Have you been taken down a piste that was too difficult for your ability? Resulting in a loss of confidence?
In this two-part blog, we will look at how you can overcome your fears and start to enjoy your time skiing in the mountains. Gaining confidence and taking back control of your ski's!
5. Turn shape
Time to get turning again, so listen up! This basic rule is the same, whether you are doing a snow plough turn, a plough parallel turn or a full parallel turn. If you do not finish your turn, you are going to pick up speed. Why? Because you are going to spend too much time in the fall-line. This is a subject where a lot of people go wrong, even some ski teachers. They will start with the start of the turn, also known as the ‘initiation’ or ‘release’ phase. For now, we will call it the start of the turn. You may think this is a great place to start… But think about what is going to happen when you start your turn. Your skis are going to move into the fall-line, point down the hill, and you are going to start to accelerate. Does not sound like the best place to start any more, right?
Therefor we are going to start at the end of the turn! But before we do that, let us take a look at the full turn and all of its parts in the figure below
As you can see from left to right; we have the end of the turn, the middle of the turn and the start of the turn. Other names are:
end / steering phase / deceleration phase
middle / neutral phase / oohhh s**t moment
start / initiation phase / release phase
If you would start with the start of the turn, you are going to go straight into the oohhh s**t moment and it is all over! So this is why you are going to re-learn everything, starting at the end of the turn. And then working your way back. This will build your confidence and enable you to control your speed and keep control, while also learning to finish your turn. This will take you out of the fall line for enough time to stop the acceleration that has been causing all of the problems.
Take one more look at the diagram, to the end of the turn. Do you see the little red circle? This is your key moment for keeping yourself under control! By turning all the way until your skis start to go back up the hill. This will slow you down and enable you to start the next turn with control and new found confidence. Once you have mastered the end of the turn, you can work your way back to the start.
6. Let us mix it up
Once you have worked on your turn shape and have mastered the end of the turn, you can start to play with the size of your turns. Making some long and some short turns, increase and decrease your speed. All of this will still be practised on the nursery slope. And this is where it will be useful, if the ski teacher is able to bring some equipment along to help. Traffic cones, short slalom poles, etc. He will be able to make you a course to turn around. This will help you to make many turns of different sizes in both directions. By now you are getting more and more confidant and you are starting to conquer your nerves.
7. Mileage, mileage, mileage
It is that simple! Run, after run, after run! The more the better, but stay on the same slope and do not try to move on to quickly. Once you are starting to feel you are in control, you can move on to slightly steeper slopes. But keep your teacher by your side, as there are some tricks still to be learned along the way.
Not only do you want to make sure you get plenty of rest, also keep drinking lots of water. Do not forget you are taking part in a sport and you are at altitude. This means you will get dehydrated much quicker. Getting plenty of food is also going to be very important for your next days on the slopes. So your body has enough energy to learn new things and continuing to conquer your fears.
Following “8 ways to conquer your nerves when skiing” should mean you will be on your way to becoming more confidant and getting over the fears you have had in the past.
If you have any questions or comments relating to how to overcome fear when skiing, please do post them below and we will answer them as soon as we can.
Are you looking to overcome your fear of skiing? Then take a few moments to look over our FEAR-LESS ski camps running this winter. You will be skiing with like-minded people and have a dedicated trainer working with you on your unique goals.
For more information on all of our camps click here