Structure with Versatility – New Zealand Workshop

Written by Rupert Tildesley & Lynn Mill

The New Zealand workshop ran us through some of their technical course content with the overall theme that they have a technical structure to follow but encourage versatile use of this.

They encourage four movements and these are :

  1. Fore and aft
  2. Rotary
  3. Lateral
  4. Vertical 

Learners are encouraged to ski with a functional stance throughout these movements depending on what is required by the surroundings.

These movements can be split into different forms :


Known by the acronym D.I.R.R.T.  These movements are used in response to physics and more attention is given to the forces acting upon the body, rather than movements for the sake of movements.

The phases of the turn are like us, split into three phases and given the names :

  1. Initiation
  2. Control
  3. Completion (pressure control, rotary separation, release from one and gain connection with the next)

There was an emphasis on being ready for each phase of the turn without being too specific.  So rather than trying to rewrite the laws of physics, they take a different approach.  For example, when skiing ‘wedge parallel turns’ they talk about the tactics of speed and line and balancing the resulting forces, rather than standing on the ski at a certain part of the turn. I can imagine this could be quite hard to do with lower level skiers.

We also skied some long turns. Our aim was to create a platform to stay connected with the outside ski. Rather than trying to project the centre of gravity down the hill as fast as possible leaving the ski to catch up, they were looking for more of an up and forward movement at the initiation. In general, there was lots of emphasis on the centre of gravity versus the base of support. The NZSIA are really aiming to develop more understanding in their teachers of the forces acting on a skier, and other ‘real-time’ reactions that will be required by a performer in different conditions. That ‘structure with versatility’ message coming through clearly.   However, most of the technical side is similar to mainstream technical thinking, so there was nothing really that new.  This made the whole workshop easy to relate to.

Jaz and NZ for web

There is a very detailed write up by the NZSIA including supplementary videos on the following link :

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