Ski Tips – Skiing on Groomed Runs. Part One – Stance and Balance

Don’t we all just love skiing on freshly groomed snow?  What a great feeling to make those perfect turns on snow that feels like butter.  Is there a technique for skiing on the groomed runs?  Let’s focus first on our stance, probably the most important skill in skiing.

  1. Groomed runs are perfect for having fun but are also great for perfecting our technique.  If we can perform a technical maneuver on a groomed run, we have a much greater chance for success on more difficult terrain.
  2. For my first few turns on a groomed run, I check my stance and balance.  We need to maintain a centered, flexed, athletic, aggressive stance to take full advantage of the new ski technology.
  3. What is a centered, flexed, athletic, aggressive stance?  Think of other sports you may participate in.  How do you stand when you address a golf ball?  How about receiving a serve in tennis?  Or working out on a stair step machine?  We need to balance on our whole foot, with most of our weight on the ball not the heel of our foot.  We need to flex (bend) at the ankle, knees, and hips.  We need to be looking forward in anticipation of the next move.  Think about how a middle linebacker in football stands.
  4. A good indicator regarding your stance in the interaction between your body and your boots.  I suggest you maintain contact between your shin and your boot at all times.  You shin should be nestled into the boot – not crammed into it. 
  5. The most difficult part of the turn to maintain the connection is as we turn through the fall or gravity line and pick up speed.  Our natural tendency is to lean back as we gain speed.  We need to do just the opposite and flex our body to maintain the connection with our boots. 
  6. In addition to our boot/shin connection, our hands and arms can be great indicators of our position on our skis.  If my arms are leading me through the turn, I’m probably centered on my skis.  If I find my arms behind me, I’m probably leaning back.
  7. Note the beginning skier below.  He is flexed, shins are connected to the boots, hands are in front, and he is ready for whatever happens next. 


    8.   Note the two more advanced skiers below.  They are also in a centered, flexed, athletic, aggressive stance.


In summary, there is nothing that is more important or has a great impact on your skiing than your stance.  If you work hard on the groomed runs to find and maintain the perfect athletic stance, you will find transitioning to more difficult terrain much easier.

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