QUESTION: In Wedeln, I find that the first two turns in a series are the hardest. Is there an exercise that will help me get my shortswing going without using a stem or making a strong jump?
Answer: You are probably relying too much on your poles and not using enough counter-swing or heel push to start the turn. Pick out a gentle, well-packed slope, and start across it in the comma position (1). Then lean back slightly. This will unweight the tips of your skis so that they will slide downhill (2). Finally, with full weight on the downhill ski, pull your downhill shoulder and hip quickly back and make a strong heel thrust (3). Return to the comma position and repeat the sequence over and over until the movements blend and the skis carve a snake's track (below left) across the snow.
Correct comma is essential to start exercise. Feet must be together, body and arms relaxed.
Tips slide downhill when Schaeffler leans back, turns ankles outward so that skis are flat on snow.
Heel push, started by counter-swing with shoulders, produces parallel turn with no help from pole.
Skier's track crosses slope in series of shallow turns. Numbers show position at each stage of the exercise.