Unless you are extremely fortunate there are bound to be days on your skiing holiday
that are snowy or overcast, with poor visibility. On those type of days many people
don’t enjoy skiing and prefer to give it a miss. But that’s a big mistake as those are
days that you can use to improve your technique.
Usually the lower slopes at most ski areas are surrounded by trees which makes it
possible on poor visibility days to see the terrain. There are quite a few technique
exercises that you can practice on those slopes. So instead of ‘wasting a day’ you can
use the day to become a better skier!
Following are five technique exercises that I recommend that you practice. All of these can be done on the easy, beginner slopes. Once you can do them well you’ll be able to use them on the more difficult runs. While these exercises are intended mainly for beginner and intermediate skiers all skiers can benefit from reviewing these maneuvers.
All of these exercises are taught and demonstrated on SkiTips1 App. The video above
shows excerpts from the App for each exercise.
Traverse and Step to a Stop – This is an excellent exercise to learn to reinforce a good
traverse position, learn how to ride your skis edges and how to transfer your weight
from ski to ski.
Sideslipping – This exercise teaches how to use your feet and ankles to control your
skis by varying the amount of edging. It also is extremely useful to learn how to do
this maneuver well as Sideslipping will enable you to safely descend slopes on the
mountain that you encounter that you find too steep or scary to make turns on.
Foot Roll Carving – The simplest way to Carve your turns is by ‘Rolling your feet and
ankles’. A good way to perfect this is to practice making uphill turns, starting on a
shallow traverse and then starting from gradually steeper and steeper traverses until
you start skiing directly down the fall-line.
Extension Turns – While skiing the mountain you may occasionally find yourself on
steeper slopes than you feel able to ski & carving turns on these steep slopes can
result in you gaining a lot of speed – probably more speed than you are comfortable
with. A good way to ski in control on these slopes is to use the ‘Extension Turn’. This
turn uses flexion/extension movements that enables you to make tight turns in a small
radius which allows you to ski slowly.
Emergency Stop – You never know when you’ll have to make a very sudden stop.
Unfortunately this happens lots of times to many of skiers. It’s thus extremely useful
to know how to make an emergency stop (also called a ‘Hockey Stop’) so that you can do
it easily and safely when you have to. It’s also a good way to stop at the bottom of a
run. Most people have a ‘better turning side’ so you will probably find it easier to do
one way rather than the other. My recommendation is to practice this maneuver to both
sides so you can do it both ways equally well.