To understand the dynamics of skiing, we often teach students to perform various exercises. Here are some exercises that will come in handy and teach you some of the skills you need to have to ski correctly.
Begin by standing as tall as you can on your skis, keep your legs absolutely straight and jump into the air. This should be very difficult. Next, crouch down and try to jump. This should be very easy. Jump up a few times to get comfortable doing this while standing in place.
Next, jump into the air and make a 180 turn in the air and come down facing in the opposite direction. Do this a few times until you get the hang of it.
Now, start across the hill in a traverse, jumping up and landing while still continuing in the same direction in a traverse. With kids, we call this “hopping like a bunny”. Do this a number of times, until you are comfortable jumping, while on moving skis.
Next, start down the hill (not directly down the fall line but not in a traverse ether). Jump into the air and turn while in the air (less than 180) and land facing in the new direction you want to be going in.
Congratulations, you now have a method of turning in crud, wet cement, and other endearing terms used to describe snow conditions we often find in the Spring. As a historical note: This is one of the earliest types of turns used in skiing. The correct term is an Alburg turn … sometimes referred to as a Gorilla turn. Practice this turn, get the feeling of contracting your legs and springing up into the air to make your turns. Not only is this very useful in the crud, but you have just learned some movements that you are going to incorporate into your skiing technique.
Next, start across the hill in a traverse and jump up but reduce your motion (don’t do it so hard) “almost jump” so that the skis do not leave the snow but almost leave the snow. Do this a few times, until you can do it easily. We call this “up unweighting”. Practice it a few more times in a traverse, until you have it.