Skiing with Flow
Put some flow in your skiing with this freeskiing improvement video from ALLTRACKS head coach, Guy Hetherington. Guy, a CSIA Level 4 examiner, has been at the forefront of Whistler skiing for over a decade.
Check out the video and get moving through different terrain with some real style. Enjoy!
Guy Hetherington, ALLTRACKS Canada Director >> Welcome to Whistler Blackcomb for another Alltracks Performance Ski Tip. Today we’re going to put some flow in your skiing. Let’s go for a rip down here and i’ll show you what I mean.
Some skis stay very light on their feet and have a naturally fluid style regardless of terrain and snow conditions. I call this skiing with flow. Although some skiers pick it up more natually than others, I believe it is a talent all can improve with practice.
Today we are going to practice one of the all time classic exercises, the Garland. This is a really effective drill as it is one of only a few exercises to focus on the period between one turn and the next. This is a very important phase and if we are genuine about putting more flow in our skiing, this is where we will need to focus.
Lets take a look at the Garland in final form and them we will begin to assemble it piece by piece from the ground up.
So as you can see from the demo, Garlands are performed while skiing diagonally across the hill and have you repeatingly linking the end of one turn into the beginning of the next. I think of this as a sort of catach and release and when it is done well it promotes a fluid and graceful type of skiing.
Lets start of with a stock standard diagonal side slip. Establish a little natural lead change, line up the hips and shoulders against it and then release into the slip. Be sure to keep the hips open all the way through. Once you are comfortable here try to release into a diagonal side slip for a clean traverse, and then back into the traverse.
I call this a straight catch and release as I am not trying to turn the skis in any way. Just keep them pointing in the same direction across the hill. For an added challenge, try from a stationary position.
To bring this drill close to a full garland, all we need to do is add in some steering. This should be a twisting effort that comes from your legs, and during the catch phase when the skis are loaded with pressure this action will need to be strong an dynamic. In contract, when your skis are released, almost no effort is needed. At this point you should try and remain as patient and relaxed as possible. The contract between a strong catch and an easy release is the key to building a fluid technique.
Get out there and practice some Garlands, but take your time and work to perfection each part of the progression before the final form. When you do, I guarantee you’ll be skiing with more flow.
This has been Guy Hetherington for ALLTRACKS Academy