If you ask an experienced skier what their favorite time is, the skier will probably tell you that it is when he/she is skiing. On top of being fun and exciting, skiing takes place in an attractive mountain environment.
If you do not know how to ski, chances are, you will spend more time on your backside instead of whizzing down the mountains. If you intend to go skiing for the first time, the skiing tips in this article should come in handy.
1. Take a Lesson
If you are new to skiing, taking a lesson is an ideal way of improving both your form and confidence. If you are not learning how to ski for the first time, a lesson is still a good step in the right direction. It will help you advance the skills you already have to the next level.
Skiing lessons can get quite expensive. However, you can reduce the costs if you find a weekly group clinic near your local mountain. You should be able to get some nice beginner skiing tips and also find more experienced people you can ski with.
2. Understand Gravity and Balance
If you take a class, you should have a better understanding of how both balance and gravity affect skiing. Basically, gravity will take you from the mountain-top to the bottom, in a direct route. As you will realize the moment you pack your backpack and head to your favorite skiing spot, the direct route is usually neither the safest nor the most desirable route. For this reason, you may need to spend some time working on your ability to steer and stop.
Snow is extremely slippery. Maintaining balance while sliding down the mountain is generally not that easy. To stay balanced on your ski, you will need a stance that is both comfortable and stable.
3. Take Care of Your Dressing
If you have tried cold weather hiking in the past, then you already know that dressing poorly can reduce your chances of having fun. When skiing, the 3-layer dress code is typically the best.
You will need to start with a base layer designed to keep you dry by wicking the sweat away. The mid layer should be designed to keep you warm by regulating the body temperature. A fleece or wool jumper can make an ideal mid-layer.
The outer layer is supposed to be windproof and waterproof. The ideal skiing jacket should have the ability to break the wind and also keep moisture off the second layer of clothing. The jacket should also be breathable to ensure that the sweat does not stay inside.
Since you may deal with the sun when skiing, consider carrying sunglasses. Goggles should be ideal for the cloud or shade.
You should protect your skin from the sun, wind, and cold. You should invest in a sun cream that coats your skin in a protective layer, capable of stopping cold and wind burn. To enjoy all the benefits that the sun cream/sunscreen has to offer, you should learn how to apply the sunscreen correctly.
4. Get the Right Gear
If you are just learning how to ski, you probably do not own all the necessary skiing gear. A lot of the gear may be quite expensive. However, this should not worry you. You can always rent your skis and boots and maybe borrow the rest of the gear from friends and family.
Most rental shops will have skis which suit your ability. However, you have to keep in mind that the ski height is crucial. Ensure that the ski is approximately 20 to 30 cm shorter than your own height. Shorter skis are much easier to turn.
It is not uncommon for rental boots to be uncomfortable. Therefore, when renting boots, your mission should be to ensure that the boots will be both snug and comfortable.
You should have the ability to move your toes without the heel coming up in the boots. Ensure that your foot does not slip around from side to side in the skiing boot.
5. Donning the Skis
If you had already put on your clothing and obtained the right skiing equipment, tip number 5 is probably one of the skiing tips you have been waiting for.
Before donning the skis, get used to how your boots feel. Similar to how you would break into hiking boots, take a quick walk around in the skiing boots. Stand up tall a number of times to feel the boots flex.
After getting accustomed to how the boots feel, use your poles to scrape snow off the boots’ bottom before you slot them into the ski bindings. The easiest way of slotting the boots into the ski bindings is to slot the boot’s front first, and then lining up the back, before pressing down with the heel until the skiing boots click into place.
After donning the skis, professionals who are familiar with how to ski recommend pushing yourself around on the flat ground before you go ahead and join the lift queue.
After skiing, you will definitely need to remove the skis. To get your skis off, you will need to push down on the bindings’ back until you feel the heel pop up. The ski pole can help you with this.
6. Learning the Ropes
If you have already followed the skiing tips above, you should already have your skis and the right clothes on. In this section, you will be learning how to ski. To enjoy yourself on the slopes, all you will have to do is learn how to stand up, turn where you want, and stop. Below, we have a simple guide to get you started.
Moving the Skis
Since the skis are clamped to your feet, if you turn left, the skis will also turn left. Try picking up one foot at a time with the skis on. Next, try to turn right or left. This should help you become familiar with the feeling and the muscles you need to use.
The way you stand will have a massive impact on your balance. If you use the wrong stance, chances of falling over the moment you start sliding increase.
