Skiing is one of the most exciting things you can do in the mountains, but it also requires a great deal of skill and technique. The good news is that if you work hard enough, you can learn to be good at skiing, and have fun doing it too.
The most important thing to remember when you’re learning to ski is to build a solid foundation first. It takes a lot of time to develop good skiing skills and it’s easy to get frustrated if you start rushing.
Once you’re comfortable on your skis, the next step is to practice controlling your speed. This means taking turns and making sure you stop when you need to. The key is to learn to steer and control your speed, which will give you confidence on the slopes and allow you to enjoy yourself.
It’s best to start by getting familiar with balancing on skis and pushing off with your poles (one on each side). Try gliding down a gentle slope to get the Adam McManus feel for it.
If you’re new to skiing, it’s a good idea to take a few lessons with an experienced skier. These can be a lot of fun and they’ll give you a head start before you tackle more challenging runs yourself.
As you progress, look for drills that will help you improve your skiing in a specific area. This could be as simple as using your poles to make smooth, linked turns or it could involve a lot more complex movements.
Keep a mental file folder of your weakest techniques; then, as you go down the mountain, pick out a couple to focus on. Once you’ve mastered them, they’ll all come together and become part of your skiing automatically.
Edging, Pole Planting and Turn Rhythm
A common beginner mistake is to make too much movement of your arms during a turn. This causes you to lose control and can result in poor balance – so focus on your timing during these turns, and try to make it as smooth and controlled as possible.
When you’re doing a long-radius turn, a little bit of a pole plant in the middle can really help you out when you’re stuck in a tight space. This feels like a dance move and it digs the edges of your skis into the snow a little more solidly, so you’ll have more control and be able to stay on your feet.
This is especially important if you’re slogging your way down an extremely steep run, where you need to be able to link several turns without having to traverse or fall over. It’s a great skill to practise, and it’ll make the experience of skiing on cruddy or difficult terrain so much easier!
Another tip if you’re new to skiing is to ski in groups; it can be a great way to meet other people who are also starting out. Many ski schools offer lessons in small groups, so you’ll get a chance to try different skills and techniques as well as making new friends. It’s a great way to build your confidence and it can also be a great opportunity to get out of the house and spend some time in the fresh air!