Start with your body in a stacked position standing tall with hips over knees over ankles. Photo submitted

SKI TIPS: Let the edges do the work

Whitewater Ski Team coach Dylan Henderson shows you how to turn more efficiently

By Dylan Henderson

Ready to make the first move?

The Whitewater Ski Team is focused on love this season, with love of process, love of team and love of yourself as top priorities. As we get back on snow we need to review the process and make sure we are building a solid foundation that includes an athletic body position and the correct sequence of movements in order to add performance and complexity as the season progresses.

The pole plant marks the transition between turns signaling the end of one turn and the beginning of the next. Take a close look at the first movement you make when you start a turn following the pole plant. We all just naturally know how to turn but we might have some unnecessary, inefficient movements mixed in to the sequence.

So what is the first move? Simply roll the skis up on to edge with the ankles. After that, the knees add to the edge angle, and then the hips engage while you manage the pressure created by the centrifugal force of quickly changing direction.

If each turn is started with good body position and clean edging then we can build more pressure through the turn, go faster, and have more fun!

The drill that I will give you is very simple. Slide forward down the hill, do one turn and keep turning until you are carving back up the hill, slowing down and finally coming to a stop.

I use this drill with all levels of skiers to allow focus on a single movement within the sequence of movements that make up this complicated dance that we call skiing.

As you begin sliding get into a stacked body position, meaning hips over knees over ankles, and stand up taller than your usual skiing stance.

Next, focus on that first movement! Simply use your ankles to roll the skis up on edge and patiently and wait for the ski to carve. I call this the leap of faith moment because you have to trust that the ski will turn without you steering it!

A common error is to get impatient and begin steering the skis with your feet which causes skidding or braking. Looking back, your tracks should be twin pencil lines in the snow, drawing a half circle.

Once you do this with success in both directions, start linking big turns while continuing to focus on that simple ankle roll. That simple movement is the spark that lights the roaring fire that is the run leaving you breathless, laughing and hungry for more.

Dylan Henderson is the head coach of 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. Henderson was also named 2017’s top ski coach by B.C. Alpine.

 

The first move is rolling the skis up on the edge with the ankles. Photo submitted

Continue through the turn, carving pencil lines in the snow until you are going back up the hill and come to a stop. Notice how the skier is managing the pressure created by the turn in a good stacked position. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Inquest planned in death of Peter de Groot

It’s been five years since the Slocan man was shot by RCMP

COLUMN: The ups and downs of electric vehicles

Three Nelson city councillors set out to get to Vancouver from Nelson in an electric car

COLUMN: East Shore finds diligence lacking on ferry decision

Opinion from Herve Blezy of the East Shore Advocacy Society

COLUMN: Library’s Voting 101 session puts election in new light

Anne DeGrace describes a library discussion last week that aimed to “de-spin” the election

Plastic reduction: these Nelson businesses are on it

October is plastic waste awareness month in Nelson

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Two years later, City of Fernie remembers

Oct. 17, 2019 marks two years since the tragic ammonia leak at Fernie Memorial Arena

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Cannings endorsed by David Suzuki

South Okanagan-West Kootenay NDP candidate loading up on endorsements

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Most Read