The most stable position when you are skiing is to ensure that your feet are shoulder width apart, with the toes pointing inwards and the heels apart. In this position, the skis should make a V-shape or triangle. This position should give you a solid base even when you start moving.
Bend the knees, waist, and ankles slightly, keeping the arms out wide. Ensure that the weight is evenly distributed on the heels and feet. Try standing still before starting to move.
If you do not know how to control your speed, chances of hurting yourself and other skiers increase. Any skier would want to return from his/her skiing camping trip safe and healthy. The stance described above is ideal for speed control and stopping when on gentle slopes.
To slow down or stop, simply turn the toes towards each other more and also push the heels apart further. Make the snowplough wider at the back while maintaining a small gap between the ski tips.
When on steeper slopes, the exercise described above can help you slow down. However, it will not help you stop. To stop, you will need to defy gravity by turning the skis so that they end up facing across the hill and not down it.
To turn the skis, all you will need to do is turn your feet so that they face the direction you wish to travel. This should be easy if you can stay in the plough position while turning. While keeping the skis in the V-shape described above, turn your feet gently until the skis point across the hill. This should help you come to a stop.
7. Going Parallel
Skiing with the skis parallel appears flashier and offers you better control. It also gives a tighter turning circle when you are on steeper slopes. When learning how to ski for the first time, going parallel could be a little bit tough. However, after understanding all the necessary skiing tips, it should be much easier.
One thing to note even before you put on your gloves is that the key to bringing the skis parallel is to ensure that your body weight is in the right place. If you can manage to keep 90% of the weight on the downhill/outside foot, you should be able to stay balanced. Make sure that you slide the uphill/inside foot parallel to the outside foot.
At the start of the turn, push with both feet before you move your weight to the new downhill/outside ski. At the end of each turn, you should stay balanced on the downhill ski.
8. Dynamic Parallel
It is possible for people who are learning how to ski to keep the skis roughly parallel. The issue is that most skiers turn the exercise into hard work. To get the most performance from your ski without having to return to your winter camping tent tired, use these skiing tips:
- The Weight – Avoid sitting back. Every time you start turning, re-center the weight and attack your turn by leaning down the hill. Be sure to put all the weight onto the downhill/outside ski.
- Movement – After pushing up with both feet at the start of the turn, gradually bend or flex the legs when finishing the turn.
- Edging – Roll your knees and ankles uphill as you flex towards the end of your turn. This will roll the skis on to the edge, giving you more grip and also helping you cut through the mounds of cut up snow. When starting the next turn, move the weight on to the other ski and then flex down, rolling the knees and ankles to put the skis on the other edge.
- Upper body – Keeping the downhill shoulder lower relative to the uphill shoulder will make rolling the knees and ankles much easier.
- Pole plants – When extending the knees at the start of your turn, reach down the hill and touch the snow in front with the pole end. Do the same when making the next turn. This should help you establish a rhythm.
9. Carving It Up
The skiing tips below should make the carving up much easier:
- Stance – To curve a good turn, ensure your feet are shoulder width apart and they are pointing in the same direction as the knees.
- Starting the turn – Change the weight from ski to ski early enough and incline the body to put the ski on edge. After achieving enough balance outside the ski, incline your body down the hill while ensuring that the body stays straight.
- Finishing your turn – Gradually flex the waist, knees, and ankles down when going through the second half turn, diving the legs back under your body, ready to push them out and start your next turn.
10. Powder Skiing
Armed with the skiing tips below, powder skiing should be much easier for you:
- Weight distribution – Try to keep your weight evenly distributed on your 2 skis. The powder features more resistance. Keeping your weight distributed evenly helps you steer both skis through the resistance.
- Steering – When finishing each turn, try sinking down, bending the knees, waist, and ankles, to steer the skis. Extend the legs when starting the next turn.
- Turn shape – Since powder slows your ski down even on the steep slopes, you can ski more aggressively while keeping the speed under control. When powder skiing, you do not have to rush in order to finish the turns. You can simply float through the turns gently.
Globo Surf Overview
On top of having the right gear, to turn skiing into a hobby, you need to have the right skills. In this article, we have looked at the basic skiing tips. The “how to ski” tips in this article should get you started.
To move from beginning skier to an expert, you should consider taking a class and spending a lot of time training. To increase the rate of learning, consider putting your gear in your lightweight backpack and heading to the hills when experienced skiers are heading to the hills. Experienced skiers can help you improve your skills more quickly.
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- Top Ski Tips, E4s.co.uk