It's the first lesson pilots learn in flight training: "Always fly the airplane. Never let the airplane fly you." The same applies to skiing: You can't just stand on your skis and ride 'em. You have to lead the way.
That is especially true today. Modern skiing is all about gripping with the edge, then releasing it to skid and brake as needed. When you get lazy, tired or frightened, you tend to push the ski's edge out ahead of you-like a boxer's defensive jab. This reaction, of course, results in sitting back. And when you sit back, you lose control of the edge.
To make a strong turn, pretend you're delivering a strong punch: Get your body into it. On your skis, that means you need to get out ahead of the edge, not lag behind it.
To get the idea, observe former U.S. Olympian Dave Currier in a single turn:
A. His posture shows that he's not just along for the ride. He's out in front of his skis. His hands are driving forward, as is his upper body.
B. He lightens the load on the inside (left) foot and increases pressure on the outside foot. Dave's hips are over his feet, and his shoulders, head and chin are out front.
C. As he completes the turn and begins to prepare for the next one, he continues to be aggressive, yet smooth, with his upper body. Because he is so far ahead of the game, he appears to be pulling the edge of the right ski through the turn.
Ski like Dave, with your body moving just ahead of your skis, and your edgehold and performance will improve. When your skis feel as though they are coming from behind you, your turns will be clean, silky and effortless.
Demonstrated by Dave Currier, SKI Test Team. Have an instruction question for Stu Campbell? Email it to him at email@example.com.