Ski Tips – Skiing in Powder


I’ve been teaching skiing in Beaver Creek for over 20 years.  Over that time, I’ve become a firm believer that, in general, we do not change our basic skiing technique when skiing different terrain, be it bumps, powder, crud, or groomed.  We “tweak” things a little to allow us to successfully negotiate different terrain challenges.

For skiing in powder or crud, here is what I recommend:

  1. Take a slightly lower stance.  You will be bounced around when skiing powder or crud so a lower stance creates a lower center of gravity and better balance.
  2. Distribute your weight on both skis.  Our skis will follow the path of least resistance unless we “power” them through the snow.  We can’t do this unless we weight both skis.  We normally place the majority of our weight on our downhill ski.  I recommend adjusting our weight to 50-50 as much as possible. 
  3. Control your speed using turn shape.  On groomed terrain we often skid our skis to slow ourselves down.  You can’t do that in powder.  If you do, a snow “platform” will build up beneath your skis until the skis suddenly stop and over you go.  “Complete” your turns to slow down.
  4. In deep powder, to start my run I point my skis downhill, pump up and down a little, then spring into my first turn.  I continue to spring from turn-to-turn to help pull the skis out of the snow. 

In summary, there is no need to make wholesale changes in our skiing technique depending on the terrain we are on.  We simple need to “tweak” our technique to adopt it to what we are skiing.

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