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New guests out on the slopes with us today which is a perfect opportunity for me and the other academy students to carry on with our instructor training. We are learning tons of stuff from the Pro Team, such as the five fundamental skills of skiing, which go a little something like this:

  • Stance and balance; your stance directly relates to your balance because it keeps you in a position which allows you to deal with any changes in the slope and your speed. The general stance is to keep your knees bent whilst leaning forward, keeping your weight directly over the centre of the skis. A good beginner exercise to practice your stance is to simply stand in the stance position, another good beginner exercise is to try and touch your toes and the tip of your ski's. This makes sure that you are leaning forward and bending your knees.
  • Edging and Pivoting; edging is simply when you use the edges of your skis to cut into the snow. Edging is used to stop yourself while moving during snowplough, to hold yourself still when standing on the slope and it is also used to turn during more advanced techniques such as carving. A good beginner exercise to practise edging is to roll your knees over and dig your edges into the slope whilst standing still. Another good beginner exercise is the duck walk, this is where you stand facing up the slope with the tails of your ski's pointing together, while digging your inside edges in, you proceed to walk up the slope. These exercises help you gain an awareness of where your edges are and how to use them. Pivoting is where you rotate your leg at your hip during turns, the motion is just rotation of your legs and the effect is rotation of the skis. A simple beginner exercise for pivoting is just standing on the spot and trying to individually rotate your legs. Another good beginner exercise is the fan exercise, this is where you start off moving in a straight line with parallel skis, you 'open the fan' by moving into snowplough to turn and then 'close the fan' by moving back into parallel skis to finish the turn. Both of these exercises help you develop more control over the rotation of your skis by pivoting your legs.
  • Pressure control; this is where you apply different amounts of pressure to your skis by shifting your weight in order to increase friction on a particular ski or a particular part of a ski. This effect will result in a turn but of course just skiing in a straight line requires pressure control, because you need to maintain even pressure on your ski's in order to not turn. A good beginner exercise for this is to simply jump up and down whilst moving along, this helps you develop an awareness of the amount of pressure that is applied whilst pushing down on and lifting up your ski's. Another good beginner exercise to practice pressure control is simply performing snowplough turns, this is a very basic application of pressure control in order to control your movements on the slope and it helps you gain an understanding of how pressure control relates to your movements whilst skiing.
  • Rotation; rotation is simply where you rotate your ski's around by pivoting your legs and adjusting your centre of mass. It is most commonly used during parallel turns. A good exercise for this is hockey stops, this is where you try to slide your ski's around to stop like a hockey player stops on ice skates, you achieve this by extending, pivoting your legs to turn and then ending the turn on an edge. Another good exercise is Brochage, which is short radius parallel turns where you are trying to turn as quickly as you can but, this requires an already well developed capacity to parallel turn in the first place so it is better suited for more advanced skiers.
  • Timing and Coordination; this is the application of all of the skills that you know at the correct time during a turn and whilst skiing in general. A good exercise to help you practice your timing and coordination is to count as you are moving in and out of your turns. For example, counting one, two, three, four. Starting with one at the beginning of the turn, counting to four at the middle of the turn and then starting again at one and ending with four at the end of the turn. This is a very good exercise to help you coordinate your turns so that they flow smoothly from one to the next.

Now this is only a brief description of the five fundamental skills, the possible applications of each skill and exercises to help practice each skill. There is much more to know about each skill and this is merely some basic knowledge associated with these skills.

Rob.

Tuesday, 28 December, 2010
09:00 AM - 11:00 PM

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Zakopane

Zakopane

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Rob Minks
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