What to teach
Visible Skiing Movestm
"Visible Skiing MovesTM" provide visible goals that replace the moves that people make naturally. The most basic move in skiing is keeping the body moving over the turning skis. Video to play faster click gear icon in the lower right corner
They take a long time to develop and maintain because they are opposite the way people move naturally.
1- Leaning back when standing on a slope
2- Turning the shoulders to make a turn
3- Tipping the upper body inside a turn
These natural moves combine with the turning forces to move skiers back and inside rather than downhill.
1- Athletic stance
2- Gliding wedge and wedge stop
3- Gliding wedge to turns using the feet
1- Feel the weight on the balls of the feet, toes for kids, with chest over the toes
2- Put hands in front like holding a lunch tray, bounce and stop, that is the athletic stance
3- Adjust individual areas if needed, ankles, knees, waist, hands, eyes looking ahead
4- Flex forward just with the ankles and return
5- Tell them before every run to start in an athletic stance so it is the first thing they feel. Make sure they do it and provide verbal feedback or physically position them if necessary.
They will lean back when they get on a slope, go further up the hill, or when the slope gets steeper. Leaning back is a natural move that is very hard to change. It makes it difficult for skiers to turn with their feet. It takes a lot of concentration to help people feel weight on the balls of the feet with the chest over the toes.
1- In an athletic stance make a narrow wedge and ski straight downhill. This gets people comfortable sliding downhill in an athletic stance on skis. It is also the platform to start turns with. Provide verbal feedback while performing: look ahead, hands up, feel the weight on the balls of your feet, chest over the toes. Start with skis parallel if the snow is slow.
2- Bounce in a gliding wedge feeling the weight on the balls of the feet and chest over the toes. Be sure ankles, knees, and waist are flexing.
3- Flex forward just at the ankles in a gliding wedge and return to the athletic stance. This is hard to do because they would fall forward without skis on, so the body resists. Be sure the boots are not too stiff if they are having problems. Loosen the buckles.
4- Go from a narrow wedge to a slightly wider one and back. Repeat several times, it is called wedge change ups. Many will struggle with this.
5- Start with skis parallel and make a wide braking wedge to stop. Be sure they stay in an athletic stance and do not lean back. Weight on the balls of the feet chest over the toes. Repeat several times going faster each time.
Gliding wedge turns Video
1- Start in an athletic stance with a gliding wedge and at least 3 seconds of speed, then make a very slight turn, go straight, then turn in the other direction.
2- Turn by pointing both big toes. Or pushing on one big toe then the other. Try combining both turning and pushing, or reverse the order and try to push and then turn. This helps them continue to focus on their feet and turn from the ground up, rather than turning their shoulders and leaning inside the turn. As soon as their focus shifts to turning they will often lean back.
3- Make a certain number of bigger turns then move faster to make smaller turns. Make three big then three small. Next change the order and go from small to big. Go faster in a smaller wedge and quickly push on one toe then the other to make very small turns.
4- Link turns and then turn more across the hill to stop. Do in both directions. Touch hand to the downhill knee, then bounce on the downhill toe. Focus on the feet so they don't turn their shoulders and lean inside the turn.
Momentum works with gravity when skiing straight downhill to increases speed that-
1- Reduce friction
2- Improve stability
3- Create more force so the skis respond quicker
Making minimal turns, just enough to start slowing down allows momentum to move skiers downhill as soon as they stop turning. They become comfortable moving with gravity as they learn to control their speed and direction. This creates offensive skiing right from the start with an athletic stance, focus on the feet, and Big MO (momentum) let it go and go with the flow.
This is in contrast to traversing and trying to turn downhill which encourages turning the shoulders and leaning inside the turn. There is little gravity helping to start a turn on a gentle slope. So releasing the downhill edge, turning the feet downhill, and gradually transferring weight is a slower and more complex way for beginners to try to turn, especially children.
Traversing can also teach skiers to turn more across the hill to slow down and defensively brace against gravity and the flow of the turn. A traverse is often a crutch when people have stance and turning problems. We teach downhill skiing, not across the hill skiing.
1- Moving back at the ankles, knees, waist, or all three
2- Starting with a wedge that is too wide
3- Turning too soon before there is enough speed
4- Turning too far across the hill which slows them down
5- Rushing from one turn to the next rather than going straight first
6- Moving the knee inside, move the hip out, or flex the knee rather than the ankle
Quality and safety standard Video
1- Link turns and turn to a stop in both directions.
2- Be in an athletic position, not leaning back.
3- Turning the feet, not turning their shoulders, or leaning inside the turn.
Make good turns before going to steeper slopes. Turns before terrain.
Often have trouble controlling their speed and skiing parallel. Skiing on steeper slopes has reinforced the natural moves and made them habits that are even harder to change. Video
1- Athletic stance and turning with the feet
2- Parallel turns with pole touch
3- Progressive ankle flex and tipping(angulation)
Gliding wedge turn
1- Review - On a gentle part of a run, in an athletic stance(weight on the balls of the feet and chest over the toes) very narrow wedge, speed, and make slight turns by pushing on big toes or turning both feet. Hand to outside knee. Skis often become spontaneously parallel.
2- Early weight transfer
3- Down and up movement
1- Stand in a narrow wedge with skis across the hill. Push hand on the downhill knee and match the skis. Do from a shallow traverse, then a steeper one. Do in both directions, then link.
