by Frank V. Persall
The ground rule of skiing is maintaining the proper ski stance; this is the most important thing to remember while having a fun and adventurous time on the snowy slopes. The speed with which you're moving down the slopes and the direction of where you are heading keep on changing while skiing. Thus, maintaining the correct body position is crucial to adapt the technique swiftly and carefully to current conditions.
Adapting and then maintaining the right stance for skiing takes a lot of time and practice. Even professional and skilled skiers constantly make amends to improve their body stance to beat their old fastest record time and again. This article will explain the finest tips for proper body stance and skiing techniques that you should remember and which common mistakes to avoid on the slope.
A right ski stance stems from an 'athletic stance,' which is pretty universal in most sports. This athletic stance comprises a wide posture, with the knees, hips, and ankles slightly bent. The position of the arms is slightly forward and moved out of the side.
The correct posture for skiing ensures flexibility and liberty of movement required for smooth and right turns. It becomes effortless to adapt skiing techniques quickly on the terrain when you are in the proper position. Maintaining the correct posture also helps to alter your body posture in any condition, for instance, while changing the speed or direction.
Here are the standard rules you should follow and keep in mind when you are skiing down the slopes:
Carving involves the fun of skiing downward or downhill with great speed with smooth and easy long turns. A Proper technique ensures not only thrill but also well-being on the snowy slopes.
An extra inclined body posture is required for carving turn, and this more bent position makes this turn different from a classic parallel turn. The skis don't slide; instead, they support the skier and keep the skier on track across the trail in carving.
The important thing is to shove the ski edges deep in the snow, and the traces you left in the wake will stipulate if you carved better or if your skis glided downwards. The upper part of the body recompenses for the descending force or pressure on the hips and knees during uphill movement. Hence in this way, the balance remains maintained.
Well-practiced easy and short turn technique is undoubtedly an advantage on any busy or narrow pistes. The radius of short turns is smaller, and it can be achieved consecutively at quick intervals. The arches or turns are specifically short, so it's essential for the legs and mainly knees and ankles to commence the maneuver.
The upper part of the body stays steady facing the slopes while your legs do all the work and take small and short turns. While short turn skiing, the skis quickly must abandon the fall line. A lot of practice is required to master the short turn technique.
Steep skiing is a challenging and exhilarating experience, but one needs a high degree of control and confidence to master this technique. Skiers with less experience can slide sideways to move down a steep slope; this requires the weight transfer on the downhill ski while the upper part of the body is towards the descent direction.
Experienced and skilled skiers tend to utilize downward and upward movements to assist the ski between the turns; this is done like a jump with little to no pressure upon the skis and bodyweight thrown upwards. This technique is adopted with patience and practice, and it can be an outstanding addition to your ski tricks. The valuable and suitable exercises include hockey stop and slide slipping for beginners.
The most repeated common mistakes are mentioned here with a guide to evading them.
While skiing, the right lower body position is significant, the hip joint, knees, and ankles being specifically essential. The common mistake regarding the legs joints is that they are held very stiffly, and because of that, the joints can't cushion jumps and bumps. This stiffness of joints results in skiers losing their balance and tripping over the skis. When the leg joints are flexible and bent, they can react to any irregularities fastly on the snowy slopes.
There should be a hip-width distance between the legs, and the ski should be parallel to one another. The whole activity of skiing gets onerous if the posture is too wide or too narrow. If the distance between the legs is too little, maintaining the body's equilibrium and gliding of the ski becomes challenging. In the same way, if the legs are too spacious, it becomes hard to maneuver or move the skis.
The proper upper body position is simply as essential as keeping the lower part of the body in a correct posture. Some mistakes are natural, but they can be evaded. For instance, if the head and upper body lean more inside the turn, then this results in the skier losing control and pressure while steering. The turn while skiing should be commenced by the legs, not by turning the upper part of the body. By both these mistakes, the control during turns gets lost along with bodyweight shift to the inside ski.
The best condition is that the upper part of the body and head are upright and steady. The correct stance is slightly leaning of head and upper body towards slopes while skiing downhill, which reimburses the maneuver of hips and knees towards the slopes.
A better way to utilize the flexible and bent stance is to clasp both of the ski poles ahead of your body, and while skiing, keep the ski rods parallel with the slopes. This results in pressure in the upper part of the body. It's essential to keep the arms steady, and the upper body is slightly leaning in the direction of the slopes and not allowing any rotation. It could be attained by practicing keeping the hands on the hips, and this exercise will ensure the movement with legs and maintain the posture of the upper part of the body steady.
It would be best to keep in mind the correct position of arms; that is, both arms are required to be on the side and front with the ski rods in the proper place with endpoints facing backward.
If bodyweight shifting is not followed through accurately, specific navigation is unattainable. The often-made mistake regarding bodyweight is that some skiers tilt back very much, resulting in losing control because the pressure is reduced on outer skis; this might occur because of fear of sped or slopes and inexperience of skiing.
If you cannot sense your heels sometimes and feel any burning feeling in your legs or thighs, this is the sign of the wrong stance, and to shun this error, you should lean to your front and press shins against your ski boots. Initially, this posture might feel weird, but it is essential for smoother descents. The main exercise to counteract the wrong position is to hold the ski poles together on the front of your body or criss-cross your arms to exert pressure for forwarding motion.
About Frank V. Persall
Originally from the UK, Frank has a passion for skiing and anything snow related. He is currently on a never ending mission to visit the best ski resorts across the USA and the the World. Frank is happiest when he is on ski slopes with his wife and three children.