Skiing technique for safety and stability

Skiing technique is a matter of apparently small things that matter a great deal.  These two pictures show that very well.

Skiing technique giving stability

Look at the tilted platforms the skis are creating.

Now look at this picture.

Poor skiing technique being demonstrated

Instructor ably showing what NOT to do!

One of these is absolutely right, the other is absolutely wrong.  Guess which is which – no prizes!

Small things that make big differences.

Skiing technique is all about our making small movements whilst in motion.  All of those small movements are concerned with the interface between the sole of the ski, and the snow surface.

Now, let’s first make excuses for the ski instructor.  Perhaps at the time of the photograph he was deliberately showing his ten pupils what not to do – the ones who were looking and could actually see him.

If so he would be cross with the third kid from the front who is getting nearer than anyone else to doing the right thing!

Now, of course the most important thing to do when we’re teaching kids is firstly to ensure their safety, and then to ensure they have fun.  Neither of these precludes imparting the right ideas.

From a skiing technique viewpoint where is the instructor wrong?

Take a look again at the first picture.  The skier is not skiing on edges.  The skis are tilted, creating two strong platforms against which the skier is bracing by keeping her centre of mass toward the centre of the arc around which her skis are carrying her.  Stability!

The instructor on the other hand is implanting in the childrens’ minds  the idea that one must lean outwards away from the arc’s centre, and lean ones weight onto the outside ski – (other than skier # 3 who looks more like the top picture ! )

More than half the children can either not see not see him or aren’t interested anyway.  Both the instructor and kid # 2 are showing what happens if you do this leaning.  The outside, supporting, ski flattens on the snow instead of tilting to give support, and if they were traveling at any speed it would slip away.  Instability!

In order to obtain her qualification this instructor will have had to become an extremely good skier, and an effective racer.  She will NEVER do this, or anything like it, in her own skiing;  why teach it?  Unless, as I say, it’s deliberate.

You will soon (I hope!) be able to see more about this on my forthcoming Youtube channel

And Here

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