Have you ever heard the saying ‘skiing is easy to learn but hard to master’? Even expert skiers who have been improving their skills season after season can always find a new technique to learn. Whether it’s moguls you want to tackle next, or perhaps you want to become more confident off-piste, we have gathered our top tips that will help you to improve your game whatever the weather.
Carving up a storm
Wide open slopes are the best place to develop your carving technique. This skill will also allow you to develop your speed on the mountain. The movement involves a weight change from side to side which allows you to instantly turn your skis from edge to edge for a smooth gliding motion. Early in the turn, you will need to roll over your knees slightly in order to get the skis on their edge as soon as possible. You will know you have achieved great carving abilities when your skis cut into the snow, rather than sliding or slipping.
Short turns for the win
Short turns will allow you to direct yourself down the slope with speed, whilst nimbly being able to dodge any random fellow skiers who may come flying your way. Essentially, these manoeuvres are just speedy parallel turns that are snappy and sweet. For this movement, you will need a stable and strong posture facing the slope, whilst swinging your legs from side to side to catch a short, sharp edge. This motion will easily allow you to conquer narrow slopes, whilst also making you a more well-rounded rider who is ready for any terrain that the unforgiving piste may throw your way.
Master the ice
Difficult conditions can often deter people from hitting the slopes, but ice patches are often unavoidable as the weather is not always perfect- unless you have been extremely lucky to choose the best week of the season! As a general rule, the piste usually freezes slightly overnight, therefore the iciest conditions can be found in the morning. During the day, the sun will melt the ice which causes the slopes to become lumpy. The best thing to do when it’s icy is to decrease your speed. This will allow you to have maximum control when you may unexpectedly hit a patch of ice that sends you spinning. Try to use your edge as much as possible and add weight to your downhill ski.
Mogul skiing takes practice and confidence – and energetic legs! A lot of skiers will avoid mogul runs like the plague, but if you give them some time, you will soon find that it is like figuring out a fun puzzle. The more you get used to the uneven terrain, the more easily you will be able to find the best places to turn. As the snow melts, moguls will often become unavoidable on some runs. For moguls, you will need to have mastered your short-turn technique first.
There’s no feeling like gliding through a fresh layer of powder snow. Deeper snow will mean that you will pick up more resistance as you head down the slope. Therefore, you will need to take time to pick up some speed before starting your bouncing motions from side to side. If you are attempting to powder ski with either all-mountain or carving skis, then you may need to slightly lean back in order to avoid sinking into the deeper snow. However, with wider powder skis, you should just be able to float over the snow with a bouncing motion. You maintain this bouncing tiger-like motion by unweighting, turning, and simultaneously weighting both skis again. Once you find this rhythm, the springboard-like powder snow should make the turn for you!