Good Skiing Part 2


By Susi, Instructor at Snowbird Mountain School


Skimum Nicole gains greater control by pointing that Belly button downhill, getting the weight on the outside ski and “schmearing”

 Leg rotation and skiing bumps efficiently  

Our technical focus in our second coaching session was turning our legs more than our upper body… What??? Yes, it is the truth: a turn starts with the body parts closest to the snow: the feet and the legs. Often times we use our shoulders or our hips to start a turn, we are twisting shoulders and arms uphill at the end of a turn, we flail with our arms to help us stay in balance… These movements are not very efficient and not always graceful  😉.

The Skimums worked hard to keep their upper bodies disciplined, rotate their feet and legs to steer their skis through the turn, while keeping their belly buttons – and other body parts – directed towards the tip of the outside (or downhill) ski. We realized that the release of the energy created by twisting the lower half against the upper half of the body made it much easier to start a turn and to point the skis in the opposite direction.

We also put our “schmearing” skills to use.  We’re not carving into the turn.  As Skimum Denice visualized, “It’s like spreading cream cheese on a bagel — the schmear.”  As we release energy placing weight on that outside ski, gravity allows the entire bottom of the ski to coast downhill. More contact means more control over our direction and speed.

To apply the new skills we found some crusty and then soft bumps, where we POINTED our belly buttons into the direction of travel, rotated our legs on TOP of the bump, SCHMEARED down the back side of the bump to control our speed, then GLIDED up the next bump!  Like magic, Skimums found they had total control.  Turning and shmearing, turning and shmearing… In control, with grace and efficiency!!

If you did not have a chance to be with us or you want to review turning the legs under a stable upper body and bump technique check out these videos

I Love Homework At This School


By SkiMum Denice

Today was Skimums last day with “Sherpa Emilia,” our terrific Mountain School instructor.

It was amazing how every Monday the weather was good and the skiing even better.  The “mom gods” must have been looking out for us.  With everything Emilia taught us over four weeks, we put it all to good use on our last day.  She pushed us to our limits (and then a bit further), and we had a blast!!

The final tip I took home today was to keep the lower half of my body moving and loose.  I need to absorb the bumps with my knees and hips, while keeping my upper body open and facing downhillThe facing downhill part is always a little intimidating, but with all that powder, at least I didn’t have to hear the scrape of ice.  I don’t know what it is about that sound that puts my whole body into a panic.

It all came together, and today proved to be my best day yet.  By the end, I actually felt I was skiing … like a real skier.  Add sunshine, powder, good friends, and a great teacher — What more could you ask for?