Jun 16 2012

Technique: Headplant Stop


When leather dominated,
snow snakes ruled.

One of my favorite tele tricks is ye’ ol’ shoulder-roll-biff turn, also known as a starfish turn. When I was riding a single plank, it was sometimes referred to as a 3-point landing. Whatever you call it, it is a way to avoid getting tweaked by simply going with the flow of momentum and rather than trying to fight the forces that are causing you to go ass-over-tea-kettle you not only don’t fight it, or even just roll with it, you add to it by tucking your upper body to speed up the rotation you’re about to make.

This, of course assumes you will either stick the landing and not keep somersaulting, or even pop back up onto your edges and keep skiing. If a slide for life might result, this isn’t necessarily the move of choice.

I’ve been known to do this turn just for the camera, most boldly as a premeditated move over the bergshrund near the bottom of the U-Notch Couloir. That sounds crazy, of course, but I had already proven I could recover from a starfish turn near the top of the couloir, and summarily executed another before I volunteered to do it for the camera. After all, practice makes perfect, right?

Incidentally, Wild Snow Lou reminded me this is not a wise move with locked heels. I concur. You could be snapping stuff you don’t want to snap with a locked heel. With a free heel, you can, or rather I should admit, inevitably you WILL do this maneuver whether you like it or not. You can reduce the potential for injury when that “opportunity” arises by not fighting but going ahead and doing it. When done well, you can even have fun with it.

© 2012