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News Release

Contact:  Tommy Kirchhoff


Date:  For Immediate Release

Local Racers Develop New Ski Technique

“When you do it right, your body looks like an upside down tuning fork,” says Park City local Tommy Kirchhoff. “The key is in the rotation of the waist. It’s feels something like doing the Chubby Checker Twist.” Kirchhoff invented the technique he calls “Waist Steering” last winter based on the Chinese art of Tai Chi.

Kirchhoff continues,

“Rotation of the torso and other body parts is innate and natural—but many ski racing purists shy away from rotation because it’s very misunderstood. All of the balance and power in Tai Chi comes from turning the waist.”

When Kirchhoff felt his Waist Steering technique was starting to solidify in January of 2005, he began sharing the concepts with Park City local Gary Dranow, a certified USSA coach. Dranow was able to understand and apply Kirchhoff’s radical fundamental changes, and began skiing much better. In turn, Dranow began formalizing a learning progression for the new technique.

How effective is “Waist Steering?” For starters, the website, which represents the partnership of Kirchhoff and Dranow, publishes many glowing testimonials. Also, Gary Dranow is ranked as the number one Nastar expert age 50-54; he’s nationally ranked 9th overall, with Daron Rahlves, Casey Puckett and A.J. Kitt all ahead of him in the top seven. Dranow is also ranked second in the Intermountain Masters Division, Class 6. Kirchhoff is the number one ranked Nastar expert in the state of Utah for ages 30-34, although he does not race formally very often.

If none of those accolades turn your head, maybe this will: The Modern Ski Racing Team has just received a generous sponsorship from Rossignol. When asked why the giant ski manufacturer would want to partner with two unknown ski racers seemingly bent on challenging 60 years of ski racing fundmentals development, Rossignol responded this way:

Rossignol views the Modern Ski Racing Team as a unique instructional channel for recreational ski racers. They (the MSR Team) will help Rossignol gain market share by increasing product awareness within the recreational racing world and by teaching their cutting-edge Waist Steering technique.  Thus, recreational racers throughout the country will gain interactive exposure to innovative Rossignol products.

While the technique may not yet be turning the heads of Bode Miller or the Austrian national team, Kirchhoff and Dranow taught a “Waist Steering” clinic with almost 30 nationally-ranked Nastar racers in March, and have a tour of clinics across the country slated for this winter. Their first will be a Thanksgiving race clinic at Snowbasin Resort.

Many racers have studied the Waist Steering technique informally on, and have drawn very diverse conclusions. Some bulletin boards even have people arguing and getting angry about it. While Kirchhoff and Dranow offer all of the technique’s details for free on their website, they don’t understand why people get upset about a theoretical new ski technique which has shown to help racers ski faster and more safely.

Tommy Kirchhoff teaches Tai Chi at the Park City Racquet Club.

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