There are few things more exhilarating than weaving your way down a mountain, poles crunching in the snow and powder jettisoning from your skis as you execute perfect turns.
If you’ve skied before, even if you’re still learning, you’ll know the thrill that comes with downhill skiing. But it’s not all about speed, and beginners may be happy to know there are different grades of runs, so you can go at your own pace and advance gradually. Of course, there are plenty of challenging slopes in Australia for advanced and intermediate skiers to get stuck into as well. Or you may prefer to leave the runs altogether and take a more scenic approach to skiing by going cross-country. In any case, learning to ski isn’t too difficult and most people can make their way down the slopes with relative ease after a lesson or two. And if not, well, practice makes perfect, and it just gives you an excuse to make another trip to our beautiful snow fields before the winter’s end!
Here are some essential tips for inexperienced skiers to help you make the most of your time on the mountain. The videos are fun to watch and will help you to improve your technique for the real thing.
Try sitting up on your skis. No matter what your skiing level, try to keep your hips above your feet. You’ll know you’re sitting back properly when your thighs begin to burn. Try to ensure your ankles are bent and, remember, you should feel contact with the front of your boots.
If you feel your tails skidding out, you may be too far forward. Make sure you’re bending both your ankle and your knee. Try some jump turns to test whether or not you’re positioned in the middle of the ski.
If you feel as though you’re skidding the whole ski, you probably need to work on your angulation. This means putting your skis on edge, but moving your knees and/or hips into the hill while still keeping your upper body balanced over the outside ski.
When attempting short turns, you need as few moving parts as possible. Make sure your upper body faces downhill, turn your feet and use your knees for edging the skis.
When skiing on steeper terrain, finishing your turns will help you control your speed. A good way to get the correct angulation is to plant your pole as far down the hill as possible.
It’s important to make all your movements as smooth as possible when you’re skiing on ice. Try to edge gradually and early but, if you do slide, make sure you travel downhill with the skis and try to avoid falling into the hill.