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ski tips

Skiing powder

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  The goal of this column is to help you ski powder snow. The first thing I want to share is a distant memory of a fantastic, instructive ski season in the French Alps. We were faced with every possible condition, particularly industrial quantity snow. I was a young, inexperienced ski instructor. My limited understanding of skiing technique led me to position myself slightly back on my skis

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Teaching skiing well…

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I am always surprised and disappointed to hear skiers make an EXCLUSIVE link between skiing improvement and technique. It may be your turn to be surprised by my statement. Be that as it may, teaching skiing well rests first on the ability of a good ski instructor to be aware of your personal expectations, to adjust to the situation during your lesson and to identify and share with you the FUNDAMENTAL

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Buying new skis

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I’m happy to be back picking up the thread of my columns as ski season begins, and to be associated with Sam of Boutique Daniel Lachance in Mont-Tremblant. It’s a pleasure to work with Sam and tap into his knowledge and enthusiasm to develop tips that will help purchasers buy the skis that match their needs and their budget. A good salesman/technician should ask about several aspects of

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Spring skiing tips

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Sunshine and warm temperatures transform the snow. As soon as the surface of the snow changes to “shifting sand”, many skiers leave the hills. At that point the bars, shops and terraces become particularly attractive. However, skiing in sugar snow is very pleasant when the skier has mastered the technique. Here are a few tips that could make your life easier in this kind of snow. - Ski

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Strong alignment means effortless skiing

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This column is based on a simple, fundamental principle of balance*. No matter what age of skier you are, with skills from beginner to expert, racer, free skier or recreational skier, you must search constantly for solidity and ease. These two elements are the key to extending your mastery of speed, control of direction, and comfort on a range of terrains and snow conditions. I INVITE YOU TO QUESTION

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Achieving mastery

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Teaching skiing is often seen as being exclusively technical in nature. I would suggest a different approach: that of EXPERIMENTATION. Here’s something you can try for yourself: *  On a moderate, constant slope (a blue or black); *  Make ROUND, LINKED turns in a corridor about six metres or two snowcat tracks wide; *  Start your descent at a controlled, fairly high speed; * 

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Brain plasticity . . .

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When an experienced skier wants to improve, it involves making some changes to their usual way of moving on their skis. In some cases, the movements are really different; in others, the movements feel new simply because they are more precise. Whatever the type or degree of the change, it will call upon the plasticity of the brain for it to order the body to perform some unusual movements. This aspect

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From Interski to you . . .

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Interski is an international event that brings together, once every four years, elite instructors from countries where snow sports are taught. In September, Argentina was the host country for the congress. Canada was well represented by a select group of ski, snowboard and telemark instructors, and by their coaches. The goal of this international meeting is to demonstrate the technique used and taught

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Move your hands to move your feet…

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A determining factor that will contribute to making you a better skier is having mobile feet as well as rhythm and a momentum in the transition of your skis from one turn to the next. Because understanding this statement will not necessarily bring about change and success, I suggest you try a simple little experiment to move this idea from mere understanding to concrete, conclusive action. Before

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Good skiing is good skiing!

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You often hear comments from people who are categorizing and evaluating skiers on the basis of their styles (racers, teachers or “free skiers’). The analyses are often based on prejudices or superficial observations and have no solid base. While there are differences in the look and objectives, there are nonetheless fundamental common denominators among all these kinds of skiers. I apologize

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Learning priorities

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Whether it’s a matter of improving your own abilities or for teaching, questioning yourself in priority order will increase your chances of success. Select one element to work on per section. The three elements selected should work together to create an improvement equation. 1- performance - confidence - success - knowledge - fun - security 2- turns that are round in shape (not zigzag) - fluid

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Consequence or action . . .

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Start with a few fundamental elements, such as trying to centre yourself on the ski on the outside of the turn because you turn with the help of your legs and your feet. Add to this a few basic* procedures and a great deal of ADAPTATION. The efficient skier understands, feels, anticipates and adapts the rate and amplitude of his or her movements in order to slide freely, with control, in an environment

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Starting the ski season—or day-right

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Over the years, my experience skiing and teaching has allowed me to observe the classic behaviours (good and bad) of skiers in various specific, and sometimes destabilizing, situations. Starting a day or a season of skiing is one of those decisive moments that prepares what follows. Many skiers start off trying, as quickly as possible, to make beautiful big turns on easy slopes. In my opinion, it’s

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THE WINNING TRIO…

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A GOOD TIPBecause your balance on your outside ski determines the shape of your turn, it becomes a determinant of comfort and mastery in your skiing. Try to listen to the noise that your outside ski makes on the snow in the second half of the turn by bringing your ear towards the supporting foot on the side of your body that’s closer to the base of the mountain. This slight head movement towards

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Sensations and reflections: Skiing 101

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On the snow, your skis are extensions of your feet. These latter are the part of your body that connects you to the surface of the snow. They are your best tools of reference for directing yourself efficiently throughout the round, linked turns you make to manage your speed and stability. In addition, the contact of your feet on the inner soles of your ski boots provides you with a great deal of useful

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Control through alignment

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Look at these photographs and figure out which is the one in which the skier being pulled towards the base of the slope appears to you to be best positioned to solidly resist the pressure.  Try carrying out the same exercise as that shown in the photos. You should be able to feel and thus visualize how to align your body to effectively resist the pressure your partner is putting on you by pulling

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Important questions

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When you want to improve your skiing, the first step is to ask yourself some strategic questions. Revving up your neurons and launching a research process is the beginning of the solution. Good technical advice can help, but unfortunately, the learner’s progress is often short-lived compared to that achieved through targeted questioning that has the learner working to solve a problem. The positive

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Updating your essentials

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To get your ski season off to a good start, it’s extremely important to update your needs and equipment to bring them in line with your reality as a skier or as the parent of a young skier. During the months since last winter, some things may have changed. A good summer of cycling, for example, has undoubtedly transformed your physical condition and made you more athletic. On the other hand,

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Time to take stock!

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Hot sunshine, sunglasses, snow like sugar, bumps, the smell of sunscreen lotion and celebrations on the patios…. We’ve arrived. It’s spring skiing at its best when Mother Nature’s in a good mood. For me, it’s also a nostalgic time as my ski season draws to a pause until my adult skiing improvement camps for advanced/expert skiers start up in the magic mountains of Chile

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Two boots, two windshield wipers

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Yet again, by calling on your imagination, you can make a useful partial link between two things that have no real connection.  For many skiers, good edging means applying massive pressure to the edge of the outside (downhill) ski at the end of the turn while bending a knee in the direction of the turn. Wrong! Take your inspiration from the coordinated, continuous action of two wipers moving

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Using your imagination...

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In this column, I would like to invite you to make a visual and sensory link between some aspects of the sport of archery and that of skiing.   * My eyes and body move while remaining linked and oriented towards a target (the beginning of the next turn). I always act in accordance with what is in front of me and what I have to do to get there with precision and ease (anticipation).  *

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