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Learning How to Freestyle Ski

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
 I've never skied but am going to this Spring Break. During it I will also be visiting the college that I most likely will go to: UC Boulder. I hope to learn the basic ropes of skiing this Spring Break. But, if I do enjoy it (I can almost guarantee I will,) I would get a season pass during my schooling at UC Boulder and go skiing every chance I get. After I become a competent skier (which is by no means a given,) I'd like to get into freestyle skiing. Naturally, I've always been attracted to speed and big jumps - most likely from that Y chromosome. Dunking a basketball is incredible and skiing jumps are magnitudes greater than a 35" inch jump. Mainly, how would one go about learning to freestyle ski given that they are already proficient skiers? As someone who knows almost nothing about skiing, I think I could be a proficient skier after a year or so. I wont be working a job at college during the school year, so, If I like it, I could ski around 75 - 125 days(if that isn't realistic, please tell me so,) depending on my dedication level. I pick things up very quickly, but skiing may not be the case. I'll have to see. Tell me what you think. 
post #2 of 18
 you can start rollerblading on ramps now alot of it transfers over.
post #3 of 18
 Depends on what your definition of "proficient" is.  If you ski 100 days in a season then you definitely will be a competent skier in the sense that you will be able to get down most slopes reasonably well but not necessarily very quickly or with much finesse.

Skiing is a VERY technical sport that takes many hours to master. For example- I have been skiing since I was 5, i'm now 20. Since I have started skiing I have regularly skied around 20 days each season. This year i'm ski bumming in the rockies and have skied 40 days so far this season. Am I a good skier? yes, but I still feel very outclassed by locals that have been skiing 100 day seasons since the age of 4. My point with all this is that you have to go into it with patients, if you go in expecting to be skilled after one season you are going to end up disappointed and frustrated.

A few tips I have for learning freestyle-

1- Ski with competent skiers that enjoy the park,  If you ski with skiers who avoid the park your progression is definitely going to be slowed.

2- Become reasonably competent on skis BEFORE you try to go off jumps, ski switch etc. Nothing worse than someone who can barely ski forwards trying to ski backwards, same goes with jumps. I definitely recommend trying small hits as soon as you can but just make sure you can actually link a few turns down the hill first. 

3- The first things to learn would be 
                               - Small hits (straight airs)
                               - Skiing Switch 
                               - Bigger Airs(15-35')
                               - 360s and 180s

4- Once you can do 360s and 180s off of 15-30' jumps then a freestyle camp would probably be a big help, although I have never been so it's just a thought... 

The other thing to consider is how comfortable you are in the air and spinning. I know some very good skiers who couldn't hit a jump for the life of them. I also know some guys who can spin cork 720s but can barely ski steep pitches. Being good in the park is largely a mental game, you must be comfortable with the weightless feeling. If you have done any similar sports like BMX or slope style biking, wake boarding,  motocross, gymnastics, etc. then you are going to pick it up much faster. It translates a lot more than you would imagine. 

70 days + is very demanding on the body unless you ski like an old man but there's no reason(skiing wise, not sure about time and school...) you can't ski 70+ days, just get into the gym and start doing squats, deadlifts, lunges etc. Having strong legs is vital to absorbing big impacts when jumps go bad.

There is also a very good wiki on this site about how to properly pop off of a jump, check it out.

Good luck.

 



   
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
 Awesome man. Thanks for the tips, they are a big help and give me something to look forward to.
post #5 of 18
 When you say freestyle do you mean moguls or park?

Learn how to ski moguls. Right now I am a cocky thugged out teenager, I will admit it. I know though that one day I am going to be like 30 and old and not able to ski park really anymore. Learning how to ski bumps is gonna ensure that you can shred until the day that you die / retire to year round golfing. It will also help you kill it in the park while you are young.

As for jumping, the most important thing you need to learn is your pop. Do it just like you would in basketball. You need to time it right, so that you are jumping up as the jump is giving you maximum kick. Make sure you are forwards and looking out. A solid pop is the foundation for just about any trick. Smaller, steeper jumps are way better to learn this on because you really notice if you are doing it wrong. Flat jumps are easier but don't help you get this pop down as well. Once you got that take-off basically any trick is like doing it on a trampoline, it's totaly about patience. 
post #6 of 18
 Skiing 75 + days while going to college is unrealistic.  Either you will find that you can't ski anywhere as much as you thought you could, or you'll flunk out.  I've never been there, but from what I've heard, Boulder is not all that close to skiing, so that's a problem too.

If you're going to school to get away from home and you don't care about studying, rethink what you're doing.  When you go to school, go to school.  If you want to ski every day in a season, bum for the year.  Don't try to do both.

