At one time or another all skiers will have experienced, a horrible chatter from their skis. Usually, this will be towards the end of a turn and is a particular problem when you find yourself on steeper terrain or in icy conditions.
So what is happening to cause this? As you pass the fall line, gravity, centrifugal force and momentum will all begin to join together. By the end of the turn they fully combine and pull in the same direction, consequently, if your skis are edged, there is an increase in pressure on the skis. A common misconception is that the only way to counter these ever increasing forces is to “fight back” by “digging the edges in even further”. The resulting vibration is a product of an almighty struggle between you and this pressure build-up. Also, you’ll be compromising your ability to effectively steer the skis. As if on a very thin ledge that is very difficult to hold on to, the skis easily slip off if our legs are static or we are too aggressive. Increasing the “edge angle” is not the only technique available and combined with effective “pressure control” you will produce far better results.
- At the fall line adopt a long legged stance in order to give yourself plenty of room to bend with your legs. From this point on, soften your legs so that the skis do not feel the pressure building up towards the end of the turn.
- Continue flex at the ankles, knees and hips, to remain in a balanced position throughout the turn. This way the skis will never be over-stressed, won’t loose edge grip and fall into a rough chattering skid.
- Start your next turn from a balanced, flexed position, Allow your legs to lengthen smoothly and continuously, straightening your legs all the way back to the fall line.