Ski Technique can seem complicated and sometimes unnecessary. As long as you are getting down there safely then why make all the fuss? Well that might be true but if you want to rip turns in the most challenging conditions then the only thing that is going to work is sound technique.
What is technique?
Technique should be based on physical principles – If you are low to the ground you are more stable. Technique should also be defined by biomechanical principles – We must used all the joints proportionally to create maximum force.
It is important to note that whilst we are skiing we should not think of technique in this way. Instead we need a method of skill development that is more tangible and immediate. We need to break things down in a simple way that helps us improve the specific parts of our skiing that need attention. These skills that we improve can reference biomechanic principles and physical forces without going into too much detail.
If we look at skiing as skill development we can divide skills into categories. By developing these categories we can improve our overall skill level.
What are these categories?
1) Stance and Balance – The process of aligning our centre of mass over our base of support in a dynamic way.
2) Pivoting – Our ability to initiate all direction change by the turning of the legs to maximize efficiency.
3) Edging – The skill of placing the ski on edge across the direction of travel to create turning forces.
The relationship between these 3 factors is critical. These skills interact with each other and help each other.
How do we improve our skills?
We use drills, exercises and tactics to develop these skills. We also must consider the timing of our movements and actions, “when in the turn do i need to do more of that?” We can break the turn down into Phases as a tool to help us understand and develop good sequencing of movements.
With this method we can begin to find ways to improve our skiing.