Skiing Basics For Dummies Explained

Once you have managed the basics of skiing it is time to learn some turns.

The Snow Plough Turn

The basic position for the snow plough turn is the snow plough position which must be held throughout the complete turn. The centre of gravity of the body during the entire figure remains constant between the skis. Now do not do anything more than is asked of you. First, a turn to the right. Snow plough position=basic position. The skis begin to slide.

Now you move the left shoulder, the left knee and the left ski with a slight forward pressure. The centre of gravity is between the skis, the body is held erect and the turn to the right begins. Now repeat the performance to the left: right shoulder, right knee and right ski with slight forward pressure and, as you will notice, you will begin to travel to the left. The centre of gravity is always between the skis and you must never forget this. So, continue to travel in alternate turns.

When the right shoulder goes forward the left shoulder recedes and vice versa. Now look back and see your fine snow plough tracks. You are delighted to find how easy it is and how successful you have been. Now go to a somewhat steeper slope where you can practise it for yourself. Here once more the snow plough position is your basic position.

See that you do not go too fast for as soon as you get up speed you begin to be scared instead of thinking logically and automatically you become cramped. So, left shoulder, left knee and left ski forward, then right shoulder, right knee and right ski forward. Practise it in every type of snow and at every degree of steepness.

And now as a reward let me tell you a secret. The wide angled ends of the skis, as you progress, draw ever closer together until they are almost parallel. You continue to make the same movements and finally you have achieved a snow plough Christiania. I have perhaps jumped on a little ahead but in actual fact ski-ing is as simple as that. As a novice you will not find matters so simple but this snow plough turn is and remains the key to the swing.

The Snow Plough Christiania

In the fall line: right shoulder back, snow plough position, basic position, slide faster and faster, lean forward, turn left, left shoulder back, left ski forward and soon you are sliding with flat skis out of the swing. This is actually the rudiments of the swing.

The Stem Turn

In the stem turn there are several basic movements and basic rules which will accompany us throughout the whole of the development of our later ski-ing and which holds good for the further stages of this sport. Here for the first time you hear of alternately weighting and unweighting the skis. At the same time, ideas such as the uphill and the downhill skis crop up.

One of the most important preliminary exercises for the stem turn is running on the weighted downhill ski, i.e., the whole weight of the body on this particular ski so that you can take the weight off the uphill ski, stem and then bring it parallel again.

When you can do this it is proof that you really have the weight entirely on the downhill ski. You must now practise putting the weight on the left ski as the downhill ski and, on the counter move, on the right ski as downhill ski with the unweighted stemming of the uphill ski.

To lift the weight away from the slope is always rather strange and difficult for the beginner, but you must gradually get used to it. If the shoulder of the uphill ski, which at the same time is the outer ski of the turn, is far enough back then the whole of this side of the body is free and it is an easy matter to stem the weighted ski well out.

Now all that is left to do is incorporate these turns into your natural skiing.

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