Long Leg - Short Leg


Lateral Balance

Long leg / Short leg is a tool skiers use to tip their skis on edge, create large edge angles, and assume a strong body position. 

While turning, the inside leg is flexed, and becomes the short leg.  Flexing the inside leg allows the skier’s body to tip into the turn, and the skis to tip on edge.  As the inside leg is flexed, the outside leg remains almost fully extended, and becomes the “LONG LEG”. 

If the inside leg is not flexed, the leg itself interferes with the process of effectively tipping the skis up on edge.  It tends to block the body from being able to tip into the turn.  If the skier is able to tip into a turn with a non-flexed inside leg, all the skiers weight eventually shifts to the inside ski, and the outside ski to loses contact with the snow.  Conversely, flexing and shortening the inside leg allows a skier to tip to as high an edge angle as they desire, while maintaining solid pressure on the outside ski. 

If the outside leg is not kept extended and long, the leg weakens, rendering it less able to withstand the strong forces it will encounter in high speed, high edge angle carving.  A long leg is a strong leg.  Keep in mind, extended does not mean completely straight, with the knee joint locked.  A slight amount of flexion in the knee must be maintained to keep the extended leg functional, able to absorb and react to undulating terrain. 

If inside leg doesn't flex, outside ski loses contact with the snow.