Skiing and snowboarding are the king and queen of winter sports (you can decide which is which), the pinnacle of man’s adaptation to the elements and allowing people to travel elegantly across the powdery slopes of the colder parts of the world. Many people every year head to the northern countries to experience the thrill of rocketing down slopes with the help of gravity and two small poles, and also to experience the festivities during ‘apres ski’.
A cold holiday is a completely unique proposition and our Ice Hotel trips combine some of the most exciting and breathtaking parts of the world into one package. If you’re thinking about hitting the snow this year, whether it’s for the first time or the hundredth time, make sure you read through the below to ensure you’re maximising your technique and enjoyment on the slopes.
Make Sure You’ve Done Your Research
Before you even set out, make sure you’ve done some research so that you know what to expect. Checking out the conditions, weather and the terrain on offer will help you to plan your day best and make the most of your time on the slopes. If you’re a beginner taking lessons, check out what kind of gear you’ll need and see what kind of things you’ll be taught during your first lesson so that it’s not a surprise.
Get Fit and Increase Strength
If on the brow of the hill and want to brush up on technique, this one won’t help too much, but if you’re building up to a ski season or holiday on the snow, then we’d suggest doing some pre-work to make sure you’re up to the challenge. Getting fit and building your strength in key areas will not only provide a great base for your skiing but also help you ski for longer. Key areas to consider are your core strength, flexibility, agility increasing your power to weight ratio and building your muscles in your legs.
Video Yourself Skiing
While you’re on the slopes, ask your ski buddies to film you on a couple runs so that you can watch yourself back. Often, we’re completely unaware of how we look to the outside world as we assume we’re doing one thing and actually doing something entirely different.
Filming yourself will give you an idea of exactly how you look while skiing and a chance to assess your technique from an outside perspective. Before you hit the slopes, make a checklist of the things you want to work on or implement and use the video to make sure you’ve done them and check them off at the end of the day.
Although it’s a lot of fun, skiing is a sport, and just like other sports, your body requires warm muscles to perform at its best. Make sure you warm-up your muscles either on the slopes or before you head out so that you’re physically prepared for a day of skiing. A good warm-up will affect all your relevant muscles required for skiing so that you won’t feel too tight or cold on your first couple runs. An added benefit of this is that you’ll reduce the likelihood of injuring yourself.
Learn Your Left and Your Right
We already expect you to know which is which, but for skiing, you’ll need to know which side is preferred and stronger. Vital for turning and stopping, hip movement and angulation will help to keep you upright on the slopes. Most people will favour either their left or right, with one side having a better angle and posture than the other, and learning which side is your weaker one can give you an idea of how to improve. Doing drills and exercises to build your confidence in your weaker side will help you become a better and more consistent skier.
Hire an Instructor
For new skiers, this will likely be the first call of action as you’ll not have hit the slopes before, however, more experienced skiers may feel less comfortable about asking for help. No matter your skiing ability, instructors can help to improve technique and address areas where you’re not performing as well as you could be; picking up on nuances that you may have never noticed. With only one or two lessons, you could be well on your way to being a better skier!
Thinking about hitting the slopes? We offer a number of tours that give you an opportunity to carve up the snow and to experience whole other host things too! Check out our experiences on offer here!