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"SKIING IS A SLIDING SPORT"--a skiing web manual: contents (topics at page bottoms of manual)
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 Conventional Skiing Wisdoms (CSW's) 

by Bill Jones, Ski Instructor
Certified Professional Ski Instructor (Registration #110478)
private ski lessons at Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek, Arapahoe Basin, other areas

 CSW #1: "Keep the feet and therefore the skis together. "

CONVENTIONAL SKI WISDOM # 1: “Keep the feet and therefore the skis together.”                                                                                                                                       


 Many folks think skiing with the skis in a close stance makes for a "cool" look, as shown by Stein Eriksen at left, one of the world's all-time best and handsomest skiers. (Who could argue with that?)  However, such a "locked stance" with skis together and even touching, because of human anatomy precludes the ability to rotate the legs' thigh bones inside the hip joints (this movement is called "braquage" and note the plurals of "legs' thigh bones"). Stein was such an  acrobat that he can do about anything he wanted on his skis and still perform admirably. (He died at 88 years, still skiing.)  But for most of the rest of us, rotating the thigh bones inside the hip joints is a most useful mechanic in modern advanced skiing. This rotation allows us to steer the skis rather than have them steer us. And along with this to steer each ski at a different radius, for the inside ski of a turn must move through a tighter radius than the outside ski--and tighter the shorter the radius. The braquage movement is rarely discovered without help from an instructor.


 Without braquage, a turn is often initiated with a strong thrust of a hip or the entire body around the body's axis. Most untrained skiers ski this way. Although this thrust gets the turn going, it places the body in a non-functional position during the first part of the turn and requires a correcting movement to get lined up again, thus taking longer to get the next turn initiated.


 Stance width can still vary, however. Unlike on groomed snow, in powder snow where the skis sink under the surface, the feet are held  a bit closer together (but not together) so the greater snow resistance is less likely to catch a ski and direct it away from the skier. And in bumps the stance is also narrower than otherwise so the skis won't be tracking at different heights and therefore be harder to manage. But in neither case--if one is to maintain the valuable braquage option--should these stance variations be so much as to lock the legs in the hip joint.


At right, see Olympic champion Mahre twins skiing with legs/feet and skis apart and belly-buttons looking at you in a stance that is more like that used in most sports. Which stance will work better for you? Try both. Find out which stance allows you to change what you are doing more easily and quickly, once you get used to both. And below see a modern racer and note that his skis are far apart but his legs are not so much, due to his tipped angle:



 [Stein is from Skiing History, January-February 2016, cover;
 Mahres from Ski Magazine, November 2013, page 87.]


main CSW contents
next CSW #2: "Sit back when skiing powder"

"SKIING IS A SLIDING SPORT"--a skiing web manual: 

Skiing Web Manual Contents   Why Read This Skiing Web Manual  That First Skiing Lesson  A Little Skiing History   Motion in Skiing  CONVENTIONAL SKIING WISDOMS  Skier Excuses   Fear in Skiing  Conditioning for Skiing   Equipment and Technique  Skiing Equipment  How Skis Work   How to Develop Balance on Skis  A Skiing Turn Simplified The Final Skiing Skill: pressure management  Tactics for Terrains and Snow Textures and Racing  Skiing Tips and Tales--a potpourri    Exercises for Developing Skiing Skills  Children and Skiing Age and Skiing Gender & Skiing  Culture & Skiing Skiing Ethics and Survival  Slope Safety Skiing Environment  Videos and Apps Glossary Acknowledgements SkiMyBest Website Contents  
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