Originally Posted by mikeg19_82
I skied on both packed snow and a thin tracked powder. The snow came down on my 3rd day and I didn't have 100% energy left. Not sure if that could be the reason, but I want to know what it is I'm doing wrong so I can improve
It was weird because I felt more comfortable on the packed snow more than I did after it snowed 6 or 7 inches. After the snow fell, it was tracked so some was flat and some was fluffy, so I felt like I couldn't get a good feel for how to approach it because I felt I couldn't turn on the edges of the skis.After I skied a run in a bowl I felt exhausted. I tried to ski like I did on groomed slopes, but kept losing balance
. I really had to lower my stance and put a lot of pressure on my outside ski to stay up. The skis were controlling me, it felt like they were pulling me down hill. I couldn't stay in control
. It was like my ski was getting slowed down or couldn't cut into the snow or something. Shouldn't it be easier when there is some fresh snow?
Don;t think of this as doing something 'wrong'. Its more a matter of education and progression.
Skiing snow with depth, especially snow of inconsistent texture, depth or consistency is what comes with time, experience and 'feel'.
You've gotten some good tips and some suggestions on equipment. And certainly optimizing equipment for the snow helps a bunch. But people have skied powder and snow deeper than groomer inch or 2 for - over 100 yrs (for sure, maybe longer). On equipment muchmore rudimentary than what we have these days.
So I'll address it from the 'doing' side.
First, there is a basic difference between smooth groomers with some soft cover and snow with some depth. You noted 'turning on edges'. Edges are almost insignificant when skiing IN snow. In fact 'edging'actually causes more issues than it solves.
In snow with depth, you are actually skiing the whole ski plane, not just the edge. When skiing the entire plan, the ski becomes more reactive. By trying to 'edge', you are overworking the ski.
So, more subtle movement from edge to edge is important.
The "skis controlling you", "losing balance" and "feeling exhausted" are all results of you trying to muscle the skis into turning.
In snow of depth you have 2 equally important platforms, each ski. On groomers and hard snow one can almost ignore the 'uphill ski'. Not so in snow of depth. You have to develop a feel for the proper balance or pressure/weight on each ski.
Fore/aft balance is just as critical. Again, all balance issues are rewarded thru subtle understanding/feel and changes as you move from one turn and position to the next.
All this is a matter of time and learning (that learning is your self-learning and developing of 'feel' for the snow).
Feel comes over time and understanding of what needs to happen.
I suggest, to improve, on the next opportunity to ski some snow of depth; you pick a trail that is not too steep, maybe something blue. Work for developing the feel for the effect of moving your weight/pressure for fore to aft. Eventually you'll find that 'centered' feel where the skis just move predictably under you. Also work on developing feel for the weight/pressure for each ski during the turn progression. We can talk about 60/40 or 55/45 or 65/35; but that all doesn;t mean a thing. This is purely a 'sense' thing which you'll get as you do it. There'll be that magic point when all of a sudden, it just feels right and everything works. Then you'll struggle to get that feeling back.
Relax, don;t over edge. Relax is a key operative. When it gets frustrating, take a quick breather. Look around, marvel at the winter, feel good. Try again
Pick an easy, open trail, start with ligh almost imperceptible 'edge' changes, light rolls from one side to the next. Very shallow, very wide radius turns at more than slow speeds. Speeds which are comfortable but much faster than you;d do on a steeper slope. Get the feel for gentle turns.
Try not to traverse. Try to move smoothly from one turn into the next. Better to make shallow linked turns rather than sharper turns with traverses in between.
Then slowly, as you 'feel' it all is nicely working, tip over more in each turn and increase the amount of turn and quickness from turn to turn.
Feel and find the fore/aft balance point for your skis.
This could take a whole day of 'practice' to even start feeling this. And it could much longer to really get the feel.
Skiing snow of depth is truly the complete package, the zen of everything you do well and not so well.
Watch others who move effortlessly thru the environment. There's much to be learned from the seeing. Try to determine what it is that allows them to do it effortlessly. Quiet upperbody? Hands comfortably in front? Shoulders, head and chest facing down the fall-line? what else?
It usually doesn't come like a light switch. It comes first in 3 or 4 incredible, fun turns. Then maybe 1/2 a run.
When it happens on a run, don;t be afraid to go back and do the same thing again, and again. Repetition works wonders.
Skiing, like all things worth doing, is about learning.
If you approach each run, each turn with the mentality of a student, you'll feel the thrill of each new thing.
I've been lucky to have 45 yrs to learn skiing, and every day I go out I learn something new.
Its a school I hope never to graduate from.