The ABC of looking good on skis

Looking good on skis doesn’t have to mean having beautiful facial features, tanned skin, fit body shapes, cool sunglasses or hip ski clothes; instead, we’ll discover how just being ourselves on skis may lead to showing some “natural beauty” on the slopes and, in the process, greater effectiveness on skis. So please, bear with me and discover how you too can become a stunning skier!

We all have different bodies and with them a trademark way of standing, walking or of course, skiing. There is no right and wrong, it’s just “us,” the way we really are and this personal “look” can and should identify us to our advantage when we’re on the slopes. One way to get into the exercise is to begin by forgetting most of your entire body; that’s right, cut all that superfluous matter below your eyes and a tiny bit above your ankles. Nitpickers might say “of course, by doing this you’d be lowering your center of mass so much that you couldn’t possibility take a spill!” I’d say good observation, but not the essence of what I’m driving at.

The point is that the less you do with your chin, your neck, your arms, your torso, hips and thighs, the better off you’ll do on a pair of skis, so try to forget about that extraneous “stuff,” shorten the communication path between your brain and the sole of your feet to speed up the flow of information where it really counts. Then you might jump in and ask: What about the poles? I’d almost forgot about them; besides giving you support and balance during turns, they’ll just quietly keep company of your arms the rest of the time. The end result is that if anything between your eyes and your ankles is quiet, nothing in your body will look out of place and won’t embarrass you on the mountain. This is step one in looking good.

The next idea is equally as critical while closely linked to the first one; it simply consists of standing as erect as you can whenever you’re on your skis. As many of you already know, the right way of balancing yourself mostly comes from your ankles instead of just your hips and knees. While this may sound logical, it’s always difficult for most skiers to get to the point where ankle-balancing becomes second-nature. This observation, based on my personal experience, is guaranteed to deliver results and contribute to making you look much taller on skis instead of all crunched up. Standing upright is also going to influence which joint actually picks up the job of balancing your body. If you stand up on your skis, as if you wanted to be tall and proud, that task will automatically go to the ankles. Why? Because by standing in a more erect position, you’ll be neutralizing both hips and knees so there won’t be any other means but for your ankles to shifting your weight fore and aft while in motion.

The added benefit of the exercise is that it will promote more elegant and longer radius turns, which in my book is the holy grail of skiing. Like most, this practice is initially easier on gentle slopes. So you’ve got it; just progressively increase the steepness as this particular skill develops. Begin this training soon; you’ll feel mentally taller and more positive about your form and your ankles will start running the whole show! After a while, you’ll discover that it’s easier for you to stay centered and quiet longer on your skis and this will go a long way to making you the envy of all the other skiers who are looking at you from the chair.

This brings us to the frosting on the cake: Effortless skiing! Think and believe that you’re skiing on a cloud, that you’re “caressing” the snow. That’s right, the smoother, more effortless your skiing will become, the more natural skier you’ll be and of course, the more beautiful other folks will naturally find you. Only now should you worry about matching your helmet with the rest of your outfit and trading these aluminum poles for thin, composite ones. And by the way, now that you’re looking so cool on skis, don’t you think it’s time for trading-in that faded, old one-piece suit?

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