Skiing ABCs F — F is for Fall-line
The fall-line is quickest way down the hill. It is route water takes to get down. Typically that is straight down the middle of a run but not always. Runs often have contours that will alter the idea of going straight down the hill. Skiing with the fall line is the fastest route to ski.
To slow down, turn your skis away from the fall line or even turn the up the fall line to some degree. The best way to control your speed is to change how closely your skis are pointed down the fall line. More turns or bigger turns across the fall-line make for lower speeds.
Skiing ABCs F — F is for Falling
One of the things we risk while skiing is falling, especially when we are learning to ski. Falling is to be avoided but not to the extent we do not ski. If you are not falling you are not trying and not improving.
Falling while skiing is generally not as bad as one would think for the following reasons. Falling on a slope means less direct impact on your body, some of the energy of the fall is directed down the hill and not through your body. You are dressed up with heavier clothing providing some cushion and protection against abrasion. Also in your favor in a fall is generally snow is softer than bare ground. All of these generally mean falls while skiing carry less risk of injury (not zero risk).
Keep the following in mind when you do fall:
- Do not attempt to get back up until you come to a complete stop!
- Keep your legs flexed and feet up off the snow until you stop.
- I always perform a self assessment before getting back up.
- Wear a helmet to protect your head. Sometimes that soft snow is boilerplate ice and in any events at higher speeds the snow is not so soft anymore.
Vermont Ski Safety recommends you stay down on the snow until you come to a complete stop. They have studied injury data and notice an elevated rate of knee injuries in those who try to get back up while moving after a crash.
Again a recommendation from Vermont Ski Safety (at least the part of the flexed legs).
If all seems well enough I quickly get up and recombobulate myself to clear out of a blind spot or landing zone I may be in.
Skiing ABCs F — F is for Fresh
Fresh is a contraction leaving off snow. For example: The fresh is sweet. Meaning the fresh snow is sweet.
Even though many skiers love fresh snow it is more challenging for beginners to ski on. Skiing on powder generally requires a more upright stance, exaggerated weighting and unweighting, and bigger rounder turns.
Here in the upper Midwest we get a few occasions to ski in deep fresh so even for us Midwestern skiers you will get opportunities to learn to ski in deep snow. Take them!