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The awesome switch back to skiing and my humble tips for beginners like myself.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Ive been reading so much information on this forum that it has inspired me to pursue skiing again. I actually learned how to ski when I was about 15, switched over to snowboarding for awhile, until just recently (im 23). To my surprise, i realized i loved skiing more. Going through the learning process again I just wanted to say that it was through this forums guidance and mentoring that have taught me so much. I hope I could give some of my personal tips on learning how to ski. (I believe Im a level 3.5?)

 

1. Probably the most basic thing Ive learned throughout my experience in the snow is to be properly dressed. Keeping warm keeps one focused on the technique at hand and not the bitter cold.

 

2. Never be afraid to take lessons. Youtube is great, but a pro watching you is most likely better.

 

3. When in doubt, ski with buddies. It makes it more enjoyable and laughing about the day makes learning pains hurt less.

 

4. Be patient as you would be learning some entirely new. I think its better to just take it nice and easy. Everything else will soon follow with diligence and love of the sport. I consider myself to have close to nil athletic ability. Poor flexibility, poor muscular strength, and poor cardiovascular capabilities. But, through slow and moderate ski seasons, I have progressed to a point I never though I could reach.

 

5. This one is pretty obvious if you've been patient and kind enough to read my post, but I often read this forum for new information everyday. Ive learned so much here in one session than what ive learned in 2-3 days of skiing. The mature and mentoring personalities of the people here are awesome.

 

Thank You for reading my post. I hope to ski with you in the Tahoe/Reno area in CA. (I wear the noisy bright yellow pants.)

 

Please take care of me, i'll be under ur guidance.

 

-Daekoski

post #2 of 6

Remember that people aren't waiting to laugh at you for falling or not being perfect.  Many of them are insecure about THEIR skiing and how THEY will look.

 

Commit to getting better.  Read books about skiing and use the DVDs.  They will provide instruction that would cost thousands.  And take a couple of lessons.

 

Practice, Practice, Practice.

post #3 of 6

Daekoski,

 

welcome to Epicski!  It's always great to hear from passionate new (or returning) skiers.  Excellent points all around...


Edited by Matthias99 - 12/15/10 at 12:43pm
post #4 of 6

Remember, in skiing there is no heel side turns.  All turns are toe side.

 

There are some things we do in skiing that is opposite of just about everything else we do.  We must turn our hips & shoulders left to turn right (and vice versa).  We must lean out to the turn, not bank back from it (opposite from cycling, etc.).  We must keep our weight on the ball of the foot on the outside of the turn...left ball of the foot when turning right, etc.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Remember, in skiing there is no heel side turns. All turns are toe side.

Interesting way to put it, SSG--but I'd argue that we don't do toe-side turns either. Since snowboarders move essentially sideways, on one edge, they stand on their toes, on the other they stand on their heels. On skis, we move forward (or backward), so when on edge, we stand on the sides of our feet. I get what you're suggesting, I think--that we don't generally balance entirely on our heels like snowboarders, and that skiing "in the back seat" is arguably a perennial problem in skiing. But we don't generally balance entirely on our toes either, of course (or even entirely on the balls of our feet).

I agree that there are new "rotary skills" and movements that we must perfect in skiing, as you suggest ("we must turn our hips and shoulders"), and that are somewhat unique to skiing. For clarity, and to put the emphasis in the right place, I prefer to describe it as that we must make certain that our feet point the direction we want to go, turning left and right in the hip sockets beneath the pelvis and upper body like the front wheels of a car steering beneath the chassis (although I do agree that sometimes the upper body does "counter-rotate" the other direction).

And it's not so much that we don't lean into a turn like on a bicycle--we certainly do, and for the same reason (balance). But it is a normal tendency and often an error, as you suggest, to initiate this move with the upper body. For what it's worth, many cyclists often "angulate" much like skiers--leaning the bicycle and the lower body into the turn as the upper body remains more upright or even tips outward a bit. Champion cyclist Davis Phinney, who is also an excellent skier (now, unfortunately, battling Parkinson's disease), has long advocated, coached, and written about this movement.

Skiing is about developing precise, accurate, deliberate, and purposeful movements of the feet and legs ("lower body"), while developing the discipline of the upper body that frees the lower body to do these things. Most other things in life are, indeed, the opposite: we do whatever we want with our hands, arms, and upper body, while the feet and legs tip, twist, and move to compensate. In skiing, we don't have the freedom to move our upper bodies casually, and the more discipline we develop there, the more freedom we have with our feet, and the more precision and control we give to our skis.

Welcome to EpicSki, Daekoski! You'll find lots of advice here, as you have discovered. My advice is don't believe anything you read or hear--but don't doubt or immediately discount it either. Instead, try everything, challenge every bit of information by seeking to understand it and exploring it on the snow. Find what works for you. Everything you do will build important skills, but not everything works all the time, in every situation. Find a good instructor and take lessons regularly. But even there--challenge and experiment and explore. It's about skill--not "right answers"!

Best regards,
Bob
post #6 of 6

Thanks for sharing your experiences!

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