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A Different Perspective on the Edge Change


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  • Baller

It has recently occurred to me that the edge change takes about 80% of the width of the course! (I’ll expand on this statement below).


Everyone talks about the edge change as though it occurs in a precise spot, like "behind the boat" or "at the second wake." And if your definition of the edge change is the exact spot where your ski passes through being flat on the water, then yes, the edge change does occur at a precise spot. But it seems to me that pinpointing the location of the edge change is not very helpful to anyone struggling with pulling too long (that would be me and a lot of my ski buddies).


Trying to adjust the timing of the edge change by focusing on where the ski transitions through flat is like trying to cure an illness by treating a symptom. I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to force an earlier edge change, but have only recently realized that if I want an earlier edge change, I’ll have to do something different WELL BEFORE I get to this transition spot. While studying the pro’s videos, a whole new perspective struck me.


My new definition of the edge change is that it is not a spot; it’s a zone, a very long zone. It’s the zone during which the ski is transitioning from being on one extreme edge until it’s on the other extreme edge. And if you watch the pros do it (see videos below), this zone starts as soon as they have both hands back on the handle and feel load, right through the release of the handle as they near full course width. Their skis are rolling from one edge over to the other the whole time they are on the handle.


This is in contrast to how most skiers stuck at -22, -28 and -32 hook a tight turn around the ball, strike a nice stacked cutting pose (hopefully), freeze there for a moment while accelerating, then try to pop an edge change somewhere around the second wake. This almost always results in the ski transitioning through flat well beyond the second wake, a straight path at the ball, slack and a hit or the ski blowing out of the water.


The lesson for me out of all this is that it’s not good enough for me to try to force an earlier edge change. I have to start changing my edge as soon as I’m on the handle with both hands (assuming all the other fundamentals are in place at this point). This initiation of the edge change is WAY earlier than I’d ever imagined. No wonder I’m usually pulling too long. And when I can execute on this new perspective, it’s magic; I have an early path and a smooth controlled turn into a tight rope. Nirvana!


This is likely not news to anyone skiing regular -38s or shorter, but I’ve never had anyone explain the edge change to me in these terms. So I thought I would share this perspective and would love to get feedback on the idea.



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