2- Stand in a narrow wedge with skis across the hill. Plant both downhill. Stand on uphill ski and project onto poles. Make this same move from a steep traverse. Do one in both direction, and then link.
1- Stand with skis parallel across the hill. Plant both poles downhill. Stand on the uphill ski and project onto the poles. Do from a steep traverse in both directions and then link.
2- Do uphill christies exercises for inside lead, progressive ankle flex and tipping(angulation)
3- Pole touches- stand with skis across the hill and swing the downhill pole with the wrist and touch it to the snow. Touch the right pole before a right turn and the left before a left turn. When moving into the new turn it is swing, touch, turn.
Advanced skiers can be someone just trying to ski advanced runs to those wanting to work on something specific like slalom and giant slalom turns or moguls. Higher speeds, steeper slopes, or challenging conditions may cause them to move away the next turn and be more defensive.
1- Evaluate by looking for progressive movement over the turning skis. Natural moves will cause them to move away from the next turn and create problems controlling speed or making smaller turns.
2- Statically review athletic stance and ankle flex.
3- Turning both feet for skidded turns will be a realistic goal for most students. Uphill christies exercises for progressive ankle flex and tip (angulation).
4- Progressions can be used for some moves: make the move statically, in a traverse, up hill christie, garlands, fan exercise, one turn, and link. Make opposite and extremes move to increase awareness.
5- Add a variety of turn, sizes, shapes, speeds, steepness, conditions, moguls, and park for those interested. Smooth (continuous) flow over the feet while loading and unloading the skis, keep Big MO going downhill. Know the "visual skiing position" that shows right timing of the ski moves.
Visible Skiing MovesTM
The progressive ankle flex and tipping keeps the body moving forward and downhill while turning and then keeps it moving into the next turn. Moving the inside half forward allows the upper body to move out as the hip moves in (angulation). Progressive ankle flex and tipping, ski like PAT
Timing is critical, the flexing and tipping must be progressive while edging the skis so the body moves over the forces of the turn that push the skier back and inside. Visible Skiing Moves that are well timed look like this when the edging ends-
Lindsey Vonn turning right
Ski Moves are TIMELESS
Ski Moves in small mogul turns by
Patrick Deneen former US Freestyle Team
Visible Skiing Moves are timeless. They they provide visual goals that make specific feedback easier.
This more simple approach does not mean easy, Visible Skiing Moves require a lot of work to develop and maintain. They are opposite the way people naturally move, so it is a constant challenge to develop and maintain them in a variety of speeds, slopes, turn sizes, and conditions.
Without these clear and consistent goals it is very hard to improve. It is even more challenging because it is hard to know how we are moving, even if we know what moves to make. So it takes clear consistent goals and specific feedback.
If goals are regularly changing with new trends, it becomes very difficult to improve.
It can take very long time to perform Visible skiing Moves especially when they have been reinforced into habits. But some people do not ski enough or lack the talent it takes to reach the high expectation they may have.
Moving back on the tail of the skis is a big and hard to fix problem. So it is important to make as much progress as possible in the short lesson time you have, without spending it all on creating an athletic stance.
Most people do not have the time, money, or desire to rebuild their skiing. Realistic goals for most are to develop a bit more athletic stance, and to turn their feet more than their shoulders while tipping over their outside ski (angulation).
Three moves make it easier to keep moving over the turning skis with progressive ankle flex and tipping. Together the 5 moves are -
1- Stance- Athletic flexed over feet, move forward as skis are loaded and back when released
2- Weight transfer- as soon as the skis are released
3- Inside lead
4- Flex ankles progressively and /or turn the feet
5- Tipping to the outside of the turn (angulation) progressively while edging
To remember them think ski SWIFT
This is a formula of how to apply the moves that includes timing so the momentum keeps moving toward the next turn.
Move quicker for smaller turns. Turn more across the hill to ski slower in big or small turns. Keep clear the difference between rate and duration. Skidding can also be used to ski slower.
A list of skills or fundamentals without a recipe of what to do with them is not enough. It is hard to make a cake with just ingredients and no recipe.
Ending a turn
Skis are loaded with pressure when turning, and it is released at the end of the turn. Pressure increases a lot after the fall line when the turn forces and gravity start to align.
Flexing the legs while still edging starts to unload the pressure and keeps the body over the skis. It is an option to start ending the turn sooner. It would occur before either retraction or extension.
The end of a turn is usually thought of as when the edges go flat at crossover. But viewing the end of the turn as when the edging ends, is when the body stops turning. It makes just two parts to a turn, loading and unloading the skis.
When starting a run, the bottom or top of a turn can be made first. Then when linking a good finish makes a good start. And a hard and early weight transfer can help move a skier into the new turn.
Using the back of the ski
Many skiers flex their knees early, quickly, and a lot relative to their ankles. Some can maintain momentum into the next turn with enough flex, so they do impressive skiing, but it is more on the back of their skis. Others just get stuck in a park and ride situation.
This can be very hard to change, so it is often best to move beyond this in the limited time of a lesson. But adding pressure to the front of the skis tightens the radius of turns and provides a greater sense of control for students. It also improves their small turns.
World Cup skiers can't always make the turn they want, recoveries can be on the tails and inside ski, or the tails may be used to achieve the best tactics in a given turn.
Home for Mt. Holly and Pine Knob Instructors
Clear goals and specific feedback