The steeps — for expert skiers, the anticipation of the drop elicits thrills. But beginner skiers at the top of their first steep slope often succumb to fear. Peering down is scary. So, check out our beginner’s guide for how to ski steep slopes for essential steps for success.
Our aim at The Adventure Junkies is to help you begin explore the steeper slopes at ski resorts. With the steps in your head and practice, you’ll be able to explore more terrain. Steep slopes no longer need to be intimidating. You can tackle them with confidence and revel in the adrenaline rush that comes with them.
STEP 1: STACK THE BODY CORRECTLY
Balance and body position are key for skiing steep slopes. Starting from the feet and going up the body, let’s look at how you should stack up your body parts for the correct posture. For skiing the steeps, it’s no different than when you first learned to turn on skis.
BALANCE ON FEET
Fear causes many skiers to sit back on steep slopes. Weight goes to the heels, almost in a classic cartoon skid. But that’s the exact opposite of an aggressive stance needed to ski steep slopes.
Weight needs to be balanced over the feet, with equal distribution between the balls and the heels. Feet should be centered below the hips and shoulders.
Fear also causes the knees to lock in a stiff stance. However, the knees must remain loosely flexed for mobility in skiing steep slopes.
Push the hips forward. On steep slopes, it seems like sitting back would be safer, but it’s not. Stacking the hips into balance over the balls of the feet lets you ride the skis and control their direction.
Focus your eyes and upper body down the slope. The lower body should do the work of the turns, but the upper body should remain in a stable position.
Bouncing around and upper body flailing throws off balance. The upper body should be perpendicular to the slope and tilted slightly down the hill, rather than up the hill into the slope.
To ski steep slopes requires that the hands stay in front of the body. Do not let them stray to your hips or worse yet, behind your hips. When the hands move back, so does the fanny, which throws balance out of whack.
If the hands stay in front, you’ll maintain a more successful body position. In fact, look for your hands in the periphery of your vision. If you can see them, then they are in a good location.
Keep the head up rather than looking at your feet. Look down the slope aiming for where you want to go rather than the few inches in front of your skis. Keeping the head up promotes better balance.
A balanced posture is critical to your success. Maintaining a correctly stacked posture is primarily the job of the skeleton. Getting out of a stacked posture resorts to muscle support for skiing, and muscles tire quickly. Bones don’t tire, so rely on the skeleton for support.