Was your last skiing video cringe-worthy? Did your image of yourself as a skiing god(dess) get totally shattered? Whether we’ve been skiing since childhood or whether we just started, almost all of us could stand to improve on our ski technique – it seems to be one thing that you never stop learning! Perfecting your carving, mastering the ideal stance and gaining control over your centre of balance is easier said than done. Start with correcting these five common mistakes and stay tuned for more skiing technique wisdom!
One of the most common mistakes seen in less experienced or timid skiers, the crouching stance does indeed let you feel closer to the slope, but makes it impossible to ski in a controlled manner. You should aim for a basic posture with your weight distributed over your feet and your ankles, knees and hips slightly bent.
Many skiers try to force a turn by rotating their upper body. Rotating your torso this way causes you to lose the pressure on your skis, in turn causing you to lose control. Your skis are best turned using your legs and feet, while keeping your upper body as straight as possible.
Another common mistake, especially in skiers who have no head for heights, is to lean back as far as possible in the hopes this will slow your descent down the hill. Unfortunately it does quite the opposite, transferring your weight to the back of your skis and making you go even faster, with the added benefit of making you lose control over your turns.
Try to plant your poles out in front of you when skiing © Flickr, Ruth Hartnup
Your ski instructor looked way over the top with their arms stuck out like that, so you decided you didn’t need to lift your arms at all, and thus assumed a cool, laid-back pose with your arms at your side. Your way might look more badass (and that’s debatable), but having your arms in the correct position and placing your poles properly will actually help you turn better.
Parallel skiing is the natural step for skiers who have mastered the snowplough, and in their enthusiasm to forge ahead with their skiing career, many beginner skiers exaggeratedly lift the top ski with each turn. Instead of undertaking this commendable but unnecessary effort, try to keep both skis on the snow and move in a controlled sliding motion, putting slight pressure on the inner edge of your outside ski. Modern carving skis are built to help you do this almost effortlessly.
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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