Even beginner skiers dream of pulling off basic ski tricks, even just once. Of course, performing a trick can be dangerous, and bones could break if you are not properly informed of the exercises and tricks you are doing before you start. You should also be able to ski well enough to get some air, as that is always required for a stunt, with a basic ‘popping’ trick to start you off.
Popping, also known as springing, is something you need to learn to help you on jumps. To practice, start off standing still and just jumping into the air with your skis on. Keep your skis shoulder width apart and parallel, and then try it with some speed. To pop, or spring, you gradually bend the knees into a crouch position. Then when you hit the lip of the jump, come out of the crouch, extending your body to push yourself forward.
You have to use some force to do an ollie: lean forward then swing your arms back and lean back to get the front of your skis off the ground, but have the tail of your skis still touch the snow. An ollie is great to learn for when you want to jump over things or get onto higher rails but is more challenging than popping.
To do the safety grab, you need to have mastered popping. Make sure your skis are uncrossed and grab the right ski under the boot with your right hand. You need to make sure you have your legs bent, moving them up to your chest to reach the skis. The safety grab is the starting point for other grab tricks.
One of the best tricks to learn for freestyle skiing, the shifty is a trick that is used all the time when skiing on powder, on rails and boxes, for a 180 turn, for just adding flair to a basic jump, and can even save you from crashes. Practice without skis first, twisting your hips, knees and feet in one direction (left) and the upper your body in the other (right). Use your arms to balance, putting one arm out in front and one behind.
A 180 is, at its basics, jumping and turning 180 degrees, so you are skiing backwards. To start, you need to have the shifty trick down, as the 180 is the first step to harder spins. Practice on flat surfaces or low gradient slopes before trying it on a jump, and make sure you can handle skiing backwards too!
To do a tail grab, you need to get some decent air, as you are crossing your skis and grabbing them too. The best way to practice is lying down with your feet in the air, so you can get the movement right first. The aim of the trick is to grab the right tail with your right hand with the skis crossed. Lift your knees towards your chest, but from the side, turning your left leg to the left, so the left ski is over the right one.
When you have booked your budget ski holidays no doubt you’ll be itching to get out onto the slopes to try some of these tricks! Why not check out some of our other blogs on skiing below: