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Technique or Gear on Ice

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I'm a level 5 recreational skier... I'm 5'5" 128 lbs and I have 2004 atomic e:series 158's that I really like. I took them out tonight for the first time of the winter. Like usual I was enjoying them, but I found on icy runs I had trouble making smaller tighter turns, I was having trouble turning my inside foot which then would make my outside foot skid a bit, so I couldn't keep my skis parallel on ice. Is this something I can correct by sharpening my edges or should is there something in my technique I can change that will make skiing on ice easier?
post #2 of 3
Sharp edges are absoluely necessary to even begin to ski ice well.

That being said, there's some technique involved too. Skiing on ice is like skiing on groomed except that it is much less forgiving. There are two main problems that are accentuated on ice.

Firstly, forcing your skis will result in a skid and loss of control. The key is to apply gradual pressure to your skis, which will allow your edges to dig in.

Secondly, it is extremely important to have weight somewhat balanced over both skis. If your weight is too much on the outside foot, you will likely end up forcing too much. If your weight is inside, you will probably end up having your outside ski go elsewhere than you would like. You might fall too.

Just remember that on ice, you have less to push against than on snow.

So sharpen your edges and pretend you're skiing on eggs that you don't want to break.
post #3 of 3
Gear certainly helps to a certain degree. Fat powder skis aren't the ideal tool for skiing ice. The various "cross / carver" skis (for instance, the Volkl 4*, 5*, etc. series) work well. As others have mentioned though, any ski without sharp edges is pretty much worthless on ice.

Technique matters to a huge degree. You had mentioned that you were having trouble making shorter turns on ice. IMHO, short turns on ice are extremely difficult to do in a controlled fashion. When I'm skiing ice, I try to be as patient as possible. Rushed moves are a big no-no. As others have said, be delicate.

One other thing: keep in mind that skiing ice is extraordinarly hard to do, even under the best of circumstances. Be easy on yourself.
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