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.


  1. Center of gratify is important in skiing; but must be altered based on ski conditions. If you're skiing powder vs packed, vs blue ice etc.

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    you need to do an update, July was a while ago.

    You also should change your blog to encourage more comments and loss the moderation; open up siggy lines for folks with more than google generic sign in.

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  2. Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for the comment. You might be interested in this post I wrote last year about posture whilst skiing powder.

    You are right - I do need to update the blog more. I have just tweaked the comment settings following your suggestions - I'll see how I get on with spam comments which used to be a problem in the past.

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