#SkiTheDifference Tip Series – Week 18

Ski With a Soft Touch


When skiing off-piste in variable conditions and terrain, focus on skiing with a soft touch. Don’t brace against your skis with stiff or locked legs – that compromises balance and finesse. Instead, use your legs like the shocks on a car.

To accomplish this, think about relaxing your legs slightly to manage terrain changes and maintain ski-to-snow contact. That said, be careful not to relax your legs too much, you don’t want them to become wet spaghetti. You still still need a fair bit of muscular intensity to maintain control.

This may take some time to get the hang of, and your success depends on how relaxed you are. Begin practicing this technique on a shallower pitch where the conditions are less choppy. From there, you can graduate to more difficult environments as your confidence grows.

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
Week 11 – Edge from your feet up
Week 12 – Enough is enough
Week 13 – Powder & Crud
Week 14 – Separation is key
Week 15 – Don’t Oversteer
Week 16 – Eyes Ahead
Week 17 – Mastering Moguls


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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