Balancing Act: Short Turns

Balancing Act O


PHIL Back in the Seventies we had a chance to train with Ingemar Stenmark and the Swedish ski team. Stenmark was the world's greatest skier for about a decade; in complete short turns, nobody could compete with him. Watching him we learned that different turns create different tempos and different pressurization needs.

PHIL There are two types of short turns: incomplete ones where you stay close to the fall line and maintain speed (A-B), and complete ones where you scrub speed by bringing your skis farther across the hill (C-E). In a less complete turn you more or less equalize the pressure on the skis throughout the turn (A-B). In complete turns you need more edge and pressure later in the turn (C-E). The farther you go around the corner, the greater the forces created (E). If you create forces too early in the turn, you have nowhere to go at the bottom.


STEVE The pole plant is essential in short turns. It stabilizes the upper body (E). The new, ultra-short slalom skis used today are making it more possible, but trying to make perfect, short carved turns on the steeps is tough. Instead, in the first part of the turn, try to get your skis pointing in the new direction (C). The tips will take a tighter line than the tail. Float as lightly as possible through the top part (C again), then sting for a brief carve at the bottom (D-E).