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Original Issue

Ski Tip

QUESTION: Is there any sure, easy way for a novice to make a turn in the heavy snow and breakable crust that one finds in spring skiing?

Answer: There are at least two ways an inexperienced skier can make a turn under such conditions. One is to do a series of three or four quick little jumps, lifting the tails of the skis close to the fall line in the first jump, then just through the fall line and finally out onto the opposite traverse. This can be done with or without poles, and it also gives the novice an idea of the movements he will use when he tries his first Sprungwedeln turns (SI, Nov. 30 & Dec. 7, 1959). However, a real beginner may be reluctant to try any sort of jump. If so, he should use the technique shown here: the step-step-step turn, in which the skier, moving slowly, simply walks through the arc of his turn.

Starting in traverse, Willy lifts downhill ski and steps toward fall line. Note that hands are low, arms relaxed for balance.

Pushing off uphill ski, Schaeffler shifts his weight over to the downhill ski, which is flat on snow so that edges do not catch and cause a sudden spill.

Stepping back onto his other foot, Schaeffler continues through arc of turn, repeating stepping movements until he is safely past the fall line.