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"SKIING IS A SLIDING SPORT"--a skiing web manual: contents (topics at page bottoms of manual)
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  "SKIING IS A SLIDING SPORT": Motion in Skiing
by Bill Jones, Ski Instrucor
Certified Professional Ski Instructor (Registration #110478), Level III
private ski lessons at Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek, other areas

Two four-letter words are key to this sliding sport: MOVE and MORE. Yes, move the body parts into new positions to point the skis, tip the skis, and pressure the skis. And, for most, move more, because our uncertainties inhibit us into too much caution and the skis don't get our intended directions strongly enough to do what we want them to.

"Now that it seems to you that you have doubled the range of your motions, as I asked", said the instructor to his uncertain student, "double them again, square the result, multiply that by 3.5 and you will have accomplished half as much as you need to". So advised the instructor to his fearful student, who seemed more like a zombie than a living human. Of course, a few learners will move too much, but even these will likely move in the wrong direction or at the wrong moment or pace, so they, too, can benefit from a pair of eyes outside their own bodies.

MOTION is the special province of the animal kingdom. Plants, mainly, are rooted; mostly they just sway or drift. Animals go where they please, and when, and how. It's great to be an animal. Let's capitalize on our special attribute!

Favored are the animals that fly or swim. Watching flocks of birds veer in unison or porpoises surfing in formation can give us humans pangs of jealousy. We, however, can dance with intricate fluidity. We can harmonize with the undulating haunches of a trained riding horse. We can flit underwater with the aid of swim fins or surf down wavefronts with boards or just our bodies. We can sail over water with the wind, or soar on it with wings in the sky. We can slide across ice surfaces, even twirling and leaping as we go. With wheels we can do more on solid ground. Skiing, too, is about the human body in motion, allowing gravity to propel us. Skiing is setting our bodies free from attachment to Earth. It is another, special, way to do the animal thing of going where we please, and when, and how.

To use the body in a physical way that involves the blending of balance and motion gives a sensation of pleasure that may be narcotic. Snow-boarders know this, as do ice-skaters, and, I suspect, so do tumblers, gymnasts, acrobats, dancers, roller-bladers, sail-boarders, surfers, mountain-bikers, rock climbers, and probably golfers and tennis players. Football place-kickers probably know it, too, but I doubt if many other sports participants can relate to what we skiers feel, and I wonder if the competitive fires enjoyed in these other sports are adequate compensation for not having these sensations of managed balance and motion. Skiers, though, can compete, too, in ski racing and other means.

CONTROLLING MOTION is a major focus of skiers--at least it is of those who survive. Controlling motion on skis may involve changing direction or changing speed or both. By turning our direction of travel we can avoid things, or, if we prefer, hit them (like a ramp to lift off)! To change our speed we have three choices, and the first is again a change of direction, for if we ski more steeply downhill, we can speed up; less steeply, we can slow up. A second way to change our speed--if the snow is soft and deep--is to sink our skis into it so there is resistance on them and our legs. The third way is to put the skis in a tilted position so their edges scrape the snow, creating friction. (Here, someone usually notes there is a fourth way--you can also fall down; of course this creates even more friction).

"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 Slope Survival Slope Safety Skiing Environment  Videos and Apps   Glossary  Acknowledgements SkiMyBest Website Contents  
This "'Motion in Skiing'" page last modified 11/02/2017 12:29:33 AM. Did you come here from a link on another website? For latest version of this page, copy to your browser: http://www.SkiMyBest.com/skimotin.htm. Copyright © 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017. William R Jones.