Top 11 – Powder Skiing Tips

Tips and tactics for skiing that awesome phenomenon known as powder… leave your frustrations behind.

 

1) A more two footed approach…

Do you ever get frustrated skiing in powder because your outside ski plunges into the snow and runs away on you? The solution is to ski with a little more even pressure on both skis which will help to create a larger platform to stand on.

2) Round turns…

If you try to turn your skis too quickly across the fall line in deep powder… the result will be a face plant. Instead try to make your turn shape round like the letter “C.”

3) Speed is your friend…

You may notice that powder will slow you down quite a bit compared to a smooth groomed run. Unfortunately, if you are going too slow, you will not be able to float to the surface between turns and this will make it very difficult to initiate a direction change. Take a more aggressive line down the fall line then you would in harder conditions…  Speed is your friend!

4) Groove to the Rhythm…

Whilst skiing in powder, making rhythmical turns will help you take the energy from one turn into the next… you’ll be bouncing right out of the snow.

5) Tight core…

Often powder will vary in consistency and you may not be able to see what lies underneath. Keeping a tight core will help stabilize your upper body and minimize how much you will get thrown off balance when you hit that unexpected bump.

6) Be mobile and ready to adjust the feet…

Keep the feet moving in order to maintain balance. As you enter the snow your feet will want to slow down so you may need to push them ahead a little. When your skis bounce back out of the snow between turns your feet will want to take off. Reign them in by pulling them back underneath your body.

7) Just like skiing the bumps…

Skiing powder is just like skiing in moguls. The difference is you are making the moguls as you ski. You will need to extend your legs through to the middle of the turn as you push your skis into the snow. This will compact the snow until it pushes back on you. Then you will need to aggressively flex your legs just like in the bumps.

8) Narrow it up a bit…

The trend amongst ski instructors these days is to preach a wide stance. This may be more stable, but narrowing your stance a bit in powder can help keep your skis from having a mind of their own. Don’t take this one too far… it’s not the 70’s anymore!

9) More inclination, less angulation…

In powder your goal isn’t to grip on a flat surface so there is no need to lay hard on the edges like on groomed run. In powder you are creating a bigger platform in the snow almost like riding a berm or a luge track that tilts with the turn. This means that turns in powder can have a little more lean with the whole body and a little less edging with the lower joints.

10) Pick your terrain…

As I said before powder will slow you down. So ignore your instincts! The steeper the terrain, the easier it will be to ski.

11) Fat skis and rocker…

If you want to make life easy in the powder you can always get yourself a pair of fat skis. Fat skis create a bigger platform and help you float on top of the snow making the skill set required much closer to that of skiing a groomed run. For even more float and easy turn initiation you can try a pair of skis with reverse camber at the tip and tail (AKA “Rocker”). They sure are a lot of fun and have opened up a whole new world of possibilities on snow…  That being said, on certain days I still crave the old school style of sinking in and bouncing out of the white stuff.

Enjoy the snow,

XO,

The Ski Nerd

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