Legwork: Expert

Evolution
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Evolution

CHALLENGE

Twisting your upper body in short turns

When making short turns, many aspiring experts lock their feet together and try to make short-swing turns by gyrating their upper bodies and hips like disco dancers. But problems arise: Your shoulders rotate and counterrotate to deliver torque to your skis, your hips thrust side to side to change edges, your pole plant is out of sync, and your flattened skis swivel back and forth across the snow without doing much actual turning. In essence, there's a lot of motion, but nothing's happening.

SOLUTION

Understand separation and how to use your poles

A

Open your stance and face down the run with your torso. Steer with your lower body to make short-swing turns.

B

Recognize that your upper and lower body can operate independently. Your upper body can remain still, relatively upright and facing downhill, while your legs turn the skis back and forth beneath it.

C

Time your pole plant to correspond with edge change. This pole plant ensures that your upper body will be stable.

D

Face downhill as your skis turn beneath you. Your lower body twists beneath the upper, then realigns with your core when you release and change your edges.

E

Establish rhythm with your pole plant. Swing it forward to be ready for the new turn, keeping your torso still and your legs working independently beneath it to make effortless-looking short-swing turns.

NOVEMBER 2004