It can be a daunting experience if you’ve never skied before. It can be as daunting as learning to ride a bicycle or a horse or drive a car. But once you get to grips with it, it can be a liberating experience and fun. Mastering skiing is something you accomplish through repetition. It seems like an impossible task to learn the slopes, including acquiring a whole new vocabulary that goes with this activity. This article will break down how to ski in the ensuing paragraphs.
The first step involves understanding the skis. They’ve a tip and tail. Your feet are secured to the skis by the tail and heel binding. The skis have a brake. If you tumble, the brakes will pop down and stop the skis to prevent you sliding downhill. The base of the skis are made of plastic. The base slides over the snow, allowing you to slide down the slope. The sides of the skis have metal edges. Whenever anyone informs you to use the edge, they’re referring to those metal bits. Simply, tip your skis to the side and use the edges.
Heel Binding Positions
The heel binding has two positions. These are open and closed. When you’re in the skis, these will be closed. To get yourself out, you’ve to place the ski stick in the hole in the back, push down firmly and lift your heel out. If you tumble, the heel binding will remain closed. You’ll need to push it down and open the binding before you are ready to go again.
Getting A Feel Of The Skis
Find yourself a nice flat spot on the snow. Don’t lift them up but slide them forward one by one and walk backwards a few times. Spend a few minutes getting used to the feeling of the skis. Don’t try to walk up the hill in the skis because you will slide backwards and look like Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk. You need to turn sideways and get your skis to face across the hill. Gently use your knees and ankles to roll the skis onto their edges and start to step up the slope sideways.
From the top of the slope, it’s time to slide down. Use the poles for balance. Step onto the ground, keep your skis parallel and feet apart. Keep your head up and look where you’re going. It’s important to keep your head up because once you look down you will lose your balance. Check the slope and gently start to slide, using the poles to push a couple of times. Stand as normally as you can while you slide down. Use a gentle slope with a flat part at the bottom or slight uphill so that you don’t feel like you’re on a runaway train.
Avoid sticking the poles into the ground to come to a standstill. Literally stand still and let the skis get on with it. If you’re doing this without the poles, it doesn’t matter; relax and the let slope naturally slow you down till you stop.
The Snow Plough
The next stage involves what is called the snow plough. This involves pushing the heels of the skis outwards creating a V-shape. That creates friction and helps you to slow down. The best way to start is by using your friend to pull you along using the poles along a flat surface. Slide for a few meters and then gently push both skis out wider and wider. It’s important to keep them equal as they open up. Look your friend in the eye to avoid losing balance as your friend pulls you along. Repeat the process on the flats until you are comfortable with the snow plough. Once you’re ready you can hit the slopes.
Remember The Basics
The same rules apply when you’re on the slope. Remember the basics. Look ahead and keep your arms in front of you and away from your body. Relax and pick up momentum. Let yourself go as you slide down the slope. Push the backs of the skis wider as you go down the slope, pushing the backs of the skis slightly wider until you stop. This should be done gradually and shouldn’t be rushed. If the poles get in the way and hinder you, throw them to the side and continue without. Place your hands onto the thighs and keep the upper body nice and calm. Slide down and relax as you slide down. Push the heels of the skis apart, creating a V-shape until you stop.
Snow Plough Turn Or Changing Direction
Once you’ve mastered the snow plough and can control the speed, you can look at changing direction in what is known as the snow plough turn. This involves sliding down the slope. Make sure you push into a slow plough. Pick up a bit of speed and then slightly push more with your right leg and gently change direction, turning to the left. Repeat the process again using your left leg to change direction. Keep practising until you’re comfortable.
Linking The Turns
The last phase involves linking the turns. Don’t think of it as a massive change of direction. Slide down the slope. Turn to the right and straighten up. Spend a moment facing down the hill before you push out the back of the left ski to change direction again. The changes should be gradual. When you look at your tracks, they should be an S-Shape rather than a zigzag. Keep practising until you’re comfortable and competent. That is how you ski until you’re ready to move onto the next stage and steeper slopes.