Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Last December at Vail I skied with Glen Plake and Brad Holmes (both former World Hot Dog Skiing champions) on a dismal 16-inch snowpack. We looked for jumps but couldn’t find any, so we broke out some old-school ballet moves: the worm turn, tip roll, and Polish bagel. These moves are definitely not cutting edge, but they’re still a hell of a lot of fun.
In the Polish bagel, you drop on to your hip, spin a 360, then get back up and keep going. It’s a cool move to impress your friends, and it can help you learn how to fall the right way.
Being able to fall and not get hurt
Being able to load the tail of your skiThe Technique:Build up a bit of speed on a groomed, gentle- to medium-grade slope. Initiate a turn and really load up the tails of your skis, adding compression from your heels at the finish of the turn. Keep your shoulders and knees square to your skis. Next, drop to the side (warning: not backward-that puts your knees’ ACLs at risk) onto your hip and lift your skis off the snow. The momentum you create by loading the turn off your ski tails should give you enough rotation to spin a 360 on your hip as you continue sliding downhill. The two key elements are the rotation set from the tails and being able to keep your skis off the snow so that you can rotate easily.Once you’ve rotated around so that your skis are perpendicular to the direction you are moving, bring your skis back to the snow and stand up, first on the uphill ski, then the downhill ski. Your momentum should pull you up onto your feet. It is extremely important to keep your knees and shoulders square to your skis as you stand (that is, pointed in the same direction as your skis). Otherwise, you risk twisting your body and legs as you try to push off the snow, thus putting your ACL in a vulnerable position.If you didn’t set enough spin to complete your rotation, you can simply roll on your shoulder and swing your skis down and perpendicular to the fall line to provide the momentum you need to stand.Progression:
Plain Polish bagel (no cheese)
Other old-school tricks:
Slow dog noodle
Worm turn, tip roll
Double Polish bagel (two rotations instead of one), Wongbanger