Skiing powder is all flow, not fighting with the elements.
by Felix Tanguay
It’s about going deep, feeling the resistance of the snow against your whole body while flying into the next turn. It’s almost like being weightless, and letting gravity do her magic.
Here are a few tips to help get that flow (and avoid the battle) the next time you’re in powder:
You have to move toward the fall line; your arms, hips, head…everything needs to move in that direction. Your skis can arc against the fall line to help control speed, but the rest of your body has to remain fully committed to the fall line. You’ll be using the momentum you created to start your next turn, instead of using every muscle in your body.
Observe in the photo below that on the next pole plant, my hips and head are fully committed to the fall line, even if my skis are arcing across the snow.
Be supple with the downhill leg, it will allow your body and hips to move toward the fall line in a continuous movement. If you lock your joints, you lose the flow. Remember, it’s all about flow.
By flexing the ankles and knees, you’ll be able to stay centred, even in deep powder. If that downhill leg is stiff, the only way not to fold like a cheap suitcase in powder (like Tim here is about to demonstrate) is to shift your weight back in error. Then you’ll lose the momentum, the flow—and your smile.
Felix Tanguay is the founder/director of Verbier’s freeride coaching powerhouse, Powder-Extreme. Born and raised in Mont-Sainte-Marie, Quebec, the CSIA Level IV Tanguay worked in the ski industry around the world before settling in Switzerland 13 years ago. Felix et al can show you how to become a better, safer, more confident skier. Powder-Extreme.com