COLUMN: Powder skiing, freedom as you float over pillows

This is what it is all about, whether you are a freeskier, an alpine racer, or an intermediate skier, powder skiing is pure pleasure.

In my last column we focused on athletic skiing and this week we will focus on powder skiing.

Powder skiing: Freedom as you float over pillows. Creativity, as you draw flowing lines through the trees. Vitality, as you breathe in cold air between faceshots.

This is what it is all about, whether you are a freeskier, an alpine racer, or an intermediate skier, powder skiing is pure, playful, pleasure.

So, how can you make your powder skiing experience as fun as possible and stay out there all day long?

Stance, balance and coordination.

The same principles that apply to the rest of your skiing apply to powder skiing too.

Your stance should be quite tall with skis fairly close together. This way you can be absorbing the changing terrain with your legs, and a narrow stance with your feet will help you stay up on top of the snow where you have more control.

This stance should look a bit like the ’80s ski movie star heroes and you can even wiggle your hips to turn. Use your own style!

Your balance should be slightly forward. This is a surprise to many people as they feel that they should be in the backseat in the powder.

This was true with our skis from last century but now we have increased width and more shape that allows us to be in a more athletic position on our skis. Think tennis stance.

You should be on the balls of your feet and have a moderate amount of pressure between your shins and the front of your boots at the pole plant.

This pressure gives you the ability to actually be in control of your powder skiing experience.

Lift your hips at the pole plant and you will be ready for anything!

Coordination is the key. So, how do you improve your coordination? Use the tools that you have at the tips of your fingers. Your poles!

Plant them! And don’t just use your wrist to plant your pole, use your shoulder to put some weight on the pole as you plant it.

The pole plant is the timing device that allows you to float above time and space for that split second between turns.

This split second is your chance to rebalance and begin the next turn with renewed purpose.

Powder. Freedom. Creativity. Vitality. As we move through life we realize that these experiences do not come for free.

They are earned on this journey, and as we earn these moments, our respect deepens.

May you have many pure moments of joy in the mountains this season.


— Dylan Henderson is the head coach of the Whitewater Ski Team. He is a certified development level coach with the Canadian Ski Coaches Federation and a Level 1 ski instructor with the Canadian Ski Instructors Association.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Haitian foster children arrive in Nelson after months-long lobbying effort

Marie-Paule Brisson and Sebastien De Marre have parented girls age 12 and 8 since they were babies

Nelson hospice starts Walk and Talk group in Lakeside Park

The Walk and Talk Grief Group is offered free to anyone grieving the death of a loved one

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

RDCK to implement new emergency alert notification system

System also includes sends alerts for water advisories

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Most Read