The pole is planted, the feet pass over the crest of the mogul and extension begins. Phase 1, transition, of a new turn has begun. The upper body is perpendicular to the overall slope and hip & shoulder in line over the feet. Transition is complete when; the hip is facing the direction of travel, weight has been shifted to the new outside ski and extension is complete. The turn is initiated (phase 2) by use of the knee and ankle joints. The shin presses forward on the boot tongue and the knee is directed down & in to roll the skis onto edge. The shaping phase (phase 3) determines line which is adjusted for the desired speed control, either acceleration or deceleration. As the ski tips approach fall line they contact the mogul face and absorption begins. Shin pressure can only be maintained with correct position of the hip and upper body through absorption. The turn is completed (phase 4) as the feet pass through the face and onto the crest. At this point the hip & shoulders are level, square and on top of the feet and the skis are still on edge.
The mogul or wave should be treated as a timing device similar to a brush. They dictate where the phases of the turn happen, they do not assist in initiating the turn nor do they make the turn. Each phase of the turn is equally important. As turns get shorter care must be taken to not eliminate or blend one or more phases. The skis’ properties can only be utilized with the properly timed and shaped turn as described below.
Transition (phase 1)
Transition links turns and resets the skier into their neutral position. It is the only point of a turn where the objective is running a flat ski while in motion. Direction of transition is the same as the end of the previous turn. As the skier enters the transition box the ski edges are released using the ankles and knees to roll the ski onto a flat base. As this happens the weight is balanced equally on both feet, the body is stacked (shoulders, hips and knees on top of the feet) and perpendicular to the slope and the feet, knees and hips all face the same direction. There is a slight weight shift to bias the outside ski. In mogul skiing the weight bias is minimal (+/- 5). In wave and mogul transition occurs as extension begins. The skis must not change direction (pivot) during the transition phase.
Initiation (phase 2)
Initiation takes place immediately after exiting the transition box. The ankle, knee and hip joints are used to roll the skis onto edge. For mogul specific turns hip angling is minimized. It is important that the hip and body remain on top of the feet, the hip must not drop to the inside of the turn and the body must not incline (lean) to initiate the turn. This is so the skier’s centre remains over their feet at all points of the turn. Initiation is a gradual process of putting the ski onto its edge to “initiate” the technical aspects of the ski: side-cut and reverse camber. The hips and feet are still facing the same direction as in transition. The skier should be extended to their base neutral by the time initiation occurs.
Shaping (phase 3)
The knees lead the way with the hips and feet following behind. During this phase of the turn the body’s centre must continue to move towards the middle of the turn not the end of turn (downhill). During the shaping phase it is up to the skier to determine the amount of steering and edging necessary along with the amount of pressure needed to create the desired radius of turn and line. In waves and moguls the shaping phase happens on the backside of the wave/mogul. The skis should be entering fall line as the ski tips are contacting the face of the upcoming wave or mogul.
Completion (phase 4)
Once the skis pass through fall line the hip and upper body must remain level and square to the fall line. The skis should stay on edge until the turn is completed and the skier enters the next transition. In wave and moguls absorption takes place during the completion phase.
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