Ski Techniques and Tips for Freeride - 2 Closer Stance
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Freeride and Powder Skiing - Closer Stance with Athleticism
When skiing certain terrains on the mountain the distance you have your feet apart can make a lot of difference. A competition GS skier typically skis with a wide stance for maximum leg lean and edge grip. On the other hand a competition mogul skier would ski with a closer stance as leaning is not their main priority but rapid steering and tight turning is. A good stance to adopt for freeskiing is a stance that is closer than your normal piste skiing. Similar to that of a mogul skiers stance. The main reasons for this are that the wider apart you have your feet in powder and off piste terrains, when the skis may even be submerged, the more chance there is of the skis travelling in slightly different directions. With the feet closer you’ll have a stronger foundation and more consistency from turn to turn. Your skis will generally spend more of the time matching each other on the crossover point and as you steer through the rest of the turn.
If you want to adapt a narrower stance for freeskiing the best way to go about it is to think of a narrow stance that is athletic. Most people when they are told to get their feet slightly closer for powder just clamp them together and generally loose their ability to be active and dynamic. This results in a closer stance which is good but with a reduced range of movement that is bad.
What you need to do is go through a process that will get you the desired closer stance but with the dynamics that already existed in your normal stance. To do this, practice on an easy terrain with your feet close together. Try making turns that are as you normally would. Carving, Short radius, steeps and turns with a large range of steering. You’ll eventually turn your new closer stance into a dynamic closer stance and be ready to tackle most freeskiing terrains.
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