Sideslip in the Fall Line

Novice Zone/Level 1 Functional Versatility

Activity Description

On groomed blue or steep pitches on green terrain, the skis sideslip down the fall line for a predetermined distance; the edge angles may be slowly increased until the skis gradually come to a stop. The skier then turns the skis around (any way the skier wants to) and sideslips while facing the opposite direction.

Why This Activity Will be Useful:

The ability to manage fore/aft and lateral pressure on a skidding platform gives skiers the ability to control speed and stop in balance. This activity also introduces basic edge control movements and increases the skier’s familiarity with slipping while the skis are in a parallel relationship.

What The Skis Do (EFFECT):

• Skis sideslip at constant rate in a fall line path
• Skis maintain parallel relationship and consistent stance width
• Uphill ski is slightly ahead of downhill ski
• Skis bend along length of entire ski

How The Body Moves (CAUSE):

• Use a hip width stance
• Legs turn in the hip sockets, separate from the upper body
• Use a hip width stance, pelvis/upper body face downhill as a result of leg rotation.
• Inside half of body (uphill half of body in this activity) is slightly raised and forward of outside/downhill half
• Manage fore/aft balance to maintain a path down the fall line and keep balanced over middle of skis. Ankles, knees, hips, spine flex proportionately to achieve this
• Hip angulation is used in combination with lower body tipping movements to manage foot to foot pressure
• Tipping the feet and ankles uphill increases edge angle and slows slipping; tipping feet downhill decreases edge angle and increases rate of slipping


Groomed green/blue terrain

Teaching/Learning Cues

Skier not able to maintain a constant rate of slipping
• Inability to manage foot-to-foot/lateral pressure is a common cause of this problem.
• If the skier uses whole body inclination to adjust edge angles, this causes rapid shifts in lateral pressure
• Develop ability to use upper body angulation and hip angulation to direct pressure toward the outside/downhill ski
• Goal: while both skis will be weighted in this exercise, the downhill skill will have more weight on it.
• Standing on a side-hill with skis across the fall line, jump and land in balanced athletic stance. Note lateral pressure distribution with more weight on downhill ski. Note that skis are slightly on edge, legs tipped slightly into the hill, upper body is tipped slightly away from the hill.
• Standing on a side hill, lean whole body up the hill using whole body inclination. Note that weight moves to uphill ski and edge angle increase. This is not ideal. Repeat previous exercise for more ideal comparison.
• To initiate sideslipping, progressively decrease edge angle of both skis while moving/allowing COM to move down the fall line, and travel with COM. Once skis slide a short distance, slowly increase edge angle using feet and ankles. Note the slipping speed decreases, or may stop. Practice in both directions. Slowly increase distance and speed of sideslipping as skill builds.

© Professional Ski instructors of America - American Association of Snowboard Instructors - Central Division