Skiing is a lot of fun, and when you’re mucking about in the snow you can sometimes forget that you’re participating in a high intensity sport. Muscles that rarely get used will be pushed, and at the same time your body will be dealing with the higher altitudes and colder weather. Ensuring you are fit and strong will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the sport, allow you to continue developing your skills and help to prevent injury. The key areas to focus your attention on are core strength, leg strength and agility. Balance is also crucial for skiing and snowboarding and including some training on tools like balance boards will greatly assist in the development of your core strength and improve balance.
Ski technology has developed rapidly over the last few decades, and there is a wealth of different equipment options to choose from. Before you buy or upgrade your gear, have a think about what sort of skiing you will be doing: on-piste, backcountry, terrain park - a combination of them all? There is equipment for every style of skiing and the sales reps in ski shops are very knowledgeable, they will be able to help to ensure that you get the right gear to suit your skill level and the terrain you want to ride. (Bare in mind that most insurance will only cover injury occurring on-piste)
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced skier, there is always improvement to be made and further instruction can help enormously. Lessons are not just for learning to stop; higher-level progression clinics will allow you to focus on really developing your technique and give you the chance to pick out and work on any problem areas that you are struggling with. Another extremely useful learning tool is the increasing availability of instructors’ courses. Instructor training is geared towards solidifying, developing and learning how to teach basic technique and you will be amazed at how much your skiing improves when you focus is on breaking down the basics.
Watching yourself on video can be an amazing tool when it comes to improving. A video of yourself will allow you to pick out any flaws in technique, giving you a much better understanding of your performance and showing where you need to make changes in order to achieve more dynamic, fluid and effective body movements.
Be sure you continue to challenge yourself. Find more advanced skiers and head out for a shred with them. Riding with people who are more advanced is a great way to push your boundaries and force yourself to improve on difficult terrain. Keep your eyes open, watch and learn from how they tackle a run and try to keep up through foreign territory. Tackle your problem areas, if you struggle through deep powder, follow a friend and try to stick to the same line. Having difficulty carving? Head out on some fresh groomers with someone who can carve it up with the best of them, and do your best to stick to their tracks. Be sure not to push yourself too far too fast though – if you have been confidently skiing blue runs on-piste, don’t expect to be able to keep up with a double-black skier off-piste. Challenge yourself but be sure to know the limits of what you can tackle safely.
Set goals and stick to them. If you’re determined to nail a specific trick in the park, or there’s a particularly tricky run you want to be able to ski by the end of winter, then have weekly goals to help you achieve that. Don’t over-step too far too fast, set manageable goals that you are confident you can achieve, this way you will be able to keep challenging yourself and keep stepping up. You will be skiing stronger, harder and more efficiently week to week with a constant sense of satisfaction and achievement. Don’t stop driving to be better - the beauty of snow sports is that there is no end to your development, there’s always a bigger cliff to drop and a steeper line to ski, you just need to keep pushing.
- Tips and Tricks