The Ski season is just starting. Here at Bagsahead, we thought we would pass on a few expert skiing tips to help you all along the way or should we say – along the slopes!
Whether it’s on steep black runs, mogul fields or out in the backcountry, when the going gets steep you’ve really got to know your stuff to stay on your feet.
High Speed Control
Being able to control your speed on a red run can be considered fairly easy, but could you do it on a 40% gradient black? You’re in danger of getting out of control and injured if you cannot contain your speed. The main technique for doing this is edge checking. This is where you dig the edges of both skis simultaneously into the snow. You can always try it on a shallower gradient first to practise. A quick tip is to try and drive the sides of your thighs into the snow rather than doing it with your ankles.
Nothing picks up your speed faster than keeping your skis on the fall line for any length of time. Which is why short turns are an essential skill for anyone thinking of tackling those steep gradient slopes, and you really shouldn’t even think about venturing out into the backcountry before you’ve mastered them. Short turns give you the highest degree of control. These can be combined with hopping, jumping and pivoting to get you safely and stylishly over anything the terrain might throw at you. It is best to practice short turns over and over on a groomed, intermediate-gradient slope. Do this before attempting them on the steeps stuff. Get these right and you can descend anything at a very controlled speed.
Distribute the weight evenly between your skis and turn both skis as a unit. This is no easy task if you have finally got the hang of weighting your outside ski. However, doing that here will cause that ski to sink away. Build up a rhythm of short, even turns. Rhythm is the key to powder skiing and will, in the deeper stuff, allow the snow to make the turn for you.
Banish the myth that you ‘must lean back’. A deliberate weighting towards the back of your skis will cause them to drag and will also unbalance you. Rather, adopt a natural balanced stance and anticipate changes in pitch and terrain by remaining relaxed and reactive.
In the deeper snow, build up enough speed before establishing a ‘bouncing’ rhythm. Do not force the skis to turn or jump them. Instead, wait for the snow to build up a ‘springboard’ under your skis at the end of your turn, before using this force (similar to the point of maximum resistance at the end of your GS or short swing turn) to unweight your skis and allow you to lift up above the powder and immerse yourself once again.
And please remember to really ensure you arrive at the slopes in tip top condition and not stressed. Bagsahead can send your ski’s ahead right from your door to your resort accommodation. We then return them back at the end of your trip all in a few simple clicks.