Powder Principles: Law 3-Stance
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
In powder, how you distribute your weight from side to side may be even more important than fore-aft balance. “Weight shift goes into a totally unique, more subtle mode,” emphasizes Junior. “Almost equal weighting of both skis is one key to making smooth, snaky turns.”
“Whether they are close together or a little apart, both skis ought to work as a single unit,” explains Steve. Put too much pressure on the downhill ski, for instance, and it may dive and hook up beneath the inside ski¿a sure recipe for crossed skis and a crash. Observe how gently Junior pressures his downhill ski to finish his turn (A).
“A good pole plant makes you solid,” continues Steve. “It ensures your shoulders and hips keep facing downhill, which is critical in powder.”
“As you change edges,” adds Junior, “think about re-weighting the uphill ski, so you are standing with equal pressure on both skis (B).”
Finish the turn with ever-so-gentle extra pressure on the new outside ski (C). How well you complete the turn determines not only where you go next, but how fast you get there.