Started by Cadnesaberdeen in Beginning Skiing 08-Jul-2018 - 14 Replies
im a newbie at this and wish to learn how to effectively stop when i want. lack confidence to go higher because of this.
The 'A frame/plough' technique is tiring on steeper slopes. Any help here? oh, i'm 62yrs, male. cheers
I think ultimately what you will be looking for is what is commonly called a hockey stop. But lets take it a step at a time.
From the plough, you will learn how to do the plough turn. Turns are the basic way of controlling your speed and at the beginner level you will usually do lots of turns and basically come down the mountain by crossing across the slope many times. Once you have mastered the plough turn, you will move on to what I know as stem christies and finally parralel turns.
The simplest thing to remember is that if you want to stop, simply keep your turn going until you start to go uphill, this will always slow you down, although you have to remember you may have a tendancy to start to slide backwards once you come to a stop going forwards
A hockey stop is simply an agressive turn where the skis are allowed to slide sideways with the edges acting like a brake. I'm sure you will have seen downhill skiers at the end of the run doing exactly this on tv.
I would strongly advise that you seek professional guidance if you are asking how to do something pretty basic on here. A few days with an instructor will give you so many benefits in the long run and should help you enjoy the sport even more, especially if you have only just taken it up towards the end of your mid-life.
There are plenty of videos around and I'm sure someone will have something better, but just to give you an idea here is one I just picked off of youtube
FarQueue's adivce is spot on – turn shape is key to controlling speed easily. Follow that principle that FarQueue mentions. Shape the turn by continuing to steer the curve until it slows you down.
That principle can be used in all types of turn, starting from the plough turn.
To help you in putting things into practice there are some common problems people experience. When trying to use turn shape to control speed rather than the width of a snowplough.
1) Width of snow plough. if this is too wide the legs and skis tilt onto a greater edge angle. Consequently the plough acts as a brake. Unfortunately this also acts a 'barrier' preventing the skier from steering easily. So this counters the efforts to turn.
Now this may seem counter intuitive, but narrow the plough (yes you will take the brakes off and slide more). But this gives you the opportunity to flatten the inside ski and rotate your legs and feet to steer the curve. The end of the curve will slow you down again. Practice this on shallow slopes first to limit the 'woooah' factor. As you practice steering curves with a modest size of plough (feet just outside of a hip width apart – no more) on a gentle slope. Once in control of the turn shape, build up the slope angle slightly. You will also need to steer further around the curve as the slope angle increases. Also increasing your range of steering.
2) Steering the legs
Avoid using the upper body to rotate or lean as you build up more rounded curves. It can mess with your edges and balance. Creating another barrier from being able to finish the curve (the part that slows you down). Again aiming to flatten the inside ski. So keep the body steady and level, just turn your legs and feet against the ground.
General tip – as you start to build up better turn shape, and flow from turn to turn you will notice that your outside ski feels 'heavy' and loaded. And the inside ski feels 'light'. This becomes a greater sensation as the terrain and overall momentum from turn to turn gently increases.
Use this sensation, and let your legs bend and steer with it (just don't lean the upper body, keep it level and steady) – you can begin to rotate and steer the light inside ski more, opening the tips. Naturally leading you into plough turns with a parallel finish. Still keeping the principle of steering a curve to control speed. This natural evolution of skill will take you towards parallel skiing.
Go steady with terrain and use gradual increases as you gain more accurate control over the skills. And you'll ace it in no time.
And if you take a professional instructor for an hour or two it will most certainly help to progress through those things more easily.
Good luck, and enjoy the skiing – it is the best thing ever.
This is my first posting on this site, but I could not resist a response. I'm similar in age to you but have been skiing for 30 years. Unfortunately, I made the huge mistake of group lessons over a long period with many different instructors. Eventually we stopped but my wife gradually became less confident UNTIL we had private lessons with an American in Megeve (about 24 hours over 3 holidays). The first thing he said was he would throw away all the techniques we had learned because he would teach us to use carving skis. So, no snow-ploughs, no stem-cristies, no 'parallel' skiing. Everything he taught us made sense, worked, and was easy to remember. We are now confident and smooth carvers who can take on the odd black if we have to.
I can't go through all his techniques in this post but I would say this:-
1. Skiing is an expensive sport - don't ever waste your money on group lessons
2. You have a dry slope (if you are in Aberdeen!) - use it with a private tutor
3. Get your own boots, professionally fitted, and hire the best skis you can afford
Simply you need to learn to finish your turns which will inherently results in you stopping on all but steepest runs. This is best achieved by disciplined practice and lessons. Bit of a generalization but people try to ski slopes which are a bit too steep for them. Until you can achieve a nice rounded (you should be perpendicular to slope), linked turns at a constant speed on a given slope it is pointless going steeper.
Topic last updated on 20-November-2018 at 00:59