Outside magazine, December 1995
Lesson 1: The Dynamic Slide Turn
The DST is a controlled slide that lies somewhere between the survival method of sideslipping and the artfully carved turn. The key to this move is an up-and-down rhythm that's integral to setting and releasing your board's edge--think of it as using your legs like shock absorbers. The DST begins with you standing tall, knees slightly bent. Keep your body comfortably aligned with the board, so your weight can pressure the inside edge. As you initiate the turn, shift slightly forward to unweight the back end of the board, allowing it to slide through the fall line and come around to the opposite edge. As you move through the turn, lower your body by bending at the knees and ankles only, keeping your upper body straight and your weight evenly distributed between your feet. Continue to lower yourself to keep the board's edge biting the snow, the bend in your knees allowing you to absorb minor terrain changes without altering your course. Finally, as you complete the turn with eyes toward the next one, gradually extend your legs to the starting position, thus releasing the pressure on the edge.
Lesson 2: The Traverse
The first thing you need is a balanced body position: Your knees should be bent, back straight, arms out at your sides, and shoulders squared. Apply equal pressure on the front and back foot to keep the board tracking straight across the slope, gently weighting the toe-side edge by pressing down with the balls of your feet or the heel-side edge by leaning slightly back against your boots, depending on the direction you're headed. Traversing requires you to build up enough speed to carry you through the flats; if you must stop quickly, point the nose of your board uphill by rotating your body in that direction. When you find yourself crossing a steeper slope, use a little more edge pressure to keep the board sliding across the slope and not down it.
Lesson 3: Carving
Choose a wide-open green trail when first learning to carve, and begin in the middle with your board headed downhill. When you start to gain momentum, point your board downhill at a 45-degree angle to the fall line. With your weight equally distributed over your feet and your knees bent, balance on your uphill edge and continue across and down the slope--but don't let yourself slide. (Notice that the track Delaney leaves here is much narrower than that he left doing the DST.) As you initiate the turn, decrease the edge angle and then move your hips and knees over to the downhill edge of the board. Your body should remain stable--arms at your sides, back straight, knees bent, eyes downhill--and the base of your board should ride flat on the snow for no more than an instant. Then, without moving your upper body, roll up onto the opposite edge. Throughout the rest of the turn, try to balance completely on the edge, progressively decreasing or increasing pressure depending on the desired radius of the turn.
Lesson 4: Riding the Steeps
The place to practice is a smoothly groomed blue run. As Delaney points out, "Practicing the steeps in the steeps doesn't leave much room for error." First, check your speed with an aggressive slide turn. Once you've reached a manageable velocity, shift your weight--evenly distributed over your feet--downhill. Next, quickly extend your legs to release the uphill edge and begin coming around to the opposite edge. Now you're ready to lower your center of gravity again to control your speed and dictate the board's direction. When the newly set edge is firmly gripping into the snow, you're ready to repeat the process and turn back to the other side. Use these quick alternating turns all the way down the hill. With repetition, your control will increase and your desire to slow down--and the frequency of your turns--will decrease.
Lesson 5: Jumping
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