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Tips for Skiing Better

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've been skiing about 3 days a season for the last 8 years and really want to improve my skiing before I get too old or set in bad habits (I'm only in my early 20s now). I already did my 3 days this year and I found my back was very sore after, but not my legs.

 

About my skiing ability: I can ski any level of groomed slope, moguls intimidate me (I can get through moguls if I plan my route and do about 4 or so then stop and plan again). I love glades, but I have some trouble making sharp turns and controlling my speed on steeper sections.

 

What I would like to improve:

 

Speed control - Although I can ski all levels of groomed trails, I feel that on double blacks (and some blacks) I need to make overly wide turns to control my speed. Is it a problem of posture, weight, balance?

 

Turning - I have trouble making sharp turns without sort of jumping into it. Is it possible to do it some other way?

 

Moguls - Any advice on how to control speed? I understand the basics of moguls (legs back on the top, make turns in the depression, etc), but when I try to put it into practice I usually lose control. 

 

Any other bits of advice would be great. Thanks.

post #2 of 13

hey, you got a ton of questions.  There's no way you're going to pick up and improve all the skills in 1 day.

 

Take a lesson?


Or, if you want to go it alone, go to youtube and start watching skiing lesson videos (or borrow a book from the library).  Every time you go skiing bring a list of drills you've watched to practice.  

But don't think you can pull off too much in one day though, you're going to forget.

 

There's also an instruction subforum where you can post more specific questions.

post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by flaha4 View Post

 

Any other bits of advice would be great. Thanks.

 

Ski more. It takes me about 5 days each year to get my form dialed back in to be reasonably close to what it was the season before, and that's with fully understanding how the skis are supposed to work.

 

If you want to make the most of your ski days, take a few lessons.

 

Also, how you describe skiing moguls is totally  wrong. Skiing backseat doesn't work, and following the trough is going to wreck you. Face your upper body down the fall line, get your weight forward instead of back, initiate your turn either on the top or high up on the mogul where the tip and tails of the ski are free to pivot, THEN drop into the trough to bounce up on the next mogul to pivot the next turn.

 

This is the first video I picked up on a quick search, but note that this guys skis spend zero time at the bottom of the trough.  You certainly don't want to attempt a zipper line at your level, but the principle is the same- get out of the trough!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdgtAT49S1k

post #4 of 13

Flaha4, you say you ski 3 days per season for 8 seasons.  That equals 24 days on snow so far.  I get it that you love skiing (most of the folks on this forum do too), and sense that you have a natural knack for picking up the athletic skills needed to get around on all kinds of terrain (most of the people on this forum feel this, too).

 

However, skiing well isn't as easy as you think.  Many people ski 20+ days per season and have taken lessons during each of those seasons for 15 years or more and still find they have difficulty doing the things you'd like this internet forum to help you do.   A few tips communicated with words over a forum just won't do the trick.  You need to ski more often per season, and take lessons when you want to improve.  An instructor can show you what to do.  It's so much better to be shown, then watched as you try, then get some feedback on how you're doing, and shown again.  That process is so much better than reading something in words without pictures or even video.


Even worse is just figuring it out on your own.  Often that produces awful solutions that are short-term fixes but dead ends for improvement.  These bad habits will be stubbornly hard to purge once embedded in your muscle memory. 

 

If you want to understand how to control your speed, make sharp turns, and get through the moguls with delight, take three private lessons, spaced out over a season so you can practice whatever your instructor showed you multiple days after each lesson.

 

Skiing is an intoxicating way of life.  Jump in now while you're young!  

post #5 of 13

What LF said. 3 days of skiing a year just plain isn't enough. Conventional wisdom is that it takes ten thousand repetitions of something to ingrain it into muscle memory. And that's each individual skill. Advancing your entire ski form will take hundreds of thousands of turns, far more than you could ever get in three days a year. If you want to improve, you need to be skiing at least 20 days a year. 30 is better, 40 better than that. For a truly dedicated skier, 50 plus a season is always a goal.

post #6 of 13

I agree. You need more skiing days. And make them count. I generally ski from 10-20 days a year and that isn't enough. Also, its not just the ski days but the hours you put in. Most days I ski from 15k-20k vertical feet but I have racked up to 35k vert ft on one day. Its also very important to get some instruction and use the right equipment.

post #7 of 13

As others have said, you are not going to improve skiing 3 days a season.  You need to ski something like 20-30 days to really improve.  

post #8 of 13

You probably don't want to hear this, but repeating the same mistakes ("Ski more.") only ingrains the bad habits you already heave,  It isn't practice that make perfect, it's perfect practice.  Doing it any other way usually ensures you will eventually be able to survive a mountain, not ski it.  Find a good professional coach/instructor, or take a series of lessons to at least get the fundamentals before you ingrain the wrong stuff.  Good luck!

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by flaha4 View Post

I've been skiing about 3 days a season for the last 8 years and really want to improve my skiing before I get too old or set in bad habits (I'm only in my early 20s now). I already did my 3 days this year and I found my back was very sore after, but not my legs.

 

About my skiing ability: I can ski any level of groomed slope, moguls intimidate me (I can get through moguls if I plan my route and do about 4 or so then stop and plan again). I love glades, but I have some trouble making sharp turns and controlling my speed on steeper sections.

 

. . .

 

Can you do the drill in the video at the start of this thread in Ski Instruction?

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/117042/my-turn-shape-is-better-when-i-lift-the-inside-ski-what-should-i-do-video

 

There is a big difference in skiing down any groomed slope and skiing with proper technique s-l-o-w-l-y down even any blue slope.  At your age, skiing 10 days a season is enough to improve IF you start with a few lessons AND you learn a few drills to practice on other ski days.  During early and late season, group lessons can be a great deal because they can end up a semi-private or even private because fewer people are thinking about lessons.  The advantage of learning a drill from an instructor instead of a vid is that you get direct feedback to make sure you know how to do it correctly.

post #10 of 13

RIght; what marznc said.  

You can't see yourself; you need a trained eye to tell you if you are doing it right.  Thus the need for an instructor.  It's amazing how off our self-perceptions can be when learning to ski.  

post #11 of 13

3 days is a warm up.  IMO you can't really make any notable progress until you're at least skiing 10 days per season, at a minimum.

post #12 of 13

I started skiing late in life, almost 40.  I'm 66 and ski as many as 100 days a year in good years.  My biggest break throughs in improvement came after three or four continuous days of working on the same technique.  I was very athletic when I was younger and am pretty good for my age.  So my advice is to put as many days together as you can. Get an instructor to show you one new thing and then work on it as much as you can and then move on to the next thing..  The results, when they come will be most gratifying and will lead to further skiing at a higher level.  Good luck.

post #13 of 13

Well as an old time skier I can also say ski more but to get the most in the least amount of time get someone to video you skiing. Watch yourself in contrast to someone wwho is better. It is also good to ski with someone who is better as they will challenge you to get better. The biggest mistake I note is upper body position or upper body movement, and over exaggerated movements. Skiing is mostly from th ewaist down. If you can watch yourself and correct the mistakes you can get more out of time on the snow. It also helps to be in good physical condition.

I don't rely on skiing for better conditioning, I rely on conditioning to ski better. 

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