- NW Snowsports Instructor
- Tech Zone
- Who We Are
Snowboard tip by Steve Frink
Goal: Zero wipeouts before both feet are strapped in. I try to get people in a directional sideslip on their own before their butt ever hits the ground. This keeps their confidence and their spirits high. Wiping out before you are “really snowboarding” makes the rest of the lesson appear pretty daunting.
Tip: Go slow and avoid hill creep. When students are getting their first sliding and doing the fade turn they should be going slow enough to easily step off the board and stop. We want to show students they can change direction using their feet. If they get on an edge and the board turns they are successful, move on. Later you can do a fade turn that more accurately imitates what they will experience unloading the lift and work on some ‘combat’ offloading skills. By then they’ve had more practice and their skills are ready.
Avoid Hill Creep: Hill creep is when students keep moving further and further up the hill as they wait for their turn to slide. Then they come down the hill with way too much speed and wipe out.This requires constant vigilance and good demos. Demo at the speed you want to see and start where you want them to start.[connections_list id=46 template_name=”div_staff_bio”]
Alpine tip by Jeremy Riss
We all know that a quiet and stable upper body is one of the keys to strong efficient skiing and in no place is this more true than when skiing steep terrain and soft snow. One key to a stable upper body is having the correct amount of tension in your muscles. If you are too relaxed you will get knocked off balance by changes in terrain and snow conditions. If you are too stiff you will be rigid and unable to continue moving your body through turns.
There has been quite a bit of published material this last season on pole use, and the way a skier holds, carries and swings the pole can have a positive effect on their ski/snow behavior. Something that has really helped me find the right amount of tension in my muscles or “functional tension” is how I grip my poles. Gripping your poles firmly with all four fingers will create some tension throughout you arms and core and stabilize your upper body. If you maintain this grip on the pole and functional tension in your muscles, your upper body will naturally move as you swing your pole creating flow of your body with your skis.
If you find yourself having a hard time maintaining all fingers gripping the pole try putting your thumb on top of the pole and only gripping your pole with your fingers. This will make it easier to break the habit of relaxing your fingers as you swing the pole because doing so will cause you to drop your pole. Keep in mind that gripping the pole with just your fingers, with your thumb on top of the grip, is just an exercise to discover the correct sensations. Utilizing a braking or stabilizing pole plant with your thumb on top of the grip may not be too practical or effective.
Gripping the pole correctly and creating functional tension in your muscles is a key for all skiing, but making the change will especially improve your skiing in steeper terrain and softer snow.[connections_list id=16 template_name=”div_staff_bio”]
by Mary Ryer
Icy fingers, icy toes,
Bright red cheeks and bright red nose.
Watch the snowflakes as they fall,
Try so hard to count them all.
Build a snowman way up high,
See if he can touch the sky.
Snow forts, snowballs, angels, too,
In the snow, so white and new.
Slip and slide and skate so fast.
Wintertime is here at last.