a life of cheerful simplicity
In February we went skiing in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Being a novice, I took lessons, from an excellent teacher called Mauro. Amongst other things, he counselled that I write down what he said, so here are Mauro’s Handy Tips for the novice skier:
1. The weight should always be forward on the skis, to drive them. If you ‘get back’ you can best recover by thrusting your arms forward, as the body will follow.
2. On your ski-boots the middle two buckles are the most important. The top one should not be too tight, so as to allow for increasing pressure when needed.
3. To turn, raise your hips and extend upwards. This releases the skis from the snow and allows you to initiate the turn much more easily. Keep the downhill section of the turn at least 2 metres to give the skis the space and opportunity to turn more naturally.
4. At the end of the turn:
* turn the upper body about 10cm to the downhill side – this loads the downhill ski
* swing the hips to the uphill side – this puts the downhill ski more on its edge and allows it to bite more into the slop
* position the head roughly above the downhill ski
* bend a little, at the knee, so as to load the donwhill ski
* keep the arms forward, to ensure your weight is forward
5. Do NOT turn your shoulders uphill – this will unload the downhill ski, you will lose grip and disagreeable things will happen.
6. Keep that bent, loaded position throughout the whole traverse, with the uphill ski a little ahead.
7. When you are ready to turn, extend upwards from the hips/knees to release your skis, then start your turn. You can lightly plant the downhill pole to ‘mark’ the beginning of the turn and the point at which to extend/raise your hips.
8. Keep the ski poles pointing backwards at all times (save for the brief ‘plant’). A caught pole can go forcefully/dangerously into your body and cause more disagreeable things.
The drawing may help you remember.