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Your "Aha!" moment

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I don't think we have a name for it. It's just lifting the inside ski as soon as you're around the turn, but leaving the tip on the snow. The sooner in the turn the better.

It works because there is no other choice but to weight the downhill ski.
Name or no name its a winner in my book :love:
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
Its when you lift the tails of your inside ski leaving the tip on the the snow, preferably tipping that inside tip on its outside edge .... think I've got that right.
Effectively lightening the inside leg and getting your weight onto the downhill ski.

I think there may be variations of it but that one worked for me, it was like a magic bullet !!
Ah okay yes, my instructor calls it “scribe” because you leave the tip on the snow and it should make a thin line as you go. I really like that drill as well, it is a good one to start the day with to reinforce getting forward too. You can’t properly do the drill if you are back.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Ah okay yes, my instructor calls it “scribe” because you leave the tip on the snow and it should make a thin line as you go. I really like that drill as well, it is a good one to start the day with to reinforce getting forward too. You can’t properly do the drill if you are back.
One of my instructors called it the "pencil" drill.

Had another who said to try to make the base of the lifted ski face the other leg/ski. She had a different name for it but I don't remember what it was. That was a small group class for a 1-day women's clinic at a small mountain.
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
One of my instructors called it the "pencil" drill.

Had another who said to try to make the base of the lifted ski face the other leg/ski. She had a different name for it but I don't remember what it was. That was a small group class for a 1-day women's clinic at a small mountain.
Someone else called it "Tip Toe"
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
There are a number of variations of this drill, and lots of names for it. Blending the drill into one's personal skiing is easy because the drill is almost invisible in its more subtle variations (thus the name "phantom"), and because doing the "drill" as actual skiing is sometimes good form.

I'll list a bunch of variations. Let's see how sharp my memory is - it's my bedtime but this is too much fun to leave until morning.

Variation #1. Lift the tail of the new (soon to be) inside ski. This is the ski that's downhill as you travel across the trail. Make sure the tip of that ski stays on the snow as you lift its tail. It doesn't have to lift much - an inch or so is good enough. The movement may be invisible to others.

Do this as the old turn is about to end. In other words, do it while that old turn is still happening but almost done. Do not start the new turn first then try to lift the tail. The reason is that the new inside ski tail lift will start the turn for you, without you having to do the other things you do to start a turn. It's like magic.

This simple move, tail up while tip stays down, will start the new turn all by itself if you do it early enough, before starting the new turn your normal way. You don't have to do anything else. Keep that tail lifted until it's time to lift the other one.

----Benefits of doing this drill variation:

1. It keeps you out of the back seat.
It's almost impossible to lift this new inside ski's tail (with the tip staying on the snow) while skiing in the back seat. This drill is a good self-diagnosis exercise to see if you are skiing backseat. If you can't get the tail to come up, or if you can't keep the tip down as you lift the tail, you are in the back seat. You need to bend your ankles forward more so your shins come up from the skis at a forward angle, not vertical, and contact the tongue. Just bending forward at the ankle will do this. Do not bendzeknees to get the tongue-shin contact; just bend the ankle forward. If this doesn't enable you to do this tail lift, then you probably also need to stand up taller along with the ankle-bend. These two should get your body more forward over the skis so that you can do this drill.

2. It automatically transfers all your weight to the new outside ski.
The tail-lifted new (soon to be) inside ski is the downhill ski if you do it early enough. Early enough means while the old turn is ending, before you do anything to start the new turn. Once lifted, all your weight transfers to the new outside ski (uphill ski). This weight transfer is essential for starting almost all ski turns. You won't need to do anything of the usual things you do to get that turn started if you can lift that tail before you start the new turn.

3. It tips the skis onto their new edges.
When you lift that downhill ski's tail, your uphill ski will tip onto its new edge and start the turn. Edging of the new outside ski will start the turn downhill and then across the hill. Rotating the skis won't be needed to get them to point in the new direction. (You won't be carving so these will be slow speed turns.)

