Pinkie Leads The Way Subscribe Pub

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One mistake that most skiers do, once they're good enough to commit to the outside ski, is to forget about the inside ski. It ends up having a random amount of pressure, carving or just dragged along and, if lucky, parallel with the other one!

I find it then very important to focus on it, instead of the outside ski. I started telling my kids that Pinkie Leads the Way. They should start the turn with the little toe of the inside foot. And make sure the other foot follows. This was based on some corrective exercise i found on a website now forgotten.

Then, while paying more and more attention to the inside foot, you realize that it must lead the way completely - imagine needing to 'hook' the knee around a slalom gate -- you clearly have to push that knee sideways. So the inside leads not only with the pinkie carving in the snow but you will also push it forward and lead the other ski as you go through the turn. All this, after you pull it back to start the turn... the outside ski will generally follow, either willingly or not.

So, the sequence of the turn is, looking at the lower body:

  • from an engaged position, past the apex of the previous turn, with the outside leg long and strong, start releasing the skis
    • start relaxing this leg and untipping the ski off the edge
  • you transition over to flat, keep shins parallel (a result of relaxing and untipping the outside)
  • Austrians have a separate phase here, recentering where you recenter your body over the skis. I like having this as a separate movement, so you don't forget about it and it becomes a reflex
  • from flat, with both knees bent equally, continue tipping the new inside foot to it's little toe. This will also keep the shins parallel throughout
  • keep the inside ski from shuffling forward at the beginning of the turn - essentially, pull it back
  • start to focus on the little toe leading the carve: feel it dig into the snow, but since there is little to no weight on it, it's more like a hinge. You will also allow this new inside foot to also move forward slightly as the turn progresses and lead the other one
  • keep some 10% weight on the new inside ski, to keep it carving, but commit all/most weight to the outside ski
  • the outside leg is getting longer and stronger, to prepare for the big load at the apex
  • keep tipping the inside foot. You'll find out that you also have to flex the inside leg a lot and sort of bend over it with your body, to continue to increase the angles and speeds
  • continue tipping and flexing and getting lower throughout the turn, until it's time to start again, with the other side - this avoids the so called "locked" or "static" skiing
  • don't allow the inside leg to shuffle forward of the other one too much - maybe half a boot is good.
  • one cue for proper alignment is to touch the inside boot with the outside knee around the apex

That's where I am with my understanding of the turn right now, as far as using the inside foot. I will update this when it changes.

Update read this post Focusing on the Inside Ski for an update - note that I now consider it a mistake to push the inside ski forward early, as I had written in this post originally, it is important to pull the inside ski back instead. That doesn't change the perspective of pinkie leading the way though.

As we rarely discover genuinely new ideas these days, I later found out that there are some who built a sort of a movement around this idea, the PMTS. I just ordered two of their DVDs to see what they're on about and I will post an update here when I do.

Update I have received and watched the DVDs - see my review here: Anyone_can_be_an_expert_skier++ .

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By: Razie | 2012-09-22 .. 2016-11-03 | Tags: post , coaching , inside ski , vivid image , tipping , technique , improve-skiing

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