Who doesn’t want to be a better skier? Gliding down a mountain through virgin powder with the sun glistening on surrounding snow-covered peaks has got to be one of the most incredible feelings on earth… Working to improve your skiing so that you can augment time spent on the slopes and have your mind blown with even more incredible mountain-top experiences is one of the main reasons for sharpening your ski technique. Before visiting us in Meribel this winter, don’t miss out on these 5 pivotal ski tips to give you the edge. You’ll thank us!
Ski Tips. Because More Skills = More Fun
1) Strength Train Before Your Ski Holiday
It will have been a while since you’ve hit the slopes, and so your first few days skiing will make you feel like you are a beginner all over again! Muscles will ache and you will be tired and sore. The good news is there are certain strength-training exercises you can do at home to prepare you for the slopes and prevent you from getting injured. One-legged box squats are great for strengthening your legs because they put you in the low, crunched position common to skiing. When starting this exercise, drop as low as comfortable and progress into a deeper squat. Once you start getting stronger, add weights to increase the difficulty. Hamstring development is also crucial because these muscles will protect you when carving through the snow. Because of this, don’t neglect your hamstrings when preparing for the oncoming ski season and always remember to do hamstring curls when working your legs. Training before you arrive will make for smoother transition and a happier week on the mountains! If you’re feeling inspired, check out the Charlie Francis video below on ‘How to Do Air Squats.’ It’ll make your thighs burn:
2) The Dynamic Parallel
Many skiers are able to keep their skis (almost!) parallel, but what’s the point if you make it too much like hard work, slide around out of control and don’t get the full performance that was intended for your skis? Learning how to improve your parallel skiing technique so that you ski more safely, can ski steeper slopes and enjoy your skiing more is going to be one of the pivotal ski tips which will give you the edge. Keep it fluid; try to make longer more sweeping turns, and don’t forget to extend and flex much more slowly. Make sure you put all your weight on to your downhill/outside ski as this will create a much more stable platform than having weight on both skis. (The tip and tail of the ski you pick up should be roughly the same height above the snow. If the tip is higher than the tail then you are leaning back – move your weight forward!)
Carving up a freshly-groomed piste for your first morning run is a perfect way to start any day. If your feet are glued together and your upper body is twisted, you don’t be able to get your skis on edge in order to carve a nice turn. Top ski tip – to carve the perfect turn, you need to get your skis on edge as early in the turn as possible. Keep your movements gradual to start off with – if you try to jump from edge to edge quickly, they won’t grip very well. Roll your ankles first, then your knees and the finally your waist, before gently extending them to start the next turn.
Love them or hate them, when skiing moguls you shouldn’t be looking for a friendly bump to give you an easy ride; you need to adapt and learn to tackle bumps of all shapes and sizes and really challenge your comfort zone. Focus on an object or location in the distance, fix a line straight down from you to your chosen point, and then begin skiing those bumps like you mean it. Ski tips for bumps: keeping a steady rhythm helps with your stability and balance – stopping you from skiing more erratically and improving your confidence and fluidity. Absorb each bump by flexing your legs by bending in your ankles, waist and knees. Then extend your legs to push your skis into the troughs between each mogul. Don’t let the bumps tell you where to turn – turn when and where you want to!
5) Skiing in Powder
In the old days skiers used to sit back in powder to get their tips up, but those days are gone! Most skis are wider today, providing better buoyancy. By remaining centered and equally weighting both skis, you’ll float through the fluff with less leg-burn and fewer wipe outs. Skiing powder is just like skiing bumps with one main difference; you are actually creating the moguls as you ski! You will need to extend your legs through to the middle of the turn as you push your skis into the snow. This will compact the snow until it pushes back on you and makes skiing in powder all the easier.
Whether looking for tuition from a ski school or not, we hope that these ski tips will help to give you the edge this winter. Please get in touch or join our social communities on Facebook and Twitter and share your top tips for getting the best out of your skiing holiday in Meribel. We can’t wait to welcome you!