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WINTER-SPORTS.COM's online SKI LESSONS
ALPINE SKI LESSONS: SHORT TURNS
The short turns' imperatives
To be able to make a short turn, two things are necessary.

First of all, the skis have to rotate quickly. It is also necessary to make small radius turns.
The skis' rotation
In order to have your skis turn very fast, two basic techniques have to be combined.

First of all, anticipation, which is when the upper body is turned towards the slope, while the skis remain perpendicular to it. In this position, the skis are naturally ready to turn towards downhill, as the only thing keeping them from doing so is the edging. The movement twists the body, just like when you wind up a spring.
Exercise
Practice traversing in the traversing position, your upper body completely facing the slope and your knees bent.
Then, unweighting through the flex/extension method, where the goal is to release the spring and help induce a fast rotation of the skis. Indeed, the skis, as they are not subjected to the body's weight any more, turn towards the slope. This rotation requires a lot of pressure on the skis and therefore a strong edging during the take-off. In certain cases, the unweighting can be complete: the skis completely leave the ground.
Exercise
Repeat the previous exercise but this time make flex/extension movements while traversing. You'll feel your skis naturally turn towards the slope.
Narrow steering of the skis
Short radius turns imply a strong centrifugal force. Just like in a car, when the speed is constant, the smaller the radius of a turn, the stronger the force that tends to push the skier outside the turn is.

If in the second phase of the turn, the edging isn't strong enough; you'll skid and the radius of the turn will increase. To keep your skis in a narrow trajectory, you'll need to strongly edge to "carve" the turn.
Exercise 1
Turn wide curves while applying a maximum of pressure on the outside ski, with your knees bent and the outside knee slightly rolled in. The goal of this exercise is to learn not to skid. To see if you are doing it correctly, check the track your skis make: it should be as narrow as possible.
Exercise 2
Same exercise as exercise 1, but this time, progressively decrease the radius of the turns.
Exercise 3
Same exercise as exercise 1, but this time, lift up the inside ski during the turn.
The turn's different phases
There are three phases in a short turn:
Flex/plant of the pole
The flex phase is initiated at the same time as the pole plant, i.e exactly when the skier wishes to turn. To effectively apply pressure on the snow, the edging has to be strong.

At the end of the flex phase, the skier's knees are extremely bent. The downhill knee is slightly rolled in to increase the edging. His/her upper body is facing the slope, in anticipation . The pole is planted, the body is facing the slope, the weight is both on the downhill ski and on the pole.
Unweighting and pivoting of the skis
As the body relaxes, the skis naturally pivot towards the slope. This movement is amplified by a voluntary movement of the legs which steer the skis towards downhill.
Steering the end of the turn
Once the extension and pivoting phases are over, a new flex phase begins. The body compresses and settles down on the skis. By rolling in the outside knee, a strong edge can be set and therefore the skis carve.
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