All the experts agree that the more skiing you do, the better you’ll become; improving your performance and learning new tricks is all about putting in the legwork on the slopes. Practicing in a range of locations and on different terrains will help you get a feel for the variations and your confidence will quickly increase.
In these early stages you won’t be quite ready for the expert slopes, but you’ll be aware of your own strengths and abilities. This is a great time to start weaving in a few simple tricks if you feel you’re able. Challenging yourself will not only help build up your core strength but, in time, should see you leaving the red and blue slopes for good.
Here are five of the best tricks for intermediate skiers to try out. Don’t forget – before you start always make sure you have the right kit for the conditions and wear a helmet for protection.
The Spread Eagle -The spread eagle is the most popular first move with intermediates skiers. After taking off at a jump, spread your arms and legs to form an ‘x’ shape with your body, and then return to the regular position to effect a smooth landing. In order to maintain your balance and avoid taking a tumble, you’ll need to concentrate on keeping those limbs as straight as possible in the air.
The Daffy – The Daffy builds on the skills learned while perfecting the spread eagle trick. This time, fully extend each of your legs in front of and behind you whilst in mid-air. If balance is an issue, use your arms in a similar way to compensate. Take great care to pull your back leg in before hitting the snow – coordination is the key.
The Iron Cross – To perfect the iron cross trick, you need to get your skis into a cross position beneath you while jumping. It sounds deceptively simple, but timing is paramount. Landing with even slightly crossed skis could lead to a painful fall, so get enough air to enable a safe recovery.
Tail Grab – The tail grab is a more advanced move that includes your entire body. Once in the air, the skis are pulled in behind you and, using one hand, you reach back to tap or hold them. Remember, holding on until the last second may look impressive but the slightest miscalculation can result in a tumble, so it’s best to let go way in advance.
The 180 – Once you’ve mastered the rest and have built up a good level of confidence, balance and strength, a 180 is the next step. As you jump, turn your head in the direction you are planning to rotate, then twist your body through 180 degrees and land facing up the slope. It’s probably best not to attempt this one until you are a pretty competent skier…landing on your back won’t look as good as a perfected 180 turn.