How to begin the ski season Subscribe Pub

Of course we need to get in shape and check the equipment, but technically, what is the best way to begin the season? How do we get the biggest bang for the buck?

Do we just go out and ski hard, or do we take it easy? Do we work on strength and power or refined technique?

Yee-haa, right? Maybe not the first day on snow...
Yee-haa, right? Maybe not the first day on snow...

It's been my experience that the way we begin a season is really important, for the progress we can make that season. We can start the season just skiing, like any other season, but then... why would this one be different?

Goals

One important thing to do each season is to think through and establish some goals. We should have 1-2 season goals and 1-2 short term goals, to begin with.

The season goals could be to "get bigger angles" or to "carve blue runs" or, for racers, something more specific: improve standings by X, crack the top 10 on the provincial circuit etc.

The shorter term goals will help us achieve the season goals. Getting bigger angles will be achieved via improved tipping and so on.

Short term goals

The short goals could be either whatever you need to quiet down the most... or picking up something new or advancing some existing skill.

Here are some sample fundamental goals - the Green levels are great to work on these:

  • quiet down the arm movements
  • quiet down the upper body
  • start the turn with the lower body and tipping, do not use the upper body to turn
  • improve balance on the outside ski and carving
  • remove hip dump
  • parallel carving green runs in balance (trust me, it's not as easy as it sounds)

Some more advanced goals, assuming the above are not an issue (and for most of us, they are in fact an issue) - good progressions for these found in the Blue levels:

  • balance and range of movement on the blue runs
  • improve fore/aft and carving the top of the turn
  • calm down the up/down movements
  • smooth carving blue runs
  • smooth release/engage
  • better speed control while carving blue runs
  • refinements of technique required to effectively carve blue runs

We're not going to go into other, expert level goals here... but that's what the Black and Racing levels are for.

Refinements

It's been my experience that the best way to start the season is with technique refinements. Not skiing hard at all, but refine technique.

Give our brains and bodies a chance to re-examine the elements of fundamental technique, after months off the skis. We always learn something new, realize some new relationships, feel new sensations etc.

Refinements at the beginning of the season
Refinements at the beginning of the season

When the foot is on the gas pedal, the refinements normally go out the window, so the start to the season must be fairly slow. Yeah, sorry. I want to go out and just ski, as much as you do, but to get real improvement, the first days must start a little slower than you would have thought.

No, we don't need to ski green runs for three days, not that it would hurt, but that's not what I meant by slow. There will be some green run skiing and slow drilling, but what I mean is really disciplined. Not careless, but careful. Not just ski down the hill, but work on this and that.

Season starter

This being your first season with effective skiing, I strongly suggest starting with the Green level and spending at least 1-3 days working through the three green levels, as they'll take you through the fundamentals of ski technique. It does sound beginner-ish, but it is all about technique refinements, refining one ski balance, edging and tipping and quieting down the upper body.

If you feel like smurfing through it and just start skiing, skip to the Green expert level and do at least that. That is the perfect season beginner for anyone.

If then, you need to focus on one specific area, the custom pathways are great for that. I would suggest you start with these after at least the Green level:

So, if you don't have a membership yet, get one and start improving your skiing this season!

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By: Razie | 2016-10-28 | Tags: post


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