Welcome to Part 2 of Skiing crash course for beginners introduced by SkyTechSport. Now that we have tried a few exercises and are comfortable maneuvering around the room in our ski boots, let’s get familiar with the basic elements of manipulating the skis themselves.
In this lesson we will be introduced to elementary Skills Concept set that is necessary to identify your level and to improve unfamiliar movement sequences more effectively. We will also go through Skills of Alpine Skiing: rotational control, edge control, and pressure control. Keep in mind, that your Athletic Stance is very important and is both a source and outcome of effective movement. Knowledge of these three skills – edge control, and pressure control, and rotational control – are integral to all turns, and they are essential for maintaining balance. These skills provide a clear framework to analyze the action of the skis on the snow and the skier’s movements to accomplish these actions. Sometimes getting familiarized with a completely new skill might seem intimidating. But we try to break it down for you in a simpler terms so that together we build and expand our knowledge one building block at a time. If you find yourself lost in the lingo, we have a quick vocab list for your convenience at the end of each article. Now let us get to it.
Edge control refers to tipping the skis relative to the length or longitudinal axis of the skis. In other words, skiers use this action to increase or decrease the ski-to-snow angle. Edge control is the ability to tip the ski onto its edge and adjust the angle between the base of the ski and the snow. This angle has a significant impact on both speed and direction of travel. If you’ve ever seen people skiing downhill, you’d notice that they go in a serpentine manner. This is achieved by tipping the skis to the right or to the left.
A high edge angle is when the ski is tipped more on edge, increasing the angle between the base of the ski and the snow. A low edge angle results when the ski is tipped less and is flatter on the snow. Effective edge control involves using only the amount of edge angle necessary to accurately affect the path of the ski through a turn, promoting a gliding action of the skis.
Lateral movement of the body (side-to-side) is required to balance against the forces that act on the skis when they are tipped on edge. Inclination and angulation are terms that are commonly used to describe body movements relative to the edge control skill.
Inclination occurs when there is deviation from a vertical position. In skiing, inclination is the general term for any lateral movement of a skier toward the inside of a turn.
Angulation refers to movements that create angles between body parts. Two types of angulation are commonly used in skiing:
Knee angulation refers to the appearance of angle created at the knee joint. Knee angulation, while present in most turns, is most apparent in shorter turns where the forces are not long-lasting, or in instances when greater edge angles are required at slower speeds. The knee joint has little lateral movement, especially when the leg is straight. In this respect, knee angulation is mostly a result of lateral and rotational motion of the leg combined with bending the knee joint.
As forces increase due to greater speed, hip angulation keeps the body in stronger alignment, although slight adjustments in knee angulation can be used to fine-tune edge angle. Knee Angulation is the first edge control movement developed on the SkyTech Sport Ski Simulator.
Hip angulation refers to the angle created at the hip joint. It allows a skier to adjust edge angle while maintaining balance toward the outside ski as forces increase in a turn. This type of angulation is most apparent through the shaping and finish phases of turns. On the