When I first started skiing, a trainer would often ask me to follow him/her and when we stopped, would ask me, “How did that feel?”. Usually I’d be scared shitless because it was way too fast for me. But as I got more comfortable with the speed, my answer became a mere shrug of the shoulders. I didn’t know how I really felt, except that maybe I wasn’t as scared anymore.
We’ll start with listening to your soles and the story of balance they will tell. Try the following exercise stationary with eyes closed. In your ski boots with skis on, lean so far forward that your heels are lifting up. You would feel this.
This feeling of having your feet always in contact with the sole of your boot is a direct indication of your balance on your skis. If you don’t have balance, every other skill you need to perform is made more difficult. Most intermediate skiers will at some point in their turn feel only their heels. That is an indication that their balance is too far back; what is often referred to as ‘sitting back’ or ‘toilet seat drivers’. For advanced skiers, most have the misconception of always trying to feel only the ball of your foot constanly as they are skiing which results in them being too far forward which then actually throws them back onto their heels inadvertently a lot of the times.
|Left skier: Balanced, full contact. Right skier: Sitting back, feeling heels.|
So go out and start being aware of your fore/ aft balance whilst you’re skiing. Know when it is you feel balanced and figure out which part of the turn are you constantly finding yourself imbalanced.