The Phantom drill is a very effective drill for tipping and aligning the stance fore-aft, balancing on the outside ski and a lot of other good side effects. It really is at the root of any great ski turn. This is one of the drills you simply can't do too much of!
Make sure you incorporate this drill into your ski warmup routine this winter season... it is part of mine!
It is about a specific turn sequence, executed at fairly low speeds, on a green/blue slope. Medium-wide turns to allow sufficient time for a perfect execution.
Here is the turning sequence, while going on a traverse across the slope. All the focus during this drill is on the inside ski, the ankle and boot:
The proper execution of this drill is critical. Every element above must be present, as they all work together. The balance should be established on the new outside ski very early in the new turn, to be able to lift the new inside foot and do the drill correctly.
Progress to lift the old outside ski off the snow earlier and earlier, until you transfer weight to the new outside ski while it is still on the old edges and then tip it through flat and onto the new edges.
Here's a phantom drill intro:
You don't really have to lift much, just off the snow, maybe a couple of inches at the boot (lift the tail more than the tip). Focus on tipping the inside ski from the foot/ankle (using inversion) - since the inside ski and boot is lifted free off the snow, it will be very easy to tip.
The turn will be executed exclusively on the outside ski, developing balance and proper movements.
This ski drill is called phantom because the tipping of the inside ski causes the other ski to follow tipping and the skis to turn that way. That is the "phantom move".
Here's a higher speed execution:
Here a cousin of the phantom drill, with Mikaela Shiffrin explaining it in detail:
Tail lifts are also another name for a related drill common in race coaching. However, the phantom differs from these in one critical aspect as it adds a focus on using the light foot and ankle for tipping.
The "phantom" was later revised with additional elements and named "super phantom", but in reality, it should always include these elements:
You can progress from here to executing the drill on a blue/black slope, short turns, more rhythm, stubbies, an impossible flush etc. GS skis will require even more balance than the Slalom skis, on the outside ski.
A perfect execution is paramount, to acquire the right movement patterns, while speed is not. If you do this drill while carving on a blue run and you lack good balance and speed control, maybe do not carve it or move down to a green run!
This drill will be added to your season starter list when you're moving to the next topic and it is a great idea to spend some time on this at the beginning of the season, a few hours ideally. It really develops great ski control and finesse - that's what we should look to develop at the beginning of the season, to allow our skiing to evolve.