Skiing is one of the best ways to enjoy winter’s beauty while also getting a bit of exercise.
However, like any sport, skiing comes with many challenges, including learning how to ski under different conditions.
Skiing in deep snow can be tricky, but using a few tips can make it much simpler and safer.
Stay Relaxed and Balanced
In heavy snow, especially snow that’s loose or wet, your skis can dip under the first snow layer or be pulled in opposite directions.
This can be a scary sensation, but it’s important to remember to stay calm and keep your stance relaxed. Carrying tension in your body makes your skiing stance much stiffer, which can cause you to lose control more quickly.
A relaxed stance means that your knees and legs can better absorb any bumps or dips, and you can glide over obstacles without much of an issue.
Staying relaxed can also help you stay balanced. In deep, loose snow, you want to keep your balance as close to center as possible.
Leaning forward can help you pick up speed, which can help you ski more efficiently through deep snow. However, leaning too far forward can cause the tips of your skis to sink into the snow, catching and potentially causing a fall.
Leaning too far back, on the other hand, can cause your skis to head in opposite directions. Keep your balance centered and your center of gravity low for the best stability.
Stay Focused on Your Direction
Deep snow can make it challenging to head exactly where you want to go, so keep your focus on your direction.
You will also want to ensure that your skis, upper body, and hands are all pointed in that direction. You should be looking towards where you want to go.
Keeping your body positioned correctly will help you prepare for turns. Keeping your knees pointed in the same direction will also help you keep your legs and skis together so the skis don’t skid off in opposite directions.
Keep Your Skis Close Together
In general, it’s best to ski through deep snow with your feet and skis about hip-width apart.
Keeping your skis relatively close together, but not so close that you feel unbalanced, means that your skis will track through the same patches of snow.
This helps to reduce catching and skidding as you head downhill.
Monitor Your Turns
Skiing in deep snow often means that your skiing form won’t be perfect. You make have to make big adjustments to your turning techniques in order to stay upright and balanced.
Start by making small turns in order to get a feel for the snow and terrain. These small turns will help you pick up speed, which will help you cut through the snow more efficiently. As you gain speed, you can start making larger turns.
In deep snow, sharp turns are very difficult. Try to make your turns wide and round. Don’t worry about making your turns look pretty or precise.
You may have to wedge or carve your turns. Stay focused when turning, as your skis can easily catch or dip under, which can lead to a fall.
Practice with your smaller initial turns to see what works best for those particular conditions.
Maintain Your Strength
The key to skiing in challenging situations is strength. If your legs are strong, you’ll be able to keep your knees pointed in the same direction and hold your skis close together without worrying about them shooting out in different directions.
A strong core, meanwhile, can help you maintain your stance and posture. A strong core will also help you maintain a quiet upper body, which means more stability and balance. If you’re feeling worn out, call it a day after a few runs.
In deep snow, you’ll need to ski with more power than you would in normal conditions. Instead of gliding over the snow, ski as if you’re trying to push the snow around.
You may even need to bounce a bit to initiate your turns. This also applies to how you use your poles. Although you would normally only need to tap the snow to help with your turns or to maintain direction, you’ll now most likely need to firmly plant your pole.
You can also use a firm pole plant to help you launch into your next turn. Look ahead for a bump, bounce on your skis, plant the pole firmly, and you should be well set up for an easy turn.
Choose Different Skis
If the area where you do most of your skiing is known for having deep, loose, or wet snow, you may want to consider investing in a pair of wide rocker skis.
Unlike traditional camber skis, rocker skis are shaped like a gentle reverse arch. They curve up slightly from the middle, so the tails and tips are elevated. This helps to reduce the risk of catching them in the snow.
Wider skis can also offer more stability, which means better balance and more control.
Ski with Friends
Skiing is, first and foremost, fun and exciting, but like any sport, it can also be dangerous. This is particularly true when skiing in conditions, such as deep snow, that aren’t perfect.
For this reason, it’s best to ski with a friend or group whenever possible. If you have a fall, your friends can look for you, help you down the slope, or call for help if necessary.
It can also be harder to get up from a fall in deep snow, so it’s always a benefit to have a friend available to lend a hand.