: >>As is the case with many skiers, I never really had any lessons, I just
: >>started doing it (let's see, I guess that was about 8 or 9 years ago)
: >>and I've always enjoyed it. I'm a decent slalom skier but am striving
: >>to get better.
: I _thought_ I was a decent slalom skier until I met a slalom course...
: A most humble experience... anyways...
: >Well, I started skiing about 4 years ago, and I'm 15 now. I'm also decent
: >at slalom, but I don't know how to do those sharp angle turns...
: >>Anyways, maybe some of the better skiers (instructors?) could post what
: >>steps they believe go into setting up a turn, executing it, and preparing
: >>for the next one.
: Well I am certainly not a qualified instructor but I can carve some
: pretty good turns _now_...
: There are a couple of things I can say for sure not to do. Don't pull the
: handle up over your head to get rid of slack. Everybody asks how you
: are supposed to handle slack and the answer is DON'T GET SLACK. It is
: possible. Don't bend at the waist ("breaking at the waist as it is
: called"). Some basic points are to use a lot of the ski to turn. Basically
: you need to pull through both wakes, decelerate before turning (THIS is where
: you avoid the slack kids!!!), turn, then do it again. Now if you imagine
: that you come across the wake at 90 degrees to it (ie straight across)
: (ie dream on...), then after the second wake you stop pulling and
: IMMEDIATELY CHANGE EDGES. Don't ride a flat ski, change edges. BUT...
: you are still heading the same way. DOn't start to turn. You shift your
: weight to your front foot a little to help slow down (but NOT by bending
: at the waist...). Then as it feels like the boat is about to yank you
: out of your ski towards the "inside" of your turn you start to turn.
: You will have slowed down enough that you aren't going faster than
: the boat so you won't get slack. Again, keep lots of ski in the
: water, don't lean back and fall over to turn, carve a turn. Lay the ski
: on edge and let the natural shape of the ski carve a turn. As you finish
: your turn you should complete the turn until the handle is back on your
: hips and ready for the next pull. During the pull remember to keep
: your shoulders pointing the direction you want to go, NOT
: "open" to the boat.
: Hey I never said it was easy, but these are the things I try to keep in
: mind as I ski.
: >Yes! Help, please...
: >>I think this would be helpful for almost all levels of skiers out there.
Yep yep yep...everything Terry said above is correct. I'd also like to add
The most important thing to remember is PATIENCE. To develop a really nice,
carving turn takes a lot of time.
Another important thing is that you should be trying to make a nice carving
turn, not a big wall of spray. If you want to look at the spray coming off
your ski, get a buddy to come out and video your skiing. The only reason I
say that is that I've seen a lot of beginners that like to look back at their
spray and looking back will help make your turns less carving. Just remember,
if you make a nice turn, the big wall of spray will be there without you
needing to look for it; just like the sun will rise in the morning without you
looking for it.
So, what should you do to carve nice turns? Well, without even seeing you
ski, I can already tell you that you need to bend you knees more. There are
only a very few skiers in the world that that comment does not apply to; its
also the toughest thing to do right. The best way to think about bending your
knees correctly is to bend at the ankles; your shoulders, hips, and ankles
should be in a straight line with your knees slightly ahead of that line. The
other thing to do is to keep your weight on your toes. In general, if you
keep your weight balanced between your feet, you should be ok - how you
distribute your weight is very dependent on the ski and how it is setup. The
further forward you can shift your weight (by bending at the ankles, which
moves the ski further under your body), the better your ski will carve.
Before you get to the turn, you have to ski through the wakes. You have to
ski all the way through both wakes - once you put your ski on edge to ski
through the wakes, don't let it come off that edge at all until you are all
the way across the wakes. Wake fear is a biggie and you'll have to kick it
if you haven't already.
Then, once across both wakes, make a quick and complete edge change. A lot
of beginners tend to come off their edge and then flat ski for a while -
doing this hurts your ability to carve a turn. If you let go of the handle
with your outside hand on the turn (which is not at all necessary; you will
actually become a better skier if you don't let go), wait until after you've
made your edge change.
Now, your ski will start to arc out away from the boat and carve a beautiful
turn. You will not have to do anything at this point (other than eventually
convince your brain not to freak out since the ski will not be under you).
You certainly should not try to make the ski turn - common things beginners
do is to roll the ski further on edge (after flat riding) and stepping on
their back foot. If you have to roll the ski further onto edge, you didn't
make a complete edge change above. If you get really stretched out across the
water and the ski slides out from under you, then you made too much of an edge
change and the ski won't support your weight through the turn; then you fall.
Finally, the patience comes back into play. The longer you wait (well, up to
a certain point), the more your ski will arc around and give you better angle
across the wakes. If you wait too long, the ski will build up too much angle
and the boat will pull you over. But wait for the ski to come around; if it
doesn't, then you don't have your weight far enough forward.
Well, that's all there is to it (all?!!!). Like I said, it takes a lot of
practice to be able to do this nicely. Just keep at it and you'll eventually
be carving the most awesome turns.