The Best Place to Stand

Skiing is a pretty dynamic sport, the snow conditions change throughout the day, the slope varies from run to run and the weather is also a pretty big factor that you often need to adjust to.  However, even with all these inconsistent elements there’s one consistent feeling that you can try to create that will help you deal with whatever the mountain throws at you.  Simply put, it’s standing in the middle of your downhill ski.

When you make a turn, the ski that’s on the uphill side of the turn is referred to as the “uphill ski” or inside ski.  If you’re out of balance this is where you can generally find yourself, leaning up the hill and having trouble getting any edge grip.  Where you need to be balanced is somewhat counter intuitive, that’s on the downhill side of the turn.  Think about it, hundreds if not thousands of years of human evolution tells us that if there’s something you don’t like in one direction your natural response is to go the other way.  You could also look at it this way, in most cases if we want to slow something down we pull back, like pulling back on the reigns of a horse for example.  The problem is, when you do this on a pair of skis you actually get going faster!  Moving towards the downhill ski can be a bit intimidating if the slope is steep, bumpy or icy but believe it or not, by moving that way you’ll be in much better balance.

Here’s a simple way to make sure you’re standing in the middle of the downhill ski.  Think of what you would do if you were making a fast turn on a bicycle.  Wouldn’t you lift the pedal on the inside of the turn up and stand balancing with most of your weight on the outside pedal?  You would if you want to keep the bike upright and not have the inside pedal hit the ground!  Try to create that same feeling as you make a ski turn, the inside or uphill ski is light and the outside or downhill ski is what you balance against.  Then from there all you need to do is add a little bit of rhythm, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot…

I hope that one works for you!  For help in feeling better balance on your skis and a whole lot more stop by the Big White Ski & Board School and book some time with a pro, they’ll help you make the most of your day on the mountain!

Josh Foster
Director of Snow Sports
Big White Ski Resort

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