4. It eliminates leaning-in & also having too much weight on the inside ski.
When you continue to hold that inside tail up (and tip on snow) through the whole turn, you can't lean in because you'd fall down. The inside ski will not be firmly planted on the snow from tip to tail, so it can't support your upper body's weight.

5. It begins the process of learning to make advanced turns.
Using edging to shape a turn is an advanced skill. Doing the tail-lift, if you do it before you start the new turn, is a great way to begin learning to use the ski's self-turning function that is built into its design.

It's a difficult drill at first for most adult learners. Many have difficulty keeping the tip on the snow, and in my experience most cannot convince their downhill leg to lift that ski's tail. So they end up lifting it just a little once the turn is going. That's ok because they can work on lifting it earlier and earlier. This can be learned.

The new inside ski tail-lift is worth pursuing because the magic moment when a skier feels the ski make the turn all by itself is amazing. AJM said it was like a magic bullet!

I'm nodding off so the other variations will need to wait for another time.
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
There are a number of variations of this drill, and lots of names for it. Blending the drill into one's personal skiing is easy because the drill is almost invisible in its more subtle variations (thus the name "phantom"), and because doing the "drill" as actual skiing is sometimes good form.

I'll list a bunch of variations. Let's see how sharp my memory is - it's my bedtime but this is too much fun to leave until morning.

Variation #1. Lift the tail of the new (soon to be) inside ski. This is the ski that's downhill as you travel across the trail. Make sure the tip of that ski stays on the snow as you lift its tail. It doesn't have to lift much - an inch or so is good enough. The movement may be invisible to others.

Do this as the old turn is about to end. In other words, do it while that old turn is still happening but almost done. Do not start the new turn first then try to lift the tail. The reason is that the new inside ski tail lift will start the turn for you, without you having to do the other things you do to start a turn. It's like magic.

This simple move, tail up while tip stays down, will start the new turn all by itself if you do it early enough, before starting the new turn your normal way. You don't have to do anything else. Keep that tail lifted until it's time to lift the other one.

----Benefits of doing this drill variation:

1. It keeps you out of the back seat.
It's almost impossible to lift this new inside ski's tail (with the tip staying on the snow) while skiing in the back seat. This drill is a good self-diagnosis exercise to see if you are skiing backseat. If you can't get the tail to come up, or if you can't keep the tip down as you lift the tail, you are in the back seat. You need to bend your ankles forward more so your shins come up from the skis at a forward angle, not vertical, and contact the tongue. Just bending forward at the ankle will do this. Do not bendzeknees to get the tongue-shin contact; just bend the ankle forward. If this doesn't enable you to do this tail lift, then you probably also need to stand up taller along with the ankle-bend. These two should get your body more forward over the skis so that you can do this drill.

2. It automatically transfers all your weight to the new outside ski.
The tail-lifted new (soon to be) inside ski is the downhill ski if you do it early enough. Early enough means while the old turn is ending, before you do anything to start the new turn. Once lifted, all your weight transfers to the new outside ski (uphill ski). This weight transfer is essential for starting almost all ski turns. You won't need to do anything of the usual things you do to get that turn started if you can lift that tail before you start the new turn.

3. It tips the skis onto their new edges.
When you lift that downhill ski's tail, your uphill ski will tip onto its new edge and start the turn. Edging of the new outside ski will start the turn downhill and then across the hill. Rotating the skis won't be needed to get them to point in the new direction. (You won't be carving so these will be slow speed turns.)

4. It eliminates leaning-in & also having too much weight on the inside ski.
When you continue to hold that inside tail up (and tip on snow) through the whole turn, you can't lean in because you'd fall down. The inside ski will not be firmly planted on the snow from tip to tail, so it can't support your upper body's weight.

5. It begins the process of learning to make advanced turns.
Using edging to shape a turn is an advanced skill. Doing the tail-lift, if you do it before you start the new turn, is a great way to begin learning to use the ski's self-turning function that is built into its design.

