Avni Day 2

After our warm up run Avni immediately had a pertinent question regarding the technique she is learning. The question was about how long to stay on the outside/downhill ski at the end of the turn. This couldn’t have given me a clearer signal that she was ready to move on. Yesterday we only dealt with dynamics regarding how to enter as turn and sustain it – but I deliberately never explained how to complete the turn at this stage. Today would be mainly about “End of Turn Dynamics”.

End of Turn Dynamics

When a motorbike completes a turn it comes back up to the vertical. On a slope, when skiing the skier comes back up beyond the vertical to the perpendicular (to the slope) and so is already falling into the next turn – thus linking the turns. You stay on the downhill ski until your body passes over it and the skis go flat on the snow as they cross the hill – an unstainable position but already providing the dynamics to feed your centre of mass into the next turn. The timing for the turn is characterised by the centre of mass going down towards the snow from the start of the turn and coming back up towards the end. 

Skating Timing

Skating involves a down/up action of the leg and body – and in fact a turn on skis is a form of skate action but taken in an arc. I demonstrated the exercise where I skated down the hill and when there was some speed started to replace the stepping with dynamics from topping over in-between the skis – eventually eliminating the step and skiing parallel – but without ever stopping skating with the legs. Avni understood what she was observing and was able to integrate a stronger leg action into her own dynamics and use the correct timing.

Rhythm and Stability

Avni was tending to kill the rhythm by traversing between the turns instead of using the lifting power of the ski during the turn to lift her up and out of the turn. I explained that the “line” of the turn is intended to provide the slowing during skiing – you don’t need to brake or traverse to lose speed. The video shows Avni working on her rhythm and ensuring the skis are still turning when coming up from the outside ski. Rhythm generates stability and ski racing is specifically about setting poles to create rhythm and then break rhythm – set to strict international rules.

Knee Pain

The right ski was tending to stem at the start of the turns – meaning the adductors were not being used. This leaves the leg insecure and was causing some pain towards the inside of Avni’s knee. Just correcting this by making an earlier and more conscious effort to role the foot on its inside edge managed to remove the pain – when Avni remembered to do it! The shimming/canting of the boots to improve grip might be contributing to this issue due to being unaccustomed to the skis being more reactive.


Pivoting was introduced with an assisted exercise and some sideslipping exercises. It’s important to begin developing pivoting skills as soon as possible because they can take time and you need to chip away at it progressively. The tab at the top of the blog takes you to a full explanation of the pivot and demonstrations… “Pivot”. The purpose of the pivot is to have a turn where there is no forward sliding of the skis and dynamics are restrained by the use of the ski pole – slowing the body falling down the hill. The skis slide sideways and are always on a set of uphill edges and thus acting as brakes. You would use this to ski a narrow steep chute and keep the speed fully under control.

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