Balancing Act: Fore and Aft Balance


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PHIL It doesn’t matter if you’re on a shaped ski or a conventional ski, the first phase of every turn starts with forward pressure (A). To get the tip’s edge to engage, you have to drive with your knees and project your hips forward (B).

STEVE In racing, the first thought is always forward, especially when you approach the steep. On the great World Cup runs at Wengen and Kitzbühel, you’ve got to roll forward with the hill as it breaks over (A-C). But be careful: Apply too much pressure to the tip and your tail skids out.


PHIL Ride the tails where slopes are flatter. It’s OK to be on the ski’s afterbody for the last quarter of the turn (F-G). As you lower your stance (D-E), your mass moves back and the skis can accelerate out from under you. The trick is not to get stuck back there.The biggest mistake people make from the tail of the ski is that they move “up” to start the new turn, but not up and forward (A). If you’re going to be back, be sure you can get forward again quickly.

STEVE If you sit back too much, or too early, the ski wants to go straight. The slalom hill at Sarajevo wasn’t that steep at the bottom. I got too far back on the tail and got twisted up because the ski wouldn’t come around. I lost to Phil by .21 seconds. He says that mistake was the difference between his gold and my silver. Move up and forward so fast that you feel your feet stay behind you as you start the next turn.