Small Motions, Big Changes: The Indoor Ski Lesson
"You'll find that 30 minutes on this hill is a long time," Mark, an instructor with the Skidoctors, told me. I was climbing onto the world's longest ski slope - an indoor ski simulator at the Aspen Club.
As Mark helped me onto the deck and clicked my boots into the child-sized skis, he explained that on the simulator, very small movements would be magnified. Because Mark would be standing in front of me (as opposed to skiing in front of me), he could watch my feet and clearly see what I was doing right, and wrong.
It's All in the Little Toe
After getting me into place on the deck, essentially an angled, carpeted treadmill, Mark instructed me to tip my right ski onto my little toe edge. "Little motions," he reminded me. "Tip your right foot slightly to the right." I tipped and turned, gently, easily. Once I'd slid across the carpet, Mark had me bring my skis back into a flat, edgeless stance. Over and over we did this, turning with the little-toe edge of each ski and skiing between turns in a neutral position.
Almost immediately three things became clear. One, I turn a lot better to the left than to the right. Two, I'm used to switching rapidly between my edges, without savoring the edgeless glide that should be in the top third of each turn. And three, I am directionally dyslexic. Mark would tell me to move right and I'd think left. He'd tell me to initiate a turn with my downhill ski and I'd get confused. Finally, he hit upon something I could understand. "Tip your ski in the direction you want to go." Bingo!