Getting Close to Freestyle Champions

I’m a social media ghostwriter, which means I write articles for entrepreneurs. But every now and then, I get a ridiculously plum assignment. This week, the resort gave me a press pass so I could hang out and blog about the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup.

This being Deer Valley, I was repeatedly reminded to visit the VIP tent and indulge in the feast inside. Not wanting to offend, I obliged.
FIS desert2
Woven into the offerings were many of Stein Eriksen’s favorite foods. Earlier in the day the resort held a celebration of the late Director of Skiing’s life. On Thursday evening, a spotlight created Stein’s figure in the powder adjacent to the mogul run; it looked like Stein was skiing perfectly – as always – down the side of the mountain.

The moguls competition took place on the Champion ski run, which ends perhaps four hundred yards above the Snow Park Lodge at the base of the resort. This run was created specifically to host the mogul competition at the 2002 Olympics.

Champion is one of the best, and toughest, mogul runs you will find anywhere.

If you’ve never been to one of these World Cup events, add it to your bucket list. Even without a press pass, you’ll get to rub shoulders with world-class athletes, something that seldom happens in other sporting events. During the competition and the training runs that preceded it, Big Stick, the ski run right next to Champion, remained open. I spent some time watching the competitors check out the jumps. They repeatedly slid slowly onto the jump, getting a sense of the incline but not actually jumping

Here’s Jae-Woo Choi of Korea doing exactly what I just described.

Men training moguls

Back in the spectator area, it was especially fun to watch the Dufour-Lapointe sisters: Justine, Chloe and Maxime. Last week in Quebec they made history by finishing 1,2 and 3, respectively, in the World Cup event there. This may be the only time that three siblings have swept the top three positions in any world class athletic event.

During qualifying, the sisters regrouped right after their runs to watch themselves on video. The three sisters were just hanging out, with spectators all around them. These are serious athletes who don’t take themselves too seriously.

sisters

That’s Chloe in the yellow vest, which means she is the current overall World Cup leader in the moguls event.

Their strategy is working incredibly well. In the finals here, Justine took first, Chloe third, and Maxime ended up in fourth.

In between events at the World Cup, there’s plenty of time to ski. After the qualifying event, I managed to find both soft bumps and powder. Yes, three days after the last storm, there’s still plenty of fresh lines in the woods; that’s what I love about Deer Valley. Here, most people ski the groomed trails, leaving immense amounts of pristine woods available to anyone with the desire to check them out.

I don’t mean to exaggerate, but I skied a bit better after watching the world’s best mogul skiers.

The two lessons I took away were:

1. Always point your upper body downhill. It’s the only way to be ready for the next turn.

2. Don’t waste motion. The mogul competitors keep their bodies incredibly quiet, which is why they are able to absorb so many bumps so fast. In contrast, a typical skier moves so much that he or she needs a lot of time to prepare for the next turn.

Gotta run now. It’s Friday morning and a full day of Aerial competition lies ahead.

Author profile: Bruce Kasanoff
Bruce Kasanoff DVblog

Bruce Kasanoff is a ghostwriter, LinkedIn Influencer and Forbes contributor, which basically means he writes a lot, and skis when he’s not writing. Before shifting west, he coached six to eight-year-old skiers in the seasonal program at Stratton Mountain.

Bruce is the author of numerous books including How to Self-Promote without Being a Jerk, a little book about doing well by doing good. He conducts regular online workshops about Growing Your Career with Social Media.

Whenever possible, Bruce heads into the woods at Deer Valley, in both summer and winter.

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#SkiTheDifference Tip Series – Week 11

Edge From Your Feet Up

When it comes to tipping your skis up on edge, there are a few ways to do it. You can tip your whole body laterally inside the turn, you can tip your feet and legs separate from you upper body, or you can do it the correct way and combine both.

Derek demonstrates proper technique

Derek demonstrates improper technique

When done separately, you limit your ability to control edge angle, manipulate turn shape, and often times get stuck riding the ski’s sidecut. Combining lateral movement and upper/lower body separation, you can control when and how much edge angle is produced much more efficiently, especially when you start tipping your skis from the feet up. Doing this puts you in a great place to make quick changes. So you can choose when your skis slide, slip, skid, and carve, and that’s maximizing ski performance!

Now that you’ve read this, get on to the important things in your day, like going out on snow to TIP & RIP!

Read the rest of the series:
Week 1 – Come prepared
Week 2 – Tune ups
Week 3 –  Early season conditions
Week 4 –  Skills not hills
Week 5 – Use the whole ski
Week 6 – Always be moving
Week 7 – Find your rhythm
Week 8 – Trust your outside ski
Week 9 – Like riding a bike
Week 10 – Carving and Steeps

derekalthof

Derek Althof has 16 years experience in the ski industry and is Deer Valley’s ski school training manager and an alpine examiner and clinic leader for the Professional Ski Instructors of America’s Central and Intermountain Divisions. Derek learned to ski at age 4 and has had a passion for good skiing ever since.

We hope you enjoy our weekly skiing tips. Please remember that they can help but will not eliminate risks, as skiing is a dynamic sport. These tips are meant to help you build skills  for a more enjoyable skiing experience.

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  • Audi Salt Lake City

    If you are around Salt Lake City/Park City area, go check it out the Visa Freestyle Ski World Cup. Such an awesome event and of course stop by at the Audi tent to some free gifts. Audi proud sponsor of US Ski team. #audi #audiusa U.S. Ski Team Deer Valley Resort Visa Audi USA #ski

  • Danielle Scott

    Qualifications done and onto the finals under the lights tonight!
    Deer Valley Resort FIS Freestyle Skiing Karbon XTM Performance Rossignol Bollé Australia Bollé Nutcase Helmets Australasia Nutcase Helmets Instinct Sports Nutrition Intuition Sports Inc. #aerialskiing 📷: @andrewpattison

  • Deer Valley Resort

    The 2016 #DVWorldCup continues tonight with the Aerials finals under the lights on Deer Valley’s White Owl ski run.
    *All events are free to the public.