Essentials Pub

The Essentials of Skiing is a great book on skiing, by Harald Harb, capturing the essential components of great skiing:

Through these categories of movement, Harald Harb proposes a deceptively simple framework to describe skiing via movements, in contrast to other frameworks, based on the Planes of motion or focused on skills. See Skiing - a philosophy of movement.

Primary movements

The primary movements act at the base of the kinetic chain.


The tipping is the main movement, to tip the skis on edge, to either engage and release them. It is specifically created from the feet and ankles, via inversion and eversion and there is more focus on tipping the inside foot as opposed to the outside.


Flexing and extending of individual legs is another primary movement. The free leg is the one that's not weighted, the inside leg, while the stance leg is the one that's weighted, the outside leg.

Flexing the stance leg creates a flexed release while flexing the free leg creates the turn (moves the hips inside the turn, together with tipping) and it is accompanied by extending the stance leg to maintain snow contact.


The fore-aft movements are Dorsiflexion and plantarflexion of the ankle - as well as moving the feet back and forth.

Pulling both feet back is used to recenter in transition while pulling just the free foot back is used to both recenter and help maintain good fore/aft alignment throughout the turn.

The phantom move is the combination of the primary movements: flex, unweight, pull back and tip the free foot.

Complementary (secondary) movements

These are upper body movements to complement the lower body movements.


To complement tipping and stay in balance over the outside ski, we counterbalance - bending at the hips and/or waist, resulting in a calm upper body.


The lower body follows the turning ski and to counteract that and stack the body over the outside foot, counteraction is the upper body's rotation in the opposite direction, resulting in a calm upper body.

Upper body

In all turns, we combine counterbalancing with counteraction and pole use. The focus on pole planting is to not affect the upper body's counteraction and counterbalancing.

Differences | discussion

See Skiing - a philosophy of movement for a detailed comparison of the different movement frameworks.


Harald Harb developed a Primary Movements Teaching System, based on the primary movements 2 and secondary movements described in his books, complete with coach accreditation, camps etc. See more on the forum.

The main progression in this system is very focused on building one footed balance at very low speeds and then adding the primary/secondary movements in order.


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By: Razie | 2015-10-04 .. 2017-02-07 | Tags: wiki , essentials

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