Five Hot Tips for Powder Skiing

January 03, 2014 Katie Burrell

Granted, there are no friends on a powder day (if you have to wait, which you don’t/won’t); but, if your best friends are all right there with you, then there is some serious bonding that can go on in the deep stuff. There’s a lot to be said for coaching and pushing each other into being better skiers, so that you can all hit up some powder skiing together. Here are five tips to keep relationships strong and your friends together on a powder day.  

Friendships Are The Best Ships. Photo: Caton Garvie
Friendships are the best ships. Photo: Caton Garvie

Look Ahead Just like in life, we have to look forward to move forward (#wisdom). So, when skiing, keep your eyes looking three turns ahead of your current turn (unless you’re watching the helicopter land; kind of goes without saying, but the blog won’t be held liable). Basically, you focus on the tree: you hit the tree. It’s science. 

Photo: Caton Garvie
Just a guide, not hitting a tree. Photo: Caton Garvie

Open it Up When you’re skiing powder, it’s actually easier to go faster. The momentum will carry you through flatter zones and you won’t have to do the powder shuffle (probably don’t need to describe this in detail, but it’s tragic and exhausting). Having some speed will put you up into that sweet spot on your skis and out of the backseat, which is ultimately more tiring and less fun (think: out of control). Plus, the billowing powder around you will slow you down. Let it do its job!

Or You Can Get Up Out The Pow For Guaranteed Acceleration (Professional Driver On A Closed Course). Photo: Chris O'connell
Or you can get up out the pow for guaranteed acceleration (professional driver on a closed course). Photo: Chris O’Connell

Engage Your Core Not super keen in being one of those annoying types that tells you to engage your core at times where it’s not really necessary to engage your core (sleeping, watching TV), but, when your legs get tired, you can ski with your core. Engaging it keeps you centred, strong and efficient  because you are using your entire body to get pitted (slang for having a lot of fun in deep snow) and not just your screaming quads. So put a ring on that core already. #engaged

I'd Marry That. Photo: Chris O'connell
I’d marry that. Photo: Chris O’Connell

Get a Mantra You may feel out of your comfort zone at some point. That’s GREAT. Companies around the world have built entire marketing strategies on that concept. Getting out of your comfort zone is a big deal in the human experience. Why? Because it will give you the opportunity to create your mantra! For example: if you repeat “you’re better than you think you are,” over and over to yourself while skiing, things are going to change. You’re going to get better (also science, but more spiritual: very legitimate).

It's Vacay Time. Photo: Dave Silver
It’s vacay time. Photo: Dave Silver

Relax It’s an action sport, yes, and you’re an extreme skier, definitely, and heli skiing is super intense, for sure, but there is no need to ski like you’re operating an excavator (aggressive digging). Breathe, float and chill. People in R&D labs around the world have worked very hard to build those skis you’re on so that you don’t have to (work that hard). This is one of the only times in life where “hard work”  doesn’t really pay off. Give in to the powder: inhale, exhale and enjoy the ride.

Bonus Tip: don’t listen to any of my tips.