The peek – Just to check that our skis are still there.

Skiers are vain people. We loooove to look at ourselves. Even when we know we should be looking ahead when skiing, we can’t resist a little peek below to see what our skis are doing. I still do it myself but I try my hardest not to.
Don’t believe me? Get a friend to stand at the bottom of a run to watch your head. Sure you look ahead MOST of the time but every now and then, you will probably take a quick sneaky look at your skis. It’s pretty much like when you’re walking on the streets and you steal a quick look at your reflection to check yourself out (which I’m assured by a therapist friend is quite normal and in fact a healthy practice. Or was that mastu…). For the majority of skiers, its only every few turns that we look down. Then there are of course, the special few. I know of an instructor who does it several times in a single turn when he’s teaching yet is oblivious of his own habit.

Instructors performing a drill. Good skiers that can’t resist taking a peek too. 

“What’s the harm. I just wanna check to see what my skis are doing?”. Most often its to see how far apart or how close our skis are, how much they are edged or whether our skis have crossed even! 
Just taking a quick peek can upset our balance on skis. Especially when we’re going faster or on steeper terrain. And even after we look back up, our balance would be disrupted already and we would have to fight to recover it. 
Try this. Stand in an athletic position without your skis or boots on. Now look down. Did you notice a slight weight shift to your heels? That slight weight shift will be amplified through our skis. Control of our ski depends on us standing on the entirety of our skis. When we end up on our heels, our skis will start ‘shooting off’ because we no longer have as much control of them. We become imbalanced and we often have to spend the next 2 turns trying to recover our balance. It is very easy to upset our balance when skiing. It is much more difficult to regain that balance. 

  Balanced position and then the peek occurs.
  The peek makes us end up on our heels. 
From here, even if we look up, we’re already on our heels and have to fight to regain our balance.
It’s bad enough that terrain can and will upset our balance and the challenge is to recover against whatever is thrown at us. I try to make things easier for myself by not making movements that actually might throw me off balance.  
So the next time you’re on the slopes, pick a stationary object down the hill. A building, tower or even a tree. Now fall in love with it and don’t take your eyes off it. Not for a single second. Then get a friend to check. 

 Ski towards a tree or tower and don’t take your eyes off it. 
But try to stop before you hit it. Please.
Quit the peeking. Your skis are still there, doing what they need to be doing. And if your skis actually do come off, believe me you would know, even without looking at it. 

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