill ski onto the pole. Leonie really caught on and started to link her turns – feeling the dynamics. Learning dynamics – moving out of the turn – is harder with the pivot than in carving or wider turns because of the reliance on the pole for support – but the tightness of the turns helps to develop angulation, feel for moving over the fronts of the skis and control of rotation. Once the dynamics and coordination started to settle it was put to test in the slalom course – where it would give stability and security – but we were not yet looking for speed: Luke 31.97 secs and Leonie 36.69 secs.


Basic carving was revised (hadn’t done this for a long time) because you can’t get the support in slalom to incline if you don’t carve. Most people make the same error when initiating a carving turn as they do when initiating a pivot – they fail to actively move the centre of mass into the new turn far enough – because they unconsciously want the support before moving – but it is much more powerful with it comes after moving. There is a delay in the transition before the pressure is picked up but that must not cause a hesitation when driving the CoM into the new turn.In racing today the turn initiation is often with a “stivot” which is like a huge pivot done while also dramatically inclining the body and then slamming down on the edge to grip into a carve. The stivot take place in the pre-pressure phase just mentioned.The carve was done with the same feet/adductor use as used in the two ski pivot. All other body mechanics were the same as for the pivot – angulation – fronts of skis etc. There is no need for pole use because when carving there is no sideways braking motion of the skis and all the support necessary comes from the uplifting effect of the skis.

Pelvic Tilt

Reluctantly I voyaged into the murky depths of Luke’s postural issues – wanting to reconfigure his stance to fully take advantage of his recent progress. Through a process of deduction I worked out that the fundamental problem was lack of “neutral pelvis” and that he would need to tilt the pelvis up at the front. The act of pulling back the hip actually pulls the pelvis down at the front so even if normally the upwards pelvic tilt blocks the hips and lower back in some people in this case if just acts to neutralise the pelvic tilt – balancing the pulling back of the hip. The main weakness was on Luke’s right hip – same as for me – and we both felt a huge difference. Luke felt his legs taking less of the strain and easier ability to stay forward in the boots – plus a feeling of strength and connectedness going through the core right down to the feet. I felt that strength difference too – and the abdomen helping – none of which actually happens at all without the combined use of the Chi hip action! Several years ago I’d realised the need for everyone to use pelvic tilt when chirunning – but hadn’t understood the necessity of bringing this into my own skiing version until now.

Compression Turns

Taking the pivoting dynamics and pole support into bumps we worked a little on compression turns (on the flat)  – where the pole is used to support the CoM moving down while crossing over the front of the lower ski (instead of the usual coming up). In actual bumps skied in rhythm the legs are actually compressed whereas in this exercise the body is lowered (until the knees are flexed at 90 degrees angles).In the bumps Leonie in particular had a tendency to extend over the bump instead of flex – and also the extension was made into the next turn – not even out of the end of a turn. (clearly a legacy from pre-MetaSki days!) – or a stray emotion.

Leg Retraction

When carving the turn can be completed with leg retraction to catapult the body over the skis (sometimes however referred to as a “cross under” with normal timing being called a “cross over” ie – body crossing over the skis – as opposed to skis crossing under the body) The cross under is followed with a powerful uphill/outside leg extension to force the CoM down into the centre of the following turn. Luke was able to follow me and observe this clearly. The point of learning compression and retraction is that they are elements that integrate into all skiing – perhaps dialed down most of the time but essential skills to pull out of the hat when required.


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