Last month I made a connection between intermediate skiing and geometry. This applies to advanced skiers and to take it a step further, I’ll add physics to the mix.
There are two ways to put your skis on edge. The first method, inclination, uses the whole body. Angulation, the second method, creates angles by using our hips and knees joints.
When skiing at speed we can tip our whole body relying on centrifugal force to hold us up. These banked type turns can be fun in a cruising type mode but will not allow for very good edge hold as the edge angle created can only be as large as the amount of body tip.
When we tip using our hip joint and keep our upper body upright so that our shoulders are level to the horizon, we can create a much larger edge angle. In this way we utilize our most powerful joint which is surrounded by a web of powerful muscle.
This allows us to resist the forces that want to both tip us up hill while pulling us off our round turn shape and ultimately hold a better edge. Angulation in your knees should only be used to fine tune things as those joints are much weaker and fragile and offer less range of motion than our hips.