Rowdy 6 – The Battle Continues…

Until the solution is found and proven it is never wise to assert that you know what the problem is in somebody’s skiing. The complexities of skiing and the body itself are such that they only make your optimism look naive or foolish. So I quickly regretted having decided that “the feet” were definitely the problem with Rowdy’s skiing. Back to square one again! The ski’s job is to lift you up – so it is always trying to flatten on the snow and so it will pull your knee out as it tries to flatten – unless you work to stop this from happening. Working on pivoting from the uphill edge (uphill ski) it was clear that there was a glitch in the middle of the turn just at the point where the edge change was made. When on the uphill edge of the uphill ski gravity was helping the foot roll inwards and to keep the knee held in – but as soon as the ski was on the inside edge then the opposite happened and gravity helped the ski flatten outwards and pulled Rowdy into the outside edge of his foot (inside the ski boot) and pulled his knee out. He could overcome this but only with great concentration. When carving Rowdy’s stance looked correct and this proves that he can hold the foot and knee in – but as soon as he went from carving to pivot the whole picture reverted back to the foot and knee allowing the ski to flatten and so failing to be held in beneath the body. When skiing on steeper terrain the famous Rowdy Glitch (shuffle) returned during each turn transition. It was almost impossible for Rowdy to just go from leg to leg without a step or stem – sometimes the foot, knee and hip all coming out and leading eventually to a fall as the lack of support on the outside leg meant that he’d fall back onto the inside leg. Those three issues started to reveal the nature of the underlying problem. Rowdy has – since his early training in stem-christies – believed that there is a different stance and way of moving for pivoting and carving. He believed that for a ski to carve it required everything to be held inwards tightly so that the ski stayed on edge – but that to pivot – as in the stem turns – the edge had to be released. To release the edge he would always use a flattening of the ski by pushing out as in a stem turn – the knee coming out in the process. He used the same action of releasing the ski edges  when sideslipping. What Rowdy has never understood is that pivoting does not require a release of the ski edges. The same basic coordination from the foot to the head is required for both carving and pivoting. The only difference between the two is how the centre of mass is directed – and even this is not definable – it has to be done by feel. The glitch in Rowdy’s turn transition is because he has no support from the released ski edge and so it cannot bring him back up out of the turn at the end – so he has to try to step back uphill onto the other ski and then stand up on it – reversing his timing in the process. I explained that the ski has to grip right to the end of the turn as the body is lifted over it right into the perpendicular across the hill – then the next turn begins easily. The turn exit and subsequent entry can be seen as a single swing of a pendulum (head at top and feet at bottom) with the legs switching in the middle – the upper leg pulling inwards easily as the body continues to fall from perpendicular down into the new turn. This is a dynamic and fluid single process. Once into the turn the job is to relax at the hips if necessary and sink down into the turn sustaining or building pressure – between pendulum swings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *