First Things You Should Learn Walk In Skis

One of the first things you should learn is how to move around in skis. You will end up walking in skis when you are getting to a lift, or if you fall and have to get to a wayward ski, among other instances.

One of the most common ways to move yourself over flat or uphill terrain is to keep the skis parallel and push yourself forward with the poles. With both arms simultaneously, stab the poles, angled gently rearward, into the snow beside you, rotate your entire arms smoothly backward, and repeat. The angle lets you use your stronger shoulder muscles rather than your weaker forearm muscles to pull back. Pull one side more than the other to turn. Do not « saw » the skis back and forth as with a skiing exerciser or move arms alternately: cross-country skiing uses special hinged bindings to enable sweeping ski motion and wax to help pressure on part of the ski during part of the sawing motion move you forward. This method is good for starting onto a downhill stretch because the skis are positioned parallel, ready to go.

  • Herringbone (a technique named after the fish-bone patterns the skis leave in the snow). Point your ski tips away from each other, so they make a « V » shape, and take small steps forward. Tilt the leading edge into the snow and push forward to prevent slipping back. Bend your knees and lean forward a little so you can use the stronger leg-extension muscles to push yourself forward rather than the weaker leg-rotation muscles to pass one ski after another under you. You can climb hills this way. Spread the skis more the steeper the hill, and if you begin to slide backwards. Use the poles to avoid falling over, and keep them outside of the skis’ area so you don’t trip on them.
  • You can also « side-step » up an incline. Stand perpendicular (sideways) to the slope of the hill, dig the uphill edges of your skis into the snow (as with the herringbone) and take small steps sideways. Keep the skis perpendicular to the slope at your point, and use the poles to reduce unwanted forward or backward slipping as you work your way sideways up the hill.
  • Skate-skiing is fastest. Angle the skis as if to « herringbone », but allow yourself to slide forward smoothly on one close to directly under you and transition to gently digging it in sideways and kicking it outward as you place the other ski under you on the other side, maintaining forward momentum, much as with ice skating. You’ll smoothly transition to herringbone movement on steep surfaces.

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