Instruction and Technique

Skiing instruction for allThe never-ever has three choices in learning how to ski:

1. Let a friend teach you.

2. Start with ski school lessons.

3. Study learn-to-ski manuals or watch the newest teaching tool, videocassettes - a couple are listed in the appendices - with guidance both for beginners and advanced skiers.

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Always tell the attendant at the rental shop how well you ski, or whether you’re a total beginner. The skilled personnel handing out the skis and boots and poles will match you to the proper ski, regardless of your size or sex. Then they’ll make the appropriate DIN setting on the binding

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No matter if you’re in a circle of a half-dozen other beginners facing an instructor, learning with a buddy, or by yourself, the first requirement of skiing is the proper stance - proper for the nervous novice and the skilled expert alike. Stand with the skis slightly separated - about 6 inches apart, so that each foot is directly under a shoulder. Lean slightly forward, knees bent, until your shins are pressed against the front of your

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Next - using the poles only to help navigate - with your skis flat on the snow shuffle forward, sliding one foot at a time. Slide. Slide. Slide.

Skis flat on the snow.

Relax.

Slide. Slide. Slide.

Skis

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Once you’ve begun to learn how to glide along, stop and teach the bottom of your feet about how to position themselves for skiing.

With your eyes closed and poles held in front of you in both hands, parallel to the ground, sense when your feet are in perfect balance, equal pressure from toe to heel and from side to side. Keeping your eyes

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To change direction while standing still, practice the simple star turn. Imagine that your skis are the hands of a clock, with the tips pointing toward noon and the tails as the center of the dial. Pivot one ski by lifting the tip but not the tail and turning the tip until it’s

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Skiers are carried to the summit of the trails by a variety of lifts. But they also do a lot of puffing and chugging to climb small slopes with their skis on. There are two techniques for climbing: the herringbone, which the French call the montee en canard, or duck walk; and the sidestep. The herringbone is used on easier slopes, the side - step on steeper pitches.

To start the herringbone, face uphill

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For the sidestep, stand at right angles to the fall line - the direction a ball will roll - with your skis parallel and your knees inclined toward the slope so that the uphill edge of each ski is pressed into the snow. This is edging. Your feet already learned how it feels to put the weight on one edge and the other. On a slope the pressure edge is always on the uphill side.

With your

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Had any good falls lately? You will when skiing. Everyone does, from mighty experts to skittish novices. Not to worry. Falling on snow is much like falling on a firm mattress. Snow yields. You usually won’t hurt anything, except your pride.

However, as with all ski techniques, there’s only

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Meet a new friend - the snowplow.

It’s the first “moving technique” every skier must learn.

It’s basic to your first turn going downhill and to stopping before crashing a) into the padded pylons holding aloft the cables that carry skiers on swaying chairs, or b) into unsuspecting friends.

To practice

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If your tips are farther apart than the tails you’ll discover the agonizing discomfort of doing the splits on skis. Practice getting up.

If your weight is more on one ski than the other you’ll start skiing in
the direction in which the weighted ski is pointed or - possibly without even knowing what you’re doing - going into a snowplow turn.

Whether you learn the abovementioned techniques

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There will be times and places on the mountain when you’ll need to sideslip to gently change your position. This requires a bit of practice. Stand at right angles to the fall line in the same stance you use for the sidestep, skis weighted to edge into the uphill side of the slope. Slowly, tilt both skis downhill at the same

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Okay, you’ve practiced the snowplow for stopping. Now use it to control your speed as you schuss straight down the fall line. When you begin skiing faster than you’re comfortable with, push your skis into a modified snowplow, tails slightly out, tips close together but not touching. Edge lightly on the inside of each ski. When you’ve reduced speed, bring the skis parallel

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Since you’re not going to ski straight downhill forever, your next step is to learn the snowplow turn. Do this by forming a snowplow as if to slow down, then shift your weight from equally balanced between the two skis to balanced on one ski.

Put your weight on the right ski to turn

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Once you actually begin skiing - alternating between parallel while traversing the slopes and snowplow turns - you may find yourself, as we all do, with your arms flailing about, whether you’re stopping, gliding, or turning. The positions of the arms and hands are important. Important!

Stand with

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If you’re using the graduated-length method (GLM) to learn to ski, on your second day rent anything from a 150-cm ski (for a small person) to 170-cm (for the heavier, taller skier). Tell the fellow behind the rental counter that you’re a novice and ask his advice, or - better - discuss

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The next step up to learning the parallel turn is sometimes referred to as a stem christie. Though not as widely taught as it once was, it’s still an effective way to learn how to achieve linked turns.


To perform the stem christie, start from a snowplow turn. Place most of your weight on your right ski, and only

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The more experienced you are as a skier, the more important your poles become. Learn how to use them from the moment you go into your first stem christie.

Before initiating the turn bend your knees, lower your center of gravity, and then, stretching your arm forward, drop the point of the pole next

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Few sights are more pleasing than that of an expert skier arcing through one parallel turn after another, feet almost - but not quite - together. Often, moving from stem christie to parallel turning comes automatically with continued skiing.

As you become an advanced novice you quickly discover that, after two or three days on the slopes, the snowplow you use to initiate

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Ratings - Part 2

Low Intermediate: Is beginning to link parallel turns and can actually ski and stop with only minor problems. Recommended skiing: Green and blue trails. Should…

Mountain Manners

in Kids
However, the fact that they did spend time in various ski schools did not eliminate what I feel keenly is the responsibility of all parents of kids on the…

Nonskiing Necessities

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CROSS-COUNTRY

The ancient grandfather of alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, is alive, healthy, and more popular than at any time in his 4,000-year history. True, no longer…

Information

European tourist offices can provide you with general information, as well as specific information about individual resorts. Contact them at: Austrian tourist…

Who Pays the Piper?

If a skier runs into serious difficulty skiing beyond an area’s boundaries, someone will be along to help him. In the United States, this task usually falls to…