5 Basic Downhill Skiing Tips
Winter recreation can be a great way to keep in shape, especially if you know these 5 basic downhill skiing tips. Downhill skiing is not only fun, in can provide an adequate workout for anyone looking to stay in shape during the winter. If you are new to skiing, follow these downhill skiing tips to ensure a safe, rewarding, and fun experience.
- Wear the proper clothing while downhill skiing. Like most sports, downhill skiing requires the appropriate gear and clothing for proper performance. As a beginner, protective gear such as a helmet and goggles is a must to keep you safe. Additionally, goggles reduce the glare of the snow, allowing you to detect irregularities in the ground more easily. To avoid windburn, protect the face and ears with a scarf and hood. Keep yourself warm by dressing in multiple layers.
- Learn the proper position for your skis. Downhill skiing is all about control, and control comes from putting your skis in the proper position. As a beginner, control your decent by putting your skis in a “pizza slice” shape – the snow plow position. Put the tips of the skis close to each other and the backs far apart (making an upside down “V” shape). This will allow you to control your speed and descend comfortably and in control.
- Rent or buy properly fitted skis and poles. For the best performance and control, utilize properly fitted skis and poles. Talk with a ski shop professional to determine what is best for you. Longer skis provide more stability, while shorter skis are easier to turn. Wide skis are excellent for deep powder whereas narrow skis are better for hard-packed snow. The ski professionals at the ski shop or rental department will be able to assess your ability level and mountain conditions to get you the most appropriate downhill skis. Downhill skiing is no fun with ill-fitting equipment.
- Take a ski lesson. No matter your ability level, taking a ski lesson will make you a better downhill skier. If you are a beginner, a lesson will teach you downhill skiing fundamentals without allowing you to develop bad habits. Additionally, ski lessons are a fun way to bond with other skiers who may eventually become regular partners on the slope. More advanced skiers can still benefit from ski lessons, honing specific abilities to improve performance and control.
- Learn how to turn. An essential element to skiing in control is going where you want to go. This means you must learn how to turn. After you have mastered the snow plow position, ease into turning. To turn, look and point with your hand in the direction you want to go. This simple motion will turn you while you maintain the snow plow position.
Downhill skiing is an excellent form of recreation and exercise. If you are a beginner, follow these basic downhill skiing tips to increase enjoyment, ensure your safety, and keep you coming back for more.