Short turns are parallel turns in quick succession, but because of the speed of the turns the body positions and movements are not the same as in other manoeuvres. The pole plant also becomes a lot more important, as it is used to help turn and not just for timing. In order to turn as quickly as possible the turns have to be very efficient, making energy conservation very important. Because of this the upper body stays more or less pointing down the slope all the time, as turning the body would use energy unnecessarily, and upward and downward movement is only used to help power the skis through the turns.
Because of the speed of the turns in short turns, it is possible to put the body into positions that would not be tried in other manoeuvres, as these positions will not be held for very long. This is what enables us to keep the body pointing down the slope most of the time. To do this the body has to be twisted quite a lot and these positions would not be able to be held for very long. With short turns though not only does twisting the body like this mean that we only have to turn the weight of our legs and skis around each turn, but the twist also uses our body a bit like a spring, storing energy in our stretched muscles that can be released to start the next turn.
Upwards and Downward Movements
Upwards and downwards movement is used to give the skis maximum power at the right times. This is used a bit like a jump, as the skis come across the slope our body weight has been thrown upwards from the last turn and there is not so much pressure on the skis. The weight of our upper body then starts to fall, and once we have as much downward energy as we want, we start the turn and push down on the skis to catch our upper body weight and drive the skis into the snow harder. Catching the upper body weight should power the skis through about the first half of the turn, and as soon as the upper body weight has been caught we then throw it back into the air again, which continues to push the skis into the snow harder for the second half of the turn. The turn should finish just as you stop pushing on the skis, the skis then unweight slightly as they come across in the across the slope since the upper body's weight has been thrown into the air slightly. This leaves us in the same situation as at the start, with us waiting for upper body's weight to come back down again to be able start the next turn. Put simply, when the skis are coming across the slope we let our upper body's weight accelerate downwards from gravity, decreasing the pressure on the skis, and when we are turning the we accelerate our upper body's weight upwards, pushing the skis into the snow harder. This gives us the power needed to make very efficient fast turns.
Timing the Upwards Movements
This jump like movement has to be timed and sized correctly to the turns being done, once the upper body weight has been thrown into the air you have to wait for it to start coming down again before you can start the next turn. Therefore if you have thrown your weight upwards a lot, it is going to take longer to start falling again as only gravity can bring it back down. This means that the quicker the short turns you make are, the less you will be able to throw your body up and down, so you have to try and turn more quickly but with less power to do it.
Speed control is one of the most important and difficult parts of short turns. You want to finish each turn you make with the same speed that you finished the last turn, otherwise you will either speed up as you make turns and eventually have too much speed for them, or slow down as you make the turns and end up with not enough energy to turn as quickly as you want to. Short turns should keep you traveling down the slope at a constant speed overall, and should have a good rhythm to them. To be able to do this though does require quite a lot of practise to get all the timing and control over your movements that is needed.
On to the Mogul Skiing section.
Unfortunately this page is still far from complete. Lots of diagrams, animations and extended explanations will be added in the future.