Notes to self: going back to skiing after a (long) while
I’ve just made it back from the slopes, having gone to ski in the alps for the first time in roughly ten years, and I have some notes that I would really, really like my future self to revisit the next time I decide to go skiing:
- Whether renting or buying, you have a tendency to get ski boots that are too large. If you can even think of walking more than a few meters without unfastening the latches, the boots are not ok. Do not think you can offset too large a pair of boots with thicker or multiple pairs of socks: it never works.
- You have a tendency to start out by being too conservative in how you shift your balance from one side to the other while turning. This makes you put too much pressure on the downhill leg, even in the transtion phase between turns, which guarantees that you’ll have to end the first day prematurely because you’ll have overworked your legs. As your skiing trips generally last a couple of days, this is definitely a bad strategy.
- Starting out, allocate a little time to reacquainting yourself with the feeling of exiting turns with your center of gravity ever so slightly uphill with respect to your skis, which should be parallel and close together. This will allow you to distribute your weight and momentum on both legs while transitioning between turns.
- Starting out, exaggerate the hopping motion as you turn, saying out loud the word oplà with every change of direction. Remember, skiing is fun.
- When doing full turns, you seldom bail out from completely closing the turn and find yourself fighting against your skis going from a nice parallel stance to an awkward semi-snowplow stance. Commit to the turn by punching your way through it with your downhill hand.
- You worry too much about forward / backward weight placement. Let your body find the right balance given the conditions on the slope.
- When in doubt, contemplate how elegantly and effortlessly your wife goes down even the harshest of slopes. Then get annoyed at her, then be thankful for her, then try to reproduce that.