Ready to ski faster, stronger, and better than ever? Here are three terrain-specific fundamentals to start thinking about now, with drills to try when snow flies.
>>Groomers: If you haven’t already, it’s time to master the carved turn. The most common mistake is to enter the turn with your head and shoulders, which takes you out of balance laterally and forces you to pivot your skis in a skidded turn. Instead, start turns by rolling your skis on edge with your feet and legs. It should feel as if you are trying to ski on the sides of your feet. Sidecut will bend your skis into carve-ready arcs as you balance your weight on the edges. Use cat tracks and flat slopes to practice at low speeds.
>>Bumps: Bumps are possibly the hardest condition to master. To ski them well, you have to be able to make great short turns— emphasis on short. To practice, start a run making short, skidded turns at a normal cadence. After a few turns, speed up until you start to lose coordination. Back off a few beats to regain control, and then speed up again. This drill improves coordination and turning speed.
>>Off-Piste: The ever-changing mix of ungroomed conditions requires the ability to shift weight between your feet quickly, smoothly, and purposefully. To develop this skill, try skiing on one ski. Most people can lift the inside ski off the ground once the turn has been started. To make it harder, lift the outside ski off the snow before you start a turn. Then try lifting each ski off the snow multiple times during the same turn.