Skiing – 5 top tips for slope success from a ‘basic’
It’s the time of year when everyone is returning from skiing with various aches and pains into our world of physiotherapy. Including…Moi!
Toward the end of my own ski holiday, I was reflecting on what I might see in terms of injuries upon my return. Now that I can say I am a ‘competent’ skier of over 10 years, I thought it might be nice to share some of my own tips for getting comfortable on those planks.
1. Trust your gear – The moment I started believing that my skis would cut through the ice and snow, I graduated to edges. That is, after all, what they are designed for. Carve that powder…(I think that’s what they say)
2. Pole plant with flare – When I wasn’t sure what on this snowy earth I was supposed to do with my flailing poles, someone recommended dancing with the mountain. A Darcey Bussel style reach in the direction you want to go. Worked a charm. La de dee, la de dah…
3. Lift your chin – Regardless of how long you’ve spent conquering that mountain. A week, a lifetime?! Hold that head up high and smile at the run. Relax your shoulders and you will, absolutely, be a) in a better ski position, and b) enjoy yourself more.
4. Say thank you to bumps – Stick with me, when I first saw some snow bumps that I was really nervous about, a wise man said to me; ‘as you go around and over each bump say, ‘thank you bump!’. They are slowing you down and helping you ski. Took the fear right out of them.
5. If you are tired, rest – Here comes my physio brain. The moment has arrived when you think you might be pushing your luck..? You probably are. Times for après. It’s hard work skiing, you need to be alert, feeling strong and in control. If it’s getting too much, then the fun is running out and I spy injury time. Get your neon clad self down that mountain, grab a beer and relax!
Whilst my advice does, by no means replace a qualified ski instructor ( and I can’t recommend getting professional lesson enough, much less ouchy) , it has certainly helped me with gaining the swish, swoosh factor and my notoriously hard to please instructor/family-member actually reported the following: ‘Sam has finally found edges and angles..huh.’ Praise. Indeed.