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Tips to cleanly turn your skis

TiffAlt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I'm paging @liquidfeet because I've seen some great tips on turning that she's left in other places, but want to say hello to all ski divas and thanks in advance!

I am looking for tips on what I can do to make sure I always execute a good full turn in parallel. I have issues getting my inner ski to be as stable as my outer ski. On the bunny slopes I can sort of get them parallel, but my inner ski is shaky, never as smooth as I see in youtube videos. When I practice my side slips (slipping down a slope) after awhile my inner ski tends to catch on the inner edge (the one I don't want to stop myself with). I've been putting my legs closer and closer together to combat this but my stance still widens after awhile.

I'm thinking I really need to work on my stance while parallel and maybe strengthen some of the muscles in my legs to try to keep my legs from drifting apart. My balance sucks due to a childhood injury that caused temporary paralysis. I disguise it pretty well in normal life, but my doctors can always tell - one side is stronger than the other and I can very spectacularly trip while even standing at times. I feel like I've been told not to put any weight on my inner ski, but I have big problems with the tapping exercise as it throws my balance. I've settled on just trying to lift it slightly, but it is still shaky unless I put more weight on it.

If anyone has any tips for this to try to feel more stable or exercises I can do either on the slopes or even at home, I'd be very grateful!
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
I'm paging @liquidfeet because I've seen some great tips on turning that she's left in other places, but want to say hello to all ski divas and thanks in advance!

I am looking for tips on what I can do to make sure I always execute a good full turn in parallel. I have issues getting my inner ski to be as stable as my outer ski. On the bunny slopes I can sort of get them parallel, but my inner ski is shaky, never as smooth as I see in youtube videos. When I practice my side slips (slipping down a slope) after awhile my inner ski tends to catch on the inner edge (the one I don't want to stop myself with). I've been putting my legs closer and closer together to combat this but my stance still widens after awhile.

I'm thinking I really need to work on my stance while parallel and maybe strengthen some of the muscles in my legs to try to keep my legs from drifting apart. My balance sucks due to a childhood injury that caused temporary paralysis. I disguise it pretty well in normal life, but my doctors can always tell - one side is stronger than the other and I can very spectacularly trip while even standing at times. I feel like I've been told not to put any weight on my inner ski, but I have big problems with the tapping exercise as it throws my balance. I've settled on just trying to lift it slightly, but it is still shaky unless I put more weight on it.

If anyone has any tips for this to try to feel more stable or exercises I can do either on the slopes or even at home, I'd be very grateful!
While there are drills with lifting/tapping the inside ski to help demonstrate our balance over the outside ski etc.. in regular skiing you do NOT actually want zero weight on the inside ski. You will hear varying percentages of weight between the two like 90% outside and 10% inside or more balanced between the two in more 3D snow etc.. so it’s something you need to play with in different conditions. There are often drills that exaggerate the point, but you are not intended to ski like that in general.

I’m sure our wonderful instructor Divas will have a lot to say. Just wanted to chime in as someone who was also confused with this concept for awhile after hearing many different weight distribution percentages from different instructors in my earlier years of learning to ski.
 

Susan L

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I have the exact issue as you due to pronation of the foot. Custom insoles and canting helps but I have to consciously roll my uphill knee out to change my stance to parallel instead of always being in the inside edge. There is a discussion about this from a while back, if this is your issue:

 

Iwannaski

Angel Diva
When I lifted my inner ski off the snow completely, my instructor DID NOT LIKE - and the fix made my turns better. I’ve posted about this b/c to me the fix was so simple but REALLY made a ton of difference. Incorporating the fix really required me to pay attention to my body and that helped a lot.

Which inner ski is giving you issues? The dominant or non-dominant side? Because you mentioned a history of paralysis on one side, so I’m presuming that you have a definite dominant side? I had problems when my DOMINANT side was inside. I think it would be different if your non-dominant side was the problematic inside.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
If anyone has any tips for this to try to feel more stable or exercises I can do either on the slopes or even at home, I'd be very grateful!
Not an instructor, but have been taking lessons pretty regularly after age 50. Getting past a "hump" as you learn more about skiing takes patience.

What I can help with is providing ideas for exercises directly related to ski conditioning. Balance and flexibility are important. Improving and maintaining balance and flexibility is a year-round activity. Doesn't require going to a gym or that much time, but requires consistency. Ten minutes 4-5 times a week is better than an hour every two weeks.


Of course, it's good to do some extra ski conditioning during the month or two before a season starts.

