Saturday 20 December 2014

Feel Your Feet notes

Feel Your Feet, lesson 1 in my manual, has a history with me.  I was first introduced to feeling my feet by a fellow instructor, Steve Long, about 7 years ago.  His instruction was to press on your big toe to make a turn.  A few years later, Darrin West and Ryan Powell refined it a bit. They drew pictures in the snow of a turn arc with a foot.  The explanation was to press on the front of the foot for the first part of the turn and heel on the last.  I have added this to a beginner lesson because it is fundamental to making skis turn. I only equated this concept to how to make skis turn in the last year when I started writing my manual.  The process is subtle. When you press on a ski with your big toe pad, the ski and your leg will start to turn. You let your leg rotate in front of you.  This is a skill.  If you try to turn your leg and foot to turn your ski, it may work or not.
The idea of feeling your feet is usually introduced at the intermediate stage where skiing is fast.  It is much better to learn the concept at slow speed, preferably when beginning to ski. Hence introduced in lesson 1 and exaggerated in lessons 3 and 4.

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