Throughout the season we will be sharing top tips in Coach’s Corner that will help with some of the common issues skiers face on the mountains. Here is a taste of the topics still to come:
- Skiing in poor visibility
- Negotiating narrow paths
- Coping on crowded runs
This article will look at dealing with the dreaded ice.
Who needs grip?
The belief that you should try to grip on ice is a widely held misconception. Trying to grip will usually result in you skidding, whether you mean to or not. Deliberately skidding is what you must do. Learn to love the ice, by choosing to skid, this way you can control your speed and direction. Remember, skidding is the correct technique for skiing on ice, so take control and choose to skid.
Tensing the upper body often causes you to lean back up the hill unbalancing you in the process. To stay loose and balanced, consciously relax how tightly you grip your poles. It is likely that you grip them very tightly when you encounter ice. Consciously loosen your grip and you will feel your entire upper body relax; maintain this as you tackle the icy sections.
Search and conquer
To improve, you need to seek out the ice and practice (where you are comfortable to do so). Although reading the terrain is something that comes with experience, everyone can stop and assess what lies ahead. Focus on what you can control. The route you take is your choice, so look for the ice and enjoy.
- Choose to skid
- Loosen your grip
- Go ice hunting!