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also very relevant, force. In steeper terrain, as we turn across the fall line, we experience


greater force due to the pull of gravity. Pressure is the amount of force distrib-


uted over a given area. Force directed over a larger surface area will decrease pressure, whereas concentrating the same force over a smaller area will increase the pressure. To help you visualize pressure and force


at work, imagine pushing the tip of a screw- driver as hard as you can into a wall. Would it leave a mark? Yes, and it might actually puncture the drywall. Now imagine trying to do the same thing with a coin, like a quar- ter held flat against the wall. Your strength, or force, has not changed. The screwdriver leaves a mark because it has a smaller surface area and exerts more pressure. The quarter probably does not. Physics helps us identify how we and our skis


either concentrate or dissipate force – thereby increasing or decreasing pressure – and how that pressure can impact the snow. Three critical components of great touch


include our movements, our skis, and the snow. With these three elements in mind,


we can make some assumptions about the magnitude of pressure in a turn even before leaving the lodge. Let’s take a closer look at the three elements and consider how each impacts pressure.


HOW YOUR MOVEMENTS INFLUENCE TOUCH In addition to flexion and extension, the other four Alpine Skiing Fundamentals are inextricably linked to creating pressure. Every movement (whether fore/aft or side to side) related to edging or rotation will change the pressure on the snow. Move- ments do this by distributing forces over a larger or smaller surface area, and/or by


directing force to a specific part on the ski. Thinking broadly, a carved turn is a high- pressure turn. It requires deliberate move- ment toward the tip of the ski and high edge angles – both of which concentrate force to a smaller surface area. Conversely, a pivot slip or a hockey stop is a low-pressure turn. It requires maintaining the center of mass aligned precisely over the feet as well as a low edge angle – both distribute force more evenly over the ski. Now think about your favorite teaching


cue. Does it increase or decrease pressure in the turn? Movements are neither good nor bad, but it is important to know that all of them impact pressure regulation one


ALPINE SKIING FUNDAMENTALS


1. Control the relationship of the center of mass to the base of support to direct pressure along the length of the skids.


2. Control pressure from ski to ski and direct pressure toward the outside ski. 3. Control edge angles through a combination of inclinations and angulation. 4. Control the ski’s rotation with leg rotation, separate from the upper body. 5. Regulate the magnitude of pressure created through ski/snow interaction. (Touch)


THESNOWPROS.ORG | 55


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