“With these essentials in place, the rest of the mountain will start to open up for you. Explore! Try new terrain. Look for easy bumps. Find a fun race course. Sneak into some nicely spaced trees. Nibble away at new types of snow and different conditions. Try getting off the groomers and into untracked snow. Seek out the silky powder!”
“Keep that hand on the steering wheel and just swing the basket forward using your wrists. Gently tap it down toward the turn on the inside swoop near your downhill skis. Ski past the tap mark, keeping your hands forward, and let the basket trail behind.”
“The pole tapping should happen along with your turns. Try this for the first time on easy terrain. When you ease into the turn, it’s the downhill hand that does the tapping.”
“The next step is to try what everyone calls the pole plant, though that’s a crummy name because all you’re really doing is just touching or tapping. It’s a quick gentle motion. The tap should go ping and not thud!”
“Garlands are sometimes called “chicken out” turns because you aren’t fully turning in a new direction. You’ll get the feeling of doing a real parallel turn in a nice controlled rhythm without having to deal with picking up speed in the fall line. This is a real confidence builder for easing into the parallel turn.
Find a spot where you can do a nice long French Fries traverse without worrying about traffic from above. Ski across a slope with your uphill edges engaged so they are biting into the snow. Next, slowly get TALL, gently roll your ankles downhill, and release your edges. You’ll feel yourself starting to tip down the slope. This is how a parallel turn starts. Just let it happen as you gently guide your feet downhill.”
“No need to do everything at once. Spread your moves out over the whole turn. Turn your feet and legs little by little, move between TALL and SMALL the whole time. Tip on and off your edges bit by bit. Find a flow and soon it’ll feel smooth and graceful. When you feel good with the great big S turns try making snappy little s turns. You’ll probably find that small and medium turns (smedium) will control your speed the best, especially on steeper Blue runs.”
“Start out with nice wide graceful giant S curves on easy terrain. Remember all the basics: keep your hands out front, look where you’re going, get TALL at the beginning and SMALL at the end, balance over your outside ski, and use big toe-little toe to get the edges to bite the right amount. And smile!”