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Carving Technique - Knee Positioning

Many skiers at the initiation phase of the turn are blocked from making clean and smooth crossovers because their knees are either too close together or too far apart. In an ideal world all skiers would go from turn to turn with their hips, knees and feet the same distance apart - a symmetrical unit with the skis working at the same angle.

There are several reasons why skiers find this difficult:.
 
The A-Frame Problem
When we learn to ski from Snowplough to Basic parallel for most of that time your knees are inside your feet. (think about the snowplough position) As you learn to ski parallel, usually in ski school situations or self taught, you learn to work, steer, pressure and generally concentrate on what your down hill ski and leg is doing. Because of this, many skiers have a lazy inside leg or an inside leg that just isn't as effective or skilful as the outer one and in turn it will be slower leaving the knee positioning in an a-frame.
 
The Edge Platform
Another reason why the A-Frame can be a problem is that as you don't have a strong enough edge platform towards the end of the turn to press against and support you and as a result the outer ski breaks away leaving you with your knees again closer together than your feet.
 
Summary
Once you know this and become aware of what you are doing from your hips to your feet, hopefully you will become more conscious of your knees and the extra action needed by your inner leg when you steer and lean through your turns. Also you should become more aware of the extra sensitivity needed towards the end of the turn to prevent the edge from breaking away sideways.
 

Learn your ski technique from Warren Smith's Ski Academy
Unblock the Inner Leg
1/ An easy way to unlock the A-frame blocking the turn initiation is to simply get rid of your poles for a few runs. You can then use your hand to encourage the leg that is blocking the turn to move across and get active earlier.

2/ As you make your turn gently place your hand inside your leg and pull the leg across.
 
3/ Once you've tried this a few times then grab your poles back but keep up the awareness with your inner leg that was causing the block.

You'll eventually become more skilful with the inside leg and no longer blocked for your turn initiation.