Independence is Power

Turning Points
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Turning Points

The best skiers tend to ski with their feet farther apart these days. Look and you'll see that at times, their skis even get slightly out of parallel, making them look almost bowlegged. That's because an open stance allows their feet and legs to work independently. In addition, a wider stance makes it easier to get on a high edge early in the turn. (Editor's Note: Turn to page 35 to learn about the downsides of excessive scissoring of the skis.)

A To be strong on the edge and make the ski bend, think about supporting your weight with your skeleton rather than just with sheer muscle power. Notice how most of the pressure is against Dave's outside ski (the right one, in this case). Edging that ski is a matter of tilting the bones in the right leg to the inside.

B The outside leg does most of the work and has to tilt the most. To give it plenty of tilting room, the inside knee must be pushed out of the way. Moving the inside knee out of the way also helps to guide the inside tip away from its mate, creating a stance thatis "beyond parallel."

C This slight scissoring of the skis offers a perfect setup for the next turn. Weight can be smoothly transferred to the inside (left) ski by simply rolling it onto its new edge. Once the pole is planted that transfer happens almost naturally, as the upper body continues to flow downhill.