180. Photos: Chase Jarvis
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Switch. by Luke Miller
Back in Issue
3, Oscar mentioned the dire possibility of landing backwards while
trying a 360. In fact, that's what happened to me on my first 360
attempt- just a 180. Little did I know,10 years later, switch take-off
and landing would be intentional. Granted, not a lot of tele skiers
are going fakie, but for those who are, and those who want to, I
present the following tips on how to take off and land with your
butt facing downhill.
Step 1: Get
some twin tips. (while it can be done on regular skis, everything
is easier with twins)
Step 2. Go ski
backwards on some nice green groomers. It's important to get the
feel of skiing backwards, carrying some speed and looking over your
shoulder. Some things to work on here:
- Try to keep
your skis straight. There is an initial tendency to want to do the
reverse snowplow. Work on turning to control your speed. Yes, you
can do switch tele turns.
- Pick one shoulder
to look over. You'll end up looking over both, especially if you're
making turns, but when it comes to take-offs, you want a good comfort
zone. If you plan on spinning, look over the same shoulder and in
the same direction you spin.
Step 3. Take
off. This is much easier than it seems. Once in the air, your natural
rotation will spin you around facing forward. Depending on the lead
into the jump, you can start out normal and hop to switch just before
the jump, or just drop in backwards & ride it in. Look over your
shoulder, stay relaxed & keep your knees bent. Don't try to spin
until you are in the air.
Step 4. Landings.
Here's where the fun starts. The main thing is to start out small.
Try just popping off a small bump in the run, spin 180 & land switch
- never more than a few inches off the ground. Once you've mastered
this, it's time to try it in the terrain park. Stay relaxed! Like
for Photo Illustration: Luke landing switch in the tele position.
The key elements:
keep your head up, & land in a tele stance. This is critical to
your fore-aft stability. You don't want to land on your face, do
you? Once you nail the fakie-to-forward 180 & the forward-to-fakie
180, then it's time to step it up. Go for switch 360's and forward-to-fakie
Miller 540. Photos: Justin
Machus Location: Arapahoe Basin, CO
a cliff, Do
a 360, Airtime!
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