Better Skiing Technique Counterblast Against The Mumbo Jumbo
The snow is falling. We all know how you feel because we feel it too. It's time to dust the cobwebs off the skis, check your winter sports insurance and head for the high mountains.But there are one or two niggling little doubts in the back of your mind. Will I remember how to do it? What happens if I make a clot of myself pushing off for the first run of the season in front of my friends?.Well here's some good news for you; these articles are designed to give you a new look at skiing technique.
There will be no pictures of skiers with bent knees holding out their arms in graceful postures. There will be no arrows pointing here and there to demonstrate pressure points, weight distribution and ski torque. It will just be you and me out on the ski slopes.I'd like to provide food for your own imagination rather than hitting you with a lot of teckie stuff. I'd like to cut through all the scientific mumbo jumbo that surrounds the sport of skiing, and promotes the myth that skiing technique is too tricky by half. A lot of the stuff will be a bit controversial.
But that's not a problem. It's a useful stimulant.Back in 1928 when he was a student in Kitzbuhel Austria, Ian Fleming said to his tutor, 'Difficult to ski? Surely it can't be difficult to ski? One falls over, or one doesn't fall over. It's as simple as that!' He was a fit, athletic nineteen year old drawn into a sport that had just begun to lay the foundations of modern day skiing.There were no instructors in those days; the local mountain men were merely guides, bemused at the antics of these lunatic Englishmen.
It was only later that they conceived the idea of ski school, setting down rules of instruction based on those early days.About twenty years ago I skied with the ski school for one day in St Anton Austria. To me it was an unknown resort and I wanted to get the lie of the mountains. There were eight of us in the class, and nearly all were Austrian.
We were practising our skiing technique in the lightest powder snow and it was a beautiful day. There was a bit of instruction - mostly of the 'bend zer knees' variety. But what I found really interesting was that this was class 1 in the St Anton ski school, and these people had worked their way up from class 21 or whatever for the past ten or fifteen years!.
Ski School was their life, their participation was a badge to be worn with pride. They had almost learnt how to ski!.That's not the method you'll find here.
I'm not saying that complete beginners should start with these articles. For them the Ski School is obligatory for the first few days at least, but like birds they should then be allowed to fly the nest. Where you and I come in is any time after that; where you can already ski a bit, but have reached a point when you know it's time to become a better skier, and need some helpful hints to get really good!.We'll discuss the equipment and how it works, what has to be done to get it to work, and how you and the ski, in perfect harmony, can negotiate, without fear or trepidation, every kind of snowy mountainside, and learn how to do the sort of turns you only see on Sky Sports.Watch this space and come with me - we're off!..
Simon Dewhurst has taught downhill skiing in North America, Scandinavia and the European Alps for 35 years. He currently runs a ski chalet agency in the French Alps. His book "Secrets of Better Skiing" can be found at http://www.
ski-jungle.com. If you have any comments about the above article, he will be happy to answer them.
By: Simon Dewhurst
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