Start Your Season on the Groomers

By Mark Mc Donald

The new season is upon us making it time to dust off the skis, wear the boots around the house and get ready for our exciting 2018 snow season.

So, what can we do to get ourselves back to the same skier we were last year?

While it is tempting to fly straight down the hill and refresh the soul with the wind blasting back up the nostrils it is also a little risky as a first season maneuver.

A wiser approach that may also assist in making you a better skier than last year is taking care to work on some key fundamentals.

Here is a little warm up progression that gives you all the feelings and movements to be a great skier. All movements are designed for green groomed terrain.

  • Starting in a schuss alternate from leg to leg turning each leg out in an arrow shape while keeping the skis as flat as possible. So all you are really working on is, can I turn my legs in the hips?
  • Then roll the inside of the foot over so that you start to feel the edge bite as you turn the leg. Now there will be slight direction change.
  • Take the little turns, make them bigger and take them on a slightly steeper green hill. Don’t be afraid to shorten the inside leg and increase the edge angle as you go through a turn.

Let the skis go to parallel and continue turning with the same movements.

Another way to be a boomer on the groomer this season is to focus simply on getting the balance back over the outside ski.

  • On the flat simply lift one ski in the air. Try to keep the lifted ski horizontal as possible to the snow as this will ensure that you actually bend all the joints equally and correctly in the leg that is on the groomed snow.
  • Then if you can find a clear and safe area go across the hill for about 5m, lift the ski closest to the top of the hill in the air. Do this both ways.
  • Then try to do this in one half turn to the left and one to the right. Start by facing down the hill and making a “J” turn.
  • As you feel more comfortable try doing this in linked turns and then finally keep going down on the groomers with both skis on the ground but feeling like you are balanced and strongly skiing with you outside ski.

Have fun, be ready to take off this season down your own runway on some easy groomers.  Who knows, you may even be better then you were last year!

Mark Mc Donald