British ski cross athlete, Emily Sarsfield has filmed six videos about how you can use the SkiA S...
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When you are centred:
"The SKiA Ski Trainer is a smart, fast and efficient way to train and develop great skills of centred balance, that will transform your ski performance".
When you ski, you can move your centre of balance in two ways:
On skis, lateral balance is determined by your speed, your turns and the amount of your sideways lean. We instinctively ‘get’ lateral balance. If we get it right, it feels good; if we get it wrong, we wobble or fall over.
Fore-aft balance is trickier. It is determined by your ski posture – the flexion of your joints (ankles, knees, hips, back, shoulders) and position of your arms and head as you ski. This is a very complex system, and small changes of one or more component/s can move your centre of balance a long way.
Imagine standing in bare feet, can you shift your body weight to the tips of your toes, then to your heels, and back to exactly centre? It can be a very subtle feeling, to sense exactly where you are balanced on your feet. Of course, if you shift your weight too far, you begin to topple.
Skis, however, massively extend your base of support. With skis on, it can be quite impossible to lean far enough forwards (or backwards) to topple. It’s quite possible to stand, and to ski, with your centre of balance far in front of (or behind) your boots.
Skis are the wrong equipment to train accurate fore-aft balance. It’s like ‘playing the piano wearing boxing gloves’. It is only by first shortening the base of support to a size smaller than the foot, and then progressively shortening the base smaller and smaller still, that these skills can be trained and developed. The SkiA Sweetspot Ski Trainer is a unique new tool for training these skills. Consider it a ski balance board, but only an inch wide (or even smaller). Using it, even expert, professional skiers and racers can enhance and improve their skills of centred balance, and further improve their ski performance – so can you.
The British ski trainer and skiing author Hugh Monney writes:
“There is a sweet spot on each ski, a place to balance, a place to be.
Your number one priority is to find this place on each ski, so that you can become familiar with it, balance upon it, press through it and pivot about it”.
An index mark on your skis lines up exactly with an index mark at the centre of your ski boots. This marks your balance target, at approximately the centre of the arch of your foot.
“When you balance here your ski will be stable, so you will feel safe; and yet it will turn easily, so you will feel in control. Your body will balance and move much more effectively. If you balance elsewhere, you will be fighting against your boots, every turn, all day, every day”.
Centred balance is not a new concept, but it is being placed at the heart of modern teaching methods
"It has been quite amazing to watch skiers with an habitual, unbalanced style coming off the slopes, stepping onto the Sweetspot Trainer and changing almost instantly. The trainer is a fantastic tool in developing the natural, coordinated movements necessary for skilful skiing and directing them through specific balance targets. It is a powerful training aid that will benefit every single skier, regardless of ability.”