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GLOSSARY


Angulate
ATS
Balancing
Cants
Carving
Center of mass
Counter-rotation
Edge angle
Extension
Fall line
Flow line
Flexion
Garland
Inclination
Matching skis
Pressure control
Rebounding
Retraction
Side-slipping
Skidding
Sliding
The sweet spot
Steering
Traversing


 

Scroll through all the terms or jump to any using the index at the left.

Angulate:
Bending in the ankles, knees and/or hips in any direction, except up and down. Used mainly to modulate the angle that the skis' edges make relative to the snow surface.
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ATS
:
For American Teaching System, a teaching/ learning system developed by the PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America.)
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Balancing
:
Maintaining equilibrium or maintaining a desired posture (e.g., upright) while standing still or moving.
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Cants:
Devices to change the orientation of the legs relative to the skis. Put a ski more (or less) on edge.
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Carving:
Turning the skis with little skidding movement. The less skidding, the more "carved" a turn.
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Center of mass:
The theoretical concentration of mass of the body - usually around the navel.
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Counter-rotation:
Simultaneous rotation of the upper body and legs, in opposite directions.
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Edge angle:
The angle of the ski relative to the snow's surface.
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Extension:
As in standing up or straightening your leg.
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Fall line:
The line water would follow if poured down the slope.

We prefer to use "Flow line."
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Flow line:
The line water would follow if poured down the slope.

A more user friendly way to describe the line that follows the general slope of the hill. The image of this term might help the new skier to flow from turn to turn, rather than fear the FALL line.
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Flexion:
Opposite of extension. Movement resulting in the bending of a leg joint.
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Garland:
A series of "fake" turns that lead the skier to, but not across the flow line.
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Inclination:
Of the body as a whole relative to the snow.
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Matching skis:
When skis are brought parallel or facing in the same direction.
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Pressure control:
To adjust the pressure between the skis and the snow. Achieved through active body movements or terrain changes.
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Rebounding:
The recoil or spring effect when decambered (bent backwards) skis (due to turning forces) are "released" and bounce back into its natural position.
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Retraction:
Of the legs up under the body. Used to avoid sudden pressure increases due to terrain changes or turning. Also to avoid obstacles or terrain changes, such as moguls.
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Side-slipping:
A slipping motion straight down the flow line with skis pointed across the hill.
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Skidding:
When skis simultaneously move forward and sideways.
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Sliding:
Skis moving along its length.
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The sweet spot:
There is a "sweet spot" in skiing--find it and you will always have a point of reference to determine whether you are making "good" turns, as you ski.

It doesn't help telling you what you should look like when you're in the Sweet spot--rather, focus on what it feels like, so you can practice staying in perfect balance.

How to feel the sweet spot
Imagine a clock superimposed on your boot's opening (looking at it from the top) -- 12 o'clock is directly in front (towards the tip) and 3 o'clock is directly to the right side (90 degrees from the front.)

You are generally in the sweet spot while you're skiing, when your shins make light contact with the tongues (front top part) of your boots. This contact should roll from one side of the tongue to the other side, as you turn:

- from 11 o'clock to 1 o'clock in long turns
- from 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock in short turns

When making a left turn, your shins touch the left side of the tongues at about 11 o'clock (10 o'clock if short turns.)
When making a right turn, your shins touch the right side of the tongues at about 1 o'clock (2 o'clock if short turns.)

Feel some pressure in the outside boot and only light contact in the inside boot.

When should you feel shin contact?
Basically throughout the turn, but make sure you feel the pressure in the outside boot right at turn initiation--as you cross the flow line and start a new turn. This will ensure that you extend diagonally down the flow line and over your skis.

Keep shin contact as described through all your turns and you'll know you're making great, balanced turns!

Tips:
Slightly lift just the toes of the inside ski's foot to ensure proper weight shift and balance.
Feel pressure along the entire foot's bottom.
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Steering:
Changing the directing of the skis using any means.
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Traversing:
Continuously moving in a direction across the flow line.
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Page updated:
February 24, 2010