Balancing Act: Transfer of Balance

Balancing Act D


STEVE You have two skis, meaning you have four edges to work with. Try to use them all. Most often we go from balancing on one inside edge to balancing on the other inside edge (A-C) when we want to go down the fall line and change direction quickly. Again, it helps to have your feet shoulder-width apart (B-C).

PHIL In the old days, on traditional skis, we changed the ski's direction, then edged it. Now we change edges, create a high edge angle (B-C) and let direction change happen. Be patient in your feet (by not pivoting the skis), but aggressive with your upper body (C).

STEVE Have faith that when you move your torso downhill, you thereby move to a high edge (C). Don't be afraid to let your feet go away from you. They will come back!


STEVE Both Phil and I like to step to our uphill edge (D-G). Racers don't do it so much these days, because the skis are better and courses are less turny. But the idea is to gain height. Max Julen did it perfectly in the '84 Sarajevo giant slalom. He looked like he was freeskiing on a beautiful round line. It appeared effortless, but he whipped our butts big time and won the gold medal.

PHIL Everybody should have this move in his or her bag of tricks. It's useful when you need to adjust your line. Balance on the inside edge of the downhill ski (E), step to the uphill edge of the uphill ski (F) then roll it over into the fall line (G). See the aggressive downhill move with the upper body, just like in the Stance Drill (C-G, page 112).


PHIL It's more common these days to move from an inside edge to a flat ski (H-K). We did it, and still do, when we don't have to stay on a high traverse. Shift from the inside edge (J) to a gliding flat ski (K). But let your body flow downhill as you transfer balance (K). This will help you get on the new edge quickly.

STEVE Too often recreational skiers don't link one turn to the next because they ride a flat ski for too long. There is too much lag time between turns. Don't get stuck on a flat ski. These steps will help.