Once you’ve nailed some basic fundamentals, going full-throttle on a groomer is relatively easy. Turn up the pitch or get off-piste, however, and things can get dicey. As evidenced by his multiple World Cup, Olympic and X Games wins Daron Rahlves has two speeds: fast and faster, at least when he’s carving up an iced-over racecourse. But these days, Rahlves is exploring a neglected medium: off-piste, big-mountain lines. No surprise, he makes quick work of those too. “I think a lot of skiers want to know how to go faster in the pow and crud,” says Rahlves. Turns out, no matter where you are or how fast you’re going, the same principles apply.
“Skiing with speed and staying in control boils down to four things,” says Rahlves. 1. Confidence: Be aggressive and commit to moving your center of mass down the hill. 2. Technique: Pull your feet back at the top of a turn to establish a strong platform. 3. Active balance: Stay over the center of your skis as you work the terrain. 4. Foresight: Look ahead, pick your line, make it flow.