It's a difficult drill at first for most adult learners. Many have difficulty keeping the tip on the snow, and in my experience most cannot convince their downhill leg to lift that ski's tail. So they end up lifting it just a little once the turn is going. That's ok because they can work on lifting it earlier and earlier. This can be learned.

The new inside ski tail-lift is worth pursuing because the magic moment when a skier feels the ski make the turn all by itself is amazing. AJM said it was like a magic bullet!

I'm nodding off so the other variations will need to wait for another time.
And now I want to get back on the snow to practise it !!
As always @liquidfeet such concise and effective info :love:
 

Magnatude

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Sounds like the "stork turn". A favourite here as it kills several birds with one stone. Outside ski, centered (with shin/tongue pressure) stance, timing, etc.
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I often teach the novice version of this drill which we sometimes call thumper turns to my very beginners. Just a variation where we lightly pick up the tail of the inside ski at the beginning, middle and end of each turn. It teaches proper ski to ski weighting but also helps develop single ski balance and balancing in general.
One key part of it and any turn related exercise that helps me a lot is to think of each ski inside and outside skis from start to finish of turn rather than bottom and top ski. This really helps me with starting all the pressure changes earlier, thus creating a smoother transition between turns and more importantly a very powerful apex, or middle of the arc of the turn, instead of over pressing at the finish, and subsequently getting a bit stuck and loosing that lovely flow from turn to turn.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Oh yes, thumpers. A super effective exercise that preps cautious beginners and novices for the New Inside Ski (NIS) tail lift. Thumping is less intimidating than tail lifting.
Honestly, for people not yet balanced confidently on their skis at different speeds and on different snow conditions, all variations of the tail lift can be a challenge. Most people will need substantial practice on low pitch terrain and at slow speeds in order to become adept and confident at starting turns this way.
If thumpers is variation #1, and the one I described with all those words last night is #2, then here's #3.

Add Pull-Back to the NIS tail-lift.

---Lift that New Inside Ski's tail and hold its tip down on the snow as before, but now you also need to pull that New Inside Ski backwards a bit as you do the other stuff. Another way of saying this: slide that NIS backwards in its track while lifting its tail (and keeping its tip down on snow). Or simply pull back the new inside foot as you lift the ski's tail.
---This NIS pull-back makes the turn stronger. In this context, "stronger" means the NIS pull-back increases the quickness of the turn while generating a tighter turn. The turn takes less time to point downhill then across the slope. The overall feeling is the turn feels stronger. It won't take as much time to get to the end of the turn, and the turn won't take up as much real estate on the slope.
---Once a skier gets a little bit of rhythm happening with the tail lift and the pull-back, making linking these short radius turns is a blast.
 
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liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Variation #3: add Tipping to the NIS pull-back and tail-lift.

Let's say you've got the rhythmic turning going on, and you are making short turns down the fall line using the tail-lift and pull-back together. These turns will feel great and make you feel super confident on easy, shallow terrain with good snow. --- But if you try it on hard snow with some pitch, your skis may not generate enough grip to fill you with confidence. If you add some intentional tipping of the ski (little toe edge down on snow, big toe edge elevated) as you do the other things, that confidence will come back. NIS tipping magically tips the new outside ski to its big toe edge. Now its edging will have more grip on the snow surface.

There are several ways to tip the NIS ski to its little toe edge.
---Lift the arch of your NIS foot. Or lift the big toe edge of your NIS boot. Or lift the big toe edge of your NIS ski. All the same thing.
---Roll that NIS knee outward. Or move that knee outward and down toward the snow. Or go "bowlegged" with that NIS leg. All the same movement.
---Now go back to that pitch with the firm snow and you should discover, doing the three things together (tail-lift, pull-back, and tipping), that you now have good grip and your confidence has returned, despite the hard snow.
 
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liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Variation #4.

