Controlling Speed on Steep Terrain

When advancing skiers take on Black Diamond terrain they should have a strong knowledge of how to keep their speed under control as the terrain gets steeper. There is hardly anything more scary, or more dangerous, than being out of control and then having to make desperate skidding attempts to stop.

The way to control speed is both in, and in between your turns. First, whether you’re making small or large radius turns, timing is key. Ski in a rhythm. You’ll see many skiers on the slopes listening to music. Some have helmets with speakers built in while others simply whistle. Their music helps them with rhythm. Secondly, make an uphill half turn or a ‘J’ turn. To make this turn, put pressure on your downhill ski as you’re continuing a carving turn past the fall line. Then traverse so you’re now going up hill once your speed is in control, then go into your downhill turn. With your skis continually on their edge, this is a good way of controlling your speed.

Technique tips for Controlling Speed:
• Turn uphill while keeping a rhythm.
• Whistle a rhythmic tune or listen to music to help the down up motion of turning a smooth motion.
• Stand in a dynamic stance with weight forward, feet slightly apart and your upper body facing slightly downhill.
• Steer both skis at the same time in the same direction.