Here’s a few tips to improve your cred on the slopes – some old and new skool moves that will impress your friends on your next ski holiday.
So you’ve mastered the art of going down a hill in a straight line, and perhaps making the odd turn. It’s great isn’t it? Look it’s ok to admit you’re bored of the same old thing run after run, so why not try to spice it up a bit with a few simple freestyle tricks to get the adrenaline pumping. Now before you get too excited, there is no way you will master a flip by simply reading this article so let’s get back down to earth and talk about some simple tricks to get you started.
The Spread Eagle
The easiest of the lot and you probably have a good idea what it involves by the name alone. Once you’ve left the relative safety of the ground and find yourself in mid-air, stretch your legs and arms out to form an x shape. It’s kind of like doing a jumping jack whilst on skis and the best thing is you don’t really need to think about doing it, you just do it. But, and this is a big but, don’t forget to bring your feet back together for your landing, otherwise you’re just going to look like you fell, which is exactly what you did.
No it’s not waddling like a duck through the snow, this trick is another simple air trick that requires a little more flexibility than the spread eagle. What you are aiming for is a form of the splits, on skis, and in the air. Simple right? Well it’s actually not that hard. Once in the air you stretch one leg forward and the other leg back, a bit like taking a step through the air. You really need to get good air when trying this out or your skis may hit the ground before you’ve brought them back in line.
The Iron Cross
As the name suggests this trick involves crossing your skis. I know, crossing your skis is something that goes against every ounce of common sense you possess but it’s a neat trick to have in your arsenal of moves. You need to get your coordination just right for this one as a tangled pair of skis can lead to a nasty spill on landing. So make sure you manage to get your skis straight before hitting the snow.
The Tail Grab
Now with this trick things start to get a little more complex. Although you used your arms in the spread eagle, it was more of a natural move. The perfect tail grab is when you bend both your legs back when in the air and reach one hand back to grab the end of a ski. It’s all done in a split second, just don’t forget to let go of the ski so you can bring it back down for a smooth landing.
This is the big one for a novice and in a way it’s like a graduation from the ranks of beginner to a freestyler that’s to be taken more seriously. It looks quite simple but once again it goes against everything you think you know about staying safe on the slopes. Basically once your skis are in the air you turn your head in the direction you want to rotate and then twist your hips to bring your body around and just like that you’re going down the slope backwards.
About the author: Written by Ciaran McEneaney, a freelance ski writer who works for www.snowbistro.com.