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Go Fast, Turn Easier

Adventure
posted: 02/18/2004

Skiing slowly in powder is like jogging through oatmeal: Not only does it feel weird and look silly, but it's downright difficult. Effortless powder skiing is fast powder skiing. You need speed to power through and rise above the snowpack. If you drive your boards under the snow without enough momentum, they'll nosedive until you slow to a stop.

Most people think powder skiing means hard work. They drop in and get low in an effort to manhandle their skis around. Forget muscling the turn: The key is to be on top of the snow before you start turning. Begin by standing tall (no bending at the waist) with your skis shoulder width apart and your weight slightly in the backseat. Let your skis run down the fall line until you start floating. Be patient and let yourself go faster than might seem wise (Fig. 1). Keep your weight on the center of the skis for balance, then roll both skis onto edge in the direction of your first turn (Fig. 2 below). Your skis will compress the snow beneath them, turn, and bounce up into the transition between turns. Make a solid pole plant down the fall line and use the momentum you've gained to roll the skis into the next turn. With speed and simple edge rolls, you'll have energy to ski fresh all day.

Chris Anthony has been a Warren Miller star for 15 years and runs freeskiing camps in the U.S., Canada, and Italy.

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