How to Adapt Your Technique for Powder Snow
With the recent fresh dump of snow over the Alps and in much of North America, Snow+Rock recently published and article on [The Hub] with some ideas on how to ski on powder snow.
The deeper the snow, the slower you go.
I’ve found out over the past few years that skis don’t work very well standing still and you have to be moving to get them to function. The deeper the powder snow, the deeper you sink and the slower you go, making any sort of turn hard physical work. If you keep your line straighter then your speed tends to be highr and the skis work better.
Soft snow makes it difficult to balance.
With softer going underfoot you need to spread your weight more and work both feet together, rather than putting too much pressure on one ski and sinking into the snow. By gently changing balance on both skis, the turn can be driven round, although the outer ski still does most of the work.
During the turn, skis sink into the snow.
The skis will sink into the snow during the turn, but this can be used to an advantage by driving the skis round the turn and then changing edge and direction when they rebound to start the next turn. Try to focus on getting the tips out of the snow between the turns and building a rhythm as you move down the slope.
Lots of mistakes?
Skiing in soft powder snow can make you feel like your making lots of small mistakes, but apparently even very good skier can make mistakes and adjustments in soft snow. Just keep going and look like you know what you’re doing!
Get out of stalled turns.
It can be easy to get stuck in a turn and ‘stall’, but a strong pole plant helps to re-centre and reset between turns and can be an important way to keep the rhythm of the turns going.
If you’re pretty good on the piste, these slight changes to the way you ski along with suitable skis can help good intermediate sliers to begin to enjoy soft snow. It can be helpful in the beginning to ski in chopped up snow between pistes to practice technique before heading off into the really deep stuff!
Don’t forget to go properly prepared if skiing or snowboarding off-piste. a full range of clothing and accessories is available from Snow+Rock.