Can you really take your skiing any further when you’re quite advanced? You might not know where to start with improving your skiing once you’re at a strong level. And when you’re quite proficient it’s easy to not progress your skiing any further just out of convenience. However, if you are interested in taking it to the next level, here are 7 tips for advanced skiers to get you started.
7 Tips for Advanced Skiers
1. Identify your ski goals
Let’s start by picking something you want to do better. Being too general in your goals will not allow you to focus on one particular problem. For instance, ‘I want to learn to ski the bumps with more ease’ or ‘I want to learn to carve my skis better.’ Getting some private tuition to help you achieve this is a great idea, but be equally specific with your instructor about what you want. A good instructor should be able to offer you a clear route to meeting your goals.
2. Mix up the difficulty
If you’d like to feel more confident on a difficult slope, you often need to alter what you are doing by starting on an easier slope. Changing things at first is strange, and you may feel out of your comfort zone, but that’s okay. You need to be prepared to go back to basics and reprogram your moves. It’s not always possible to progress on a difficult slope where you’re at your limit. So we suggest taking your time, use the space on the slope to begin to feel comfortable on more gentle terrain.
3. Accept that change is strange
When you’re learning, it’s easy to get attached to those familiar feelings and it can be hard to not use them. Everyone’s guilty of being reluctant to let go of what we already know. If you want to swap what you do for something better or be more effective, then you need to be prepared for the unfamiliar feelings. When you first learn to ski, you don’t know what’s right. Everything feels strange so you just have to ‘go with something new’ and get used to it. This beginners’ mindset is good for advanced skiers too. Change is strange.
4. Become an all-mountain skier
A few more tips for advanced skiers is to broaden your skiing skill set. A true expert has a breadth of skill and can cope elegantly in all situations on the mountain. To say ‘I am an expert skier but I only ski on the piste’, or to say ‘I am an expert skier apart from skiing bumps which I don’t like’ lacks real credibility. If you are very good at one aspect at skiing, broadening your abilities will only complement your expertise.
The questions you should be asking are ‘how can I learn something new, how can I get better at off-piste, how can I make bumps a pleasure and not pain?’ You might also like our blog on how to ski in choppy conditions.
5. Aim to be consistent
There are so many factors that can affect your skiing: the snow changes, the pitch changes, the light changes, the skis don’t do what you want. Frustratingly top skiers seem to be able to deal with all these variables as if they weren’t there? This is because they have trained their body to get a consistent outcome and the movement is so ingrained, that it can be done in spite of a higher level of challenge or difficulty.
So what can we learn from this? Consistency is important. When you go to a slope that you find challenging, ski it once and see how you feel. Sometimes the first few turns are as they were planned, but halfway down, maybe the speed builds up, the size of the turn gets bigger or the rhythm breaks. If you are searching for more performance you’ll need to be able to reproduce consistent turns, all the time. This is a sign of expertise.
6. Grab a mate & video each other
Skiing is a sport of sensations and oh it feels good. Often we feel like a dream on the piste but other times we’re all over the place. One way to help you improve your skiing is to grab a friend and ask them to take video. Seeing what you’re doing is so beneficial and you’d be surprised that most of the time you had no idea you’d picked up that bad habit! Nowadays with smartphones, asking a friend to catch a few turns for you is easy to do. Becoming aware of where you actually are as opposed to where you think you are is the first step to making things better!
7. Ski with people that are better than you
Skiing with people that are ‘the next level’ is a great motivator for you. When you find something difficult and then you see someone do it with ease, that shows you what you can aim for. You’re also more likely to give something a go if you’ve seen someone already ski it. Even just mimicking good skiers is a great learning tool. So next time you’re out on the hill, take a look around and see if you can some technique from some passers-by.
Advanced skiers… there’s always room for improvement.