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NORD-nique: 4 Cornering Tips

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

One of the sub-techniques in skate skiing that can really sell a skier as a cross-country skiing baddie - is cornering. We spend so much time refining the fundamentals of traversing and getting UP a climb that we often lose sight of what happens if there's a tight turn in the trail. Most of the time, folks will choose their way in/out of a turn that keeps the skis moving in their general direction of travel. And that's totally OK.

But what if you want more from your cornering and perhaps, make them more generative? Or at the very least, not pull through the turn as if you've dropped an anchor? Hannah Rudd of the BSF Pro Team has some thoughts about cornering that might help you go from hum-drum to a cornering baddie.

With that, let's watch the vid below and then dive into Hannah's Four Cornering Tips.



Number 1: The Snow is Lava

Having fast feet is a skill that'll get you through lots of sticky situations on snow, and life. Running from the cops as you ditch a stolen car is the first thing that comes to mind. Seriously though, being able to think about your feet as light and fast is an important mindset as you move your way through a turn. Some additional points to consider:

👣 You can't be fast without flexion. Notice how low and flexed Hannah is as she moves effortlessly through her fast feet demo. Could that have been achieved with an open ankle? Unlikely, and it would've been something like the Tin Man trying to run. Maybe hilarious?

👣 The snow is lava? If we think about the snow being unbearably hot, we'd probably spend less time in contact with it. As you move through the corner and are thinking about your feet being quick and agile - they need to keep moving. That's how you get across the hot coals.



Number 2: Balls of the Feet, again.

Just like every other sub-technique in cross-country skiing - the position of our center of mass will have something to say about our movement. Once again, we are in a forward position, low - but NOT with weight on the heels - knee pushing toward the tip of the ski, etc. The gold standard in virtually all sliding sports. For cornering this is critical:

🚫 The tendency for most skiers? Some of us will get a little stressed in fast corners and start to lift/stand up on the skis. This causes our weight to shift back and onto the tails of our skis = crasharooni.

If you are skiing in a low + flexed position already - the cornering - should have no impact on your ski performance. By simply taking some shorter, more agile steps through the turn + weight in an ideal position = golden.



Number 3: The Arms

"Leading you down and around the track." What our arms and upper body are doing plays a huge role in WHAT direction we're headed. Swinging your arms in the desired direction can create some propulsion. It'll help maintain momentum and STEER you in the direction of your choice. Some thoughts:

💪The movement of your arms will lead you around the track. Swinging your arms toward your desired direction of travel will impact ski performance = more momentum into, around, and out of a turn.

💪Being relaxed and swingy with the arms helps to control the relationship of that center of mass. A rigid or tight upper body will negatively impact your forward travel and perhaps, scrub speed. It's energy-expensive without a bonus.



Number 4: The Swing Thru

Using both legs is important. But, the inside leg is more like a patsy. That swing-thru turn that Hannah and Graham perfectly demo is more about ACTIVE cornering. Some points:

1️⃣ The outside ski has a HUGE skate push, but the inside ski is still setting the direction.

2️⃣By actively swinging the right leg through - in the direction of travel - you can maintain your momentum, or in the case of Graham and Hannah, accelerate.

3️⃣ That Swing-Thru leg is more about the effect of speed. Because these two baddies are skiing so FAST into, through, and out of the turn - if they were to put the inside ski in contact with the snow, it would scrub speed and slow them down.

This piece of cornering is higher-end performance skiing and you will need to be traveling at a certain speed in order for this to be of benefit. On your next ski, play around with making your inside leg play an active role in the cornering and see what happens. What TYPE of terrain is this cornering technique suitable? How FAST did you need to go to execute a "swing-thru"?

Shoot us an email, we'd love to hear what you discovered with your cornering.


the closer What We're Thinking About

We've got plans to do a movement analysis with Bailey and Eric's early-season skate technique to help them achieve their skiing goals for the BIRKIE. Should be fun and helpful for anyone looking to learn more about skate skiing and the ways technique can impact your skiing journey.

Until then, hang around for a waxing post with Eric!


Jenn + Kevin

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