Top Ski Tips – Part 2

Top Ski Tips – Part 2

Part two of our top ski tips starts with all about learning the ropes, standing on two planks of wood on a hill covered in snow is not a natural thing. Your body often by reflex tries to fight against the very thing that you should be embracing, a bit like leaning into a bend on a motorbike. So, the very first lesson is learning how to stand up in skis

Moving in Skis

Remember your skis are firmly clamped on to your feet by your boots, so whatever direction your foot goes the ski will follow. Try picking one foot up at a time slowly, then turn to the left and the right. Feel which muscles you need to do this and get used to the rather weird sensation.

Moving in Skis

Stance

Stance

Your stance is critical for your balance on skis, and it will probably be the defining factor if you start sliding or fall over. Try and keep your feet under your shoulders, this will give you more support than if they were close together. Your toes should be pointing together and your heels apart so you have a mini-V shape with the skis. This position is called the snow plough and basically is a break to stop you moving, however it has other uses as well such as a way to turn.

Stopping

The aforementioned snow plough is the perfect stance for stopping, and also for controlling your speed. When you want to stop or slow down then turn your toes further inwards and gently push your heels wider so the plough is bigger at the back than the front. You can practice this on a very gentle slope, opening the V and closing it to see what effect it has. Once you feel comfortable that you can stop yourself hurtling down the mountain your confidence will grow.

Turning

The third basic you must learn is how to turn, as obstacles get in your way you need to be able to avoid them by turning and this can also be done with the snow plough. Staying in a snow plough position turn one-foot inwards towards the other, you will start to move in this direction but not stop, the degree of the inward position is the degree you will turn. As with stopping you need to be in full control of how to turn, sometimes stopping using a snow plough takes time and distance, and there will be occasions when you have neither. Using this method of stopping and turning is effective on gentler slopes but there are drawbacks. The snow plough takes effort and energy and is not very effective on steep slopes. To turn at speed you will have to learn parallel skiing.

This method of skiing is advanced and will give you more control with a much tighter turning circle. It may look and feel unstable at first so here is a tip. Start with using a smaller version of the snow plough first, then make the V gradually smaller as you get used to parallel skiing until your master it. In part three of top ski tips we look into the world of parallel skiing and dispense even more advice.