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Friday, March 15, 2019

Ken Green on Playing Downhill Lies (Video)

Don't set your shoulders in line with the slope? I bet this video is very different from what you've been told.

Rather than setting your shoulders parallel to the slope, instructor Ken Green says you should set your knees parallel to the slope!

Here's how you do it:
  • First, you widen your stance. You don't want to make it so wide that turning is difficult, but your weight is going to be more on your downhill leg and you need to brace yourself.
  • Then you slide your knees downhill a bit. This sounds strange but it's simple if you just slide your hips downhill a bit. Not much -- just enough to get your weight more on your downhill foot.
  • Now you set up as normally as you can, which will put your trailing shoulder lower than your lead shoulder, just like normal.
If you were to drop a line straight down from your lead hip to the ground, your lead foot would be just slightly more downhill than your hip. There's a diagram with arrows showing the "slants" at around the 1:00 mark, but there's a really good picture of the correct setup at the 1:33 mark.

As you can see in that last picture, it looks as if your lead foot, lead leg and lead shoulder are almost vertically above each other in a straight line, as I've tried to show in the following screen grab.

Downhill setup showing lead side alignment

It may sound somewhat tricky, but I think you'll find that the position Green recommends actually makes you feel more balanced when you make your swing. Use that balance as your guide, and you shouldn't have much trouble setting up properly.

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