We all want to get better.
And if you don’t, you’re liking holding yourself back without even realising it.
One of the great things about skiing is that you never really reach a glass ceiling of improvement. There is always room to get better, even if you’ve been skiing your whole life. Which is why we’ve put together ten tips that will improve your skiing – no matter what level.
10 Tips to Improve Your Skiing
1. Get the right ski boots
It’s natural to think that your skis are the most important piece of kit, but really all the magic happens in the boot. Your ski boots are your most important piece of equipment, so it’s important to get them right. Well-fitting ski boots will give you more control over your skis and more comfort throughout the day.
So if you’re going to splash out for any piece of gear – start with your boots. Ellis Brigham are expert boot fitters and can help you find the perfect pair for your level of ability. They’ll also teach you how to buckle your boots so that they aren’t too loose – which can cause too much movement and less control of the ski – or too tight – which can lead to cramping and a potentially numb foot!
Top Tip: Be sure to only wear one pair of socks! Two pairs can lead to lumps, which can lead to painful rubbing.
2. Layer properly
Mastering the art of layering for skiing will enable you to feel your best on the hill. Too cold or too hot will just be frustrating and make everything that much more difficult. Check out our ultimate guide for how to layer for skiing for everything you need to know.
3. Wax your skis
If you have your own skis, you want to ensure they’re freshly waxed (the ski hire shop will ensure this if you’re renting). If you haven’t had your skis waxed in a while, you probably don’t even realise how dull they are. You’ll be gliding straight past everyone on the flats with a smug grin on your face as well. ;-)
If you want to give it a go yourself, here is everything you need to know about how to wax your skis.
4. Get ski fit before you go
So we might not all be as fit as our ski instructors, however even a bit of exercise before your next trip can make a difference. The key areas to focus on are cardio, strength and flexibility. If you can do a little bit of both of these, it will not only make you stronger on the mountain but also help prevent any injuries.
We’ve got a number of ski fitness tips for you:
- Strength training exercises – with videos!
- Quick exercises for anywhere: at home, in the gym or in the office
- Increase your flexibility with yoga
5. Take it easy on day one
Whether it is your first day ever on skis or just your first day back for the season, take it easy. You’ll need some time to find your ski legs. Skiing can be a big confidence game. If you rush past your ability level, then when it becomes difficult you will find yourself struggling and can lose confidence. Build strong foundations first.
6. Keep your shoulders straight
When you’re ready to push yourself a bit further, keeping your shoulders straight is a great way to improve your skiing. If you end each turn facing the side of the piste, you’re turning with your shoulders. This wastes energy and only works well on groomed runs. When you need to tackle choppy snow,
A good exercise is to take your poles and hold them both in two hands, across you at chest height. Try to keep them facing down the hill and level as you make slow turns. You’ve probably seen people doing this exercise on the slopes because it’s a good one!
7. Look ahead
Often, skiers get focused only on the turn they’re making, rather than what’s coming next. This doesn’t allow you to properly ski the whole piste. And can lead to situations where you’re totally unprepared for that huge lump of snow in front of you because you weren’t looking out far enough ahead!
Try to look out horizontally rather than downward. This will help your balance, keep your body position in neutral, and turn decision making. When you see where you want to be, your body is prepared and moves accordingly.
8. Take a ski lesson
You knew we were gonna say it, right?
Ski lessons are beneficial no matter what level of skier you are. They’re crucial for beginners to learn proper technique and tips and tricks early on – we highly recommend group lessons where you can learn in a social setting. However, clinics are equally beneficial for advanced skiers to build new skills and explore more of the mountain. You’re never too good for a lesson. The best athletes in the world have lessons every day and they call it coaching.
9. Practice outside of your lesson
Use your free time to practice and apply what you’ve learned in your lesson. Don’t be tempted to go back to how you used to ski or try to tackle a harder slope. If you can apply what you’ve learned the afternoon after your first two lessons, before you know it you’ll have made big progress. Push hard at the start of the week. Don’t go more difficult, but repeat what you’ve learned again and again.
10. Enjoy it
You are on holiday after all!
If you are relaxed and happy, not only will learning will be fun and fast but you’ll get much more out of the experience. Breathe in the fresh air, take in the views, spend some quality time with your friends and family… And remember: skiing is not always about finding the best technique, but about enjoying it as much as possible.