Out With the Old, In With the New: Step 2

Instruction 1200 D


Legs and Feet Together


Not too many years ago, it was-and for many people still is-important to squeeze the legs, feet and skis together. The idea was to have both skis operate as a single unit. This kind of tightness defined "parallel skiing" (1). But only experienced, well-schooled skiers made it work. Those with exceptional upper-body discipline created elegant turns with their feet together (2). Others put their feet together and then tried to make direction changes. Too often that resulted in awkward, inelegant and wasteful body gyrations.

To gain a high edge, closed-stance skiers had to thrust their skis to the outside and drive the knees to the inside of each turn (3).

New Widen That StanceMIKE These days, clean, round arcs are considered elegant. Racers and athletic skiers have rediscovered that they are two-footed animals and that each leg should operate independently (A).

An open stance makes you aware of-and uses-all four edges. You still want most of your weight on the outside ski, but by separating your feet you can use the inside ski, too (B). Your outside foot still goes out from under you, but it's not thrust out there, it just ends up there naturally during a smooth, round turn. The outside leg is enormously powerful because the open stance lets you move the inside leg out of the way (C).