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Need some pointers

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
No surprise here but Im another newb! I have some questions on technique and skis. Im 5'9" and weigh ~162lbs. That being said I'm wondering what size skis to purchase?? Right now I have 185cm long (NOT shaped/parabolic) straight skis from the 80's. I've been told its a lot easier to learn on shaped skis so I've been looking into getting a used set to learn on. Im not really sure what length to get though. A couple charts I found online made me think 155-160cm shaped skis would be best to learn on based on my height and weight. I know there are different kinds of flexes that would affect my choice. Im never going to be an expert, probably just a recreational skier that goes 1-2 times a year. Im guessing that would change what kind of ski I should buy.

Now onto my awful technique. I would be happy just to get to the point where I can go down all the average blue slops and the ocassional black slope when I get better. Im looking for some pointers on how I should go about making a long sweeping turns and shorter ones like carving. Ive only been skiiing once so far so keep that in mind. A friend tried to help me and he said to put my weight on the inside blade of the outside foot. So if Im making a left turn I put the weight on my right foot on the inside blade and use that to turn, correct? He also said to use my upper body to help make turns by twisting in that direction. All I know is I rather sucked at this with him helping me. I made some decent wide left turns but I struggled going right for some reason. I realize this thread is somewhat pathetic and uneducated but I really dont know what Im doing. Some friends are having a skiing party next weekend so Im trying to get some clue of how to tackle this turning and carving business w/out getting lessons because I really dont have time to get one before then. Anyway, any expertise or suggestions would be very helpful. Thank you in advance!

post #2 of 5


You are now in the cult.

The journey of a 1,000 miles begins with the first step and by posting, you have already accomplished much. You have overcome your fear.

Everyone who skis started right where you are.

I will attempt to paraphrase much of what I've read here.

Good boots matter more than good skis.

Set reasonable goals. If you ski one or two times a year, your progress will reflect that. If you want to improve your skiing a lot, then plan to ski more.

Do not go too far out of your comfort range. It is great to test your limits and you should. But if you want to work on specific skiing drills, eliminate the variable of threatening terrain. Dial in the exercise and incorporate it into your skiing and then try it on more challenging terrain.

Do not worry about failures/setbacks. Learning only comes through effort and mistakes.

Have fun.

I would try to ski on two feet instead of one and limit your upper body movements as much as possible.

The 150 to 160 cm length seems appropriate. Look for a recreational ski with a 'forgiving' flex.
post #3 of 5
Carving by next weekend... not likely. If you have only skied once, any shaped ski at about 165cm +/- 5cm should suffice. I ski on 160cm and I'm 5'9" 140lbs. An Intermediate ski would work, You don't want something too noodley...

As far as turning goes... (On shaped skis) As I explain to the kids, form a nice wedge, even balance (your edges should be smearing the snow like butter, not digging into it.. If you have one side smearing and one side leaving a deep groove, you aren't balanced).. Once you are in good balance with a proper athletic stance (knees bent, torso upright, head up), think of your skis in the wedge as an arrow.. you want to point the arrow where you want to go. You should be able to turn that way.. If you feel like your skis are grabbing, it's likely a balance issue.

If the turn happens comfortably, try making the turn sharper and sharper... Once you can make a sharp turn moving back across the hill (less than 6 feet between path across hill before turn and path across hill after turn), your next goal is to start matching your skis... When you are moving across the hill, have your skis parallel as long as possible, and only 'wedge' to make the turn...

That's about how far a beginner makes it in one day. Fastest I've seen someone pick up carving is in 10 days on the snow, and that is with a lesson every day.
post #4 of 5
Hi Dan, and welcome to Epic!

First of all, with regards to skis. Get boots first, and do not worry about skis right now. You would quickly outgrow any skis you purchase now. You might think that you'll only go skiing a few times a year, but this sport has a funny way of turning people into addicts. Yes, the shaped / parabolic ones are infinitely easier to learn on then the old "straight" ones were.

As for your technique. Yes, there is a fair amount of one-foot balance that occurs while skiing. Just how much is a subject of endless debate, but I'd suggest not worrying too much about where your weight falls while you ski until you've achieved a certain level of competency.

He also said to use my upper body to help make turns by twisting in that direction
A lot of people do ski that way, and you can survive doing that on the easiest of terrain. But efficient skiing movements start at the feet and the rest of your body automatically compensate. I'd really suggest taking a lesson at the ski school of where you're going. I'm sure your friends mean well, but you're at a stage where you really need some professional help. Learn some basics correctly!
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies thus far, I didnt put much weight in what my friend was saying because he's not a good teacher. Thats all I can say about him while being nice.

I may have misused the term carving. I didnt necessarily mean carving like most of you do, Im saying more like faster sharper turns. I dont expect to carve like the people I see on TV. I suck and I can admit that much so any level of improvement will make my day hehe. I dont expect to be great at this, just do well enough to not kill myself or someone else!

I would like to take a lesson but unfortunately this place is quite a drive and I wont be able to get there before this little outting happens. Keep the tips coming, I could use all the help in the world!!
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