Falling leaf Pub

One progression from Braquage is the "falling leaf", so named after... well... falling leafs... which tend to oscillate from front to back while falling.

This drill will be starting to work the effects of fore/aft into your skiing slowly, so your brain can register them, build balance and engrain it all. There is one specific action that we must take when skiing, which is to recenter between turns. This is the drill to practice that, slowly!

ON SNOW! drill-falling-leaf  

Go onto a steeper blue/black pitch. Put the skis sideways, across the slope and stand on the edges, without sliding.

Start braquage by flattening or tipping the skis down the hill and sliding. As you slide, from the ankles, roll your entire body forward gently, to feel more pressure on the balls of the feet and shins. Note how the tips go down more and the skis start sliding forward.

Now, from the ankles roll your entire body backwards, to feel more pressure on the heels. Note how the tails are now sliding faster.

Continue rocking back and forth, while feeling like a falling leaf. Work on building balance and controlling the sliding with edging and fore-aft control. Smooth!

Advanced version: focus on standing on the downhill ski more and feel like dragging the little toe edge of the uphill ski on the snow, during the falling leafs.

After 10 repetitions, progress from here to gliding leafs, see below.

See video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFywlE6KE5s

It could look like this:

Do some variations, where you bend over at the hips rather than roll the ankles and notice how it feels. Flex from the knees more as you bend forward… what does it do? Use this drill to again align and refine your stance.

Feel the fore/aft feedback from the boots: feel the shins against the cuff, when "forward" and feel the back of the leg against the cuff, when "too far back". In general, we want to avoid the latter when skiing and welcome the first.

Gliding leafs

While "being forward" is critical for carving and good skiing, it is more important to by dynamic and re-center on the skis, continuously re-balancing fore/aft as needed.

In the falling leafs, you use your body position to influence the skis and study the feelings and cues that way. You can progress to gliding leafs - their purpose is quite different: here we use the turn to cause you to react and alter the position of your body.

Instead of just gliding more straight down, you allow the skis to glide more back and forth, like at least two cat tracks or 6m and more down the hill than across.

ON SNOW! drill-gliding-leaf  

Go onto a blue pitch. Put the skis sideways, across the slope and stand on the edges, without sliding.

LOOK UP and start a big ample skidded turn, at least 5-6m width, which you complete by going up the hill a bit, make sure your tips are pointing upwards when you stop.

Now, LOOK UP and glide backwards, the same type of turn, which will complete across the hill, with the tips pointing down.

Continue for 6-8 such turns. Work on building balance and being smooth. Smooth!

Notice how when you start the backwards phase, you magically re-center yourself, as a reaction to gliding backwards and that gets you forward on the skis (this is the purpose of the drill).

See video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFywlE6KE5s

Feel the front and back of your boots during this drill. Pay attention to them. This is a good range of motion drill for fore/aft and to study how different forms of recentering affect the skis (hunching forward, moving the hips back, pushing the hands out in front etc).

Note that this drill may sometimes be used as a simpler form of pivot slips - it's sometimes used to teach steering and/or counter, but those conflict with the purpose of fore/aft along the ski and feeling the feedback from the skis and boots. So, we would not use it for other purposes. Pivot slips++ does a great job at focusing on counteracting and hip range of motion.

Braquage is a related great drill for edging and tipping practice.

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Start improving your fore-aft


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By: Razie | 2015-08-05 .. 2021-12-15 | Tags: drill , balance , fore-aft , improve-skiing , blue

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