All the new shaped skis are designed to turn when you put them on their edges and apply some pressure to the skis. Thus to turn these skis, all you need to do is roll your feet and ankles in the direction that you want to turn. By varying the amount of edging and the amount of pressure that you apply to the skis, you can determine how sharp a turn you make. The more the skis are edged and the harder you press on the skis, the tighter will be the radius of the turn (that is, a sharper turn). Conversely, the less the skis are edged, i.e., the flatter the skis, and the less hard that you press, the turn will have a larger radius (a bigger turn).
These two variables, ‘edging’ and ‘pressure’ are essentially what put you in control of your skis, so it would be useful to consciously play around with different combinations while practicing turns and noting what happens each time.
Turning the skis uphill to a stop
Here is a good exercise to start with to get the feeling of how easily your skis will turn when you roll your feet and ankles.
On an easy intermediate slope, stand with your skis on a shallow traverse track. Be in a good traverse position with your skis spaced apart and very slightly edged (Picture 32C).
Start to traverse across the slope and gather some speed (pictures 32D).
When you are ready to turn, simply roll your feet and ankles up the hill and hold the ski edges gripping in the snow (picture 32E).
The skis will turn up the hill to a stop (picture 32F).
Repeat the same exercise and this time, when you roll your feet and ankles, hold them for a count of three and then roll them back to their original traverse position and glide again. Then roll them up the hill again. Try to notice how the skis turn when you roll your feet and ankles.
Special Tip: Don’t try to turn the skis by turning your feet in the direction of the turn! Be patient and try to feel yourself ‘riding’ on the edges of the skis as they turn. (The skis turn when you put them on their edges because of their shape and design).
ABOUT Martin Heckelman
Martin Heckelman is the author of the books “The New Guide to Skiing,” “The Hamlyn Guide to Skiing,” and “Step by Step Skiing Skills,” as well as the “SkiTips” video and DVD series, available on his site SkiTips.com, and the “SkiTips” Apps series. Martin is based in Val d’Isere, France, one of the world’s finest ski resorts.
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