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Intermediate Parallel feedback


Topic starter

Bottom pitch of Coaster on Mt. Washington. My focus was to correct the lead change issue, i.e., my downhill leg falling back. There's a tendency for this to happen with my left (skier's left) turn.



8 Answers

Looks really nice @therealmrtall especially on those turns to skier’s right. You can see on that side the arc is a little more consistent.

With regards to the left turns, I have a question for you. Where in the turn do you feel like you’re pushing the outside foot forward?

In addition to the foot getting a touch behind at the end of the arc, there appears to be a very slight counter rotation move at the top of the arc... which can lead to the upper body rotating and pulling inside a little at the bottom of the arc (this often goes hand in hand the foot behind thing).

So I think being a little more square to the skis in the fall line might help the continued balance and steering at the bottom of the turn, and I wonder if aiming for the ‘telemark’ sensation of zero tip lead going into the fall line might facilitate it. Total experiment disclaimer:)  

My right turn is definitely the stronger one. Oddly it feels a little less comfortable than my left turn -- perhaps because sometimes uncomfortable is a good thing.

About the outside foot -- to answer your question -- I'm not 100% sure. I was making more of a conscious effort to pull the inside foot back a little than I was to push the outside foot forward. I'm trying to recall... perhaps on the right-hand turn I pushed my outside foot forward as I transitioned onto it, so more at the start of the turn. However, I wasn't really focused on that particular move. I wonder if it's more of a natural feeling for the right-hand turn versus the left. I'll try again this weekend and report back.


It's a steered rather than carved turn. The reason it features a lot is because it's an examined run in a lot of instructor qualifications. It's probably the kind of turn you're going to be skiing with clients for a lot of the time but also and more importantly, it really highlights technical accuracy and shows up a lot of faults that you can get away with sometimes in higher speed turns.

This is an extract from the CSIA Level 3 certification criteria.

Type: Medium Turn (9 - 11m)
Speed: Medium Speed
Performance: Steered
Pitch: Blue
Surface: Groomed
Qualities: Round Linked turns
Speed remains Consistent
Rotational Control results in the appropriate steering angle for the objective
Edging Control results in outside ski directing COM
Skis change edges at transition simultaneously

ARCHIVE 2018: Level 3 Intermediate Parallel - YouTube

Thank you. Now that I understand well how intermediate pararell is.


I would say you have done a pretty fine job of achieving the objective. Little hints of it during the run but that's when I'm really looking for it.

On a nostalgic note, I have such great memories of Coaster as it was the run we skied for first run every morning in the Snowsports School. Great days.

Coaster is our go-to warmup run. I don't think a day goes by when we don't ski it at least once or twice.


If it were me, I'd be looking to consolidate the progress and get used to the new feelings that come with it and start taking it into more difficult terrain, different turn shapes, speed and performance, while having these turns to return to if faults emerge, which of course they will.

Thanks @adrian_hamilton. I'll take your feedback back to the Lab this weekend...

Topic starter
Posted by: @skinerd

...a little more square to the skis in the fall line might help the continued balance and steering at the bottom of the turn

I wondered about this also. Is there too much separation or angulation at the top of the turn? Thinking about more performance-oriented skiing, say Advanced Parallel, is this point of greater importance? My thinking is that too much separation at the top of the turn will give one nowhere to go, effectively getting jammed up and unable to load the ski through the bottom part of the turn. In other words, a bit more square up top, with more pronounced angulation more toward the latter half of the turn (or drop the hip more [if that's the correct nomenclature]) to load the ski. I feel like I'm rambling here a bit -- just thinking out loud in an attempt to understand the moves.

@therealmrtall I think your thinking is right on the mark!


I have kinda weired question about intermediate paralel. How it differs to Advanced (curving) turns?

I know how to curve, but when it comes to intermediate pararell, does it mean skidding round turns?

I watched some videos of intermediate pararell, and the reason I can't do well on intermediate pararell is because I do not fully understand how it differs to curving.


Thank you.

I'm not an expert, but from what I can tell, while the Advanced Parallel is completely carved, at a higher speed, the intermediate parallel is a shorter more steered turn.

Not so much skidded, as less carved. Because it's a medium (9-11m) turn, unless you have a pair of short, incredibly short-radius skis, it'll be nearly impossible to carve a turn that size without more speed than you'd want for the purposes of the demo.

Think of it as a "skarve" turn? Skid-carve?


Nice job on what looked a chopped up conditions.

First view I saw the same asymmetry as @skinerd with turns to right better than turns to the right. It appeared to me that you flex the outside leg more progressively throughout the turn to the right whereas on the turns to the left it seems to come later and less progressively. By the end of the turn the outside leg is back and then over-weighted a little on the inside ski. (Suspect the latter is due to the outside ski moving away - so a symptom not necessarily a cause.)

In any case wondering if it would help on turns to the left to start absorbing slightly earlier and more progressively through the rest of the turn. Th earlier flexing of the knee adjusting fore/aft to help staying centered on the outside ski.

Also drills with one legged skiing or raising awareness of the outside vs inside. I would have suggested thumpers and maybe javelins. Telemark turns as well.

Of course we have @skinerd comments above - when in doubt listen to the L4! (I'm posting this as so I can get some MA on my MA.)

Extra note: how heavy is the backpack? If you were going for a cert level I'd suggest dropping it for a few weeks. Not always possible especially this year.

The backpack is very light. Just had some water and a couple of light snacks. Brought it mainly in case I had to shed my mid-layer jacket as the temp was cold, but not too cold, so I wasn't sure. I usually just bring it when I am with my son, who usually needs a little snack while we're out.

Good notes on my left turn. I'll work on that a little this weekend. By Thumpers, do you mean tapping the inside ski?  

Ken Painter was very keen on us not wearing any form of backpack when training. He was of the mind that any slight alteration to posture was to be discouraged.


I totally agree @geepers bending the knee slightly to move the outside foot ahead is the key move. I just thought he might be sick of me telling him to push the outside foot ahead:) 

How about some ‘Wheelie J turns’!


Yep - thumpers lifting the inside ski to check it is unweighted. Can also just lift it to the point where the ski recambers (middle lifts to original shape).

Now I'd like to know what "Wheelie J turns" are. If they are those things done by WC skiers at 120kph in downhill at the World Championship I'm out!  ? 

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