Ski Tips #001 - Powder Skiing
Well there's definitely been no shortage of powder snow so far this winter. Big White is Canada's home of Okanagan Champagne Powder after all so I suppose it's to be expected! How are you doing skiing in it? Do you find it a struggle to get going? Does it feel heavy and tough to turn in? Are you tumbling every few turns leaving you in a sweaty mess at the end of the run? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions it might be because you're missing some flow and rhythm in your skiing.
You've probably seen it in ski movies, that skier linking effortless turns down a great wide open powder slope. They look so fluid and smooth, almost like they aren't touching the ground at all. That's flow and rhythm. It's a lot easier than you may think to create that feeling; you can get it from a simple adjustment in the "shape" of your turn. So, what creates turn shape? It's decided largely in part to where your feel the "heavy" spot in your turn. Can you imagine the feeling now as you read this? Where do you feel the "weight" in your turn? I bet it's at the end. When you feel that weight or "heavy" spot at the end of the turn what that basically does is put the brakes on, it stops the flow down the slope so the shape of your turn goes kind of flat towards the end instead of round. Round equals flow and rhythm, flat equals slow and grabby, no rhythm.
Next time you're out in the powder (should be any day now the way things are with the snow conditions these days!) give this a try. Instead of skiing from the end of one turn to the end of the next try and ski from the middle of one turn to the middle of the next. What you'll feel is the "heavy" spot right in the centre of the arc or in what's known as the fall line. What you'll be left with is a turn shape that is round at the end instead of flat and by doing this you'll create a smooth flow from one turn to the next. That will allow you to feel rhythm in your skiing that's what lets your skis float through the snow, almost effortlessly.
Give that one a try, I'm sure it'll work for you. For help with powder skiing and snowboarding and much more spend a little time with one of the Pro's from Big White Ski & Board School, you'll be glad you did!
Josh Foster - Director of Snow Sports
Big White Ski Resort