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Exercises, tips & tricks for powder skiing

Deep snow skiing has to be learned – and practiced! SKI KANADA, SKI USA and the experts of the German Ski Instructors Association (DSLV) give exercises, tips & tricks for powder skiing in deep snow.

Tips & tricks for powder skiing: Powder for beginners and advanced

Button_10No master has fallen from the sky yet. If you want to dance weightlessly through the powder, you have to practice, practice, practice – and follow a few tips & tricks.

Don’t be afraid of the fall line

With the right choice of track and speed, external forces that arise can be used for economical cornering. Less turning is required in the fall line, which means less frictional resistance and more driving force. With rather shorter radii, the compression effect can be built up more selectively and better used for changing curves. As crazy as it sounds for beginners, the steep fall line makes deep snow skiing easier.

„Speed is your friend“

An increased approach speed allows for greater momentum and lift, which makes cornering easier – for comparison, just imagine a water skier being pulled at too slow a pace. However, for safety reasons, the skiing speed must always be within the limits of the individual’s skiing skills. But even a slightly smaller turn angle or going just 3 to 5 kilometers per hour faster can help tremendously. Try it out. „Speed is your friend,“ say our friends in North America.

Hovering and diving

Rhythmic and dynamic up and down movements allow for a „long“ float and „effortless“ glide in the snow dust due to the resulting hill effect. If the snow is deep enough, it is also possible to dive down by means of an extensive deep movement in the control system. Almost the entire body sinks into the snow in the process.
The fun factor and the driving experience are incredible. But be careful: don’t forget to hold your breath or take a snorkel with you, as the Canadians like to say!

Breathe out regularly

Don’t take holding your breath seriously! On the contrary. Beginners actually often make the mistake of holding their breath while powder skiing because they are so overwhelmed and focused. It’s best to exhale with every turn. Then you won’t get out of breath and also get into a perfect skiing rhythm for short turns.

Rhythm & Blues

Concentrate fully on the rhythm of movement for a change. By rhythmically stretching and bending, a recurring muscular tension and relaxation is achieved – short stretch = tension, long float and
bend = relax. An optimal flow of movement is created, enabling almost effortless skiing in deep snow. Feel free to hum your favorite song to the beat.

Braid or „ride 8“

The expert in deep snow is recognized by his track. If two skiers, seen from below, swing exactly congruent and at a distance of one turn behind each other, a pattern is created that resembles a braid or an 8. There are even European and World Championships in this discipline (Powder 8). A competition is therefore a perfect opportunity. Two pairs start side by side at the same time: which team rides the nicer pigtails and also has the higher speed? In addition, this formation uses less powder area is used up – so there’s still some left over for the next run. Powder slopes are valuable, after all – they’re not plentiful everywhere like they are in cat skiing and heliskiing in Canada.

Next up: the most common mistakes in powder skiing and how to avoid them.

Back to the beginning here.

For even more info on skiing and snowboarding technique topics, check out the curricula from the German Ski Instructors Association:

DSLV Lehrplan – Skifahren einfach, 2012, ISBN 978-3-8354-0869-2
DSLV Lehrplan – Freeriden einfach, 2012, ISBN 978-3-8354-0872-2
DSLV Lehrplan – Snowboarden einfach, 2012 ISBN 978-3-8354-0870-8

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