TIPS FROM OUR PROS
When it is cooooold, first make sure you yourself are ready to take on the weather, then make sure your skis are ready. Layer up and cover all skin that might be unnecessarily exposed. If you have a personal history of frostbite, cover any exposed skin with Dermatone, which works great. Take a lap around the Airport Loop, and if you are too warm, remove a layer before continuing. As for your skis, nothing is slower than a warm wax on cold snow. If you know how to apply a cold wax like CH4, that's the way to go; if you don't, have one of the staff at Ole's do the job for you. It might set you back 20 bucks, but you'll get more than that value back in the quality of your skiing experience. -- PO 2/13/15
Just back from an instructors' skate clinic in New Hampshire, and something that came up often, especially when discussing V2, was keeping your feet underneath you. If you are having problems generating much power in your push and glide, work on narrowing your stance. Once your push leg has done its work and is off the snow, allow your unweighted foot to swing back underneat you while the other ski glides. You'll have much more balance and leverage to dedicate to the next stride. -- PO 3/3/14
We hear the question all the time: Waxless skis require no wax, right? WRONG? "Waxless" (or "no-wax") simply means that no sticky kick wax is required underfoot. A textured surface -- often likened to fish scales -- grips the snow and provides the stability you need to kick from one ski to the other. With the warmer temperatures and softer snow of spring on the horizon, waxless skis become a really good choice for all skiers. But be sure to apply wax to the smooth gliding surfaces on the tip and tail. An inexpensive liquid wax like Swix F4, which works great on warmer snow, can be applied on the full length of a waxless ski, including the fish scales. Wax `em up, and you'll have a much better time. -- 2/15/13
Icy conditions? make sure to keep your feet underneath you. That means remaining centered and balanced over your skis at all times. Don't go for big long gildes are try to dig in with forceful, powerful kicks. Stay light and shorten up your glide and bounce lightly on your feet from time to time to re-center your balance on a regular basis. -- 2/4/12
Skiing is a dance, and imagine dancing without moving your hips. To be fully balanced on one ski or the other, your hips have to move laterally. So here's something to try at home for body awareness. Stand about four inches to the left of the edge of a table. Try balancing on your right foot. If you achieve successful, one-footed balance, your right hip should be touching the the table's edge. Turn around and try the same thing on the left side. Think of your hip(s) touching that table edge when you are out on snow and trying to achieve a complete balance transfer.
Why don't my skis slide on cold days? Cold snow crystals keep their many sharp points. Times billions of crystals, this causes friction. Also at cold temps there is very little water available. A microscopic layer of water is really important to glide. What to do? Use a glide wax designed for cold conditions, such as Swix CH4. It will harden the base so snow friction is reduced. /GF 1/17/11
When the snow cover is thin, it is important to stay light on your feet. With light feet, you can easily step around any exposed obstacles or bare spots, resulting in the smoothest gliding possible. And look ahead so that you can plan to make route adjustments, not just react to what is immediately underfoot.
Mind games: Next time on skis, keep a single word in mind -- "efficiency." Your objective is to pare away any excess movements that don't contribute to smooth, fast skiing. Think about what you are doing: Is there anything you can eliminate and still be an effective -- efficient -- skier? Try to achieve maximum output for minimum effort.
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