Drill Benefits of learning how to ski switch?

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by Mendieta, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. Tim Hodgson

    Tim Hodgson PSIA Level II Alpine Skier

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    Ditto. I honor the policy because it is the policy. Although I taught for 15 years when our resort's prior owner permitted us to teach while skiing switch without incident whatsoever. Being able to talk to your students while demoing to them pressure and edging while watching them try it is quite beneficial to the student's learning imho. But of course you must be aware of your surroundings and it is only appropriate on uncrowded terrain.

    I always teach flat 360 spins as a drill on intermediate terrain to intermediates. Not switch, but 360 spins to make them aware of edge and pressure and how to use their ankles knees to change it and when to change it.
     
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  2. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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    My kids are always skiing switch when teaching little ones. So much easier and keeps a good face to face contact.

    When I restarted skiing over 10 years ago and was taking Ski Patrol training, constant 360s where the norm for me. 1. It's fun and kept the lessons interesting. 2. You learn your edges really fast and good. 3. When you do fall, everyone gets a good laugh. People where having problems with falling leaf, side slipping, etc. I got them start doing 360s, it helped them in the long run. I still have contest with the kids you can go the farthest down the runs doing 360's. I'm usually in carvers and have never had a problem with 360s or riding switch. My son and carve switch betting then a lot of people forward and he isn't a park rat.
     
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  3. DoryBreaux

    DoryBreaux Friend for Hire on Powder Days Pugski Ski Tester Industry Insider

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    Benefits of learning to ski switch....
    its really effin fun.
    Hows that?
     
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  4. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    Benefits: being able to show off and land jumps backwards, being able to watch your children ski, better recoveries when a mogul catches your tip and spins you around and easier to reverse out of a nasty spot.
    One can ski switch on any ski, and on a well groomed trail it won't matter much. On less than perfectly groomed trails you can easily dig in a tail, so a ski with more tail rocker than a rally would be better.
     
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  5. Steve

    Steve Ankler Skier

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    As someone else said (Liquid Feet?) the other benefit of learning to ski switch is getting to and from it. In other words doing flat 180's.

    To spin around backwards requires good edge control, getting off your edges. Anything you can do to improve your edge control is worth doing.

    If you don't want to ski switch at the very least you'd be well served to practice flat 360's. @Jacques is the master of this!
     
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  6. Jacques

    Jacques Workin' It on Skis Best I Can Skier

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    Ha ha! Thanks for the vote of confidence. I can ski switch, but don't do it very long because my old neck won't let me see where I'm going!

    Here is a NewSchoolers exclusive. Short video. https://www.newschoolers.com/videos...n-a-Wild-Thing-Dominator-Jacques-Mt--Bachelor
     
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  7. Steve

    Steve Ankler Skier

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  8. Jacques

    Jacques Workin' It on Skis Best I Can Skier

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    That's my wife! She is the Wild Thing!
     
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  9. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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  10. Fuller

    Fuller T shirts & flip flops... Skier

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    I've always yearned to ski backwards but it seems like one of those higher risk learning curves that could cut my season short. I can do a very slow half-assed flat 360 and get a feel for the obvious benefits but beyond that...
     
  11. Johnny V.

    Johnny V. Half Fast Hobby Racer Skier

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    I'll do it on fairly flat slopes and it's kind of cool plus I can see the what the grandkids are doing (and I like showing off!). Like Jacques, it's hard to turn the neck around for any length of time.
     
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  12. dustyfog

    dustyfog Putting on skis Skier

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  13. Dakine

    Dakine Getting off the lift Skier

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    Most bindings will not release correctly when skiing switch...
    Just sayin......
     
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  14. SpauldingSmails

    SpauldingSmails Just because you can doesn't mean you should... Skier

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    Hm. There's a drill for this (skiing backwards)? This is how I end up skiing for hours when I take my little ones skiing.
     
  15. James

    James Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Josh covered most of it earlier.
    The main reason for the op to learn to ski switch I think is it makes you think what you're doing, how you're moving the body, how you start a turn. Josh mentioned the body moving over the skis. Switch makes you think about that. Forward might be natural or might not. Most of us when it gets real steep have to think about it.

    A few years ago at Abadin I got from @dean_spirito, in learing to ski switch recenter between turns by looking up the hill. It makes you pause and actually recenter, get the tips even before going the next direction.

    I think beginners, and virtually all skiers benefit from some basic comfort at going backwards. At some point you are going to get spun around. If you have never done it in a controlled manner you might panic and do something awkward that gets you hurt. If at least you've gone backwards in a V and come to a stop, you're far less likely to freak out.

    After you do the backwards in a V to a stop, try going backwards and balancing/standing on one leg while you relax the other, which is still on the snow, no lifting. See what happens. Then do the other leg.

    You've just done turns to a stop. Pretty cool.
     
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  16. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    At the very end of my Level II Skiing Exam our examiner had our group do this. His comment after was "that's how you start a turn."
    I've used it in numerous lessons since then.
     
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  17. Thread Starter
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    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    So, these are basically J turns, backwards, one footed, right?
     
  18. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Yup. But if you link them, they are linked backwards wedge turns.
    Make the skis match and they are linked backwards parallel turns.
    The initiation in question is a flexion release, aka flex-to-release.

    This was some years back.

    I had understood PSIA to be promoting an extension release back then,
    so being told in a cert exam that we should be flexing instead came as a surprise.
    Since then PSIA seems to be more in favor of staying low in transition
    instead of extending off the new outside ski. But I still hear both.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  19. James

    James Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Yes, but balanced on one foot, not 100% weight on one foot. A little picky but by your description most good skiing would be called one footed. But to that end racers refer to a left turn as a right footer and a right turn a left footer. That's usually gs and speed. A race coach would have to weigh in on slalom.

    It also reinforces turning uphill to a stop or to lower speed, an important concept of normal skiing. You could also use the switch V J turn to introduce the hockey stop as it's sort of one.

    The challenge in linking the switch turns is you have to deal with body movent over the skis. In a V it's not much, so concentrate on "recentering" between directions. Do not practice this on a slope where you get uncomfortable with speed. That will make you worse.

    Most people are delighted to link some turns backwards. Why I don't know exactly and would take too many words to go into but feel free.
     
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  20. Thread Starter
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    Mendieta

    Mendieta Master of Snowplow Moderator

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    Sorry, my bad, I thought you suggested lifting the inside ski a couple posts above, but you had suggested the opposite. I guess I needed some coffee! But no, in my normal skiing I never lift the inside ski. But on hard snow I lighten my inside ski so that I can balance on the outside. When I drill, sometimes I will do Javelins. Cheers!
     

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