You no longer look like a newborn deer when you stand upon your skis, and you feel some confidence in your skills. What many want to do upon reaching that level is to push your learned skills to the limit, and maybe begin to develop your own skiing style.
But whether we talk about skiing or any other hobby, the intermediate zone is often one of the most dangerous times for anyone. Intermediate skiers often overestimate their own skills, leading to injuries and a long winter sitting cooped up in a cabin drinking hot chocolate.
With proper technique and the right mentality, you can move from a skiing amateur to one who stays safe and can take that next level in skiing. Here are some of the most common mistakes which may hold you back.
- 1.Where are you Leaning?
If you have skied for any length of time, you have probably already heard not to lean back, and yet so many skiers do so. Skiers do not learn back out of a fear of falling, but out of a natural instinct to learn backwards when we feel ourselves traveling at high speeds. You can find your body doing this when you are on an accelerating airplane.
At the same time, leaning forward can be just as bad, and intermediate skiers often do this to overcompensate in response to instructions to not lean back. Your goal is to stay centered on the skis, so that they press evenly into the snow along the entire length. Staying centered give you control of the entire ski and limits the risk of injury.
- 2.Look Ahead
We look forward when we drive or walk or go anywhere, not down at our feet. But when we ski, many stare down at their skis instead of looking ahead. This can be particularly dangerous on a crowded slope over the holidays.
We look down out of a natural worry about whether we are doing the right things with our skis, but that worry leads to another dangerous result of looking ahead. If you are overly focused on your skis and feet, the odds are that you are not focused on the rest of your posture. Skiing is fundamentally a lower-body exercise. If you worry about anything, worry about the position of your lower body and stop checking to make sure your skis are attached to your feet. They are.
- 3.Know Your Limits
Yes, you will not learn anything if you never venture outside of your comfort zone in Wyoming. But that does not mean heading straight for the hardest course or the fastest speed. Julie Brown with Powder magazine points out that by skiing slowly, she had more time to think about making the smoothest curve instead of going as fast as possible. Meanwhile, skiers who try out courses beyond their skill level often find themselves reverting to bad habits.
There are always new techniques to learn in skiing. Instead of trying out the toughest courses as soon as possible, focus on learning those techniques and then using them until you feel ready to try a more advanced course.
- 4.Attend Ski School
Of course, the best way to learn additional techniques is by listening to an instructor or attending a ski school. Maybe you can enjoy yourself practicing by yourself on an easier course, or attempt to teach yourself. But in order to take the next step and become an expert skier, you need a second set of eyes to watch over you and correct your form.
Check out the Professional Ski Instructors of America to find instructors or other events which can help you progress further. Skiing can always be done by yourself, but it is most enjoyable as part of a group.