How to ski powder: making the most of fresh snow
The deeper the snow the slower you go. Going too slowly makes skiing soft snow really hard and physical – A straighter line keeps your speed higher and allows you to move through the snow without getting stuck.
A soft base underfoot makes it more difficult to balance – Be gentle changing balance laterally. Work both feet together rather than individually and drive the skis around the turn. The outside ski still does more of the work though.
The skis sink in to the snow during the turn – Embrace this and use it to your advantage. Drive the skis around the turn as they sink in to the snow. As the skis rebound change edges and start the next turn. Keep this rebound going and the rhythm of the turns takes over. Focus on getting the tips out of the snow in between the turns.
“Skiing in soft snow feels like I am making lots of mistakes” –That’s normal. Don’t worry about the mistakes, every good skier makes loads of little mistakes and adjustments as they ski soft snow. Just carry on smiling!
It can be easy to get stuck in a turn and not be able to make linked turns – A strong pole plant helps to re-centre and reset between each turn, and is a really important way to keep the rhythm going.
Armed with these adaptations to a strong piste based technique, and a suitable freeride or all-mountain freeride ski, all good intermediate skiers can begin to enjoy soft snow. Try skiing chopped up snow to practice your technique before venturing in to deep, untouched snow.