In the last column we focused on looking ahead, and this week we will work on using our knees more and hips less.
Do you ski by swinging your bum? Are you too hippy?
I don’t want to sound like the fun police, and I did grow up on a commune. I’m cool, man. It’s just that there are times when you have to, you know, put your foot down, dig in your edges, and show the man that you are the boss.
Many skiers at Whitewater use lots of hip and not a lot of knee angulation. This is because we can get away with it most of the time because the skiing is usually way too awesome here. The snow here in the Selkirk Mountains is hero snow which is why we live in this groovy bubble of bliss, but come on, it can make you lazy.
Now that it hasn’t snowed in a couple of weeks it can seem pretty harsh out there and that can be a bummer, dude.
What can you do when the snow is a drag, so that you can still shralp the gnarl?
Angulate yourself. In order to get your skis to hold on the steep ice you need to get them way up on edge with your weight on the outside ski. To do this, drive your outside shoulder towards your outside ski (A) and drive your knees in towards the hill (B).
When you dial this position your body makes a nice C shape and you get that great pinch feeling at your outside hip. Make sure that both legs are parallel so that both skis are equally on edge. Now, try it first on a groomer, then take it to your favorite steep run and it will blow your mind.
A great drill to practice this body position is to go without poles and ski with your hands on your hips. As you turn, lean to the outside of the turn and feel your fingers get pinched by your side. After you have success with this you can add placing your inside hand on your head which will further tip your shoulders to the outside ski. Remember to change hand position when you would normally plant your pole.
Now you are using your hips without being too hippy!
Check us out on Facebook! Whitewater Ski Team or visit our website at whitewaterskiteam.ca
Peace out soul sisters and brothers. See you on the slopes.
— Dylan Henderson is the head coach for the Whitewater ski team. He is a certified Development Level coach with the Canadian Ski Coaches Federation and a Level 1 ski instructor with the Canadian Ski Instructors Association.