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Down The Slopes With Style

Jan 3, 2008
Once you have mastered the basic positions and techniques, more advanced skiing lies ahead. Below are some of the turns and techniques you may like to try.

The Stem Turn

The hallmark of the expert skier is to have full control of his ski turning, at all speeds and in all sorts of snow.

The stem turn - which is the basis of practically all advanced turns - is the turn which naturally comes first. It is a turn which can be executed on all sorts of snow, at moderate speeds. If you master this turn, so that you can use it without any difficulty, all subsequent turns, including turns at speed, will become easier to accomplish.

The complete sequence of movements is as follows:
Skis parallel, weight evenly distributed on both skis, knees bent forward, upper part of the body erect, muscles relaxed.

The weight should now be transferred mainly onto the left ski. which should be edged slightly, by flexing the knee inwards. The left hip and shoulder should be thrust forward. This movement, similar to that of a spring being coiled before release, is called counter-stemming.

The outer (right) ski, which is flat on the snow, and only carries .a minor portion of your weight, should be thrust out into the stem position. This
is called "stemming-out".

The weight of the body is transferred to the outer (right) ski. and at the same time a marked rotation of hip and shoulder should be carried out. The outer ski should be edged, as required, in order to prevent side slipping.

The weight should once again be evenly distributed on both skis, which should be drawn together parallel with the knees flexed forward.

Stem Christie - first phase

By now you should be getting more and more confident, and you probably feel you'd like to learn to execute a turn at greater speed.

The Christiania or 'Christie' turns are ideal for this purpose. This can be learned in three phases. In the first phase the learner should practice running diagonally downhill with parallel skis, concentrating on rhythm and control.

Ski diagonally down a slope, thrust the outer hip and outer ski forward. This movement will cause the skis to sideslip easily and naturally. The movement must be rhythmical, and the weight should be mainly on the outer ski.

Stem Christie - second phase

The next phase involves skiing straight down a slope, over a bump and turning the skis to the right. This involves executing a turn with a larger arc, and requires toned timing of weight-transfer, according to the speed at which you arc moving.

1. Parallel skis; prepare to transfer the weight; thrust the right hip forward.
2. The transfer of weight takes place, and the rotation of the hips.
3. Skis parallel, weight forward, and mainly on the outer ski.
4.. Completion of the turn. Knees bent well forward, outer hip thrust forward, outer ski edged.

Stem Christie - third phase

In this phase the Stem Christie should be executed in its entirety, but at somewhat reduced speed. The entire arc of the turn is executed in the same way as in the stem turn. The stem position, owing to the increased speed, will now be less pronounced, and the skis should be brought together parallel at the conclusion of the turn. If you reduce the stem position of the skis in a Stem Christie, you will find the speed increasing.

1. Skis together and parallel - weight evenly distributed on both skis - easy relaxed position.
2 The weight is transferred to the right ski. i.e. "counter-stemming" takes place. The left ski is pushed out in the stem position, i.e. "stemming out" takes place.
3. The weight is transferred to the outer (left) ski with a swift rotation of the body.
4. The inner (right) ski is brought parallel to the left ski.
5. The turn is completed; knees flexed, weight on the outer ski. The outer ski should be edged by flexing the outer (led) knee inwards, while thrusting the left hip forward.

Enjoy these advanced techniques and add polish to your skiing!
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