Tahoe skiing: Try out these tips to master the art of turning on the slopes
January 25, 2017
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — As a first-time skier, you were taught to place your skis in a wedge position to slow down and stop.
As your skiing progresses, turning should become your primary means of speed control. The fun and flow of skiing, and the control needed to master more difficult slopes, comes from the rhythm of your turns as you glide down the mountain.
For many beginners, the ability to make nicely shaped turns is hindered by holding on to too large a wedge. When the wedge is too large, the skis will have a high edge angle, causing them to catch in the snow and making them difficult to turn.
Beginners will often see improvements in their skiing by simply bringing the tails of their skis a bit closer together and learning to flow more easily down the hill. The skis will still be in a wedge, but it will be a small "gliding" wedge, rather than a large "breaking" wedge.
To practice making turns with a smaller wedge, find a slope that is very easy for you so that you can comfortably slide down the hill without feeling the need to resort to a large wedge to slow down. Stand tall and relaxed, and bring the tails of your skis closer together.
You'll still be standing lightly on the inside edges of both skis, but with a lower edge angle. Float down the hill, at first just making little "wiggle" turns by steering your feet back and forth. Notice how the skis are flatter on the snow and much easier to maneuver.
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Turn your feet together, rather than just turning the outside ski, which will help prevent the wedge from getting bigger at the top of each turn. Then progress to making rounder, more finished turns. With the skis slipping easily on the snow, let gravity be an aid to start each turn as it gently pulls you down the hill.
With the ability to smoothly link turns and control your speed at will, you'll soon be ready to take on more difficult slopes.
Andy Levy is a Diamond Peak Ski Instructor. Visit http://www.diamondpeak.com to learn more.