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The Perfect Turn Dear Sid....


by Gena D. Wagner PSIA-E Alpine Level I Elk Mt., PA

by Seth Robins PSIA-E Alpine Level II Windham, NY

by Brennan McGuane PSIA-E Alpine Level II AASI Level II Mt. Snow, VT

What is the perfect turn? Is the perfect turn a completely arced, sailing, long radius turn that draws the skier around the arc of the turn by complete centrifugal force and momentum – leaving only the seamless tracks of two skis in the otherwise pristine snow? Is the perfect turn a slightly more compromising medium radius turn that requires the skier to be as active in initiation as the skis are in driving momentum? Is the perfect turn the snappy short radius turn that requires the skier to whip the skis into and out of bellied turns down steep terrain? FYI: There is no such thing as the perfect turn! Rather, each and every style of turn is a skill or tactic used by the “experienced skier”, pulled from a portfolio of experiences. For those of you who, like myself, entered this profession only recently, please be advised … the perfect turn is a compilation of positive experiences stored and revisited when necessary. For example, the long radius turn can be used to dramatically gain speed or dramatically reduce speed on a given slope, depending upon the amount of time spent riding the skis across the fall line; the medium radius turn is best used to maintain speed in any given situation because the turn shape and time across the fall line neither increases nor decreases the speed; and, short radius turns (in a multitude of forms) are used to decrease the speed and increase manageability on steep terrain due to the quickness of movement from into-the-fallline to across-the-fall-line. If you missed the advisory: the perfect turn is terrain-dependent, and the list above provides only a fraction of the turns available and necessary in any skier’s arsenal. Each turn is vital as a part of your repertoire. To further explain, the perfect turn is perfect for the condition and the desired effect. Therefore, the questions to be asked by a skier of any level are when, how and where. The answers to these questions are learned through development over time and through exposure to conditions. For those in the profession it is referred to as “time on snow.” So, for those of you out there in search of the perfect turn – ski!!!! The perfect turns takes time. Enjoy the process and appreciate each day. Learn from your mistakes but continue to make them. Remember: the perfect turn is developed by time and exposure to conditions and is mastered through practice and experience. ◆◆

So, who’s Sid? Well, Sid represents the true spirit of skiing. He is a Rocky Mountain DiviImagine driving down the road so jacked sion Level III, and, in some ways, you can hardly contain yourself. Jacked like his viewpoint is alien to the thinking of the East stomping your first 3 in front of your buds. (not really, but you have to have a story to tell). Stoked like after your first kiss. Cranked like We met on a slow chair in Alta in early finding $100 in the parking lot. Imagine exDecember. We talked, and it seems that he had citement and enthusiasm at a level where, if run into “our kind” before and wanted to share you can’t ride, you’ll have to write about riding. some of his thoughts about us. When I returned from my AASI Level III exam, He started with, “Don’t mind my saying so, I felt like this continuously for three days. but...” According to him, we come across as Preface: I wasn’t fortunate enough to walk very “...hung up over various details”, and are away with a gold sticker. I do, however, connot particularly holistic in our skiing - if I unsider myself successful at many levels. derstood him correctly. Since I was on his turf, The riding was so cool, and my improvein alien territory, and 200 feet from the ground, ment so great, that I returned home and introI agreed. duced my wife to her new husband. As our slopeside negotiations proceeded, My group of six, the other L-III candidates, he invited me to ski with him and his pal, JW. and the other L-II riders, all embraced me into Well, these old Barts could ski like the wind, the groups, creating a strong sense of belongand we had a great time in knee-deep pow. My ing. Being welcomed and relaxed enabled me puppydog willingness to listen and learn led to perform (do what I do) at a much higher to a brief, but memorable, pointer. “Tip um level than at any event I have ever attended. more at the top...look down, go down”. Well, continued next page needless to say, this was a lesson that addressed the inability to simplify life and get on with it. On the plane ride home I mulled over my experiMore than a uniform maker, ence. The details thing bothered me a bit, but I Avalanche has great outdoor gear came up with some justifications for our alien ways. products for hiking, cycling, running. Analogies are funky, but I quilted jackets imagined the East as a barren field requiring a great windstoppers deal of fertilizer, water and quilted vests patience; whereas, the West is this tropical jungle where fleece vests the food just appears on the rain jackets trees. A stretch, but I was feeling a little defensive. rain pants See ya, Sid ! Thanks! ... and much more Thwumping and gliding through the powder with check out our revamped web site you was a tip trip. ◆◆


coming soon ( 8 0 0 ) 4 6 7 - 8 9 1 3 SnowPro ◆ Winter 2003 ◆ Page 21

Profile for PSIA-E/AASI

Winter 2003  

Volume 29, Number 4

Winter 2003  

Volume 29, Number 4