Tip #6: The foot, the whole foot, and nothing but the foot

TIP:  During each turn, feel weight all along the medial or arch side of the outside foot from the ball of the foot, just behind the big toe, to the heel. Note:  the outside foot becomes the downhill foot late in the turn.

What does this accomplish? It ensures that your body weight acts downwards through the middle of your outside ski, so it reacts in a friendly and predictable manner. This in turn (...ahem) eases your balancing challenge and improves your ability to ski smoothly.

The diagram below shows the described weight distribution along the outside foot during a turn. This weight distribution ensures we are centered and encourages our skis to turn. Weight along the foot may shift a little during the turn, but the whole foot, from the ball of the foot under the first metatarsal through the heel, is engaged and supporting body weight throughout the turn.

Further, for those of us who like to think of no more than one thing at a time, thinking only about how the outside foot feels keeps us from needing to think of both feet at the same time. Feeling pressure along the arch side of the outside foot during each turn promotes symmetry in our stance and movements, and more reliable grip and turning action from our skis in both directions. Feel the outside foot...outside foot...outside foot...

Corollary:  You should feel no more than a touch of light contact from the cuffs of your boots on the shin or calf of either leg. Any significant pressure on the shin or calf indicates that you are partially propped against your boot cuffs, which means that you are attempting to balance in a very unnatural and unfamiliar way. The human body evolved balancing on its feet, without fore and aft support from boots and skis. 

Just as you would when standing in sock feet use the full length of your feet to stand reliably, consider that when skiing you are also in sock feet, they just happen to be inside ski boots that are clamped to skis. Allow your boot cuffs to signal how centered you are standing rather than leaning or pressing into them on purpose and you'll enjoy an easier day on the slopes. And --- your shins will thank you!

Feel the arch side of the ball through the heel of the outside foot engaged and carrying weight throughout each turn.