This lesson will help you to carve more and to achieve better
edge hold by using the Phantom Move assisted by shortening of the free leg.
This will increase edge angle and therefore carving. In ski turns, each of
your feet plays a different role. One foot is the stance foot – you
balance primarily on this foot, and it supports most of your weight. The other
foot is the free foot – it supports very little weight, thus it is
light on the snow and you are free to move it and tip it.
Once you practice the movements of this lesson, your carving
on steeper slopes, icier runs, and at higher speeds will improve. Carving
in these conditions requires a greater edge angle of your stance ski. If the
stance ski is insufficiently angled to the snow, the ski will simply let go,
and start skidding sideways. However, just edging the stance ski harder by
trying to press on the big-toe edge or driving the knee into the turn doesn’t
accomplish the performance goals you have set. If you begin with these actions
you bring your leg and knee further under your hips rather than moving your
hips laterally into the turn. Modern PMTS™ technique has moved away from the
traditional skiing concepts of knee angulation and knee drive to create edging.
Carving and edging on modern skis become much stronger and more reliable if
the stance leg remains longer and the hips move into the center of the turn
How, then, do we achieve a greater edge angle of the stance
ski without leg steering? By using the Phantom Move and shortening the free
leg. The combination of flexing the free leg and pulling the knee up and into
the chest will drop the hips into the turn, bringing the body farther inside
the arc of the turn. Once the hips are inside the turn, the stance ski will
automatically roll to a higher edge angle. It isn’t necessary to use or focus
on gross motor movements of the stance leg, like lateral leg movements – they
cause unnecessary femur rotation and inward driving of the knee, which result
in diminished ski performance.
If you’re not sure of how to make linked, parallel turns using the Phantom
Move, refer to exercises GB-10 and GB-11 in Harb Ski Systems’ Primary
Movements Teaching System™ Instructor Manual.
On a moderate, groomed pitch, link turns using the Phantom Move. After you
release, tip the free foot toward its little-toe edge. While tipping, slowly
draw the free foot upward against the stance boot. Meanwhile, keep the outside
of the free foot (its little-toe edge) gently in contact with the snow. The
free foot should be highest, and thus the free leg “shortest”, through the
bottom of the arc; at this point, you can begin to release for the next turn.
As you relax your stance leg to release and your body starts to move in the
direction of the next turn, extend the flexed inside leg until both legs are
equally flexed and the skis are flat to the snow. Now tip the new free foot
and flex the new free leg to enter the arc of the next turn.
As you flex the free leg, keep the free foot close to your stance leg.
Flexing or shortening the free leg increases the range of motion for tipping
the free foot. Take advantage of it! Tipping further will help pull your body
inside the arc of the turn. If you’ve never been this far inside a turn, it
can be disconcerting. It takes some time to trust that your stance ski will
support you and keep arcing. Relax your midsection and actually allow your
body to move inside your feet as you tip with the free foot. It’s important
to keep the little-toe side of the free foot in gentle contact with the snow.
If you simply lift up the free foot without maintaining contact, the movement
will be much less effective at pulling your body into the turn. Remember,
it’s the body moving into the turn that pulls the stance ski on edge.
Use the Phantom Move – lightening and continuous tipping toward the little-toe
edge – of the free ski to link turns. Through the arc of each turn, shorten
the free leg to draw the free foot up the inside of the stance boot. Keep
the outside of the free foot gently brushing the snow, so that the tipping
and shortening of the free foot and leg will draw your body inside the arc
of the turn. The stance ski will roll to a large edge angle as a result of
the body moving inside the turn, and this will keep the ski carving on steeps
or icy slopes. Correct use of the arms and poles will enable the upper body
to enhance balance and to complement the actions of the feet and skis.