Lessons, like interest, pay dividends especially when the investment is early in the year. All of us can benefit from ski clinics, lessons, tips and technique tune-ups. One of the attributes I enjoy most about skiing is that there is always more to learn and improve upon. Who wouldn’t benefit from improving their turns, handling moguls, or shifting their stance in challenging terrain and deep snow? But how many of us take the time to schedule lessons and enroll in a class? When is the last time you took a techniques class or practiced drills to help you more firmly set an edge or negotiate the bumps?
The beginning of the season is the best time to enroll in a class or even ask a friend to give you some pointers. This early intervention could help you gain more confidence and perhaps improve your skiing this winter. A recognized ski school class is ideal in that you should get both an evaluation and recommendations on how to improve your skiing. Half-day classes in the morning give you the rest of the day to practice what you’ve just learned. Enrolling with a friend makes it more social but either way, focus on what you want to improve upon and make sure the class addresses that skill or skills.
Having skied most of my life, and taken lessons throughout, I not only see the benefits but am happy to share tips and suggestions. Here’s the tricky thing though … I don’t really know if the person I am skiing with is interested in receiving any tips or suggestions. Am I being insulting if I point out that they tend to sit back on their tails while making a turn? If I suggest dropping a downhill shoulder or practice unweighting your uphill ski, is that unwanted advice? My own approach is to only ask someone I know well if they would welcome some suggestions. It may be someone struggling to keep up with the group or perhaps they avoid many of the slopes that the rest of the gang handles with ease. As the terrain, conditions, and speed change you are required to dynamically alter your technique. For me, these variables are both a joy and a challenge.
Skiing should be like dancing. Here, your partner is a snow-covered mountain! Being light on your feet, bouncing from foot-to-foot, while sailing down a snowy slope can be a transcendent experience. Having various dance moves in your repertoire allows you to handle more terrain with ease and hopefully joy. If I can help, let me know because I certainly wouldn’t want to presume! I hope to see you on the slopes!
-- Marlon Taylor
Board Member, OutRyders member since 2017