Go Deep: Four Steps to Sweet Powder Skiing-Stage 1
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
The Never-Ever Powder Skier
You’re a first-time powder skier who can link parallel turns on blue and easy black groomers, but you’re not comfortable going too fast and you have difficulty retaining momentum in ungroomed snow. There are a few problems you’ll likely encounter: You may ski with too wide a stance, resorting to a stem or a pivoting move to link your turns. You end up stepping from one ski onto the other almost in a snowplow, and as a result, you bury both skis as they bog down and prevent you from linking turns. This can make powder skiing exhausting and frustrating.
The correction to the problem lies in the transition between turns. As you finish one turn, maintain a wide, straight-legged stance (A) and focus your eyes, hands and shoulders at the middle of the next turn. Keep your shoulders facing down the hill as your skis point across it.
Once you assume this body position, the vital movements are in your feet. Focus on getting your new inside foot (left foot here) on edge in the top of your new turn. The key is to unweight your foot early (B) and then tip slowly and consistently to your little-toe edge (C and D), moving your foot closer to the outside (right) ski. This movement should be consistent with your speed and turn radius. You don’t want to snap your ski onto edge in powder. Instead, move to the natural rhythm of deep- powder skiing-which is slower than groomed skiing.
Be patient: Resist the urge to twist or actively steer your skis. Let the turn happen on its own (E and F).