Interski 2023: Denmark’s Commitment to Round Turn Shape

Held every four years, Interski brings instructors together from around the world. The event offers a valuable educational opportunity for snowsports educators to share their innovations and core beliefs. It gives PSIA-AASI, through its national team, an opportunity to compare the American Teaching System with educational approaches of other countries and bring home ideas that help PSIA-AASI members improve and evolve.

Here, PSIA Alpine Team members Joshua Fogg and Mike Hafer share their take on Denmark’s presentation round turn shape titled, “The Lost Art of Patience.”

Joshua Fogg

Denmark’s presentation “The Lost Art of Patience – Round Turn Shape as Good Skiing” focused on the following items:

  1. Accurate alignment of the body to the outside ski through a combination of inclination and angulation allows for the skier to be patient at the initiation of the turn.
  2. Accurate inclination at the beginning of the turn helps pressure build gradually for the shaping phase.
  3. Adding angulation later in the turn assists in an earlier release of pressure in the finish phase of the turn.

Denmark instructors teach lessons around Europe since they don’t have any domestic ski resorts. Many of their lessons are multi-day courses held in other nations.

I appreciate how the Danes used a Stem Christie as a drill to illustrate an accurate amount on inclination in the invitation phase of the turn. Then they challenged us by using an outside ski turn where we were asked to lift the upcoming outside ski before changing edges. They said that the next drill in skill development would be a White Pass Turn. Often, this combination of drills would not be recognized as a way to develop accurate inclination.

Purposeful and accurate movements create patience at the beginning of the turn. Sometimes people perceive that patience at the beginning of the turn is achieved through passivity.

This is a good approach to develop purposeful movements for improving alignment to the outside ski through the beginning of the turn to create a rounder and “more patient” turn entry.

Mike Hafer

I also broke the presentation into:

  1. Patience to round out the top of the turn.
  2. Patience to set up a strong finish.
  3. Balance along the outside ski through the shaping.

The entire concept was based around moving into the turn with a rate that allows the ski to begin to bend or steer at the top of the turn. The shape of the turn allows for the skier to build pressure at the top of the turn, then manage pressure throughout the turn. If the outside leg is long into the fall line, the skier has the option of creating stronger angles in the shaping phase. The presenter took us through a progression of dynamic Stem Christies to medium carved turns.

I liked the variation of the dynamic stem christie. It was similar to a white pass turn with both skis on the ground.

The concept could enhance one’s understanding of a round turn. In addition, it creates an understanding of shaping at the top of the turn versus arcing to initiate the turn.

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