Tips Up: Downhill Thrill

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Aug 8th, 2013
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photo credit: D.Koerber RNSC

Tips Up: Downhill Thrill

Downhill technique is often forgotten as skiers improve their ski technique. In fact, most accomplished skiers find that downhills are the worst part of their skiing. Here are a few tips you can practise to make your downhills faster, more enjoyable, and safer.

  1. Keep your weight centred over your skis, knees slightly bent and your hands in front of you. This is known as the ‘ready position’.
  2. When there is a sharp corner on a hill always look through or around the corner 30 or 40 feet ahead of you. This is true whether you are in or out of the track. If you look where you want to go and not right in front of you, your body will take you there.
  3. When negotiating a tight corner in the track do not lean into the corner. Rather, twist your upper body the opposite way while keeping your hips centred on the track. When done properly you will be able to stay in the track comfortably at higher speeds.
  4. Try doing a particularly tough hill over and over until you conquer it. Start by doing it at full speed from only part way up the hill. On each successive run go up the hill another 15 feet until you can take it at full speed right from the top.
  5. For those who are at the stage of doing step turns, remember these four points: be quick and light on your feet; transfer your weight completely from ski to ski as you step; keep your feet close together right under your body; and use your edges.

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