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 your hands in front of you - remember, you’re grasping imaginary bicycle handlebars - your forearms parallel to the ground, and

your elbows close to your body. Now comes the important part. Always keep your hands and elbows in this position when skiing.

An almost never-ending mistake, even among intermediate skiers, is letting the inside hand on a turn fall in back of the hips. This pulls you out of position with nothing more than five fingers in the wrong location. Another common problem is flapping the arms like an excited chicken flapping her wings.

Here’s an exercise that will help you learn to keep your hands in front, always holding the handlebars of the bicycle.

Hold your ski poles across your body, parallel to the ground, each hand clutching both poles. Now ski slowly with the poles still held in your hands. Make a snowplow. Go into a series of snowplow turns. Snowplow to a stop. The pole “handlebars” will help keep your hands and elbows in the proper position.

Another technique for keeping your hands and arms in the proper position is to tie a piece of string in a loop as long as your hands are apart when they’re in the proper position. Keep your hands in front of you. Hold your elbows in. Keep your arms far enough apart so that the loop remains taut.

For the rest of that first day on the slopes, remember what the New Yorker strolling down Fifth Avenue told a young violinist who came panting up to him and asked, nervously, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?”

“Practice,” the man replied. “Practice.”

How do you learn to ski?

Why, practice.

One full day of skiing on short 140-cm skis is usually sufficient to enable most skiers to handle the easiest green runs on the mountain. In other words, you’ve now moved up to beginner status. It’s time to go higher. And to a more appropriate length ski.

See page 28 for a chart that’s an excellent guide to the appropriate length of ski for your sex, weight, age, and height.

More about Skiing:
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 t
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 tur
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 t
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 skie
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, w
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 fr

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