Planning a family ski trip this winter? Whether you’re new to skiing or just need a refresher, make sure you take a look at the following skiing techniques and tips before hitting the slopes.

  1. Align your spine. As a general rule of thumb, always make sure your shoulders are positioned over your knees. This will help you maintain your balance and put you in a position of readiness, like a tennis player preparing to follow the ball. From this stance, you will be ready for anything that comes your way.
  2. Focus on your feet. As you move down the hill, think about the sensations in your feet. You’ll feel some pressure along the lower inside part of your outer foot. As you turn, the pressure should shift to the ball of your foot and then to the heel. Study these sensations so that they will soon be committed to your muscle memory.
  3. It’s all in the hips. One of the biggest mistakes inexperienced skiers make is initiating turns by rotating the upper body. The trick is to keep the upper body as still as possible (remember, you want your shoulders to stay square above your knees) and turn with the legs instead. Initiate the turn by rotating the femurs inside the hip sockets.
  4. Stay strong on the outside ski. To keep your balance during a turn, put more pressure on the outside leg. This will allow the ski to bite into the snow, initiating a smoother turn.
  5. Go with the flow. Keeping your stance as described in our first tip is important, but it’s even more important to loosen up your muscles and relax. Shift your weight to adapt to any bumps and dips you encounter. This will require you to bend and extend different joints in different combinations as you go.

Even with these tips in mind, it is wise to start out slow. If you haven’t skied since last winter, you might be a little rusty. Hit the bunny hill first and work your way up. Even the slightest injury could totally ruin your family vacation.