Lorna, Mary H, Liam 2

Inclement weather is an ideal time to spend doing the more tedious exercises that despite being extremely important might otherwise be avoided.

First thing today was to address “perpendicularity”. Sliding downhill we need to generally be perpendicular to the skis/slope. The natural tendency is to remain vertical which puts you in the backs of the ski boots when heading downhill. Often the instruction to correct this would be “lean forward” – but in reality being perpendicular when sliding doesn’t feel like leaning forward – so this can become confusing and requires care. We did some straight running downhill trying to get into the perpendicular – shins touching the fronts of the boots despite being rooted on the heels.

Forward pressure, when required, is an additional and specific pressurising in the fronts of the feet, boots and skis to generate a specific effect.

Full details of the pivot and exercises are provided on the fixed page here: Pivot
Quite rapidly, everyone was able to manage a basic pivot – it’s something that should be practised intermittently to avoid frustration…

Demonstration – both directions on one ski…

The pivot is a braking turn generated from a sideslipping ski and with the centre of mass supported by the ski pole. (The real reason we actually have ski poles).

Using the centre of mass as a “joystick” we control the direction of the sideslip – this is how “pressure” is applied to create a specific effect.

The sideslip was used here as an opportunity to introduce “angulation” – surprisingly the key to this being the uphill foot being kept on its downhill edge (ski on uphill edge) and the pulling of that knee downhill – allowing the pelvis to “face downhill”. In the photograph Liam has generated particularly good angulation.

Blending Dynamics and Pivot
The session was concluded with blending both dynamics, which is dependent upon forward sliding and pivot at the start of the turn. This was done by pressuring the front of the uphill ski while it was still on its uphill edge – using the ball of the uphill foot (ankle slightly extended) rolled onto its inside edge. Both Liam and Mary H managed to do this well immediately – with everything “pulling inwards” during the turns. Lorna appeared to have misinterpreted the instruction to be on the inside edge of the foot and outside edge of the ski. Tomorrow morning it’s essential to check equipment alignment but my suspicion is rather it’s an issue with the legacy “snowplough”!

Looking at the world’s no 1 skier Mikaela Shiffrin you can interpret what is happening with her inside leg and ski and how this contributes to angulation. In this case not for sideslipping but for a carved race turn.

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