Here are a couple of the more interesting turns and techniques available to the advanced skier.
The very name suggests the purpose of this turn. At great speed - or, if you like, at accelerated tempo - you can turn to left and to right as you ski downhill. This is the turn which the expert ski-runner delights in carrying out, leaving an "exhaust" of powder snow to mark his trail.
The characteristic features of the tempo turn are its graceful rhythmical movements. At great speed it's no use attempting abrupt powerful movements.
From a running position, well concentrated, with knees flexed forward, a simultaneous raising and rotation of the body, at the moment when the turn is to he executed, will reduce the pressure on the skis, and enable them to turn more easily into their new line of descent.
In executing all speed turns this movement will prove of great assistance, as well as giving the right rhythmical movement.
1. Relaxed position. Preparing the turn.
2. The body is raised swiftly and at the same time rotated, with the outer (left) hip and shoulder thrust forward.
3. Knees once more together and flexed forwards, with the weight evenly distributed on both skis. Arms extended to assist balance.
4. Still leaning forward. The outer ski may be edged as required, in order to prevent side-slipping.
5. Conclusion of the turn. Throughout the turn the skis have been parallel, with the weight evenly distributed on both skis.
Slalom is nothing more nor less than an exacting test of your turning technique. Slalom flags are set up on a slope of appropriate gradient, arranged in "gates" in such a way that the skier's mastery of turning technique is tested as thoroughly as possible.
A correctly sited slalom course should have "flow" and rhythm.
In order to ensure this the gates should not be placed too close together, but in such a way that the test brings out all the points of technique necessary for ordinary skiing. The natural difficulties of the terrain should be exploited. The distance between the flags of each gate should be at least ten feet, while the distance between gates should be at least two foot six inches.
A slalom course consists of a variety of combinations, for which the following terms are used:
1. Open gate.
2. Closed gate
Gate B is closed, when skiing from A to B. A flush consists of three or more closed gates with a gate of entry and a gate of exit. The hairpin consists of two closed gates, A and B, as well as a gate of entry C and a gate of exit D. A corridor consists of one more open gates.
Armwork and the correct use of sticks
Frequently a turn has to be carried out very abruptly, and at slow speed. On such occasions the ski-stick is of tremendous assistance. By taking some of your weight on the stick. On the side to which you are turning, at the moment the weight is transferred to the outer ski, you will find that the turn is much easier to execute. The stick should be advanced by bending the elbow.
In a flush
The skier's problem in this case is negotiating a flush. First of all he must find out from which side to tackle in combination of this kind. It all depends upon the position of the exit gate. But the important thing is to maintain good "height" for each gate. By anticipating the gate, and turning before he actually reaches it. he will avoid losing height, and he will also obtain greater speed throughout his run.
1. The preliminary change of weight or "counter-stemming" for
the first turn has been completed. The left (outer) hip is thrust forward.
2. Weight on the outer ski. Knees well flexed and advanced.
3. The weight is shifted over to the right ski. And the right hip is thrust forward.
4. Completing the "flush" and full speed ahead for the next gate. Split seconds count.
Have fun with these advanced techniques!
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