Skiing: how to control your speed?

This is a set of techniques that should not be taken lightly. Mastering your speed on skis is essential for your style, your effort, and above all your safety. Remember that the downhill skier always has the right of way, and that trees and rocks don’t like to move around too much. So there’s no need to stress the importance of braking… even if that’s what we’ve just done.

Braking techniques

To begin with, two braking techniques need to be mastered before we can think about the most arduous slopes. Train on simple trails (green, blue) before venturing into more complicated environments.

The indestructible snowplough

Back straight, chest forward, bend your knees while keeping your legs flexible. Then press down on the inner edges of the skis. Bring the spatulas together in front of you, avoiding crossing them. The further you spread your heels, the more pronounced the slowdown. This technique, known as “snowploughing”, makes it possible to brake progressively for toddlers, but also to stop very quickly for experienced skiers, especially in utility use (with a load, etc.).

The all-purpose skid

The second rung in the braking hierarchy is skidding. This technique is valid at all levels. Bend your knees forward and rotate your skis. The spatulas glide over the snow and to balance everything, apply pressure with your foot on the heels or toe. The more your legs are bent and your skis perpendicular to the slope, the quicker you’ll stop. If you push on the downstream leg, remember to keep weight on both feet, to avoid an edge error (and a potential fall). It works every time once you get the hang of it.

And also

To maintain a reasonable speed (especially if you’re a beginner), don’t hesitate to lengthen your turns to progress at a greater angle to the descent. Conversely, bend your knees more and carry your weight in the downstream direction, which will logically cause you to accelerate.

Of course, speed control is also, and above all, about anticipation. Keep your eyes open, observe the position of other skiers and obstacles. Your analysis of the world around you is essential to controlling your speed on and off the track.

And as always, practice and enjoy!