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By Susi, Instructor at Snowbird Mountain School
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!!