 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I feel like I've been told not to put any weight on my inner ski, but I have big problems with the tapping exercise as it throws my balance. I've settled on just trying to lift it slightly, but it is still shaky unless I put more weight on it.
Lifting a ski as a drill is HARD! Even without adding tapping. The first time my ski buddy was asked to do that, he fell over. We were only trying to glide on one ski on the very flat teaching terrain near the main base as we were finishing a teaching run. At the time of that lesson he was an advanced skier over 50, but he hadn't had any lessons since learning as a young adult (in the midwest). He was in very good shape physically and played in an adult volleyball league.

Last week I was doing a lesson program (6 consecutive morning lessons, same group and instructor) with a few friends, all advanced and over 60. At one point when we were working on carving on a groomer, my instructor noticed I was not keeping weight on both skis. He was very clear that wasn't what he wanted to see. I was essentially cheating to try to get both skis to look like they were on edge at the same angle.

Everyone has a good side and a bad side when it comes to making turns. I had bad habits from learning as a teen, skiing very little for decades, and not taking lessons when I started my daughter in ski school. Took me almost three seasons to fix the bad side by working with a very experienced instructor at my home mountain. I'd taken enough lessons by then to be considered a solid advanced skier so only needed one lesson to start the re-training. But ingraining the correct movement took a lot of practice. I took another private lesson the next season when we worked only on green terrain. That's when I had an AHA! moment and could feel difference in a way that I could self-correct afterwards.
 

TiffAlt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I have the exact issue as you due to pronation of the foot. Custom insoles and canting helps but I have to consciously roll my uphill knee out to change my stance to parallel instead of always being in the inside edge. There is a discussion about this from a while back, if this is your issue:

This may very well be an issue. I have very close to flat feet anyway. They did suggest inserts when I got my boot fitted but I dislike inserts as too high in the instep tends to hurt my lack of arches from experience. Looks like they might have been right...
 

TiffAlt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
When I lifted my inner ski off the snow completely, my instructor DID NOT LIKE - and the fix made my turns better. I’ve posted about this b/c to me the fix was so simple but REALLY made a ton of difference. Incorporating the fix really required me to pay attention to my body and that helped a lot.

Which inner ski is giving you issues? The dominant or non-dominant side? Because you mentioned a history of paralysis on one side, so I’m presuming that you have a definite dominant side? I had problems when my DOMINANT side was inside. I think it would be different if your non-dominant side was the problematic inside.
So here's the weird thing, I am right handed and still write with my right, but that is the side that was paralyzed temporarily. So my left side is far stronger. I often joke that if you want me to throw anything far and accurately, I need to be doing so from my left. Otherwise if I'm throwing from my right, you're safer where I'm aiming, lol.

I have issues with both sides, but I think more with my right. I need to double check though.
 

TiffAlt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
While there are drills with lifting/tapping the inside ski to help demonstrate our balance over the outside ski etc.. in regular skiing you do NOT actually want zero weight on the inside ski. You will hear varying percentages of weight between the two like 90% outside and 10% inside or more balanced between the two in more 3D snow etc.. so it’s something you need to play with in different conditions. There are often drills that exaggerate the point, but you are not intended to ski like that in general.

I’m sure our wonderful instructor Divas will have a lot to say. Just wanted to chime in as someone who was also confused with this concept for awhile after hearing many different weight distribution percentages from different instructors in my earlier years of learning to ski.
Wait, really?! Wow....
 

TiffAlt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Not an instructor, but have been taking lessons pretty regularly after age 50. Getting past a "hump" as you learn more about skiing takes patience.

What I can help with is providing ideas for exercises directly related to ski conditioning. Balance and flexibility are important. Improving and maintaining balance and flexibility is a year-round activity. Doesn't require going to a gym or that much time, but requires consistency. Ten minutes 4-5 times a week is better than an hour every two weeks.


Of course, it's good to do some extra ski conditioning during the month or two before a season starts.

These are great! And definitely agree that consistency is key! I've been looking for things I can do at home in my free time. The line of work I'm in often requires me to wait for code to build so micro, but repeated exercises are perfect!
 

TiffAlt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Lifting a ski as a drill is HARD! Even without adding tapping. The first time my ski buddy was asked to do that, he fell over. We were only trying to glide on one ski on the very flat teaching terrain near the main base as we were finishing a teaching run. At the time of that lesson he was an advanced skier over 50, but he hadn't had any lessons since learning as a young adult (in the midwest). He was in very good shape physically and played in an adult volleyball league.

