The Trick to Skiing With Longer Skis

Hair-on-fire speed is controlled with body positioning.

Hair-on-fire speed is controlled with body positioning.

No other type of recreation in the thrill-every-second world of extreme sports -- aside from free falling -- allows you to go faster than you can skiing. The formula for speed on skis is body weight, slope grade and ski length. The longer the skis, the faster you descend. However, as a result of going faster, long skis are harder to control. Though short and long skis require the same technique, you have to use better and more exaggerated form to control long skis. Learn the tricks of skiing long skis and you can go fast, get a rush and remain safe.

Shoulders and Feet Perpendicular to Your Skis

Body position is the most important aspect of skiing in general and it's critical to skiing on long skis. Though skiing is a complex sport, a derivative of a variety of body movements, the correct body position is relatively easy to understand and assume. Keep your shoulders and your feet in a parallel line and keep that line perpendicular to your skis; your shoulders and feet make a line that is 90 degrees in relation to the slope of the run. When you lower your center of gravity -- squat -- your knees and hips move in opposite directions away from the parallel line. However, the relationship between your feet and your shoulders never changes. If your shoulders end up behind your feet, it's called "falling into the back seat" and you'll lose control. If your shoulders end up in front of your feet, it will cause you to straighten your legs, another means of quickly getting out of control.

Drive with Your Hands

Your hands are critical for balance when you're on long skis. If they end up behind your torso, they'll cause your shoulders to move behind your feet. If they're out to your sides, instead of in front of you, they'll cause your body to lean right or left. Keep your hands in front of your chest, at the level of your navel, shoulder-width apart, and keep your elbows bent to the same degree your knees are bent.

Looking Down the Fall Line

In addition to keeping your shoulders directly above your feet, keep them square to the fall line. The fall line is the most direct route down a ski slope -- the route a snowball would follow if it rolled down the run. In order to keep your shoulders square, look down the fall line. Your shoulders naturally turn in the same direction as your head turns. As a result, if you look at the fall line with your eyes, your shoulders will square to it. You rarely want your shoulders square to long skis. Even if your skis are at a 45-degree angle to the fall line, your shoulders shouldn't be.

Stay on Your Edges

If you don't stay on the edges of long skis, they begin to wobble and you lose control of them. Stay on the inside edge of your downhill ski and the outside edge of your uphill ski at all times, with the exception of the split second it requires to initiate a turn in the opposite direction. As you initiate a turn on long skis, rotate your knees across the center-line of the skis -- from the uphill edges of your skis to the downhill edges. This carves your skis back around toward the fall line. Once you cross the fall line, you can then initiate another turn.

 

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