In Search of Smooth Skiing

Want to ski more, improve your form and strain less? Bring smoothness into your skiing. Do as little as you have to, but whatever you do on your skis, do it right, effortlessly and invisibly. Trying hard is exhausting and there’s always a better way to execute, but we live in a world of instant-everything. We want to pick up skills quickly, become an all-around skier overnight and can’t stand suffering a long and endless learning curve while state-of-the-art equipment, well-groomed slopes and some fast instruction can get us there in a matter of days. Yet, speedy learning always comes at a price; we get the rudiments, we garner the large building blocks, we’re ready to fly solo, but we’re still missing this magic quiver of “insider-knowledge” that may unlock the doors to stress-free skiing.

The technique from thirty years ago was developed around equipment that often was crude, generally difficult to harness and not nearly as forgiving as it is now. Before reaching today’s levels of excellence, snow grooming often was hit-and-miss and it took countless drills and practice before skiers could become autonomous and able to truly enjoy themselves. The flipside to that drudgery however, was that these same skiers, after spending hours learning some grueling basics, became much more aware of what happened under their feet and around their ankles. They were alert to the messages they were receiving from the terrain, knew how to set an edge accordingly and could read the snow and the slope so well that they’d telegraph instantly to their edges what would become cat-like moves over the snow. Anyone who knows skiing well will agree that edge-control still remains the sport’s Holy Grail.

If elevating your skiing to the upper echelon is important to you and if you still have the nagging feeling that you’re missing this elusive tiny bit that robs you of a limitless supply of fun, there’s probably some room left for fine-tuning your technique and becoming one of these smooth skiers you see floating on the snow and that seem impervious to anything. The beginning of a new season is the perfect moment for deciding to hone those important skills, fine-tune them, finally master that ankle and edge sensitivity that will spring your technique forward in a matter of weeks and let you enjoy it for a whole season. While they’re fairly easy to understand, these subtle elements of skiing are extremely difficult to just pick up on your own. They require repeated drills, a perfect model to follow, an attentive outside observer and some highly skilled coaching. Why not then commit to spending your first hours of the winter with a trusted instructor that can share all these precious tips with you and guide you into a entire season of effortless skiing?

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