COLUMN: Listen to your skis

Dylan Henderson checks in with ski tips from Whitewater.

Hi skiers,

This is a ski tips column for all skiers, do not let the “Ski Racing” scare you away!

Ski racing is just free-skiing at a high performance level, and we all want to ski at our own personal best right?

I am Dylan Henderson and I am the head coach for the Whitewater ski team. I am a certified Development Level coach with the Canadian Ski Coaches Federation and a Level 1 ski instructor with the Canadian Ski Instructors Association.  My goal is to give you something to keep your skiing fresh every week even if the snow is not.

The last column we focused on efficient skiing, and this week we will focus on the relationship that we have with our skis.

Here we are in February, the middle of the winter season. Winter for me is all about skiing and romance, and I may be able to give you some tips that could help with one of these.

How is your relationship with your skis these days? Have you been spending enough quality time together on the slopes? Have you put in some effort to maintain and tune your ski edges and bases? Do you listen to your skis when you are skiing? Every relationship takes effort, but believe me, you will be rewarded for your efforts.

I feel that communication is the most important part of a meaningful relationship with our skis, and it is often overlooked. Your skis have a lot of personality and unexplored potential and together you can take your skiing to places that you have only dreamed of. Communication begins with listening, and your skis have a lot to say. Skis have a variety of flex, shape, width, and length that when combined create a defined turning radius along with other dynamic personality traits. In order to get your skiing style to work together with your ski performance you have to allow your skis to make the first move. Start the turn by simply rolling your skis up on edge and then wait to see what they do. If you try to turn your skis by pushing them around and sliding the tails then you will not be listening to your skis and they will perform poorly. Let your skis turn on their own and pay close attention to what they are doing that you can add performance to what the skis is do naturally.

Now, every ski has a sweet spot and when you hit that spot there will be fireworks! As your communication improves you will begin to feel that your skis are an extension of your body and you will find the perfect combination of edging, pressure and a powerful release that will have you carving from one turn to the next with perfect rhythm. Congratulations, you have found the sweet spot.

Remember that good skiers make great lovers and the better your day on the hill the more fun it is to snuggle up with your true love in front of the fire après ski.

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