It’s been a month of Christmas presents in Steamboat, with more powder days than not.
For the more advanced among us, we’re in love. But for the less experienced, or at least those less experienced in powder, it can also bring some challenges: fatigue, frustration, and confusion.
But don’t let that stop you! Really, we mean that. Powder skiing is what most skiers live for, and for good reason: once you’ve got it, it’s FUN. So take some of our Powder Skiing Tips and go practice. Believe us, it’s worth it!
Powder Skiing Tips
1. Plan on starting slow. Don’t wear yourself out by going all day; no matter who you are, powder skiing will certainly fatigue your more quickly than normally. Plan on and hour or two and then a break.
2. Distribute your weight more evenly. Unlike when you are carving through corduroy and the majority of your weight is on your outside/downhill ski, in powder you want your weight more evenly distributed. Have too little weight on either skiing and you risk it flopping and getting caught up, likely resulting in a tumble (albeit a soft one…). Think more 50/50 to 60/40 weight, depending on where you are in your turn and how deep the powder is.
3. Point down the fall line. No, don’t go straight down the hill, but make your turns much less pronounced. The deeper the powder, the more you want your skis pointing down the hills. This will give your body momentum to get through the powder with less effort.
4. Keep your skis closer together. When carving, your skis should be about hip width apart. In powder, bring them a little closer together; this minimizes the odds of them going over different terrain and one getting caught.
5. Remember the rules that always apply. Lastly, some rules apply no matter whether you’re skiing powder or not: Keep your upper body point downhill at all times (only your lower body should do the turning), keep your hands and arms reaching down the hill with your upper torso (don’t move them back and forth as you turn), and keep both skis pointing and turning in the same direction at all times.
6. Listen to your body. All else aside, listen to your body and stop when you’re tired. There’s no reason to push past the point of exhaustion. Go have lunch, head to the hot tub, and call it a day. You will never make progress when tired, better to start again fresh tomorrow.
7. Enjoy! As you start to connect a few soft bouncing turns enjoy the ride. Be warned – it’s addictive!