Out With the Old, In With the New: Step 3

Instruction 1200 F

Updating your gear? Then you need to update your technique, too. Learn which traditional practices should be tossed out with your straight skis. Your body will thank you, and you'll take your skiing to the next level in no time.Old Work the Angles STU Leaning to the inside used to be considered one of skiing's cardinal sins. Skiers took great pains to keep their spines as vertical as possible and shoulders level (1). This was called upper-body angulation, because the legs were at an angle to the snow while the torso was more perpendicular to it (2). The sensation was one of tilting the upper body toward the outside ski to ensure weight was concentrated there. On shaped skis, which carve so easily, this much angulation is literally a pain in the back. Only when your skis are skidding-drifting sideways through a turn-do you need to keep your shoulders so level. If this is the case, keep the spine upright to stay with the drifting ski (3).

New Flow With the TurnMIKE These days skiers have a lot more confidence in their skis' ability to hold all the way through a clean arc. You can ride them naturally, without getting into a contorted stance (A). You don't need to worry about whether your shoulders are level as you start the turn. The point is to maintain pressure against the outside ski (B). The resulting look is less stylized, even less disciplined perhaps. But by keeping your upper body relaxed, you can focus on what your legs and feet are doing and flow easily from one turn into the next without being self-conscious about where your shoulders are in relation to the snow (C).