Updated: Mar 24, 2021
By Steve Ricketts - BASS MD
We put the BASS team on the spot to come up with a nugget of ski teaching gold.
We all expect our ski coaches to wave a magic wand and suddenly we will be skiing better. But, what if they could? Every ski coach has some little gem they like to use as often as possible. The good tips have substance behind them, communicated in a simple way to get you to engage in the moment, rather than overthinking the learning. In this article we take a look at three ways ski instructors use ‘tips’ alongside some of our experts’ favourite tips.
Improving ski performance has nothing to do with luck. When preparation meets opportunity it may appear fortunate, but is the result of an experienced coach identifying a specific change needed to improve performance and finding a way for the student to achieve it.
10 TOP TIPS
1. Elliot Stone – BASS Instructor Val D’Isere & Tignes
Favourite tip - enjoy yourself as much as possible and skiing will be easier. Or a Vin Chaud at lunch time.
2. Hugh Monney – BASS Founder Les Gets
Be here, now!
Living fully in the present moment can be elusive. Skiing both requires that from us and offers multiple opportunities to find it.
We start with this in our activation process each morning on Performance Breakthrough clinics.
3. Steve Ricketts - BASS MD All Resorts
Look where you are going, not where you are! This is one of those with lots of substance that is simplified into an action. The trick is to give the tip when it is going to be effective and to someone who needs it.
4. Dave Hudson - BASS Instructor Val D’Isere & Tignes
Instant tip for improvement would be to visualise yourself nailing each turn on the run before you set off.
Different Horses For Different Courses
I’m always being asked by my students, ‘What am I doing wrong?’ when I’m focusing on what they can be doing better. What they need to do and how they should do it, is usually a personalised and bespoke process. Different horses for different courses, rather than one size fits all.
5. Craig Haliday - BASS Director Val D’Isere
My favourite tip to make an instant impact on your skiing couldn’t be more simple, BE GREEDY!!! This doesn’t mean helping yourself to an extra croissant in the morning but refers to using a bit more of the available slope. Many skiers rush their turns for fear of going too fast and end up making short sharp arcs that cause a lot of judder through the ski’s and legs. Try to use a bit more space and create a c shaped arc using the hill to help you slow down. There isn’t a large cliff at the very edge of the blue run waiting to catch you out so go a little closer to the side of the slope and take your time over the turn. Your legs will thank you for it later.
6. Joe Cain - BASS Director Tignes
Remember skiing is a downhill sport.
7. Andy Lockerbie BASS Instructor All Resorts
Use the whole ski to help you. Use the front of the ski to keep turning, to control the speed, Use the middle of the ski to create the turn shape the ski was designed for, use the back of the ski to let the ski go straight in the direction it is currently pointing.
One Size Fits All
Be wary of Ski Philosophies that promise if you follow a set of rules you will be a better skier. This process makes the student fit the learning. We at BASS believe that a good ski coach uses a wealth of experience to find the teaching that fits the student.
8. Mike Crawford BASS Instructor 3 Valleys
Instead of ’snapping’ the turn round too quickly, take your time gently steer the ski around the arc. Counting 1, 2, 3 as you turn the ski around each turn. Imagine saying ’two’ as you face down the mountain.
Turn shape is key! Most people when they learnt to ski don’t use a rounded turn, however by using a circular shape while turning there are all sorts of benefits! Follow these points to try to make your skiing less tiring, more efficient and more enjoyable.
Using a rounded turn shape has lots of advantages, the main one being that you are able to make your skiing easier and more efficient. When you use a rounded arc shape you take the momentum from one arc into another, the ski travels at a consistent and controlled speed. It means that you can control your speed more accurately and instead of accelerating between turns you use the shape of the turns to control the speed.
When people are learning to ski they have a tendency to ski ‘defensively’ which is where they use a more ‘zig zag’ shape of turn which is all about killing off speed - which in fact makes the whole process much more tiring and emotionally draining! Practice skiing a rounded turn on easy slopes so that you can gradually move it onto the more advanced terrain.