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Intermediate Ski Tips

Once you have mastered the beginner-level techniques you can continue to work on your skiing ability to improve your confidence on the slopes, while also learning to manoeuvre your skis with increased precision and control. Use our intermediate ski tips to help you to improve your ski techniques as you work to improve your turns and practice carving. Once you have practiced and mastered the necessary intermediate level techniques you will be ready to leave the safety of the blue slopes to take on the steeper, more challenging red runs.

Internediate ski tips
flickr image by Nouhailler

Intermediate level skiing can pose a challenge to many budding enthusiasts who are eager to progress in the sport, however it is important not to become disheartened, even if you feel your progression has hit a brick wall. The most crucial factor of improving your skiing technique is to practice as often as possible. Having an improver lesson with a qualified instructor will help you to advance at a faster rate. This will also be helpful if you have a limited amount of time to improve, for example if you only get to ski on a yearly vacation at a ski resort. If this is the case,aim to have a lesson with as few fellow students as possible to get the most effective use of your instructor. A one on one lesson will allow the instructor to focus solely on you, which will also enable them to quickly discover where you are going wrong. They will then be able to advise you on how to correct your technique and make improvements.

Intermediate ski
At this point you should already have some control of your speed and direction by using "the wedge" and the "French fries" stances on your skis. You should also be able to practice basic turns as you descend the slope. In general most skiers at beginner level will make "z" shape turns, leaving a zigzag track in the snow. As you improve these should become smoother and more rounded to form "c" shape turns, which will ensure that your skis carve through the snow all the way through the turn, giving you more control.

Remember to look up the hill just before turning to ensure that there are no skiers or snowboarders riding close by who could be in danger of colliding with you when you change direction.

Making a "c" shape turn is easier when you know how to use the edges of your skis correctly, as this will help you to avoid sliding. You can manipulate the edges of your skis by altering your stance to apply your weight to the desired ski edge. Practice this byapproaching a right turn with your feet hip-width apart. Push your right ski forward slightly and roll both your knees towards the inside of the turn, which in this case is the right. Continue to keep your knees apart as you do this.As you practice this stance you are applying weight to the edges of your skis, which are facing the inside of the turn.

The added weight will force these edges to dig into the snow, causing you to turn to the right. Practicing this manoeuvre without sticks can be beneficial as it leaves your hands free to guide your knees by pushing them in the desired direction when you wish to turn. As you roll your knees remember to keep your upper body central and balanced. You can make the turn as wide or as small in radius as you want by determining how much pressure you place on the inside edge of your skis.

Intermediate ski resorts
flickr image by Nouhailler

Work on linking your turns as you would at beginner level by skiing across the slope before turning to ski back across the slope in the opposite direction. As you progress, aim to make the turns more immediate, leaving less time skiing straight across the slope between turns.

Pay attention to your body positioning as you turn. The direction your shoulders are facing will determine the direction that your skis are about to take.Avoid pushing your skis too far out as you lean, as this can cause you to lose control. Instead aim to keep the skis beneath you as you concentrate on keeping your weight balanced over your outer ski. This will enable you to achieve the relevant pressure build up along the carving edge of your skis. The carving edge is the side of your ski that faces outward during the turn.

Once you have successfully mastered the "c" shape turn, and are able to turn continuously from left to right, right to left on the edges of your skis, you can then concentrate on building your speed. Although this can be scary, it will actually make turning easier, enabling you to carve by leaning further into each turn. Once you have mastered carving you can congratulate yourself as you are now ready to move away from the green and blue slopes to tackle more challenging terrain.

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