You can ski during breaks and on weekends from time to time while going to school.  I certainly did and got in lots of on snow days as well as getting a degree.  I probably skied 30 days or so each year I was in college, but studies took first position.
post #7 of 18
Excellent advice, Posaune--
Ahh, you're in Bellingham.  My son dropped out of WWU but still lives there, working.  I've been trying to convince him to become a ski bum (I'm willing to pay for it...!) but the kid just insists on being responsible and independent!!!
I love your city.
I'm happy my son has chosen to settle there.
And (as a college prof), I completely agree with your advice--but I get to ski bum on my off days!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

 Skiing 75 + days while going to college is unrealistic.  Either you will find that you can't ski anywhere as much as you thought you could, or you'll flunk out.  I've never been there, but from what I've heard, Boulder is not all that close to skiing, so that's a problem too.

If you're going to school to get away from home and you don't care about studying, rethink what you're doing.  When you go to school, go to school.  If you want to ski every day in a season, bum for the year.  Don't try to do both.

You can ski during breaks and on weekends from time to time while going to school.  I certainly did and got in lots of on snow days as well as getting a degree.  I probably skied 30 days or so each year I was in college, but studies took first position.
post #8 of 18
Trampoline
BMX and mountain biking
Cross country running, down hill, leap off drops.
Water skiing and wakeboarding

Oh and umm learinng to ski really well helps
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the advice. As for concentration on schooling, I'm all over it. I do also understand that high school and college are vastly different in terms of free time. In terms of free time, college>high school. I think I will have more than enough time to ski at least two or three times per week, so maybe my original estimate was a wee bit off. I look forward to getting better(just got done skiing in Breck for first time ever,) and I appreciate everyones' solid advice.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lluttrell View Post

 I know though that one day I am going to be like 30 and old and not able to ski park really anymore.

Believe it or not, old people (30 year-olds) can still flex and absorb landings. Members of my methuselah society ski club (made of mostly 35-60 year-olds) still do jumps in the park and pipe. Not rails, as they're for the young whippersnappers. But jumps and pipe, yes. 

I agree that the OP would be doing himself a favour by getting into moguls if he refines his technique. Plus he could have a real blast! (Old people can do moguls too. Including really ancient people. Like, in their 40s!)
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
I look into getting regular downhill skiing and moguls to a solid point before attempting freestyle. That seems like the best idea to be a truly all-around skier.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post


Believe it or not, old people (30 year-olds) can still flex and absorb landings. Members of my methuselah society ski club (made of mostly 35-60 year-olds) still do jumps in the park and pipe. Not rails, as they're for the young whippersnappers. But jumps and pipe, yes. 

I agree that the OP would be doing himself a favour by getting into moguls if he refines his technique. Plus he could have a real blast! (Old people can do moguls too. Including really ancient people. Like, in their 40s!)

That's cool, by the time I am 30 though I don't think I will be learning any new big tricks, most likely just trying to maintain them. At some point the park jumps will get boring, and I will be glad I can make good turns (thanks to mogul skiing)
post #13 of 18
I had something in my chest/ribs pop sucking up a landing in the park Saturday.  I didn't go down, and I hit the same jump (and others) three more times that day.  But, I am in some pain this week.  I work out.  I stretch, but at 45 my bones and cartilage are more brittle than they used to be.  Am I going back in there next season?? Hell ya!

Go for the heli.  I'd do one again of someone dared me to and the jump was easy.  I suspect I'll need to dust that trick off when my kids begin to hit features.  For now I'm safe because they are still learning to negotiate greens.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
 That's depressing man. Retire to year round golf.....that's a prospect I can't stomach. Thanks for the tips though. I'm gonna work on moguls and regular downhill skiing before I even attempt to get fancy with tricks and stuff. Thanks again. 
post #15 of 18
Huckle!  Welcome with open arms!  Definitely skiing alot will help your cause.  It will take a little time to get to where you need to be, but there is an AWESOME facility at Copper Mountain called WOODWARD.  It's an indoor Skateboarding/trampoline/tumbling/ski-jump mecca and can increase your learning curve by about a million.  Plus it's a year-round joint, so there doesn't even have to be snow to get cracking!  Check it out at woodwardatcopper.com and see what you think.  If you are serious about getting into freestyle (rookie or not) this would be the fastest, safest way to do it. 
Spag
PS.  You will have to be at least a competent skier/slider to make this work.  Gain your chops for a season and then start tearing up Woodward.  Good luck!
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

 Thanks for referring that to me. Just checked it out. After I ski regularly for a season or two, that looks like it will be a great way to get better fast. Thanks a ton. 

post #17 of 18

Hello Huckle good to see someone interested in the park. I ski the park myself and like the others said its a mental sport. The hardest part for me is believing i can do it. If you doubt yourself you'll end up falling hard.... Like skispag said Woodward is a great place to go, I've been there myself loved it they have a skatepark great crew of people and everything you need to learn how to ski the park. Plus sometimes you see professionals their like Bobby Brown or Maude Raymond :D. Your going to have to be patient too, its not easy and skiing with a group of people who ride the park can up your self esteem. What I did in the beginning is just watched videos of freestyle skiers I got so pumped that when the ski season came around I just started bucking tricks.... GL and HF :)

post #18 of 18

It's safe to say that if he didn't do it in the 4 years since the post, he's not going to now... nevermind that he hasn't logged on in 2 years.

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