Do #3 (tail-lift, pull-back, tipping), but just lighten the tail this time, do not lift it.
Instead of lifting that tail 1"-2" off the snow, lift it only 1/2." Or less. Everything will work as before, as long as that tail is light and not carrying your weight.

You are no longer doing a drill.
--You are using the ski's self-turning function to generate your turns.
--You are weighting and tipping the new outside ski, which makes it turn downhill and take you across the snow in the new direction. To get a turn, you don't have to manually point it in the direction of the new turn.
--It will grip with more strength than ever before once you eliminate the rotation.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Variation #5.

If your turns are still taking up too much of the trail, or taking too much time to turn across the pitch making your speed increase, you can give the ski a little boost. Rotate the new inside ski a bit in the new turn's direction as you tail-lift, pull-back, and tip. This will shorten the turn even more. However, you'll need to pay special attention to the tipping. Keep that edge angle on the lifted NIS strong. You can make very very short turns down the fall line this way without skidding out, as long as you tip the NIS strongly.

Overview: doing something with the new inside ski to start turns instead of doing something with the new outside ski creates stronger turns. These new inside ski movements activate the functioning of the new outside ski while enforcing solid weight transfer, eliminating any back seat issues, and making leaning-in close to impossible. Intentional rotation of the ski to point in the new turn's direction is unnecessary to start a turn.

Inside ski leads the turn. It's the brain. The outside ski is the brawn.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Last two thoughts about the lifting:

If you do thumpers, your body will slowly get used to balancing on only one ski. There will be no time to pull-back or tip when doing thumpers. It's an important introductory drill.

If you lift the tail high, 12" to 24," you'll lose grip and create a very skidded turn.
If you lift the whole ski and keep it parallel to the snow surface, you'll get a carved turn with massive grip. It does not have to be lifted very high.
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Thanks so much @liquidfeet and @snoWYmonkey for all this fabulous information !!!
Who knew that due to me trying to protect my injured leg that this amazing doorway would open :love:
I'm just sad that our local hill has closed and I'm not going to be able to practise it more (unless I get a day in at Mt Hutt ... fingers crossed !).
In the meantime anyone else going through the motions in the living room ???? :laughter:
 

mzapsCO

Certified Ski Diva
Its when you lift the tails of your inside ski leaving the tip on the the snow, preferably tipping that inside tip on its outside edge .... think I've got that right.
Effectively lightening the inside leg and getting your weight onto the downhill ski.

I think there may be variations of it but that one worked for me, it was like a magic bullet !!
That was my exact breakthrough, as well. Totally changed my skiing!
 

mustski

Angel Diva
I've had a few Aha moments similar to this discussion. First was that pulling my feet back under me really helped in my turn shaping and in closing my ankles. Second was - gravity works! Don't rush the turn and let your skis point downhill because everything will be so much easier if you work with gravity. Finally, two similar instructions helped me in moguls - one was lifting the tail of the downhill ski to initiate the turn and the other was rolling to the pinky toe of the downhill ski to initiate the turn. Prior to that I had been trying to initiate the turn with my uphill ski. When I initiate with the downhill ski instead, it pretty much does the work for me. The older I get, the more important efficiency of movement becomes!
 

Rashika

Certified Ski Diva
That's interesting cos I often get a bit of a mental block trying to start that first turn.
Yes I think of weighting that foot that is about to be the downhill one but then trying to let go of (or take some of the weight off that other foot) is my big mental stop... It's like arggghhhh no I can't do that cos I will fall... But it's ok I keep telling my head cos the other leg will do the work.
I know it works but my thinking head still gets in the way! Too much thinking.
It's Frustrating...but I know it's just going to be time and practice that will fix it.
And usually once I get that first turn in it's so much easier.
 
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AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Second was - gravity works! Don't rush the turn and let your skis point downhill because everything will be so much easier if you work with gravity.
That is something I need to work on .... rushing my turns "Guilty" !! When I do manage not to rush them its a great feeling I just have to maintain that discipline

The older I get, the more important efficiency of movement becomes!
Most definitely :love:
 

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