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The 'Counter-Turn' is one of the most effective ski manoeuvres for controlling your speed without losing your rhythm on slopes with bumps and on steep slopes. This turn is also known as a 'J' turn or 'S' turn, since the track in the snow resembles either a 'J' or 'S'. To make this turn you use your feet and ankles to turn your skis up the hill just prior to executing a downhill turn. Since the skis are continually turning on their edges, this is a smooth way of controlling your speed without resorting to hard edge-setting or sideslipping. Also, by twisting and untwisting your skis, you make use of the torsional resistance of the skis to aid the turn. On a bump field you can control your speed by doing 'counter-turns' around the bumps, losing your speed on the plateau before the bump and turning in the trough around the bump. This maneuver is called a 'counter-turn' because the skis turn uphill, away from the turn, just before executing the downhill turn, but it is really nothing more than an uphill turn combined with 'anticipation'. 'Counter-turns' can be made with the weight over the outside ski or over both feet.

Image 1 Image 2 Image 3 Image 4 Image 5

Exercise : Counter-turns around bumps

On an intermediate slope that has some small bumps, ski toward a bump (Image 1). As you approximate the bump, start to drive your skis up the hill on the plateau just before the bump. (This is the 'counter' movement of the turn ? Image 2). As you reach the lowest part of your flexion, turn your upper body in the direction of the downhill turn and plant your ski pole on the top of the bump (Image 3). This position is known as 'anticipation'. Now extend and make a downhill turn around the bump. Try to make a large turn in the trough around the bump (Image 4). Finish your turn in a good traverse position (Image 5) and then aim for another bump and make another controlled 'counter-turn'. Try to ski the entire slope, making slow speed 'counter-turns' around as many bumps as you can.

Advice: Try to time the pole plant so that you are planting the pole as you reach the lowest point of your flexion movement.

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