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I can't ski in powder....help

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well I have skiied on crappy groomed midwest blues and blacks for a year now with perfect parallel form(im sure you guys could pick apart something but it's not the point). When I try to ski in powder, about above ankle to knee deep I cannot initiate turns very good at all, I end up goin to fast because I go straight but when I try to turn they are very sloppy or I fall down. On groomed terrain I seem to put most if not all my weight on my outside ski while turning. This seems impossible without falling over in powder. Also the powder I was skiing on was really heavy sticky snow because it was really warm out. Don't know if this will make it much worse? Just a few basic tips to ski in powder would be nice. Or get advanced I dont really care just something! Thanks.
post #2 of 5
Oz "powder" is really heavy and often quite deep too. I struggled for years in it. Best advice to get me started was "just head down the slope, and pretend to turn". Just do little turns, not real speed control turns. Get a rythem going. Then you'll find the amplitude increases, and you're turning. Trick is to keep it going, keep the turns going with some kind of rythem, never pause and shop for a turn. When (not if!) you lose your balance, keep turning! Make that next turn, and the next one too. Don't put too much muscle into it, and be slightly patient, especially at the start when you're feeling your way.
Make sure both feet are committed to each turn, you can't hedge your bets in deep fresh. Balance is key, and turning will help you to regain your balance in each turn.
I now LOVE all fresh soft snow. I've learned some more sophisticated techniques since that one, but it got me confident enough in that stuff to try the new ways, and to enjoy it always.
post #3 of 5
To ski powder well you need the skills that allow you to roll the skis on edge together and have the tails follow the tips through the snow. Sort of like riding a toboggan. You cannot skid the tails to turn in powder. There's just too much resistance preventing them from sliding sideways.

In addition, you need to balance your weight over both skis rather than concentrating it on just the outside ski of the turn.

Finally, you need the patience to let a turn develop from the way you set the skis up for it. You cannot make a quick turn like on groomed slopes, and the tensions you create within yourself trying to make quick skidded turns reduce your capacity to balance on both skis.

If circumstances permit, the best way to introduce yourself to skiing powder is to find some at the sides of groomed slopes and make turns in and out of it from the groomed. Then make turns in the powder, but have the groomed to "escape" to occasionally. This latter approach lets you relax a bit, which is helpful to balance.

Of course, heavy, wet powder is among the most difficult versions to ski.
post #4 of 5
Many people seem to think that sitting back helps. The key to powder skiing is to stay centered.

I also like to get a tempo going. Find a place where your turn doesn't matter ie: where you won't hit something if your turn fails. Forcing a turn does not work well in powder. Avoid staying in the turn too long or riding the the end of the turn. Link the turns with tempo. Anticipate the next turn.

Its ok to not finish the turn when you are learning.

Powder skiing is where its at! It opens the whole mt up. In the East, when everyone is setting their edge on that solid snow, you will be finding the obscure powder and rippin it up!

Stay with it mon.
post #5 of 5
For advice on skiing powder (and crud), check out the article on the PSIA Web site (www.psia.org) in the TPS Archives "Keeping Your Cool In Cruddy Conditions", by Max Lundberg. Max spent many years at Alta; he knows how to do it.
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