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Float the Funk

Private Lessons
posted: 11/08/2004

Ever notice that when skiing crud, some people grunt and groan like they're working out in the weight room? Muscling every turn may be one way to plow through choppy snow, but why wear yourself out when it's more fun and efficient to lighten up and float over the funk?

Start by looking way down the hill for piles of snow that can function as both take-off ramps and landing zones. Now, initiate your first turn on the uphill side of a clump (Fig. 1). As you drive into that turn, allow the energy in your skis to release when you hit the uphill side—or ramp—of the bump (Fig. 2). It's natural to get rocked into the backseat as you come out of the turn and crest the bump, but once you're skimming just above the surface, push your hands forward, bring your feet back under you, and angle your bases into a powerful turning position (Fig. 3).

While you're floating, reach for the landing by extending your legs and driving your hips forward, then pop out of the next turn and float again (Fig. 4). Pretend you're a skipping stone. Once you start to feel comfortable with these tiny pieces of hang time, you can save all those animal noises for the gym.

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