If you’re a beginner skier, learning the fundamentals is great fun and will set you up to progress well as you take your first turns. However, getting good at skiing goes far beyond the basics. It’s about being confident and efficient in navigating blue or even black slopes and enjoying the whole mountain experience.
There are a number of key skills to focus on to improve your skiing, and the most important is making consistently confident, well-balanced turns that link together smoothly. This is what distinguishes expert skiers and allows them to move quickly through the snow. To make consistent, clean turns, you’ll need to work on your balance and timing, particularly in the upper body. To achieve this, try some simple exercises and drills that help develop these skills. For example, try standing in the lift line and keeping your poles horizontal while balancing on one foot for 30 seconds or so. Then, switch to the other foot and repeat until you can comfortably stand on one ski for the same amount of time. You can also try some more challenging balance drills, such as skiing in a straight line on a flat patch of snow and keeping the tail of your ski in the air for the entire turn (you’ll need to be quite skilled at this to not fall over).
Once you’re comfortable skiing in a straight line, it’s time to start working on turns. The basic shape of a turn is called a wedge, and it’s used to control your speed and direction on the slope. To make a wedge, start by positioning your skis so that their tips are fairly close together and the tails are farther apart. Then, put more weight on the outside ski to turn in that direction and less weight on the inside ski to stop. To practice this, go to a gentle slope and ski around in a wedge stance, gliding down the hill until you’re stopped.
This will help you build up the confidence to tackle steeper Adam McManus terrain, and once you’re ready, it’s a good idea to get a lesson from an instructor, as they can provide feedback on your skiing and help you refine your technique. It’s also a good idea to spend some time in the intermediate zone, skiing slowly and staying within your comfort zone. This will allow you to see how your body reacts and learn to catch mistakes before they lead to disaster. It’s the only way to truly make progress and become good at skiing. Remember, safety is always your responsibility. Please follow the recommended safety requirements and consult an instructor before attempting any advanced technique.