DEVELOP YOUR SKIING

Life is … what skiing is all about

ALL MOUNTAIN SKI TIPS

Skiing in the mountains is a very open affair, where you always have to adapt to the changing conditions and types of snow.

When skiing on the mountain, you can use a situation to your advantage or disadvantage. To use the situation to your advantage, you need to adapt your technique and tactics to your own ability as well as to the conditions and type of snow. This is what makes a good and effective skier.

Check out some of our tips:

Improve your skiing in many ways:

  • Produce different sizes of turning molds
  • Shorter curves, then longer
  • Rounder, then finish your rounds
  • Ski slower and faster
  • More sliding than steering/curving

Try all of the above in different snow types and conditions on flatter and steeper slopes on the mountain.

By experimenting on your own, you can develop a new feel that you can use to your advantage when skiing on the mountain in the future.

Join us to learn more about how to use a situation and the snow conditions to your advantage so you can have fun no matter what the mountain has to offer.

Things that every skier needs

There are three main factors to focus on: Balance, Turning/Direction Change and Steering. As lesser skiers begin to ski the entire mountain, they will encounter different snow types and conditions that will test and challenge them.

The difficulty you have in changing direction is a result of your lack of balance control. You will find that your confidence and speed will increase the better you are on your skis and the better your balance.

As you get braver and try yourself in more difficult conditions, you may find that turning and steering become more difficult again. It is important to introduce different activities at all levels of skiing in all types of conditions and snow types to improve balance, turning/direction changing and steering to gradually integrate these skills and develop your ability to “ski the mountain” in more difficult and challenging conditions in the future.

 

Balance

Balance means you can move any part of your body whenever and wherever you want to maintain control of your directional change in any type of snow and in any conditions you ski in.

In the beginning, you’ll find that it’s not that hard to stay centered and keep your balance on your skis as you change direction. The problems will decrease the better you become and the more you venture on different slopes and types of snow.

As you improve and become an advanced skier, this issue becomes less important and technique and the way you ski play a bigger role in improving and maintaining balance control.

To maintain balance, you must constantly move and change your ski joints (ankles, knees and hips) to respond to the changing terrain and different types of snow on the mountain.

If the movements are coordinated, the right amount of movement at the right time, you will maintain your balance and keep your body and hips above your feet as you steer into or out of a turn. You will find that controlling your skis becomes easier and more effective.

Regardless of the speed at which you are traveling, slow or fast, your movements must be coordinated with the speed at which you are traveling to keep control of your feet in balance to change direction and control your skis effectively.

The joints in your legs act as shock absorbers to absorb the pressure under your feet and skis when you turn or change direction. Using your joints in this way is beneficial and helps you turn by making sure you keep your balance and have your hips over your feet.


Optimal speed

This is the speed at which the turn/change of direction is easiest, the movements are free, and you are balanced throughout the turn/change of direction. Here you drive at the right speed to achieve our goals at your own level. The optimal speed will change as you improve your balance and confidence and your all-mountain experience increases in different and varied snow conditions.

The shape of the curve/direction change is also important. This also affects our optimal speed when turning/direction changing. It is important to choose the most effective line (gliding, gripping, or carving) and shape for your speed, snow type, and skill level so that you can ski at an optimal speed for your ability while staying balanced.

You are constantly adjusting your movements to stay balanced. Try to make constant movements at the same speed you are going down the hill and try to keep the body moving forward with the feet to keep the balance over the feet so you can change direction at any time on the hill and steer the skis while turning/changing direction.

Factors that influence our balance

When you glide over the snow with your skis, balancing becomes more difficult because you are moving at high speed on a narrow platform. As you slide forward and turn or change direction, you will need to make small adjustments to keep your hips and center of gravity above the point of support (your feet) to maintain balance.

Any rapid or large movement in your joints will throw you off balance, as your center of gravity is no longer in the ideal position above your feet.

The width of the standing area (or leg stance) also affects balance. You can change the size of your stand to create a wider or narrower support surface. This allows you to adapt to different conditions and snow types and maintain good posture and balance.

How and where you hold your arms and hands is an important factor at all levels of skiing, as they help maintain your balance while moving. They stabilize your body and help you correct and regain your balance over your skis and feet. Arms and hands should be stretched forward at the sides and in front of the body, acting like a balancing pole.

All Mountain Steering Carving

Turning transitions to steering as the edges begin to grip and steer the ski through the turn/direction change, depending on speed. The slower you ski, the later in the turn/change of direction the skis/edges begin to cut into the snow and grip/steer. When you go faster, the skis engage and steer/grip the turn/direction change earlier.

When turning into the fall line, you must be able to control the skis and be well balanced over the outside ski from the beginning of the turn/change when the skis accelerate.

Steering out of the fall line is the most difficult part of the swing. You need to control and balance the pressure on the outside ski well to control the edges and release the skis for the start of the new turn/direction change.

When you tip our skis onto the edges during the turn/direction change, the pressure/tension increases to twice your own body weight and more. The radius, steepness, terrain (bumps), speed, snow types and type of skis (fun carver, race carver, all-terrain carver and freeride skis) affect the steering pressure generated in the turn/change of direction; you feel this through your legs and whole body. The larger muscle groups in your body, the pelvic muscles, allow us to absorb much of this pressure that builds up.

In shorter curves, the legs do most of the steering work. (Our feet/skis cross under the body). The upper body remains balanced above the feet. Weaker skiers¢ are graduated more quickly. Short, grippy turns create a very sudden buildup of pressure that makes it difficult to balance over your feet in the turn/change of direction.

At higher speeds, the body crosses over the feet/skis, which presents a greater challenge to the skier’s balance.

The support ski (outer ski) and the inner ski, both have steering properties. The support foot/ski (outside ski) has better, more effective control, feel and balance throughout the turn/change of direction, while the inside foot/ski has stronger edge grip but less feel throughout the turn/change of direction and less feel for balance, which promotes edge catching during the turn/change of direction. Here, a very fine sense of steering with the inside foot/ski in the right place, at the right time, and to the right degree in the turn/direction change is required for effective steering through the turn/direction change.

When steering the skis, they can be turned transversely to the direction of travel of the body. Or be directed in the direction in which the body is moving. In the first case you drift, in the second case you carve. Carving, which involves steering the skis through the turn/change of direction at higher speeds, makes us more stable in the turn/change of direction.

All factors change due to the turn/direction change.

  • Terrain
  • Snow types
  • Gradient
  • Speed
  • Weather

The skier must constantly respond to the changing factors to effectively steer the skis and maintain control while using the pressure in the turn/change of direction to their advantage. It’s important to be centered about our feet/skis to get the most out of today’s modern skis.

Centering over the feet/skis requires flexion of all ski joints (ankles, knees and hips).

With our hips over our feet, hands in front of our body, and our body moving forward with our feet while in motion, we can balance, change direction, and control our feet/skis while having fun!

Known – Unknown

Light – Heavy

Flat – Steeper

Slow – Faster

By making things harder and moving out of our comfort zone, we can become more aware. We move from known to unknown, from easy to hard, from flat to steep and from slow to fast to raise awareness.

By becoming aware of the 3 factors of balance, turn and steering at your own level, you can begin to become a more effective, all-around controlled skier.