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Snow sleds home > Sledding information center > Learning To Ski

Learning To Ski

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Learning To Ski

Learning To SkiCongratulations on your ambition to try learning to ski! Skiing is an extremely enjoyable winter activity, and one that has been around for centuries. Take your place on the slopes! The following tips on learning to ski should help prepare you.

First, keep in mind the basics. You want to feel in control of your skiing as you are cruising down the fall line. To do this, it is important to determine your position on the slope: the direction in which you are moving and your speed. This is done by turning. Once you master this control aspect, you will experience the sense of controlled speed and rhythm that makes skiing such an exhilarating sport!

Traversing is one of the first skills to master when you are learning to ski. This is all about skiing across the slope, rather than straight down the fall line. By traversing, you will be able to control your speed and reach specific goals, like another skier that has fallen, or the ski lift or lodge. Remember, acceleration is far greater when you plunge directly down the fall line, rather than skiing back and forth across the hill.

Traverses will separate your turns until you learn how to link your turns so that they flow into each other. Take time to feel comfortable in the right traversing stance, because you will be spending a lot of your time doing this.

Also, keep in mind that falling is inevitable! Even the best skiers fall, and there is no dishonor about plunging into the snow! In fact, it is good for beginners to fall plenty of times, to get over their fear and loosen up. Falling on skis is not a catastrophe, and you will be up again and skiing before you know it.

And actually, because falling is such an integral and unavoidable part of learning to ski, as well as skilled skiing, that there is a set of terms to describe each type of fall.

  • Face plant (also head plant, shoulder plant, etc.): Driving of relevant piece of anatomy deep into the snow.
  • Three point yard sale (or in extreme cases, five point, seven point, etc.): Generous distribution around the mountain of equipment - skis, poles, goggles, hat, scarf, gloves... with an end result resembling a back-yard jumble sale.
  • Snow snakes. Malicious but rarely-seen reptiles living just below the surface of the snow. Responsible for many otherwise inexplicable falls.
  • Wipe out. Adopted from surfing. What happens when you get thrown off the frozen wave.
  • Pre-release. A binding set too loosely or obstructed with snow will occasionally eject you unexpectedly, particularly in bumps or powder. This is the best excuse for any fall in which you lose a ski - almost impossible to refute without video evidence.
  • Catching an edge. Letting a downhill or outside edge catch in the snow usually results in instant catastrophe.


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Winter Sports and Activities
Wintertime often sparks cabin fever, creating a feeling of seclusion, boredom and depression in many people.

Ice Skating
For most of us, ice skating is merely recreational, whether ice hockey or simply ice skating in a rink.






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