Becoming a better skier depends to a large extent on mileage - quite simply, the more miles you put under your belt, the better you will be skiing. Combined with hints you can find elsewhere on how to improve your balance, you will be well on the way to skiing better.Obviously, the high mileage you are clocking up from dawn to dusk on your week's skiing holiday will mean that initially you will be falling a lot more. This may be bad for your ego, but at this stage you must abandon any pretensions of being a good upright skier for the opportunity to become a good horizontal skier!.I mention elsewhere what Ian Fleming once said about falling over and this is during the same season that he took up the sport in 1928, but it is so important that it needs to be emphasised again: 'Surely it can't be difficult to ski? One falls over, or one doesn't fall over.
It's as simple as that!' His friends would say later that he was the best skiers they knew.Falling is a critical part of the learning process. It helps to reduce fear, and strangely enough often reduces injury if done properly! You must learn to relax; if you tense up as you fall you will hurt yourself far more. You normally fall when you go over your limit, and if you are developing a more positive attitude to skiing, this will happen often.
Accept that you are going to fall a lot and you will learn to relax while you are doing it.Never despair because you are falling too much! There will be off days when you are always falling and can't ski at all. You must accept it. Even the best skiers do it. They usually take the rest of the day off and go home and read a good book.If you have time to think about it, try to fall backwards with your backside dropping uphill from your skis and relax while you are doing it.
This may be obvious to most people but it is surprising how many people fight it and end up in the most awful tangle. A fast, controlled lie down with both skis in the air can be the most satisfying fall, as it's possible to get straight back up and everybody watching thinks you have just performed a stunning trick.The best way to achieve this is fall before you have to!.After you have notched up a few hundred falls (some of which you will class bad crashes), I have no doubt that you will be controlling most of the falls and some of the crashes.
You must accept that the rest of the crashes may cause injury - that is the nature of the sport. I discuss this in more detail later, but the summary of what I say is that once you have learnt how to fall, your confidence will increase, rather than disintegrate.Soon you may even be able to analyse the technical reason for the fall after reading further articles, and this ability will boost your confidence even more as you put corrections into practice, and find that you are falling a lot less..Simon Dewhurst has taught downhill skiing in North America, Scandinavia and the European Alps for 35 years. He currently runs a ski chalet agency in the French Alps. His book "Secrets of Better Skiing" can be found at http://www.ski-jungle.com.
If you have any comments about the above article, he will be happy to answer them.
By: Simon Dewhurst