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The problem with forward Subscribe Pub

There is so much ink and time spent on forward and yelling "get forward" on the race hill, that it would make it seem the only important technique of good skiing... and, while it is very important, it can also be a bad thing. Oh, my! Let's have a think...

I'm not talking about the fact that some skiers end up too far forward and jam the skis at the end of the turn, although that is a consideration... but also simply, a mistake that most coaches can quickly realize.

I'm referring to the fact that it can become a crutch and inhibit development of good skiers...

Why forward?

The ski bends with angles and pressure. The fore/aft distribution of pressure dictates which part of the ski bends. That's the simple traditional view - the reality is a bit more complex, as leveraging the boots adds pressure beyond weight etc.

If the skier is forward, meaning the hips are ahead of the boots, the forebody of the ski bends more, allowing better engagement, more speed control, a tighter turn shape etc. Certainly, all good things!

Angles are more important

However, angles are more important!

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Focusing too much on "forward" is counterproductive at some point. It causes skiers to hop up tall from the turn and push into the ski too late in the turn and grind the ski late in the arc and it creates a lot more problems than it solves, for a lot of skiers.

Classic tall is forward approach at the lower levels
Classic tall is forward approach at the lower levels

I am sure you see most racers and skiers get stand up tall coming out of a turn, in a misguided attempt to push their hips forward for the next turn! See The meerkat move.

If you want puzzlement, ask a racer what is the point in being a little more forward if you are late by the time you did get forward? If the simple act of pushing your hips forward for you late?


Also, most skiers cannot balance forward because of their boot setup, so again focusing on forward too early, before diagnosing boots and stance issues is again counterproductive.

So... we should be back?

No, we should always aim to keep the feet under the body, but the way we work on forward, the sequence of learning skills matters: a skier that is focused on "forward" and "tall" at all costs, will never flex and relax to end the turn, for instance, and that is critical, because it allows tipping!

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By: Razie | 2019-01-24 .. 2020-12-19 | Tags: post

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