Learning new skills can be scary, especially when it comes to combining sports with speed. Don’t let apprehension stop you from being able to appreciate the sublime views and the great sense of freedom that comes with skiing. With that said, here are some tips to get you up those mountains with confidence and carving those slopes in no time.
Comparing yourself to others can be your worst enemy. Doing your own thing at your own pace will keep you relaxed and focused. Not only will you enjoy yourself more when you stop the comparisons but you’ll progress faster too. Knowing your limits will keep you safe and build your confidence quickly as you begin to master the basics.
Bails and falls are all part of the learning process. Even the pros have taken a few tumbles in their day. Knowing how to fall safely will help to make you feel prepared to take on those slopes. Often the fear comes from not feeling in control. Learning about balance and knowing how to fall properly can make you feel more prepared.
Using your body to balance on the slopes will give you more control and the ability to tackle the terrain with confidence. Use your ankles, legs and hips to keep your body flexible as you bend with the curves of the slope. You’ll be more at risk of falling if your legs are stiff so be sure to loosen up before you start skiing. Remember to keep your arms in front of you where you can see them as this will give you balance and increase your stability should you bail. What’s more, keeping your stomach muscles tensed will keep you stable too - plus work on the abs!
No one will expect you to be an expert straight away. Learning how to build on your technique will help you on your journey as a skier. Snowploughing is one of the first techniques learners need to master and will give you better control as you go down the slope.
Snowploughing is when your skis are in a V shape, with the front of your skis forming an arrow facing forward and a 10cm gap between them. Using this technique will act as a brake, allowing you to adjust your speed. It is also the most stable position. You will notice that more advanced skiers don’t need to snowplough but as a beginner it will be your best friend. You won’t be able to change direction while snowploughing, but it will allow you to ski straight down the slope at a controlled speed with the ability to stop when necessary. Even if your finish isn’t graceful, it is reassuring to know you will stop safely.
The wider your snowplough is, the slower your speed will be.
Knowing how to travel on your skis will prepare you for the mountains and make you feel more confident about changing direction. A good stance will ensure you’re able to absorb the bumps in the snow. Keeping your knees bent will permit your body to flex with the natural terrain and help you keep balance.
Travelling down the hill with your skis parallel and your feet hips-width apart is called the straight forward stance and is the most basic stance. The more forward you lean, the more your speed will increase, so make sure your centre of gravity is in the middle to stay in control.
The traversing stance is used when travelling across the slope. This is when the outside ski is closer to your body than the inside ski. Moving your ankles in ski boots is hard so the best way to achieve this position is by moving your inside leg (closet to the slope behind you) forward. The steeper the slope, the lower your outside leg will be for balance. Remember to always keep your skis hip-width apart and your shoulders in line with your feet.
Beginners will often benefit from some ski lessons so you can make sure to get these manoeuvres right.
Once you have mastered the snowplough and want to use your skis to change direction, speed up and zig-zag down the slope, remembering to pay attention to how your skis are positioned. By keeping your skis parallel with each other you will stay in control. Positioning your skis hip-width apart will give you more stability but make sure you move them independently from one another. This will enable you to pivot with your skis and change direction by steering your skis the way you want to go. Practising how to pivot will mean you will be able to avoid areas of the slope you may not want to cross such as ice patches and bumps.
We hope these tips will make you feel more confident on the slopes. If you have any of your own tips to share, we’d love to hear from you. If you found our advice useful, spread the love and tell a friend. Better yet, why not take them on one of our cheap skiing weekends to up your skiing games or a one day excursion? You can access our fab deals below!
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