Maybe you have already learned how to ski on hard snow. While the skills you already possess are important, powder skiing is quite different. If you are not armed with powder-specific skills, powder skiing could turn into a nightmare for you.
To make gliding through powder enjoyable for you, we will show you how to ski powder. When going through this article, keep in mind that you have to practice everything you learn for it to be useful the next time you put on your ski jacket.
Powder Skiing Tips and Ticks
Get the Right Equipment
Before you think of learning how to ski powder, get the right powder skiing gear. Your main consideration should be renting or purchasing an all-mountain ski featuring a decent width. You will want a ski that is wider than your ski boot.
Select a ski featuring a tip rocker. This should help reduce the physical and mental fortitude needed to get your tip above snow when moving downhill.
Apart from the ski, pack everything you need to wear when skiing, including skiing gloves. Get a nice base layer, mid-layer, and outer layer – keep in mind that bad weather does not exist, only bad clothing choice exists. If you wear comfortable and warm clothing, having fun on the powder should be much easier.
Focus on Creating a Large Surface Area for Floating on
If you are familiar with skiing on groomed or hard-pack snow, you probably use the downhill ski to initiate a turn. If you try this on powder, you will end up driving one ski into the snow – like a sailboat anchor. This is something you do not want to do – at least if you want to keep enjoying powder skiing.
To avoid driving your ski into the snow, you will need to adopt a body position that lowers the resistance and instead, increases the floatation. This should keep you moving.
To get a bigger surface area with the skis in deep snow, you will need to weigh both your skis evenly, maintain a centered (but agile) stance, while keeping the shoulders over the toes.
Steer with Your Body Weight – Forget Edging
In deep snow, edges are generally useless – there is nothing for the edges to grip on. To change the direction without increasing the resistance on the downhill ski, switching techniques are important – you will need to focus on steering with the body weight. This can be done by weighting and unweighting – the same thing you would do when skiing moguls.
To turn by weighting, you will need to bend at your knees and weight your skis at the apex of your turn, as if you intend to push the snow underneath the skis away. Next, when you think you are ready to finish your turn and start the next one, extend the legs to unweight the skis. This will make it easier for both the skis and the body to change direction.
Push Yourself to Spend Additional Time in Your Fall Line
One thing that you have to keep in mind when powder skiing is that speed is your friend. To avoid resistance and also to keep the skis from nosediving, you have to keep the skis on top of the snow, at all times. Think of the skis as an airplane – to generate lift, speed is necessary.
To use the speed to stay afloat, you will need to turn your skis down the slope, into the fall line, to succeed at picking up speed. If you need to slow down, start making a turn across your slope. You will then need to repeat this process while ensuring that you are spending significantly more time in your fall line.
Keep in mind that speed in powder skiing is a relative term. What appears to be too fast for you may not be fast at all for a different powder skier. The most crucial part of being comfortable when speeding up and slowing down is ensuring that you are always in control. When practicing, ensure that you are maintaining an ideal body position.
Try to Lengthen the Turns
After improving specific skills to the point where you feel that you are comfortable enough with speed, you will need to focus on linking everything together. In most instances, you will be going from fast fall line skiing featuring slow turns, to more elongated, smooth, flowing turns, which focus on maintaining the same speed throughout. This can be best practiced when you are powder skiing in bowls or in wide-open runs where the run ahead is long.
To maintain both momentum and speed in deep snow, you will need to first focus on completing your turn while weighting and unweighting throughout the turn as described earlier on. Once you get comfortable enough, start allowing the turn radius to get longer. Combine this with a shorter transition between your turns.
Including shorter transitions between the turns should keep the skis from facing down the slope. It should also help you maintain momentum. Skiing across the slope may end up slowing you down.
Use the Ski Pole Plant to Maintain a Rhythm
The main purpose of the ski pole plant is to help you maintain a rhythm. Consider placing the pole downhill at the end of every turn. This should help you commit your balance onto your downhill ski.
Ensure that your hands are always in front of you. This should happen throughout the powder skiing session. It helps you ensure that you do not end up leaning back after every plant. It can also help you maintain an active and balanced position at the center of the skis.
When planting the ski pole, avoid using the whole arm. Instead, use the wrist. A smaller movement will have a much less likelihood of unbalancing you.
Note: Not all the ski poles you find in the market will be ideal for powder skiing. When purchasing a ski pole, be careful to avoid buying one that may not offer the benefits you are looking for. If you are not sure about the pole that you should invest in, talk to professional powder skiers first.
Globo Surf Overview
When learning how to ski powder, you have to be patient. While the professionals who have been powder skiing for years may make the activity appear natural, the truth is that no one was born an expert. With practice, however, reaching professional status should be easy. The tips outlined in this article should take you a step closer to becoming an expert.
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- Top 11 – Powder Skiing Tips, Section8ski.com