How to Manage Speed and Turn Shape While Tree Skiing

What's the trick to skiing trees dynamically and fluidly? Lower edge angles.

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It’s no secret that the trees store some of the best snow on the mountain. But there’s a reason for that: Skiing glades is tricky and requires a unique skill set. Chief among those skills: The ability to turn where and when you want to avoid obstacles and link turns in tight spots. Even advanced skiers may struggle to ski a tree line fluidly and dynamically because the techniques and tactics that work for them on a groomed slope—like using edges to manage speed and switch up turn shapes on the fly—won’t necessarily work in the trees.

If your goal is to ski trees in a dynamic way, the secret, says PSIA National Alpine Demo Team member and instructor Ann Schorling, is to change your definition of “dynamic.” “Instead of skiing your typical dynamic turn with a high edge angle, maintain your speed in the trees with a lower edge angle,” advises Schorling. “This will allow you to manage your speed and release your skis’ edges at any point in the turn so you can respond to the trees as they’re coming at you.”

In this video, Schorling breaks down how to practice skiing with lower edge angles so you can ski trees confidently and dynamically.

Watch: How to adjust edge angles to ski trees

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