Master your powder day

Image:Master your powder day
06. Jan, 2017 Written by: Ben Brosseau


As a snow-sliding enthusiast, if you have a few days under your belt, there’s probably a day or particular ski runs that stick out in your mind. Powder days! Deep, snow-in-your-face, take-your-breath-away turns that are engrained into your memory. For the majority of the skiing population, days like that are few and far between.

Skiing powder is enticing, and elusive. But if the stars align, it's ecstasy! We love that effortless, floating, blissful descent. Sometimes we get it easy, and sometimes Mother Nature adds some elements that make us work for it. Here are a few tips
 to make any kind of powder day something to write home about.


Know the snow

Don’t just look at the amount of new
snow in the forecast and automatically expect all-day face shots. Identify the quality of the new snow. Pay attention to recent weather, snow accumulations, wind, and temperature variations. Quantity plus quality intel can
give a better idea of the snow that awaits.
Will new snow conditions be dry and light ... wet and heavy ... or wind effected?
Gather data from the avalanche advisory
in your area or check in with ski patrol.
Certain aspects and elevations may be
holding the goods! Knowledge of the snow quality will give you a better idea for equipment selection and what skiing tactics may be necessary.


Ski selection

Extreme skiing pioneers like Glen Plake, showed us how powder skiing is done on skinny skis 30 years ago. While there is still no substitute for fitness and athleticism, wider boards can make us feel a little more proficient in deeper snow.

Wider skis = more floatation. So many
to pick from, right?! Powder skis, nowadays have never been more efficient and I believe a ski around 105 mm underfoot and some rocker in the tip can get you just about anywhere. Check out the Elan Ripstick 106. It’s one of the most versatile skis on the market and is built for two-footed surfing!


Tailor your skills

Powder skiing tactics are an extension of strong fundamentals. Embrace the soft snow environment and use the right tool for the job. Be ready to adapt movements in varying depths and densities by calibrating balance, pressure and speed to manage your line.


Art of the bounce

Proper timing is key. Use an exaggerated unweighting movement to redirect energy from the old turn into the next. Then, let the skis dive deeper and the snow come up. Submerge, resurface, repeat.


Two-footed mentality

Instead of directing too much energy
to the outside ski, even out the pressure
from foot to foot. One under-pressured
or over-pressured ski can lead to negative reactions in the snow. Aim for matching depths, similar edge angles and equal direction of travel.


Narrow the stance

Keep your feet closer together. Align your body over a stable, uni ed platform. This two- footed maneuver is especially effective when the snow is dense and the skis you’re on may be narrower than desired.


Core strength

There are a lot of moving body parts above and below our core. Add in a mixed degree of snow resistance and that can easily jeopardize our balance. Keep a tight body alignment; allowing your self to shift and absorb through the turn without over-compensation from the upper body.


Attack the line

Deep snow is a natural speed control mechanism. Allow your skis to take a more aggressive and direct route down the fall line and adjust your momentum with turn shape. Maintain rhythm and stay ahead of your skis with a deliberate and reaching pole swing towards your next turn.

Endless, euphoric powder skiing is the reason for countless sick days called in to school or work every winter, and it makes us as giddy as a twelve year-old in a candy store. It’s why we incessantly check the snow forecast and make sure the GoPro battery is charged. It’s that addictive sensation that makes us yearn for the next storm cycle. Stay sharp, be adaptable and enjoy your powder day!

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