After having finally got the group together and booked a ski trip for next year, the pressure was on to dust off the ski gloves and get reacquainted with the dry ski slope. After taking a long, lazy break over the summer, strapping two planks to my feet felt as alien as ever. However, I was pleased to discover that I wasn’t entirely back at square one, although my skiing still leaves a lot to be desired.
While on the slope I tried out a few exercises to improve my turns, control and accuracy. Everyone can have a go at these, although they are ideal for wobbly beginners like me.
- Weave in and out of ‘obstacles’
On the slope in Norfolk, there are lots of coloured shapes on the carpet, which are ideal to practise navigating around. Use lines, discoloured sections or anything else you can spot if your slope doesn’t have anything blatant to aim for. Navigate a path around these ‘obstacles’, concentrating on accuracy. You can increase the difficulty by upping the speed or making tighter turns.
- Narrow and wide turns
Being able to vary the size of your turns is a useful skill, so try practising narrow and wide turns as you go down the slope. Use the mats to give you a size to aim for – alternating between the widths of one mat, two mats, three mats or more is a useful barometer. Try to make your turns smooth, even and at a consistent pace.
- Get comfortable with speed
I have a big fear of going fast, but I have found that aiming for a bit more speed at the bottom of the slope is a great way to make going a bit faster feel comfortable. I use the last quarter of the slope to just up the speed a little, using good turns to stay in control. Doing this at the bottom of the slope gives you a good safety net because there isn’t far to go until you would be brought naturally to a stop.
Are there any other beginner skiers out there? It would be great to hear from you.