A Beginner's Guide To Learning To Ski
To ski, you need to learn 3 basic skills: standing up; turning; stopping.
To stand, you should make what is commonly known as a 'snow plow' by standing with your feet at shoulder-width and pointing your toes inward, forming a V shape. The following three steps are next - (1) Create a more stable stance by slightly bending your knees; (2) Increase your balance by spreading your arms out widely; (3) Help your turning and stopping by leaning forward.
Gravity and your skis make moving forward and down easy enough. To go faster, make the triangle / V shape of your skis smaller at the back (i.e. move your heels closer together) and, to slow down or stop, turn your toes more inwards and push your heels further apart. To stop on steeper slopes, you will need to turn gradually until your skis are not headed down the slope, but are rather resting horizontally across it.
Making standard turns is really not much more complicated than moving forward - you simply point your skis in the direction you want them to take you - except that it may take you some time to find your comfort zone regarding your balance and timing before you will be able to do it well.
For sharper turns, it will take a little more than just pointing your skis in the right direction; you will also need to shift your weight to the foot opposite of the direction you want to turn (for example, if you want to make a sharp right turn, you would shift your weight to your left foot).
You will master sharp turns more quickly if you remember to move nothing but your feet while turning, as moving body parts like your arms and shoulders is not necessary and can decrease your focus on the parts of your boday that are actually effecting the turn.
To learn these basic skills should take you just a few days, however, you should not rush the learning process. Also, do not rely on friends or family members to teach you, use a certified ski instructor.
The better your skiing knowledge and technique, the less mistakes you will make, and the less mistakes you make, the less you will be putting yourself in harms way. On that point, it is worth noting that research has proved that those who learn from a certified ski instructor are less at risk of injury than those who learn on themselves or from family members or friends.
by: Mark Walters
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