I saw him sprawling out with the face full of dirt and snow. I ran to help and take stock. No fractures, no injury, and no blood. My brother was all right but he was definitely embarrassed and shocked by the tumble, fleeing the scene, leaving the entire family behind. Right on cue, a 60 years old man and a 10 years old girl swish elegantly by, forming a zigzag down the slope.
Welcome to day one of our family’s Vail, Colorado ski adventure that went terribly wrong. It was my brother’s first time on the mountains. He was quite young then but courtesy to the daily practice, he rose from an amateur to an expert skier. He was bruised and battered. He made a lot of mistakes so that others don’t have to. He sacrificed his time and pride so that others can know how to avoid costly mistakes. He went up to the hill to receive the ten commandments.
1. Leaning Back
Leaning back is certainly the worst mistake that you can make when skiing. The reasons are quite simple. You are terrified of the speed and slope. It causes many problems. It makes it very difficult to ski as the balance ski boots provide is lost. Your weight should always be forward so that you shines put pressure on the front of the ski and the ski boots press into the snow to provide you perfect balance.
2. The Falling Factor
You are going to fall in your first few rounds. There is no other way to learn it. The more you fall, the more you learn. However, when you fall, don’t try to stop your fall with your hands. You may end up fracturing your arms instead. Let the snow and your clothing protect you from the impact of the fall. It may seem strange but it is the safest option.
3. Don’t Wear Anything
It is necessary that you wear the right clothes. But most of the beginners choose to ignore this advice. Commence with the first layer to keep you warm. Add a central layer to keep you comfortable and the third layer to keep out the moisture and break the chilling winds.
4. Movement of the Hips
The beginners don’t really care that they are something. If the hips are pushed in one direction and the body is leaned in another way. The leaning will have a smaller effect. Your entire body need to be part of the leaning to produce a perfect balance and larger effect from the skis.
In order to remain balanced, you should be going at the balanced pace. If you are moving slower than the right speed, then the events will take place so slowly that you don’t even realize where did you make a mistake. If you are moving at the balanced speed, you will be able to realize what is happening around you, feeling the movements of the skis.
6. Don’t Look At the Ski boots
This is a fear based mistake. People get so terrified that they stop observing where they are going. Your concentration should be on your way, therefore, you should be looking straight. As far as the direction of the skis is concerned, you should be aware where they are going without needing to looking at them.
7. Bending the Body Down the Slope
Your body must be looking over the ski with the hips and the shoulders in the same direction as the tips of the skis. This position makes it comfortable to bend on the downhill slope as well as enabling you to notice the direction of your movement.
8. Do Not Try This on Your Own
You should never try skiing all by yourself, even if you see people on the mountains. You need someone to stay with you.
9. Don’t Overthink
Learning to ski is a mental and psychological exercise. Conquering the slop as an expert skier means conquering the fear in your head shouting “You are going to die.” This is just a game. Learn skiing for fun and don’t think too much.
So it is time to take the step. You love the snow. You love skiing and there is no better time to learn it than right now. Just keep the ten commandments in your mind and you will be fine and safe. Skiing is not a rocket science. All you have to do is to be brave and get those ski boots. You will fall once or twice but ultimately you will become an expert as my brother did.
Believe me, when I say this: Skiing is fun.
Image(s): Bigstock Photo.