Powder Principles: Law 6-Speed Control


The deeper the snow, the more it slows you down. “Push your feet as far as possible into the snow,” advises Steve. “Pressuring your skis does a lot to control speed.”

“But when the slope gets steep, you can get going too fast. That’s when you need to bring your skis across the fall-line enough to slow down (A). Keep facing downhill, and let your upper body continue downhill until it crosses over your skis (B and C). This pulls your skis into the fall line (C). By always moving your upper body downhill ahead of the skis, you never traverse and never have to think about starting your next turn. It’s already started.”

Powder Myth No. 3: You Don’t Need Much Edge

Junior laughs at this myth. “If we over-edge a ski in powder,” he admits, “we can’t steer it. And it’s easy to over-edge in soft snow. But where and how much we edge is more important in powder than in any other situation.”

The basic principles are just the opposite of what you may think: In deep snow you want to edge less on the steeps, more on the flats. Too many skiers think they need to carve on steeps. You can’t. Ride a flat ski there. Let it skid. Gravity, speed and the tilt of the slope will help you turn the ski on steeps, whereas on flats you need to work the edge more to turn ’em.

“If you try to ride a flat ski on a flat slope, nothing happens. You don’t change direction. But if you put both skis on a high edge D, you’ll be able to change edges smoothly E, and then ride that high edge again F.”