Sunday, 19 July 2009

Why leaning too far forward is bad as well

Its been a while since I did a ski lesson type post, which was the initial idea of the blog, so here goes with a post on being balanced over the middle of the ski. I have read posts on other sites about finding the sweet spot in the center of the ski. This is a fairly important idea when moving into advanced skiing, so I thought I would put my own spin on the concept.

A common misconception is that it is necessary to lean forwards when skiing. This is probably because many an instructor can be heard telling their clients to get their weight forward, or not to lean back. I have been guilty of this myself on numerous occasions, and as corrective feedback it is perfectly valid to tell somebody who is over the tails of their skis to bring their weight forward. The danger is that they will overcorrect and end up over the fronts of the skis unless it is made clear that they only need to move forward enough to find a balanced position.

In general beginner and intermediate skiers are much more likely to lean backwards than forwards, especially when nervous or tired. It is natural to try and lean uphill, keeping the body as upright as possible, but this translates into leaning back. It is also true that in a snowplough or basic parallel turn leaning back will make it much harder to turn the skis, whereas leaning too far forwards will not cause too many problems. Many skiers will therefore be told to move their weight forwards, while far fewer will be told to move their weight backwards.

The upshot of this is that good intermediate skiers can easliy find themselves leaning too far forward, without ever realising that this is a bad habit that will inhibit their progress towards advanced techniques.

The trouble is that in higher level skiing leaning too far forward is at least as big a problem as leaning too far back. The key is too stay more or less centered over the ski. I say more or less because the point of balance can move forward and back during a turn, but that is a subject for another post.

If the weight is too far back the skis will be sluggish and difficult to turn. When carving the skis will tend to go straight. If the weight is too far forward the skis will tend to pivot around their tips, meaning skidded turns will be less controlled and when trying to carve the tails will break away and skid sideways. In between these two, in the centre of the ski, is the balance point where the ski performs as it was designed to.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Cerro Catedral Views

I've been skiing at Cerro Catedral for a about a week now, and I have heard many times that the best thing about the mountain is the views. I have to agree with this. The skiing is okay but at currently needs much more snow. It looks like there should be some good posibilities off piste when we get a decent snowfall, but for now the views are indeed pretty spectacular.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Buenos Aires Photos

Well, I've been in Argentina for 3 weeks now, and I've discovered that at this time of year its rainier than the North of England. The mountain finally opened this week, a lack of snow having delayed it until now, and I had my first day's skiing yesterday. The visibility was pretty poor, so no photos yet. In the meantime here are some sightseeing photos of Buenos Aires from the journey over.