I had a returning student (Steven Owen) a few days ago that asked me to help him find an “imperceptible trigger.” I thought that was so cool. I hope to use these words in future lessons. I think what he was seeing was the smoothness of good skiers and wants to emulate how good they look going from one turn to the next, the “imperceptible trigger.”
When he told me that he was looking for the imperceptible trigger it made me think of using the feet and legs to start a turn. Steve was using old school hopping, rotary push-off kinds of moves with the initial turning force coming from his upper body. Can you see it?
I told him that I was once in a clinic with Bob Barnes (Encylopidia of Skiing Barnes) where he told me that the worst movement you can do with your feet in skiing is better than the best movement you can do in skiing with your upper body. I suggested that even though movements in your feet are small (imperceptible) they have a huge affect on the rest of the movements that happen throughout the turn. Boot technology helps to make it so. They are designed to respond to movements we do with our feet and legs.
During the lesson we worked on ankle flexion/extension, rolling the feet to the edges and the flat place between the turns, and steering the feet/legs/thighs in the direction of the turns. These were the “imperceptible triggers” that we worked on.
I thanked him for the cool words and hope to ski with him again someday.