Last week I was doing a lesson program (6 consecutive morning lessons, same group and instructor) with a few friends, all advanced and over 60. At one point when we were working on carving on a groomer, my instructor noticed I was not keeping weight on both skis. He was very clear that wasn't what he wanted to see. I was essentially cheating to try to get both skis to look like they were on edge at the same angle.

Everyone has a good side and a bad side when it comes to making turns. I had bad habits from learning as a teen, skiing very little for decades, and not taking lessons when I started my daughter in ski school. Took me almost three seasons to fix the bad side by working with a very experienced instructor at my home mountain. I'd taken enough lessons by then to be considered a solid advanced skier so only needed one lesson to start the re-training. But ingraining the correct movement took a lot of practice. I took another private lesson the next season when we worked only on green terrain. That's when I had an AHA! moment and could feel difference in a way that I could self-correct afterwards.
Thank you for the encouragement! I actually thought I was NOT supposed to have any weight on the inside ski. I mean no one ever said that, but I guess I just assumed it from always hearing that you want to have your weight on your outside ski in a turn. So I've been trying to turn on ONE ski with other floating beside it. My instructor probably just didn't notice this cause I only slightly raise it off the ground, so I'm sure it looks like I'm on both.

Wow, I feel dumb, LOL.
 

TiffAlt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
When I lifted my inner ski off the snow completely, my instructor DID NOT LIKE - and the fix made my turns better. I’ve posted about this b/c to me the fix was so simple but REALLY made a ton of difference. Incorporating the fix really required me to pay attention to my body and that helped a lot.

Which inner ski is giving you issues? The dominant or non-dominant side? Because you mentioned a history of paralysis on one side, so I’m presuming that you have a definite dominant side? I had problems when my DOMINANT side was inside. I think it would be different if your non-dominant side was the problematic inside.
By the way - what was your fix? I'm interested to know whether or not it'll fix my issue. More knowledge is (almost) always better.
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
This may very well be an issue. I have very close to flat feet anyway. They did suggest inserts when I got my boot fitted but I dislike inserts as too high in the instep tends to hurt my lack of arches from experience. Looks like they might have been right...
Cusstom insoles are very different to support or off the shelf ones. My orthotics are fairly high in the arch and supportive, and took a good 2-3 weeks to get used to the pressure on my arch. My ski insoles are more to stop my feet collapsing into the available space so that when I move my feet, my skis respond rather than my feet squishing around inside my boots, and are shaped somewhat differently.
 

TheGreenOne

Angel Diva
The best technique that clicked for me is to squat into turns. All other forms of increasing pressure on outside ski while lowering on inside never worked for me... that's only tip I have.

When I do the squat initiated turns and link them multiple times turns feel so smooth gliding on the correct edges. Just too bad my brain screams something about speed, going too fast and I revert to bad habits.

So squat to initiate, stand on straight portions, back to squat, repeat
 

TiffAlt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Cusstom insoles are very different to support or off the shelf ones. My orthotics are fairly high in the arch and supportive, and took a good 2-3 weeks to get used to the pressure on my arch. My ski insoles are more to stop my feet collapsing into the available space so that when I move my feet, my skis respond rather than my feet squishing around inside my boots, and are shaped somewhat differently.
Trip to the ski shop tonight is in order! I'll update you on how it goes
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I am looking for tips on what I can do to make sure I always execute a good full turn in parallel. I....my inner ski is shaky ...I've been putting my legs closer and closer together to combat this but my stance still widens after awhile.
.... I really need to work on my stance ....maybe strengthen some of the muscles in my legs to try to keep my legs from drifting apart. ....a childhood injury that caused temporary paralysis. ....one side is stronger than the other .... I have big problems with the tapping exercise as it throws my balance.
Before commenting I'd like more information.

1. You are having trouble moving from the wedge to parallel.
Your stance widens even though you tell both feet/legs to come together and stay that way. Which leg do you try to move over, the inside one or the outside one, or both?

2. You have lack of strength on one side of your body, or on one leg. You think this may be the issue in being unable to keep feet/skis together, and you think this lack of symmetry is unusually big. Am I right?

3. Maybe you think this one-side weakness is permanent and unchangeable because you had temporary paralysis in childhood, and because it may have caused your current one-sided weakness. Do you think it's permanent?

4. You can't do the tapping exercise. I am assuming you do this exercise across the slope rather through full linked turns. Am I right? If yes, is tapping a problem when you are heading across the slope in both directions or just in one direction?

5. There's something about sideslips that gives you a problem but I can't tell exactly what that is. Would you re-explain that using "uphill" and "downhill" instead of "inside" and "outside"?
 

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